Inbound Logistics | June 2022

From revealing how companies fuel their ESG initiatives with supply chain strategies to exploring how retailers overcome grocery shortages, this edition will supercharge your supply chain. Get a handy guide to 75 noteworthy green supply chain partners that will support your sustainability efforts and a look at the state of supply chain education in this insightful edition.

JUNE 2022

You can’t charge into the future without a full charge. That’s why Penske is paving the way for the transition to electric truck use, helping the industry benefit from our early deployment of quiet, powerful and clean vehicles. GAIN POWER GAIN GROUND


WHAT THE HACK? 123456 The most common password used by CEOs (1.1 million+ times) password Second most common password (used 700,000+ times) 1q2w3e, 12345, 11111, qwerty Other most common passwords Michael, Jordan, Tiffany, Charlie The most widely chosen names executives use in passwords

ONLINE SHOPPING LIST 47% of all Americans buy their groceries online at least sometimes

NOW THAT’S CAREER LONGEVITY Orthmann started work as a shipping assistant at a textile company in Santa Catarina, Brazil called Industrias Renaux S.A. (now ReneauxView). In 1938, when he was 15 years old, Walter Eighty four years later, at 100 years old, he still works there and holds the official Guinness World Record for the longest career at the same company.

15% shop mostly or exclusively online

W ONDER W OMEN • In 2022, women compose 39% of the total supply chain workforce , down from 41% in 2021. • Compared to the previous year, representation of women in supply chain improved at the senior-most level , with women composing 19% of C-level positions, up from 15% in 2021. • Supply chain leaders should not become complacent, however– 43% say the pandemic has had a net negative impact in the retention and progression of women in supply chain organizations over the past year. • Lack of advancement opportunities and pay equity remain issues– 59% of respondents have no action plan to close the pay equity gap . – 2022 Women in Supply Chain survey, Gartner 75% of online consumers spend more than $50 per week 77% of online shoppers buy at big box retailers like Costco, Walmart, or Kroger

–NordPass analysis of cyber incidents

HOLD MY BEERGAME The Beergame App is an e-learning game that hosts engaging business simulations online to teach and simplify supply chain concepts. This web application was inspired by the Beer Distribution Game, developed by Jay Forrester, an MIT professor, in 1961. The player gets a role in a specic industry–manufacturer, distributor, wholesaler, or retailer. The game’s goal is to satisfy requests at each stage of the supply chain to meet the overall demand of end consumers. Participating in the games’ directives provides insight into important supply chain concepts such as cost, orders, and demand and helps players understand the impact of multiple supply boundaries, the effects of customer behavior, and the bullwhip effect.

June 2022 • Inbound Logistics 1

CONTENTS JUNE 2022 | VOL. 42 | NO. 6

41 75 GREEN



SUPPLY CHAIN PARTNERS Inbound Logistics editors recognize 75 logistics and supply chain companies for their green initiatives and notable sustainability eorts in facilitating environment-first supply chains. 64 POP QUIZ: SUPPLY CHAIN EDUCATORS ANSWER PRESSING QUESTIONS Supply chain management programs attract students in record numbers as the pandemic underlined its significance. How are education programs preparing those students for a career in the field? We quizz some top supply chain programs to find out.



CHEMICAL LOGISTICS: CRITICAL CHALLENGES DRIVE CREATIVITY Chemical shippers and their partners keep critical shipments moving safely and e‡ciently—refining their strategies and getting creative despite considerable challenges. Here’s how leading providers formulate solutions for chemical shipments. 88 GROCERY SHORTAGES: THE WORM IN THE APPLE A smorgasbord of factors are leading to grocery shortages, but retailers can take a bite out of the challenge through advance planning, visibility, and a focus on supplier relationships.

Freight bill audit and payment (FBAP) providers help shippers with the heavy lifting—managing transactions with carriers, while also adding strategic value. Here’s how to find the best fit.



34 SUPPLY CHAIN HELPS MEET ESG GOALS Interest in environment, social responsibility, and governance (ESG) is growing, and companies are increasingly turning to their supply chains to help meet their ESG goals. Their supply chain partners nurture these sustainability initiatives with innovative tools and services.

ABOUT THE COVER Electrify America and NFI Industries collaborate on the largest heavy-duty electric truck charging infrastructure project in the United States. Slated for completion by December 2023, the project provides 34 ultra-fast DC chargers to support 60 electric freight trucks that NFI will utilize to serve the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. (Photo courtesy of NFI.)

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GOOD QUESTION What pandemic-era


adjustment will have the greatest impact on the supply chain?

Air oddities like this skycrane allow supply chains to reach unprecedented heights

Footwear supply chain trends

INFOCUS 1 INFO SNACKS 12 VERTICAL FOCUS: FOOTWEAR 14 NOTED 16 TAKEAWAYS 100 IN BRIEF 104 LAST MILE Cannons, super guppies, and more flying oddities




20 SPONSORED THOUGHT LEADERS Data drives supply chain optimization...20 Wooden pallets support sustainable supply chains...21 The rise of AI-driven smart audit...22 24 SC SECURITY Integrating NFC and blockchain



Materials handling innovations and other new products

What pandemic-era adjustment will have the greatest supply chain impact? 8 10 TIPS Optimizing e-fulfillment



Once a would-be literature professor, Thad Bedard, the president of APL Logistics, is constantly imagining how to make a great company even better. With a collaborative approach and an openness to change, he thrives on challenge and opportunity.

