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.


Image Source: Women’s Executive Network

President of Morai Logistics, Kelli Saunders, is Awarded 2017 Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 in the Entrepreneurship category by Women’s Executive Network (WXN).

On November 23rd, 2017, president of Morai Logistics, Kelli Saunders, was honoured with the 2017 Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award. This award was presented to 1005 noteworthy women with achievements in leadership positions in the private, public and not-for-profit sector. Saunders expresses what the award truly represents,

The “Unbreakable” theme of this year’s Leadership Summit and Awards Gala focused on how together, women can create change. United, we exhibit an undying ability to persevere through periods of challenge enable us to come out with a more powerful sense of purpose and drive.

This recognition further demonstrates women’s ability to break barriers of inequality, while showing by example, the possibilities for aspiring women and underrepresented social groups.

Defining Power

Being honoured as one of ‘Canada’s Most Powerful Women’ is remarkable and truly is in itself: powerful. However, the term “power” can be defined in a variety of ways, changing over time depending on social context. In 2011, business and women’s leadership writer, Jenna Goudreau, joined a team of colleagues interviewed the world’s Power Women of 2011. They wanted to understand how they defined power, and of the nine responses included the common themes were as follows:

  • Believing in and following core values
  • Being motivational and influential
  • Having the responsibility to help others
  • Creating a positive impact

The 2017 Leadership Summit celebrated the incredible achievement and contributions of Canadian women in power today. Presentations on professional development and the unique experiences and challenges women continue to face, channels us to examine current definitions of power.

The equality of women was quoted in an article on CBC News, that the equal fairness and advancement of women in the workforce “is a societal issue, it’s not a women’s issue”. Therefore, there is no denying the responsibility women in power have to motivate and inspire future business leaders from all socio-economic backgrounds and demographics. The quality of women in the workforce has also come a long way over the last three decades.

Progress toward Equality

The Canadian workforce has facilitated a slow and steady progression for women to earn higher positions and leadership roles. Statistics Canada reports that one obstacle explaining the underrepresentation of women in leadership positions over the years, has been “the association of leadership with assertive, decisive, and independent behaviours that are generally deemed to be the purview of men.”

Since the late 1980’s, women with positions in higher managerial roles, represented a lower percentage of the workforce compared to men. However, in 2015 research reported the following progressive statistics:

  • ‘54% of legislators and senior government managers and officials were women’
  • ‘25.6% of senior managers in the private sector were women’

Women have responded to barriers of inequality with a consistent effort to achieve more, while advocating for the equal and collective recognition of hard work and success. However, the need for further procurement and support to help women advance in the workforce is important.

Logistics and Supplier Diversity

This past October, Morai Logistics explained why supplier diversity programs are beneficial for changing markets. The article identified that supplier diversity supports women, minorities and those who identify as LGBT or people with a disability, who own at least 51% of a business or non-profit organization’.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) was a noted benefit. New trends in consumer buying behaviors suggest customers gravitate toward businesses that contribute to the community. The implementation of supplier diversity programs actually attract customers to buy products or services. Therefore, businesses under the leadership of women, or those defined above, are brands that value the community.

The Power to Change Together

A ‘lack of female role models to emulate and serve as mentors’, was an obstacle facing women in leadership roles and occupational mobility in the past. However, the 2017 Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award, represents more than recognition for Morai Logistics. It exemplifies a progressive movement to meeting the increasing demands of supply chain markets and generating greater customer satisfaction. It confirms that change is current, actionable and possible. Finally, it identifies that women of power, who exemplify ‘unbreakable grit’, are not only adept to lead successful businesses – they are required.


With technology driving industries into the Cloud, implementing and utilizing Software-as-a-Service, or SAAS, systems could help supply chains improve the customer experience.

The Internet of Things (IoT) continues to connect and enable our world to create efficient and easier modes of communication, operations and production. Technological advancements have shown improvements for many industries. Supply chain and logistics companies included.

Research claims that “SAAS cloud computing business information systems help enterprises develop.” This prompts us to ask exactly how. This article unveils how Software-as-a-Service systems function as a benefit to the supply chain industry and what this means moving forward.

SAAS Defined

Software-as-a-Service (SAAS) is an innovative tier of cloud computing. It is projected to provide lucrative benefits for the supply chain industry. In a report written by C3 Solutions, they use this term interchangeably with ‘cloud-based system’. Businesses and customers are able to access services over a network in a simplified and easy process.

