Inbound Logistics | April 2024











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AGE-OLD DILEMMA As Gen Z enters the workforce and many seniors either remain in the workforce or unretire, age discrimination is more common than ever. A survey of 1,000 hiring managers finds: • 42% of hiring managers consider age when reviewing resumes. • 4 in 10 have age bias against Gen Z candidates. • One-third admit to age bias against senior candidates. • 1 in 3 say an elderly appearance deters them from considering an applicant, while 1 in 5 say the same about a youthful appearance. • Nearly half say they believe that LinkedIn contributes to ageism.

WORK FROM ANYWHERE: WHAT’S IT WORTH? 50% of surveyed workers are willing to accept a pay cut to have the option of working from anywhere. 26% would accept a 5% pay cut. 25% would accept a salary decrease of either 10% or 15%. 20% would be willing to increase working hours. 15% would give up vacation days to work from anywhere.

FAST PLANE, SLOW BARGE The British Airways Concorde, one of only 20 of the supersonic aircraft to ever fly, recently traveled New York’s Hudson River aboard a barge en route to the Intrepid Museum after several months of restoration. The British Airways Concorde made its last flight in 2003, also on its way to the Intrepid Museum. The Delta Foxtrot made the last ever flight by a Concorde in November 2003. That aircraft is now housed in Aerospace Bristol, an aviation museum England.

–FlexJobs 2024 Work-From-Anywhere Survey

“There’s no supply chain in the world that’s more critical to us than China. We’ve been building up and investing more and more. Today’s factories are so much more modern. And in 10 years from now, we will keep advancing.” — Tim Cook, CEO, Apple

KOI VEY American Airlines Cargo is moving record numbers of decorative koi carp, known as Nishikigoi, from Japan to destinations around the globe. These ancient and long- living ornamental fish can grow to more than 39 inches in length and be valued at $2 million each. In 2023, the American Airlines Cargo team in Japan transported koi in record volumes of more than 42,000 lbs. to Los Angeles International Airport and 21,000 lbs. to Dallas Fort Worth alone.

SPRINGING A LEAK Transportation ranks among the top 10 industries that experienced data breaches resulting in leaked consumer data, according to a NordPass study. Nearly 280 transportation organizations worldwide lost clients’ data. According to the study: • Private companies make up 60% of all transportation organizations that had their clients’ data stolen. • Smaller companies were found most likely to lose clients’ data. In the transportation field, companies with up to 50 employees had their clients’ data compromised the most. • Entertainment companies are the worst in ensuring clients’ data. While one would assume otherwise, technology companies are also not much better.

April 2024 • Inbound Logistics 1

CONTENTS APRIL 2024 | VOL. 44 | NO. 4

44 2024 IL MARKET

62 SUPPLY CHAIN RESILIENCE: OVERCOMING THE OBSTACLES Organizations draw on resilience planning and impactful technology for the strength to meet the challenges of lengthy supply chains and ongoing disruptions.

RESEARCH: LOGISTICS TECHNOLOGY STEPS UP Our annual report illuminates how companies are using supply chain technology today to become more efficient and increase their profits. 52 TOP 100 LOGISTICS & SUPPLY CHAIN TECHNOLOGY PROVIDERS Inbound Logistics editors selected the Top 100 Logistics & Supply Chain Technology Providers—the companies powering the innovations their customers need to streamline supply chain operations.


The logistics challenges of Alaska are met—and overcome—by enterprising and innovative logistics professionals who make it their mission to serve the people of the Frontier State.

68 SPONSORED NAVIGATING CROSS-BORDER TRADE IN NORTH AMERICA U.S.-based companies aim to master cross-border trade in North America— amidst ongoing supply chain upheavals, rising production costs in other parts of the world, and a growing trend to manufacture goods closer to primary markets.

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INFOCUS 1 INFO SNACKS 12 VERTICAL FOCUS: HEALTHCARE 14 NOTED 16 TAKEAWAYS 82 IN BRIEF CONTENT PARTNERS 20 How to Use Automation for Increased Transportation and Logistics Visibility Offered by Zebra 22 How to Future-Proof Your Supply Chain from Freight Embargoes Offered by SMC 3 23 Unlocking Heavy/Specialized Success Offered by Landstar 24 Providing Cost Savings and Customer Service Offered by Hub Group

Load-managing innovations and other new tools




GOOD QUESTION Supply chain professionals would make great _______?

INSIGHT 4 CHECKING IN Supply chain technology: What’s coming online? 6 GOOD QUESTION

How would you complete this sentence? Supply chain professionals make great _______. 8 10 TIPS Becoming a shipper of choice 28 IT MATTERS From experimentation to transformation: generative AI in the supply chain 30 LEAN SUPPLY CHAIN Is your supply chain “blocked”? 88 LAST MILE How retailers can avoid social media FOMO

INPRACTICE 10 LEADERSHIP: OTTO MOTORS CEO MATT RENDALL: POUR ON THE GAS AND GROW After starting his company with just $200, Matt Rendall has learned to focus relentlessly on product and customer development, lead with humility, trust his gut, and allow his team to learn from mistakes. 79 IT TOOLKIT: RIVIANA FOODS GETS A LOAD OF AI To ensure all truckloads are optimized to their maximum legal capacity when they leave a facility, Riviana Foods—a leading rice company—partnered with ProvisionAi for a load optimization solution.

