Table of Contents: December 2009

Toy shippers in need of holiday miracle
Tepid demand, ocean capacity shortfalls, and tougher product safety rules have set up the toy business for a lump of coal this season.
Truck driver outsourcing on the upswing ... for now
Truck driver leasing services are thriving in a down economy. But what happens when business rebounds?
Public-private partnerships touted as answer to logistics labor woes Public-private partnerships touted as answer to logistics labor woes
Industry is desperate for trained logistics employees. Governments want to create jobs. Colleges want students. When they team up on logistics workforce development, everybody wins.
Get ready to cut down on carbon Get ready to cut down on carbon
Looming legislative and industry mandates mean distribution managers will soon have a new job responsibility: cutting carbon emissions.
Trimming excess packaging could bring 10% payoff Trimming excess packaging could bring 10% payoff
Packaging may not be the first place logistics professionals look when searching for savings opportunities. Maybe it should.
Visibility called key to managing complex supply chains
As supply chains become increasingly complicated, trading partners seek end-to-end visibility to provide the confidence they need to make collaboration work.
Resizing HP's carbon footprint
Hewlett-Packard is on a very public mission to reduce the carbon footprint of its $50 billion supply chain. It's Judy Glazer's job to keep that effort on track.
With order fulfillment, "perfection" is in eye of beholder
Aiming to deliver the perfect order? It all starts with knowing what it is.

Voices
Big Picture: Study: Multitaskers are lousy at multitasking
Stanford researchers find "high multitaskers" aren't so good at juggling tasks after all.
Fastlane: Cliff Lynch's annual letter to Santa
It will require some artful dodging and weaving, says Lynch, but we need your help getting us a comprehensive highway bill.
Techwatch: "Managed services" offer shortcut for software users
A growing number of supply chain software vendors will not only sell you their apps but also run them for you.
Outbound: Buffett buy is good news for logistics
Famed investor's purchase of BNSF will raise logistics sector's profile with U.S. public, government.
Inbound
Consultant: Stop dithering and go green
Jack Ampuja of Supply Chain Optimizers says companies that lead the field in green initiatives are also "the ones with the lowest costs and greatest efficiencies."
"Trackthetree" site lets viewers follow journey of Capitol Christmas Tree
Want to know exactly where the Capitol Christmas Tree is as it makes its way from Arizona to D.C.? The answer is as close as the nearest computer.
DC Velocity earns editorial, design honors
DC Velocity picks up three awards for excellence in editorial and graphic design.
Carrier recruitment efforts target vets
Real-world experience, management skills, and a strong work ethic make ex-military logisticians attractive to employers.
rails show signs of rebound
Consultant reports that U.S. railroads have begun putting idled locomotives and cars back in service.
ALAN celebrates achievements in disaster relief
In just four years, the American Logistics Aid Network (ALAN) has notched up some notable successes in humanitarian relief.
Newsworthy
UP, NS ink deal on chemical traffic
Rails launch joint service connecting Gulf Coast with markets in Northeast and Southeast.
Deal to revamp HOS rules tied to Ferro nomination, says industry executive
Trucking industry source says push to revise truck driver "hours of service" rule smacks of a backroom deal.
YRC thrown lifeline by lenders
Proposed debt-for-equity swap would keep troubled trucker afloat. But analysts say the move deals a setback to LTL industry's pricing recovery.
Crown moves into IC lift truck market
After 50 years of making electric vehicles, Crown unveils its first internal-combustion lift truck.
Berkshire Hathaway takes BNSF private in $34 billion deal
Warren Buffett's firm to buy unowned shares of Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad and assume $10 billion in BNSF debt.
Intelligrated awarded $24 million incentive package from Ohio
Material handling company will use funds to expedite the integration of recently acquired FKI Logistex and expand its operations in several Ohio cities.
Zollars: No economic, freight recovery in 2010's first half
YRC Worldwide CEO says weak demand will likely prolong the pain for LTL carriers.
Air-freight shippers scramble for space
With cargo capacity in short supply, big shippers are grabbing up charter space.
ABF, Teamsters may—or may not—be in concession talks
ABF Freight System says it's been discussing wage cuts with the Teamsters. The union says otherwise.
Analyst: Dip in shipping activity no cause for alarm
Key monthly index of U.S. shipping activity slips in October, but author says there's no reason to panic.
Dell finds gold in parts returns
For PC giant, parts recovered from returned computers have become a source of profit.
Tide may be changing for ocean imports
Monthly "Port Tracker" report says recovery could begin in February 2010.