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E-Commerce Boom and Its Impact on Logistic Operations

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E-Commerce Boom and Its Impact on Logistic Operations


The world of commerce has undergone a seismic shift in recent years, with the relentless rise of e-commerce. In this article, we delve into the profound implications this e-commerce boom has had on logistic operations. As online shopping becomes the norm, logistics has emerged as the unsung hero of the digital age, playing a pivotal role in ensuring goods reach consumers efficiently and on time.

The Challenges of E-Commerce Logistics

Last-Mile Delivery Complexities

In the realm of e-commerce, the final leg of delivery—the last mile—is often the most challenging. Navigating through congested urban areas and ensuring timely doorstep deliveries poses logistical puzzles that demand innovative solutions. Drone deliveries and autonomous vehicles are just a glimpse of the technologies reshaping the last mile.

Inventory Management in the Digital Age

E-commerce demands a level of inventory agility that traditional retail seldom does. Real-time inventory tracking and demand forecasting are now paramount. Warehouse automation and RFID technology are helping businesses stay ahead of the curve.

Seasonal Fluctuations and Demand Forecasting

Seasonal shopping peaks and unforeseen demand surges require logistics to adapt rapidly. Machine learning algorithms are being employed to analyze historical data and predict future buying patterns, enabling more agile supply chains.

Returns Management and Reverse Logistics

The convenience of online shopping has given rise to a corresponding surge in product returns. Efficient returns management and reverse logistics are now integral parts of e-commerce logistics, demanding sophisticated processes and infrastructure.

Technological Advancements in E-Commerce Logistics

Automation and Robotics in Warehousing

Warehouses are transforming into high-tech hubs. Automated robots are efficiently picking, packing, and even conducting inventory checks, reducing labor costs and enhancing accuracy.

Data Analytics for Demand Prediction

The power of big data is harnessed for predictive analytics. Algorithms crunch vast datasets to anticipate consumer preferences, allowing for proactive stock replenishment and optimized distribution.

Artificial Intelligence for Route Optimization

Logistics providers are harnessing AI to optimize delivery routes, considering factors like traffic, weather, and real-time demand fluctuations, ensuring quicker deliveries.

Blockchain for Supply Chain Transparency

Blockchain technology is elevating supply chain transparency to new heights. Consumers can trace the journey of their products from source to doorstep, fostering trust and integrity.

Sustainable Practices in E-Commerce Logistics

Eco-Friendly Packaging Solutions

The environmental impact of e-commerce packaging has raised concerns. Biodegradable and recyclable materials are being embraced, reducing the carbon footprint of e-commerce logistics.

Green Transportation and Carbon Footprint Reduction

Logistics companies are adopting electric vehicles and exploring alternative fuels to reduce emissions. The focus on eco-friendly transportation is in line with growing sustainability expectations.

Sustainable Warehousing Practices

Energy-efficient warehouses with smart lighting and climate control systems are becoming the norm. Solar panels and rainwater harvesting further exemplify sustainable warehousing.

The Global Impact of E-Commerce Logistics

Cross-Border E-Commerce and International Shipping

E-commerce transcends borders, making international shipping an everyday occurrence. Navigating customs regulations and ensuring timely global deliveries are now integral aspects of logistics.

Customs and Trade Compliance Challenges

As e-commerce connects buyers and sellers worldwide, customs compliance becomes paramount. Navigating intricate trade regulations requires expertise and precision.

Supply Chain Resilience in a Globalized World

Global supply chains, while offering vast opportunities, are vulnerable to disruptions. Robust contingency plans and diversified sourcing are critical for supply chain resilience.

The Evolution of Fulfillment Centers

Multi-Channel Fulfillment Strategies

E-commerce businesses often operate on multiple platforms. Streamlined multi-channel fulfillment strategies are essential for efficiency and consistency.

Micro-Fulfillment Centers for Urban Efficiency

In urban centers, micro-fulfillment centers are emerging to meet the demand for swift deliveries. Compact, tech-savvy hubs are reducing last-mile delivery times.

Dark Stores and Their Role in E-Commerce Logistics

Dark stores, or retail locations solely dedicated to fulfilling online orders, are reshaping logistics. They facilitate faster picking and packing, reducing delivery times.

The Importance of Customer Experience in E-Commerce Logistics

Timely Delivery as a Competitive Advantage

In the era of e-commerce, timely delivery is a competitive differentiator. Logistics that fail to meet delivery promises risk customer dissatisfaction and attrition.

Personalization and Customer Expectations

E-commerce logistics isn’t just about delivering products; it’s about delivering experiences. Personalization and catering to unique customer expectations are crucial for brand loyalty. 

This becomes especially vital in the context of fashion products, such as stylish leather pants, suits, jackets, and the like. Personalization has the potential to significantly impact customer satisfaction and loyalty, as it enables customers to feel appreciated and recognized in a competitive digital marketplace

Managing Customer Communication

Effective communication throughout the delivery process, from order confirmation to tracking information, is vital in managing customer expectations and building trust.