U.S.-based PSA acquires a Singapore logistics firm and other notable moves

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 oŠces. 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

June 2022 • Inbound Logistics 3



Chick-fil-A Strikes Oil


H ave you ever gotten a whiff of french fries as you pass an 18-wheeler on the highway? While it may have been a ashback to your last visit to Chick-l-A, it was more likely the biodiesel fuel that could have come from upcycled frying oil collected from 2,802

EDITOR Felecia J. Stratton

SENIOR EDITOR Katrina C. Arabe Chris Cavallo


CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Sandra Beckwith • Thomas Gresham Karen M. Kroll • Helen Mann • Amy Roach CREATIVE DIRECTOR Jeof Vita DESIGNER Nicole Estep DIGITAL DESIGN MANAGER Amy Palmisano

Chick-l-A locations across the United States. The fast food chicken chain is participating in a program with Darling Ingredients, a global company that reduces food waste by collecting and repurposing animal-based co-products and other natural materials. For customer Chick-l-A, Darling turns waste cooking oil into green energy for truckers. “We are committed to being responsible stewards of the resources at our restaurants and support the future of renewable transportation fuel—diesel in this case,” says Rodney Bullard, vice president, corporate social responsibility for Chick-l-A. In New York, for example, the average price for diesel is currently $6.45. In another time and place (two short years ago) diesel cost $2.69 per gallon. That massive price rise trickles up and down the supply and demand chain, increasing prices at every touch. Biodiesel will play an important role in offsetting the energy squelch designed to “wean America off fossil fuels.” Here’s how the program works. Darling Ingredients arranges for the regular collection of Chick-l-A’s waste cooking oil. Darling’s partnership with Valero Energy, called Diamond Green Diesel, creates an integrated supply chain that combines Darling’s supply of waste ingredients with Valero’s rening, production, logistics, and marketing through Valero’s retail fuel stations. The partnership currently produces and sells 290 million gallons of green diesel per year. Expansion plans are expected to increase Diamond Green Diesel’s total production to about 1.2 billion gallons of green diesel annually by 2023. Currently, 44.6 billion gallons of diesel fuel are sold in the United States each year, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Assuming diesel use stays about the same, biodiesel would account for 2.6% of total consumption by 2023. Let’s run some math about the economic impact of the human-caused increase in diesel fuel: 44 billion x $6.45 per gallon = $284 billion, give or take a few billion. And 44 billion gallons x $2.69 per gallon two years ago = $118 billion. The two-year difference is more than $165 billion in added fuel costs. Green diesel will not only add to the supply sustainably, but it also may help to tamp down more fuel cost increases during the next two years. Chick-l-A and partners Darling Ingredients and Valero Energy are clearly winning on their environmental, social, and corporate governance leadership. And my favorite item, the Spicy Chicken sandwich, still costs less than a gallon of diesel.

Keith Biondo, Publisher




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Inbound Logistics supports sustainable best practices. Our mission is rooted in helping companies match demand to supply, eliminating waste from the supply chain. This magazine is printed on paper sourced from fast growth renewable timber.

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What pandemic-era adjustment will have the greatest supply chain impact? Digging Into Data

The use of data analytics to help suppliers really understand consumer behavior. Suppliers decided to eliminate or stop manufacturing slow- moving SKUs in an effort to focus on consumer needs. –Greg Forbis EVP, Strategy and Business Development, RJW Logistics Group The supply chain is demanding comprehensive, market-based data. Innovative transportation technologies are emerging, providing a data- driven perspective to strategic decisions. It is an exciting time as leaders find a better way to reduce costs, establish stable networks, and ensure the efficient movement of goods. –Jenny Vander Zanden Chief Operating Officer, Breakthrough A company’s digital toolbox will have the greatest impact on supply chain operations. Be it advanced analytics or visibility software, organizations will continue to embrace and use data to avoid risk and ensure business continuity. This digital-first mindset will influence key decisions. –Grant Koch Solutions & Innovation Director, BDP International

PRODUCT VISIBILITY TECHNOLOGIES that organizations can utilize to monitor the flow and consumption of their products at every step of the supply chain. Product visibility programs and artificial intelligence can provide realistic data- driven projections to help minimize the peaks and dips of product shortages. –Eric Vasquez Owner and Founder Veterans Logistics Group THE MOVE AWAY FROM JUST-IN- TIME (JIT) OPERATIONS , which for decades enabled organizations to run on a nearly made-to-order process. Manufacturers are now implementing a just-in-case (JIC) model in which supplies are stockpiled “just in case” The acceleration of digital twins . The ability to digitally model a company’s manufacturing and distribution network will allow it to quickly assess the impact of large and small disruptions and take appropriate actions. –Allen Jacques Industry Thought Leader, Kinaxis

adopt emerging technologies to improve contract performance.

they are needed at a later date. While JIC is more expensive and requires larger warehouses with greater storage space, it provides a cushion of supplies during black swan events. –Matt Heerey President, Manufacturing Division ECI Solutions INVESTMENTS IN TECHNOLOGY TO CONNECT ALL NODES OF THE SUPPLY CHAIN and increase visibility will continue to accelerate and transform operations. With heavy reliance on third-party logistics providers, shippers and carriers will

–Matt Marshall Senior Vice President, NYSHEX

MANY RETAILERS FINALLY EMBRACED A TRUE OMNICHANNEL customer experience. To do that, they had to evaluate and innovate their systems to support today’s “shop anywhere” culture. Consumers have raised the bar on how they shop; retailers responded by designing a seamless omnichannel experience.

