CAI Transportation Blog

06 Sep, 2018

Timing is everything: logistics strategies in the food supply chain, part one


For most of human history, finding an adequate food supply was a daily struggle. The vast majority of our ancestors spent their whole lives in pursuit of securing enough to eat— either farming their land to feed their own families, or traveling continually to hunt and gather enough food. The question of where the next meal would come from was a constant one, and famines had the potential to decimate entire civilizations. For this and a variety of other reasons, the world’s total population stayed under one billion until 1804.

However, due to a number of life-saving developments— including better medical care and more reliable food production practices— the world’s population has exploded in the past two centuries. In just 214 years, the human population of the planet has risen to an estimated 7.4 billion, and it is projected to reach 10 billion by 2050.

Read More
30 Aug, 2018

How to retain talent in the supply chain


In the midst of a booming global economy, many companies may find themselves in need of additional smart supply chain talent to help manage growth. There’s just one major problem: the strong economy means low unemployment, making it more challenging than ever to attract enough qualified job candidates.

While several universities have started to offer degree programs tailored to a career in logistics or supply chain operations, the number of graduates isn’t keeping pace with the industry-wide need for strong candidates. To make matters worse, experienced Baby Boomers with deep knowledge of the industry are starting to retire.

Read More
29 Aug, 2018

The state of the logistics industry in 2018


The logistics industry has experienced strong growth this year, but a rising volume of cargo brings capacity issues that will cut into many companies’ margins.

Let's take a look at what’s causing these issues—and what strategies you can use to succeed in the second half of 2018 and beyond.

Read More
22 Aug, 2018

5 proactive ways to build a safer, stronger supply chain


Changes in the way companies operate today make supply chain management even more crucial in the global economy. Technological developments, shifting political and economic landscapes, and other factors may push organizations to make changes to their supply chain practices. But if these decisions aren’t made with long-term sustainability in mind, they can hurt companies more than they help. With regulators and consumers increasingly concerned with supply chain safety, it’s more important than ever to pay close attention to the quality of goods, waste management, environmental impact, and transportation security.

If health and safety aren’t a daily consideration in your supply chain, it’s time to make some changes. Let’s look at five proactive ways to create a safer, stronger supply chain.

Read More
15 Aug, 2018

Shaping the future: the supply chain's role in customer experience


In the past decade, most consumer-facing companies have been forced to make decisions based on what companies like Amazon and Walmart are doing. To keep customers happy and coming back for more, it’s become a necessity to try to compete with the retail giants on price, quality, or customer service— if not all three. Even business-to-business companies are feeling the heat, as consumers bring their new expectations with them to the workplace.

Read More
09 Aug, 2018

What international shippers need to know about SOLAS-VGM


Though it’s said many believed, “God himself could not sink this ship,” the tragedy of the Titanic sparked a significant shift in the way the world approached maritime safety. In 1914, two years after the infamous sinking of the RMS Titanic, a group met in London to adopt one of the most impactful treaties on safety: The International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, better known as SOLAS.

Read More
01 Aug, 2018

How will the new tariffs impact international logistics?


Soon, it will be more expensive and complicated for certain goods to cross the US-international border. With billions more in imports from China currently targeted, the current US administration’s tariffs could cause what many are saying is a trade war. In response to the US Administration’s tariff hikes, China has imposed their own tariffs. Wild fluctuations in US import/export volumes and higher costs are expected due to these tariffs. The best way to prepare for the changes coming to international trade is to stay up-to-date about the new policies and their expected outcomes. Here’s what you need to know right now:

The what and why of tariffs

As a tax on imports, tariffs are equal to a percentage of the transaction price between a domestic buyer and foreign seller. They’re imposed for many reasons, including:

  • Increase government revenue
  • Protect domestic industries from foreign competition
  • Influence the behavior and business practice of other governments
Read More
26 Jul, 2018

7 practical steps to earn preferred shipper status


Are you having a hard time finding a reliable driver in this hot market?

Shippers have long enjoyed markets that gave them options for carriers and capacity. Today, that shipper-centric market is a thing of the past. The driver shortage, capacity restrictions, and regulatory changes have transformed the way carriers work with shippers. Now, carriers seek more strategic means about which shippers to work with, and shippers will have to face more competition to move goods and secure capacity.

Operational efficiency and driver productivity are becoming a priority for many carriers. But it’s not just about enhancing efficiency. Carriers want shippers to understand their business and be better partners at every level. Shippers who focus on low-cost solutions rather than quality transportation services overlook key elements like consistency, communication, and performance when looking for capacity. In turn, carriers suffer risks and problems like idle trucks, negligence, lost profits, and frustrated drivers.

In the current capacity squeeze, the decision lies with the carriers instead of the shippers. Shippers who support driver-friendly ecosystems increase their chances to be selected, or preferred, for loads keeping their product moving.

Read More
25 Jul, 2018

How to prepare for peak logistics season


America’s e-commerce sales will increase by 10%— over $45 billion— resulting in additional revenue this year. Projections also show holiday shopping will start as early as mid-August. These two factors will make this year’s peak logistics season perhaps the longest and most intense season in recent history.

Growing e-commerce demand, lack of capacity, and lofty consumer expectations will all contribute to this year’s peak season intensity. Shipping challenges like these become magnified during the peak retail season especially when factors like theft and returns also tend to pick up.

Holiday shopping is both a boon and a burden for everyone involved in the movement of goods. This double-edged sword is most evident in the higher volume of product being shipped from Asia to the U.S. With so many variables to consider, shipping managers will need to be on top of their game.

Despite the challenges presented in the peak logistics season, you can still get ahead of your competition by using the following best business practices.

Read More
19 Jul, 2018

What to expect from autonomous vehicles in the next few years


Until the last few years, the idea of a self-driving vehicle probably struck most people as something out of a science fiction novel or The Jetsons. But with Google, Tesla, and a handful of other notable Silicon Valley companies regularly making headlines with their race to create and test viable autonomous vehicles, the possibility of a self-driving future is looking more likely.

Autonomous vehicles in the near term

For people in the transportation sector, the prospect of autonomous vehicles (and trucks in particular) tends to be greeted with reactions ranging from distrust and skepticism all the way to enthusiastic optimism. In an industry that relies on the movement of goods over the road, reducing or removing the human element from any piece of the puzzle may seem impractical or threatening. Some people fear for their jobs, some worry about the safety of unmanned vehicles sharing the road with commuters, and others feel anxious about the challenges such massive change will raise in a complex and interconnected industry.

Read More

Follow CAI

Top Logistics Blog

cai logistics blog for supply chain professionals