Declining Inventories: Are Shippers Improving E-Commerce Fulfillment?

Posted by PLS Logistics August 12, 2016 at 9:00 AM

The 27th Annual State of Logistics Report shows that inventory levels are down and logistics costs are rising.

Given the extreme demands of the hundreds of millions of online consumers who expect free shipping and fast delivery, e-commerce interrupts transportation budgets and regular shipping strategies. In 2015, transportation costs rose 1.3% year-over-year.

Now, shippers are adding DCs, improving warehouse technology and rethinking traditional inventories in order to meet demand while containing costs.

Retailers, manufacturers and suppliers hold inventory to reduce costs and/or to improve customer service. Having too much inventory can cause excess merchandise to be wasted, and not having enough inventory can leave customers without the products they ordered.

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7 Practical, Profitable Goals for Your Next Freight Assessment

Posted by PLS Logistics May 24, 2016 at 9:00 AM

Shippers are always looking for opportunities to easily reduce transportation spend. One of the best ways to drive logistics-related savings is by reviewing processes and using technology. Shippers who review supply chain processes and transportation performance, while taking advantage of historical and real-time data, will eliminate costs without an effect on efficiency.

  1. Use the right mode. To find the best freight rates and service, figure out which transportation mode works best for your cargo. Choosing a mode is dependent on knowing your load size, freight volume, and specific regulations to discover whether you should use truckload shipping, LTL shipping, intermodal freight moves, or a mixture of those options.
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How to Control Costs in Your Supply Chain

Posted by PLS Logistics May 2, 2016 at 9:00 AM

Supply chain costs are controlled by management and strategy. You can keep costs down by managing every step in the supply chain process. To find reductions in supply chain costs, supply chain strategies have to align with customer expectations and business goals.

Supply chain strategy gauges the cost-benefit trade-offs of operative components. Knowledge of your particular processes, requirements and needs is essential to find cost savings.

Common places to look for cost savings include warehouse space, inventory stock, supplier relationships, transportation modes and lanes, and order processing. Supply chains are active, so strategies should encourage a hands-on approach to innovation, data analysis, demands and operations.

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3 Ways Supply Chain Cost Analyses Help Your Business

Posted by PLS Logistics April 27, 2016 at 1:00 PM

Are you overpaying for inbound shipments? Should you switch from LTL to truckload shipments? Are your supply chain and dock loading processes proficient?

Understanding costs in the supply chain is just as important as reducing them. In order to enact profitable change, TMS reports provide insight into trends, inefficiencies, support and monetary KPIs. With actionable data, businesses are enabled to make better, faster decisions for transportation and supply chain optimization.

A transportation cost analysis will help you analyze efficiency and reduce transportation spend.

Here are 3 reports that are customized for shippers from a transportation management system (TMS). These reports can be compared over time and filtered to show exact locations or facilities, so that you can see the ROI of decisions and impact of pain points and/or opportunities.

Light Load Detail and Cost: Light load details vary across customers. Once the weight is defined, then a report is generated showing how much of the designated weight the customer uses and how much unused space is being paid for.

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How this Company Grew Visibility with a 3PL Partnership

Posted by PLS Logistics April 19, 2016 at 9:00 AM

A common transportation challenge of B2B and B2C businesses is lack of supply chain visibility. Without visibility, deliveries are slower, inventory management suffers and it’s more difficult to manage risk. These challenges are linked to additional costs and unhappy customers.

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6 Quick Questions to Ask Before Buying a TMS

Posted by PLS Logistics April 13, 2016 at 11:30 AM

Choosing a transportation management system (TMS) for your company is a huge decision because there are a variety of providers and features.
 A TMS helps companies move freight efficiently, reliably and at lower rates. Implementing a TMS drives value by monitoring and evaluating processes, analytics and optimization. The technology routes drivers, schedules deliveries and reports business KPIs.   

If only 35% of shippers are using transportation management systems, so choosing the right system positions you to be a market leader in logistics. These 6 questions will help you discover what kind of TMS you need.

  1. What’s My Plan of Attack?
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What Every Shipper Needs to Know About the Future Truck Driver Shortage

Posted by PLS Admin March 29, 2016 at 10:30 AM

The shortage of truck drivers in the U.S. has been a hot topic for some time. Most people in the industry have heard the statistics by now: we’re currently short 48,000 drivers, the shortage is expected to rise to 175,000 drivers by 2024 and carriers will need to hire 89,000 drivers a year over the next decade in order to keep up with demand.

Supply chain experts think the driver shortage will truly harm the nation’s economy, while many drivers and owner-operators think the shortage doesn’t even exist. While freight tonnage has been slowly rising since 2014, the question remains, why aren’t we seeing the effects of the driver shortage?

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More Inventory, Less Warehouse Space: How Virtual Inventory Works

Posted by PLS Logistics March 22, 2016 at 9:00 AM

The omni-channel environment consists of demanding, knowledgeable consumers who expect a seamless, customized shopping experience. They want to order from anywhere, at any time - these empowered shoppers have changed fulfillment and transportation in retail supply chains.

To enhance the customer’s shopping experience, retailers are building virtual inventories. Virtual inventory is an all-inclusive list of a company’s products that can be sold to a consumer; the products might be in a retail store, stock room or warehouse.

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3 Ways CPG Shippers Reduce LTL Shipping Costs

Posted by PLS Logistics March 15, 2016 at 9:00 AM

CPG shippers rely heavily on LTL transportation, which leads to several inefficiencies. CPG shippers rarely have the freight volume to utilize a full truckload, and often feel stuck using more expensive, slower LTL transportation. But, there are ways to make LTL shipping as efficient and cost-friendly as TL shipping.

LTL transportation is expensive and rates continue to climb. Other issues with LTL shipping include greater risk of damage, slower transit time, inconsistent pricing models and a bigger carbon footprint.

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New Research: Assessing Inbound Freight Management

Posted by PLS Logistics March 4, 2016 at 3:30 PM

Transportation is coming to the forefront of shippers’ cost reduction, efficiency and operational strategies due to its oversized contribution to supply chain costs. Inbound transportation is particularly inefficient and costly, eating up 3.6% to 5.2% of a company’s total annual sales.

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