Inbound Logistics | May 2022

MAY 2022












































It doesn’t take a puzzle to see that Sunset wants your vote for Top 10 3PL Provider! A vote for Sunset is a vote for personal service, flexibility, and continuous improvement.

Cast your ballot now!






70% of retailers are actively trying to lower the cost of returns by addressing transportation and/or processing costs. 42% of retailers give their logistics/ operations leaders final authority on selecting a returns transportation vendor only 25% give operations leaders the same authority for selecting returns technology vendors –Pitney Bowes BOXpoll survey of digital and omnichannel brands

TIME TO UPDATE THAT RESUME Here are 10 jobs expected to gain popularity in the workforce as early as 2025: 1. Data Detective 2. 3D Printing Engineer 3. AI Specialist 4. IT Service Broker 5. Sustainable Sourcing Manager 6. Personal Brand Manager 7. E-Commerce Broker 8. Startup Broker 9. Confidence Coach 10. Elderly Care Companion –Thomas Insights The Incredible Bulk 1 in 2 large/bulky home deliveries are rescheduled Half aren’t delivered on-time, even when rescheduled Early delivery doesn’t always make the customer happy Brand loyalty becomes vulnerable when tracking

$3.1 MILLION The average ransom payment that shipowners give to perpetrators of cyberattacks in the maritime shipping industry

–CyberOwl and HFW research

“If Toyota has a secret weapon in managing and mitigating supplier interruptions, it might be this: With some exceptions, it has largely mapped out its entire supply chain, down through Tier 4 and Tier 5 suppliers.” – Automotive News

DRIVER TAX CREDITS Virginia Democratic Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger is co- sponsoring a bill encouraging more people to enter the industry and keep existing drivers on the job. The Strengthening Supply Chains Through Truck Driver Incentives Act would offer refundable tax credits to new truck drivers or people enrolled in a registered trucking apprenticeship. That credit would be up to $10,000 and would last for two years. The bill would also create a $7,500 refundable tax credit for truck drivers holding a valid Class A CDL who drive at least 1,900 hours during the year. It would also last two years.

isn’t available Demand isn’t going away

––DispatchTrack’s Big and Bulky Last-Mile Delivery Report

May 2022 • Inbound Logistics 1

CONTENTS MAY 2022 | VOL. 42 | NO. 5

44 ORCHESTRATING A DC STRATEGY THAT WON’T B FLAT Distribution center technology and equipment working in harmony can keep any supply chain sharp. Here’s how companies can conduct DC operations to make sure they work in concert.

88 AUTOMATION & MATERIALS HANDLING INNOVATIONS: AND THE AWARD GOES TO... Let’s hear it for these seven warehousing and materials handling innovations that take the crown for addressing e-commerce growth and labor shortage challenges. 94 SPONSORED




With rail facility and infrastructure upgrades nailed down and intermodal network improvements on track, these ports and sites are riding high on intermodal’s advantages.




PALLETS: FRONT & CENTER Playing a central role in the supply chain, the often-overlooked pallet is capturing the spotlight and evolving to keep up with rapidly changing demands. These pallet companies ensure standout performances.

A transportation management system (TMS) can help companies navigate uncertain business conditions. This annual guide of top TMS providers and solutions will put you on the road toward improved transportation management and performance. 70 SAY YES TO THE YMS INSIGHT & YMS GUIDE Without proper management, yard pile-ups can lead to delays, fees, and a full shipment of stress. Find out how to maximize yard efficiency using this short list of leading providers to get the right solution for your yard operations.


2 Inbound Logistics • May 2022

Vote Hub Group as your Top 10 3PL Provider

Hub Group delivers end-to-end solutions across the supply chain that drive your business forward. Learn more at

Cast your vote at

CONTENTS MAY 2022 | VOL. 42 | NO. 5

GOOD QUESTION What’s the biggest supply chain silo?


34 SPONSORED SOLVED Harness the power of plastic...34

Manufacturers source springs for a multitude of products

3PL partnership delivers key ingredients for efficiency...35 Future-proofing tomorrow’s warehouses...36 New multimodal hub in Georgia provides supply chain solutions...37 38 IT MATTERS Designing a soft goods supply chain 40 SC FINANCE Managing working capital amid product shortages 42 VIEWPOINT Driver shortage: don’t fall for it INFO 102 SUPPLY CHAIN INSIGHTS 108 CALENDAR 110 RESOURCE CENTER



26 SPONSORED Transloading: the answer to consistency in the global supply chain 28 SPONSORED KNOWLEDGE BASE What the labor shortage means for your supply chain...28 Find the right automation and robotics fit...29 5 tips for finding the right retail consolidation solution...30 32 SPONSORED THOUGHT LEADERS Omnichannel commerce and drop shipping fulfillment in the retail industry



WEARABLES 106 IN BRIEF 112 LAST MILE The wire and spring industry in full swing

INPRACTICE 18 READER PROFILE Rony Kordahi, chief operating officer with Parts Town, a distributor of restaurant equipment parts, makes sure the company at its core recognizes at the end of every transaction is the livelihood of a family, employee, and business.



