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Transplace Earns Challenger Position by Gartner Inc.

Transplace Earns Challenger Position by Gartner Inc.

Gartner Inc. confirmed the inclusion of leading logistics solutions provider, Transplace as a Challenger for the 2019 “Magic Quadrant for Transportation Management Systems.” The company’s robust portfolio offers top grade technology solutions for companies both large and small, creating streamlined operations with a strategic approach.

“Companies are constantly seeking new ways to improve supply chain performance and reduce costs while maintaining high levels of service to increasingly demanding customers, and today’s technology solutions that give them greater visibility, predictability and control over their logistics operations than ever before,” said Jim French, CTO, Transplace.

“We believe our positioning in the Challengers quadrant by Gartner continues to validate Transplace’s commitment to provide innovative transportation management solutions that enable shippers to better manage their transportation networks, improve financial performance and deliver outstanding service to their customers.”

Transplace’s transportation management services are credited for supporting businesses in manufacturing, retail, automotive, chemical, distribution and more, ultimately increasing visibility while improving efficiencies.

“As the supply chain continues to become faster and more complex, shippers need technology and logistics platforms that enable them to more effectively plan and execute a strategic, data-driven logistics strategy,”
Transplace CEO Frank McGuigan said. “Transplace continues to invest in its logistics solutions and services, including integrating machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI) and predictive analytics, to achieve greater supply chain automation, optimization, predictability and visibility.”


ProMat Day Three Combines Education, Awards, and Comedy

Thought leaders, exhibitors, and attendees kept the momentum going on day three of this year’s massive ProMat Trade Show in Chicago, despite chilly temperatures. Wednesday’s education seminars continued addressing some of the biggest industry challenges while identifying key differentiators that foster optimal results and competitive advantage.

One of the most talked about themes at this year’s conference is the major issue of labor shortages. Employee recruitment and retention are among the biggest concerns for industry players. As automation continues reducing unnecessary manpower, human involvement has become a complex role to balance. Topic leaders across multiple sectors have already made it very clear that humans in the workplace continue to be a critical component. Even so, some companies continue expressing uncertainty in how to approach tapping into the labor market.

OPEX Corporation’s John Sauer addressed these concerns head-on in a presentation on Wednesday. Sauer is the Senior Business Development Manager for OPEX and boasts 8 years of front line material handling management experience. In his presentation, Sauer confirmed some of the biggest issues among employees in warehouses are factors some might consider to be small – such as climate control, physical demands, consistent hours, and work independence. At the end of the day, employees nowadays are looking for more than just a salary – they want to feel some importance and pride in what they do.

In today’s technology-centric environment, these factors can be addressed through strategic implementation of the technology at-hand. By utilizing technology for optimizations in operations and creating an environment that supports a positive work environment for employees, retention and recruitment challenges can be alleviated.

MHI Industry Night

Wednesday concluded with a special networking event featuring comedian and actor Craig Ferguson following the announcement and recognition of leading companies for “Best Innovations” and Young Professional Awards. There were 108 submissions for the awards and only four finalists were selected for each category. Among the winners included:

Best New Innovations:

Fetch Robotics for CartConnect

Locus Robotics for Gamification

Attachments for Forklift Safety Device (FLSD)

CMC srl for Pick2Pack

Best Innovation of an Existing Product:

ProGlove for Mark 2 Smartglove

RightHand Robotics Inc. for RightPick: The Piece Picking Solution

Artitalia Group Inc. for Versatile Nesting Cart

Swisslog Logistics Automation for ItemPiQ

Best IT Innovation:

Yard Management Solutions for Eagle Eye Yard Management Software

LogistiVIEW for Vision Pick and Put Wall

Schaefer Systems for WAMAS Lighthouse

KNAPP Inc. for redPILOT

ProMat Day Two: Disruptive Technology and Game-Changing Strategies

Day two of this year’s ProMat Trade Show kicked-off with exhibitors showcasing the industry’s top innovative solutions and another full day of keynote speakers and education seminars – many of which were at full capacity.

Among today’s featured speakers included Raymond Corporation‘s Stacey Patch, Dale Dunn, and Derrick Miller speaking on the importance of optimization efforts before implementing automation into operations. In order for a company to fully grasp the benefits of automation, a deep understanding of potential efficiency must come first. The process of automation should start with a focal point on optimization before investment. Additionally, the company made it clear that before fully replacing, tech and automation will maximize human activity and support operations.

