CAI Transportation Blog

09 Oct, 2019

Do you know what to look for in a 3PL?

As third-party logistics providers (3PL) evolve to meet changes in the marketplace, partnering with the right one is critical to keeping supply chain operations on track. A seasoned 3PL can enhance your supply chain, stabilize pricing, improve the reputation of your organization, and properly manage the possible risk challenges in today’s market. In today's post, guest blogger John Ohnstad, Director of Business Development for CAI Logistics shares his thoughts on properly vetting and qualifying a 3PL to support your organization.

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15 Aug, 2019

How to ensure your company is compliant with HazMat guidelines

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Hauling hazardous materials (hazmat) offers transportation companies opportunities to boost their business revenue. In the current market, there are over 500,000 daily shipments of hazardous materials in the U.S. However, as lucrative as it may be, shipping hazmat is a complex process with specific rules and regulations. 

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17 Jul, 2019

12 warehouse management best practices that improve efficiency

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Providing reliable service while keeping costs under control requires maintaining efficient distribution centers. To achieve this goal, it pays to streamline warehouse operations with the latest organizational and technical upgrades — from training staff to perform their jobs more effectively, to investing in the latest technologies. The results will include saving time and money, improving customer satisfaction, and boosting profits.

Here are some ways supply chain managers can reduce inefficiencies and streamline warehouse management operations:

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27 Jun, 2019

Here’s a Full Recap of This Year’s 3PL and Supply Chain Summit

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Throughout the year, supply chain and logistics business intelligence company, eft, gather the industry’s top supply leaders to discuss the future of logistics as part of its running 3PL and Supply Chain Summit series. The most recent event took place earlier this month in Chicago, where experts weighed digital technologies and trending strategies against the rising demands of customers during a multiple-day schedule full of workshops, discussion panels, keynotes, exhibitor booths and more. 

CAI’s own AVP of sales and business development, Carl R. Citelli, attended the summit and was since interviewed regarding his thoughts and takeaways from the experience. Here’s a recap of what he had to say:

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13 Jun, 2019

Innovative technologies that help with reverse logistics

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When it comes to logistics, directions matter. And not just the directions to move products from point A to point B, but also the reverse—to get them from point B back to point A.

Forward logistics is about getting products to market. Reverse logistics, or the aftermarket supply chain, is about moving products back through the supply chain. This may mean returning shipments to distributors or manufacturers, but may also include third parties such as recyclers. Simply stated, reverse logistics is about returns and reuse of products and materials, typically for merchandise returns, product recalls, repair, refurbishment, or recycling.

While reverse logistics introduces challenges, it’s also rapidly emerging as an area of immense opportunity for shippers. According to the Reverse Logistics Association, the volume of returns annually is estimated at between $150 and $200 billion. Up to 79 percent of returns are the result of retailers’ efforts to attract new customers who want free returns for unwanted purchases, which often prompts customers to over-order.

What’s more, double-digit e-commerce growth is creating complex logistical scenarios that extend customer scenarios beyond “buy anywhere” to include “return anywhere.” With the retail ecommerce market expected to reach $4 trillion by 2020, and the B2B ecommerce market set to hit $1.8 trillion by 2023, transforming logistics and reverse logistics operations into seamless, omnichannel supply networks is a great way to expand operations into this sector—as well as to stay relevant, competitive, and profitable.

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22 May, 2019

How can retailers make transformative change to stay competitive

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In the age of Amazon, the impact of the digital marketplace is fundamentally reshaping traditional retail business models. As brick-and-mortar businesses seek ways to evolve beyond their four walls, supply chains have had to undergo transformative change to compete with retail giants on price, quality, or customer experience—if not all three. This “Amazon Effect” continues to push the boundaries of supply chains to meet lofty customer expectations.

These days, consumers are—more than ever before—bargain shoppers; they know what they want and how to buy it cheaply. With their embrace of online shopping, they have become savvy at navigating the e-commerce space. If their needs aren’t met, buyers can easily switch loyalty to another brand. The shifting demands of fickle consumers call for a greater sense of urgency to adapt quickly or risk being left behind.

Managing to get products to buyers when, how, and where they want them isn’t achievable with a simple ship-and-forget approach anymore. It requires making smart moves in three focal areas of transformation.

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08 May, 2019

What is your on-time in-full action plan?

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The whole purpose of your supply chain is to deliver the products your customers need, when they need them, in the quantity they ordered. Using On-Time in Full (OTIF) metrics can help you measure how successful your supply chain is at fulfilling this objective.

OTIF measures what percent of the time a supplier delivers orders that meet the customers’ requirements for fill rates and specified delivery windows. Just as it is essential for a business to measure sales figures and cash flow, it is equally as important for manufacturing or distribution businesses to manage OTIF.

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24 Apr, 2019

Best practices for managing logistics in the retail supply chain

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Managing logistics in the age of e-commerce is a tall order. On top of current logistics challenges, retailers have to worry about the expense, execution, and expansion of supply chains to compete in the omnichannel landscape. But with careful planning and informed decisions, supply chain executives can build a smooth, efficient logistics operation.

Here are some creative strategies you can implement to manage logistics in the retail supply chain.

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10 Apr, 2019

Shaping the future: 5 AI innovations with the potential to reshape supply chains

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Self-driving trucks, procurement chatbots, and equipment failure predictions...if you haven’t seen any of these artificial intelligence-driven innovations in your supply chain yet, you likely will in the near future. They are just a few of the many future-focused technologies under development that are poised to reshape the global supply chain and empower supply chain leaders to make smarter business decisions.

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27 Mar, 2019

Keeping score: how CSA scores can help you find safety-conscious carriers

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Choosing new carriers for transporting your goods on U.S. highways is not always an easy job. With multiple parameters to assess, such as price, availability, and dependability, the process can be cumbersome and time consuming. But finding the right carriers is crucial for the successful transportation of your valuable goods. That’s why you need to be sure every box is checked before making your decision.

One aspect that often gets overlooked is carrier safety. However, carrier and driver safety are critical to every aspect of your business — from cost to compliance to your business’s reputation. Fortunately, there’s an easy way to assess carrier and driver safety by using the Compliance, Safety, and Accountability (CSA) score.

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