Small-to mid-sized businesses find powerful advocate in third party logistics companies

Small to mid-size businesses face additional challenges when arranging shipping services that larger business otherwise do not encounter. Competing on shipping is cost prohibitive for these smaller businesses making it a competitive barrier rather than key differentiator. To help overcome these challenges many are outsourcing to 3PLs for use of their highly developed shipping networks. Learn more about how outsourcing to 3PLs has benefit these small-to-mid-size businesses here.

Managing Third Party Logistics While Embracing Technology

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Supply chain, logistics, manufacturing and retail businesses are facing growth barriers related to both growth and costs in 2015. To help adjust to these challenges many of these groups are choosing to outsource to 3PLs. In a market where there are hundreds to thousands of partnership options it is critical to look deeper into the 3PL capabilities than ever before. Learn more about what you should consider when selecting a 3PL here.

U.S. Manufacturing costs are almost as low as China’s, and that’s a very big deal

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With diesel prices on a consistent decline, many manufacturers are reaping the benefits. Reshoring is becoming more affordable for manufacturing businesses, bring more business back to American soil. The U.S. is now becoming more competitive in the manufacturing sector with costs almost as low as that of China, the world’s production powerhouse. Learn how this will affect U.S. manufacturing businesses here.

How can third party logistics companies use tech to get the edge?

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It was reported by Inbound Logistics 2014 3PL Perspectives that 92% of 3PL service providers expanded their customer base by at least 5%. With this addition of customers comes added operational complexity with additional sets of billing requirements, customized contracts and more. 3PLs have begun to adopt new technology solutions to handle this growing complexity, the main addition being warehouse management software. Learn more about how 3PLs are benefiting from using WMS software in this article.

Why are Companies Outsourcing to Third Party Logistics Providers?

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Supply chains are constantly increasing in complexity. This has caused shippers to search for alternative means of providing exceptional customer service and outsourcing to 3PLs has been a viable solution. The factors influencing outsourcing to third party logistics partners is constantly changing along with the industry. Learn more in this video with Mike Glodziak president of LEGACY supply chain services.

Shifting Risk and Meeting in the Middle Might be Key to Shipper & Third-Party Logistics Relations

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3PL – Shipper relationships are going through a tumultuous shift as 3PLs want shippers to view them more as partners than suppliers. This has shifted significantly more responsibility onto 3PL businesses with aggressive payment terms and rates to strengthen partnerships. Learn more about the increasing risks 3PLs are subject to with these “new and improved” partnerships in this whitepaper.

2015 Already Sees Record Number of Robots Enter North American Market

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North American robotics companies have seen the highest activity in the first half of 2015 than in any previous year. With a record 14,232 robots, valued at $840 million were ordered, increasing traffic 1% from the first half of 2014. This robotics sales growth has occurred in many key industrial sectors including semiconductors, automotive components and life sciences. Read more here.

Quality Barcode Printing is Vital to Successful Supply Chains

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As barcodes have become a part of everyday life many have overlooked the significant impact they have on our ability to track nearly everything in the private and public world. Labelling is a critical function in supply chain and logistics. To track movements of individual inventory items, pallet or package through all aspects of the supply chain including manufacturing, warehousing and transportation data must be easily captured. This is the purpose of barcode labels. Learn more about the importance of barcode labeling here.

The World’s First Self-Driving Semi-Truck Hits the Road

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The supply chain and logistics industries are always searching for new ways to reduce costs and increase the ROI of investments. The self-driving semi-truck is the next step in advancing the industry. This truck from Daimler has stereoscopic cameras to read lines on the road and radar to sense obstacles. The freightliner will take control only on highways and alert drivers if issues arise. Would you feel comfortable with this on the road?

Employers Add 280,000 jobs including 8,600 in for-hire trucking

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The US economy looks as if it is continuing a strong recovery with an addition of 280,000 jobs in May 2015 alone. This job creation is a sign of employer economic confidence. Construction and healthcare were the fastest growing industries in May, but trucking (long-haul and local) added 8,600 of those jobs.

In the past 12 months alone, 3 million jobs have been added. This has also benefit industries including housing and automotive as consumers are more willing to spend. Read more here.

2015 State of Logistics Rail/Intermodal: Still on track, but not immune to challenges

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This annual report published by the Association of American Railroads (AAR) details the growth and shrinkage of rail and intermodal activity from 2014. Intermodal traffic has increased by 665,630 cars annually where many rail traffic sectors have seen significantly less growth. This report indicates strong growth for 2015 and increased expenditures to support it. Read the report to learn more.

The Role of Contract Packaging in a Customized Supply Chain

To satisfy increasing customer demand for custom packaging and smaller manufacturing runs many major retailers and 3PLs are working with contract packagers. These partnerships simplify the process of customer specific packaging while also helping to reduce costs and increase productivity.

Partnering with contract packagers allows these businesses to focus on functions where they perform the best. Special technology solutions are available to help manage the contract packaging process. View this brief video to learn more.

Technology Trends in the Warehouse

How effectively your warehouse performs key inventory management functions can affect not only the success of your facility, but the links further down the supply chain. In the past supply chain service providers added labor and warehouse space to accommodate growing customer needs, but in the modern age of omni-channel retailing this is not a cost effective way to counteract these challenges.

Warehouses, distribution centers, manufacturers and 3PLs are now adding technology and automation to supplement or replace traditional inventory management functions as they provide both short and long term ROI benefits and optimize your facility. Learn more about the latest technology trends in this video.

Robots Point the Way to the Future of Warehouse Automation

Omni-channel retailing has brought about many changes in customer fulfillment expectations. To help meet these changing requirements businesses are being pushed into the age of automation. A great example of an industry leader in “smart warehousing” is Amazon. Their fulfillment facilities around the country are filled with robotic equipment assisting staff pick, pack and ship thousands of orders daily. Can your business reap some of the same rewards as Amazon with robotics implementation? Read more.

Smart Manufacturing and the Factory of the Future

Increasing automation and capturing a multitude of data is the future of “smart manufacturing”. Integrating powerful automated data collection tools such as mobile computers, barcode scanners, automated storage and retrieval systems, and conveyors with data collection and management systems can provide your team with a more holistic view of your manufacturing operations. Without this data your operation would not as easily be able to locate bottlenecks, quality issues, wasted labor and more. What is the best technology combination to develop your own “smart manufacturing” plan? Read more here.

Third party logistics- the benefits and the challenges

With annual revenue reaching $750 billion this year in the UK, it is no understatement to say that third party logistics is a major player in the supply chain industry. Many businesses are choosing to outsource to 3PLs to perform business functions that have become more critical due to the evolution of the supply chain. Trends such as omni-channel retailing has created new challenges that businesses must adapt to in order to remain competitive. Learn more about how these changes affected 3PL outsourcing here.