Social media tips for ecommerce retailers


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April 2024 • Inbound Logistics 3

CHECKINGIN Supply Chain Technology: What’s Coming Online?



T echnology for transportation, warehousing, and order fulfillment gets a lot of buzz. But here are a few developments you may not have heard of yet. AI-crafted large language models understand and produce human language answers to questions. But very soon, custom closed AI systems will pre-fill the documents—compliance forms, drawback forms, claims forms, you name it—required to manage global supply chains.

EDITOR Felecia J. Stratton

SENIOR EDITOR Katrina C. Arabe Amy Roach


CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Merrill Douglas • Karen M. Kroll Rich Osborne • Gary Wollenhaupt


Keith Biondo, Publisher

DESIGNERS Nicole Estep Arlene So

This breakthrough in automation will simplify and streamline repetitive form submissions based on your business rules, all driven by a custom and closed large language AI system. Combining and blending several strains of artificial intelligence regimes has empowered not only humans, but virtual bots as well by creating non-human customers that place orders, replenish inventory, and monitor quality—all without human intervention. Bipedal humanoid robots moving boxes around the warehouse generated plenty of media excitement and tests are underway. But that is not where the action is, yet. Inbound Logistics has covered solid examples of non-human robots energizing DCs, warehouses, and fulfillment centers and amping ROI. But having hundreds or thousands of robots in large distribution centers creates some drawbacks. Even after factoring in implementation costs, the expense of maintaining local WiFi tone and remote bandwidth needed to process the data driving the bot activity is a challenge. Large DCs need multiple hotspots, but when placed close together they interfere with each other. That drives robots crazy. Is there another technology available to address these challenges? A huge retailer is reportedly testing “for dense and hyper dense wireless deployments within an indoor commercial warehouse” that will run thousands of bots in a mega DC without hotspot interference, and with fewer demands for off- site data management. It is empowered by something called “at the edge processing.” That’s where constant reliable web tone, combined with AI and bots, lessens the demands on remote server activities by lighting up more on-site decisions. An additional bonus is the ability to have inbound communications with a very large private fleet. Is all that possible? Yes. Elon Musk has an answer: low earth orbit (LEO) satellite 5G tone as an alternative to WiFi tone. His Starlink project has plans for up to 42,000 satellites in LEO to provide global broadband for applications inside huge warehouses and anywhere across the globe. It is exciting times for global supply chain operations.

Amy Palmisano





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CRISIS NEGOTIATORS. This work demands a profound ability for optimizing outcomes, maintaining adaptability in light of emerging information, adeptly executing How Would You Complete This Sentence? Supply Chain Professionals Would Make Great __________. Survivors and Castaway Companions

strategies (maximizing time and risk vs. reward analysis), fostering intrinsic motivation for improvement, and embodying negotiations expertise. –Evan Rago Sales Director, Gather AI SOCIAL WORKERS help individuals, groups, and families prevent and cope with problems in their everyday lives. Supply chain professionals constantly do the same work with a host of different companies to prevent and cope with delays in the everyday movement of cargo. –Stephen Lyman Executive Director, Maritime Association of the Port of NY/NJ SOCCER ATHLETES. Both professions demand team players and require strategic thinking, team coordination, and agility to pivot when faced with unexpected obstacles. Superior communication skills and a focused drive to achieve their goals are also essential qualities shared by both. –Jose Barahona VP Sales, Magaya GAME DESIGNERS. Supply chain professionals’ knack for problem- solving, optimizing processes, and foreseeing outcomes makes them adept at creating engaging, strategic games or puzzles that challenge and intrigue players. –Dennis Moon COO, Roadie

Survivors on a desert island. If there’s a single role that consistently just figures it out, it’s supply chain professionals. –Keith Moore CEO, AutoScheduler.AI Lost on a desert island companions. If a plane crashes, who do you want by your side? You want someone who is great at math, problem solving, prioritizing, and can get things from A to B. Supply chain professionals are the best executors out there, and like Jeff Bezos famously said, “It turns out ideas are the easy part, execution is everything.” –Ross Williams Director, DSJ Global, a Phaidon International brand

Their ability to anticipate and mitigate potential disruptions aligns with the unpredictable nature of filmmaking. They also excel in collaboration and communication, essential qualities for leading diverse teams of cast and crew.

BAND MEMBERS possess unique skillsets and manage complexity while adapting as a team to deliver on the customer experience. This requires deep expertise, a strong familiarity with what is being performed, and maybe most important, a quality of service and devotion to the craft. At our best, supply chain professionals create great music together. –Laura Sheehy Chief Human Resources Officer Odyssey Logistics MOVIE PRODUCERS due to supply chain professionals’ adeptness in coordinating and orchestrating complex processes. Just as they manage the flow of goods and services efficiently, they can oversee the intricate logistics involved in film production, from sourcing equipment and materials to coordinating locations, schedules, and budgets.

