The Morai Logistics team would like to wish everyone a Happy International Women’s Day. We’re so proud of all the accomplishments that has been achieved leading up to this point, especially in our industry, and are excited to see the progress that the future holds for women everywhere.

To all women out there, whatever you are doing, this day is for you!

According to the report Digital Supply Chain: Creating Skills for the Future, the Canadian supply chain and logistics industry currently employs 878,000 people. Digital technologies is stated to be a contributing factor to the increase in job creation expected to happen over the course of the next five years.

However, research also identifies Canada’s ranking as the 14th nation in the World Bank’s Logistics Performance Index.

While the country’s investment in research and technology remains high, less than 41% of Canadian industries actually utilize advanced communication technologies. The report further identifies that as the integration of emerging platforms continues to rise, the need for an advanced workforce is critical.

Unceasing technological advancements in the form of artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things (IoT) and Big Data, are necessary to help companies keep up with consumer needs and demands. They’re also key to improving the countries performance in trade logistics.

This eBook takes a look at current technology trends that will have a direct impact on the transportation supply chain and logistics workforce.

What does an Advanced Supply Chain look like?


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With the retail e-commerce market projected to reach CAD$29 Billion by 2021, businesses are urged to partner with third party logistics (3PL) providers to satisfy end-to-end customer experiences.

Supply chain and logistics companies recognize the increasing demands of customers across a variety of industries. From retail to pharmaceutical markets, to in-store and online ecosystems, the need for optimized solutions is key to driving revenue and customer loyalty. In response to an accelerating Canadian ecommerce market, 3PLs prove to be the most effective and efficient catalyst for achieving these initiatives. This article identifies current trends within the ecommerce market and the top three benefits 3PLs bring to the shipment lifecycle.

Canadian eCommerce Market

Over the next ten years, projections show that online verticals will generate 35% of Canadian retails sales. Consumers are no longer purchasing on a singular platform, pushing companies to shift from traditional to omni-channel strategies. In addition, consumer loyalty has gravitated from brand names to companies that offer immediacy and low cost.

Although online buying in Canada has progressed slower than the US and the UK, there is optimism that our market will now flourish. Contributing factors outlined by BCG include the following:

  • Young consumers (ages 18 to 44 years) have an increased level of online activity, with 50% of those under 35 purchasing at least once a month.
  • Online research precedes 60% of all purchases.
  • eCcommerce sites are improving their product availability and shipment options.

Today, ecommerce businesses meet the growing demands of consumers by providing platforms that deliver immediacy and convenience. By breaking barriers associated with geographic limitations, consumers are able to purchase globally and at lower costs. In addition, online platforms give access to information with the click of a button, making research and comparison shopping easier.

While the benefits for online shoppers remain high, ecommerce businesses must ensure they have the appropriate processes in place to meet customer expectations and fulfillment. Third party logistics (3PL) provider’s become an integral component to optimizing supply chains for the retail ecommerce industry.

Top Three Benefits Proposed by 3PLs

By 2024, 3PL market share is expected to be well over USD$1,100 billion, according to Global Market Insights. A contributing factor to market growth will be attributed to an increased need for ecommerce businesses to meet the growing demands of their consumers. Immediacy and efficiency must translate into “fast delivery, efficient inventory management, freight forwarding, and individualized shipping time” (Cision, 2017).

3PLs provide solutions that facilitate flexibility and scalability to businesses looking to create efficient and specialized processes for their customers. Aside from the management of supply chain processes, there are three benefits 3PLs offer that contributes significantly to the ecommerce ecosystem.

1. Consolidation

As mentioned above, ecommerce sites break geographical limitations and enable online shoppers with purchase options across the globe. However, on the retail side this may propose an issue as multiple orders create complex supply chains. 3PLs break this barrier by offering freight consolidation solutions that streamline shipments using a single point of contact and stable operation procedures. This also cuts costs for businesses as consolidation enables effective use of shipments.

