Hello everyone! This week we are looking into the Millenium Development Goals which shed a bit of light onto the humanitarian aspect of logistics.

We hope this eBook gives you insight on the importance of strong supply networks, and the role logistics play in achieving these goals.

Looking Back on The Millenium Development Goals

11_05_15-Morai---Development-Goal-eBook

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!

Morai-Logistics-Blog-Back-to-the-Future-Day

Last week on Wednesday was “Back to the Future Day”. According to the Back to the Future trilogy, characters Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) and Doctor Emmett Brown (Christopher Lloyd)’s journeyed forward 30 years to the “future” date of October 21st, 2015.

Given the cultural impact the film has had across generations in the three decades of its release, the day was celebrated with many articles and memes across the social media landscape.

There were a few very fun logistics articles relating to the day, some of which we’d like to highlight for this week’s blog post! Before that however, we need a moment to talk about Pepsi.

In the scene wherein Marty and Doc Brown travel to 2015, a running gag is how everything is covered in futuristic product placement of existing popular brands. So in celebration, many companies featured in the film created collectable equivalents of the fictional products from the films. Nike revealed self-lacing shoes, Universal Pictures released a trailer for Jaws 19, and Pepsi produced a ready supply of “Pepsi Perfect” to meet the hungry customer demand. Ok that last one isn’t entirely true.

Thanks in part to selling earlier than promised and greatly underestimating the demand for the collector item, Pepsi has something of a PR disaster on its hands with its handling of Pepsi Perfect. What should’ve retailed for $20.15 a bottle, is now being sold by private sellers upwards of $500.00. That’s a 25x mark-up in less than a week! Needless to say, many people are not happy and the resentment on social media and in product reviews is not doing any favours to the Pepsi brand.

With that out of the way, let’s look at those promised blog posts!

Logistics and Back to the Future Day

The first is an article by Alvaro Fernandez, a solutions blueprint developer for Kinaxis. The article is about failed supply chain predictions from the “future” portrayed in the films. From RFID tags on milk cartons (so close!), to self-driven trucks, Fernandez discusses five things that the movies got wrong for 2015. What makes this a favourite article of Back to the Future Day for us, is that Fernandez did a bit of research and had interesting links in regards to how far along supply chains are to reaching these predictions as well as the real world hurdles they’ll need to overcome before they can be fully realized.

This post by LogisticsHandling.com takes a more nostalgic approach. It invites the reader to conduct a thought experiment. What if the reader really did go with Marty and Doc Brown 30 years into the future?

If we were to share a ride back to 1985 with Marty in his DeLorean, we’d see some key moments when the era of internet commerce first began to come together. The first Internet domain name, ‘symbolics.com’ was registered; Microsoft released its Windows 1.0 operating system, featuring mouse navigation to allow PC users to ‘point and click’ their way through screens or ‘windows’; Dell built and designed its first computer system, and the first mobile call was made in the UK on the embryonic Vodafone network

Before we go, be sure to check out this video of Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd reuniting to talk about what actually came about by 2015.

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!

Morai-Logistics-Blog-More-Tech

In the past, we’ve discussed how drones and RFID technology are set to impact the logistics industry. These technologies, along with Amazon Robotics (previously Kiva Systems), would have been considered speculative science fiction less than decade ago. These technologies are either only a few years from revolutionizing the supply chain landscape, or have already begun transforming it.

The many logistics, business, and technology articles on the subjects make the three seem like the industry is only weeks away while ignoring some very real gains this past year in some other potentially game changing technology.

For this week, we’d like to discuss the potential impact of things such as mass produced cheap 3D printers, and uberfication. These two innovations are quickly bridging the gap from speculative opinion pieces to best practice!

Mass produced 3D/4D Printers

So this first piece of technology is much closer to being a reality as working 3D/4D printers already exist and are being used in a limited capacity across multiple industries and creative novelties.