–Inna Kuznetsova CEO, ToolsGroup

ARMY GENERALS because they constantly weigh their strategies against risk and reward. They also know all about combined operations. –Tom Moore CEO and Founder, ProvisionAi HISTORIANS because origins, tracking, and transparency are vital for business growth. With B2B customer demands for digital compliance, ensuring digitally enabled origin and supply chain data is crucial.

–Sebastiaan Verhaar CEO, Sana Commerce

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ORCHESTRA CONDUCTORS. “Conducting” suppliers, “rehearsing” logistics, and “tuning” end products to match demand. Similar to musicians in an orchestra, raw materials and manufacturers must harmonize and synchronize to create the desired end products and ensure on-time in-full deliveries. –Nirav Patel CEO, Bristlecone AVIATION CONTROL TOWER CHIEFS. Like chief controllers who must consider vast amounts of data from multiple sources to make timely, critical decisions, supply chain managers possess the unique ability to oversee complex networks to ensure the seamless flow of goods. –Lilian Bories Chief Marketing Officer, TradeBeyond MAGICIANS because they make the impossible seem possible. Crafting a magic act involves careful planning to ensure each trick flows seamlessly. Supply chain pros are strategic planners, designing and executing plans. The behind-the-scenes “magic” of supply chain makes complex processes look effortless. –Karin Stevens EVP, Chief Marketing Officer, Overhaul NBA GENERAL MANAGERS, handling player transactions, contracts, coaching hires, and serving as a link to ownership. Likewise, supply chain pros oversee all aspects of supply chain operations, from procurement to production, ensuring efficiency and communication with upper management. In both roles, seamless execution is key to success. –Itamar Zur Co-Founder, CEO, Veho CHEFS. You have to ensure the right ingredients get to the right place at the right time. A complex dish can require a lot of different processes, and one bad egg can spoil the batch. These are realities that everybody in a supply chain closely understands. Everything is about timing. –Bryan Gerber Founder and CEO, Hara Supply

Big Day Coordinators

Wedding planners. Our extreme attention to detail, coordination across multiple parties, and ability to foresee and mitigate risks, and solve problems ensure that a supply chain is well orchestrated, much like a seamlessly executed wedding where everyone has a wonderful experience. –Allen Jacques Industry Thought Leader, Kinaxis Both wedding planning and supply chain management require logistical expertise in the sourcing, scheduling, and delivery of various components, management of multiple vendors, focus on customer satisfaction, ability to stay within budget, adherence to timelines, troubleshooting all manners of problems quickly, and meticulous attention to detail. –Rebecca Wilson Group Vice President, Human Resources, Kenco

ACROBATS. In the supply chain, we constantly seek balance for our customers from beginning to end. Not only are flexibility and speed vital to success in both professions, but we have to be daring and innovative while working interdependently with a low margin for error. –Sarah Damschroder Vice President of Human Resources GEODIS in Americas CHESS PLAYERS. Like chess champions, supply chain professionals must think a few steps ahead to get inventory in and out of the warehouse and to their final destinations in a timely and efficient manner. –Steven Hyman COO, Global Messenger and Logistics ADVENTURE TOURISM LEADERS. Supply chain professionals possess the skills to lead adventure tourism and expedition planning services. Their attention to detail and strategic planning abilities make them ideal leaders for orchestrating high- stakes expeditions. For example,

trekking up Mt. Everest, a supply chain pro could coordinate how exactly to get you and the supplies to the peak. –John Donigian Senior Director–Supply Chain Strategy Moody’s Analytics PARENTS. Parenting is problem solving in the face of constant change, many unknowns, and zero chance of perfection. Raising resilient children and managing supply chains have many parallels. Supply chain professionals are constantly applying capabilities such as generalization, abstraction, and subjectivity to complement technology. –Elton Brown Consultant, DMS SPACE SHIP CONTROLLERS because we are used to real-time events, with constant changes, and “failure is not an option” mindsets. We move all of the goods that are around us, day by day, decade upon decade. –Danny Schnautz President, Clark Freight Lines

Answer upcoming Good Questions at: We’ll publish some responses.

April 2024 • Inbound Logistics 7


In today’s “carrier’s market,” it’s more important than ever for shippers to become a shipper of choice—to go the extra mile and make it easier for carriers to do their jobs. Here’s how to strengthen your carrier relationships and achieve this coveted status. Becoming a Shipper of Choice


6 COMMUNICATE CLEARLY. Carriers are often frustrated when shippers provide incomplete instructions. That’s why it’s important to maintain clear and consistent communication. Keep carriers informed about any changes to shipments and be readily available to answer questions. An effective solution is to create a link on your company’s website where carriers can easily obtain scheduling and policy procedures. Also, consider hosting regular carrier conferences and solicit feedback to learn about ways that you can improve as a shipper. 7 MINIMIZE LOADING/ UNLOADING WAIT TIMES. Each minute that a trucker is stuck at a shipper’s facility is time off the road—time that can’t be utilized for hauling new shipments. Provide convenient access for drivers with a yard that is easy to navigate when coming and

going. Additionally, have your equipment and manpower ready to go when a truck arrives. Shippers associated with excessive wait times will have difficulty impressing carriers. 8 BE A PREDICTABLE PARTNER. Carriers like to do business with shippers that are predictable. Strive to be reliable with your shipping volume and avoid last- minute changes. The more predictable you are, the easier it is for carriers to integrate your shipments into their planning. 9 UTILIZE A TMS SOLUTION. Transportation management system (TMS) technology solutions help carriers increase the predictability of loads, providing them with greater visibility further upstream. This will also help carriers improve their route planning and driver scheduling functions.