E-Commerce Marketplaces and Their Influence on Logistics

The Dominance of Amazon and Its Logistics Network

Amazon’s logistical prowess has redefined e-commerce. Its vast network, including fulfillment centers and delivery services, has set new standards for speed and efficiency.

Emerging Marketplaces and Their Logistics Models

As e-commerce diversifies, new marketplaces emerge with distinct logistics models. Understanding these models is essential for businesses seeking to expand their reach.

Independent E-Commerce Retailers and Their Unique Challenges

Smaller e-commerce players face distinct logistic challenges. Balancing cost-effective logistics with customer expectations is a constant juggling act.

The Future of E-Commerce Logistics

Hyperlocal Delivery and Instant Gratification

Consumers are increasingly expecting hyperlocal deliveries and instant gratification. Hyper-local fulfillment centers and real-time delivery tracking are poised to meet these demands.

Integration of Augmented Reality in the Supply Chain

Augmented reality is revolutionizing logistics training, maintenance, and even order picking. Its integration promises greater efficiency and reduced errors.

Sustainability as a Key Driver of Innovation

Sustainability isn’t just a trend; it’s a driving force behind logistic innovation. Businesses that prioritize sustainability are poised to lead in the evolving e-commerce landscape.


Adapting to the E-Commerce Boom: Key Takeaways for Logistics

In closing, the e-commerce boom has fundamentally transformed logistics. To thrive in this digital age, logistics operations must adapt, innovate, and embrace sustainability. The future of logistics is intertwined with the continued growth of e-commerce, and those who navigate these changes effectively will emerge as the leaders of tomorrow’s supply chain landscape.



The Pros and Cons of Local Sourcing

The Pros and Cons of Local Sourcing

Local sourcing is the practice of contracting suppliers located within your country or even city. This term also applies to the suppliers in your home county. However, there is always considerable debate over whether to prioritize the local suppliers or cast your net wider. To help decide, it is wise to look at the pros and cons of local sourcing.

The pros of local sourcing

Local sourcing means faster and more predictable delivery times

The news of supply chain disruptions is prevalent. Also, planning for survival in the new normal the pandemic has left us with is complex. So, it is no wonder that perhaps the most significant advantage of local sourcing is its reliability. Considering that the distance your cargo would need to travel is vastly reduced, the problems it can run into are fewer as well. You would not need to worry about ports or airports closing down and leaving your goods stranded. And, with that increased reliability, it becomes much easier to handle the risk factors of high-profitability deals.

You can work with suppliers much more closely

Another of the advantages of local suppliers is that you can work with them more closely. When dealing with an international supplier a whole sea away, it is natural that you can have at most one or two meetings in person a year. On the other hand, a short trip is all that would take to reach and discuss business with a local supplier. Of course, this means that you can also get them to customize some of their services for you, particularly if you need certain parts that need to be custom produced for your needs or a similar demand.

You would not need to manage your warehouses as meticulously

When your supplier is just down the street or a city or two away, timing deliveries right becomes easier. It means that, instead of having huge shipments that take up lots of space and cause logistics problems, it is possible to have a string of smaller deliveries. And, with the reduced risk and delay factors that we have already discussed, you can also order them, so they arrive before you need to have them shipped out. In turn, this would ensure that your warehouse is kept busy but never overflows or has shipments clogging up space better used for something else. And you could even manage with much smaller warehouses.

You could more easily make last-minute orders

Making a last-minute order is not something you should turn into a habit. However, if any of your suppliers run into problems, or you have a sudden order of goods yourself, you would be able to resolve the situation much more easily. A quick trip or a phone call would allow you to check in with your partners and look for additional goods. And the proximity would make getting the goods to you a breeze, as well. In the end, this extra wiggle room would let you approach your business in a much more relaxed way than ordering goods from overseas. After all, a missing shipment in such cases might take weeks to make up for.

You would not need to deal with import taxes

It is impossible to avoid worrying about taxes when trying to import goods. For any legitimate business, it is not too difficult a hurdle to cross. However, it can be tough to manage when you are just starting, and they are cutting into your profits. That is why, especially for brand new businesses, local suppliers that allow them to bypass this expense are an excellent choice. There are plenty of rare and common U.S. customs clearance issues you would entirely avoid by choosing to go through a local supplier, too.

Enhancing Sustainability and Reducing Carbon Footprint

One of the most significant advantages of local sourcing is its positive impact on the environment. By reducing the distance that goods travel, you contribute to lower carbon emissions and minimize the ecological footprint of your supply chain. With growing awareness of environmental concerns and increasing consumer demands for sustainable practices, opting for local suppliers can significantly boost your company’s reputation and attract eco-conscious customers.

Fostering Community Growth and Support

When you source locally, you actively contribute to the growth of your community and support the local economy. By providing business to nearby suppliers, you help create job opportunities and stimulate economic development. This, in turn, can lead to increased consumer spending within the community, benefiting other businesses as well. Additionally, building strong relationships with local suppliers can foster a sense of camaraderie and collaboration among businesses, creating a supportive network for mutual growth.

