Inbound Logistics | November 2022


Want to join the conversation? FOLLOW US: DROP US A LINE: soybeans. Much of that is shipped by barges, as are other products like fertilizer, coal, oil and petroleum, and metals. One 15-barge tow has the same freight capacity as 1,050 trucks, so with 2,250 vessels stranded, that is the equivalent of more than 2 million truckloads. This product cannot be easily moved to other modes of transportation and the deepening of the Mississippi River by the Army Corps of Engineers is a slow process. We’re already seeing the impacts of delayed deliveries with plummeting barge spot rates. It’s just a matter of time before this affects the prices of the products that these commodities are used in, such as groceries or cars. –Bart De Muynck Chief Industry Officer, project44


Re: Good Question: If you could invent one tool to help you do your job better, what would it be? Touchless inbound freight. This tech tool would help warehouse managers do their job better (which would, in turn, help management do their jobs better). Essentially, the solution would enable inbound freight to be received, automatically inspected when required, and then put away or cross-docked with no human intervention. This would allow employees to focus much more of their time, energy, and know-how on the activities that matter most for their business. –Keith La Londe VP, Systems, PathGuide Technologies

Frank Mullens @FrankMullens Chicken bowl with @ILMagazine’s feature “Technology Soups Up the Supply Chain”


On the potential rail strike impact on the supply chain, as negotiations hit an impasse

Supply chain professionals must consider immediate impacts and contemplate possible implications for materials. As always, in developing internal supply chains, evaluating vendors and supplies, contingency planning, and communication will be critical. This major challenge highlights the need for all stakeholders to have the vision to be aware of possible significant supply chain disruptions, the need to be innovative, and the need to provide leadership at all levels. In order to minimize impacts, stakeholders need to voice concerns immediately and make contingency plans. –Andrew Kirk Chief Revenue Officer, BioCare, Inc.

Re: Good Question: What’s the biggest supply chain silo? May2022

On the broader supply chain impacts of the drying Mississippi River

The Mississippi River dropped to record low water levels in October 2022. We didn’t see an immediate major impact on the supply chain, as water transport accounts for less than 5% of overall U.S. freight volume. However, the drying Mississippi will have an extensive longer- term impact, especially for industries with concentrated use of barges like the grain and soybean industries. The Mississippi River Basin produces 92% of U.S. agricultural exports and 78% of the world’s exports in feed grains and

The biggest silo is psychological. We can present a solution—based on data and decades of time-tested advice—that works, but if leaders are afraid to embrace change or collaborate to find alternative solutions, they will stunt growth. Being open to new technologies or ways of thinking fosters creativity and proactivity to keep supply chains nimble and customers happy. –Charlie Midkiff SVP, Corporate Strategy, Odyssey

6 Inbound Logistics • November 2022

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