Reshoring? Not so fast 10 GOOD QUESTION What’s the biggest supply chain silo? 12 DIALOG 14 10 TIPS Optimizing the last mile

The Apex Exosuit takes 75 pounds of strain off workers’ backs when they lift an object.

Inbound Logistics (ISSN 0888-8493, USPS 703990) is mailed monthly to approximately 60,000 business professionals who buy, specify, or recommend logistics technology, transportation, and related services, by Thomas, a Xometry company, 5 Penn Plaza, NY, NY 10001. Periodicals postage paid at New York, NY, and additional mailing offices. All rights reserved. The publisher accepts no responsibility for the validity of claims of any products or services described. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any electronic means, or stored in any information retrieval system, without permission from the publisher. POSTMASTER SEND ADDRESS CHANGES TO: Inbound Logistics, 5 Penn Plaza, New York, NY 10001

4 Inbound Logistics • May 2022





When you’re choosing between 3PLs, make sure you’re doing an apples to apples comparison of the proposals. Ruan’s Integrated Solutions bring additional value to every shipment through our people, process, and technology platform. With 88 years of experience, we provide a wealth of knowledge to each client. And our process generates savings by optimizing your supply chain, whether your

integrated solution requires logistics, warehouse management, Ruan assets, or more. And our flexible, best-of-breed technology platform scales to meet your needs, improving visibility, reducing spend. For more information about how we can design a solution that brings more value to you (whether you’re shipping apples or steel), call (866) 782-6669 or visit



DECISION SUPPORT TOOLS Search our databases of the Top 100 providers in key segments of the supply chain industry.


GIRDING FOR SUPPLY CHAIN TURMOIL Companies can minimize disruption by implementing tools and best practices that will enable them to overcome transportation and technological hurdles. These include enhancing visibility within the logistics network, applying analytics, and expanding carrier networks. WHY DISTRIBUTORS SHOULD MOVE TO THE CLOUD NOW To cloud or not to cloud? Is the disruption of moving an ERP and other tools worth the benefits and rewards? Here’s a look at some of the most compelling reasons to make the move to the cloud now. HOW MANUFACTURERS CAN NAVIGATE GLOBAL SUPPLY CHAIN UPHEAVAL Not only do advanced analytics reduce the supply of materials needed for a factory, but they also help to find alternative vendors for materials that are in short supply. Here’s how industry 4.0 technologies can ease the burden on the global supply chain.

Tune in to get insights and diverse points of view from leaders in the industry.


For up-to-the-minute information, bookmark the IL news page. Enjoy opinions, commentary, and links to the latest news to help you stay on top of your game.


WHITEPAPER DIGEST Looking for insight into


supply chain best practices and trends? Our whitepaper database is packed with information on all aspects of supply chain operations.


CONNECT WITH US inbound-logistics InboundLogistics InboundLogistics


6 Inbound Logistics • May 2022



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Reshoring? Not So Fast


PUBLISHER Keith G. Biondo

M any companies are on a path to reshore manufacturing and supply back to the United States for several reasons, including capricious actions such as the Shanghai lockdown; future pandemics; retaliatory actions that deliberately choke supply as a response to sanctions; rising cost of transport lift from the East; rising labor costs in China; monetary manipulation; intellectual property risks; squeezing container supply; saber-rattling and outright war. Some supplies, such as lithium for batteries and microchips for everything, have only a few supply points, making reshoring efforts impractical in the short term. To support companies looking to reshore manufacturing and supply to keep business from cratering, the U.S. Administration floated initiatives in February 2022 aimed at encouraging the reshoring trend. Mandating where private companies source and manufacture products is difficult even with a mix of incentives—subsidies, tax breaks, loan-guarantees and funding for R&D—to encourage them to bolster domestic supply chains. But government efforts to spur reshoring are exactly wrong, say some global trade deep thinkers, especially considering that national policy created more headwinds in the past two years despite the incentives. For starters, there’s an anti-transportation and manufacturing energy policy. Add overall inflation and dramatically rising domestic costs for manufacturing. Tax rates are not going down, either. Is an activist U.S. government intent on more regulations? Ya think? How about green policy costs? High over here, very low, if at all, over there. Then there’s the labor issue, if you can get enough skilled workers. The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are convinced that reshoring is not at all the answer to current and future supply chain disruptions. “Supply chain disruption will not be solved by reshoring,” says the IMF report on reshoring. Global management consultant McKinsey & Company agrees, and combines reshoring with today’s buzzword, “friendshoring” supply chains. Wait what? “We could not get labor, we could not get raw material on time, and we decided, ‘Let’s go to Mexico,’” says Isaac Larian, CEO of MGA Entertainment, the maker of Little Tikes. MGA is keeping factories in the United States and in China but it recently opened two factories in Mexico and has another on tap. Then there is the friendlier Mexico-U.S. relationship, significantly lower transportation costs, lower intellectual property theft risks, and easier border crossings. Some observers call the move to friendlier Mexico a “tidal wave.” Reshoring is not as attractive an option as it was two years ago. Unless U.S. policies and trade relationships change in the next few years, enterprise planners will slow-walk reshoring and fast-track friendshoring. n