The cons of local sourcing

The local supplier might grow over-dependent on your business

It might sound odd. But be it for the supplier or the business, over-dependence is not great. If a supplier starts to prioritize the demands of the company they rely on for the majority of their profits, it can seriously impact their competitiveness in the market. They can grow too specialized to grow their business, and it can be challenging to secure new contracts. There is also the matter of their new product development slowing or halting entirely. It means that they might eventually be left behind and lose their chief source of income as well. It would make demand planning for the buyers difficult as well if planning to branch out to new products.

Canceling a contract can incur a lot of backlash

Hiring local suppliers and helping the local economy is fantastic for PR. However, if you ever need to move on from those contracts, you would be facing an equal amount of backlash and ill-will. No matter how justified your decision might be. The public could still view it as abandoning those same businesses and economies you were lauded for helping.

You might not be able to obtain the best or latest products

Local suppliers might not be able to offer you top-of-the-line goods. They are likely solid and reliable manufacturers, yes. But with the world as a stage for your business, it is always possible to find someone producing better versions of the product you are interested in. So, you are more or less choosing between reliability versus quality. Of course, there are exceptions.

Local suppliers can be less efficient

Even though they are more reliable, local suppliers can have efficiency problems. They tend to be smaller and have a smaller production capacity. Of course, as you work together and prosper, they might expand their business and build more facilities. But then you run the risk of our first cons: their reliance on your purchases growing to the point they practically only cater to you.

It is hard to ensure objective supplier selection

You might, over time, develop a tight-knit bond with the local suppliers, especially if they have been there for you since the foundation of your company. That is natural. However, if your company is developing faster than they are, you might find yourself in need of new partners to keep up with the demand you are facing. At such a time, due to your friendship or perhaps fear of public backlash, it wouldn’t be easy to objectively select another supplier better suited to your needs.

Limited Access to Specialized Products

While local suppliers offer reliability, they may not always have the capacity or expertise to provide highly specialized or cutting-edge products. In industries where innovation is crucial, you might need to explore international options to access the latest advancements and unique offerings.

Higher Costs and Reduced Cost Competitiveness

Local sourcing might come with higher production and labor costs compared to countries with lower manufacturing expenses. This can affect the cost competitiveness of your products in the global market. As a result, careful cost-benefit analysis is essential to ensure that the benefits of local sourcing outweigh the potential price disadvantages.

Dependence on Regional Vulnerabilities

By relying heavily on local suppliers, your supply chain could be susceptible to regional vulnerabilities. Natural disasters, economic downturns, or political instability in the region could disrupt your supply chain and affect your operations. Diversifying your sourcing strategy can help mitigate these risks and ensure a more resilient supply chain.

Final word

Now you know the pros and cons of local sourcing, so it should be easier to make an informed decision. Whether you decide to pursue local or international suppliers, remember that your priority is always the development and future of your company.


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Time to Transform, is Now

The logistics industry is at a crossroads to either transform or to hold off acceleration. Companies should no longer hope that the old style of “Favors and Handshakes behind closed doors” in order to keep a business strong through these challenging times to continue.

The impacts from the pandemic and the war initiated by Russia on Ukraine had accelerated the slowing of the industry. Trade between countries continues to slow down immensely. Independent logistics companies need to start their own digitalization/process-automation transformations before it becomes too late to catch up with the evolution of the industry.

The way that a conventional company operates during the off hours has diminished the worker’s willingness to adapt to a digital working environment. Companies need to respond quickly to re-train their workforce in order to understand that emerging technological skills and tools are required to become more efficient, responsive and competitive against competitors with more resources. 

One of the critical problems that independent logistics companies face is relying too much on the manual workforce and the use of paper to run their operations, customer service, sales and marketing. As a result, each given task becomes slow and expensive. It requires time to give instruction and supervision which adds into the customers’ end cost.

Another challenging and difficult job is to figure out how to expand sales outside the home country. It takes time and money to find and to know new partners to work with. Most find an easier networking-route or participate as members of a Domestic or International Association. However, working with un-familiar company owners can create new delays in operation and conflicts of potential sales orders. 

Working in an off-line environment is still valid, however it is going to be difficult to out-bid against competitors who have an integrated business model. Most current companies are 2nd generation owners, with an inherited or purchased business that needs to immediately identify the right tools for the company to adopt in order to survive and prepare for more difficult times.

The technology world has evolved drastically. With the ability to automatically download digitized documents from anywhere with mobile devices, it has helped businesses better manage their distribution of resources and makes it easier to alternate the rotation of drivers and vehicles to arrange work schedules and to reduce bottlenecks of waiting for instruction. Drivers can download tasks directly into their mobile device instead of getting instructions directly from a supervisor, limiting overlapping job functions. 