–Archie Black CEO, SPS Commerce

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NEW E-COMMERCE MODELS AND MORE CUSTOMER-CENTRIC SUPPLY CHAINS . Companies will need to locate their suppliers closer to where their customers are located and bolster their transportation networks to increase speed to market. –Tony Pelli Practice Director, Security and Resilience, BSI TECHNOLOGY THAT MAKES IT EASIER TO CONDUCT BUSINESS FROM ANYWHERE , at any time. From moving operations to the cloud to adopting self-service solutions so customers can manage their own shipments online, these innovations are making businesses more resilient. –Gary Nemmers CEO, Magaya THE INCREASED DIGITIZATION OF DRIVER CHECK INS AND OUTS is here to stay. The need to limit face-to- face interactions between drivers and dock workers helped to drive a long- term efficiency gain. –Nick Shroeger Chief Solutions Officer Coyote Logistics THE FLEXIBILITY IMPORTERS HAVE BUILT into their supply chains will last post-pandemic. The increased demand for crossdocking at port markets will also live on—steamship lines have found a recipe for profit that currently limits or makes inland point intermodal shipments more costly. –Dale Young VP, Warehousing & Distribution World Distribution Services CONTINGENCY PLANNING. When thinking about your supply chain operations, get creative. Have a Plan B and a Plan C. Consider the disruption effects and think about the impacts on cost, revenue, and clients. Consider pivoting from fringe market products and focus on your core. –Brendan Heegan CEO, Boxzooka Fulfillment & Global Ecommerce THE SHIFT IN PRIMARY CUSTOMER DECISION CRITERIA from price to more focus on service and capacity.

Diversifying to Increase Resilience

Diversify your supply chain. The biggest lesson from the pandemic is the urgent need to improve supply chain resiliency to mitigate business risks. Merchants should seek to diversify supply sources and seek partners that offer solutions to reduce reliance on single supply lines and that help navigate risks in the new model. –Mark Robinson President, UPS Capital Diversification is key moving forward. The pandemic underscored: 1) the value of building relationships with several ocean carriers, trucking, and warehouse partners, 2) the necessity of establishing strength in multiple markets and 3) the importance of incorporating various options into your transport strategy, ranging from charters to traditional ocean to air. –Michael Van Hagen Senior VP, Supply Chain, UWL Vendor diversification. During the height of the pandemic, we saw many of the major carriers decide they were at capacity—and suddenly would not be picking up orders from several businesses. This taught many a tough lesson in the need for vendor diversification. I believe this lesson has been learned and very few businesses will depend solely on one provider any more. –Josh Dunham Co-founder and CEO, Reveel

Customers still want competitive pricing, but now they diversify their carriers, are more willing to use 3PLs and NVOs, and more open to brokerage to ensure capacity. –Mike Williams Executive VP, Commercial & Logistics ContainerPort Group SUPPLY CHAIN SUCCESS DEPENDS ON FLEXIBILITY —the pandemic made that clear. This focus is

driving technology adoption, as merchants demand more visibility and orchestration. Relying on technology enables quicker pivots when disruption inevitably occurs—shifting inventory to new cities, leveraging new ports, or redirecting orders to another warehouse. –Steve Denton CEO Ware2Go, a UPS Company

Have a great answer to a good question? Be sure to participate next month. We want to know: Has the pandemic accelerated logistics outsourcing? Why or why not? We’ll publish some answers. Tell us at or tweet us @ILMAGAZINE #ILGOODQUESTION

June 2022 • Inbound Logistics 7


E-commerce sales are projected to continue rising steadily. In this environment, it is more important than ever for retailers and brands to fill orders quickly, seamlessly, and cost-effectively. Here’s how your fulfillment operations can optimize performance. Optimizing E-Commerce Fulfillment Operations


6 OPTIMIZE INVENTORY. Map out processes for receiving, replenishment, inventory slotting, and pack out to ensure optimal efficiency and service levels. If you store products in multiple locations, utilizing an order management system (OMS) can provide visibility enterprise-wide and help determine the optimal fulfillment source for each order. An OMS can also help you provide customers with real-time inventory availability and order tracking information. 7 CONSIDER POSTPONEMENT. Moving value-added services such as kitting, labeling, and embroidery closer to the customer allows you to delay product configuration or customization until the last possible moment. This can often help you be more responsive to customer demand, better manage inventory, expand product offerings, and get to market faster.

8 EXPLORE YOUR PARCEL OPTIONS. Record volume will continue to drive up parcel rates and surcharges, so your best bet to control costs is through efficiency and optimization. You may be able to broaden your carrier strategy with regional carriers or postal workshare options or take advantage of zone skipping to sortation hubs. Distribution modeling and rate shopping software can help to find the most efficient and cost-effective shipping options to meet service expectations. 9 ANTICIPATE RETURNS. To provide hassle-free returns and quick refunds, ensure that your information systems, distribution network and transportation capabilities work in tandem. Returns processing can be labor intensive and require experienced employees with strong decision-making skills to evaluate merchandise and determine next steps, so factor that into your staffing plans.

