Table of Contents: November 2005

terabyte fright
The doomsayers warn that the terabytes or even zettabytes of data pouring in from RFID tags will swamp computer net works. Should you be worried?
a successful handoff?
Eight out of 10 companies outsource at least some logistics services. And they're happy they did ... most of the time.
it stores! it retrieves! it picks!
Sure they provide dense storage and fast retrieval, but today's automated storage systems have learned some new tricks too.
one logistics specialist coming right up!
When a client needs a data analyst in Denver or a logistician in Luxembourg, IBM's revolutionary labor management system can dispatch the right person for the job at a moment's notice.
"we've got to find ways to be prepared": interview with Chris Caplice
In the old days, even the abstract theorists at MIT dismissed uncertainty planning as an impractical blue-skies quest, says researcher Chris Caplice. Those days are over.
made in China
Its factories supply the world with shoes, sweaters, consumer electronics and toys. Now China is starting to emerge as a major supplier of auto parts. What will this mean for automotive supply chains?
Voices
Basic Training: the clock is ticking
Even after 25 years of deregulation, the industry has not completely relinquished the habits formed in the days of government regulation.
Big Picture: gains without the pain
Employers have become much more sophisticated about how they work with their labor forces to improve productivity. But the pressure to step up productivity will only increase in the not-too-distant future, when we aging baby boomers begin to retire and the next, smaller wave of workers takes over.
Fastlane: the South shall rise again
Since before the railroads, New Orleans, with its location on the Mississippi River, has been vital to U.S. commerce. The city will rise again, right where it is, because not having New Orleans in New Orleans simply is not a logistical option.
Labor Pool: equal opportunity mentoring
Mentoring programs needn't be limited to those bound for the executive suite. They can make a significant difference to employees working in the warehouse and distribution center as well.
Outbound: in times of crisis ...
It would take hundreds of pages for us to list all the companies that came to the aid of Hurricane Katrina victims. Instead, we'll concentrate here on the efforts of one major logistics services company (and its employees) as an example of the compassion exhibited by those in this great profession. That company is FedEx (and its many divisions).
Rfidwatch: on the one hand ...
Where's that one-handed economist when you need him? Market watchers following the latest developments in RFID likely feel some kinship with the frustrated Harry Truman, who famously demanded a one-handed economist, complaining "All my economists say 'On the one hand É.
Security Brief: it may not be perfect, but C-TPAT's here to stay
Some critics say C-TPAT is too lax. Others complain that its requirements are so vague as to be nearly useless. Yet others revile its standards as too stringent and unnecessary. Who's to be believed?
Inbound
what price security?
Feeling safer yet? As part of its initiative to boost security at the nation's ports, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently awarded $141.
no more required reading!
Shipment tracking is about to get easier.
what in the world is a global supply chain?
Plenty of students aspire to a career in medicine or law.
a kinder, gentler OSHA
OSHA wants you to know it's not all about compliance audits and fines.
look to the sun
The rest of the logistics world may be reeling from fossil fuel price hikes, but not the folks at FedEx.
Newsworthy
Gillette shaves costs with RFID
After years of silence, Gillette has finally gone public about the expected returns on its RFID investment.
hello and goodbye
It's game over for 349 full-time employees who staff the Electronics Boutique distribution center in Coatesville, Pa.
highway bill a mixed blessing for shippers
Shippers dodged some bullets but took others when Congress passed the new highway bill earlier this year.
rapid response
The federal government may have been slow to react, but logistics industry players were quick to step in to help victims of hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Continuing Education

brain drain for material handling?
With the decline of manufacturing in North America, some teachers of industrial engineering—the science at the core of material handling—have begun to wonder what the future holds for material handling education.
north or south? it's your choice
Managers hoping to get in a little classroom time this winter can choose from programs offered in Wisconsin or Tennessee.