2. Order Fulfillment

Business Dictionary defines order fulfillment as a “sequence of steps involved in processing an order to the satisfaction of the customer and making the necessary changes in the inventory records”. Online businesses need efficient processes in place to ensure all steps of the shipment lifecycle are carried out efficiently and effectively. 3PLs help satisfy customer experiences by guaranteeing the accuracy and handling of shipments are exceeded. This in turn, nurtures the relationships between business and customers, which translates into growth and positive ROI.

3. Warehousing and Distribution

Businesses that operate online require dependable warehousing and distribution solutions, which can sometimes pose concern. 3PLs help ecommerce sites carry out omni-channel strategies by supporting all distribution initiatives. Whether items are shipped to retailers or directly to customers, a 3PL utilizes technology such as transportation management systems (TMS), to deliver results. This removes the burden of integration from businesses, reduces operation costs and improves visibility for customers.

Based on the figures above, significant projections indicate that Canada is progressing forward as a leader within the global ecommerce market. To meet the growing demands of online customers, ecommerce businesses must partner with 3PLs that offer a resume of optimized solutions.

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Global supply chains fear the possibility that technology will disrupt. But the ability for emerging platforms to help SME’s achieve competitive differentiation remains strong.

There is no denying that digitization of the supply chain has evolved at an exponential rate. It has caused many industries to remain on their toes when it comes to increasing consumer demands. From autonomous vehicles to Smart homes, companies must strive to meet the growing need of immediacy. This is combined with 24/7 service by investing in innovative technology.

The supply chain and logistics industry continues to monitor the impact digitization has on current and future production, operations and the overall management of transport. On January 11th, 2018, Morai Logistics reinforced the need for the industry to pay close attention to demand as globalization is making demand difficult to quantify and predict.

AI & Predictive Analytics

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and predictive analytics are two emerging platforms that are receiving positive consideration from supply chain and logistics. Their benefits range from supporting SME start-ups to optimizing transport management systems, and even improving transparency with customers.

This article identifies how leveraging these technologies can yield lucrative results for supply chain and logistics companies. It will also cover how to create competitive differentiation.

Artificial Intelligence & Supply

In March of 2017, a $125 million Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy was proposed by the Government of Canada in an effort to support academics and research. The country’s continual effort to be a leader in AI has positioned this emerging platform as a top investment for many industries, supply chain and logistics included. Research confirms that the market could reach $47 billion within the next two years. These predictions provide an encouraging figure that pushes investigations toward the benefits of AI.

The Information and Communications Technology Council explains that integrating AI “enables machines or the in-build software to behave like human beings which allows these devices to perceive, analyze data, reason, talk, make decisions and act.” For the supply chain and logistics industry this can translate into many benefits in relation to forecasting, inventory and transparency.

How Does a TMS Come Into Play?

InBound Logistics also speaks to the integral role AI will have in optimizing transportation management systems (TMS) to a more efficient level than in the past. Their article details three areas that they believe AI will have a positive impact:

  • Improve the ‘shipment lifecycle’ by simplifying the real-time exchange of Big Data
  • Provide actionable intelligence = Business intelligence + Consulting Intelligence
  • Accurate and efficient mitigation strategies facilitated by assessment, analysis, counsel and execution

Based on the above areas, supply chain companies can expect to see a reduction in operation delays and be able to manage risks using these so-called ‘expert systems’. Although AI is offering a more advanced method to manage logistics, another emerging platforms that will change the game in terms of efficiency is predictive analytics.

Predictive Analytics

A predominant outcome of advanced technology is an unceasing source of Big Data. Yet, a large quantity of data is only useful when there are appropriate tools in place to assess patterns and predict actionable results.

The concept of predictive analytics is best described by global leader in technology, IBM. They identify its capabilities as encompassing:

Ad-hoc statistical analysis, predictive modeling, data mining, text analytics, optimization, real-time scoring and machine learning [implementing this technology] helps organizations discover patterns in data and go beyond knowing what has happened to anticipating what is likely to happen next.