As outlined in a SWOT analysis on SAAS, the system’s ability to efficiently integrate and be easily scalable are notable strengths. In addition, a major plus for businesses who adopt SAAS is it’s “less up front cost”. Senior Vice-President of Sales & Marketing at C3 Solutions, Gregory Braun, also states that cloud based platforms “keep up with changes and advances in the technologies”. Therefore, this system has the capability to help businesses streamline their supply chain management processes.

The Benefits of SAAS for Supply Chain Management

SAAS systems provide businesses with the ability to offer more efficient services to customers by helping them streamline their data. Similar to the research found by C3 Solutions, Salesforce outlines four main benefits that this cloud-based option provides all industries. SAAS is:

  • Easy to learn, generating high adoption rates
  • Offers Low initial costs
  • Upgrade capabilities that removes unnecessary hassle for adding additional software
  • Helps your business “scale indefinitely to meet customer demand.”

While this all sounds promising, how can supply chain industries utilize this? Research has found that current supply chain management systems are more effective when combined with IoT technology. Specifically in relation to supply chains, Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) can be optimized using cloud based software. This is primarily to “improve the collection, sharing and exchange of information.”

Therefore, SAAS systems could create efficient processes for transporting goods by offering a low cost opportunity to integrate and scale shipments.

Proof in Numbers

Although the above benefits speak to the advantages software-as-a-service (SAAS) systems provide businesses, steady market growth shows proof in numbers. According to Digital Journal, Canada joins many global leaders in contributing revenue to the SAAS market. It’s estimated that by 2020, the Global SAAS market will increase by 21%, representing $117 billion USD in annual growth.

Both Small, medium and large enterprises are adopting this software across a variety of industries including IT, Manufacturing and Healthcare. The Globe and Mail reports that the Canadian stock market is seeing a surge this year. They reported technology stocks increasing by 8.5%. These figures represent the steady progression of innovative technologies and their contributions to global economies.

Improving the Customer Relationship

In addition to being an efficient tool to help businesses optimize their operations, SAAS systems also help improve the customer relationship. Writer, Michael Krigsman, discusses how leading enterprise software, Oracle, foresees a future in the clouds. He states that as companies move toward implementing cloud software. This leads to a focus on responsiveness must be taken to meet customer satisfaction.

The Balance asks “are you getting your customers what they want, when they want it – and spending as little money as possible accomplishing that?” The answer to this could possibly be the implementation of IoT technolgoies like as SAAS. Not only does this system improve the efficiencies of data collection and transfer, it can also save your business significant costs.

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.


In this final part, we look into the role unions and the need for human judgement play in keeping trains from being universally automated.

In last week’s blog post, we asked why there’s little media excitement around automated trains. We’ll be answering that question today, but first, a quick recap.

In the previous post, we mentioned that the technology to automate trains systems and networks has existed for decades. The technology even allows for different levels of automation which is already in use to varying degrees around the world.

It’s curious then that there isn’t the same zeal to make fully automated trains the standard rather than the exception around the world. As mentioned before, many companies are pushing hard for robot cars, trucks and ships, so why are trains different?

There are two answers to this question—strong unions and the need for human judgement.

No One Wants to Lose Their Job

In an online article by, writer Damon Lavrinc asks Dr David Clarke, director of the University of Tennessee Center for Transportation Research Center, what’s holding automated trains back. Clark replies that train operators make it hard politically:

Organized labor doesn’t like the idea of losing the jobs of its members to driverless trains.There has been push back with the allegation of safety issues. Politically, that makes it hard to implement.

Reddit user dunnkw, who says he’s a BNSF Railway Locomotive Engineer for the last 10 years, echoes this issue in a Reddit thread on the same topic.

The first answer to your question is that the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (Engineers Union) is the oldest in the country at 152 years and we have fought tooth and nail to keep our jobs.

This sentiment from the union goes beyond simple preservation, however. The strongest case in favour of making train automation universal has to do with safety concerns. Basically, no current AI can keep your typical commercial train safe.

