April 22, 2010



Is global standardization essential to sustainable packaging's future?
Healthcare Packaging
In his online report coverage of the ISTA Transport Packaging Forum, DDL's Pat Nolan writes, "'Green' packaging will continue to be driven predominantly by economic and market forces, independent of the 'sustainability movement.'" Nolan, an editorial contributor to Healthcare Packaging magazine, succinctly states, "Over the long term, there are no incentives for businesses to use more packaging materials than is required to get the product to the consumer. It has always made good business sense to discover the most economical and practical way to package your product."More

5 ways to optimize your 3PL relationship, results
All relationships have their challenges, and those between logistics outsourcers of logistics functions/activities and their contracted 3PLs are no exception. Yet, as with most relationships, the ability of partners to engage in open, honest dialogue goes a long way toward resolving concerns that do arise. This approach also can prevent many issues from occurring in the first place as well as work to elevate the relationship to a more strategic level.More

Is a truck driver shortage looming?
I'm hearing more and more rumblings about a growing shortage of truck drivers beginning this year and then continuing for the next few. In fact, according to eTrucker.com, Noel Perry, the managing director and senior consultant at FTR Associates, is forecasting that the driver shortage could be close to 200,000 this year and then swell to as much as 400,000 in 2011 and 2012.More

How the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act could forever change the supply chain
In 2008, Congress passed the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, a wide-sweeping bill designed to improve the safety of children's products. The legislation, implemented in stages throughout the past two years, lowered limits on hazardous substances such as lead and phthalates, increased funding for the Consumer Product Safety Commission, imposed new testing requirements on manufacturers, and established broad documentation requirements for all participants throughout the supply chain.More

Rethinking CRM: Social media at a 3PL
Logistics Viewpoints
Longtime readers of Logistics Viewpoints know that I've been promoting the potential value of social media technologies like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn in supply chain management. This is why C.H. Robinson's announcement in February about TMC Connect caught my attention. Simply put, TMC Connect is a private social media site for CHR customers that includes a blog, discussion forums, content library, and the ability for customers to connect and communicate with each other.More

Social media safety: Acceptable-use policies are critical
It's a Catch-22 for many companies and IT departments: Allow access to social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, and the company is opened up to malicious content, phishing schemes and account hijackings. Block all social media sites, and the business risks losing young talent to competitors or will challenge employees to find workarounds -- which can be equally dangerous.More

Top performers focus on employee training, monitoring, incentives to drive down labor costs
Have the recession and the constant pressure to contain costs changed the way companies handle their warehousing and retail storeroom operations? Is improving operational efficiency still the number one priority among warehouse managers? According to new research by the Aberdeen Group, the answers to those questions are now more complex than ever before.More

In Haiti, RFID brings relief
RFID Journal
Soon after the Jan. 12 magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck Haiti's capital, Port-au-Prince, U.S. military forces arrived on the devastated island to provide aid. Because of the scale of the destruction and infrastructure loss, the only way to address the disaster was through a massive, months-long response. As part of its ongoing efforts to provide supplies to Haiti, the U.S. Department of Defense is employing radio frequency identification to track shipping containers as they travel to and from the island.More

Shippers suggest recovery just getting started
Hard to ignore improving data points: Results from our survey of more than 300 parcel shippers are consistent with many key themes of our freight thesis and reinforce that recovery is under way. We continue to believe EPS estimates are too low across freight as both volume and operating leverage are likely to surprise. In parcel, we admit a fair amount of good news is now in the stocks, particularly regarding international airfreight. If margins at FDX and UPS can return to prior peak levels within the next few years, however, a notable upside is still in the shares from current levels.More