CARRIERS PROMPTLY. Try to ensure that payments are made within the agreed- upon time with carriers, especially since on-time payment is the number-one request for becoming a preferred shipper.

2 BE FLEXIBLE WITH SCHEDULES. Carriers appreciate shippers that offer flexible schedules, large delivery windows, and fast yard check-in and check-out. Providing flexible appointment times and accepting trucks during “off” hours, such as evenings and weekends, helps carriers better utilize their vehicles and gives them the ability to pick up loads at less busy times. 3 GIVE SUFFICIENT LEAD TIME. The more lead time you can provide carriers, the better off you’ll be. This helps carriers schedule their operations more efficiently. Giving your provider weeks of notice—as opposed to days—greatly improves your odds of being accommodated, while firmly positioning you in the “easy to work with” category.

4 PROVIDE DRIVER AMENITIES. Truckers spend excessive amounts of time behind the wheel of their rigs. Providing restrooms, break areas, and parking for drivers can go a long way in making your location more desirable. 5 PROVIDE DROP-AND- HOOK CAPABILITY. Drop-and-hook freight is trucker-friendly, as it allows the driver to drop off a load and hook up to a pre-loaded or empty container at the same facility. Drivers are more likely to accept freight from shippers that provide this option because it enables them to spend more time on the road, maximizing their earning potential.


PARTNERSHIPS. Teamwork and relationships really matter in logistics. Recognize that your carriers are supply chain partners that deserve to be treated with the same respect as customers. Working together to identify and solve problems that impact both parties will serve you well in becoming a shipper of choice.


8 Inbound Logistics • April 2024

LEADERSHIP Conversations with the Captains of Industry

Time to Pour on the Gas and Grow

When he wasn’t cramming for exams or working on multiple engineering assignments at the University of Waterloo, Ontario, Matt Rendall spent his time in the robotics lab. “Building early prototype autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) quickly became a passion,” Rendall says. Years later, that passion engendered a startup, as Rendall and three university colleagues formed Clearpath Robotics to create robotics platforms for research and development. In 2015, Clearpath formed a new business division, OTTO Motors, which develops AMRs for material handling. Rockwell Automation acquired Clearpath Robotics and OTTO Motors in 2023. Rendall heads Clearpath and OTTO as CEO. He recently gave us a look at OTTO’s evolution, discussed the impact of the Rockwell acquisition, and discussed how he leads his teams. IL: What is OTTO Motors’ origin story? As Clearpath became a market leader, around 2013 we got our first R&D contracts for AMRs in material handling applications. We recognized this quickly emerging opportunity as the first big end use application for AMRs. So we decided to take our amazing technology and deploy it vertically into that category. IL: Is there a lesson you learned early in your career that has helped to shape you as a leader? We started our company with just $200. We didn’t have money to develop prototypes; we didn’t even have enough experience to know what prototypes to develop. So we concentrated on product and customer development. We said, “Let’s find customers who have a problem that’s so painful, they’re prepared to buy an idea on paper.” From day one, it has been part of our DNA to ask customers probing questions, get to the root of their challenges, find the patterns, and turn that information into opportunities. To this day, our leadership position comes from our relentless focus on listening to the customer. IL: What does it mean to OTTO Motors and the industry you serve that you are now part of Rockwell Automation? Rockwell has brought the AMR industry credibility that it never had before. We did great work in the past, but we were a mid-sized company trying to serve the world’s largest

Matt Rendall CEO, OTTO Motors

After starting his company with just $200, Matt Rendall has learned to focus relentlessly on product and customer development, lead with humility, trust his gut, and allow his team to learn from mistakes.

by Merrill Douglas

10 Inbound Logistics • April 2024


can have a constructive conversation about what went wrong, what we’re doing about it, and how to make sure it doesn’t happen again. If the problem is too technical, or outside my domain of expertise, I defer to my team. If I can’t get comfortable with their answer about why something didn’t happen as planned, I ask if they’re happy with the way things turned out. And I ask, “If you were in my shoes, what would you do, and what do you recommend?” IL: What’s the hardest aspect of your job? We essentially created a market, and the hardest aspect is dealing with the uncertainty of venturing into a new category. I try to face it with humor, and—as an engineer—by anchoring my decisions in data. Also, as I’ve gained experience, I’ve learned to trust my gut more. IL: Is there something you believed strongly at the start of your career that you’ve since changed your mind about? Early on, I felt that I was on a journey to a destination. Now, I realize that the destination is always on the horizon, and the journey is the important thing. I need to make sure that I’m enjoying the journey. Sometimes I need to stop and reflect on all the great things that are happening among all the difficult times, hard work, stress, sleepless nights, and ups and downs. I want to create a workplace that everyone enjoys. IL: Outside of work, how do you like to spend your time? I prioritize being a father to my two boys, ages five and two-and-a-half. I spend weekends driving them from activity to birthday party to activity. It’s a rewarding contrast to the workplace. No matter how big the challenges you face at work, they’re not that meaningful in the grand scheme of things compared with the kids.  n An Entrepreneur Worth Watching In 2023, Ernst & Young (EY) Canada named Matt Rendall one of the Ontario Finalists for its Young Entrepreneur of the Year award. This program bases its choices on multiple factors, including the nominees’ entrepreneurial spirit, their companies’ financial growth, the growth of their teams, and their impact on customers, employees, and the world. For Rendall, one striking aspect of this honor involves the industry that OTTO Motors serves. “That Ernst & Young could scan the entire province of Ontario and, from all the amazing entrepreneurs in the region, select a supply chain company is pretty cool,” he says. “As much as a recognition of myself, I view this award as a recognition of our company and our products.”