EDITOR Felecia J. Stratton

SENIOR EDITOR Katrina C. Arabe

Chris Cavallo


CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Sandra Beckwith • Thomas Gresham Karen M. Kroll • Amy Roach


Keith Biondo, Publisher

DESIGNER Nicole Estep

Amy Palmisano





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What’s the biggest supply chain silo?

Transportation Void The biggest supply chain silo is transportation. Providing transportation visibility across the supply chain including to customers, suppliers, and logistics partners opens up the silo. –Chris Jones EVP, Industry and Services, Descartes By far, with the impact on shipping from COVID issues, transportation is the biggest silo to overcome. With the 3G networks that so many electronic logs are configured for being decommissioned, until carriers are able to upgrade we could suffer a micro-shortage of capacity. It all depends on how agile the carriers are at upgrading to 4G. This is a silo that can only be toppled by proactive carrier engagement. –Brian C. Gaffney Supply Chain Specialist, Natural Fiber Welding Mature supply chains have developed sales and operations planning departments, but transportation isn’t typically involved . Given variables like capacity volatility, unpredictable lead times, and product shortages, breaking down that silo could help shippers conserve resources and strategically plan for capacity needs. –Aaron Galer SVP, Strategic Partners, Arrive Logistics

The origin and destination offices for importers’ supply

chains are not simply adjacent silos, they are

orbiting planets. Bring both sides together on a central supply chain management platform so they can work together in real time on the same shipment file. –Bryn Heimbeck President, Trade Tech

THE LACK OF A PLATFORM that integrates data and provides visibility to volume, dwell, railcar availability and train bunching, and truck capacity and driver shortages. –Tom Martucci Chief Technology Officer, Consolidated Intermodal Technologies DATA. From suppliers not sharing data with producers to manufacturers not knowing when to ramp up or down staffing, the lack of good data or lack of access to it can hurt everything from productivity to shipping. –Carl Schweihs

SALES AND OPERATIONS TEAMS are often disconnected. Lacking a unified view of the customer leads to a weak, inconsistent customer experience— and lost sales. Customer relationship management software helps put everyone on the same page. –Mark Buman Chief Revenue Officer, Magaya INEFFECTIVE PACKAGING MANAGEMENT causes shortages, loss, expedited freight, and an overall poor performing supply chain. To break this silo, companies must look at their supply chain holistically and

THE DISCONNECT BETWEEN STRATEGIC PLANNING and day-to- day tactical supply chain optimization. The functional areas that contribute to both ends should collaborate to make deliberate trade-offs to remain aligned overall with the big-picture strategy. Give enough latitude to respond to daily business needs—but without jettisoning strategic progress.

–Troy Prothero SVP, Product Management, Supply Chain Solutions Symphony RetailAI

President and COO PeopleManagement, a TrueBlue company

10 Inbound Logistics • May 2022


implement a packaging and asset management system.

Seeking Supplier Visibility

–Mike Garcia Market Manager – RPM ORBIS Corporation

Typically, each supplier tier is siloed from the next, and most companies have low, if any, visibility beyond their first-tier suppliers. –Jeff White Founder and CEO, Gravy Analytics One of the biggest silos is visibility to supplier value chains . Transparency through the second and third tier of the supply chain provides valuable insights for serving customers. –Hemant Porwal EVP–Supply Chain & Operations, Wesco International Supplier information lives in multiple locations across an organization, many of which are poorly connected, creating data silos. The resulting challenges in visibility, risk, and spend put supply chain resilience at jeopardy. To move forward, an organization-wide commitment to supplier- centricity and master data management, built upon active supplier experience management, is crucial. –Anthony Payne CMO, HICX

COMPLIANCE. Despite impacting nearly every aspect of how goods are shipped (packaging, documentation, carrier selection, etc.), compliance responsibilities are often separated by business unit, function, or location. Establish reliable and repeatable processes across all divisions and locations and integrate compliance into other operational systems, including TMS, WMS, and ERP.