Picking, packing, and shipping online orders is resource- intensive. E-commerce fulfillment operations can require two to three times the space and labor of traditional warehousing operations, so factor these requirements into your plans up front.

2 MAXIMIZE PICKING CAPACITY. Design your warehouse to increase storage density and maximize picking capacity. E-commerce facility design typically incorporates higher ceiling heights (36 feet or higher), narrow aisles, and high-density storage solutions . 3 PLAN FOR GROWTH AND FLUCTUATIONS. Since your business is always growing and evolving, it is important to build flexibility into fulfillment operations. Design your fulfillment solution with scalable space, staffing, processes, and technologies, so you can ramp up and down quickly and easily. If you plan to add additional sales channels (i.e., brick-and-mortar stores, subscription services, third-party marketplaces), make sure your fulfillment operations can support multiple channels and order profiles. And always keep

4 INVEST IN ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY. Automation, large-scale mechanization, and robotics can help fulfillment operations achieve peak performance. With the

right solution, you can improve productivity,

reduce labor dependency, control operational costs and flex to accommodate business fluctuations. When implementing new technology, make sure you have the right back-end infrastructure to support these initiatives—systems, leadership, etc. 5 TAKE A STRATEGIC DISTRIBUTION APPROACH. The closer products are to the end customer, the faster and more economically they can be delivered. Utilizing two or more distribution centers in strategic locations can help you deliver orders to consumers more quickly and cost-effectively—often within two days via ground service. Another option is to locate your fulfillment centers to ensure ready access to parcel service providers.


CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT. Look for ways to improve efficiency at every step in the fulfillment process. Quality methodologies such as Lean Six Sigma can help to increase efficiency, improve throughput, ensure accuracy, and control costs. SOURCE: BOBBY HAYS, REGIONAL VICE PRESIDENT, OPERATIONS, SADDLE CREEK LOGISTICS SERVICES

safety and ergonomics in mind as you design processes.

8 Inbound Logistics • June 2022

LEADERSHIP Conversations with the Captains of Industry

Thriving on Change, Growth, and Opportunity

Fresh out of grad school, Thad Bedard moved to the San Francisco Bay area hoping to become a professor of American literature. But teaching jobs were scarce. “To make ends meet, I started working as a warehouseman,” recalls Bedard. “I enjoyed the industry. The work challenged a lot of my preconceived notions about business.” He started working his way up through a series of supply chain positions. In 2008, Bedard joined APL Logistics, and in January 2022 he became president. We recently talked with Bedard about the evolution of his career, and what issues are getting most of his attention these days. IL: How did an experience early in your career help to shape you as a leader? I was managing a group of organized labor on the waterfront in Richmond, California. The prevailing guidance about managing those teams was to be harsh. I tried that persona, but it didn’t work. When I started treating them as human beings— talking about their concerns and how we could work together to accomplish what we had to get done so we could all go home at the end of the day—things started to improve. The lesson? A hard-boiled, take-no-prisoners management style doesn’t work. IL: Since you became president of APL Logistics, what have been your top priorities? We’ve been working hard to realize our corporate strategy, which is tied to our first maxim: to become the premier order management provider in the world. To that end, we’re doing a lot of work on our product management and operational strategy, getting all aligned toward that common vision. We’re also aligning our capital investment strategy, both for the physical movement of goods and in the technology arena. We also are rolling out the company’s first diversity and inclusion program. IL: What keeps your customers awake these days? Customers are focused on how to remain relevant and resilient. Aligned with that is their desire to make sense of all the different technology and service offerings, determine what to do with those choices, and still maintain some feeling that their logistics provider is neutral and has their best interests foremost in mind.

Thad Bedard President, APL Logistics

Whether he is at work or having coffee with his family on Sunday morning, Thad Bedard’s brain is constantly churning with ways to take a great company and make it even better.

by Merrill Douglas

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IL: What makes you excited about going to work? Change, and the opportunity to take what is already a great company and make it an even greater company—one that employees are proud of, that customers want to do business with, and that new employees want to join. Figuring out how to make that work for all parties concerned—from stakeholders to employees—is interesting and forces me to learn new things. IL: Is there something you believed strongly at the start of your career that you’ve since changed your mind about? I used to believe that all bosses were out to get me. I didn’t understand the nuances of decision making. Now, I try to remember that the employee’s perspective on a company’s decision is very important. Employees don’t always have visibility into all the variables that go into a decision. I hope I consider all perspectives—management, employees, and customers—when I make a decision and when I communicate it. IL: Read any terrific books lately? Horizons by Barry Lopez is a fantastic work. He was in his 70s when it was published, and the book reflects on the adventures he’d had, the landscape around him, what the landscape means, and how it’s changed. I wouldn’t call it a hopeful book, but it’s a beautiful book. I also recommend The Practice of the Wild by Gary Snyder. It’s about breaking down the barriers between nature and humans, recognizing that we all live in a kind of wilderness. IL: Beyond work and books, how do you spend your time? I spend a lot of time with my wife and three children. We go to the beach a lot. I also enjoy all sorts of outdoor activities, including walking and bicycling. n Nurturing Talent Globally One of the most interesting challenges APL Logistics faces today has to do with the issue of equity, says President Thad Bedard. That subject includes many variables, including employee compensation and access to opportunities. “The question of opportunity touches on race and gender, but also on regions,” Bedard explains. “APL Logistics operates almost everywhere in the world. Figuring out how to provide opportunities for growth to people in places such as Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, and get them into career pathways that lead to director or management-level positions, is an important part of that.”

