New Articles

Investing in Supply Chain Technology Will Give You a Competitive Edge

technology arrivenow labor industrial

Investing in Supply Chain Technology Will Give You a Competitive Edge

The COVID-19 pandemic brought about many changes, some of which were more unexpected than others. Anyone with a stake in the logistics industry saw unprecedented supply chain shortages and disruptions that impacted everyone. Materials foundered in warehouses with no one to transport them to factories for manufacturing. Completed products collected dust because no drivers were available to carry them to their final destination. It even threw a wrench in Christmas 2021, making it harder for consumers to get their hands on artificial trees.

Some of these issues have begun to fade, but there are still challenges facing the supply chain industry. How can investing in new supply chain technologies give companies a competitive edge?

The Last Mile Is Evolving

While 2020 wasn’t the first year where e-commerce and online orders started to take precedence over physical storefronts, adding a global pandemic to the mix made having that option more essential. It allowed people to stay home as much as possible while still ensuring they had everything they needed or wanted throughout the lockdowns. Consumers have grown accustomed to fast delivery, but their definition of fast is different from what most might typically find in the logistics industry.

One recent survey found that 96% of consumers equate “fast” delivery with “same-day” delivery. Barely half of the retailers offer that delivery option, but that consumer definition means it is essential to shorten the amount of time those last-mile deliveries take. Supply chain innovations and new technologies can help bridge the gap between what the consumer perceives as fast and the reality that defines the logistics industry as it currently stands.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) Is Making Its Mark

The logistics industry as a whole generates massive amounts of data every single day. Supply chain data, consumer information, manufacturing details, and everything in between gets collected and stored. This data is often stored where companies can access it, but it’s usually just a mish-mash of numbers in its raw form. Making sense of that information is often beyond what even the most skilled business owner can manage – at least on their own.

Experts anticipated that more than half of companies in the supply chain industry were planning to begin investing in artificial intelligence systems for their companies by the end of 2021. This is a 15% increase year-over-year for this industry alone. In the long run, AI will likely add trillions in value to the industry in the coming years. This trend is picking up speed, but there is still plenty of time for existing companies to get in on the ground floor and adopt it before it transitions from niche to necessity.

Changing Best Practices With Robotics and Automation

Robotics and automation is a field that often earns a lot of negative attention and press because of its threat to human jobs. People are afraid that robots will steal jobs, and this sort of hidebound attitude has often led to industries that are otherwise on the cutting edge of their field shunning advances. In supply chain operations, experts expect robotics and automation to grow steadily over the next five years, especially in any situation where a robot can take over a dangerous or high-risk task.

Introducing robotics and automation can help companies overcome existing problems, especially regarding functionality and fulfillment. Warehouses that still rely on manual picking methods aren’t going to keep up with the growing demand when competing against companies that have already purchased and implemented automated picking systems.

Removing Humans From Some Equations

A lack of skilled workers, especially in the trucking industry, has presented a unique challenge for those working with supply chains. Having all the materials in the world doesn’t mean much when no one is available to haul those materials from warehouse to factory or from factory to consumer. There was a shortage of 80,000 truck drivers by the end of 2021, and experts estimate that will double by 2030.

The technology is almost ready for self-driving trucks that could help offset this growing labor shortage. They will never fully replace the need for human drivers, but they could help fill in the gaps while the trucking industry makes the necessary changes to rebuild its ranks. The demand for skilled drivers will never disappear, especially when the weather turns sour. Still, these self-driving alternatives could help ensure materials and finished products promptly reach their destinations.

Warehouse Optimization Is Key

Warehouse layout options haven’t changed much in the last few decades, but change is a necessity if companies are hoping to keep up with the increased demand. Warehouse optimization is essential to manage the increasing number of orders. Often, something as simple as rearranging the inventory so the most frequently purchased items are closer to the picking and packing stations can help, but that isn’t always enough.

Warehouse management systems – software designed to sort through and manage all the data a warehouse produces – are one piece of the puzzle. These, when paired with the artificial intelligence and machine learning systems mentioned above, can create a network that will increase productivity and supply chain efficiency. Robotics and automation will also play a role, removing some of the human element, especially in regards to inventory management and picking orders. The goal here isn’t to eliminate human workers entirely, but to make their jobs easier through AI and other advanced supply chain technology so they can carry them out more efficiently.

Overcoming Supply Chain Challenges in the Future

No one could have anticipated the challenges that arose during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, companies need to work to recover from those challenges and overcome any new problems that might occur in the future. New technologies can help give companies an edge in an already ultra-competitive industry. For those that haven’t already started considering these changes, now is a perfect time – the calm between storms – to begin researching how it could work for them.

