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Some Supply Chain Issues To Be Aware Of In 2021

Posted by Land Link Traffic Systems on Jan 13, 2021 11:38:33 AM

As we struggle to combat Covid-19 and other mutant strains of the virus, through this year and beyond, logistics planners may want to keep their eye on some key factors affecting the supply chain. You may find some of these topics affecting your logistics planning in the coming years.

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Topics: Third Party Logistics, Freight Bill Auditing, Transportation News, Reducing Freight Rates, Maximizing Routing Efficiencies, Logistics News

Can The Biden Administration Fix Our Infrastructure?

Posted by Land Link Traffic Systems on Jan 7, 2021 8:19:16 AM

America’s roads, bridges and tunnels are crumbling at an alarming rate. Every 4 years the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), an organization made up of over 150,000 civil engineers, gives the United States an “infrastructure report card". The organization gave the U.S. a grade of “D+ in its most recent evaluation. This grade is an improvement from the previous one. The effects of failing infrastructure and the need for the federal government to improve it are obvious, yet why isn’t the government doing anything? There is little disagreement in Washington that repairs are critically needed. The slow response is mostly a combination of trying to secure funding and the snail’s pace at which our federal government moves.

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Topics: Third Party Logistics, Intermodal Freight, Reducing Freight Rates, Logistics News

2020, a Look Back

Posted by Land Link Traffic Systems on Dec 30, 2020 10:24:27 AM

Everyone is anxious to turn the calendar page next month. Industries have transformed dramatically as companies across the world rethink business models, restructure organizations, and adapt to ever-changing rules and regulations.

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Topics: Third Party Logistics, Transportation News, Maximizing Routing Efficiencies, Logistics News, Industry Trends, Technology

Maximize Your 3PL Relationship

Posted by Land Link Traffic Systems on Dec 23, 2020 5:58:23 AM

Today's consumers may be more demanding than ever. They know what they want, and moreover, they want it fast. Sometimes I wonder if they really need it that fast or is it simply the mindset of the new generation of consumer. In an extensive career in the expedited freight market I was surprised to find how many receivers were not in a hurry at all for the product that their suppliers spent triple the money to ship expedited. In fact, I rented a box truck and personally delivered a few skids to a major account after an unavoidable traffic accident sidelined the original truck. After a 5-hour white knuckle drive, I was told it would be a couple hours until they could unload me. Turned out, they were in no hurry at all. The takeaway from all this personal wisdom is to be certain of the consignees' requirements before panicking about production delays and transit times. When you’re sick you call a doctor, in a legal matter you consult a lawyer. The same expertise is just as beneficial when managing your supply chain. If you do not currently have a relationship with a 3PL, think about starting one. It's a tremendous resource, particularly in a time of need. If you do have a current 3PL relationship, here are some tips to make the best of that relationship.

Think Long-Term Commitment

Like in all relationships, when an organization and its 3PL both have committed to mutual success, challenges can be overcome and the relationship can blossom. Service failures are part of our business. When you consider the vast amount of freight that travels thousands of miles across this country every week one must expect it can’t all go right. The true measure of 3PL customer service is how we react to service failures. There are fire alarms daily. A short-term mindset only creates short-term solutions. Your 3PL is invested in the long-term success of your logistics operation, so you should be too. Work together to devise long-term strategies that will improve practices and result in mutual success.

KPI's; A Staple At Land Link Traffic Systems

Many years ago, the founder of Land-Link Traffic Systems Inc. stressed the following. “What does not get measured, does not get fixed”. It would be difficult, if not impossible, for any rational person to repudiate this thought-provoking statement and important underlying principle of business. Yet, many companies do just that. Most companies, in fact, do not have the proper measurements and KPIs in place necessary to drive intelligent business decisions and to serve as support to the policies that are relied upon to drive day to day business activities.

Do not be one of those companies. Land-Link can help you support your business and gain and maintain competitive advantage through effective performance measurements. 

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Topics: Supply Chain Management, Intermodal Freight, Reducing Freight Rates, Logistics Business, Maximizing Routing Efficiencies, 3D Printing, Logistics News, Industry Trends, Technology

The Origin of Christmas

Posted by Land Link Traffic Systems on Dec 17, 2020 9:51:03 AM

Christmas, is the Christian festival celebrating the birth of Jesus. The English term Christmas (“mass on Christ’s day”) is of fairly recent origin. The earlier term Yule may have derived from the Germanic jōl or the Anglo-Saxon geōl, which referred to the feast of the winter solstice. The corresponding terms in other languages—Navidad in Spanish, Natale in Italian, Noël in French—all probably denote nativity. The German word Weihnachten denotes “hallowed night.” Since the early 20th century, Christmas has also been a secular family holiday, observed by Christians and non-Christians alike, devoid of Christian elements, and marked by an increasingly elaborate exchange of gifts. In this secular Christmas celebration, a mythical figure named Santa Claus plays the pivotal role. Christmas is celebrated on Friday, December 25, 2020.

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Topics: Freight Bill Auditing, Logistics News

Year End Supply Chain Planning and Review

Posted by Land Link Traffic Systems on Dec 9, 2020 10:15:10 AM

As the challenging year of 2020 draws to a close it may be useful to review some of your freight payment protocols. A good place to start is a year-end freight bill review. Things are a little quieter this time of year and there is plenty of recent data to review. Typically, this is a no cost exercise provided by your 3PL so there is every reason to have the review done. If for no other reason than knowing your fright payment protocols are working.