Predictive analytics is adopted by companies, such as Amazon and Oracle, to create efficient processes such as forecasting and real-time visibility. However, how does this create transparency and efficiency in the supply chain? The ability for companies to forecast (predict) possible disruptions in the shipment lifecycle is imperative for devising appropriate mitigation strategies.

In addition, it helps organizations improve customer service by assessing shipments based on previous patterns. Research also indicates that predictive analytics helps 3PLs optimize their solutions. The more insight a company has on their shipments the more visibility they can guarantee to their customers.

Integrating artificial intelligence and predictive analytics has proven to help companies keep up with the increasing demands of consumers. This article has identified only two emerging platforms that are currently being leveraged by the supply chain and logistics industry. With continued investments in innovative technology across the globe, the future of the digitized supply chain will continue to evolve.

If you liked this blog post, why not subscribe to our blog? Interested in our 3rd party logistics services? If so, don’t hesitate to check out our services . We’re also in the twittersphere, so give us a follow to get the latest logistics and supply chain news.

Industry 4.0, also referred to as the Fourth Industrial Revolution, has initiated a lucrative transition for transportation supply chains. Research on future trends of supply chain management found that over the next five years about 80% believe ‘digital supply chain’ will be the leading industry model and 72% of global companies will invest over US$900 billion each year on digitization.

Why the need for digital implementation? Well, customers want lower prices, demand immediacy, and expect operations to ‘always be on.’ A highly efficient chain is achieved when innovative technologies are used to boost productivity and operations, lower costs and improve transparency. The benefits associated with building highly efficient digital supply chains are considered to be extremely important.

2,000 companies have already started to digitize their supply chains. How are supply chain and logistics companies implementing new technologies to achieve end-to-end results? This week we thought we would focus on the Fourth Industrial Revolution and how it impacts the logistics and supply chain industry.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution in Supply Chain and Logistics


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This post highlights three strategic areas which many companies overlooked in 2017; strategy, security & interaction, and how to best achieve improvements in these areas.

It’s the second week of January. This means that roughly 30% of people have already stumbled on their New Year’s Resolutions. While many of these resolutions are weight, money or relationship related, for us in the supply chain industry, we have different priorities.

Our goal as supply chain specialists is to get the right items to the right places at the right time. Moreover, we need to be aware of the delicate balance that can be easily disrupted in logistics.

2017 has been an interesting year. Specifically in the major technological, economic and market-driven shifts. This means that being successful in 2018 will require adjustments.

For this reason in today’s blog post, we’ve highlighted some important developments in the world of supply chains and how to best tackle these new challenges.

Paying More Attention to Demand

Given the name of the field ‘supply chain & logistics’, a person could be forgiven for thinking all we’re concerned about is supply. However, supply and demand are intricately tied, which is why it exists after all.

After all, globalization, international business markets, marketing spend, weather, etc. makes demand difficult to quantify and predict. But, that doesn’t mean it isn’t possible.

On this topic, Jeff Metersky, VP of customer success strategy at LLamasoft, writes:

Supply chain professionals should absolutely strive to better understand demand; after all, demand is one of the most important factors impacting your overall supply chain design. You need to make sure your business has a solid grasp on future demand to ensure sufficient capacities are in place and products are deployed appropriately.

Metersky says that properly predicting demand starts by asking yourself these important questions:

  • Do you have challenges getting internal approval of or buy-in for strategic supply chain initiatives due to lack of visibility into long-term future demand?
  • Are you able to provide insights into company management about how evolving demand trends might impact your supply chain?
  • Are you able to model the long-term impact of demand based on internal company strategic decisions (new product design, current product life cycles, expansion into new markets)?
  • Do you have a solid understanding of and ability to quantify the factors driving changes in demand over the long term?
  • Do you need more reliable long-term demand projections to support strategic decisions about changes in your network design?

Improving Data Security

Many high-profile cyber attacks happened in 2017. They took a heavy cost on both the global economy and consumer confidence. To get ahead this year, organizations need to take advantage of emerging trends in technology and cyberspace to better handle high-risk security risks.