The demand for e-commerce and the supply chains to support it isn’t going to go away anytime soon. Now is the time to start adopting these new technologies so companies can start getting ahead of the competition.

freight broker tai group

The Importance of Freight Broker Bonds for your Business

Opening a freight brokerage can be a great way to accelerate your earnings. Freight brokers play an important role within the transportation industry by connecting shippers with transportation companies for trucks required to deliver their goods. While some shippers have contracts with specific trucking carriers, others rely on freight brokers for added flexibility, greater speed of delivery, and lower costs.

Freight brokers are required to comply with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s regulations for licensing. There are a few different types of operating authority licenses that freight brokers need to operate within the US, depending on the type of cargo they broker. All of the different types of freight broker operating authority require brokers to meet certain requirements, including being bonded with a freight broker surety bond. Here is some information about freight broker bonds so that you can get started with your business and ensure that it successfully operates.

What Is a Freight Broker Surety Bond?

Also known as a BMC-84 bond, a freight broker surety bond is a type of guarantee issued by a surety company that the principal holder will perform the work as promised. It is not insurance since the principal broker is not protected from liability by the bond. Instead, a BMC-84 bond is required by the government before a broker can become licensed. It is meant to protect the companies that rely on the broker and contract with it for services and to ensure that the broker will comply with the applicable regulations and laws while operating.

If a freight broker fails to fulfill its contractual obligations, a claim can be filed against the bond. However, the surety company is not responsible for paying the claim. Instead, the freight broker must pay claims filed against its bond. The surety company only steps in when the freight broker fails to pay its claim. If a freight broker has unpaid claims, it could lose its surety and its ability to continue operating.

A broker that fails to pay a carrier what the carrier is owed might have a claim filed against its bond. The carrier’s claim will be in the amount the broker owes for the services the carrier provided for the shipper the broker connected the carrier to for the transportation of freight. An unpaid claim against the surety could result in the surety terminating the bond and the loss of the broker’s license. It can also make it more difficult for the broker to secure a new freight broker bond, forcing the broker out of business.

Why Are Freight Broker Bonds Necessary?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requires brokers to secure operating authority licenses and to renew them annually to continue operating within the US. One of the requirements for securing and renewing an operating authority license is to secure and maintain a surety bond for freight brokers.

The governmental requirement for brokers to be bonded is meant to protect the companies that depend on them. This is why surety bonds for freight brokers protect the parties with which the brokers contract instead of the brokers themselves. If you do not secure and maintain a BMC-84 freight broker bond, you will not be able to operate your freight brokerage since you will not be able to secure or renew your operating authority.

Which Parties Are Involved in a Freight Broker Surety Bond?

The three parties that are involved in a freight broker bond include the following:

• Principal – The freight broker seeking the bond to secure or maintain its operating authority license

• Obligee – The governmental agency requiring the bond, which is the FMCSA

• Surety – The surety company issuing the surety bond

How a Freight Broker Bond Works

A freight broker must find a surety company to issue a bond so that the broker can secure an operating authority license from the FMCSA. The surety company will go through an underwriting process before agreeing to issue the bond. It will review the broker’s credit and financial history, ensure that the broker has sufficient working capital to cover the maximum bond amount and check its history for past problems.

The bond functions similarly to a person’s credit score. If a broker has a history of multiple claims or past unpaid claims, the surety company might deny the application for the BMC-84 bond. If it does agree to move forward with issuing the bond, the freight broker bond cost will be much higher than if the company had instead established a good operating record.

The principal must pay a percentage of the maximum bond amount upfront to secure the bond. This cost might range from 1% of the total bonded amount for freight brokers with good credit and reputations to 15% for those with poor credit or with marks on their records.

Freight broker bonds expire, but they can be renewed. Since a freight broker must also renew its operating authority annually with the FMCSA, it must maintain its surety bond and renew it if it is getting ready to expire. A surety company can also terminate a bond when the principal has unpaid claims and refuse to renew it.

While freight broker bonds are not insurance and do not protect your business, they are a necessary part of operating a freight brokerage in the US. You cannot secure or renew your operating authority to broker freight between shippers and carriers within the US without having a valid freight broker surety bond.

Since your history with your bond could potentially harm your business reputation and your ability to continue operating, it is critical for your company to establish a good record and to meet its obligations if any claims are filed against your surety. Establishing a good history by complying with the law and meeting your contractual obligations can help your business to be more successful.


Has COVID-19 Changed the French Food Delivery Market Forever?

The French food delivery market is hugely lucrative, worth €180 billion and growing. Food makes up 20% of our manufacturing output, highlighting its economic importance.

The market was flipped on its head during the COVID-19 pandemic, which saw restaurants, cafes, and bars close their doors and demand for deliveries rise.

Electrix, a producer of coffret électrique encastré for the food industry, explores how the pandemic has changed consumer needs and how the market could look in the coming months.

Our Changing Food Delivery Habits

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world. As businesses closed their front doors and we were confined to our homes, consumer behavior changed.