Swisslog Logistics Automation’s made an appearance on stage as well, informing attendees of ways to creating a competitive weapon out of supply chain. John Dillon Vice President, E-Commerce/Retail and David Schwebel Vice President, Business Development and Market Intelligence identified the industry’s biggest challenge of risk and how to navigate through it with strategic, forward-thinking approaches, as seen with their container-based warehousing system providing increased efficiencies and flexibility.

Day three will continue exploring the world of leading logistics initiatives, product innovations, and industry education on topics including removing barriers for improvement, addressing the labor shortage, and smarter packaging technology options.

Supply Chain Professionals: Boxzooka International Ecommerce & Fulfillment

Located on the east coast, Boxzooka Fulfillment and Global Ecommerce provider takes managing client requests to the next level through a one-of-a-kind tailored approach offering back office operations for online retailers, order fulfilment for both direct consumer and direct B2B wholesale order fulfilment, while providing automated, customized solutions. Through this approach, Boxzooka not only creates and maintains competitive advantage as a leader in managing the flow of goods, the company boasts an impressive volume of loyal clients who don’t have to seek outside sources to get their needs met. By taking the extra step out of the process, Boxzooka provides an all-in-one solution. The company isn’t afraid of investing more into their customer needs, as they look at the long-term impact it has on their customer base. In other words, customers always come first.

“We’ve accomplished building and maintaining a business with near 100 percent client satisfaction rate,” Founder Brendan Heegan said. “Most warehouse 3PL operations have an 80/20 rule where 80 percent of the revenue is coming from 20 percent of the clients – those are the ones that get the VIP treatment, if you will, and the other 80 percent of their clients get scattered support where some days are good, and some days are bad. They get a lot of client complaints and we don’t have that because everybody’s getting an equal amount of support and attention, just what they need and more. We don’t lose clients.”

Boasting their very own technology, the integrated game-changing capabilities built into their platforms provide customers with an unmatched global reach, eliminating the need for assistance from an outside source or 3PL. The company’s custom technology platform serves as a major differentiator among competitors and as a significant driver behind their robust customer base and retention strategy.

“We own our own technology and we developed everything in-house. Our systems are comprised of a warehouse management system that handles inventory management movements, receiving and shipping out orders. We’ve also built-in a transportation management system (TMS) – companies might use ShipStation or Stamps.com, but we have all that built in to our warehouse management system so there’s no need for a secondary system in order to perform that function,” Heegan explained. “The platform also enables retailers to open the doors to the global market with the turnkey solution that we provide. “

Beyond automation, Boxzooka fosters an environment where employees aren’t limited to one silo. By fully integrating the ins and outs of operational processes, the company fully utilizes the talents and abilities of each employee.

“We cross train everybody, all the time, on every function so that all of our people can do anything at our warehouse. They’re constantly being thrown at different things. That probably decreases our efficiency and increases internal costs a little bit, but we look at it through the perspective that if we lose a team member, then that function doesn’t break and it allows us to shift labor around, making us operationally very competitive. We have a great service because everyone can do everything in our warehouse.”

Fisker Inc. Manufacturing Announces New Senior Advisor

Don Jackson is the new name behind the manufacturing strategy and site selection at California-based Fisker Inc., the company confirmed this week. Jackson brings an extensive 40-year background in manufacturing leadership positions with big-name companies such as Volkswagen and Toyota.

“Following the exciting announcement on our affordable electric luxury SUV for the mass global market, we sought out an automotive industry leader with a strong history of results in high-volume manufacturing and the utmost in quality control,” said Henrik Fisker, chairman and CEO. “Don has lead operations for the largest OEMs, raising the bar in vehicle quality and reliability. We are delighted to have him join our team as we ramp up toward launch in 2021 and prepare to bring a more emotion-stirring, American-made EV design to people worldwide.”

Jackson’s role will directly impact and support Fisker’s focus on breakthrough automotive technology and advanced mobility solutions as the company continues finalizing facility selections for the production of an
all-electric luxury SUV to mass market.

“The future of the automotive industry lies in electric vehicles. There’s an undeniable shift toward sustainable mobility around the globe, and Fisker is breaking the mold with the most forward-thinking technologies complemented by Henrik’s world-renowned, emotionally-compelling design touches,” Jackson adds.

“I share Fisker’s vision of driving mass electrification forward by producing more desirable EVs for the global market here in the United States, and I look forward to building a disruptive strategy that combines Fisker’s unique business model with the very best manufacturing practices that assure unparalleled results and outstanding, reliable products. The Fisker team is committed to exceeding customer expectations globally.”