manufacturers. That difference in scale created all kinds of speed bumps. Now, as part of Rockwell, we can accelerate delivery of our AMR technology on the global stage, for the world’s biggest companies, at the pace they need. AMRs are now entering prime time. The acquisition also means OTTO can grow faster, and we can integrate into a portfolio of automation and digital transformation capabilities that unlock new value propositions for our customers. We’ve always used application programming interfaces (APIs) to integrate our robotic fleets with manufacturing execution systems. Now, we can integrate with Rockwell’s systems completely and seamlessly. IL: Which emerging technology will soon make a big impact on your products and customers? I’m excited about the evolution of computer vision in AMRs. As robots move materials around facilities, they’ll also be able to observe important secondary or tertiary things that we can turn into actionable data. To give a simple example, say a customer needs to keep an active inventory of fire extinguishers. With its photographic memory and real-time map of its environment, a robot could produce a daily audit of fire extinguishers and send an alert the moment one went missing. IL: What’s at the top of your agenda these days? Our most important goal is, with Rockwell’s support, to grow the company even faster than we were previously. We’ve had success with our core customer base in North America. Now we need to pour gas on it and create value for more customers in farther reaches of the world. IL: Which traits make you an effective leader? I try to show up with humility. I also try to create an environment where people know it’s okay to make mistakes in a calculated manner, and then learn from those mistakes. IL: How do you give criticism when that’s required? When we experience a challenge, it’s likely to be technical in nature. I try to dig into the root issues, so we can have a conversation from a place of understanding. When you do that, and you approach things with curiosity and humility, you

April 2024 • Inbound Logistics 11


It will take next-level healthcare supply chain management to deliver next-level healthcare, according to DHL’s latest whitepaper, Delivering Next-Level Healthcare, which identifies these six key trends driving healthcare logistics. 1. Patient-centric healthcare. Today’s personalized treatments require closer links between pharmaceutical manufacturers and patients. And patients now expect the same choice and convenience in healthcare as in the commercial marketplace, driving growth in the consumer healthcare segment. 2. Advanced therapies. New approaches supplant simpler, more generalized medicines. For example, complex cell and gene therapies are developed in small batches that require tightly controlled two-way supply chains. Biopharma products need to be handled carefully at every stage in the supply chain, prompting robust investments in cold chain logistics. 3. Digital healthcare. The pandemic fueled an explosion in remote healthcare, including “decentralized clinical trials” where shipments of urgent, sensitive, and temperature-controlled medications replace the movement of patients. This results in more complex healthcare supply chain management, with sophisticated sensor and asset-tracking technologies for cross- system visibility and auto-replenishment. It also has applications for blockchain technologies to guard against counterfeiting and data theft. 4. New ecosystems . The urgency with which the COVID-19 vaccines were developed and distributed reset expectations, not just for the pharmaceutical industry but for logistics as well. Accelerated timelines have led some large healthcare providers to turn to outsourced logistics providers to handle the critical flows of medicines and devices throughout the supply chain. 5. Sustainable solutions. Carbon-neutral warehousing, alternative fuels, closed-loop returnable packaging and container systems, and optimized inventory and delivery models can ensure high levels of availability while minimizing waste and helping the industry meet its emissions goals. 6. Resilience. The pandemic and its after effects brought unprecedented stress to global healthcare supply chains. The desire to avoid future disruptions has led to a “great supply chain rethink,” including more localized supply chains for essential healthcare products and insourcing of critical pharmaceuticals, active ingredients, and medical supplies. 6 HEALTHCARE SUPPLY CHAIN TRENDS TO MONITOR

COLD CHAIN TECH GLOWS Ember LifeSciences and the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) have partnered to enhance the efficiency of blood-sample shipping processes for upcoming sporting events, including the 2024 U.S. Olympic Team Trials. Ember LifeSciences’ cold chain technology focuses on self-contained, self-monitoring shipping systems for items such as temperature-sensitive pharmaceuticals, vaccines, and lab specimens. The Ember Cube (photo above) provides a fully integrated solution to common and costly challenges in cold chain shipping. Its design addresses issues related to tracking and temperature-sensitive deliveries, ensuring secure transport and preserved efficacy of medicine and specimens. The USADA used the Ember Cube at several sporting events in 2023, including the Boston and New York Marathons and the Ironman World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. Through these events, hundreds of blood samples from elite athletes were transported in Ember Cubes to drug testing labs across the United States. Leveraging Ember’s cloud-based dashboard, USADA was able to monitor the real-time location, ambient temperature, and payload temperature of the Cubes during transit, ensuring that the blood samples maintained optimal temperatures and chain of custody was retained throughout the journey. Beyond addressing shipment delays, the Ember Cube presented USADA with a cost-effective, integrated shipping solution given its reusability and advanced features, including self-refrigeration capabilities to store collected blood samples before and during transport. The Cube’s integrated temperature monitoring also eliminated the need for a standalone temperature logger, enhancing the overall efficiency, simplicity, and reliability of the process.