In response, APL Logistics is trying to build out a platform that gives customers the best, most advanced, neutral options, providing different opportunities for transport or for consolidation. On the data analytics and measurement side, our role is to help customers understand how their providers and vendors are behaving against their key performance indicators. IL: How has the pandemic changed the way people look at supply chains? The pandemic has made everyone aware that product doesn’t just fall out of the sky. There’s a renewed focus on inbound logistics, and we’re realizing that demand for product is the real driver. During the pandemic, consumers started to buy things at a rate they hadn’t done in many years. And they wanted those products in ways they hadn’t before—at their homes, close to where they got coffee, or where they picked up their kids. Sellers had to figure out how to get merchandise closer to where consumers were going to be and what specific products they wanted to buy. That leads to the realization that if you don’t get demand right, you’re going to over-manufacture product and generate a lot of carbon waste. One of the threads to follow with the pandemic is the relationship between demand planning and the climate situation we’re in now. I think it’s direct. IL: How would you describe your leadership style? Collaborative. I build a management team with the premise that it’s not an authoritarian regime. Executives from all the disciplines that make up a company—from finance to HR to legal—play an equal role. That doesn’t change the fact that I ultimately make the decision, but I am open to and encourage dissent. IL: What’s the hardest aspect of your job? Balancing all the components of a global organization that’s engaged in a lot of businesses. Each geography and business presents its own kinds of challenges. And the world doesn’t sleep. Morning, evening, going out for coffee on a Sunday—I’m constantly checking to see what issues I need to prioritize, what I can delegate, what I can defer for a while, and where I need more information. That has become a constant churn in my brain.

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Handheld mobile devices may be what footwear retail stores need to get a leg up on the competition, according to a new report from technology news platform IMC Grupo. Challenged by constraints including lack of store employees, time-consuming payment methods, inefficient inventory management, outdated enterprise resource planning systems, and cumbersome exchange and return practices, many footwear retailers have turned to handheld mobile computer solutions to boost efficiency, the report notes. According to the report, footwear retailers embracing handheld systems can gain the following benefits: Boost digital transformation and information management. Handheld personal computers handle data and information seamlessly, making it easier to manage retail functions in real time. This ability, in turn, means footwear retailers can more easily transform sales, order replenishment, and distribution processes. Provide timely and accurate market information. In the apparel and footwear industry, it’s incredibly important for a store to keep revising and refining its marketing and product strategies. Handheld mobile computers deliver quick and accurate data that can efficiently inform and shape marketing decisions. Improve customer service quality. Using handhelds, store employees can quickly and accurately check inventory and help customers find the footwear they are looking for, leading to improved customer service. In the case of a stockout, store clerks can use the handheld devices to help customers place an order for the desired item(s). Facilitate efficient restocks. Inventory updates are crucial to ensure that footwear stores do not run out of stock. Handheld mobile computers provide swift information regarding goods, facilitating timely restocks without wasting time. DOES FOOTWEAR RETAIL NEED A HAND(HELD)?

CHINA SC WOES HAVE FOOTWEAR INDUSTRY TIED IN KNOTS The impact on the supply chain from lockdowns in China was a major theme for footwear retailers in the first half of 2022. Largely reporting lower-than-expected earnings, many major footwear brands pointed a finger at the lockdowns to explain their disappointing performance levels. Strict and extended COVID-19 lockdowns in Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Qingdao set off a ripple effect across the industry’s supply chain, causing many footwear distribution centers, retail stores, and production facilities to close. In addition, the shutdown created transportation and supply chain bottlenecks at local ports, resulting in product scarcity and delays. As a result, footwear brands are feeling a one-two punch from longer lead times for freight coming from the region as well as lost revenue due to store closures in the area. Here’s a look at how some of footwear’s biggest players fared amidst these supply chain woes to date: • Crocs, Under Armour, Allbirds, and Adidas all reported headwinds to their businesses in China and offered weak guidance for the rest of the fiscal year. • Wolverine Worldwide (owner of Saucony, Merrell, Sperry, and Sweaty Betty, among others) is retaining a confident outlook for 2022, predicting a growth rate of 15% to 18%. However, the company predicted longer-term impacts to the supply chain that could last through 2023. • Tapestry, the parent company of Kate Spade, Coach, and Stuart Weitzman, cut its outlook for the fiscal year based on challenges from COVID-related pressures in China.