–Mario Sagastume VP Software & Customer Success, Labelmaster

DATA FLOW THROUGHOUT THE SUPPLY CHAIN. Embedding cross- functional metrics, dashboards, and (ideally) organization enables informed decision making, transparency, and value company- wide. The more teams know about the full value chain, the more successful each team will be. –Omer Abdullah Co-founder and Managing Director The Smart Cube IN FORWARD LOGISTICS, products are identified by universal product codes (UPCs). However, when a product is returned, there is no system to identify it. To break down this silo, I advocate for a reverse UPC classification structure based on specific conditions and accessories to facilitate faster refurbishment, accounting and reconciliation, and resale. –Scott Huddle Chief Supply Chain Officer, goTRG LACK OF VISIBILITY ACROSS MODES can create silos, especially for global shippers that combine ocean, air, intermodal, and over-the- road transportation. Working with a provider that offers technology and expertise across modes is critical to gaining visibility and ensuring exceptional service. –JJ Shickel CEO, Omni Logistics

THE LACK OF SHARED NETWORKS. Collaboration up and down the value chain to drive business-critical process is still driven by antiquated systems that are incredibly manual or inflexible. Disruptive organizations are empowering agile teams to innovate their processes continuously while remaining connected. –Peter Rifken Principal Solutions Consultant Quickbase TRADITIONAL LINEAR SUPPLY CHAINS prevent companies from looking beyond the first tier, leaving the global flow of goods and materials vulnerable to disruption. A digital business network brings trading

partners together for better visibility and collaboration. –Tony Harris SVP and Head of Marketing & Solutions SAP Business Network THE BIGGEST SILO IS BETWEEN PLANNING, PROCUREMENT, AND SOURCING . Primarily driven by a lack of data transparency and integration, this is exacerbated by insufficient resources and unclear business processes. A digital supply chain platform that provides a single source of data and integrates business processes is the key to breaking down this silo. –Lachelle Buchanan Director, Logility

Have a great answer to a good question? Be sure to participate next month. We want to know:

What pandemic-era innovation will have the greatest long-term impact on supply chains? We’ll publish some answers. Tell us at or tweet us @ILMAGAZINE #ILGOODQUESTION

May 2022 • Inbound Logistics 11


Want to join the conversation? FOLLOW US: DROP US A LINE: Fast TAKES On global supply chain disruption With the latest lockdowns in China, disruptions are putting new pressures on supply chains. When one node of a supply chain is impacted, it reduces the flexibility for systems to be able to respond. This creates a knock-on impact leading to congestion at ports, slower delivery times, and price increases for consumers.

Re. Good Question: How can retailers compete with the logistics dominance of


the e-commerce behemoths?

You offer the product, variety, and value they may not. It’s about distancing and separation. Deep domain expertise within narrow product categories can be a clear advantage. For instance, what professional expert are you going to call at an e-commerce behemoth like Amazon for product advice? Instead, Amazon relies on crowdsourcing reviews from buyers. And try getting advice on the best hardwoods for furniture building from Home Depot. Better to consult with a specialist in that space. Position yourself and become such a specialist in your space to gain a competitive edge. –Eric Allais President & CEO, PathGuide Technologies Re. Checking In: Twinning Your Supply Chain from Google As digital twin technologies continue to expand into the end-to-end business cycle, logistics data will be paramount. Optimum product configurations can be identified by running simulations in a digital twin environment. If any part of a product is delayed due to supply chain constraints, digital twins allow manufacturers to identify alternative parts to get to market faster, and shippers that match these manufacturers’ agility and can optimize capacity will thrive. –Jay Marshall Global Head of Value Engineering Physna

–Douglas Kent EVP, Association for Supply Chain Management

On the Administration’s initiative to improve supply chain data flow: Freight Logistics Optimization Works (FLOW) One major challenge will be the data each participant shares will be delivered in various formats over different platforms. AI will need to be used strategically to transform documents and

Quick TIP Leverage artificial intelligence in the warehouse by using automation to gain accurate and near real- time visibility into inventory status and inventory-related events, while simultaneously reducing labor costs. This can be accomplished with advanced sensors and cameras combined with computer vision. @elizabdhb One of the vital skill sets today! Bite- sized supply chain and logistics info. Key learnings to make doing business more logical and efficient.

streamline process bottlenecks. Take customs declarations, for

example. Stakeholders must stay on top of processing the customs declarations, which originate many times as documents. Are they scanned in the cab, captured via a mobile app, or scanned at the depot? All are valid options, but speed and accuracy are key. How fast can you transform the text locked within a document into accurate and actionable process-ready data? FLOW is a needed and ambitious initiative, but participants need to be on the same technology pace. –Bruce Orcutt SVP, ABBYY

–K.G. Ganapathi Founder and CEO Vimaan

12 Inbound Logistics • May 2022


At WSI we believe your supply chain deserves absolute reliability ™ . That’s why we’ve spent the last 55 years building partnerships, not just business. Getting to know our partners means we can provide safe, efficient and sustainable solutions with a personal touch. Connect with one of our experts (not a robot) and find out how WSI can help you scale successfully.