Another key area that must be improved and integrated is the Customs Procedures, to inform shippers of import-export rules and regulations. Shippers should be alerted of shipment restrictions or documents requirements to import-export before proceeding to ship. Many shippers are caught after shipments have arrived in their destination country. Shippers have to pay excessive duty and penalty because of incomplete customs clearance documents and have to pay additional warehouse charges due to exceeded allowance storage days at seaport or airport-warehouses.

With better technology integration, shippers can enter their products HS/Customs-Code and the system will immediately advise about documents needed by customs at the origin and destination countries. Drivers will then be able to get clear instructions when picking up a shipment that requires additional documents such as: MSDS, Quarantine, Health certificate, etc. needed to be picked up together to speed up the customs process.

Rebalancing the logistics industry into a digital or platform business model requires a thorough coordination by technology developers to Digitize information and make it easier to store and share transmitted data.

We need to transform the conventional logistics information system to improve the trade-supply chain networks. With Digitalization of logistics functions, Operations, Customer service, Administration, Sales and Marketing become auto responsive in distributing information to the right person at the right time to improve decision making. The accelerated growth of Global and Regional market will require each one of us to respond not tomorrow, but today. 


5 Essential Supply Chain Management Tools

Before the pandemic, the supply chain stress index rested at 100. Currently, the supply chain stress index has reached 135. Supply chain stress shows no signs of slowing.

How can you reduce supply chain headaches to ensure efficiency and proactive planning?

Read on to learn about 5 essential supply chain management tools that can help you mitigate supply chain stress and strengthen your approach.

5 Essential Supply Chain Management Tools

Keep reading if you’re looking for better ways to manage your supply chain. Here, we will discuss the most valuable supply chain management tools that can help you to manage your data and automate supply chain processes.

Shipping Status Tools

One of the most challenging elements of supply chain management is keeping track of your orders. Larger supply chains can become complex and convoluted, particularly for businesses that must provide supply chain services on a global scale.

Shipping status tools help companies to review real-time updates on the status of their orders. RFID inventory management tools also help minimize the human error margin when documenting shipping status.

Shipping status tools update you on any changes in estimated delivery dates and notify you when your shipments are complete. The tool helps to simplify the shipping process and allows you to plan more effectively around your shipping schedule.

Manufacturing ERP Software

Manufacturing ERP software, or MRP, is an essential tool for those looking to streamline the manufacturing process in their supply chain. MRP software helps to give you complete visibility and traceability in the manufacturing process from start to finish. With MRP software, you gain complete insight into your material requirements, the quantity of the materials you need, and when your materials will be required.

Before using MRP software, you need to establish a bill of materials. The bill of materials is a sequential list of the materials, subparts, and parts you need for the finished product. The bill of materials specifies the order of parts and how much of each material is required. Once you have established your bill of materials, MRP software will be able to give you insight into the manufacturing process with the following features:

Live inventory management – with MRP software, you get an overview of your live inventory levels. You can also automate inventory restocking to ensure no stockouts. You can view your on-hand, expected, and committed inventory in several warehouses with MRP inventory management.

Master planning – you can assign workflows and prioritize manufacturing tasks based on inventory levels, demand, and other live information using MRP software. You can also automate manufacturing cost calculations utilizing this feature. Master planning ensures that your warehouse workers are aligned under a common and unified goal.

Purchase order management – you can keep track of your purchase orders and identify any purchase orders that are received in parts. Purchase order management allows you to keep track of your material and inventory requirements, ensuring you can
meet demand at all times. Procurement software has a range of features in helping companies of all sizes and in a variety of industries manage their purchasing process for goods and services.

Accurate costing – your bill of materials will inform the MRP software of the cost of each manufacturing process, material, and part. You can view precise costing information to make more informed pricing decisions.

Demand Forecasting Tools

Demand forecasting is an essential element of any effective supply chain management strategy.

Accurate forecasting capabilities will allow you to plan your inventory in line with trends in demand. Demand forecasting tools automate the forecasting process, allowing you better insight into your demand trends without manual effort. The tool simply identifies month-on-month and year-on-year trends in sales and orders, enabling you to plan more effectively for peaks in demand.

Security Tools

Your profit margins depend on your ability to keep your supply chain warehouses secure and reduce the risk of shrinkage due to employee and third-party theft. So, evaluate the building
security of your supply chain warehouses and look for:

● Surveillance – your warehouses should be equipped with surveillance installed by experts. There should be no blind spots, ensuring quick identification of employees and third-party theft.

● Access control – there should be a system to ensure that only authorized personnel can enter the warehouses where your goods are stored.

● Cybersecurity – your supply chain data needs to be secure. Ensure your warehouses provide their employees with cybersecurity training and implement cybersecurity measures to keep data safe.

● Alarm systems – your warehouses need to be equipped with alarm systems which notify security staff when a security breach occurs.

Compliance Tools

You need to use tools to meet the growing demand for more compliance and transparency regarding manufacturing and supply chain processes. Compliance tools ensure that you meet industry, government, and consumer standards, helping your business gain a more substantial reputation.