The Information Security Forum recommends that businesses focus on the following security topics in 2018:

  • Crime-As-A-Service (CaaS)
  • Expands Tools and Services
  • The Internet of Things (IoT) Adds Unmanaged Risks
  • Supply Chain Remains the Weakest Link in Risk Management
  • Regulation Adds to Complexity of Critical Asset Management
  • Unmet Board Expectations Exposed by Major Incidents

Take a look here for a comprehensive explanation of each security topic.

Improving Our Everyday Interactions with Other People

This one may seem like a no-brainer, but saying things like “please” and “thank you” tends to get lost once peak time rolls around. While supply chain & logistics continues to be a hot industry, that doesn’t mean that it’s zero-sum with manners. Striving towards being more personable is something we should all aim for in 2018. Whether it be with clients or coworkers.

2018 represents an opportunity to deep dive and find ways to improve the way we do things. Whether those improvements be strategic, technological or just a commitment to being more kind. Properly laying out and adhering to goals is what matters. Let’s be part of that 10% who achieve their resolution.

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A viral video opens up discussions of how private and public sectors are coming up with their solutions to stop package theft at the doors of people’s, deemed ‘Porch Piracy.’

You may have experienced a package being stolen from your porch at some point in your life. It happens. It’s a relatively simple form of thievery for opportunistic miscreants as the risk of getting caught is low; people aren’t always home, etc. Front porch thievery, deemed “porch piracy” by some, was put into the attention of people all over social media as a video by Jaireme Barrow taking measures into his own hands became viral.

Consequently Barrow, an Acoma, Washington man rigged a fake package with fishing wire and a 12-gauge shotgun blank.  Deemed “The Blank Box,”  it was built to (safely) scare off would-be thieves.

Funny as the video is, it highlights a problem that’s been growing recently—package theft. According to a survey by Ring, a home security company, up to 1 in 5 U.S homeowners were victims of package theft in the last year.

More Deliveries Means More Opportunities for Thieves to Ruin Someone’s Holidays

The growing number of package deliveries correlates to the continued rise of online shopping. In fact, as of this year, roughly 80% of the U.S population have purchased something using the internet. Total US ecommerce sales is estimated to be $353.7 billion. That number is expected to rise to $485.3 billion by 2021. As for deliveries, the average American homeowner receives on average, nine packages between Black Friday to New Year’s Day.

Unfortunately, the number of delivery thefts has also grown. A NBC News article quoting a report puts the number of Americans impacted at 23 million. Most people are either working late or staying with friends & family during the holidays. This gives the ‘porch pirates’ more time to steal unattended packages.

Combating Porch Piracy

Thankfully, this problem hasn’t gone unrecognized. In particular, many in the private and public sectors are doing their part to stop would-be thieves.

For example, in Rancho Cordova, California, local police have set up a special sting operation. Undercover officers drove in an unmarked SUV and delivered fake packages to various homes. With the bait laid, they then sat and waited. Once a thief tried to make off with a package, the police then made an arrest. The program only started during the last holiday season, but both residents and law enforcement hope it will act as a deterrent in the future.

Ecommerce and shipping companies are doing their part to fix the problem as well. Amazon, UPS and FedEx have their own creative solutions. Other businesses have sprung up to sell security measure to customers, such as Luxer One.

Packages for Safekeeping

Luxar One is a Sacramento, California-based firm that is,

…Setting up locker systems in luxury apartment complexes, office buildings and retail operations, where packages can safely be kept (typically for a small fee), hopefully preventing so-called porch pirates or other delivery mishaps.

The company’s services are proving to be very popular. According to Thomas’ article:

  • Luxer One reported an 83% increase in package delivery volume to its lockers during the week after Black Friday and Cyber Monday, compared with the week prior.
  • Package delivery volume to its locker units jumped 44% in November this year compared with one year ago.
  • The company currently works with more than 1,200 apartment communities across the U.S.