Complexities and constantly changing demands impact last-mile delivery. Since the pandemic, consumer demand and e-commerce volumes have surged, as delivery windows have shrunk. Businesses can address the challenges of the last mile with technology, along with these directives. Optimizing the Last Mile

1 CREATE PLANNED ROUTES THAT MEET ALL OPERATIONAL CONSTRAINTS. Typical constraints for a last-mile route include delivery time windows, driver availability, historical pickup density, vehicle capacity, driver schedules, delivery location, and number of stops. Be aware of drivers’ skills for operating certain vehicle types and work the plan around their Hours-of-Service restrictions.

and whether the truck will be on time or delayed due to traffic. These devices allow planners to see in real time the actual route against the planned route so they can ensure that their plan is being followed and savings realized. 8 GIVE DISPATCHERS VISIBILITY. Dispatchers need to see the overall pick up and delivery operation. If a driver will be late for a pickup or delivery, they can proactively alert the customer about the delay, reducing the volume of calls to your customer service organization. 9 USE HISTORICAL DATA FROM TELEMATICS. This improves the transport plan continuously. If delays regularly occur at a specific customer site, you can identify the root cause and then solve the

2 CONSIDER DELIVERY CONSTRAINTS. The route plan should include constraints such as low bridges, type of roadway (gravel vs. paved), narrow passageways, time windows (dock only open a limited amount of time), and limited access at the delivery location, such as loading dock size and ramp availability for unloading packages. Knowing these types of constraints beforehand helps prepare the driver to make the best delivery possible. 3 UNDERSTAND DELIVERY REQUIREMENTS. While Amazon set the stage for consumer expectations, few deliveries need to arrive within hours. Finding out what customers really want versus what they need can save money, both for the customer and your delivery operations. If a part needs to keep a production line going, the order needs quick delivery; a t-shirt can wait.

4 PREDICT CUSTOMER HANDLING TIMES. Looking at historical data to predict dwell and delivery handling times creates the best stop sequence in routes without missing an appointment. This data- driven approach saves precious time and you can rapidly assign single or multiple pickups to the best drivers considering all operating constraints. 5 RE-SEQUENCE STOPS CONTINUOUSLY. Re-sequencing stops continuously on a route plan ensures on-time service. If you get a new pickup for your driver, you can add this leg of the trip to their route plan,

but you must include time commitments and current traffic to ensure timely delivery. 6 SUPERIMPOSE REAL- TIME WEATHER DATA INTO YOUR ROUTE PLAN. Route planners can glean valuable insights that help them adapt quickly to disruption. You can identify potentially impacted delivery points and create contingency plans around or away from the affected areas. 7 UTILIZE TELEMATICS, GPS, AND ELDS. These technologies improve real-time location information so customers know exactly where the truck will bring their order

problem so it doesn’t continue to happen.

10 COLLECT AND MEASURE KPIs. Key performance indicators (KPIs) include number of deliveries completed, percentage of missed deliveries, number of late deliveries, damage claims, delivery time, vehicle capacity utilization, number of complaints, and more to monitor operational efficiencies and improve service levels. You can also measure the number of hours a vehicle is in motion and divide it by the number of hours the vehicle is stopped to determine overall performance of shipment delivery.


14 Inbound Logistics • May 2022

New research from Supplyframe confirms what we already suspected: The electronics supply chain continues to face high risk and is not likely to shed its woes in 2022. Thanks largely to the never-ending increase in demand for semiconductor chips, coupled with supply chain hangovers from pandemic-related disturbances and new raw materials challenges relating to the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the grim outlook is here to stay for the foreseeable future, says the Supplyframe report. It also predicts three top risks for the electronics supply chain in 2022: 1. Component price increases due to materials shortages and manufacturing disruptions. 2. Longer lead times due to buffer inventory depletion. 3. Geopolitical rivalries between China and North America. Electronics RISKY BUSINESS BREADBOARD RAISES THE DOUGH Breadboard, a timely startup providing software that digitizes the supply chain for electronics manufacturers, recently secured $1 million in funding from Bienville Capital. The new company, founded by CEO Zachary Feuerstein and CTO George Balayan, has created a solution that enables electronics manufacturers to generate instant quotes for their customers—which automates and speeds the lengthy RFQ process—and then organize the internal manufacturing and sourcing process. The software helps manufacturers streamline RFQ delivery, automate bills of materials, calculate labor estimations, generate instant quotes, and process payments—and it is all customizable for each business. It also enables the manufacturer to seamlessly connect with suppliers and other supply chain partners. As a result, Feuerstein and Balayan say, Breadboard users gain transparency into pricing, availability, and shipping times for all components. With the urgent need for tools that aid in tackling supply chain concerns for manufacturers, Breadboard is well positioned for growth. The fledgling firm has also partnered with venture studio Fractal Software, which has supported the launch of more than 30 B2B software businesses.