This isn’t surprising. The technology is almost four decades old and for most of that time it has been prohibitively expensive with many items produced in that time being little more than talking pieces.

It is only recently that companies such as Nike, Gillette, and Mattel have started investing heavily in 3D printing with even Google joining in with a plans to mass produce 3D-printed smart phones.

With some commercial 3D printers now retailing for less than $100, and newer models such as Hewlett Packard’s Multi Jet Fusion on the horizon however, it won’t be long before the technology starts becoming a viable alternative to traditional shipping.

Uberfication

In the time span of 3 short years, the international transportation network company of Uber Technologies Inc. went from launching its app to having an estimated worth of $50 billion.

It did this by not necessarily offering a new product or service (vehicle-for-hire business models have effectively existed since the idea of transportation has existed), but by streamlining the entire process. Uber tapped into the frustration that many felt with the process of hiring a taxi and instead offers a cheaper, quicker, much more personalized experience which all start with a swipe or two on your phone.

Although many may view Uber as a taxi app, its valuation is indication that investors instead see it as a logistics company according to Adrian Gonzalez, president of consulting firm Adelante SCM.

The soon-to-be launched UberRUSH expands the Uber services to allow customers to get “pretty much anything in minutes” according to the their site:

If every local business delivered, we’d all save time and energy. But most simply can’t. Day-to-day operations are already complicated and delivery can cause all sorts of logistical headaches. There has never been a simple local delivery solution. Until now.

UberRUSH aims to steam-line delivery services much in the same way the company has done to the taxi industry with business owners using Uber drivers to deliver products to customers.

The site also boasts that UberRUSH will allow both customers and businesses to: “order and track deliveries instantly, expand delivery zones, and integrate with existing tools and platforms”

It’ll be interesting to see what customers of the near-future will prefer, the go-anywhere mechanical Amazon drone delivery, or the personalized (though less versatile) Uber delivery of a package and a hello.

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!

Morai-Logistics-Blog-Hiring-Client-Success-Specialist

Morai Logistics is currently looking for a full-time Client Success Specialist to join our team in Mississauga, ON.

View the job posting on Indeed by clicking here!

What does that even mean?

Logistics can be messy, as a client success specialist, your goal is to deliver success within the chaos. On a day-to-day basis, you will be primarily responsible for coordination of the movement of goods from point A to point B (origin to destination). That means, though isn’t necessarily limited to, reserving and booking container equipment from various transportation providers (rail, truck, etc.), coordinating with drayage carriers (and knowing what drayage means!), and electronic tracking (we work with Triton) and tracing, billing, etc.

Our Core Values

  • Integrity and Honesty
  • Respect
  • Empowerment
  • Client Success
  • Community

The top candidates for this position are born multi-taskers and are experts at analyzing many different situations. They are ideally bilingual (Spanish preferred) with a knack for being customer/client-oriented. They’re also a great team player and know the difference between casual and professional writing and when to use each!

What Your Main Responsibilities Would Be

  • Acting customer support and administrative representative for a set of clients
  • Monitors clients’ equipment usage, costs, containers, etc.
  • Prepares and analyzes reports on factors affecting the supply chain process (outstanding equipment charges, yard checks, etc.)
  • Investigate and solve issues regarding any transportation delays
  • Provides basic consultation to help clients find cost saving initiatives

Prerequisites for this Position

  • Post-secondary education preferred
  • Minimum 3 years’ experience in the logistics industry
  • Experience in truckload, LTL, and intermodal
  • Strong analytical and priority management skills
  • Ability to work under pressure and in a constantly evolving and changing environment
  • Team player and a good communicator

Additional Desired Traits

  • Bilingual (Ideally fluent in Spanish)
  • Excel and Word experts
  • Computer literacy in general
  • Interpersonal, conflict resolution and negotiating skills
  • Problem solving and decision making skills
  • Organizational, planning, multi-tasking skills
  • Time management skills; ability to assign tasks, set priorities and resolve related conflicts
  • Forecasting, scheduling and tracking skills

Don’t hesitate to shoot us an e-mail if you’re interested in being part of the Morai Logistics team. Please send an e-mail to kelli.saunders@morailogistics.com with the job position (Client Success Specialist – Intermodal Position) as part of the subject line!