People were forced to turn to online shopping for non-essential items, but many also began to shop online for critical supplies, like groceries. Takeaway food deliveries increased as people sought comfort in delicious restaurant food at home. 29% of French households were already getting meals delivered to their home regularly, which naturally increased when we were unable to go out.

We were seeing a shift towards eating out before the pandemic. In 2019, there was an 8.5% increase in people eating outside the home, whether that was in bars, restaurants, or cafes. 48% of people said this was the activity they were most eager to get back to, scoring it higher than seeing family and friends or attending events.

Fast Grocery Delivery will Become the Norm

Demand for grocery deliveries rose as people sought to avoid contracting the virus in shops. Stores struggled to keep up with this demand initially, but they soon adapted. Because of this huge response, we’re now seeing companies offer grocery deliveries in as little as 15 minutes across the country. Interestingly, this activity reached a new high in Europe in the first quarter of 2021 rather than during the first lockdown.

Cajoo, the first French company to offer immediate grocery deliveries, put itself up for sale as its competition rose quickly. It went from being an innovator to one of many businesses offering the same services in an instant, so high is the demand for fast food shopping deliveries.

It’s important to note that these operations are expensive and require multiple locations. Cajoo committed to paying its drivers a salary, while we’ve seen other providers cut delivery costs in order to remain more profitable, which can impact driver earnings. One thing is for sure – fast grocery delivery is here to stay.

Will People Dine out More Again?

While lockdown restrictions have eased, capacity in restaurants, bars, and cafes is still limited as the vaccine rollout continues. We know that eating out is the activity the French public has missed the most during the lockdown, but we’re seeing mixed results on people returning to restaurants.

In December 2020, a survey was released on our intentions to dine out after lockdown restrictions were eased, and the results were surprising. 51% of respondents said they intended to dine out less than usual, while 35% said they’d do it as much as they had prior to the pandemic. While many restaurants have been fully booked since reopening, the hospitality industry union UMIH has estimated that the recent introduction of green passes could reduce visitor numbers by 15–20%.

It’s clear that we’re taking precautions as France continues its roadmap out of lockdown. While visits to restaurants after the easing of restrictions exceeded 2019 levels by 50%, consumers are currently dining out less. We expect this trend to continue in the coming months because of the backlash to the COVID pass, despite the fact that dining out is a much-loved activity in the country.

Fast Food Delivery will Get More Competitive

As people ordered more fast food through the pandemic, delivery services increased fiercely. Uber Eats has long dominated the takeaway delivery market in France, but we saw Deliveroo triple its subscribers by offering unlimited deliveries for a small initial fee of 1€, rising to only 5.99€ at the end of 2020.

When France fully exits from lockdown restrictions – whenever that may be– we may see a decline in fast food delivery orders. The pandemic increased competition between the providers of these services as they looked to capitalize on increased demands, but we may see even more discounts as spend in this area inevitably drops.

A Backlash to Competitiveness?

With competition at an all-time high in the food delivery market, we’re seeing businesses undercut themselves and each other to gain key market shares, such as the low delivery prices offered by Deliveroo. We know that this can impact the earnings of its drivers, so could we also see a backlash to this type of ruthless competitiveness? Just Eat, which has a smaller share in the market, hired 4,500 drivers on permanent contracts in order to build and an ethical brand.

Values matter to French consumers, and half wouldn’t continue to buy from a business that didn’t have similar values to them. We could see businesses that take an ethical stance increase their market share.

There’s no doubt that the past 18 months have shifted consumer behaviors in a way we never expected, and this will impact the future of the market. The food delivery market in France is highly valuable, and we’re seeing new trends emerge as a result of our changing habits.




The Future of E-Commerce: Five Post-Pandemic Trends Sellers Will Need to Know

Kenny Tsang, industry expert and Managing Director of PingPong Payments, provides his top five trends to define success in 2021.

In the past year, the rules of e-commerce have effectively been rewritten. In an increasingly touchless society, our lives have become digitized, changing how we engage, interact, and view day-to-day life. Now, new online buying behaviors have emerged, and millions of consumers that previously relied on brick-and-mortar sales are shopping online to meet everyday needs.

But the rise of e-commerce hasn’t been without shortcomings. At the height of the pandemic in May, sellers, welcoming millions of new consumers, were faced with supply chain disruption, shock shortages, and business loss. Many turned to international options to mitigate issues, and cross-border sales saw a staggering 21 percent increase in year-on-year sales in June.

With uncertainty surrounding the year ahead, sellers will naturally be wondering if this growth is sustainable. It will be vital more than ever to plan for a post-pandemic environment.

