Category

Logistics

Fed Sees Supply Chain Issues Growing Despite Better US OutlookPayne Lubbers

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The Federal Reserve is seeing both labor and material shortages mounting across several sectors of the U.S. economy, which may have consumers paying even more for everything from fuel to new homes.The Federal Reserve is seeing both labor and material shortages mounting across several sectors of the U.S. economy, which may have consumers paying even more for everything from fuel to new homes.Read MoreTransport Topics

TMC Plans Closer Look at Mirrorlike Camera Monitor SystemsRoger Gilroy

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The increasing interest in camera monitor systems has prompted the Technology & Maintenance Council of American Trucking Associations to decide how it can help fleets understand how the systems would best fit into the truck cab environment.The increasing interest in camera monitor systems has prompted the Technology & Maintenance Council of American Trucking Associations to decide how it can help fleets understand how the systems would best fit into the truck cab environment.Read MoreTransport Topics

Stellantis CEO Vows to Accelerate Carmaker’s Electric ShiftTara Patel

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Stellantis NV CEO Carlos Tavares pledged to speed up the company’s electric shift, vowing that cars with a battery will account for more than a third of its European sales by mid-decade.Stellantis NV CEO Carlos Tavares pledged to speed up the company’s electric shift, vowing that cars with a battery will account for more than a third of its European sales by mid-decade.Read MoreTransport Topics

State Jobless Claims in US Fall to Lowest Since March 2020Payne Lubbers

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The number of applications for U.S. state unemployment benefits plummeted last week to the lowest since the pandemic began, indicating the labor market continues to thaw as governments lift restrictions on business and activity picks up.The number of applications for U.S. state unemployment benefits plummeted last week to the lowest since the pandemic began, indicating the labor market continues to thaw as governments lift restrictions on business and activity picks up.Read MoreTransport Topics

Key Congressional Republican Calls for Bipartisan Highway BillEugene Mulero

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As federal policymakers prepare to consider comprehensive highway policy legislation in the coming weeks, the top Republican on the U.S. Senate transportation committee reiterated calls for bipartisanship.As federal policymakers prepare to consider comprehensive highway policy legislation in the coming weeks, the top Republican on the U.S. Senate transportation committee reiterated calls for bipartisanship.Read MoreTransport Topics

Building Profitability with Agility while Digitally Transforming the Supply ChainTerence Leung

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digital transformation Many companies were in the midst of digitally transforming their supply chain when the Convid-19 pandemic hits. During that time, with great volatility, many companies struggled to keep pace with increasing customer expectations around delivery on-time.

In my Logistics Viewpoints article in January 2021, “The New Definition of Supply Chain Agility and Resilience in an Unpredictable World”, I highlighted that modern supply chains must be built on a foundation of extreme agility and responsiveness. As the world is seeing evidence that we are closer to the light at the end of the tunnel and looking forward to the post pandemic recovery era: agility, resilience, and consistent (not just when absolutely needed) responsiveness will be the new competitive differentiators. In this part 2 article, let us continue to explore the concrete actions we can take in our Digital Supply Chain journeys.

Some companies chose to forgo the transformation initiatives to focus on dealing with disruptions to their business. Some chose to carry on with their digital journeys as they must find better ways as the physical and operational logistics footprint were changing rapidly to adapt to the new customer-first, eCommerce expectations. Almost a year after the outbreak, in their session about “GE Appliances’ High-Speed Upgrade of Its Digital Supply Chain” at the 25th Annual ARC Industry Forum event, GE Appliances discussed how they continued to take on that Digital Supply Chain Journey at the outbreak, so that they can track shipments from manufacturing plants in real-time or anticipate disruptions with machine learning (ML) that could slow customer deliveries.

Plan and Execute for Success

Some manufacturing, consumer brand, retail and logistics service companies made ambitious goals to delight customers through digital transformation but in some cases significantly eroded profit margins. Some organizations invested in solutions that offer little more than knee-jerk reactions, resulting in not-obvious improvement to the bottom-line or even net losses.

Before the pandemic, in a study of logistics providers conducted by Fraunhofer IML, among those embarking on digitalization initiatives, only 25% of logistics providers in the Fraunhofer IML survey are leveraging digital technologies to think outside the box and reinvent their foundational delivery model. These forward-looking companies understand that digital transformation is their means to reinvent themselves, leapfrog the competition, increase agility, and establish themselves as strategic, long-term partners with their customers. While this is encouraging, 75% see digitization as a way to either replace existing analog processes with digital ones or support new processes for customers within their existing operations.

