Filed in June 2012
Friday, June 01, 2012
More companies are looking to materials handling automation to improve processes, streamline shipping operations, and lower supply chain operating costs. We asked 10 leading systems integrators what the future of automation holds in store.
With the ongoing consolidation of air carriers, shippers are growing concerned about losing old relationships while having to forge new ones. Fortunately, freight intermediaries are helping them stay on course.
The market’s top analysts discuss the trends that are pushing mobility deeper into every-day use and explain just how far we are from realizing real-time supply chain management—complete with logistics visibility that was once only the stuff of dreams.
Today’s warehouse management systems (WMS) come with sophisticated rules and logic, real-time seamless integration to aligned business applications, and effortless interfaces to automated equipment and mobile technology. But why are we still not putting these capabilities to work?
Forward logistics is the primary focus for shippers of all commodities, but fine-tuning the “reverse loop” is becoming more urgent. As high-end companies develop new revenue streams, reverse logistics and after sales services are proving to be valuable tools.
A flurry of major service provider deals captured mainstream headlines in recent months, but the consequence of this activity has yet to be measured by domestic and international shippers. Meanwhile, the EU flounders, Asia remains strong, and emerging nations may represent the next great opportunity for the major 3PL players.
Truckload carriers are aiming for that “sweet spot” when the market hits supply and demand “equilibrium.” It’s close right now, but carrier executives fret that the hunt for drivers, rising fuel costs, and regulatory restraints make for a most uncertain future.
In every issue of Logistics Management
) we devote an article to the growing importance that warehouse and distribution center (DC) operations are playing in transportation and overall logistics management.
Brian pierce, chief economist at the International Air Transport Association (IATA), recently reported that there are mixed signals for air cargo shippers during this year and heading into next. Air cargo shippers need to be aware of the current and future challenges that are facing air carriers in order to better position themselves for the service levels and capacity they’ll need if their companies are going to compete on a global level.
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As a logistics manager, understanding that oil and fuel prices are a function of supply and demand rather than the rogue actions of “evil speculators” is important.