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SPRINTING TOWARD ZERO CARBON FOOTPRINT Footwear and apparel company Allbirds may just win the sustainability race. The company, known for its commitment to eco- friendly practices, has unveiled a new Tree Flyer performance running shoe that has a carbon footprint of 9.92 kg CO2e, all of which is offset to zero. How? According to the company, it’s a combination of innovative technology, renewable natural materials, and instantaneous material circularity: • Midsoles: While usually made from petroleum and 100% synthetic, the Tree Flyer’s SwiftFoam midsole material leverages natural castor beans, a renewable natural resource that has a 20% lower carbon footprint than a petroleum-based alternative. • Waste: Nearly 100% of the excess waste created while making the midsole is instantaneously recycled to craft the external heel counter. • Structure: The shoe also features a knit structure, made from Allbirds’ signature eucalyptus-based tree fiber. The company notes that it has not sacrificed performance in the name of sustainability. Allbirds claims the Tree Flyer offers more bounce, more propulsion, and a 70% rebound rate that helps give runners more energy with every step. There must be a lot of Carrie Bradshaws out there, as a new report from estimates the global footwear market will reach $440 billion by 2026. Here are some key takeaways: • Casual footwear, one of the most popular segments of the market, is projected to reach $213.3 billion by 2026. • The athletic footwear segment, which currently accounts for a 37.6% share of the global footwear market, is predicted to grow by 1.9% CAGR. • China, India, Brazil, Italy, Vietnam, Indonesia, Mexico, Thailand, Turkey and Spain are the leading producers of footwear. • Top footwear consumers and importers are the United States, Japan, Germany, UK, France and Italy. SIZING UP THE GLOBAL FOOTWEAR MARKET

SNEAKERS THAT COME APART— ON PURPOSE While most footwear companies focus their manufacturing prowess on making sure shoes don’t fall apart, Nike is going in the opposite direction with two of its current products, deciding that indestructible shoes may not be the right goal to embrace. Some 300 million pairs of shoes per year are tossed in the trash in America, and take an average of 30 to 40 years to decompose, according to a 2021 Wichita State study. Instead, in an effort to help boost sustainability in the footwear industry, Nike developed its Nike Link and Link Axis shoes, which incorporate the concept of shoe “disassembly” into their design. Using its innovative ISPA approach (Improvise, Scavenge, Protect, and Adapt), Nike’s designers created the Link models to emphasize flexibility and durability while avoiding the kinds of bonds and adhesives that typically make shoes difficult to disassemble and recycle. The Link can instead be pulled apart into three distinct pieces, eliminating the need for energy-intensive shredding or manual breakdown processes. Nike also says that removing traditional adhesives also takes some energy out of the sneaker construction process in the way of heating and cooling the bonds, meaning they’re more sustainably constructed as well. Consumers can return the disassembled Nike Link and Link Axis shoes to Nike stores for recycling.

June 2022 • Inbound Logistics 13


The Supply Chain in Brief


> M & A

 The Coca-Cola Company , based in Atlanta, donated $1 million to the Technical College System of Georgia Foundation’s Commercial Truck Driving Program. The donation funds driver training programs and helps

ensure more drivers are in the pipeline to fill trucking jobs for Coca-Cola and other Georgia businesses. Officials say they hope the donation will result in the state’s Technical College System hiring 11 full-time and two part-time instructors at some of its schools.

n Philadelphia-based PSA International acquired BDP International, a logistics solution provider headquartered in Singapore (pictured) . Together, the companies offer solutions for supply chain orchestration and cargo flow optimization. n To expand its footprint across the U.S. Midwest, Austin-based Dropoff has acquired Rightaway Delivery of Michigan. n SaaS solutions provider Descartes Systems Group acquired Foxtrot, a provider of mobile route execution solutions. The acquisition bolsters Descartes' route planning and execution solutions and will help shippers reduce last-mile costs while improving customer service, route efficiency, and on-time performance. n 3PL Kane Logistics was acquired by ID Logistics, a contract logistics provider. The new entity, ID Logistics US, totals 3,000 associates across 26 high-volume, high-turn distribution and packaging centers. n Global transport firm GEODIS has agreed to acquire Keppel Logistics of Singapore in order to increase its contract logistics footprint and e-commerce fulfillment services in Singapore and Southeast Asia.

 Bettaway Supply Chain Services launched a hiring, training, and skills development program with WeMake to provide career opportunities for adults on the autism spectrum. The program will launch at Bettaway’s Piscataway, New Jersey, facility (pictured) and will help the company acquire workers to support warehouse operations, distribution, and e-commerce fulfillment.


• Renee Krug (left) was named CEO of Transflo, a supply chain platform that connects trucking companies, brokers, and shippers. Additionally, Frank Adelman transitioned to chairman of the board, and Bill Vitti (right) is now president and

chief revenue officer. Adelman, who was CEO for eight years, passed the torch to Krug, who comes to Transflo from her role as CEO of third-party logistics provider GlobalTranz. Vitti was previously president of Swift Logistics. • Unique Logistics International, a global logistics and freight forwarding company, appointed Migdalia ("Mickey") Diaz as its new chief operating officer. Diaz will support CEO Sunandan Ray in executing the company’s strategy. A 30-year veteran of the industry, Diaz was most recently senior vice president of customer experience for the Americas and vice president of U.S. operations at GEODIS.

14 Inbound Logistics • June 2022




• J.B. Hunt Transport Services recognized 69 drivers who logged two, three, or four million miles without a preventable accident as part of its annual Million Mile Celebration . Drivers participated in the Million Mile Walk of Fame at an honorary lunch and awards ceremony, where J.B. Hunt distributed a total of $900,000 in safe- driver bonuses.

n Construction will begin in summer 2022 on the first building in a logistics park along Interstate 85 in

Tuskegee, Alabama, that will total up to 5 million square feet. When fully built, the Regional East Alabama Logistics (REAL) Park will include up to 13 buildings and bring roughly $385 million in new economic capital investment. n DP World completed construction of the first industrial building in the South Carolina Gateway Logistics Park . The park, located at the intersection of Highway 95 between Charleston and Columbia, offers an inland and rail-served platform with close port proximity.