Porch pirates have been a huge problem for holidays shoppers in recent years. With this in mind, hopefully 2018 will see a decline in such activities. The holidays are already a stressful time for many due to all the planning involvement. People don’t need to added stress of missing gifts and packages.

If you liked this blog post, why not subscribe to our blog? If you’re interested in what we do as a 3rd party logistics provider, don’t hesitate to check out our services (as expressed above, we are very pro finding you the lowest total cost!). We’re also in the twittersphere, so give us a follow to get the latest logistics and supply chain news.

As consumer demands for efficiency and immediacy continue to rise, the supply chain industry is seeking out innovative technologies to meet these growing demands.

Canada Business Network provides recommendations to optimize the supply chain management processes of any business size. They advise companies to:

Invest in technology that will quickly transfer your requirements to suppliers and improve your time to market.

The development of improved measures is usually in response to current setbacks or issues within existing supply chain management systems. Research on the challenges facing supply chain and logistics revealed that transparency and visibility are at the top. The Financial Times defines supply chain transparency as:

The extent to which information about the companies, suppliers and sourcing locations is readily available to end-users and other companies in the supply chain.

With the origin of products becoming of interest to consumers, the ability for supply chains to guarantee visibility is an important component to their management systems.

In this e-book, the emergence of online currencies and ledgers will be explored, with specific attention to Blockchain. This beneficial platform is making headlines as a potential benefit for the logistics and supply chain industry.

How Would Blockchain Improve the Supply Chain Industry?


If you liked this blog post, why not subscribe to our blog? If you’re interested in what we do as a 3rd party logistics provider, don’t hesitate to check out our services (as expressed above, we are very pro finding you the lowest total cost!). We’re also in the twittersphere, so give us a follow to get the latest logistics and supply chain news.


Companies talk about the possibilities of blockchain tech, but with only 1% of the responding organizations are currently using blockchain in their supply chain operations, few are actively investing in it.

Around this time last year, we commented on a story about Europe’s largest shipping Port, Rotterdam Port, taking part in a Blockchain consortium. Blockchain news in the logistics sector isn’t new, but this instance was unique because of the scale of the project.

Since this story, blockchain technology (as it relates to Bitcoin) has received a lot of coverage recently. Just last week, many news outlets reported on how Bitcoin hit a record $19,340 on Coinbase, before falling to $15,198.83 last Thursday. More impressively, by 2025, industry experts expect over 10% of gross domestic product (GDP) to be tied into blockchain.

These figures have made some organizations in the logistics and supply chain sector curious. However, surveys show that roughly half of supply chain organizations are not even looking at the possibilities of the technology. With this being the case, how big is the gap before blockchain can be used across the industry?

Blockchain in a Nut Shell

Many articles detail the impact blockchain-based technologies are having on different industries. Few actually go into the technical details of how it works. writer,
Marc S. Blubaugh, summarizes some of its the features in his article.

  • Blockchain is a decentralized database or spreadsheet (often referred to as a “digital ledger”) that is maintained and updated by a network of participating computers.
  • This highly secure technology permits parties to create a record (known as a block) that is timestamped and linked to the previous block such that it cannot be altered retroactively without the alteration of all subsequent blocks.
  • The digital ledger is typically available to the public but can also be made private.
  • Blockchain is the technology infrastructure for cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.
  • Blockchain has many uses beyond cryptocurrencies, much like the Internet has many used beyond email.

High Potential but Little Investment So Far

Supply Chain Management Review writer, Becky Partida wrote an article earlier this week about a survey conducted by APQC.

The researchers interviewed 101 supply chain professionals. They found:

About one-third indicated that blockchain has the potential to create a competitive advantage for their organizations over the next 10 years. About 10% of respondents felt that blockchain would be a potential disruptor for their industry within the same time period

Partida points out, however, that Digital Supply Chain Institute (DSCI) conducted their own study of supply chain professionals. One-third of this group is “either extremely or moderately unfamiliar with blockchain.”