12 Inbound Logistics • April 2024

The global RFID market is experiencing significant growth and is projected to reach $40.9 billion by 2032, up from $15.8 billion in 2023, according to MarketsandMarkets research. Applying RFID technology to healthcare is expected to grow at the second-highest rate during the forecast period, the research finds. Patient monitoring within hospitals presents ample opportunities to integrate RFID solutions. These technologies offer a means to track and accurately identify patients, which enhances safety protocols. By leveraging RFID-enabled patient monitoring solutions, hospitals can optimize patient flow and throughput, streamlining routing workflows while reducing medication errors. These systems also facilitate the monitoring of patient movement history and activity levels, ensuring comprehensive room-level patient visibility. Additionally, RFID technology can detect instances of patients falling from beds or wheelchairs. Real-time monitoring capabilities afforded by RFID solutions offer a proactive approach to preventing such incidents. “The demand for temperature-controlled shipments, especially for vaccines, is on a steady rise. This trend, coupled with the fact that most healthcare-related items also require temperature control, could potentially lead to a squeeze in the availability of services. It’s crucial to anticipate these challenges and ensure we are prepared to meet the growing demand.” —Joel Pinsky, President, Customized Logistics and Delivery Association and CEO and CFO, Global Messenger and Logistics RFID: HOSPITALS TAG ALONG North America Pharmaceutical Logistics Market Size by type, 2020-2030 (USD Billion) The pharmaceutical logistics market continues to grow at an accelerating pace. Drivers of growth include a robust culture of innovation, driven by a rising demand for over-the-counter medicines and the government’s emphasis on developing infrastructure for the healthcare supply chain.

AT-HOME TESTS NOT GOING AWAY Over the past few years, in large part due to COVID-19, healthcare providers have become more comfortable with patients self- administering tests and reporting the outcomes. As a result, the market now offers more intelligent, technology-forward devices for general consumers proactively taking charge of their own healthcare. As healthcare and medical device companies continue to navigate this booming market, they’re also running into a host of issues: regulatory compliance, risk mitigation, quality assurance, logistics and distribution, inventory management, and typical global supply chain disruptions. In the life sciences space, regulatory compliance is critical to guaranteeing that at-home testing kits and medical devices safely get to consumers. Companies are subject to strict mandates imposed by health authorities across the globe. The challenges that at-home testing kits and medical devices face in supply chains aren’t going away, and are likely to get only more nuanced. It's vital that providers work with partners that have experience in medical device logistics to help mitigate risk and successfully navigate this rapidly evolving market. – John Marrow, President, RRD Supply Chain Solutions


2020 2021 2022 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027 2028 2029 2030 Cold Chain Logistics Non-Cold Chain Logistics

Source: Grand View Research

April 2024 • Inbound Logistics 13


The Supply Chain in Brief



• Averitt associates donated $1.5 million to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to support the mission of curing childhood cancers.

• In its inaugural Carrier of the Year award program, PECO Pallet recognized two trucking companies— Venture Logistics and JIT-EX —for exemplary performance. • Phillips Industries’ EC47 “cross-compatible” connector, a tractor-trailer connector that works with new “smart” trailers as well as older trailers, won the 33rd annual Jim Winsor Technical


n SSA Marine implemented a new zero-emissions electric forklift at the Port of San Diego’s Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal. The forklift is the first of a fleet of six pieces of cargo-handling equipment that SSA Marine will deploy over the next 12 to 18 months. n Hitachi, Hitachi Energy, and Penske Truck Leasing launched a large- scale, high-capacity centralized electric truck charging solution to support Penske’s electric truck deployments for customers in the Stockton, California area.

Achievement Award . Winners were voted on by a panel of truck writers.

• Kraft Heinz recognized its largest dedicated carrier, Stevens Transport, for outstanding safety, on-time delivery, reliability, and professionalism in temperature-controlled transportation.

• The Women in Trucking Association selected Schneider’s Angela Fish, executive vice president of human resources and Andrea Sequin, director of regulatory services and driver training, as Top Women to Watch in Transportation in 2024. • Foundry’s CO named PITT OHIO a 2024 CIO 100 award winner for its implementation of a new enterprise operations platform for dispatch, telematics, fleet


J.J. Keller & Associates appointed Tony Wheel as executive vice president of manufacturing and supply chain, succeeding Tim Little, who will retire in July 2024.

Mary Ann B. Passi, CAE, was appointed executive director of the Customized Logistics & Delivery Association . She brings her more than 30 years of association management experience to this position.

management and driver workflow.

Echo Global Logistics expanded cross-border services in Mexico and named Troy Ryley as president of Echo Mexico.