Warehouse Tech Middle East 2019

Warehouse Tech Middle East 2019 brings together the leading logistics, technology solution providers, warehousing leaders and startups to discuss and learn about warehouse technology advancements.

Taking place in beautiful Dubai, this exciting program covers various trends, advancements and solutions including drones, Digital Warehousing, Industry 4.0 effect, Internet of Things, AI & Robotics, Automation, Cloud Computing in WMS and Data Analytics.

If your company is looking for competitive and robust education and insight into the advancements found with warehousing technology, this conference is for you. Take a proactive approach to education and join industry leaders from around the world for a day packed with game-changing information, discussions, and networking opportunities.

The one-day program will take place on June 25 with an impressive list of speakers and exhibitors. Don’t miss the opportunity to learn more about the digital warehousing market and register your spot today.

Optimizing Your Warehouse Space—and People—For Peak Performance

The freight transportation industry is traditionally not overwhelmed by the peak holiday shipping pandemonium recently experienced by some prominent logistics providers, but for integrated providers offering multiple supply chain services, warehousing is one area that often comes under strain from consumers and partner companies during this time. While the distribution process frequently ends at a consumer’s front door in a small package, it begins mostly with large shipments and pallets of freight arriving at a warehouse—the temporary but bustling home where the thousands of SKUs are then processed and shipped.

Even though we are bombarded with imagery and industry news reports of advanced robotics and automation within the warehouse environment, the reality is at multiple touch points there are still human hands utilizing these tools and human feet navigating the numerous aisles of inventory.  Technological innovations will undoubtedly continue to drive new and greater efficiencies within the warehousing and distribution industry, but true operational efficiency often begins not with sophisticated tools and technologies, but rather with an excellent team on the ground floor.

Listen to Your Internal Publics

Your team is invaluable to the success of your warehouse. They interact with your facility daily and can recognize operational weaknesses before upper management even identifies them as being problematic. By listening to and valuing your team’s input, you gain an extremely beneficial and added level of oversight. Not only does fostering a sense of collaboration throughout your facility decrease potential operational dysfunction, it also enhances everyone’s sense of belonging to your company.  Team morale significantly improves when employees are possessed of a genuine desire to help your business succeed and feel personally invested in your organization’s welfare.

To help attract and retain such employees, warehouse and logistics managers should aim to cultivate a top-down culture that demonstrates exemplary leadership. In addition to listening to employee concerns, managers should implement initiatives such as annual surveys to help employees realize the value placed on their input. After reviewing and analyzing the results of this annual survey, it’s important to provide constructive feedback on how employee concerns are being proactively addressed by leadership. Developing such initiatives provides companies with a wealth of analytics for gauging employee satisfaction while also offering up insights on improvements needed in other key areas.

Strengthen Your Labor Force

With more high school students attending college than ever before, there is perhaps less interest in considering alternative options like trade school as a path for a future career. In light of this trend, warehouse managers must get creative and invest in the necessary resources to ensure they are adequately staffed.

-Educate New Hires: In what is often unfairly deemed a low-wage, unskilled labor environment, prospective employees have more opportunities than expected for learning new and more sophisticated skills. An entry level position in warehousing permits individuals with limited experience the chance to learn new software applications, diverse logistics functions, as well as earn specialized material handling certifications. These and other opportunities are excellent training grounds for those pursuing a career path outside of a traditional four-year college.

-Recruit New Hires: Look into developing visible recruitment initiatives that inform students of the diverse career possibilities that exist within the logistics field. Many part-time positions serve as great entryways for students to learn and explore the industry, while those who are not pursuing a four-year college path can begin careers that offer real opportunities for professional growth.

-Implement New Technology: Tools are only as good as the hands which use them. Use these innovations to your people’s advantage and enhance your overall workforce productivity.

Assess Your Warehouse Layout

Present day consumer expectations have become ever more demanding as the overall warehouse real estate market has grown tighter: 89 percent of storage space in the United States was built before 2000 and development of new space is not keeping pace with demand. It’s important for warehouse managers to optimize existing space since developing new property is often a long and arduous endeavor. Consider these limited cost strategies:

-Revisit Your Blueprint: Perform a detailed inventory analysis and reevaluate your warehouse blueprint to see where process improvements such as repositioning frequently picked inventory can be made.

-Space Utilization: Think in cubic feet. Depending on what you store or manufacture, there are a multitude of different racking, storage and other creative options available for getting the most out of your space, no matter the square footage.

