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Innovations in Warehousing Helping Businesses Keep Pace

Innovations in Warehousing Helping Businesses Keep Pace By Dan Cser    Warehouses are getting fitter, faster, smarter, wonkier, increasingly nimble -- and more essential than ever. Let’s call it an “Extreme Makeover,” distinguished by physical and operational changes to shape up warehouses for a disruptive future of greater expectations and intensified challenges. This much we know for certain: The warehouse market is red-hot, ignited by the boom in online shopping, e-commerce and the so-called “Now Economy.” Real estate industry reports show vacancy rates at below three percent in key logistics markets, and – despite millions of square feet under construction – available warehouse space has lagged demand for nearly a decade. The sweet spot for many warehouses continues to be near suburban airports and major highways. But other trends are emerging. Among those:   Smaller, but Taller To meet demands for same-day and next-day delivery, more warehouses are popping up in densely populated urban areas. With limited room to spread…

Electric Trucks are Charging Ahead in 2019

Electric Trucks are Charging Ahead in 2019 By Dan Cser   We’ve been told for some time that heavy commercial electric trucks – including big rigs – are just around the corner.   But when will electric trucks actually turn the corner and hit the highways in a big way?   Increasingly, it looks like this is the year we will get some important answers.   Electric truck makers are charged up by a growing list of orders and a batch of high-profile tests that will tell us much about progress on the most daunting challenges: range, power, battery weight, and battery charging speed and access.   The biggest concern for freight haulers using electric trucks is the possibility of losing power and having an electric truck shut down amidst a long-distance delivery. That possibility -- and the nagging concern that goes with it – is known as range anxiety.   The cure calls for more powerful batteries and a charging infrastructure that is widespread, easy to use and fast. At present, battery electric trucks can take hours to recharge…

Truckers are the Heroes of the Highways

Truckers are the Heroes of the Highways By Dan Cser   America’s truckers have heart – miles and miles of heart.   At ICAT Logistics DTW, we are struck almost daily by the concern, compassion and courage of the men and women who deliver goods to a nation.   Time and again, we see reports of truckers who make life just a little better – sometimes saving the day – by going the extra mile for others.   For us, it is a cause for appreciation and, at times, a source of inspiration. And it’s something we are pleased to share as a salute to the heroes of America’s highways. Here is a sampling:   A Highway Angel Matthew Kondrick, a driver for Melton Truck Lines, was battling heavy rain and winds when he saw that a tree had fallen and crushed two cars. A former firefighter, Kondrick pulled his truck into place to block traffic, grabbed his tools and ran to the cars. Finding the occupants alive and shaken, he grabbed a soda and some treats for the victims, keeping the scene lit until paramedics arrived. For his efforts,…

Changes are Moving Fast in the Logistics World (Part 2)

Changes are Moving Fast in the Logistics World (Part 2) By Dan Cser   As the pace of change accelerates throughout the global shipping industry, success in the new year demands that logistics professionals keep a keen eye on emerging tools, technologies and tactics transforming the workplace.   At ICAT Logistics DTW, we have identified 19 areas to watch in 2019. In our first installment, we examined 11 external forces with significant impact on supply chain activities. In this part, we look at eight trends, ideas and practices directly affecting the cadence and direction of industrial freight forwarding and logistics this year.   1. Electric Trucks are Charging Ahead Electric trucks will be performance-tested this year as never before. Volvo will test all-electric trucks in regional haul fleets in California. Daimler in December began delivering electric trucks for testing to Penske Truck Leasing in Carson, California. Daimler also said it will buy battery cells for autos costing more than $22 billion over the next decade.   2. Smart Ships…

Industrial Shippers: Expect 2019 to Bring Big Changes (Part 1)

Industrial Shippers: Expect 2019 to Bring Big Changes (Part 1) By Dan Cser   Three considerations are top of mind for industrial freight forwarders and logistics professionals at the start of the new year: exciting breakthroughs in innovation, customer demands for greater efficiency, and a turbulent economic-political climate.   From self-driven vehicles and autonomous ships -- to Artificial Intelligence and data management -- the marketplace is crackling with new ideas and experimentation.   At the same time, there is unrelenting pressure up and down the supply chain for productivity gains that attack costs, deliver service and assure quality. Potential solutions range from warehouses without humans to drones that inspect inventory inside cavernous cargo ships.   It’s all playing out in national and global environments buffeted by U.S.-China trade tensions, slowing foreign economies, a convulsive domestic stock market and a gridlocked American government.   It’s enough to give pause to even the most experienced analysts and forecasters.…


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