To prepare, here are five key trends that will define success in 2021:

Growth of Cross-border, Global Marketplaces

In a year of uncertainty, the global marketplace has become one of the very few resilient, effective, and profitable platforms to weather the storm. Fuelled by the transformation of shopping, Alibaba, Amazon, Etsy, and Taobao all reported record figures this year as consumers turned to these new ‘virtual shopping malls.’

By the end of 2020, an estimated two billion people will have made an online purchase, and the rise in users is beginning to signal a shift in online sales. As important as the U.S. market is to this growth through marketplaces such as Amazon, eBay, and Etsy – sellers can often forget that 85 percent of the industry purchasing power lies abroad. In fact, in China, e-commerce sales have recently overtaken the U.S., and the country’s ‘Singles Day’ shopping event eclipsed Black Friday in the U.S.

At the end of December, the global e-commerce market was expected to reach $1 trillion and early forecasts anticipate the trend to continue. With new cross-border payment solutions that can manage overseas logistics, pay suppliers in a local currency, and make VAT payments in real-time, becoming an international seller is easier than ever before.

Diversifying Supply Chains

To say that lockdown restrictions affected supply chains in 2020 would be putting it lightly. At the peak of the crisis, disruption to factories highlighted the fragility of relying on one single source for inventory. With little to no option left for sellers, the shift to diversifying supply chains to mitigate financial repercussions has called for an industry-wide rethink.

However, disruption isn’t new, and one of the biggest mistakes sellers often make is overlooking future risk planning and the prioritization of corrective actions.

Instead of assuming there won’t be interruptions to one supply chain, consider other sources. With an abundance of cross-border services such as parcel consolidation, global fulfillment, and payment providers, sellers can – and should – explore international markets.

Faster, and Faster delivery

As the world changes, consumer preferences, schedules, and expectations are also rapidly affecting the speed and manner of how products are delivered. In an age of immediacy, the industry standard of the typical 7 to 10 delivery day window has become outdated. Over 90 percent of consumers are now willing to pay for same-day or faster delivery.

Thanks to online marketplaces such as Amazon Prime, Walmart, and Best Buy, the ‘new normal’ of instant delivery in as little as two hours has challenged sellers to rethink their customer service approach. Now, the speed, price, and the previously optional ‘add ons’ are differentiating sellers through competitive advantage in an e-commerce race that most cannot afford to lose.

The key is to be flexible. With diversified supply chains, robust inventories, and reliable fulfillment management, sellers can use their agility to deliver to the right customers at the right time.

The Rise of Social Commerce

The business advantages for retailers to sell directly through social media in a year that has seen e-commerce become a focal point of day-to-day continuity has drastically strengthened. The opportunities to buy, sell, or promote on one integrated platform through leveraging channels that millions of people are using now appears to be a no-brainer for most sellers.

Staggeringly, over 87 percent of e-commerce shoppers believe social media helps them make a shopping decision, and yet, only 40 percent of sellers are using it to generate sales. In 2021, experts project this number will rise significantly; we’re arguably already seeing its value in China, which has hosted its biggest sales event – Singles Day – on record so far. Through live-streaming, two-thirds of Chinese consumers said they purchased products via the platform in the past 12 months, citing “instant information” as a significant deciding factor.

Live-streaming is bound to become part of the U.S. shopping experience, and with more features evolving and launching alongside industry growth and demand – sellers should keep up with new trends.

The Transformation of Retail Shopping Events

As online commerce continues to prevail, annual in-store holiday season doorbusters promising discount deals have begun to lose their relevance. During the 2020 holiday season, deals popped up early, 24-hour sales lasted a month, and by late November, most of the ‘festive shopping’ had been done online.

Retail shopping events have changed, accelerated, and turned in favor of digital commerce, with sales increasing 30 percent year-on-year during the 2020 holiday season. More importance is being placed on the broader e-commerce market, and the increase in competition in an already saturated market will require sellers to work smarter.

Instead of waiting for domestic season events, think globally. By partnering with the right cross-border payment provider, sellers can enter new markets, effortlessly move money to all corners of the world, and grow a larger audience that will effectively move sales forward post-pandemic.

edible packaging

The Importance of Packaging Optimization in Supply Chain

Packing is usually considered as one of the most boring, least impactful aspects of a supply chain. With logistics, transport methods, and keeping track of your freight shipments, why should you bother with packaging optimization in supply chain? Well, as it turns out, it can have some surprising benefits, especially when appropriately tackled. So, with that in mind, let’s take a more in-depth look into the importance of packing in supply chain management.

Packaging optimization in supply chain management- why it matters

Before we go over the importance of packaging optimization, we need to outline what packaging entails clearly. If you are new to supply chain management, you might think it is merely putting items into boxes. But, in actuality, there is much more to packaging once you get into it. There are various materials to consider, be it their cost or sturdiness, not to mention packaging design for branding and eco-friendliness of your packaging procedures. Therefore, even in a couple of sentences, we can give you an idea that packing is a significant issue and how useful it can be to optimize it with due care.

