Blog International Freight Shipping

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.…

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.…

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…

In Difficult Times, Our Industry Rises to the Challenge

In Difficult Times, Our Industry Rises to the Challenge In the logistics and freight delivery business, finding solutions to the challenges of our clients is all in a day’s work.  Recently, however, three names in the news have pushed many in our industry to abandon normal protocols and find new ways to deliver the goods. By now the names are familiar to anyone with a TV or access to the news:  Harvey, Irma and Maria — a trio of devastating hurricanes.  They closed shipping routes, blocked highways, flooded warehouses and cut off the routine supplies of goods that are the basic necessities for millions of people in Texas, Louisiana, Florida, the Caribbean and most recently Puerto Rico, where the destruction was historic and the continuing challenges have been monumental. Now, in this difficult time when the stakes are highest for the people we serve, our ability to improvise and innovate is not just essential, it is critical, and sometimes a matter of life and death.  While much work remains to be done, we have heard of heroic shippers…


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