CAI Transportation Blog

13 Oct, 2017

Natural disasters and the spot bid market: how to avoid paying too much

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When it comes to ensuring adequate capacity for their goods, supply chain managers have various tools at their disposal. If they’ve planned ahead and know exactly what needs to go where (and by when), contracting with carriers in advance is often the best way to ensure peace of mind and a seamless experience.

However, the shipping process doesn’t always fit neatly into a plan. Suppliers can miss deadlines, throwing the whole process off by several days. Infrastructure problems can cause trucks to need to change their routes, altering the timeline. Orders may be increased, which means supply chain managers need to find more capacity on short notice. In these cases, existing transportation contracts may not account for the full scope of supply chain needs, and it may be time to turn to the spot bid market to fill in gaps.

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27 Sep, 2017

ELD mandate: answers to your frequently asked questions

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By the end of the year, big changes will roll out for shippers and fleets in America. Beginning December 18 2017, certain carriers and drivers must use an electronic logging device (ELD) under the ELD mandate. This rule applies to any carriers and drivers required to track Hours of Service (HOS) and maintain records of duty status (RODS).

With any government regulation comes questions and concern. What’s changing, why, who does it affect? These are some of the many questions supply chain and fleet managers are asking as December creeps closer on the calendar.

To help clear up the confusion, let’s examine the ELD mandate and answer some common questions surrounding the rule and its implementation.

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13 Sep, 2017

How to secure capacity for the holiday season

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With school back in session and Labor Day officially behind us, it’s time to shift our thinking from the dog days of summer to the holiday season ahead. Companies have already begun ramping up production and inventory for the upcoming season starting as early as July. As the clock is ticking, it’s probably time for your company to follow suit as you don’t want your goods to get left behind.

We’ve offered some great insights on planning ahead for holiday season shipping, but now is the time to get to work. It’s not enough to have a production and inventory plan if you haven’t secured capacity to ship that inventory where it needs to go in time for the holidays.

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29 Aug, 2017

How to choose a new shipping carrier

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When you’re evaluating new shipping carriers to work with, the stakes are pretty high. These are people you’ll potentially entrust with your valuable goods. Their efficiency and care can mean the difference between increased profitability and significant loss for your company.

In addition to the financial implications, your company’s reputation should also be a key consideration. No matter how well you handle your own internal processes, if products don’t arrive on time and in good condition, it reflects poorly on your company. Crucial business relationships can be damaged by careless freight carriers.

Clearly, this is not a decision you should take lightly.

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02 Aug, 2017

How a good 3PL can improve your reputation

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Finding a third-party logistics company to work closely with should be a high priority for any business that relies on transporting goods. Even when managing a relatively uncomplicated supply chain, the details can quickly become overwhelming. For larger companies with more goods on the move, the sheer scale of work involved in ensuring that cargo is in the right place at the right time necessitates help from experts in the transportation industry.

Visibility, cost savings, and efficiency are some of the reasons why partnering with a reliable 3PL is crucial to creating a smooth supply chain. But of the many factors to consider when deciding whether it’s time to start working with an expert third-party logistics company, one of the most important is the resulting benefit to your reputation as a company.

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19 Jul, 2017

Fleet managers: boost productivity in the supply chain when you track these KPIs

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When you're managing a fleet or a warehouse, there are a lot of moving parts. Equipment and labor inefficiencies can slow you down and cost your company time and money. One way to identify areas where you can improve your supply chain and operations, is by measuring and tracking key performance indicators (KPIs).

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05 Jul, 2017

The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA): What you need to know

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Each year, according to the CDC, 48 million people in the US (about 1 in 6) get sick and 128,000 are hospitalized due to foodborne illnesses. On top of that, foodborne illnesses cause as many as 3,000 deaths per year.

 

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is making strides in mitigating and controlling this problem that affects many Americans each day. The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) gives the FDA a legislative mandate requiring comprehensive, science-based preventive controls across the food supply, expressly aimed at reducing foodborne illness.

 

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21 Jun, 2017

Plan a successful warehouse move with these 10 tips

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Warehouses are no longer pure storage facilities or storehouses. In today’s supply chain, your warehouse needs to contribute to the overall efficiency, productivity, and cost-effectiveness of your business. If it’s not doing that, it may be time to reevaluate. To further streamline your supply chain, the functions of a warehouse need to shift to include inventory control and cost management. 

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14 Jun, 2017

Let your 3PL handle bumps in the road

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When it comes to managing a supply chain for your organization, the stakes are often high. Not only is your freight valuable, but so are the relationships between you and your suppliers, distributors, and any other involved parties. Your ability to ensure that your goods make it to their destination on time and in good condition can make or break your reputation in your industry. It’s important to get it right as much as possible.

Unfortunately, there are so many aspects of the transportation process that are outside your control. Weather patterns, delays due to traffic congestion, problems with infrastructure, and other factors can put a dent in even a well-developed logistics plan. While these obstacles typically aren’t the fault of any one party, and often aren’t preventable, the fact remains: your goods still need to get where they’re going, safely and as close to the original schedule as possible.

So how can you ensure that unexpected logistics hiccups don’t destroy your schedule, budget, or reputation?

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07 Jun, 2017

3PL vs. Freight Brokers: What's the difference?

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When you are looking for a logistics partner to help your supply chain run efficiently, finding the right partner can be a tall order. There are many factors to consider, and common industry jargon often creates more confusion than clarity.


For instance, the terms “freight broker” and “third-party logistics” (or 3PL) are sometimes used interchangeably. However, there are a few key differences between these two services, and when you’re looking for a new logistics partner, it’s helpful to know what they each do.

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