The research conducted by DSCI and APQC indicates that only 1% of the responding organizations are currently using blockchain in their supply chain operations, and only 35% are currently exploring the use of blockchain.

Of those surveyed (in both studies), almost 50% of organizations are neither using or exploring blockchain or its possibilities.

Part of the reason for these figures has to do with how new the technology is. It’s only been in the last couple of years that Bitcoin and blockchain have been taken seriously by the public at large. As more knowledge about the technology is disseminated, organizational interest in blockchain will better translate into investment.

If you liked this blog post, why not subscribe to our blog? If you’re interested in what we do as a 3rd party logistics provider, don’t hesitate to check out our services (as expressed above, we are very pro finding you the lowest total cost!). We’re also in the twittersphere, so give us a follow to get the latest logistics and supply chain news.


A look at where the technology meant to revolutionize small package delivery is in 2017

In 2013, the undisputed king of North American logistics, Jeff Bezos, revealed to CBS’ 60 minutes the future of small package logistics. Bezos showed off two drones which he said will be able to deliver packages anywhere within 10 miles of an Amazon fulfillment centre in half an hour.

News about the reveal was effervescent to put it lightly. Matt Hickey of Forbes called Bezos a pioneer and that “the future, it seems, is going to be a great place to live.” Not to be outdone, analyst for Forrester Research, Suchirita Mulpuru, told the New York Times, “the drones could be a game changer—20 years from now.” Surely, others would take a cue from Amazon’s example.

The fledgling technology of Amazon Prime Air, though exciting, was still very much finding its feet. In 2013 the company acknowledged that they were in talks with the Federal Aviation Administration and US lawmakers on how the service should be regulated. “I don’t want anybody to think this is just around the corner. This is years of additional work from this point,” said Bezos four years ago.

So where is the technology now? It has been years since the announcement, what new developments have we made in 2017? Who else has risen to Amazon’s challenge?


90% of Canada’s population lives within 100 miles of the American border. The further north one goes in Canada, the more remote it gets. The challenge to logistics is one of access. There are few good roads in Canada’s north and flying goods into remote communities on the few available airstrips is uneconomical.

A company aptly named Drone Delivery Canada received regulatory approval in October for testing their drone delivery service to a remote community in the country’s north.

Moose Cree First Nation is an indigenous community near Timmins Ontario, just over 700 km north of Toronto. The logistical challenges of this community have doubled the cost of consumer goods. A quick google image search of northern grocery shelves shows the horror that is shopping for groceries in the north.

Food Price in Northern Canada:

  • Tropicana orange juice – $26.29
  • Pack of seedless grapes – $28.19
  • Milk – $10.75
  • Pack of strawberries – $14.39
  • Frozen Pizza – $27.99
  • Broccoli- $7.43
  • Margarine- $11.29

The company’s CEO hopes to solve the logistical challenge of the Canadian north; hoping to build what he calls “a railway in the sky.”

United States

United Parcel Service, or UPS, tested a literal new platform for the launching of drones last February in San Francisco.

The company used their iconic brown trucks as a road-bound aircraft carrier for drones. How does it work? A roughly minute and a half long video from UPS shows the delivery driver loading the drone from the inside of the truck, opening a door in the roof of the vehicle revealing an autonomous drone on a sort of tiny helipad, which then flies off under GPS control to its delivery location. The same GPS control then docks the drone back on the truck, after it is finished making the delivery. The company touts the time-saving potential of this technology as it allows delivery personnel to deliver more than one package at once.

2017 was an interesting year for drone delivery. These were just two examples of companies who are rising to the challenge Bezos presented to the world four years ago. What 2018 holds for is an uncharted horizon of wonder.

If you liked this blog post, why not subscribe to our blog? If you’re interested in what we do as a 3rd party logistics provider, don’t hesitate to check out our services (as expressed above, we are very pro finding you the lowest total cost!). We’re also in the twittersphere, so give us a follow to get the latest logistics and supply chain news.