Logistics trades professionals (i.e. truck drivers, machine operators, etc.): This probably isn’t the job for you, but maybe you know someone who would be the perfect fit! Send them this link and we’ll take it from there! Thanks!

Radio frequency identification (RFID) has become one of the megatrends in logistics. It is surprising then that despite the hundreds of millions of RFID tags sold this year alone that, according to results from the 2014 GS1 US Standards Usage Survey, finally saw the technology living up to the hype in the logistics industry in the last few years.

Here are only a few ways that RFID technology has changed, and is continuing to change the not only the way we think about logistics, but also how interact with the world around us. Check out the infographic below for all the facts!

9 Facts About RFID Technology in Logistics

morai-logistics-infographic-rfid

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!

Morai-Logistics-Blog-Coffee

Today is International Coffee Day. It’s the first of what will likely be a yearly tradition of celebrating and promoting coffee as a beverage.

Events around the world are now occurring around with this goal in mind with this past Tuesday having been the National Coffee Day for Canada, Mexico, and the United States.

Aside from free coffee and discounts on coffee products, this day will also be used to promote fair trade coffee to raise awareness about other important global concerns such as the plight of some coffee growers. International Coffee Day is currently trending on Facebook and Twitter feeds with many interesting pieces of information and pictures related to our favourite early morning drink.

For this first celebration of just about everyone’s not-so-secret drink, we thought it best to go into a bit of the intricate logistical webs that are required for the humble coffee bean (which if you didn’t know, is in fact a berry pit!) to the coffee in your hand.

From Bean to Cup

Supply chains for coffee are often complex and intricate. Depending on the countries involved, a coffee supply chain can include up to 7 different parties before the finished product ever enters your hands. These different groups include growers, intermediaries, processors, government agencies, exporters, dealers/brokers, roasters, and then finally retailers.

Did you know?

  • Oil is the most widely used product in the world, coffee is next in line.
  • Coffee is second only to oil as the world’s most valuable commodity.
  • Humans drink a lot of coffee: Annual global consumption is about 12 billion pounds.

The Coffee Cycle

Unlike many non-agriculture products, coffee is highly susceptible to changes in climate and weather. What many people don’t know is that to produce coffee, a long-term commitment is needed from those involved as it takes over four years before a coffee tree attains full productivity. The long-term perspective needed to be involved in the coffee industry is also present in the trading firms and business agreements with some trading firms being passed down through generations within a family.

Unfortunately, this means that coffee as a product is less able to meet changes in demand as the supply is erratic due to environment, meaning there is often problems with fluctuating prices. These price fluctuations lead to a cyclical structure which have real consequences for farmers according to this webpage on the subject on the Duke University website,

There is a significant delay between changes in price and subsequent changes in production. The significant investment that a farmer makes in a coffee plantation will cause him to try and survive periods of low prices rather than switch to other crops. Conversely, when prices are high, supply cannot immediately respond because it takes nearly five years for a new plantation to reach full production capacity.

Thankfully, there are efforts being made to help farmers and their communities improve their situations. The growing popularity Fair Trade Coffee and its history is an example of this.

Starbucks’ partnering with Conservation International to draft the Coffee and Farmer Equity Practices (CA.F.E) is a good case study of what CSI can do as this 2011 Guatemalan case study from 2010 concludes ” Farmers participating in C.A.F.E. Practices were more likely to invest in the conservation of biodiversity and water quality in addition to improvements in coffee production and quality”.

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!