What is a Freight Invoice Audit?

Rising freight costs is an emerging area of concern as seen in recent years. The cost of freight has been rising due to the increase in oil prices and all freight cost is highly dependent on the cost of transportation which relates directly to fuel prices and market demand. With high fluctuations of fuel costs, low visibility of the future freight costs and high complexity of the freight quotes, freight cost verification are vulnerable to human and process errors and this requires proper auditing to ensure that the organization does not overpay for services it did not incur.  As a concept, freight invoice auditing is not overly complicated to understand but is a playground for mistakes and inefficiencies due to the volume of transactions. The potential financial leak is significant. The idea is to make sure you only pay the shipping charges you should, and nothing more. In most cases, software does the hard work. However, in some cases more focused auditing may be necessary to identify overcharges or inefficiencies.  An organization is daunted with the task of calculating the freight rates manually and this task can be challenging when the customer has hundreds of shipments shipped each month. Most organizations do not have the manpower to calculate all the freight invoices issued to them and, at best, they perform random sampling to check if the sample invoice is billed correctly.  It is simply a sound business practice to do an annual freight bill audit.

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Topics: Third Party Logistics, Freight Bill Auditing, Logistics News

Should I Get the Corona Virus Vaccine

Posted by Land Link Traffic Systems on Dec 3, 2020 8:25:36 AM

There is significant concern over whether or not to get the Corona vaccine. Indeed, the virus is frightening but there is similar concern over the safety of the vaccine. Health care workers are expected to get a COVID-19 vaccine first. But the speed of vaccine development, and the politicization of the process, has left some doctors and nurses skeptical and reluctant. In fact, nearly 40% of healthcare workers say it's 'not likely' they will get a coronavirus vaccine because they are afraid the vaccine was developed too quickly to be safe.

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Topics: Intermodal Freight, Transportation News, Reducing Freight Rates, Logistics News

Biden's Covid Economic Recovery Plan

Posted by Land Link Traffic Systems on Nov 27, 2020 9:02:34 AM

No one would argue that there is little to be thankful for in 2020. Let’s consider it a bit further. The COVID-19 pandemic has been stressful and isolating for many people. Gatherings during the upcoming holidays can be an opportunity to reconnect with family and friends. But this holiday season, consider how your plans can be modified to reduce the spread of COVID-19 to keep your friends, families, and communities healthy and safe. Looking ahead, let’s examine the Biden economic recovery plan highlights.

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Topics: Freight Bill Auditing, Intermodal Freight, Logistics News, Industry Trends

Logistics Technology Trends Beyond 2020

Posted by Land Link Traffic Systems on Nov 18, 2020 9:00:19 AM

There is little doubt that technology has transformed the Logistics business in the last several years. Will we ever get to fast enough or efficient enough? It's not likely. Under pressure exerted by demand for instant gratification, new tech-first logistics providers are beginning to pervade the fulfillment environment. Without the autonomous hardware that promises to supersede traditional road transportation, they are instead leveraging digital tools to improve the performance of manually executed deliveries and reduce lead times from days to hours, with 24 being today’s bargain-basement service level. These companies, through the use of customer-integrated business platforms, mobile technology, and crowd-sourcing, are finding ways to pick orders within minutes of receiving them, dispatch deliveries on-demand, and bring buyer’s purchases to them in time-frames of two hours or even less.  How are logistics professional going to keep this pace?  Here are some technology trends that may be worth a look as we enter 2021 and beyond.

Robotics

Given the energy and investment in robotics in our space, suggesting that there will be a robotics trend in 2021 is pretty obvious. After all the pilots and promises, what seems to be happening is that robot solution providers, and the end user community, are realizing that there is no one size fits all robotic applications. Quite the opposite is true. The customization is proving so complicated due to the advanced operations of the robots that the programming and engineering has become problematically complicated. Robotic applications are a very customized solution depending upon the product line, distribution protocols and warehouse volume parameters. The challenge, in addition to the design, will be the management system that can bring the components in synchronicity with the rest of the automation. The difficulty seems to be that there is no standardization among the robotic providers. Each have their own standards, communication protocols and capabilities. Someone will have to figure all of that out as robots proliferate. The next generation robots will not just be tasked with simply, repetitive and mundane projects as were the first generation. The robots of today will be much more complicated providing a wide range of services. As you increase the tasks you increase both the software and hardware configurations necessary to support the project. These ambitious goal will certainly be a challenge to the engineers and programmers.

Edge Computing

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Topics: Third Party Logistics, Freight Bill Auditing, Intermodal Freight, Transportation News, Maximizing Routing Efficiencies, Freight Bill Audit, Shipping News, Logistics News

Hyperloop Train First Passenger Test a Success

Posted by Land Link Traffic Systems on Nov 10, 2020 9:41:48 AM

Human passengers have travelled in a hyperloop pod for the first time, eight years after Elon Musk first envisioned the futuristic transport. The maiden voyage took place on a 500 meter section of test track built by Virgin Hyperloop outside Las Vegas, Nevada, and lasted just 15 seconds.

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Topics: Intermodal Freight, Maximizing Routing Efficiencies, Logistics News