The Human Touch

There’s a reason why existing automated trains are confined to isolated areas and why they don’t intersect with major lines. These systems generally have little to no obstacle detection. It’s why they’re closed off. Open lines need people at the controls to make the necessary snap-decisions when it comes to unforeseeable circumstances. Even then, it takes years of specialized training to recognize various problems that can occur and the best solutions.

This is an issue recognized by the public. Fear of automated cars and ships is a problem affecting other driverless technology as well.

Some companies are trying to fix these issues. For example, tech conglomerate giant Siemens issued a press release detailing ways to improve driverless train technology. A robust safety outline is included in the release.

Some policy highlights are:

  • The trains are equipped with surveillance cameras throughout. The video images are transmitted to the control centre by means of a radio LAN. This enables incidents to be registered directly by the control center and countermeasures to be initiated.
  • If a fire should break out in the car, the installed smoke detector and temperature sensors become active. They detect hazards as they arise. The sensors trigger an alarm in the control centre and the train is stopped automatically at the next station, where personnel can investigate the cause of the fire alarm.
  • A public-address system in the passenger area serves for the announcement of operational and traffic information. Besides advising passengers in an emergency, it is used to supply passengers with general information.

There’s a long road ahead before robots can transport us across land, sea and air without issues. Although trains are further advanced and seemingly a more obvious choice than other transportation systems, an old adage rings true—”if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

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.


Toronto hosts 2017’s Invictus Games, an international adaptive multi-sport event created by Prince Harry where wounded, injured, or sick armed services personnel and associated Veterans take part in various sports.

The name Invictus was coined based on its Latin origins meaning: unconquered or undefeated. Prince Harry describes the games as a “a spotlight on the unconquerable character of servicemen and women and their families.” The motivation being a display of the very best of human spirit.

This year could not have been better timing for addressing issues of Canadian Veterans and their families with the events being hosted in Toronto. One of the main reasons we supported Team True Patriot Love earlier this summer is because we truly believe in the organization they chose to support: True Patriot Love Foundation (TPL).

True Patriot Love Foundation Leverages Invictus as a Platform to Bring Awareness to the Current Canadian Veteran Situation

TPL is an organization that works closely with the Canadian Armed Forces, Department of Veteran Affairs and local grassroots organizations to clearly identify the most urgent needs of Canadian military families on a national scale, while avoiding duplication of efforts between all organizations.

A multinational symposium prior to the Games was organized by TPL, which brought together competitors and their families from the 17 nations represented at the Invictus Games, international leaders and senior representatives from the charitable, research, and medical sectors to discuss the most pressing concerns within the military community.

The Morai Logistics team decided to feature this week’s post to outlining the difficulty Veterans face when transitioning into civilian life and how the average Canadian can help support those men and women returning from military service.

An Interview with Team True Patriot Love on What Canadians Can Do to Help Veterans in Need

Sitting with three members of Team True Patriot Love, the team that raced to bring awareness to TPL and to contribute their donated earnings to support their cause.

In June of this year, Team True Patriot Love successfully completed the Race Across America (RAAM) 2017, coming in second place with a time of 5 days, 17 hours and 55 minutes, setting a new Canadian record. The team also were successful in raising over $130,000 for Canadian Veterans in support of the True Patriot Love Foundation.

We go over the three biggest questions stemming from the call to bring Canadians up to speed on the current situation for Canadian Veterans returning from service, what their needs are, and what can be done as a Canadian citizen wanting to do more and support their servicemen and women.

Reid McGregor, from Team True Patriot Love, answers on behalf of him, Chris Slawson, and Bryan Murphy.

Shaun Francis, the executive chair of True Patriot Love Foundation, encourages ordinary Canadians to get to know Veterans and their families, hinting that civilian and governmental support for the current cohort of Canadian Veterans was a “generational commitment.” What are your thoughts on this?

The point about getting to know Veterans and helping build back their social network and supporting them in their civilian life is extremely important. Canada has done an incredible job of creating a melting pot of culture and diversity that is inclusive and celebrated from coast-to-coast, but we have failed to fully support those that voluntarily elect to join the military and serve our country. Furthermore, it is clear that we continue to fall short of providing a stable network for them to return to.

I have struggled to find an outlet or events where I would get to interact with more Veterans. My grandfather was a military Veteran, but no one in my circle of friends born in the early 80s chose the military as a career. In choosing TPL as the charity to support in our Race Across America, our cycling team wanted to change this. We needed to find a way to open our network not only to meet Veterans but theirs as well, and create a new environment where we could help support them, but also build new friendships. We were introduced to Glen Villa, a 31-year-old Veteran at the True Patriot Love Toronto Tribute Dinner in 2016.