Morai-Logistics-Blog-Truck-Driver-Appreciation-Week

This past week was National Truck Driver Appreciation Week (NTDAW). From September 13th to 19th, professional truck drivers across America for their hard work transporting all sorts of items, commercial and industrial.

For this 27th passing of NTDAW, we would like to highlight some important and interesting facts about the trucking industry. They’ll demonstrate how incredible and essential the 3.5 million professional men and women who transport goods across the country are to not just logistics, but the economy overall.

Did you know? – The trucking industry is foundationally important to the United States!

Currently, 70% of all freight transported in the United States is done through one of the 15.5 million truck currently in operation according to this source.

What’s also important to note is that almost 80% of communities residing within the United States rely exclusively on trucks for the delivery of their goods.

Did you know? – Trucking is a dynamic industry for growth!

At present, The trucking industry collects, on average, $650 billion in revenue each year. That is about 5% of America’s GDP. The mean salary for a truck driver in the United States meanwhile is $44,500 according to Career Builder. This is likely to grow as over the next decade, the trucking industry is estimated to grow over 21%.

This growth can already be seen as The Department of Transportation registers more than 40,000 commercial drivers licenses per month.

90% of the trucking industry in the United States is made up of small business trucking companies with ten or less trucks.

Did you know? – Truckers need more appreciation!

Of the millions of truck drivers, more than 169 billion miles are logged each year collectively from all the drivers.

In regards to expectations, drivers are typically expected to cover 125,000 miles per annum. That breaks down to around 2,500 miles a week, which equates to 500 miles a day.

According to an industry article about the life of a trucker on Jobs.net:

Days can begin really early. Many drivers like to move with the light; others prefer to drive through the night. OTR truck drivers don’t have set starting hours, unless they’re calling in to dispatch after returning from time off

You may be expected to work up to 70 hours over an eight-day period. After you’ve worked for 70 hours, you cannot drive again until you take a full 34 hours off duty. The 70-hour limit could be reached by working 14-hour days, but you cannot drive for more than 11 hours in a day. You must conclude your “Hours of Service” with a 10-hour break.”

The trucking industry has also made major efforts toward being more green-friendly. The best example is the clean diesel trucks that operate today. It would take 60 trucks to equal the exhaust emissions of one truck from 1988.

As you can see from the facts and figured above, there is a lot that truckers and the trucking industry should be lauded for. They are a very large part of not only ensuring logistical chains run smoothly, but also and all too often the unsung backbone of America as well.

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!

Morai-Logistics-Blog-Scholarships

As the summer ends and fall begins, many young people are returning to school. Along the way, stress will also makes an unwelcome return. Stress over doubts about their chosen career path, and stress about the financial cost of their schooling are the most common.

Although we can’t speak about the majority of career options available and their viability, we can say that those with a passion for dynamic environments and problem solving will have an easier time handling this stress. According to ThinkAdvisor, the starting salary for a fresh graduate of a Supply Chain Management program can expect on average a salary of $52,800. This will then on average, rise to a salary of around $83,700 by mid-career.

Given that logistics plays such a crucial role in our ever globalized world, a degree in the field of logistics is not something that will lose value anytime soon.

That leaves the stress of the financial cost of a logistics degree which is why we’ve put together this post–to help mitigate the cost through scholarships and other financial aid you may not be aware of.

1. L.L. Waters Scholarship Program

Final due date for submission: September 14th

This scholarship, named after Dr. L. L. Water, is aimed at preparing persons of high potential for careers in transportation, logistics, and physical distribution.

Eligibility (from the website):

Undergraduate students in their junior or senior year at a fully accredited four-year U.S. college or university, who are enrolled in a degree program in which Transportation/logistics is their area of concentration are eligible. Students enrolled in, or accepted to, a fully accredited college or university in the pursuit of graduate studies in transportation/logistics/physical distribution as their concentration of study, are also eligible. Recipients are selected without regard to race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Awards will be on a competitive basis, based upon scholastic performance and potential, and evidence of the degree of commitment to the pursuit of a professional career in transportation/logistics

2. MHEFI Scholarship

Final due date for submission: February 1, 2016

The Material Handling Education Foundation, Inc. is an independent charitable organization that seeks to give students and educators the opportunity to the study of material handling, logistics and the supply chain, by providing financial aid.

