Inbound Logistics | January 2024


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4 TRENDS IN 2024

Re. Good Question: What’s one underrated skill in supply chain management? Communication is often overlooked. I have found that 99% of all problems can be solved with relative ease if issues are communicated in a timely manner. I respect my business partners who are not afraid to alert me of any issues they may be experiencing. –Kenneth Kleppin Customer Service/Logistics Manager Classic Stone Manufacturing

Re. Shipment Speed and Size: Why It Matters Your column contains some good observations. First-world aims and “problems” to continually optimize. Ination, however, affects services, also. The higher holding cost of inventory is in the same environment as higher freight costs (fuel, tires, labor, etc.). This furthers the divide between rail and everything else. Though I’ve seen some shift to intermodal for chemical commodities, it’s going to be short lived, as we’ve valued velocity for too long now. Truckload prices have dropped and the move to intermodal was probably months in the adoption, missing the peak trucking rates. Transportation gets it right over and over—I’m amazed at the ease of Amazon, especially since I know all the steps that take place invisibly to the consumer. –Danny R. Schnautz Clark Freight Lines

Expect less crisis management and more focus on balancing how supply chain operations were conducted before the pandemic and incorporating lessons learned since then. 1) Companies may be hesitant to invest signicant money in building their own logistics operations. They will be less likely to invest long-term capital in operating their warehouses. That means there will be an additional need for warehousing and logistics providers to ll in the gaps. 2) Flexible warehousing options abound. The Federal Reserve has signaled it will reduce interest rates in the coming months, which should put the economy back on a growth trajectory; however, there will be ts and starts, and companies will be looking for exible warehousing solutions that allow them to expand or contract as market conditions dictate. 3) More companies will share warehouse space. In the past several years, I have seen more collaboration between non-competing companies, who are starting to pool their resources to acquire warehouse space. 4) More automation and electrication are coming—but don’t forget the basics. More rms will strivew to automate internal processes, such as employing self-driving forklifts and automated pick-and-pack machines. Don’t forget, however, that automation will only take you so far. Make sure your employees are focused on providing the highest levels of customer service. –Ari Milstein CEO, BroadRange Logistics

Quick TIP

Keep it simple. Home in on initiatives that contribute to meeting customer needs. Focus your energy on

doing what it takes to deliver for the customer’s needs and remove anything that does not work toward that goal. –Brian Dean President, Managed Transportation, RXO


Frank Mullens @FrankMullens Spinach, chicken, and spicy gouda salad with @ILMagazine’s Highlighting DC Efciency. “Consumer demand for order fulllment speed and accuracy highlights the central role distribution centers now play in the supply chain. ”

16 Inbound Logistics • January 2024

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