Safety measures

Safety should always be your primary concern. Whether you are dealing with something private or business-oriented, safety is paramount. With this in mind, you’d be hard-pressed not to consider packaging optimization. By handling your packing procedure, and everything that goes with it, you can ensure that your supply chain is safe. People often forget that proper packing requires in-depth knowledge of the whole chain. It is precisely because you know where the shipments are headed that you should do your part in preparing them.

It often happens that people pack and repack shipments during the supply chain. This is primarily because they are only worried about keeping the shipments safe during their segment. Tackling packing like this is not only cost-inefficient but also potentially dangerous. Since people mainly focus on short-term safety measures, they are unlikely always to follow the necessary packing procedure. By dealing with the whole aspect of packing in one go, you can use the right packing supplies and tape, label, and log items as necessary. While doing so might seem minute, it will play a prominent role in how safe your shipments are.

Cost optimization

As we have already mentioned cost optimization, let’s elaborate more on what role packaging optimization has in it. If you allow people who are not interested in cost optimization to pack your belongings, they will do a poor job. Sure, they will ensure the safety of your items. But, they hardly have the incentive to use packing supplies adequately. It results in half-packed boxes, poorly structured shipments, and considerable unused space. These are the main things that you need to avoid. Now, you might think that these things don’t add up as much. But, think again.

By handling all of these aspects with due care, you will optimize your packaging to the utmost cost efficiency. Keep in mind that even a slight increase in optimization can end up saving you a lot of money. All of the aspects that we have mentioned pile up, especially in large supply chains. So, the more of them you take care of, the better off you’ll be. In fact, we wouldn’t be surprised if you end up astonished at how much money you were wasting with improper packing.

Brand recognition

There is hardly a marketing strategist out there that won’t tell you about the importance of brand and brand placement. If you plan on running a decent marketing strategy, you need to develop a brand and use it in every facet of your business, from your online presence to your vehicles, worker uniforms, and even packaging. There is a reason why companies like Amazon invest in their packing supplies. Branding on them ensures that your customers see your logo, even before opening their products. Not to mention all the people that will be handling your boxes during the shipping procedure. So, all in all, know that investing in branded packing supplies is definitely worth the money spent, especially if you ensure that they are of top quality and that your packing is overall stellar.


Having eco-friendly supply chains is becoming more and more necessary. The current situation requires us to do whatever necessary to protect our environment. Luckily, this is another aspect where packaging optimization has a role. True, it won’t have as big of an effect as utilizing carbon capture or using more eco-friendly fuels. But, the impact it does have is nothing to scoff at.

Using eco-friendly supplies will go a long way in protecting the environment and ensuring low waste. After all, the biggest problem with packing is that we use non-degradable materials like plastic and styrofoam and routinely throw vast amounts of it away. This has to change, and modern supply chains do whatever necessary to do so. Modern materials allow for the same safety while being biodegradable. At the same time, eco-conscious packing procedures ensure that we waste as little as possible.

Final thoughts

All things considered, you should have a decent idea of the importance of packaging optimization in supply chain. Without it, you not only risk losing money but also endangering your items and having a substantial carbon footprint. Know that even a small change in your packing procedures can have a long-lasting effect on your finances and the environment. So, invest your time into looking into it. Once you do some research, you will learn that we’ve come a long way from run-of-the-mill cardboard boxes. Modern packaging solutions give you a lot of freedom to explore how to make packaging as optimized as possible. So, do your best to make the most out of them.


Amanda Anderson has been a relocation coordinator for various moving companies and marketing advisor for Capital City Bins. During her 15 years of service, she has learned a thing or two about shipping and how to prepare for it safely. Now she helps both professionals and amateurs handle shipping with due care.


Convey’s Discover Provides Proactive Options for Retailers

Delivery management and visibility in delivery delays is taken to a whole new level thanks to a new solutions platform launched just in time for the holidays by Delivery Experience Management platform company, Convey.

Thanks to its predictive insights and precise delivery performance reporting, Convey’s Discover transportation analytics and insights software solution enables retailers to think ahead for the holiday season. Information released by Convey confirmed that Discover revealed unreported delays for 17 percent of retailer shipments.

“The ability to seek out and get ahead of delays for our customers is critical,” says Anthony Curreri, Senior Logistics Manager at Boll and Branch. “We were already using Convey to communicate and in some cases upgrade shipment service levels to keep the promises we’ve made to our customers. We’re excited to see the impact having early visibility into these delays will have for both our own operations and our customers’ experience. Our goal is to increase consumer confidence to buy and committing to meet delivery expectations is just one example of that.”