Glen agreed to join our team in the race and as part of our crew shared valuable leadership, motivation, and technical skills that had a direct impact on our success in setting a new Canadian 8-man record. Glen shared many stories about how the close community of the military is so vastly different than what’s waiting after returning from service I was glad we had the honour to work with Glen and also build a friendship. Glen is not an anomaly and their needs to be more services to support people like Glen. More information, more ways to honour and more direct involvement needs to be addressed otherwise for those with less and less connections to the military, we risk losing the link between military and community.


Team TPL Members Attend the 2017 Invictus Games in Toronto
How can the “Average Canadian” better support Veterans or get more informed on the issue?

Get involved. The difficulty is that when you are not part of a (figuratively speaking) “military family”, it’s hard to find ways to be a part of it. Whether it be through community programs or within corporate organizations, you have to put yourself out there. Once you do though, it opens up a different and unique part of society and one that should be an essential part of being Canadian.

As Canadians we need to understand that our Veterans deserve every opportunity as civilians and should be supported in returning to civilian life and create opportunities for them to succeed. As a Canadian, we owe it to them. I have no doubt that events like the Invictus Games will show society how tough these people really are and that although they may face physical and mental challenges in their life outside of the military, the skills that they exude vastly surpass any of these.

What sort of support structures do you feel the Canadian Government needs to put in place?

There needs to be a more accessible medium to interact with Veterans. It has been a personal gain for me to meet someone like Glen and I know the more focus we put on celebrating the men and women who serve our country the more the community will build. Events like the Invictus Games not only shine a spotlight on our military but also celebrates them through a different lens. It celebrates their abilities and their drive, and exposes regular Canadians to the struggles that these heroes face in daily life. Watching them put that aside to compete was inspirational.

Remembrance Day certainly brings the military into the spotlight but it is once a year and although incredibly important and patriotic, it does little to address the next wave of Veterans. These are not our grandparents anymore, but our colleagues, associates and our neighbours. Creating a unique environment where we can interact with our Veterans would be essential.

Sports is an easy avenue to start with. The US created the Warrior Games which brings together wounded service men and women from air force, navy and marines to compete. This could have profound national impact and increase community involvement. If we can also find ways to include military Veterans in our daily activities I would expect more support to build. Maybe we create a “Marathon of Sport” similar to Motionball where we can interact with Veterans in a more fun and social manner. Any event where civilians have an opportunity to interact with Veterans will build a foundation and support.

About Morai Logistics and Team True Patriot Love

Morai Logistics Inc. is a 3rd party logistics provider with an operating agency agreement representing Mode Transportation. They are a logistics team based in the Greater Toronto Area and do business throughout North America, specializing in cross-border logistics, especially Mexico.

They were the presenting sponsor to Team True Patriot Love, the only eight rider Canadian Cyclist Team that participated in the Race Across America (RAAM) for Canadian Veterans supporting True Patriot Love Foundation.


Talk of automation is sweeping the transportation industry, but there’s barely a whisper when it comes to automated trains or self-driving trains.

The conversation around automation and A.I is nothing new. Since 2010, it seems like every industry headline has to do with a newly tested application for these technologies. This isn’t surprising. The technology is indeed revolutionary and if recent advancements are any indication, very close to becoming the new standard. Industry experts are predicting that in three short years, both automated cars and automated ships may be a reality.

However, trains, another essential mode of transportation, seems to generate little news on the automation front.

This may seem strange on the surface, trains run on a track, after all, meaning they have only two directions of movement. Conversely, both cars and ships have eight directions of movement. Their onboard A.I would also need to worry about the local geography, weather conditions, other cars or ships, etc. Trains seem like the first and most obvious choice for transport automation.

The reason why there isn’t of a push for more fully autonomous trains boils down to two issues: unionization and the importance of snap-judgements. Before we can deep- dive into those issues, it’s important we look at the background of the technology as it relates to trains.

Train Automation: A Short History

Believe it or not, the technology to automate trains already exists. It has for decades, between 20 to 30 years according to David B. Clarke, director of the Center for Transportation Research at the University of Tennessee.

