Nov. 17, 2011

WERC welcomes two new corporate members
KNAPP Logistics Automation, Inc. and Weavings Manpower Solutions PVT, LTD have joined WERC as corporate members.

Webcast Series: Session 5 today 2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m., EST
Using Metrics to Achieve ResultsMore

80 percent of companies vulnerable to major supply disruption
The headlines of the past year have highlighted one supply chain disruption after another, but a majority of companies are not systematically managing risk to avoid disruptions to increasingly global supply chains. In contrast, the study showed that leading companies excel at managing risk by using risk-impact analysis, financial risk management and disaster planning to protect against unforeseen threats.More

Reasons to attend WERC's 2012 Conference
To hear Joe Dunlap, director of Fortna, talk about Tipping Point Analysis — the perfect tool for defining strategy during uncertain times. You'll learn the what, how and why of tipping point analysis as part of your strategic decision making process. The session includes defining a framework to apply the analysis and example case studies where tipping point analysis made a difference in the DC.More

Spate of disasters exposes supply chain weakness
A string of natural disasters has exposed a vulnerability in global supply chains: How do you set up a network that is compact enough to be efficient but spread widely enough that no single unexpected event can knock it out? Business leaders at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meetings said the disasters forced them to rethink the wisdom of relying on a limited number of vendors or locations. APEC members agreed recently to develop public-private partnerships by 2012's summit so they can respond more effectively when disasters strike.More

Risk alignment with outsourcing suppliers is essential
Supply Management
Procurement professionals and their outsourcing suppliers are unclear as to where the responsibility for risk management and due diligence lies between them, leaving both parties exposed. That is a key finding of a new study. According to the research, opinion is sharply divided on whether the customer or the supplier should take responsibility for political/regional risks. The research revealed only 8 percent of providers thought they should manage such risk for an outsourcing project, compared with 49 percent of customers who said suppliers should manage it. More

Trans-Pacific carriers seek postholiday rate hike
The Journal of Commerce
Trying again to stop the erosion of rates that has hit major east-west trade lanes in 2011, shipping lines in the eastbound Pacific intend to implement interim rate hikes Jan. 1. The Transpacific Stabilization Agreement, a discussion group of 15 carriers operating Asia to the U.S., said its member lines plan to individually raise all-inclusive freight rates and charges by a minimum of $400 per 40-foot container. Although the rate increases will be too late for holiday season imports, the carriers appear poised to take advantage of a cargo spike anticipated in January before factories in Asia close for the 2012 Chinese New Year celebrations. More

Manufacturers wrap up sustainable packaging
Procurement Leaders Network
Global consumption of sustainable packaging is registering "impressive" growth, according to market watchers. The sector has been largely immune to the economic downturn, reveals a new report. The study notes that Europe and the U.S. represent the largest regions for sustainable packaging, together accounting for more than 70 percent of the global market. More

October vessel imports increase 0.33 percent after drop in September
Zepol via SupplyChainBrain
U.S. import shipment volume for October, measured in TEUs, increased 0.33 percent from September and decreased 1 percent from October of 2010, according to Zepol, a trade intelligence company. The total number of inbound shipments rose 1 percent from September and increased the same amount from October of last year. Year to date, total TEUs are up 1.13 percent this year over last year.More

US factory output rose strongly in October
The Denver Post
U.S. industrial production rose in October at the fastest rate in three months. Factories made more trucks, electronics and business equipment, a sign that manufacturing is recovering after slowing this spring. Output at the nation's factories, utilities and mines rose 0.7 percent, the Federal Reserve said. Factory output, the largest component of industrial production, rose a solid 0.5 percent, the fourth straight monthly gain.More

Industry urges US to rebuild rare earth supply chain
International Business Times via NASDAQ
For economic and strategic reasons, the U.S. must rebuild its rare earth minerals supply chain, Senate staffers were recently told by the United States Magnetic Materials Association. Rather than focusing on "rebuilding" the U.S. rare earth supply chain, the panelists urged staff to consider "restarting" this network of companies. It was noted that many of the critical rare earth supply chain technologies that originated in the United States could be returned to production under proper market conditions. More

Procurement is key to tapping into the growing global middle class
Supply Management
By 2030 the global middle-class population will have increased by 3 billion, and companies must adapt their procurement strategy to take advantage of the new business opportunities, according to a report by Ernst & Young. As the economic and socio-economic climate changes, innovation will become more important as companies try to adapt to new markets. And according to the report, supply chains will play a key role. More

US customs to simplify air cargo process
U.S. Customs and Border Protection has announced plans to streamline the entry process for air cargo. During the Simplified Entry pilot, the importer or broker will provide 13 data items and three optional data items, instead of the 27 currently required. Participants must have an ACE Portal Account and hold a Tier 2 status or higher in the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism. CBP Commissioner Alan D. Bersin said, "The Simplified Entry pilot expedites cargo release into the stream of commerce. The trade industry and CBP will both realize significant efficiencies while enhancing security with more accurate information provided earlier in the import process." More

Modern-day highway robbers costing industry billions
They may no longer ride on horseback with long black capes and a pistol in their belts, but highway robbers are far from a thing of thing of the past. Cargo crime has risen dramatically over the last decade, according to logistics security specialists Freightwatch International. It says the number of known cases worldwide has increased by an average of 10-15 percent year on year. More

Supply chain boosts net at Home Depot
The Wall Street Journal
Home Depot Inc., which posted higher quarterly same-store sales, said there are more opportunities to increase margins as investments in transforming the retailer's supply chain continue to pay off. The nation's largest home improvement retailer said its rapid deployment centers rollout has helped put more items in stock, lowered costs and boosted margins, and Chief Financial Officer Carol Tome told Dow Jones Newswires the company has more opportunities to improve the supply chain.More

Sustaining sustainability
DC Velocity
The vast majority of climate scientists now agree that the earth is getting warmer and that the carbon humans pump into the atmosphere contributes substantially to that worrisome trend. Where the debate now turns is to what the industrialized and developing worlds can or should do about it. While policy makers continue to debate that, many businesses have taken the initiative to begin reducing their carbon footprint and to otherwise develop sustainable business practices. The word "sustainability" has replaced "green" in much of the discussion around the topic because many of the things businesses are doing go well beyond measuring and reducing their carbon footprints. More

Today's supply chain secret sauce: More visibility, fewer silos
Software Advice
Improving visibility is a high priority for many supply chain leaders. In fact, a May 2011 study by Capgemini found that improving supply chain visibility was the top initiative for executives, with 45 percent of respondents putting it at the top of their lists. There are a number of benefits that can be realized with improved visibility, including optimized inventory, improved forecasting and increased collaboration. More

2011 Trends and Issues in Logistics and Transportation
Supply Chain Digest
The Trends and Issues in Logistics and Transportation Study was based on survey results from 700 respondents. The study notes that companies are operating in a "new normal," reflecting what appears to be — at least in the modern supply chain era — an unprecedented level of volatility and uncertainty. The report says that at a high level, to thrive in this environment companies must focus on three key areas of supply chain performance: efficiency, flexibility and differentiation.More

US Xpress move into reefer trucking with team drivers
DC Velocity
Two of the country's leading truckload carriers announced they would be expanding into the potentially lucrative but operationally demanding refrigerated trucking business using team drivers. On Nov. 7, CRST International Inc. said it has launched an expedited trucking service for temperature-controlled shipments utilizing tandem drivers. On Nov. 14, the president of U.S. Xpress Enterprises Inc. said that his company plans to more than double its fleet of trucks dedicated to refrigerated service, and that it will also use team drivers.More