 Accessing real-time data and historical reporting that measures the consumer experience is a major plus provided by the software platform. Additionally, SLA performance, data quality, and benchmarking reports are provided by Discover through a combination of machine learning and out-of-box suite reporting capabilities. Retailers are now enabled to analyze a delay and determine the best route for optimization based on these reports, further enhancing the consumer experience involving all supply chain players.

“Our customers tell us what’s most important to them is really one thing — to make delivery promises that they can keep,” says Michael Miller, Chief Product and Strategy Officer at Convey. “Discover is just one critical component to ensuring retailers are able to guarantee a perfect delivery. This holiday season has already proven what can happen when network congestion and weather combine to wreak havoc on the supply chain that serves e-commerce. Convey’s ability to give retailers the extra time and tools necessary to keep delivery promises is unprecedented in the industry today.”


Logistics Experts Take to the Skies for Air-Cargo Solutions

A major U.S. air carrier sought to fill the void caused by leading same-day delivery services implementing their own fleets in the sky. A Midwest zoo needed to fly in from the West Coast its newest tenants. And a growing air cargo company required logistical expertise to take itself to the next level.  

Whether it’s managing airborne cargo networks, moving animals across the country or breaking air carriers into the delivery business, seasoned logistics professionals proved they were on it. Witness the following air cargo solutions.

Delta Cargo and Roadie

With UPS, FedEx and Amazon having acquired their own planes in recent years to cut down on costs associated with booking flights on major air carriers, Delta Cargo recently turned the tables by getting into the ground transportation business. Based in Atlanta, Delta partnered with Roadie, a local same-day delivery service, to recently launch DASH Door-to-Door and mark an industry-first for a U.S. passenger airline.

The 24/7 pick-up and delivery service, from your business or home, is available from Atlanta to around 60 U.S. cities with more being added all the time. Pairing TSA-approved drivers with air cargo, Delta Cargo and Roadie boast that DASH is the fastest cross-country door-to-door service in the country—and that it’s competitively priced. 

Matt Weisenburg, Delta’s director of Cargo Strategy and Alliances, referred to DASH Door-to-Door as “a game-changer” for Delta, as Roadie has more than 150,000 verified drivers and the largest local same-day delivery footprint nationwide, reaching 89 percent of all U.S. households. DASH includes handling of time-critical shipments in industries including medical, manufacturing, automotive, industrial parts and more. 

 “Customers want what they want when they want it,” said Marc Gorlin, Roadie’s founder and CEO. “This partnership means we can deliver—whether it’s across town or across the country.”

Brookfield Zoo and FedEx

A female sea lion, about age 2, was found in May 2018 at Westward Beach in Malibu, California, where she was unable to care for herself after being weaned from her mother. When staff from the Marine Mammal Care Center in San Pedro rescued her, the sea lion was severely underweight, extremely malnourished and suffering from multiple puncture wounds and fishhooks in her body and one of her eyes, which led to a ruptured cornea. Vision in her good eye was limited.

Six months later and about 90 miles away in Dana Point, California, a second female sea lion, also about 2, was found dehydrated, malnourished and obviously unable to fend for herself. Rescuers from Pacific Marine Mammal Center in Laguna Beach discovered she had lacerations on one of her flippers and chest from a possible boat propeller or predator bite. X-rays later revealed she had 30 to 40 stones in her stomach and, once those passed, she started eating again and was released back to the wild in January 2019. But a month later she was found again at Dana Point Harbor looking emaciated, and a new exam revealed she had a cataract in her right eye.

Experts agreed neither sea lion could survive in the wild, so the respective mammal care centers began looking for permanent homes for them. The National Marine Fisheries Service reached out to Chicago Zoological Society, which agreed that Brookfield Zoo could take in the sea lions. They were introduced to each other at the Laguna Beach mammal center, and animal care specialists from the Chicago zoo flew to California to meet both sea lions, get familiar with their distinct personalities and make arrangements to take them back to Illinois. 

FedEx generously supplied the plane with the precious cargo aboard that arrived at Chicago O’Hare International Airport on Sept. 18, 2019. The zoo named one sea lion Carolyn after Carolyn Frisch, the FedEx employee who made the travel arrangements. The second sea lion was named Sabiena (pronounced Sa-bean-ah) after Sabiena Foster, FedEx’s Chicago regional communications manager and the company’s No. 1 community volunteer.

Frisch and Dan Englund, who together manage the FedEx Live Animal Desk, have a combined 60 years+ experience in moving animals around the world. “I’ve gone to the Brookfield Zoo as a child, have visited with my own children and now I have a namesake there!” said an excited Frisch. “In my 30 years of shipping animals, I’ve never been so honored. There could be no greater acknowledgement of the long-standing relationship I’ve had with the Brookfield Zoo.”

Menzies Aviation and Hermes Logistics Technologies

Operating cargo handling facilities in nearly 40 airports across six continents and handling more than 1.6 million tons of cargo in 2018, Menzies Aviation needed a Cargo Management System (CMS) for its global network. The London Heathrow-based company recently selected the flagship CMS from Hermes Logistics Technologies, the UK’s leading consumer delivery specialist. 