Now, logistics providers are accelerating the pace to adopt new technologies to serve customer-first and eCommerce expectations. At our Blue Yonder ICON event later in April this year and 3PL Execution Forum in June, 3PL and 4PL companies will explain how they are leveraging innovations as an advantage. The supply chain can increase its visibility by leveraging AI and analytics to identify internal or external anomalies that are the first signal of a disruption. What comes after that is the leveraging of AI and its ability to make autonomous decisions across the end-to-end supply chain when disruptions do occur. By leveraging the analysis of historic events and probabilistic outcomes, new technologies can pull the right levers to correct supply chain performance, with much less or no human intervention.

The Key to Long-Term Success: Build Agility, Resilience and Profitability Together

As supply chain managers decrease their focus on exception management and tactical intervention, they can devote their time and attention to more strategic activities such as market research, outsourcing and data science. In addition, the worlds of planning and execution is converging, with the gap between demand, production, and logistics closing.

From an inbound operations perspective, visibility continues to be a common thread in facilitating this convergence. From an upstream point-of-view, raw material availability, visibility, sourcing and timing will continue to be the primary areas of focus, particularly with organizations looking to mitigate any new market disruptions. Today, companies are realizing that having excess inventory, logistical expediting, and promotions without tight supply chain execution, without unifying logistics, and without a scientific basis may not be the solution and. In fact, it may lead to increased variable costs.

Ideally, with this convergence, the demand data should be shared upstream with suppliers and other trading partners, creating a new demand fulfillment strategy and a collaborative response to any deviations from plan. It should also be shared downstream. In the upcoming hyper-connected world, the entire network can proactively sense and respond to potential supply chain disruptions caused by major events such as natural disasters and pandemics, as well as smaller events such as local weather, port congestion, equipment failure, capacity shortages and labor shortages.

The Crucial Role of Trading Partners

An example is carrier network services for executing a cohesive set of first-, middle- and last-mile operations and optimizing common carriers and fleets. Connected via a common technology platform, the supply chain partners can respond to unexpected demand volatility caused by social media, news reports or special events. The traditional supply chain has often been characterized by blind spots, which are caused when a lack of collaboration makes trading partners unable to see key information such as product location, available-to-promise inventory or a realistic customer delivery date.

These blind spots can no longer be tolerated in today’s environment of extreme volatility and high customer expectations. In a survey published by the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP), siloed systems and/or processes were named the single greatest barrier to driving supply chain innovation and improving the customer experience. In addition, 46% of the companies deemed “most innovative” in the study reported having 80-100% electronic connectivity with their trading partners. Supply chain partners that are unable to share data may struggle to find a common ground and collaboratively respond to demand and supply volatility as a single, linked entity.

Fortunately, IoT, AI and ML are converging to illuminate this kind of critical information and create true visibility, and responsiveness, across the supply network. All trading partners can see potential disruptions in the product flow to the marketplace, while also gaining a probabilistic view of the potential impacts. In addition to seeing upstream supply obstacles, all trading partners can also recognize downstream fulfillment issues such as low inventories or labor shortages. In the same Fraunhofer IML study cited earlier, 81% of logistics service providers say that market demand for digital collaboration and transparency along the supply chain is a “very strong” (36%) or “strong” (45%) influence on their business. It will be interesting to compare the results in future surveys as eCommerce propels better management of logistics operations each-es in additional to bulk.

At SodaStream, which provides 1.5 billion liters of homemade sparkling water to millions of homes globally, advanced warehouse solutions are leveraged to avoid delay to the plan-to-order process and enable more efficient order fulfillment and inventory management processes.

At Swedish appliance leader Electrolux, technology investments have been continuing to link its geographically distributed, highly complex worldwide supply chain and encourage close collaboration both internally and externally. Selling 60 million products annually in 150 countries, Electrolux has been viewed as a leader in adopting digital supply chain solutions that facilitate this collaboration and focus the entire value chain on the end consumer. A 2018 academic paper authored by researchers at the University of Southern Denmark noted, “Electrolux is the company in the worldwide household appliances industry with the widest geographic reach, also product-wise….Electrolux is balancing between globalization and localization in the different key value chain functions, searching to take the best from the two.”