Managing your supply chain can become overwhelming. You can gain more organization and efficiency by automating processes and using software and technologies that support supply chain management. Consider which of these supply chain management tools would best benefit your enterprise.

After one year, the transport and logistics service provider Gebrüder Weiss awards the first hydrogen truck in its fleet a good interim report. The Hyundai XCIENT Fuel Cell stationed in

Hydrogen Truck Used by Gebrüder Weiss Proves its Worth

Gebrüder Weiss draws a positive result after one year / 70,000 kilometers without CO2 emissions / use of further hydrogen trucks planned for Austria and Germany

After one year, the transport and logistics service provider Gebrüder Weiss awards the first hydrogen truck in its fleet a good interim report. The Hyundai XCIENT Fuel Cell stationed in Altenrhein (Switzerland) is used on a daily basis in short-distance general cargo transport and has proven itself as reliable in all seasons. Even on uphill stretches, the electric motor, which draws power from a fuel cell, retained full performance. The utility vehicle saves around 80 tons of CO2 emissions per year.

Since taking delivery of the 36-ton truck in January 2021, the vehicle has covered around 70,000 kilometers or 43,496 miles. Consumption was even lower than the value specified by the manufacturer, and in one year, there was only a single visit to the workshop for technical inspection. “The purchase was a worthwhile investment in resource-saving road freight transport. The truck is well received by the drivers and, above all, by the customers,” says Peter Waldenberger, Head of Quality and Environmental Management at Gebrüder Weiss.

Gebrüder Weiss plans to use hydrogen trucks in Austria and southern Germany in the future since subsidy programs in Germany make their use north of the Alps attractive. A limiting factor is the availability of hydrogen filling stations, of which nine already exist in Switzerland. In addition to the fuel cell truck, the logistics provider already has several gas trucks on the road in Austria, Germany, and Serbia, as well as electrically powered trucks and vans in the greater Vienna area – among others for its client IKEA in the home delivery sector.

About Gebrüder Weiss

Gebrüder Weiss, a global freight forwarder with a core business of overland transport, air, and sea freight and logistics, is the world’s oldest transport company with a history that dates back more than 500 years. The family-owned company employs more than 7,400 people worldwide and boasts 170 company-owned locations. The business presence in North America includes headquarters in Chicago and offices in Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, El Paso, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver. Developing and changing with its customers’ needs during its long history, Gebrüder Weiss is also a pioneer in sustainable business practices having implemented myriad ecological, economic, and social initiatives.  The company’s continuous growth illustrates the need for highly experienced providers of global solutions through an international network of supply chain experts. Customized solutions with a single point of contact provide customers with an exceptional service experience focused on reliable and economical solutions.

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Fort Worth-based Smith Eagle Logistics has announced today its transition to SEL Supply-Chain Solutions (SELSCS), which will provide third-party logistics (3PL) services across the United States and Mexico.

SELSCS has more than 25 years’ experience in transportation and logistics. The new business will serve an expanded national and international area as well implement an entrepreneurial program for independent agents.

On the reports that was gathered at the scene. Dennis Martin, CEO of SELSCS said “Our core value is to surpass expectations in logistics by serving entrepreneurs in logistics. Rebranding to a true logistics company reflects who we are and what we do by expanding our services nationally and internationally and focusing on our entrepreneur’s success.”

The rebrand will assist SELSCS in building relationships with new partners and further diversifying services. Operating an agent model, SELSCS believes that independent freight agents are not ‘brokers’ but rather entrepreneurs. SELSCS bridges the gap to empower the independent agent to succeed in the 3PL space by offering operational support, a variety of human resources and financial support.

Martin concluded “The opportunities for the individual entrepreneur in the transportation and logistics industry are limitless. It takes a little guts and a little courage but, for those willing to step out and give it a chance the opportunity is there and we’re willing to invest in your business to see it grow to its full potential – after all, SEL stands for Supporting Entrepreneurs in Logistics.”

“Based on current revenues, SELSCS has grown to a Top 100 logistics company over the past three years. While some of our competitors might be growing even faster, we are proud to say we have not received any private equity money to fund our explosive growth.”

SEL (Serving Entrepreneurs in Logistics) Supply-Chain Solutions based in Fort Worth, Texas, is a top 100 logistics company offering over the road transportation solutions in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. SELSCS operates its business through a network of independent business owners and provides the back-office functions to Service Entrepreneurs in Logistics. Combined its entrepreneurs have hundreds of years of experience in the Transportation and Logistics space. It’s main modes of transportation include Truckload, Refrigerated, Flatbed, Over-sized, Drayage, and Intermodal service.

Find SELSCS online at


AFS Logistics Acquires DTA Services Ltd., Canada’s Second-Largest Freight Bill Audit, Cost allocation and Analytics Firm, Creating New Largest Freight Audit and Payment Company in Canada

3PL dramatically improves Canadian presence with addition of 102-year-old freight audit and payment company

AFS Logistics ( has announced the acquisition of DTA Services, Ltd. (, a leading Canadian freight bill audit, cost allocation and analytics firm located in Toronto. DTA will continue serving clients under its established brand as an AFS operating company and will maintain its current team, service offering and location. The acquisition combines the strong platform and team at DTA with the resources and experience of AFS to fuel further growth in Canada.