CAN WE SAVE THE SEMICONDUCTOR SUPPLY CHAIN? Developing strategies to help strengthen the efficacy of the semiconductor supply chain is almost a national pastime at this point. Experts of all kinds have lent their brainpower to determining how to relieve ongoing supply chain pressures surrounding one of the most in-demand products on the planet. Renowned public policy organization The Brookings Institute is the latest to weigh in. Instead of a focus on reshoring the semiconductor supply chain—an increasingly popular approach supported by recent legislation on Capitol Hill—the Brookings Institute espouses a two-pronged holistic approach to address semiconductor availability. First, the United States should focus on deepening its high-tech collaboration with supply chain partners such as South Korea, Taiwan, or Europe. Second, the United States should amend immigration rules to permit more skilled workers to enter the country, augmenting the talent pool during a period of labor shortages and increasing the competitiveness of U.S.-based industry. The Institute says these policies would help boost domestic production from 10-12% of the global market and increase supply chain resilience while minimizing potential efficiency losses from over-reliance on local manufacturing. Its resistance to embracing reshoring as a solution centers around the excessive time it takes to build semiconductor manufacturing facilities, the likeliness that U.S. fabrication plants will not be profitable without government assistance, and ongoing labor shortages.

16 Inbound Logistics • May 2022


EMBRACING JUST-IN- CASE LOGISTICS The supply chain turmoil in the electronics industry has been particularly crushing for electronics manufacturing service (EMS) companies—the ones making goods for original equipment manufacturers. Because they sit in the middle of the supply chain, EMS firms feel the crunch from both sides. The best way for EMS companies to thrive today, according to recent thought leadership from Forbes Technology Council, is to embrace “just-in-case” logistics, defined as “relying on their own warehouses, stocked with excess inventory, to prevent shortages not only in finished products but also for spare parts and components” by Andreas Bubenzer-Paim, head of technology banking at Bank of the West/BNP Paribas. Bubenzer-Paim recommends EMS companies adapt using six tactical steps to get to a just-in-case approach: 1. Encourage customers to shift away from placing frequent, smaller orders. Instead, EMS companies should get their customers to place larger orders to improve chances of securing needed components. That way, EMS companies can, in turn, place their own larger, less-frequent orders with their suppliers. 2. Use robotics and AI to help overcome supply chain inertia. Automating manual processes and streamlining human- machine interactions can help reduce the pressure on supply chains, and couples well with just-in-case inventory buffers. 3. Diversify across the globe. Having financial partners with a presence in key countries and regions can help manufacturers stay ahead of disruptions and maintain supplier relationships. 4. Consider reshoring. Following the lead of giants like Samsung and Intel, EMS companies should consider building semiconductor factories in the United States to localize talent, recoup losses, and improve supplier-manufacturer relationships. 5. Seek alternate financing mechanisms. EMS companies with cash-flow difficulties may benefit from financing channels that don't require debt. 6. Provide shorter payment terms to suppliers. This helps ensure that suppliers are able to keep operating and providing the necessary components to the EMS industry.

A PIVOT TO PENANG Seeking to diversify beyond China for offshore manufacturing capabilities has been an ongoing strategy in the electronics sector—and Penang, Malaysia, is fast becoming a major player in the global semiconductor industry. Embracing the area recently is TTM Technologies, a Santa Ana, California-based manufacturer of printed circuit boards (PCB), radio frequency (RF) components and RF microwave/ microelectronic assemblies, which just broke ground on a $130-million manufacturing plant in Penang. TTM selected Penang based on the region’s favorable conditions for investment and operating costs, customer proximity, and supply chain support. Penang was also attractive, the company notes, due to its well-established electrical and electronics industry ecosystem. Penang is now estimated to contribute approximately 8% of the global back- end semiconductor output, boasting a network of more than 3,000 local suppliers, according to economic development booster organization, InvestPenang. “As an early-mover into Southeast Asia for the production of advanced technology PCBs, TTM is responding to our customers’ needs for supply chain resiliency, regional diversification and growth capacity,” notes TTM President and CEO Tom Edman. The new, highly automated plant will serve TTM’s global commercial markets including networking communications, data center computing, and medical, industrial, and instrumentation. Being built on 27 acres of industrial land at Penang Science Park, TTM expects to be fully operational there by 2025. $555.9 BILLION TOTAL GLOBAL SEMICONDUCTOR INDUSTRY SALES IN 2021—THE HIGHEST EVER, AND

26.2% HIGHER THAN 2020. –Semiconductor Industry Association

May 2022 • Inbound Logistics 17

READERPROFILE Parts and Parcels

as told to Karen Kroll

RONY KORDAHI is chief operating officer with Parts Town, a distributor of restaurant equipment parts.