• Labelmaster, a provider of labels, packaging, and technology for hazmat transportation, received an Overdrive Award as part of General Motors’ Supplier of the Year Awards. The award recognizes achievement in sustainability, innovation, relationships, total enterprise cost, launch excellence, and safety. J.B. Hunt Dedicated driver Edwina and her family participate in the Million Mile Walk of Fame at corporate headquarters in Lowell, Arkansas. She is the first female driver in the company's history to achieve three million safe miles. • Minority-owned global supply chain solutions provider Magno International received power management company Eaton’s 2022 Premier Supplier Award . Magno provided exceptional service for Eaton’s critical “line- down” shipments to minimize the cost of time lost on plant shutdowns. • Freight brokerage firm Tucker Company Worldwide is one of Philadelphia’s Top Workplaces 2022, according to Philadelphia Inquirer Top Workplaces. The firm made the list by receiving top marks from employees in 15 cultural drivers including alignment, execution, and connection.


• ATA Freight celebrated a green milestone on Earth Day, April 22, 2022—supporting the planting of 252,000 trees in 101 forest gardens

since it began working with Trees for the Future in 2011. The company was also recently recognized with an EcoVadis Bronze Medal Sustainability Leadership Award.


• Bag retailer and fashion brand Vera Bradley adopted TrueCommerce’s Microsoft Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management & Finance integration. The solution gives Vera Bradley the ability to automate data transfer between Microsoft Dynamics 365 and its strategic channels.

• Sumitomo Drive Technologies , a manufacturer of power transmission components, selected autonomous mobile robot provider Seegrid’s solutions to support autonomous hauling of parts and equipment between its existing 250,000-square-foot assembly facility and its new 100,000-square-foot warehouse. • Anheuser-Busch InBev implemented incident-monitoring capabilities from Everstream Analytics in order to track potential supply chain disruptions and assess incident impacts and risks.

• Highway Transport, a specialty chemical bulk transportation provider, earned the Responsible Care Partner of the Year Award from the American Chemistry Council for the third time. The award recognizes

performance and safety records in chemical distribution, transportation, storage, use, treatment, disposal, and sales and marketing.

June 2022 • Inbound Logistics 15

TAKEAWAYS Shaping the Future of the Global Supply Chain

Quick Look at the Last Mile Two new studies take a close look at the last mile and shed some light on the current state of this crucial logistics segment. The quick takeaway? The last mile is becoming more important for customer satisfaction, and as a result, shippers are increasing their focus on it and looking for tools to boost delivery time frames and efficiency. Brands are responding to customer demand for faster delivery by enhancing their last-mile fulfillment options, finds a survey of more than 200 U.S. retail and supply chain leaders conducted by UPS company Roadie, a crowdsourced delivery platform. The study also examined what brands look for in an ultrafast delivery provider. Respondents’ views on ultrafast delivery reveal three key themes: 1. Customers expect same-day delivery, and they’re willing to pay for it. 2. Same-day delivery generates an immediate, positive effect on sales. 3. Brands face challenges in implementing ultrafast last- mile delivery. “What came through clearly in the survey responses is that organizations know they need to offer same-day delivery because there’s a lot at stake,” says Valerie Metzker, head of partnerships and enterprise sales at Roadie. “When customers want something quickly, they’ll go with the provider that can get the order to them when they need it.” Another report, 2022 State of Last Mile Logistics , from Bringg, which also offers an online delivery platform, takes a comprehensive look at the last-mile segment. Bringg surveyed 200 logistics and transportation leaders in Europe and North America to determine where they are focusing their last-mile operations today as well as what they believe are the key challenges and priorities for 2022 and beyond. Overall themes that emerged include: • Connectivity is needed in order to manage last-mile delivery at scale. • Strong last-mile and returns services can provide a competitive edge. • Real-time visibility and automation will be an important focus.

• More efficiency is necessary to increase profitability of last- mile services. • Better delivery experiences will help drive last-mile revenue growth. • Logistics providers struggle with managing multiple carriers. The study also shed light on the top pain points associated with last-mile logistics. When asked to name their biggest last-mile challenges, respondents cite the following: • Shipper onboarding/integration (44%) • Outsourced delivery partner/agent visibility (44%)

• Carrier and driver management (41%) • Driver onboarding and retention (38%)

• Manual delivery scheduling (38%) • Manual back-office operations (37%) • Cost to deliver (23%) • Lack of real-time order tracking and visibility (23%) In addition, Bringg’s survey unearthed insights on what blocks companies from achieving greater last-mile profitability ( see chart ). The top culprits are: • Overwhelmed customer service support (26%) • Limited delivery vehicles (22%) • Complexity of managing carriers (18%) • Outdated business processes/manual operations (16%) • Lack of drivers (11%) • Legacy technology (7%)

#1 BLOCKER TO GREATER LAST-MILE PROFITABILITY 11% Lack of drivers 7% Legacy technology