On the report gathered at the scene, Tom Nightingale, CEO, AFS said “DTA is a strong cultural fit for AFS, with an intense passion for helping clients exhibited by a 102-year history of success and a loyal customer base. With our combined presence and product offering, we have an incomparable opportunity to create value for our customers on both sides of the border.”

As part of AFS, DTA will serve the Canadian market with an expanded portfolio of logistics services, adding less-than-truckload (LTL), parcel cost management, transportation management and a broader suite of audit services. In addition to new services, DTA’s core freight audit and payment offering will be enhanced by visibility into the $10 billion in annual freight spend managed by AFS.

On the acquisition of the canada’s second largest freight bill audit, Melissa Gracey, President and CEO, DTA had this to say “It’s incredibly exhilarating to hand the reigns of this mature industry leader and exceptionally skilled team over to such a competent, strategic buyer who shares our values and passion for our staff and clients. Joining AFS is the right next step, allowing us to build on existing strengths and pursue new opportunities to serve the industry, while remaining laser-focused on doing what’s best for our clients for the next 102 years.”

The current DTA office in Toronto will become AFS’s newest location, complementing the company’s seven other offices throughout the United States. Ensuring the same level of excellent service for DTA customers, operational and customer service contacts will remain in place, and sales will continue to engage the Canadian market.

Scott Matthews, President, operating companies, AFS concluded “This acquisition broadens and deepens our value proposition to clients in the U.S. and Canada through the trusted relationships DTA has built over decades,”


The container logistics implications of war in Ukraine

The container logistics implications of war in Ukraine

The spoils of the recent war in Ukraine has largely weighed down on the global container logistics and its threatening to slap even further as the day goes by. As major container logistics companies have cried out.

According to a recent MEDIA STATEMENT on behalf of Christian Roeloffs, co-founder and CEO, Container xChange reads “I would like to express my horror at the events of the last week and my deepest sympathy for all the Ukrainian families who through no fault of their own have been dragged into this conflict following Russia’s invasion of its neighbour.
“This is a tragedy for Europe and has shocked us all at Container xChange. Our thoughts are with our friends in Ukraine. We can only hope that peace returns to this great country soon”.

This is how severe the condition is. From what Roeloffs reported, it was gathered that Parts of the Black Sea and Sea of Azov are now dangerous or unpassable. There have been missile attacks on vessels and ship arrests and lane closures for commercial shipping. The Ukrainian seaports of Odessa and Mariupol are closed/damaged/under attack. Trade and container movements have ceased. Cargo and equipment are stuck at ports.

Due to ongoing disruption to shipping in the Black Sea, container build-ups are expected at ports to exacerbate at storage areas across the region. Maersk has pulled out booking shipments to and from any Russian ports (with exception of foodstuffs, medical and humanitarian supplies) and other carriers have started following.

Russian and Belarussian ports in the Baltic and Black Sea will likely see a build-up of boxes if carriers refuse to make port calls due to the security situation and sanctions. The full implications of sanctions are not yet clear but the closure of the SWIFT system to Russia will make payments from Russian partners more difficult. The Rouble has also been in freefall after Russia’s central bank was cut off from its reserves.

Roeloffs concluded “Maritime trade with Russia and Russian businesses could be very difficult in the months and even years to come. On Monday, the UK banned all Russian ships from entering its ports. There has been at least one ship arrest by the EU. Our legal team is monitoring the situation.

On the Asia-Europe trade we could see more demand for maritime shipments and equipment out of Asia due to modal shift. For example, the Asia-Europe rail and road routes through Russia and
Belarus are reportedly closed and/or being used by militaries. Borders with the EU are closed.

The closure of air space across Russia and Europe has also reduced air freight capacity. We expect this awful war to add to the stretched nature of global container supply chains, bringing yet more inflation, disruption and delays.

Overall, the situation for container availability is likely to worsen, but this will vary by port and region. Central and Northern Europe is already congested, and any further trigger to the cargo flow will only worsen the state of container pileups.

We will continue to monitor the situation and what this means for global equipment networks and box availability. We will continue to support our customers in uncertain times with data and technology for better container operations, enhancing productivity and informed decision making.

Once more, we send our deepest sympathies and support to the people of Ukraine at this terrible time for them all”.

About Container xChange:   
Container xChange is one of the world’s leading container leasing and trading marketplace. More than  800 companies such as Kuehne+Nagel, Seaco, Sarjak use xChange to gain market
transparency, avoid demurrage & detention charges and increase operational flexibility.

Covering the entire transaction process from finding new partners to tracking containers and managing payments, xChange makes using 3rd party equipment and now container trading as easy as booking a hotel. Founded by Dr. Johannes Schlingmeier and
Christian Roeloffs in 2017 and headquartered in Hamburg, Germany, the company has more than 200 employees.