Leverage Digital Journeys to Win

Both upstream and downstream signals will increasingly pull products from supplier warehouses and corporate distribution centers alike and affect tactical transportation and other logistics related plans. While the advanced technologies are available to support the level of agility required for an uncertain world, often the barrier to successful adoption is cultural. But the journey to improve must accelerate, unified logistics and advanced technologies will support the hyper-connected supply chain to come. We will continue to explore the steps in the digital journey (such as on-demand transportation, labor, and warehousing) and examples of determination from the top in addition to logistics operations.

Terence Leung is Senior Director, Solutions Marketing at Blue Yonder. He has a keen interest in digitalization and the value it generates throughout the supply chain. In this role, he leads his organization to drive thought leadership and go-to-market strategy for supply chain execution and logistics solutions. In addition, he works with customers to understand requirements and drive best practices.

Prior to joining Blue Yonder, Terence was the leader in product marketing and value engineering at One Network. Previously, he was in leadership positions in industry management at Savi Technology and solutions and management consulting at i2 and Deloitte Consulting respectively. Terence holds an MBA from the University of Texas, Austin and an Electrical Engineering degree at MIT.

The post Building Profitability with Agility while Digitally Transforming the Supply Chain appeared first on Logistics Viewpoints.

Many companies were in the midst of digitally transforming their supply chain when the Convid-19 pandemic hits. During that time, with great volatility, many companies struggled to keep pace with increasing customer expectations around delivery on-time. In my Logistics Viewpoints article in January 2021, “The New Definition of Supply Chain Agility and Resilience in an
The post Building Profitability with Agility while Digitally Transforming the Supply Chain appeared first on Logistics Viewpoints.Read MoreLogistics Viewpoints

Ports brace for an onslaught of 1.9 million TEUs post-Suez Canal incidentNews Desk

By Logistics, MarketNo Comments

Supply chain headaches caused by the Suez Canal aren’t over yet — with 1.9 million TEU of capacity sailing towards already overburdened ports.

Chicago, IL, April 13, 2021 — With bottlenecked ships making their way to ports in the wake of the Suez Canal incident, cumulative delays for cargo ships are at 1,017 days, threatening to swamp ports with bottlenecked cargo for weeks to come.

With more than 1.9 million TEU of capacity involved in the incident, supply chain visibility company project44 is warning shippers that their headaches are not yet over.

At major ports such as Singapore, more than 370,000 TEU of capacity are en route to the port, where 83 vessels representing 299,310 TEU were already at the port or anchored and waiting to unload as of April 12.

The picture is similar at Rotterdam, where 15 ships representing 196,600 TEU will arrive over the next week, lining up behind 85 ships already at port or waiting to enter the port.

Other major ports bracing for the influx of volume are New York, with 76,500 TEU either having arrived or still inbound from the Suez Canal incident; Port Kelang, at 103,900 TEU; and Jebel Ali, at 75,879 TEU.

p44 suez backlog

According to project44’s port delay tracking, the influx of ships will also exacerbate port delays measured in days. With delays on major trade routes like Shanghai — Rotterdam already close to the one-week mark —a worrying increase over 2020, when median port delays on the same route were 2.79 days.

Other routes where delays are on track to get worse include Shanghai — New York, where the median March delay was 8.05 days (up from 1.09 days in March 2020);  Shenzhen — Hamburg, where median delays last month were 9.23 days (up from 3.52 days in March 2020); and Shenzen — Newark-Elisabeth, where median delays reached 12.92 in March (up from 0.29 days in March 2020).

project44’s ongoing post-incident analysis provides the maritime shipping industry stakeholders with a clearer understanding of the incident, providing the analytical tools to create more robust supply chains in the future.

The Suez Canal incident brings home the message that shippers must be prepared for unexpected disruptions in their supply chain. With real-time visibility and advanced alerting capabilities, disruptions as well as the ability to form strategies to avoid them, are more manageable than ever before.” — Josh Brazil VP Marketing project44

 

About project44 

project44 is the world’s leading advanced visibility platform for shippers and logistics service providers. project44 connects, automates, and provides visibility into key transportation processes to accelerate insights and shorten the time it takes to turn those insights into actions.

Leveraging the power of the project44 cloud-based platform, organizations increase operational efficiencies, reduce costs, improve shipping performance, and deliver an exceptional Amazon-like experience to their customers.