I saw engineering as one piece of the supply chain. To satisfy my curiosity about how businesses and the world works, I wanted to get more involved in the entire supply chain, so I shifted career paths. Built into our DNA at Parts Town is the recognition that at the end of every transaction is the livelihood of a family, an employee, or a business. We’re a technology-driven company based on customer service obsession, innovation, a strong culture and passionate team, and operational excellence. We’ve disrupted the foodservice equipment industry in a positive and constructive way. The secret sauce is how we bring these qualities and capabilities together through connectivity and collaboration with suppliers, manufacturers, and customers. It’s making sure we have RESPONSIBILITIES: Supply chain planning, including purchasing and inventory management; program management office; e-commerce; distribution; operations; and sales to independent restaurant segment. EXPERIENCE: Vice president, supply chain, logistics, customer care, UTC Climate Controls & Security; director and general manager, aftermarket, Lennox

International; chief technology officer, Heatcraft Australia & New Zealand; supply chain strategy manager, British American Tobacco; senior management consultant, Alexander Proudfoot; senior engineer, AstraZeneca. EDUCATION: B.S.M.E., American University of Beirut; Master of Computer Integrated Manufacturing, University of New South Wales.

A s soon as I earned my degree in mechanical engineering at the American University of Beirut, I packed my bags and bought a one- way ticket to Australia. I completed my master’s degree in computer integrated manufacturing, a precursor to robotics, automation and mechatronics, at the University of New South Wales in Sydney. Leaving my country was both difficult and exhilarating. Curiosity was the sustaining force. I was trying to find out more about the world, about me, about what I can do and where I fit. NEW PLACES, NEW POSITIONS My first few jobs were engineering oriented: I designed robots and automated warehouse systems. I worked in different industries, including pharmaceuticals, consulting, mining, and manufacturing. I also worked in different countries, including Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Japan, and the United States. I learned something from each place and position.

strong, innovative algorithms and accurate inventory planning and purchasing processes, and that we can receive, put away, and ship to our customers with quality and reliability. It’s also ensuring our digital innovations empower our customers to find and track what they need, transact with us, and gain full transparency across the supply chain. PREPARED FOR A PANDEMIC COVID was a serious challenge. Both independent restaurants and large chains had to scramble to figure out how to stay in business and safely serve their customers. We were prepared, although the pandemic forced us to accelerate on all fronts. We’d been investing in our people and safety. Within one week,

Built into our DNA at Parts Town is the recognition that at the end of every transaction is the livelihood of a family, an employee, or a business.

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everyone who could work remotely was set up with the technologies that allowed them to do so. In collaboration with our manufacturers, we’d invested in disruptive, digital technologies that enable operational excellence. This all served us extremely well. Now we’re back on the growth trajectory we had before the pandemic. I’m proud of our team and how we’ve tackled this so far. Having lived in different countries and multiple states within the United States, I learned to appreciate diversity of thoughts, ideas, and traditions. Living different places gives you an appreciation for the importance of cultural richness. It opens you up to different views and provides a wider perspective. That’s important whether you’re trying to manage a diverse customer, employee, or supplier base. For instance, you need to appreciate the way people in different countries value work versus personal time, to make sure your workforce moves with you as an organization, and gains what they need to be happy in their professional work.  n

Rony Kordahi Answers the Big Questions 1 What’s the best leadership or supply chain advice you’ve received? Listen and appreciate the challenges your customers and suppliers and their customers and suppliers face. Then figure out how what you do can make it easier for them to do business. 2 If you could travel anywhere, and time and money weren’t issues, where would you go? There are so many places! If I had to pick one, I’d head back to Brazil. I enjoy the culture, and I’m a big soccer fan. 3 If you could have one superpower, what would that be? Eliminating world hunger, for sure. 4 What kind of kid were you in high school? I got in trouble. Nothing serious, but I wasn’t a conformist and was easily distracted. I wanted to always do what I wasn’t supposed to do. In the end, I think it worked out well.

For terminal tractors and fleet leasing, there’s only one name to remember.