A Comprehensive Guide to Picking a Third-Party Logistics (3PL) Partner for Your Business


The right third-party logistics partner can help your organization improve customer service, control costs, and increase efficiency. It’s important to properly vet possible logistics partners to ensure your brand and services are well represented and the partner can deliver according to your needs.

Below are some of the things you consider in choosing a right third-party logistics partner: 

Establish Communication

Logistics have gotten more sophisticated in recent years. This logistics partners need to maintain high levels of communication and data sharing between the provider and the company. It’s important to find a third-party logistics provider that you can trust and one that shares your brand’s culture and values.

Do Your Due Diligence

They did not create all logistics providers equal. If you’re selecting a new provider or changing to a different provider, it’s important to look for logistics partners with the resources and capabilities you need to reach your business goals. Providers should also be able to integrate to your existing systems, or be willing to work with you to find an agreeable solution.

Ideally, look for outstanding service across financial history, brand stability, experience working in your industry, experience in specific geographic regions, owned vs. rented assets, and compliance with regulations.

Along with talking to the providers themselves, do outside research and read reviews from other companies that worked with them. If possible, ask the provider to connect you with satisfied customers. If they stand behind their service, they will be happy to showcase happy customers.

Look for Diverse Offerings

Logistics providers typically specialize in a few domains, including commodity services, industry services, and logistics services. Their offerings can range from sourcing, shipping, transporting, and customs management. Also multi-function supply chain management and oversight for specific industries or specialization in particular sections of the supply chain.

Service add-ons are valuable to both parties. A single provider can supply several services to make your supply chain scalable and seamless. You can look for value-added amenities like IT asset management, quality control, and high-tech logistics solutions. Some common service add-ons may include rush order or emergency order handling, product kitting, reverse logistics programs, and returned material authorization agreements.

Choose Partners with Advanced Technology

A third-party logistics provider’s IT infrastructure is vital to your needs and their own. Your possible provider should own and operate the contemporary technology needed for their side of the partnership, including warehouse management systems, fleet tracking systems, and inventory analytics and controls. You could also look for order fulfillment systems, freight theft or damage management, and wares tracking using RFID or EDI.

The logistics industry is undergoing rapid change. It’s important to find providers with advanced technology solutions to address your needs as the business evolves.

Look for Customization

Depending on your industry, you may need more customization options for your business. An experienced third-party logistics provider can help you optimize inventory and deliver excellent service for your customers. Building to order, rather than relying on stock, allows you to reduce inventory and production costs.

Opt for Omnichannel Expertise

Omnichannel is essential in the modern business world and necessary for enhanced customer experience. Your third-party logistics provider should understand the ins and outs of omnichannel commerce and how to provide that exceptional experience for customers.

Look for partners with repeatable business models, proven performance with previous customers, and experience with your business type, industry, or customer base. Depending on your needs, you may want to opt for a dedicated provider that focuses on one part of the supply chain or specific product types.

Work with a Network of Locations

Effective logistics partners have strategic network configuration with optimized distribution centers. It’s vital to understand the third-party logistics provider’s warehousing asset ecosystem, such as rented or proprietary storage facilities. If your products will need many storage stops on domestic or international routes, you will need a provider that owns and manages these warehouses for quality control and security.

You should also investigate more details about the warehousing assets, including the facility sizes and capacities, scalability, and future expansion plans. Are the warehouses close to ports, airports, highways, and railways? How many trailers and containers do they typically handle in a day? Is there anything you need to be aware of about service during the busy seasons or in the event of high shipping demands?

Focus on Excellence in Service

An experienced logistics partner will dedicate to service excellence and quality management. Your third-party logistics partner will have a significant impact on how your own business and customer service functions, so you want to be sure you’re choosing a provider that’s committed to delivering for you and improving their own product.

A provider with a dedication to service excellence will continue to optimize their own processes and will look for opportunities to install better solutions whenever possible. They should be invested in their service and its success, like you are to your own company and product, and always looking to excel.

Find Brand Alignment

Your logistics partner reflects on your brand and impacts your business. To ensure you represent your brand and your vision, you need to look for a provider with a long history of success, adherence to compliance and regulations, financial stability, and a continued interest in investing in the company, facilities, equipment, systems, and resources for optimal logistics.

With the right partner on your site, you can grow into a solid relationship with a third-party logistics provider that can grow and evolve with your business. While switching to different providers occurs as business needs change, it’s much simpler to find the right provider at the start and work on developing a long-term partnership.

Key Takeaways

The supply-chain management industry has undergone radical changes in the last decade. Many third-party logistics providers emerged on the market in response to this boom and the increasing opportunities with a global marketplace. Not every provider has the tools, resources, and expertise to deliver for you, but, so do your due diligence and find a provider with a positive reputation, proven processes, and a willingness to adapt and grow.


