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Chain Links: What we're reading this week

By Mark Solomon | 01/06/2016 | 6:35 AM

Acquiring IT power to compete in e-commerce. Coping with the returns avalanche. And a venerable newspaper gets schooled in the supply chain.

 

Acquiring IT power to compete in e-commerce

In the rapidly growing e-commerce market, consumers are demanding faster shipping times, but are not willing to pay higher costs. This is putting logistics companies in a challenging position to keep their customers happy. Providers are spending more on technology so they can keep up with the competitive logistics sector, and are looking for acquisitions to help.

Source: The Middle Market

 

Obituary: Evan Schumacher, logistics technology entrepreneur, at 46

To those who’ve been in transportation and logistics for a while, Evan Schumacher’s name—and those of two of the companies he launched—will be familiar. Schumacher, who died in December of a rare cancer, launched the online logistics and delivery company Celarix, as well as Open Mile, a technology-based truckload brokerage. The latter was acquired in 2013 by Echo Global Logistics, where Schumacher was chief commercial officer until his passing.

Source: The Boston Globe

 

Claire’s Stores executive sees opportunity for women in logistics

Raised by a single mother, Deborah Winkleblack worked her way up the logistics ranks as one of the few women executives in a predominantly male industry. Today, she is vice president of international logistics and compliance for Hoffman Estates, Ill.-based Claire's Stores Inc., where she travels internationally to ensure merchandise reaches retail stores worldwide.

Source: Daily Herald

 

The other side of lower fuel prices

The decline in gas and diesel prices has hit the flow of state tax revenue that is pegged to the price at the pump. So in Kentucky, Gov. Matt Bevin has ordered a $112.5 million cut in the state’s Transportation Cabinet budget.

Source: Louisville Courier-Journal

 

Boston Globe invests in routing software to improve newspaper delivery

After failing to deliver newspapers to thousands of subscribers over the winter break, the Boston Globe’s new distribution partner will invest in route-optimization software to help its drivers adjust to a network of fewer, but bigger, warehouses, California-based ACI said.

Source: WBUR

 

JDA announces SIG schedule for warehouse software meetings

Users of warehouse management system (WMS) software from JDA Software Group Inc. can learn more about the platforms in a new series of special interest group (SIG) meetings announced for the first quarter of 2016. The phone-based meetings will allow attendees to influence product enhancements, learn about the future software roadmap, and network with peers on subjects such as workforce management, advanced warehouse replenishment, intelligent fulfillment, and dozens of other subjects.

Source: JDA Software Group Inc.

 

Americans forecasted to break record for returning holiday gift parcels

UPS was bracing itself to handle a record number of product returns from dissatisfied consumers on Jan. 6 as a wave of reverse logistics rebounds from the annual holiday shopping rush. The company expected to carry more than a million packages on Jan. 6 alone—known as National Returns Day—and more than five million by the end of the first week of January, marking an increase of over half a million over 2015 levels.

Source: UPS

 

Report: Container terminal operators should consider variable pricing

The management consulting firm McKinsey & Co. suggests in a recent article that container terminal operators should look at a variable pricing scheme for their services.

 “Much remains to be worked out, but we estimate that if the industry instituted variable pricing, the improvement in productivity would be worth $2 billion to $3 billion annually,” said the article written by Timo Glave and Steve Saxon, who work at McKinsey’s Copenhagen and Beijing offices, respectively.

Source: AmericanShipper.com

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