Hermes 5 (H5), the latest version of the CMS, was scheduled to be rolled out at Menzies cargo facilities during the current first quarter. The standardization and open connectivity of the H5 platform allows for complete compatibility and data-sharing across all Menzies’ logistics facilities and services, which cater to customers small, medium and large.

“After benchmarking the industry, we selected H5 as our cargo management system because it was clear Hermes offers the most advanced solutions in the market,” said Robert Fordree, EVP Cargo, Menzies Aviation. “Hermes is in our DNA, we have a shared history and working with them means that we are uniquely positioned to take full advantage of the depth of functionality H5 has to offer.”

Fordree adds that “H5 will be integral to our toolset for achieving our growth trajectory.” Yuval Baruch, CEO of Bracknell, UK-based Hermes, agrees with that sentiment, although he notes Menzies Aviation will be building up “from an already strong foundation.”

Hermes 5 has been adopted by airports, airlines and ground handlers across the globe, including Hanoi Airport, RSA National, LuxairCARGO and CHS Trade in Slovakia since its 2018 launch. “Hermes 5,” Baruch says, “represents the future of cargo management solutions, its open architecture allows for full integration into cargo ecosystems, from warehouses to airports.”

Currently, the CEO and his team are gearing up for the Feb. 14 Hermes Tech Hub in Leeds, where the theme will be, “For the Love of Innovation: How Tech is Driving Personalization in the Retail and Logistics Sector.”



A group of companies in Los Angeles and surrounding areas that were part of Amazon’s Delivery Service Partner Program are suing the e-commerce giant, it was announced Aug. 5. 

Plaintiffs the Hubper Group Companies and their affiliates allege Breach of the Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing, Breach of Implied Contract, Estoppel, Fraudulent Concealment, Unfair Business Practices and Intentional Interference with Business Relationship in the complaint filed in the Superior Court of Los Angeles by the Newport Beach, California-based law firm WHGC, P.L.C. 

They seek an unspecified amount in compensatory damages, disgorgement, plus exemplary and punitive damages from Amazon Logistics, which is accused of “wrongfully and without cause” terminating the plaintiffs’ Delivery Service Partner relationship this past April. That was after the Hubper Group Companies claims to have invested about $4.5 million into continuing its exclusive operations for Amazon, which included employing about 600 people to deliver good from nine stations covering 300 routes. 

Further, once Hubper Group Companies was put out of business, Amazon contacted the plaintiffs’ former drivers, offering employment as independent contractors utilizing the same delivery routes, according to the lawsuit.

“This is a clear-cut story of a corporate giant knowingly and deceitfully putting a group of local entrepreneurs out of business,” says a member of the plaintiffs’ legal team. “Amazon Logistics convinced these hard-working entrepreneurs to invest in a business that they knew would soon render worthless, a practice that is immoral, unethical, oppressive, unscrupulous and substantially injurious to consumers overall.”


Shipping Solutions Keep Pace with E-Commerce’s Global Reach

I recently came across a study in which 80 percent of executives from leading U.S. e-commerce companies said they considered expansion to international markets “critical” to future growth.  The survey also revealed that Canada, Western Europe and Asia account for most international sales from U.S. websites, followed by China and Japan.  

These findings are indicative of the “no-turning-back” mentality taking place among retailers, as the reality of the growing global e-commerce marketplace takes hold. U.S. retailers now look beyond their borders and see a world in which 80 percent of B2C e-commerce sales are taking place outside of North America, and in which consumers are increasingly open to shopping across borders.

International e-commerce sales have become so pervasive in fact, almost 60 percent of shoppers say they made an international purchase in the past six months. That number jumps to almost 63 percent for European consumers, and 58 percent for Asia-Pacific shoppers.

This is especially true within the lucrative U.S./Canada trade relationship, with as much as one-third of Canadian e-commerce purchases going to U.S. sites, and more than 60 percent of Canadians having made an international purchase in the last six months. 

Today consumers across the globe, including in emerging and developing countries, have unprecedented access to brands and product selections online. Consider, for example, that 75 percent of online shoppers in India and 61 percent of shoppers in Nigeria have made international purchases. It’s no wonder then the value of retail e-commerce is surging and projected to be valued at almost $5 trillion by 2021, just two years from now.

For smart retailers, the customers are there. The challenge is to connect with consumers in a way that aligns with their local customs and expectations to localize transactions and fine-tune the customer experience. And, since ensuring seamless deliveries is an important part of any customer experience, it’s essential to understand that international logistics resources are possible today that were unthinkable just a few years ago.

