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.…

Patience Required to Spot Opportunity in China Trade Tiff

Patience Required to Spot Opportunity in China Trade Tiff By Dan Cser ICAT Logistics, Agency Owner For logistics professionals and their customers, the ongoing U.S.-China tariff showdown is a continuing source of anxiety, confusion and frustration, especially when reliable information is so scarce. The smart play is to take a deep breath, avoid overreaction and look for opportunities to arise that you can use to your advantage. To be sure, there is plenty to be concerned about in our current economic environment. The clock is running on a 90-day truce in the tariff war between the U.S. and China. The stock market is fluctuating wildly in response to trade tensions.  And there’s a growing list of other concerns from rising interest rates to auto industry cutbacks and an economic recovery that may be showing its age. Global business – and international trade and shipping – are feeling the effects of this uncertainty. Some shipping plans were accelerated in anticipation of additional tariffs. Other spending and purchasing plans were delayed…

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.…


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