16% Outdated business processes/ manual operations

26% Overwhelmed customer service support

18% Complexity of managing contracted carriers

22% Limited delivery vehicles

Source: Kearney analysis

16 Inbound Logistics • June 2022


• Digital transformation is seen as the most effective route to improve business resilience, protect margins, and improve trading opportunities. • The most common reasons for undergoing digital change are to create efficiencies and increase profitability. • 8 in 10 major businesses have already digitized supply chains to tackle disruption. • One-third of respondents (34%) identify “secure supply chains” as an area of importance for conducting business digitally, with data analytics and automation of processes also critical to create more agile and fluid supply chains that can more effectively adapt to disruption. • On average, U.S. businesses invested $7 million in digitization in 2021 across 10 different areas of business, an investment that is higher than the total average investment across the rest of the major economies surveyed. • Cybersecurity and privacy top the list of priorities, with 60% of major U.S. businesses saying that cybersecurity was important in the context of digital business.

Finding effective ways to fight against supply chain disruptions resulting from the pandemic has been top of mind for all businesses of late. Digital transformation appears to be one of the most popular strategies for accomplishing that goal, according to a new report from international spend management company Proactis. A survey of 1,300 senior business-decision makers in the United States and four European economies shows a new emphasis on using digital transformation. Key takeaways: • Major U.S. businesses will invest an estimated $4.4 trillion in digital transformation in 2022 to help their businesses recover from disruption. COMBATING SUPPLY DISRUPTION WITH DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION

asi_halfpgIL_0622_final_• 6/1/22 3:23 PM Page 1


2 0 2 2

SUSTAINABILITY PROMISE At Alliance Shippers Inc., we continuously work towards arranging cleaner and more energy-efficient transportation services and solutions. Our 2022 Green Supply Chain Partner award underscores our steadfast commitment to a greener environment.

June 2022 • Inbound Logistics 17 2017+2019 EXCELLENCE AWARD WINNER CERTIFIED MEMBER SINCE 2006


PORTS OPEN UP Some good supply chain news for a change: Recent numbers show that congestion at U.S. ports is beginning to ease. The May 2022 monthly Port Report from Project 44 shows that congestion numbers improved in April 2022 compared to March 2022 across all U.S. ports. U.S. ports also recorded their best month yet in March 2022, unloading more than 2.5 million TEUs, improving overall import throughput, and capitalizing on the lull. What’s behind the improvements? The slowdown in U.S. demand coupled with the COVID lockdowns in China have led to a drop in activity.

No Packaging Material? No Problem While the supply instability for packaging material has been causing headaches for chief procurement ofcers (CPOs), new research from Gartner says three tactics can go a long way toward helping companies navigate the resulting rising costs, delayed deliveries, and sustainability concerns: 1. Centralize packaging specications and build a packaging supply ecosystem: This allows CPOs better visibility and enables improvements such as harmonizing similar materials, establishing more sustainable alternatives, and uidly switching suppliers in the event of a shortage. 2. Collaborate with suppliers: Working closely with vendors, collaboration can take the form of agreeing on suitable material substitutions, alternative production facilities, incentives, or streamlined supplier onboarding. 3. Segment packaging: Each level of packaging has its own set of risks, so CPOs must factor that into strategies to mitigate supply shortages. Segmenting packaging across the organization provides a better base for decision-making. Once thought of only as the stuŒ of sci-fi movies, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) have become more commonplace in the supply chain, with uses in a range of applications from manufacturing to yard management. Many companies, however, have yet to tap into AI/ML for supply chain usage—but it is becoming more of a priority. That’s the message from research conducted by Symphony RetailAI, a provider of integrated AI-powered supply chain solutions for fast- moving consumer goods (FMCG) retailers and manufacturers, in partnership with Incisiv. The survey reveals: • 87% of FMCG retailers have not yet taken steps to embrace AI and ML. • Data-related initiatives—supported by AI/ML tools—are becoming a top supply chain priority: 82% of respondents say they are focusing on data-driven demand forecasting and 61% cite the need to improve master data management. • 92% of FMCG retailers say that their inability to integrate data from multiple sources prevents them from successfully pursuing AI solutions. • Respondents cite other roadblocks to AI: poor data quality (79%) and a lack of confidence in AI to make good recommendations (31%). • 22% of respondents are concerned about falling behind to the competition due to a lack of an AI-based strategy. AI ROADBLOCKS


Ships per Day 12 10

Mar 2022

Apr 2022


Port congestion reduced on average across the US West Coast, East Coast, and Gulf ports


8 6 4 2 0


US West Coast

US East Coast

US Gulf

Source: Project 44 Port Report, May 2022

Interestingly, the ratio of vessels berthed versus waiting is a mixed bag: The report shows that West Coast ports had more vessels berthed than waiting outside in April, while East Coast and Gulf ports experienced the opposite. .


Ships per Day

US West Coast had more vessels berthed vs waiting outside while US East Coast ports and US Gulf had the opposite


14 12 10





8 6 4 2 0







2.8 3.2




Oakland Seattle

Savannah New York Houston Charleston

LA Long Beach

West Coast

East Coast

Waiting - Apr 2022

Berthed - Apr 2022

Source: Project 44 Port Report, May 2022

18 Inbound Logistics • June 2022

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