Eligibility (from their website):

Those interested in receiving one of 50 scholarships ranging from $1,500 to $9,000, are to fill out this application. In order for the application to be considered for scholarships all documentation must be received including:

  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Official transcripts from the Registrars Office
  • Online application

3. Amazon Student Scholarship

Final due date for submission: November 20th, 2015

This scholarship is different than the two mentioned previously. For one, it isn’t just for those with career aspirations in the logistics field. It does however, offer 50 scholarships yearly of $5000 towards your tuition. It is the added incentive of receiving this scholarship that it gets a mention. Along with the money toward tuition, you’ll also receive a further $500 in the form of an Amazon gift card towards school books.

Books can be expensive, so every little bit helps!

Eligibility (from their website):

Amazon Student members who are full-time undergraduate students at an accredited, not-for-profit U.S college or university as of the fall of 2016, or who intend to be full-time undergraduate students in the fall of 2016 are eligible to apply.

Other excellent scholarship opportunities for those following a path in supply chain and operations management can be found here.

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!

We hope you’re all squeezing out that last little bit of summer that’s left! We thought we’d kick off September with a feature eBook on Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, or UAVs, more commonly known as drones. Tracing back to 1849, drones are a year away from being a century-old technology.

In order to celebrate a little early, enjoy our eBook below!

5 Ways UAVs Are Revolutionizing the World

Morai-eBook-UVA-Drones-Logistics

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!

Morai-Logistics-Blog-Parking

The Department of Transportation released the results of a comprehensive truck parking survey. In the study, they found that there is still a massive shortage of truck parking spots within the U.S, and that this is a national safety concern.

Of the truck drivers surveyed, 75% said they regularly had trouble finding safe parking when it was time to rest. 66% of the logistics personnel said the same. Ninety percent reported “struggling to find safe and available parking” at night.

Here’s a troubling quote from an ibloomberg.net article on the subject,

Unofficial or illegal truck parking places have become so common that safety officials in 48 states reported they could identify the locations. Officials in 11 states could identify 11 or more places, according to the study. Nearly half the time those ad hoc locations were freeway ramps; 27% of the time freeway shoulders and 20% of the time they were parking lots, it found

The states that reported the most severe truck parking problems are New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, Virginia, Maryland, South Carolina, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, California, Washington, and Oregon.

The problem is compounded with predictions that freight volume are to increase by nearly 29% over the next 11 years.

The study also reveals why the issue has been so difficult to address–there is no single entity responsible for the truck parking facilities. Add to this that of the majority of truck parking, 88% of the 309,000 spaces documented in the study–is at private truck stops, not in public rest areas.

Plans are in motions to fight the parking deficit. The Federal Highway Administration has stated that they’ll use funds from the GROW AMERICA Act which provides $18 million for targeted investments in freight infrastructure. The US DOT and National Coalition on Truck Parking have also announced plans to work together to find solutions for the parking problem.

Jason’s Law

The study itself is part of a larger effort known as Jason’s Law. This law came about because of what happened to Jason Rivenburg, a truck driver who was robbed and murdered in 2009 after he was unable to find a safe spot to rest for the night.

Jason’s Law was passed in 2012 and included a $6 million budget to provide the U.S’s highways with safe places for truckers to deal with fatigue without the worry of getting robbed or assaulted.

The authors of the one hundred and nineteen page study are clear about what they hope to achieve ultimately,
“Ideally each driver requiring rest should be able to access a safe, clean, full service parking space to obtain long-term rest whenever the need for long-term parking arises”.

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!