Vice journalist Carl Franzen, in his investigative piece for Motherboard, looked at the questions of “why we don’t have driverless trains yet”. According to the article, they already exist, we just don’t hear about them. The first completely automated subway went into service in New York in 1961. Canada wasn’t far behind as it tested a crewless freight train system shortly after according to an official report.

Automated Train Systems are More Common Than You Think

Since those early attempts at automating trains, the technology evolved and spread around the world. Franzen, quoting International Association of Public Transport (UITP), an advocacy group that promotes public transit, writes:

48 fully automated public metro systems can be found across 32 countries […] That number doesn’t include other private light rain systems which number in the dozens

Train network automation has been around for so long and is so prevalent, that the UITP actually has Five Grades of Automation (GoA) for trains:

  1. GoA 0 is on-sight train operation, similar to a tram running in street traffic.
  2. GoA 1 is manual train operation where a train driver controls starting and stopping, operation of doors and handling of emergencies or sudden diversions.
  3. GoA 2 is semi-automatic train operation (STO) where starting and stopping is automated, but a driver operates the doors, drives the train if needed and handles emergencies. Many ATO systems are GoA 2.
  4. GoA 3 is driverless train operation (DTO) where starting and stopping are automated but a train attendant operates the doors and drives the train in case of emergencies.
  5. GoA 4 is unattended train operation (UTO) where starting and stopping, operation of doors and handling of emergencies are fully automated without any on-train staff.

As you can see, the technology is further along than where it is with cars and boats. While automating those two transportation methods is still several years away, trains have enjoyed a nearly 50-year head start. Why then isn’t there more investment in fully automating all train lines?

The answer, as mentioned in the introduction, has to do with unionization and quick decision-making. Come back next week when we go over why these two issues are such a barrier to future train automation efforts.

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.


Will Robots be Friend or Foe to Today’s Workers? Many publications condemn how automation will affect workers, but recent studies show it to be a benefit.

Twenty years ago, the big scare for many workers was that their job would move overseas. There were several stories during the 1990s and early 2000s of companies moving their operations to places like India and China. A combination of new IT technology and data technology allowed businesses to seek further efficiencies in labour costs abroad. While these actions were beneficial for those businesses, it cost many workers their jobs.

Offshoring still greatly affects industries such as manufacturing and bookkeeping. But, the rising wages in formerly off-shoring havens (China and India) has started to curb the trend. Growing political pressure and security concerns are also leading to a rise in re-shoring and near-shoring.

The scare of waking up one day and discovering your employer has moved overseas is no longer as acute for many North American workers. However, that doesn’t mean their employment is secured thanks to automation.

How Will the ‘Robot Apocalypse’ Affect Workers?

Automation has only been in warehouses for a few years and is still in the prototype phase for several industries, like shipping & transportation. However, that hasn’t stopped some publications from calling it a ‘robot apocalypse’ for workers.

For example:

These publications are not wrong or misleading. Many industries will have to change fundamentally. This also means several jobs will either change drastically or be eliminated.

Automation Can Mean a New Beginning for Many Workers

Automation isn’t a losing zero-sum game for North American workers. For example, those on the warehouse floor have a new friend. Robots are being designed to work with staff, not replace them. These ‘collaborative robots’ are being developed to help people work more productively, efficiently and most importantly, safely.

In the retail world, an industry greatly affected by automation, new opportunities are appearing for workers thanks to e-commerce.

For example, Wall Street Journal writer Greg Ip writes in his article:

The brick-and-mortar retail swoon has been accompanied by a less headline-grabbing e-commerce boom that has created more jobs in the U.S. than traditional stores have cut. Those jobs, in turn, pay better, because its workers are so much more productive […] Throughout history, automation commonly creates more, and better-paying, jobs than it destroys. The reason: Companies don’t use automation simply to produce the same thing more cheaply. Instead, they find ways to offer entirely new, improved products. As customers flock to these new offerings, companies have to hire more people

The fear of losing one’s job because of outside factors is an old one for many people. Whether it be because of downsizing, outsourcing or automation, it can negatively impact a person’s life all the same. The total net gain or loss of automation is impossible to predict at this early stage, but the opportunities the technology presents for worker and consumer alike are exciting.

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.