Connected to thousands of carriers worldwide and having comprehensive coverage for all ELD and telematics devices on the market, project44 supports all transportation modes and shipping types, including Air, Parcel, Final-Mile, Less-than-Truckload, Volume Less-than-Truckload, Groupage, Truckload, Rail, Intermodal, and Ocean.

project44 has placed second, behind only Amazon, on FreightWaves’ 2021 Freight Tech 25, a list of the most innovative companies across the freight industry, and received the 2020 SAP® Pinnacle Award as the Cloud Partner Integration of the Year.

Issued on behalf of project44  by

Charlie Pesti - Shipping and Freight Resource

 

 

For further information, please contact: Charlie Pesti: charlie@pesti.io

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Supply chain headaches caused by the Suez Canal aren’t over yet — with 1.9 million TEU of capacity sailing towards already overburdened ports. Chicago, IL, April 13, 2021 — With … Read more here..
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Integrating Warehouse Robotics: SVT Robotics DemoClint Reiser

By Logistics, MarketNo Comments

I am interested in seeing how the warehouse robotics landscape evolves. It is becoming clear to me that heterogenous environments will c0ntinue to be a reality, and likely expand along with robot adoption. SVT Robotics is one of the first names I heard in this niche. And finally this week I learned more.

During the Winter of 2020, I attended the Logistics and Warehousing Executive Briefing organized by MassRobotics. As I stated in the subsequent article, The Greater Boston Warehouse Robotics Cluster, robotics integration in the warehouse was the hot topic during the open discussion. A couple of attendees from Fortune 500 companies with substantial warehouse investment plans expressed the importance of integrating the robotics, automation, and IT landscapes within their organizations. This open discussion is where I learned of SVT Robotics, as a representative from the company communicated the firm’s approach to integration projects. Fast forward a year, and SVT Robotics sponsored a product demo session with Promat DX. This session displayed the visualization and logical flow of integration within the SVT Robotics SOFTBOT Platform. I found the recorded demo to be informative and hope to get a deeper briefing from SVT in the near future. Here is a link to the demo URL on the Promat page SVT Robotics Softbot Demo.

SOFTBOT Platform Demonstration

The demonstration walked the viewer through the process of integrating a WMS, autonomous mobile robots (AMR) from two robotics providers, and accompanying features. SVT breaks down its software, or SOFTBOTS, its three categories – connectors, features, and applications. Connectors are pre-built integrations to automation technologies. Features are specific functionality sets such as “picking.” And applications are unique combinations of features and connectors.

An SVT Labs WMS was chosen as the WMS (categorized as a feature), followed by a connector for Mobile Industrial Robots (MiR)and then another connector for Fetch Robotics. Subsequently, a couple features were selected – the Autonomous Mobile Robot Fleet Supervisor to control multiple robots in the solution and the Transport Mission Manager to orchestrate the transportation requests and conformations with user assistance devices. Finally, the connector to the Voodoo Robotics pick-to-light technology was selected.

After the SOFTBOTS were added to the workbench, the application was named and described, and the build out of the app continued. Starting with the WMS, each SOFTBOT was added to the canvas through a simple drag-and-drop process. Blue lines appeared on the graphic display to represent the integration specific to these SOFTBOTS as connected to each other and communicating. Subsequently the app was published. The environmental configuration to the database and server followed. It was then noted that it was a prerequisite to map the robots to the floor and their locations. This configuration was followed by a video of bots in a facility with a human working through an example of a robot mounted pick-to-light device communicating to the robots through the SOFTBOT Platform.

Final Word

I do not find middleware or integration technologies to be terribly exciting. But this demonstration was well thought out and skillfully presented. I recommend further researching the product if you believe it can create value and streamline implementation and integration processes at your facilities.

The post Integrating Warehouse Robotics: SVT Robotics Demo appeared first on Logistics Viewpoints.

I am interested in seeing how the warehouse robotics landscape evolves. It is becoming clear to me that heterogenous environments will c0ntinue to be a reality, and likely expand along with robot adoption. SVT Robotics is one of the first names I heard in this niche. And finally this week I learned more. During the
The post Integrating Warehouse Robotics: SVT Robotics Demo appeared first on Logistics Viewpoints.Read MoreLogistics Viewpoints