14 Inbound Logistics • April 2024


> M&A


• UAE-based healthcare distributor Arabian Ethicals successfully deployed Ehrhardt Partner Group’s LFS warehouse management system across its territories.

n Professional services firm

Accenture acquired

supply chain logistics specialist Flo , strengthening its ability to help clients prepare for supply chain digital transformation. n BlueGrace Logistics acquired Evos Smart Tools, a SaaS optimization platform that helps shippers maximize resources and reduce costs through advanced supply chain algorithms and real-time data analytics. n Savage expanded its network into the Pacific Northwest by acquiring the transloading business of Cascade Warehouse Company, a full-service distribution company. n IMC Logistics acquired California- based drayage company American Pacific Transportation, increasing its position and truck capacity in California and across the West Coast. n PS Logistics subsidiary Diamond State Trucking & Logistics acquired Yordy Transport , a founder-owned trucking company that specializes in flatbed shipping. n In the largest acquisition since its creation in 1978, the CMA CGM Group acquired Bolloré Logistics.

• ARAUCO, a global manufacturer of forest products, entered a long-term contract with Opturion to build, commission, and support a supply chain optimization solution for its forestry and transport operations. • Couche-Tard , a convenience and mobility provider, will implement RELEX’s unified supply chain and retail planning solutions across its North America operations to support Circle K and Couche-Tard locations in the United States and Canada.

• TractEasy , a supplier of autonomous towing solutions specifically for outdoor use, has been chosen to supply its “EZTow” autonomous tow-tractor to John Deere globally.

• Core Health & Fitness partnered with Redwood Logistics for end-to-end visibility via a fully integrated solution, enhancing its global manufacturing supply chain. • Kitchen retailer Wren Kitchens implemented Descartes’ dynamic appointment scheduling, route planning, and optimization solution to improve surveyor productivity, complete more customer appointments, and reduce overall cost per appointment. • Sauder Woodworking Company will relocate its Western eCommerce distribution center operations from Jurupa Valley, California to Kenco’s Ogden, Utah facility. Through the partnership, Sauder gains shipping flexibility and reduces operating costs.

• LØCI, the London- based footwear and apparel brand known for its vegan, cruelty- free, and unisex sneakers, has selected Bleckmann as its exclusive third- party logistics fulfillment partner in the UK and continental Europe.

April 2024 • Inbound Logistics 15

TAKEAWAYS Shaping the Future of the Global Supply Chain

RETAILERS SHOP FOR VOLATILITY FIXES Between ongoing supply chain concerns, increased rent prices, and shoplifting, leading retailers like Nordstrom and Macy’s have been forced to close stores. Despite the volatility, retailers feel the need to keep up with shifting consumer demands. Not surprisingly, they cite a long list of current challenges in NP Digital’s newest report, 2024 Retail Reveal . More than 1,000 retail professionals across the United States shared their trends and fears for the year in the report, listing issues that include adapting to changes in how customers consume advertisements, growing sustainability initiatives, and navigating the ever-evolving role of AI in retail. Survey highlights include: • Supply chain focus. 33% of retailers name supply chain improvements as one of their top priorities for 2024, second only to strengthening brand loyalty. • Artificial intelligence. More than half (53%) of retailers plan to leverage AI to make personalized product recommendations for customers. • Navigating economic uncertainty. To generate sales in today’s economic climate, 56% of retailers say they plan to adjust prices, followed by partnering with influencers on co-branded products (49%). • Rent struggles. Almost half (48%) of retailers say brick-and-mortar rent prices are hurting profits—of which two-thirds (66%) are considering closing their physical storefront. • Rise of retail theft. Theft is a major concern for retailers—more than half (52%) state they feel “very” or “extremely” concerned and are taking action to address it. • Staffing concerns. More than 75% are examining ways to overcome staffing challenges in the new year. • Building up the brand: 37% see strengthening brand loyalty as a winning strategy in 2024.

SMBs EMBRACE GLOBAL TRADE In a world where “local” is king, new data from the 2024 FedEx Small Business Trade Index challenges the narrative, highlighting the impactful role that global trade plays in the U.S. economy and showing surprising strength for small and mid-sized business (SMBs) in particular. With global trade and free trade sure to remain highly debated topics in this election year, how do SMBs view the global marketplace? Here are some insights from the survey: • 96% of small business leaders support increased U.S. trade with global markets, with 85% saying it will help increase job growth and 79% believing it will help their business. • 86% of respondents credit e-commerce platforms for driving global trade and business growth. • 95% advocate for job retraining to enhance U.S. competitiveness on the global stage. • 84% cite shipping delays or disruptions due to geopolitical issues as the main barriers when exporting or importing goods.

