Table of Contents: October 2009

Logistics technology flowers in China
Five years ago, a facility with a warehouse management system was considered cutting edge. Today, China's top-tier operations are abloom with mobile computers, RFID systems, and wireless networking devices.
How to beat the high cost of fuel How to beat the high cost of fuel
From minor changes in packaging to wholesale DC network redesigns, savvy companies are leaving few stones unturned in their quest to cut fuel expenses.
Under the hood of the O'Reilly-CSK network merger Under the hood of the O'Reilly-CSK network merger
Merging the distribution operations of two auto parts suppliers should have been as easy as replacing a windshield wiper blade. But it turned out to be more like an engine rebuild.
A need for speed A need for speed
As its empire grew, apparel retailer Children's Place had to face facts. Not only did it need another DC; it needed a streamlined, high-speed automated facility that could handle millions of units a week.
Upbeat on WERC: interview with Michael Mikitka Upbeat on WERC: interview with Michael Mikitka
In good economic times and bad, says Michael Mikitka, there will be a need for professional education—and for groups like WERC that provide it.

Voices
Big Picture: Freight efficiency pays off
A new study calculates how much money could be saved by reducing the amount of oil consumed in transporting goods. The numbers are eye-popping.
Fastlane: NAFTA's never-ending story
Nearly 16 years ago, the United States agreed to give both Canadian and Mexican truckers full and free access to its highways. The Mexicans are still waiting.
Basic Training: Are you ready for the rebound?
Facility expansion plans may not be top of mind for DC managers right now. Here's why they should be.
Techwatch: The case for business intelligence
Looking for another way to control your supply chain costs in tough economic times? The answer might be business intelligence software.
Labor Pool: Survival strategies for logistics professionals
Worried about surviving the recession with your career intact? Here are some tips for holding onto your job (or finding a new one).
Outbound: Back to the future, every day
DC VELOCITY has shifted from a monthly news gathering operation to a daily media organization.
Inbound
FedEx breaks ground on a new kind of facility
FedEx is funding a facility to house families of patients at Le Bonheur Children's Medical Center.
Online tips for wholesaler-distributors
New blog offers wholesaler-distributors ideas on making it through the recession.
Not your typical keynote speaker
A few eyebrows may have been raised when NITL announced that California state Sen. Alan Lowenthal will address a special member luncheon at the group's 102nd Annual Meeting.
Newsworthy
O'Hare to get competition?
A site just 40 miles from O'Hare International might not sound like the best place to build a cargo airport. But that's not stopping officials in Will County, Ill.
Survey: brokers say equipment shortages a possibility
Transport brokers say refrigerated equipment shortages could develop in the next 90 days.
Maersk Logistics, Damco make it official
After operating as a single business unit for over a year, the global 3PL and international freight forwarder formalized their union Monday.
Beumer acquires Crisplant
New owner says it will manage the sortation technology company independently and retain the Crisplant brand.
What DC workers want
Study finds warehouse and DC workers value job security over pay.
Deal or (more likely) no deal
As M&A activity slows in the United States, the BRIC economies see a boom.
Industrial fan has golden touch
Big Ass Fans uses its own products to snag a LEED Gold certification.
Advice for AS/RS users
Choose the wrong pallet rack, warns one rack maker, and your AS/RS could run into trouble.
Study: U.S. food facilities flunk record-keeping test
Revelations of holes in U.S. food tracking system have some mulling regulatory solutions, while others tout technology fixes.
Study: U.S.-Mexico trucking dispute hurting economy
U.S. Chamber of Commerce claims cross-border clash has cost U.S. businesses and consumers $2.2 billion to date.
Italian firm buys Diamond Phoenix
Italy's System Logistics acquires Maine-based material handling company to bolster North American presence.
ATA truck tonnage index rises for second straight month
Truck tonnage index rises in July and August, but ATA warns that recovery could be a long haul.
SCOPEing out new strategies
During the SCOPE West conference, presenters from leading manufacturers, retailers, and distributors spoke about supply chain challenges they had faced and how they overcame them.