Five ways the war in Ukraine will change the world’s economy

The war in Ukraine is a tragedy that will continue to play out for months, with an uncertain ending as far as the sad cost in human life, new alignments in global geopolitics and the stunning damage that will be done to the economies in countries beyond just Russia and Ukraine. Even though the repercussions of this war will reverberate for decades, we can already identify some trends that will impact the global economy in the future.  As with any volatile trade and economic situation, there will be clear losers (the Russian economy), but there will also be potent secondary developments that arise as a result of this aggressive invasion of a democratic, Western-oriented Ukraine.


Energy Security / Renewable Energy

The U.S. and EU have spent decades wringing their hands over the Transatlantic joint dependence on oil and gas from ‘bad actors’, including Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela.  In the last few weeks, attempts to punish Russia economically have been hamstrung due to the fact that much of Europe still receives about half of its gas from Russia, an impossible dependency when it comes to confronting Russia for its illegal actions in Ukraine. While the ‘fracking revolution’ has assisted the U.S. to a certain level of energy independence, a sizeable portion of the nation’s oil still comes from unreliable external sources. The irony of Russia’s attack on a democratic Ukraine is that it might finally push the U.S. and EU to commit to a substantive, immediate and dedicated pursuit of renewable energy sources for which environmental activists and innovative business leaders have been lobbying for decades.  Renewable energy’s strongest proponent just became the national security crowd.

Defense Spending – Globally

The same national security concerns will also lead to a huge rise in defense spending from EU and other nations.  Germany’s proposed budget increase alone will be a critical shot in the arm for the European defense industry, but we can assume that other nations that have put off investments in this area were shaken by Russia’s willingness to break global norms and attack Ukraine and will respond with substantial budget increases.  Images of Turkish Bayraktar drones destroying Russian armor and video of the U.S.-made Javelin helping to stymie the 7th largest army in the world are going to change how smaller nations structure their arms inventory.  More importantly, Russia’s actions have disabused any remaining doubters of the notion that a country like Russia will ‘play by the rules’ of international law in the modern era.  If Russia can so brazenly violate their international agreements and obligations, then so can China – and that realization will have a substantive domino effect on the planning and defense expenditures of everyone from Finland to the Philippines.

Wheat and Foodstuffs – Even Greater Price Inflation

Russia and Ukraine accounted for 30% of the global wheat trade prior to this conflict. But that is not the only food product that will be taken off of the market as a result of the war – sunflower oil, corn and other key products will either be destroyed (or unplanted) as a result of the fighting or will be locked inside Russia’s domestic market due to sanctions and the inevitable tariffs.  The rest of the world will see massive price increases and shortages in certain foodstuffs.  Combined with the global surge in inflation and increasing transportation costs, many global food-producing companies will struggle to provide products that are affordable for their usual clients.  If there is a silver lining to this cloud, it is that locally-sourced products and wheat-alternatives (rice, corn, bulgur) should see a boom in demand.

Cybersecurity and Information Warfare

Russia and China have been fighting a shadow war with the U.S. and EU in the cyber realm for years, but this conflict has pushed that fight into the light of day.  U.S. and European struggles with Russian governmental and pseudo-governmental cyber strikes (from denial of service attacks to outright hacks for information and funds, as well as documented attempts to impact elections in both regions) should have the same impact on corporate and governmental cybersecurity spending as watching Russian tanks roll into Ukraine did for defense spending.  No one wants to be the easy target in this war and corporations that took some risk and saved money on cybersecurity will be scampering to close those gaps as quickly as they can.  Russian desperation to get at global fund sources in the next few months dramatically increases the risk of pseudo-governmental ransomware attacks, and the information warfare we are seeing between Russia/China and the rest of the world is astoundingly blunt (and for Ukraine, remarkably effective in generating global support).  The gloves are off.  Is your company ready to defend its business interests from cyber and information / reputational attacks?

A More Unified, Emboldened EU

The last month has been a litmus test for EU leadership, and they have come out looking much more poised and united than anyone would have believed.  Should they have taken this threat more seriously in the last decade?  Absolutely.  Have they tolerated Putin-loving populists in the EU club for years (Orban, Zeman, Le Pen, Salvini)?  Sadly, yes.  But all of that changed when Russia headed for Kyiv.  Member state leaders closed ranks and the EU turned from a reluctant bystander into ardent supporters of Ukrainian defense efforts in a few short weeks.  From an economic perspective, this more unified and confident EU will disrupt a number of patterns.  They’re likely going to be much more aggressive in nurturing and protecting their internal innovation in technology and defense.  They will redouble efforts to reduce their dependency on external energy sources (to the benefit of renewable technologies, electric vehicle innovations, the nuclear industry and even public transportation ventures).  Most importantly, they can be expected to be stronger proponents of democratic ideals in their foreign political and business affairs.  Countries (and companies) that interact with this new EU will likely find that they are much more insistent on ESG concerns and support for human rights, democratic principles and adherence to the rule of law.


Kirk Samson is a Director at the International Trade Association of Greater Chicago.  He is a former U.S. diplomat and spent ten years as an international law advisor for the Department of Defense.