What goals are top of mind for retailers in 2024? When asked their priorities for 2024, retailers listed these as some of the most popular :

37% 33% 33% 31% 29% 29% 29% 28% 27% 26% 23% 21% 21%

Strengthening brand loyalty with customers in new ways Supply chain improvements Hiring qualified talent Reducing overhead costs Increasing social commerce activities Reducing theft in-store Faster delivery times Sustainability programs to attract younger consumers Creating more frictionless shopping experiences Artificial intelligence integrations Navigating inflation Subscribe-and-save options Allowing buy-now-pay-later options









Source: NP Digital

16 Inbound Logistics • April 2024


including technological integration, data accuracy, and high implementation costs. Key takeaways from the survey include: • Industry specifics. The demand for real-time shipment visibility is especially high within the logistics service provider/3PL sector. Here, 42% of customers ask for 75-100% real-time visibility, followed by 36% of customers demanding 51-75% visibility. • Slow progress. Despite the critical need for real- time shipment visibility, nearly half of the surveyed organizations have not yet adopted this technology. However, 77% acknowledge its indispensability, and 42% of customers demand 75-100% shipment visibility. • Technology adoption. IoT devices are among the most adopted technologies for enhancing visibility, with 53% of companies currently leveraging IoT trackers/devices (vs. 25% in 2023) to facilitate real-time tracking and data analysis for decision-making. • Role in digital transformation. 41% of respondents consider shipment visibility a high priority, while 30% of participants assign it the highest priority level, underlining its critical role in enhancing digital strategies.

VISIBILITY VIEWS EVOLVE Real-time visibility has transitioned from a value-added service to a fundamental customer expectation. That’s the key takeaway from The State of Visibility 2024 survey from Charlie Pesti and Shipping & Freight Resource in partnership with Tive, which looked at elements driving the growing emphasis on real-time shipment visibility. Respondents underscore the escalating demand for immediate tracking capabilities across sectors such as logistics, pharmaceuticals, and retail and they cite benefits including enhanced customer satisfaction and operational efficiencies. However, the survey also shows persistent challenges to achieving effective real-time visibility,

April 2024 • Inbound Logistics 17


SUPPLY CHAIN TECH TRENDS TO WATCH These are the top supply chain technology trends for 2024, as identified in Gartner’s recent annual update: 1 Cyber Extortion AI will help cyber criminals intensify ransomware attacks on supply chain organizations. As a result, supply chain tech leaders will look to include ransomware attack scenarios in their corporate risk management processes. 2 Supply Chain Data Governance Powerful advanced analytics and AI tools are scaling the capabilities for cross-functional visibility, scenario modeling, and decision automation. This is elevating the importance of maintaining a high level of data quality and strict governance processes. 3 End-to-End Sustainable Supply Chains To meet growing sustainability-related legislation demands, data accuracy around sustainability must now meet stakeholder requirements while also driving internal decision-making. 4 AI-Enabled Vision Systems Combining industrial 3D cameras, computer vision software, and advanced AI pattern recognition technologies, AI-enabled vision systems are positioned to be the next big thing in hyper-automation solutions. 5 Augmented Connected Workforce (ACWF) ACWF initiatives seek to optimize intelligent technology, workforce analytics, and skills augmentation to serve as a unified, cohesive strategy to accelerate and scale talent. 6 Composite AI The combined application of multiple AI techniques, composite AI will grow in importance as a way to improve the efficiency and accuracy of learning to solve a variety of business problems that drive supply chain performance improvements. 7 Next-Generation Humanoid Working Robots Coming soon to a warehouse near you? Next-gen humanoid robots combine sensory awareness with mobile manipulation and dynamic locomotion to perform productive work that was previously relegated to biological humans. 8 Machine Customers Machine customers are nonhuman economic actors that autonomously obtain goods or services in exchange for payment. One example is IoT-connected devices or assets that place orders independently of human command.

BALTIMORE BRIDGE COLLAPSE: WHAT NOW? The tragic collapse of Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge in March sent ripple effects through the supply chain, with concerns arising over the disruption of vital logistics routes. As the primary artery to the Port of Baltimore, the collapse is poised to disrupt logistics flows for some time. The 1.6-mile bridge served as a lifeline for the Port of Baltimore, facilitating the movement of goods crucial to the regional and national economy. Statistics show the key role the port plays: • In 2023, the port handled 52.3 million tons of foreign cargo, valued at nearly $81 billion, including a record 847,158 cars and light trucks, as well as 1.3 million tons of roll on/roll off farm and construction machinery. • In total, roughly 30 to 40 container vessels call the Port of Baltimore every week, unloading or loading some 21,000 TEU (containers). • More than 50 ocean carriers make nearly 1,800 annual visits to the port. • The port generates approximately $2.6 billion in business income. • More than 15,000 workers are directly employed at the port and it is indirectly responsible for nearly 140,000 more jobs in trucking, warehousing, and other related industries. What should we expect moving forward? Delays and disruptions are inevitable, and experts say the incident underscores the vulnerability of global supply chains. “The disruption comes as geopolitical conflicts and natural disasters wreak havoc elsewhere. It won’t take much to hobble supply chains and reinflate price pressures,” notes Harry Murphy Cruise, economist, Moody’s Analytics. “Supply chain managers who get their deliveries via affected routes need to immediately accelerate orders that are likely to be affected. Speed of action is critical,” adds Andrei Quinn-Barabanov, supply chain industry practice lead at Moody’s. The silver lining, if there is one? “Delays should be measured in days or weeks, not months,” say Ben Ruddell and Richard Rushforth, professors in the School of Informatics, Computing, and Cyber Systems at Northern Arizona University. “The abundance of alternative ports on the U.S. Atlantic provides redundancy and resilience and will expedite supply chain adaptation, limiting overall consequences from this disaster.”

18 Inbound Logistics • April 2024

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