-Optimize Workflow: Set your people up for success. Performing the above steps should allow for greater productivity and efficiency gains as employee work tasks become more streamlined.

Although the space available to develop new warehouse facilities may be limited, warehouse managers who use these tactics are making the most of a challenging situation. With the pressures of e-commerce overhauling many traditional dynamics of warehousing & distribution, we can expect to witness more providers scrambling for much needed additional capacity, so a little bit of innovation can go a long way.

We are so enticed by the power and potential of new ideas and tools, we often forget that successful operations start with employees, are supported and enhanced with technology and guided by the vision and ingenuity of trusted leadership. With the right culture in place and by recruiting and developing the right talent, in regards to operational efficiency, the old adage rings true: the simplest solution is often the best one.

 

Frank Granieri is Chief Operating Officer of A. Duie Pyle and a member of the company’s Board of Directors. He joined Pyle in 2012, bringing more than 15 years of transportation industry, logistics and executive management experience to his role with the company. Facilitating company activity in marketing, sales, technology and logistics consulting, he is also responsible for A. Duie Pyle’s Custom Dedicated, Warehousing & Distribution and Brokerage business units, which comprehensively serve a wide-array of industries. 

 

Lineage Logistics Makes the Cut with Innovative Solutions

Lineage Logistics is proud to announce recognition from Fast Company as one of the 50 Most Innovative Companies of 2019. The company – known for its stellar role as a leading provider of temperature-controlled logistics solutions, accredits its strategic and intricate use of thermodynamics, mathematics, AI and robotics, statistics, oceanography and more to create some of their leading data-driven solutions.

“When it comes to issues like energy and food waste, we see an opportunity to apply Silicon Valley-style innovation to not only help preserve and protect the products with which our customers entrust us but also transform the world’s food supply chain,” said Greg Lehmkuhl, President and CEO of Lineage. “Our team is passionate about challenging the status quo and finding more efficient and sustainable ways to address the complexities unique to the temperature-controlled logistics industry. We are honored that such a prestigious publication as Fast Company would recognize us in this way.”

The Top 50 list aims to recognize companies that create significant impact on an industrial and cultural level through innovative and competitive strategies and solutions.

“This recognition is a testament to the hard work, dedication and creativity of our entire team,” said Sudarsan Thattai, Lineage’s Chief Information Officer. “From our technologists and applied scientists, whose expertise in the space today is competitive with those at any Silicon Valley technology company, to our team members on the warehouse floor, we are an organization that is innovative, bold and deeply committed to our purpose of connecting people to food.”

Source: RAM Communications

5 Key Logistics Trends and Technology Implications for 2019

What an exciting year 2018 was in logistics and transportation management! Many companies started to reach beyond traditional strategies and approaches to take their logistics and transportation capabilities to new levels. Ecommerce continued to grow at record levels and there didn’t appear to be the slowdown that many were predicting. There was considerable global trade instability and the focus of many companies was to determine what strategies they needed to put in place to mitigate the brewing trade wars and Brexit uncertainty. Market hype was also at an all-time high, making it harder to identify the best opportunities for technology investments. The question now for logistics and transportation professionals is what will drive 2019 strategies and investments to meet the market challenges and provide the greatest returns.
Here are my thoughts on five key trends for 2019.

Collaborative Transportation Management

The concept has been discussed, but never realized on a large scale. With the capacity shortage continuing for the perceived future, shippers and LSPs are looking for ways to expand their network. Real-time visibility solutions can identify the capacity that is trapped in a given network. New solutions have been developed to allow companies to share capacity and cover a greater percentage of the loads. Work in 2018 has shown that, as the number of participants expand, the ability to dramatically increase available capacity rises. Collaborative transportation management will be the fastest way in 2019 for shippers and LSPs to meet their transportation capacity challenges.
 

The Global Trade Scramble

For many shippers and LSPs, there is no choice but to spend a lot of time and effort on strategies and tactics to mitigate the impacts of the current US administration, the affected countries and Brexit. The uncertainty that exists in the market is what is most disconcerting and driving this high level of focus. In North America, changing duties and quotas are driving companies to develop new sourcing strategies, evaluate the impact of new duties on the bottom line and vet new suppliers. Brexit is even more problematic for Europe as companies try to understand the effects on their supply chains and logistics services if the seamless flow of goods stops between the UK and the rest of Europe. In 2019, companies will focus on global trade and customs solutions that can help them navigate the potential changes, glean clearer insight into alternative trade opportunities that exist and ensure compliance with much higher customs clearance requirements. 2018 was also a very active year in the area of sanctioned parties list expansions, stepped up enforcement actions especially on challenging rules like the OFAC 50%, and it is very likely the pace of sanctions and enforcement actions will ramp up in 2019.