May 2022 • Inbound Logistics 19 | 844-GOTURBO | 844-468-8726


The Supply Chain in Brief


> M & A

 Atlantic Logistics launched Atlantic Cares, a volunteer and philanthropy

n Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) finalized its acquisition of Bolloré Africa Logistics, which includes the firm’s shipping, logistics, and terminals

initiative. Throughout 2022, the company will contribute one dollar for every load of freight moved and send the funding each month to a different local nonprofit, including Feeding Northeast Florida, Seamark Ranch, Ronald McDonald House, and others.  CMA CGM Foundation, the charitable arm of global shipping firm CMA CGM, is teaming up with Magic Systems Foundation to build an elementary school in Ivory Coast, Africa, that will welcome 200 children in fall 2022. The two foundations are committed to bringing high-quality educational facilities to under-resourced regions.

operations in Africa, as well as terminal operations in India, Haiti, and Timor-Leste.

n Supply chain services firm Agility made an offer to acquire aviation firm John Menzies LLC. If approved, the merger will result in the largest airport services company in the world by the number of operating countries. n Toyota Industries Corporation acquired Viastore Group , a provider of intralogistics systems, in order to boost its offering of customer-specific solutions for product categories such as forklifts and automatic sorting systems. n Hy-Tek Holdings, a materials handling automation integrator, acquired two firms: FASCOR, a supply chain execution software solutions provider, and Systems Integrator LCS. The acquisitions will help Hy-Tek broaden its offerings in materials handling and integrated systems. n STG Logistics expanded its position in containerized logistics through the acquisition of XPO Logistics' intermodal division. The combined business offers drayage, transloading, warehousing, fulfillment, rail transportation, and final- mile distribution services.


• J.B. Hunt Transport Services launched CLEAN Transport, a program to help customers offset carbon emissions based on lane-specific activity. J.B. Hunt provides participants with data showing the amount of carbon offsets needed to achieve a carbon-neutral shipment and to obtain carbon credits to support projects such as reforestation and clean power generation.


• DHL was selected as the official logistics partner of the Council of Fashion Designers of America. The partnership aims to strengthen the global reach of fashion businesses around the world.

• SIG plc, a European supplier of specialized building materials, chose a last-mile delivery solution suite from Descartes Systems Group. As a result, SIG increased on-time-in-full deliveries by 10-15% and boosted the volume of deliveries by 25% using its existing fleet. • Hawaii’s largest grocery retailer, Foodland, chose Symphony RetailAI ’s artificial intelligence-based solutions to modernize core retail activities including supply chain optimization, promotion planning, and store operations.

20 Inbound Logistics • May 2022




n Construction will begin in summer 2022 on CentrePort Canada Rail Park, a 665-acre rail-served industrial space with logistics infrastructure at CentrePort Canada, North America’s largest trimodal inland port and Foreign Trade Zone, located in Winnipeg and Rosser. The Rail Park will offer access to international air cargo services at CentrePort as well as an interstate at the Canada-U.S. border and the TransCanada Highway. It is also served by three Class 1 rail carriers connecting Canada, the United States, and Mexico.

• Global supply chain management firm AFFLINK hired Todd Gatzulis as senior vice president of business development. Gatzulis joins the company after a long career at consumer products company Henkel/Dial. He will oversee AFFLINK’s supply chain and corporate sales functions.

• Discount grocery chain Sav A Lot appointed Trey Johnson as its new chief merchandising officer. Formerly a high-ranking supply chain and merchandising executive for The Save Mart Companies, Johnson will oversee merchandising, quality assurance, and retail partner/vendor relationships in his new role.

• Arthur Verweij joined Printronix, a manufacturer of industrial grade printing solutions, as the company’s global director, brand and

customer development. Verweij, a 25-year veteran of the specialty printing industry, will work to develop the company’s global omnichannel marketing strategy.


• Ginny Polach, director of human resources for St. Louis-based Sunset Transportation, was named a 2022 Top Woman to Watch in Transportation by the Women in Trucking Association.

• The Home Depot honored Ascend, an Atlanta-based regional logistics provider, as the 2021 Truckload Carrier of the Year (Small Fleet Category) . Ascend was selected for its skill in keeping up with the double-

Polach was cited for her career accomplishments and efforts to promote gender diversity.

digit growth in freight volume the retailer has seen since the

• Made4net, a provider of cloud-based warehouse and supply chain management solutions, was recognized by Frost & Sullivan with the 2021 Product Leadership Award for the North American mid-market WMS market. The award is given each year to a company whose products offer innovative features and functionality and are gaining rapid market acceptance.

start of the pandemic.

• Penske Logistics earned a pair of 2021 Supplier of the Year awards from its long-time customer General Motors. The two honors were in the lead logistics provider category for services provided in Mexico, and for dedicated delivery service efforts to transport service parts to GM dealerships in the United States.

May 2022 • Inbound Logistics 21

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