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Surviving U.S.-China Trade War Requires Savvy Logistics

Surviving U.S.-China Trade War Requires Savvy Logistics By Dan Cser ICAT Logistics, Agency Owner At the border entries and docks along the front lines of the China-U.S. trade standoff, hostilities are more than a war of words. Tit-for-tat tariff salvos between the two nations have complicated the ever-demanding work of freight forwarders, shippers and logistics professionals, producing significant casualties in terms of conflict, confusion, complexity, cost and consequences. Still possible but far from certain: Compromise and conclusion. While President Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping have agreed to meet in November, few observers predict a tariffs-ending breakthrough. “The problem is neither side seems to be confident that it understands the other side’s bottom line negotiating demand,” Michael Pillsbury, director of the Center on Chinese Strategy at the Hudson Institute told The Washington Post. Meanwhile, logistics managers are being put to the test, causing customers to rely more than ever on savvy forwarders with proven experience,…

Logisitics Gets Reboot from Robots

Logisitics Gets Reboot from Robots There’s a joke going around the Internet that reflects our brave new world of robots. A robot walks into a bar, orders a drink and lays down some cash. The bartender says: “Hey, we don’t serve robots.” And the robot says, “Oh, but someday you will.” The point is: Robots are here to stay. That’s especially true in logistics, where their use is increasing rapidly. All along the supply chain, forward-thinking decision-makers have stepped up the cadence for embracing, deploying and adjusting robots. Suspicion and anxiety about the disruptive potential of robots have been diminished by the enthusiasm of logistics leaders determined to use automation to manage change. Along the way, the impact of robots has evolved well beyond familiar experiences in warehouses, where robots have replaced humans in picking and sticking cargo. Now, robots are working hand-in-hand – so to speak – with humans to yield significant and creative gains in safety, productivity and job satisfaction.…

Dan's Downloads

Dan's Downloads Dan’s Downloads   Dan Cser, owner of ICAT Logistics DTW, is tracking the constantly changing world of logistics, freight forwarding, shipping and supply chain management. Here is a roundup of news items that caught his attention:   Inflation is Coming to the U.S. on an 18-Wheel Flatbed CNBC https://tinyurl.com/yd7ksrt7   China’s Scrap Ban Leaves Supply Chain Unsettled Supply Chain Dive https://tinyurl.com/y7sol4xf   Wi-Fi in the Road? Kansas City Start-Up Developing ‘Smart’ Pavement Transport Topics https://tinyurl.com/ybdjsvsh   How China’s 36th-Best Car Company Saved Volvo Bloomberg Businessweek https://tinyurl.com/yar332mx   Pilot-Hungry Airlines are Raiding Flight Schools The Washington Post https://tinyurl.com/y8argwxm       Dan’s ‘High Five’ News Nuggets   Five fast facts that stuck with Dan Cser in recent days:   1.    $240 Million and $768 million Illinois officials are investing $240 million in two dozen projects to improve freight mobility and relieve…

A Natural Disaster, a Friend in Need and a Logistics Solution

A Natural Disaster, a Friend in Need and a Logistics Solution It’s good to have a friend in the logistics business.   That’s the word from Chris Bennett, a Michigan businessman who last year was stranded with his family when Hurricane Irma ripped through their St. Thomas home in the U.S. Virgin Islands.   The ferocious storm packed wind speeds exceeding 180 miles per hour, destroying houses and knocking down trees, power lines and cell phone towers. Irma left St. Thomas without electricity and without an operating airport.   In Michigan, news reports of the hurricane immediately concerned Chris Cser, a friend of the Bennett family for 15 years and Director of Operations for ICAT Logistics DTW. Unable to reach Bennett by phone, Cser shot him a text.   The gist of the message: “How are you and what can I do to help get your family to safety?”   While awaiting a response, Cser reached out to contacts in the U.S. and throughout the Caribbean to determine how to access the ravaged island. Instinctively, Cser sensed that his experience as…

Don’t Become a Victim of the “Fast, Easy” Quote

Don’t Become a Victim of the “Fast, Easy” Quote Some supply chain managers would like to believe that an internet price check is a quick and practical way to find a freight hauler who will save them time and money.  After all, it seems so easy. All you have to do is type in what you’re hauling and where it’s going and just like that some stranger will hook you up with a trucking or sea-going company that is willing to accept your check. No fuss, no bother – at least until your shipment is packed incorrectly, left sitting in a warehouse, sent with improper documentation, delayed when another internet customer took priority, or stuck because a customs officer didn’t understand the bill of lading.  That’s how some supply chain managers learn a lesson the hard way: Shortcuts can lead you to a dead-end. That’s because operators out there lure you in with a low quoted price that ultimately costs a bundle. With some freight forwarders, anything can happen from the time the cargo is picked up.  The supposed quick and easy solution…


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