Home Delivery Hangover

Again, another “no choice” for retailers as consumer expectations for home delivery continue to rise with, again, record online sales during the 2018 holidays. Retailers will be focused on getting costs in line and better understanding what customers want and are willing to accept for home delivery services. In 2018, companies started to get a better perspective on the different kinds of expectations customers had for delivery services, and that “as fast as possible” and “free” were more market hype than reality. In addition, leading retailers started to focus on understanding the balance between delivery service and the fees charged and—most importantly—understanding that allowing consumers to self-select their delivery options based upon speed and price could lower or recover delivery costs. In 2019, retailers will increasingly look for home delivery solutions that allow them to provide consumers with delivery choice, and even steer them to options that help the bottom line.

Parcel Power

As ecommerce grows, so does parcel shipping. In 2018, the rapid expansion of domestic and international parcel shipping continued. Carriers established more aggressive pricing and delivery strategies to keep pace with the increasing demand and improve profitability. Governments adopted more stringent tariff policies to make sure they were not missing an increasingly large revenue stream from ecommerce direct from Asia. As the cost and complexity of parcel shipping increases in 2019, companies will deploy solutions that can minimize their parcel shipping costs through more intelligent carrier and mode selection, and effectively address international requirements such as landed costs, restricted party checking and customs filings.

Technology – Some Hot & Some Not

There was not a day in 2018 when some organization or technology company was not announcing their AI, Machine Learning, Big Data or Blockchain solution or initiative. Even the business and trade press pointed to these technologies as ushering in a new era in logistics technology. As 2018 unfolded, however, there was a divergence in the value of some versus others that will carry into 2019. In 2019, there will be greater investment in—and results from—AI, Machine Learning and Big Data because of the ability of these technologies to significantly augment existing solutions and deliver business value in the near term. Unfortunately for Blockchain, it heads to the “trough of disillusionment” for the next year as pilots end and questions remain about the change and costs required to deploy it, its technological limitations and, most significantly, the lack of standards. For anyone who has been in the tech industry for 20 years, Blockchain should be a reminder of the hype that XML received in the late 90s. The question for the value of Blockchain isn’t if, just when.
The macro trends of ecommerce, global trade destabilization and the over-the-road transportation capacity shortage will continue to shape 2019 just as they have in 2018. Shippers and LSPs are realizing that they must act differently to survive or thrive and will more aggressively adopt new logistics and transportation technology solutions. It has been 20 years since the impact of technology was so prominent in the transformation of logistics and transportation. How will your company use logistics and transportation technology to impact performance in 2019? Let me know.
Chris Jones is the EVP of Marketing and Services for Descartes – The global leader in uniting logistics-intensive businesses in commerce.

New technologies that help with shipments of export cargo and import cargo in international trade.

H5 CMS to Support LuxairCARGO’s One Million Tonnes of Airfreight Cargo

Phase one of the newly upgraded Hermes 5 (H5) Cargo Management System (CMS), following the anticipated mid-2019 completion of the the updated version specifically customized for LuxairCARGO at Luxembourg Airport, has been completed. The upgrade will support one of the world’s largest ground handlers while improving operational efficiencies through the platform’s streamlined management application.

“For one inbound flight to Luxembourg Airport, there can be as many as 20 different trucks which transport its payload onto the next leg of its journey,” said Laurent Jossart, Executive Vice-President, LuxairCARGO. “This tailored version of H5 will help LuxairCARGO to handle one million tonnes of airfreight cargo a year and save significantly on time and costs.”

Features of the CMS provide Customs document consolidation as well as increased processing efficiencies for administrative and cargo operations. Additionally, real-time tracking, data analysis, and a new Customs interface will support efforts towards streamlining operations and reducing delays.

“Hermes 5 not only provides the level of automation we require, but also guarantees the possibility to interface with all our other existing operational systems. Hermes has also allowed us to enhance our quality and has contributed to a standardization of our processes,” said Jossart. “During the implementation, the Hermes Logistics Technologies (HLT) team of cargo and technical experts provided on-site support to LuxairCARGO, which meant the system went live successfully and in very good timing.”

 

Source: Meantime Communications