Globalization continues to develop and refine many industries. It shapes the standards and best practices for many businesses. Supply chain and shipping, having so many moving parts, is affected by globalization more so than many.

Getting goods from A to B is a complex process, especially when the two locations don’t share a border. Globalization has made such journeys much more common. Whereas before countries and companies were limited to their immediate neighbours for trading partners, modern shipping allows them to take on a wider perspective.

The last 10 years has brought new technology to the world of shipping. It’s become much safer with improved safety standards and more efficient tools. However, while the current state of shipping is to be celebrated, new threats are on the horizon. If left unchecked, they may take a heavy toll on businesses and negatively impact entire supply chains.

A recent report was published by the Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty SE (AGCS), an international insurer and asset manager. AGCS’s fifth annual Safety & Shipping Review 2017 highlighted several important trends concerning the state of global shipping.

  • The last decade has seen a 50% reduction in large shipping losses.
  • There were 85 total shipping losses reported in 2016. That’s 16% less than the previous year.
  • The number of shipping casualties declined year-over-year around 4%.

Today we will be focusing our ebook on an analysis of this report and what it’s suggesting as today’s shipping standard based on the review on important trends in global shipping.

Today’s Shipping Landscape


That’s it for us this week! 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.


With the implementation of the new IATA-FIATA Air Cargo Program, the relationship between freight forwarder and airline is transforming.

According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the air cargo industry accounts for over 35% of global trade. Aviation makes the transportation of pharmaceuticals, live animals, electronic devices, and express delivery services possible across the globe.

The role of IATA has been of great importance to ensure the security, profitability and sustainability of the supply chain. However, as global shipping demands and needs of the industry accelerate, so too does the need for change between cargo and airline.

Aviation Pros announced on August 15th, 2017, that “the new IATA FIATA Air Cargo Program has been launched in Canada”. This improved program will meet industry needs in addition to transitioning the relationship between freight forwarders and airlines.

TA FIATA Air Cargo Program

Canada remains a strong leader in the import and export of goods, and even more so when it comes to air cargo transport. To support efficiency and production, IATA aims to:

  • Develop global standards and tools
  • Offer financial services and industry solutions
  • Drive transformation projects
  • Create partnerships
  • Run campaigns, advocacy and outreach activities

In collaboration with the International Federation of Freight Forwarders’ Association (FIATA), IATA has decided to reengineer the way shippers interact with airlines.

In the past freight forwarders acted as ‘selling agents’ who provided opportunity to airlines, however, as the needs of the industry increased we now see a shift. The Air Cargo Program has been restructured and improved to consider the freight forwarder as a customer of the airlines, a movement that will better allocate responsibilities. There are four key benefits outlined by IATA as a result of this newly improved program, however, one in particular aligns with the global phenomenon of ecommerce. The IATA states:

Working together and establishing joint IATA-FIATA Air Cargo Program increases the potential to achieve key industry goals and common industry initiatives, include e-cargo priorities

We see now more than ever that the integration of the Internet of Things (IoT) and transportation is becoming necessary to move productivity and sustainability forward. The 2017 IATA Cargo Strategy explains the growing need for the air cargo industry to improve efficiency. For instance, moving from paper bill to electronic airway bills will help improve quality of service and reduce errors. Progressive changes, fostered by the new Air Cargo Program, is a representation of Canada adopting a modern approach to global exchange.

Modernization of the Air Cargo Industry

On August 16th, 2017, Morai Logistics announced that the launch of the first full-automated Robo-boat will set sail by 2020. We see modernization taking many routes, and with the air cargo industry we can only imagine the heights the industry will go. E-freight is a great example of the move forward with technology. Writer, Shreya Bhattacharya, states that an ‘e-freight route network’ initiative will not only simplify processes, but will offer transparency following the reduction of delays and inaccuracies.

IATA outlines 10 industry priorities they believe will help move the industry forward. Digitization is included and described as “a key enabler for the development of new innovative services and solutions.” The motivation to modernize the Air Cargo Program is evidence that the industry is looking long term to identify and ensure a smooth and profitable future.

The safe and efficient transport of goods across the globe is facilitated by trusted airlines and freight forwarders. The New IATA-FIATA Air Cargo Program is a global transition to modernizing the way we fly. The benefits are guaranteed to ensure productivity and sustainability and the satisfaction of freight forwarder, airlines and customers.

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.