Meeting customer expectations – in every country

In thinking about satisfying expectations, a retailer will come to understand that the world’s consumers essentially want the same things when shopping online:  

  • Consistent inventory across all channels
  • Detailed product information 
  • Site navigation in their native languages
  • Prices listed in local currencies
  • Online payment/currency-conversion capability
  • Access to rebates and other savings incentives
  • Fast delivery – what they want, delivered when they want it.

A retailer must dedicate time to market research as a way to understand consumer preferences and dislikes.  You need to make sure there’s demand for your product, determine who your competitors are, and then find your competitive advantage. A good logistics strategy will be an integral part of that competitive advantage because seamless, on-time deliveries – and hassle-free returns – are among the most important deliverables for consumers all over the world.  

PriceWaterhouse Cooper’s 2019 Global Consumer Insights Survey asked consumers in 27 countries about their shipment expectations. Among the more interesting findings, is the impact mega-retailers including Amazon, Alibaba and Net-a-Porter have had in defining global consumer expectations. Global consumer expectations include free shipping (72 percent), free return shipping (65 percent), package tracking (54 percent) and same-day delivery (50 percent).

To accommodate these globally-shared expectations, international retailers are building logistics strategies that create the “look and feel” of a domestic delivery – despite being an ocean or a continent away.  Italian customers don’t really care if customs delays affected a shipment leaving the United States, or that bad weather over the Atlantic forced a shipment to be re-routed. They just want their packages delivered on time, as promised. Every time.

Behind the scenes, logistics providers are working to expand their international footprints, to ensure capabilities are in place to help businesses meet their delivery promises.  For example, my company recently announced a $1B investment in the future, including a new national hub set to open in Toronto in 2021.  You’ll find similar developments happening around the world.

Technology and innovation are also allowing logistics companies to provide levels of service that were unthinkable as recently as a few years ago. Some of those solutions include: 

-Customized solutions. Shipping companies can support a retailer by providing a wide range of options to build the best solution for a particular customer’s needs. Shippers have traditionally been bound by rigid carrier schedules; today, a solution can meet a specific need. For example, a shipment traveling from southern California to Ontario would benefit from direct linehaul service to the border, followed by induction into a Canadian distribution center. The direct linehaul could conceivably shave two to three days from a “traditional” Canada-bound schedule.

-Different modes of transportation. Hybrid solutions might integrate ground service with a rail or air component, depending on a particular situation. In fact, 2018 was a particularly strong year for intermodal volume on U.S. railroad, according to the Journal of Commerce.

-Expedited service. For shipments to Europe, Asia, Latin America, or even across North America, a retailer can take advantage of unprecedented expedited air solutions. We used to think of “expedited” as a solution reserved for extreme emergencies, but today, retailers increasingly rely on expedited air solutions because of its guaranteed, anywhere/anytime capabilities.

-Cross-border expertise. Efficiencies in customs management now make it possible for shipments to move swiftly across international borders. Experienced providers will ensure maximum efficiency in the clearance process, including assignment of the proper tariff classification code. Getting the tariff classification correct is important because an incorrect classification will delay a shipment, and shippers might pay a higher rate of duty. A report by the Auditor General of Canada found 20 percent of shipments arrive at the border with an improper code assigned! And since tariff classification is used to determine eligibility for free trade agreement benefits, an incorrect classification could cause the shipper to miss out on those savings as well.

E-commerce truly is the engine of future retail growth. And thanks to innovations in transportation efficiency, your access to the world’s customers has never been easier.

Old Dominion Celebrates Growing Capacity

Old Dominion announced its success during the first half of 2019 following the opening of six service centers across the nation. Reduced shipping times, increased daily volumes and enhanced delivery flexibility are key benefits the service centers offer for customers.

Locations for the new center upgrades include:  Mobile, Ala., Pompano Beach, Fla., Houston, Texas, Otay Mesa (San Diego), Calif., Texarkana, Ark., and Anaheim, Calif.

“Our 2018 results confirm that strategically opening new and renovating existing service centers to accommodate customer demand is helping to grow our business,” said Terry Hutchins, Vice President of Real Estate. “We will continue that strategy of searching for new sites to increase capacity and grow our network to continue to deliver premium service that exceeds customers’ expectations.”

The implementation of new service centers are carefully considered in terms of location, network capacity opportunities, and access to the highest quality workers. Each center is equipped with the highest quality technology in anticipation of increased customer demand.

“We search for locations in growing markets where we have access to quality workers to expand our network capacity. Expanding our network allows us to immediately accommodate customer needs, and is critical to maintaining our award-winning low claims ratio and guaranteed on-time delivery,” said Hutchins.

The company announced scheduled open houses for each of the new locations to celebrate their success:

Mobile – March 13

Pompano Beach – March 20

Houston – April 11

Otay Mesa – April 24

Texarkana – April 25

Anaheim – April 25


Source: Old Dominion Freight Line