Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!


2012 Warehouse/DC Operations Survey: Mixed signals

A record response reveals that readership is divided in terms of investment: one side remains cautious, while the other is on the verge of making significant changes to their warehouse/DC operations. How have your operations emerged from the Great Recession?
By Maida Napolitano, Contributing Editor
November 01, 2012

Tracking previous trends
imageRecycling continues to dominate sustainability efforts at 76 percent. This year however, slightly more respondents are “reusing shipping containers” and “using metal and/or plastic pallets.”

Derewecki notes that he’s seeing more plastic pallets in use at pharmaceutical manufacturing because of FDA requirements. “Wherever you have a requirement of a sterile or cleanroom environment, then that’s one good way you can use reusable plastic pallets.”

Fortunately, fewer respondents (only 15 percent versus last year’s 28 percent) experienced catastrophic events this year compared to last year. Open-ended responses show many operations being hit by hurricanes and tornadoes; but to protect against these particular threats, survey takers have installed back-up generator and data retrieval systems, set plans in place to re-route demand to another DC, and have established multiple sources for parts and raw materials.

To reduce operating costs, “improving warehouse processes” (64 percent) and “improving inventory control” (61 percent) remains the top two actions preferred most by respondents. “It makes sense because both do not necessarily involve a high level of investment,” says Derewecki. “However, the better operators have already done all the process improvements that they can do without making capital investments. They are at the next stage. To improve, they may need to invest in mechanization and automation.”

About the Author

image
Maida Napolitano
Contributing Editor

Maida Napolitano has worked as a Senior Engineer for various consulting companies specializing in supply chain, logistics, and physical distribution since 1990. She’s is the principal author for the following publications: Using Modeling to Solve Warehousing Problems (WERC); Making the Move to Cross Docking (WERC); The Time, Space & Cost Guide to Better Warehouse Design (Distribution Group); and Pick This! A Compendium of Piece-Pick Process Alternatives (WERC). She has worked for clients in the food, health care, retail, chemical, manufacturing and cosmetics industries, primarily in the field of facility layout and planning, simulation, ergonomics, and statistic analysis. She holds BS and MS degrees in Industrial Engineering from the University of the Philippines and the New Jersey Institute of Technology, respectively. She can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


Subscribe to Logistics Management magazine

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your
entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Recent Entries

A number of key topics impacting the freight transportation and logistics marketplace were front and center at a panel at the Council of Supply Chain Management Annual Conference in San Antonio last week.

The relationships between third-party logistics (3PL) service providers and shippers are seeing ongoing developments due in large part to the continuing emergence and sophistication of omni-channel retailing. That was one of the key findings of The 19th Annual Third-Party Logistics Study, which was released by consultancy Capgemini Group, Penn State University, and Korn/Ferry International, a global talent advisory firm.

Optimism in the form of increasing profits was a key takeaway in the Annual Survey of Third-Party Logistics (3PL) CEOs, released earlier this week at the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) Annual Conference in San Antonio.

Seasonally-adjusted (SA) for-hire truck tonnage in August saw a 1.6 percent increase in August on the heels of a 1.5 percent increase in July. The August SA index––at 132.6 (2000=100)––stands as a new SA high, with November 2013’s 131.0 now the second best month recorded.

Carload volumes saw a 5 percent jump compared to the same week a year ago at 302,178, and intermodal volumes hit a new weekly U.S. record at 279,777 trailers and containers.

Comments

Post a comment
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.


© Copyright 2013 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA