Cargo theft isn’t anything new. From the days of bandits attacking caravans to pirates on the sea, if there is money to be made from stealing cargo and fencing it then attempts will be made to steal it. The real change is in the sophistication and planning that thieves utilize in their planning.

Globalization has also made the scope of the problem much larger. The ripples felt in one part of the world from stolen cargo can affect consumers and businesses on another side of the world. That’s to say nothing of the highly organized, highly structured, gangs, cartels, and black markets which fence the items taken from stolen cargo whose networks can stretch time zones.

This month, we’d like to focus our ebook on looking at the current state of cargo thefts and ways we can minimize these occurrences.

Looking at the Impact of Cargo Theft and Possible Solutions

Morai-Logistics-eBook-Cargo-Theft

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The current shortage of truck drivers is estimated at roughly 25,000. The turnover rate, which hit 96% by the end of 2014 is due to a multitude of reasons, including demographic, regulatory, and the fact that drivers are away from home for a period of time, among other factors.

This month, we thought it would be a great idea to take a look at these facts and figures!

12 Key Facts About the Driver Shortage and the Future of the Trucking Industry

Morai-Logistics-12-Key-Facts-About-the-Truck-Driver-Shortage

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.

Third party logistics (3PL) companies offer resources for companies to outsource all or part of their supply chain management. When you select your 3PL you are essentially selecting another member of your organization. As the 3PL will be acting an extension of your company, it is essential that you find out if the 3PL you are viewing is the right fit for your business.

This month we’ve created an infographic to help you select the right 3rd party logistics provider!

5 Questions to Ask Before Selecting a 3PL

Morai-Logistics--5-Questions-to-Ask-3PL

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-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!

With the summer heat being in full effect here in North America, we decided to share some facts about one of the world’s oldest, and most popular beverages – beer! Beer, in particular, requires greater attention to reverse logistics processes when it passes sell-by dates and kegs have to be transported from the reseller back to the bottler.

Beer production, marketing, storage, and distribution is difficult despite it being such a globally common product. This is why some beverage companies are turning to 3PLs to help manage distribution to market. This article from Inbound Logistics goes into more detail between beer companies and their heavy logistics needs. So after enjoying our top 10 beer facts, why not serve yourself a beer on a hot summer day and have a read?!

10 Summer Beer Logistics Facts

morai-logistics-infographic-beer-facts

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 everyone has had a great holiday and we would like to wish all of our readers a Happy New Year! To kick off the year, we have finished compiling our infographic on the top logistics and supply chain facts from the news that we’ve collected throughout last year. As there is a large number of news items spanning the many large topics in the logistics industry, we decided to create our Top 10 by focusing on categories:

  1. Drones
  2. Same-Day Deliver
  3. Supplier Diversity and Women
  4. Sustainability
  5. RFID
  6. World Bank Institute’s Private Sector Platform
  7. Automation
  8. Online Retail
  9. Truck Driver Shortage
  10. Logistics Slow Growth

Each of these topics have some pretty interesting facts and statistics that may have been missed in the hustle and bustle of fellow logistics professionals and enthusiasts. And while we haven’t covered all of the interesting facts from 2014; we felt that these topics helped changes the face of the logistics and supply chain industry in 2014 and serves a good snippet to review the year.

Top 10 Logistics and Supply Chain Facts of 2014

Morai-Logistcs-Top-10-Logistics-and-Supply-Chain-Facts-of-2014

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-Reverse-Supply-ChainWith the hustle and bustle of the holiday season come and gone, many people are now returning to their normal work and home life. That is, if you in any fields that are not retail or logistics.

After the holiday season, and especially after Christmas, many shipping services, retailers, e-retailers, and 3PLs get inundated by deluge of unwanted or ill-fitting gifts that need to be returned to their retailer of origin in a process called reverse logistics.

By simply looking at some facts and figures from this Wall Street Journal article, it is clear that the post-holiday time presents major opportunities for many 3PLs, especially those with a specialization in reverse logistics.

  • 20 % of returns happen during the holiday season
  • The U.S Postal Service reported handling 3.2 million returns last year during the two weeks following Christmas
  • Returns policies are critical in driving purchase decisions. In a recent survey of 5,800 U.S. online shoppers, 82% said they were more likely to complete purchases if free returns via a prepaid shipping label or an in-store option were offered, according to comScore Inc., a data-tracking firm that conducted the study for UPS
  • About 66% of consumers now review a retailers’ return policy before making a purchase

The opportunities inherent in reverse logistics, stems from the current e-commerce boom. As demand for online shopping grows, so the does the percentage of customers dissatisfied with their purchases. A large number of retailers and e-commerce companies are ill equipped with the growing number of returns (which is up 15% from the holiday season only two years ago).

With reverse logistical networks being an inherent part of many 3PLs to varying degrees, it makes sense that they be the natural choice for providing the service for other businesses. In fact, the necessity to switch toward more customer-centric strategies (such reducing lead times, improving planning, improving fulfillment, and improving post-sales/returns capabilities) is the focus of an article on MarketWatch.

It is in this same spirit of reverse logistical capitalization that FedEx recently announced its forthcoming acquisition of GENCO, a leading third-party logistics provider in North America that specializes in end-to-end reverse logistics.

Through GENCO’s leadership position in reverse logistics, FedEx will be able to expand its North American presence in the e-commerce market as GENCO’s reverse logistics customer base includes some of the top companies in the technology, retail, and healthcare industries in North America.

An article in SupplyChain Management Review has very interesting information concerning best practice for reverse logistics when it quotes Gary Cullen, chief operating officer of 4PRL LLC:

“A growing trend of being “cheaper and nearer” seems to fit well within the cost sensitive and eco conscious reverse logistics chain of events.

Much efficiency can be found in near-sourcing third party service providers (3PSP) who specialize in the services of redeployment, repair, reuse, recycling, reclamation and resale. This appears to be a successful business model in today’s fuel conscious and green minded environment.

A closer country allows for use of cheaper modes of transportation as well as less overall time and movement.”

Efficiency and response time are the key terms to take away when discussing reverse logistics as the problem of potential value loss arises if items are delayed for too long, especially when it involves fashion items.

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!

Amazon Spain. Source: Wikimedia Commons
Amazon Spain. Source: Wikimedia Commons
Amazon Inc. is in the news again. This time, the online retailing giant got press attention for having petitioned the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for an exemption from rules prohibiting the use of drones for commercial purposes. This move, along with its recent job posting calling for experienced pilots to fly its drones, indicates that Amazon is serious about moving Prime Air, an ambitious thirty minute delivery program involving unmanned aerial vehicles, from concept into reality.

Although the experimental delivery program may still be a few years away, it is this sort of unorthodox business strategy that has led the company into having a hand in 20 percent of all e-commerce in North America. Other programs that Amazon has implemented over the past several years has also caused stirs in B2B markets, cloud technology, and those in 3PLs in general.

1 – Shifting from to B2C to B2B

Amazon has been selling millions of items annually to thousands of households for several years. However, since 2012, it has been targeting the lucrative wholesale and distribution market through AmazonSupply which itself grew out of years of experience operating Smallparts.com since it was acquired in 2005.

Whereas common items on Amazon’s main site include books, CDs, and Blu rays, many of AmazonSupply’s items are those that would otherwise only be obtained through specialist distributors such as centrifuges, micrometers and air cylinders. And unlike many other businesses that specialize in industrial B2B transaction, Amazon focuses its marketing through digital media assets such as videos, post downloadable, CAD drawings and user reviews.

Although AmazonSupply’s main competitor, the Chicago-based industrial supplies giant W.W Grainger, holds an estimated 6% of the entire B2B market according to a Forbes article. Despite this, AmazonSupply’s future is bright. It already has Grainger’s online inventory beat by almost twice the amount indicating that it may in fact be the major player in the B2B market rather than its current status as only a major player.

2 – The future is in the cloud

The computer infrastructure that Amazon has built for Amazon Web Services (AWS) is considerable. With it, the company has been able make itself felt in the e-commerce business world by dominating the cloud computing industry and “hosting customers from NASA to Pfizer PFE +0.89% and ringing up an estimated $3.2 billion in revenue last year” writes Claire O’Conner of Forbes.

With its control of the cloud computing industry, “Amazon might leverage its investment in cloud technology to become a clearinghouse for a steadily increasing share of e-commerce business” wrote Dr. Robert C.Lieb and Kristin J. Lieb in the Quarter 3 2014 report. As more and more 3PLs move into the digital world, that means that Amazon will continue to be a looming presence as it moves from customer to competitor.

3 – Customer or competitor?

There’s been some discussion as to whether Amazon is in the process of making a committed move into the 3PL market. The company already offers a range of services and benefits to its two millions vendors such as cheaper transporting services, order management, inventory control, delivery and billing–all of which put it into competition with other 3PLs.

Referring back to Lieb & Lieb study, they found “with the continued expansion of the company’s warehousing, distribution services, order fulfillment, and transportation services, Amazon might become a formidable competitor by offering shippers a broad range of services that 3PLs already provide”.

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!

Source: Wikimedia Commons
Source: Wikimedia Commons
Last week, the Association of American Railroads reported that Mexican intermodal volume reached a high that has not been seen in the last two years. More and more, Mexican shippers have been turning to rail in order to move their goods. In fact, Journal of Commerce claims that Mexico’s intermodal industry is seen as the industry’s quickest-growing sector. Volume of shipments using intermodal transportation has soared about 31% year-over-year to 14,238 units leading up to last week. Carloads for Mexico also increased by approximately 38%, reaching a total carload of 19,745 units.

We’ve mentioned in a previous white paper that nearshoring to Mexico for North American manufacturing has many advantages, one of them being that cross-border logistics to Mexico, through the efforts of governmental intervention and NAFTA, has been improving heavily especially in intermodal transportation requirements. Combine that with rising ocean transport costs, peak season surcharges, and the rising wages in China and you get a prime contender for a tangible, competitive consideration for nearshoring.

One of Mexico’s largest container port, Lazaro Cardenas, has been showing a steady increase in intermodal demand. Efforts to meet the growing demand is shown in the influx of inextments and developments such as the APM Terminal’s deep water terminal which is expected to become operational by 2016.

By the beginning of this month, Mexico contributed to the overall increase in growth for North American intermodal volume. Of the 13 North American railroads, a total of 347,857 units in intermodal volume was reported (a 5.4% increase in volume compared to the same week last year).

Factors that Affect Mexican Intermodal Business

Intermodal rail in Mexico has some great advantages with regards to cross-border logistics, adding more incentive to nearshore as a strategy for North American manufacturing. Below are some facts that show how both incentives from Mexico and the US governments are leveraging their neighbouring border towards a better solution.

  • With the right documents, clearance can take as little as 30 minutes for a 250-foot container, compared to the two hours it takes for a single-container truck.
  • BNSF Railway launched its first all-rail US-Mexico service in May to help facilitate faster movement between borders by partnering with Ferromex (a Mexican railroad).
  • AMP Terminal is currently developing a new deep-water terminal to launch by 2016.

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!