Table of Contents: March 2011

Shippers, carriers strap in for next roller-coaster rate ride
Right now, things are relatively quiet in the $520 billion U.S. truckload business. But with freight demand on the rise and capacity tightening, no one expects that to last.
Sophisticated modeling tool helps Caribou Coffee chart the right course Sophisticated modeling tool helps Caribou Coffee chart the right course
The challenge Caribou Coffee faced wasn't just designing a distribution network. It was designing one that would serve it into 2015.
The supply chain's systems guru: interview with C. Dwight Klappich The supply chain's systems guru: interview with C. Dwight Klappich
When Gartner analyst C. Dwight Klappich talks about the supply chain software market, people listen. There's a reason for that.
It's all in the carts It's all in the carts
For furniture retailer American Signature, the secret to doubling DC output was the humble—or in this case, not-so-humble—cart.
Time for some shelf examination? Time for some shelf examination?
If your DC serves retail outlets, you're probably getting more requests for pre-assembled orders that cut down on the labor needed to stock store shelves. The question is, how do you do that without blowing your own budget?
The tax factor in global site selection
When picking a location for an overseas plant, companies sometimes neglect to factor in the foreign enterprise income tax. That could be a costly mistake.

Voices
Big Picture: Bumpy road ahead for transport reauthorization
Passage of a long-term highway funding bill may be essential, but getting to yes won't be easy.
Techwatch: In supply chain world, smart phones are taking care of business
New survey shows smart phones edging out handhelds and bar-code scanners as the mobile technology of choice.
Basic Training: Night of the living consultants
The newly unemployed are often advised to resurrect themselves as consultants. But knowing your stuff isn't the same as knowing how to consult effectively.
Fastlane: Breaking up (with an LSP) is hard to do
Firing a contractor who's performing critical logistics tasks for you can be tricky. But there are ways to minimize the risk to your operations.
Outbound: Job creation should be Job #1
Anything government and business can do to boost job creation right now will help stoke the engines of economic growth.
Inbound
Time to start "working on the railroad"?
Hiring activity, retirements are on the rise for the rail industry, says industry data.
Freight "pipelines" could be a reality in future
Italian researchers are developing a method of transporting small shipments through metal tubes.
TLC's conference demystifies transportation law, regulations, and claims
Transportation lawyers and regulators will explain the impact of laws and regulations on day-to-day operations at the Transportation & Logistics Council's 37th annual conference.
CSCMP's 2011 product catalog features practical resources
New catalog from the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals is packed with reasonably priced educational publications, research reports, and more.
An intermodal container walks into a bar...
Newspaper article describes intermodal container yard operations in terms anyone can understand.
Girl Scouts learn about the perils of product proliferation
Excess inventory is leading Girl Scouts of the USA to trim cookie line. (Don't worry—Thin Mints aren't going anywhere.)
Television series highlight material handling, freight transportation
TV series producers have discovered what we already know: logistics and material handling are anything but boring.
Updated APICS Dictionary now available
The 13th edition of the reference work for operations and supply chain management professionals is now available in print and, for the first time, in electronic form.
Mobile shrink-wrap service comes to you
An unusual service will shrink wrap just about anything, anywhere.
No shortage of railroad-inspired songs
Generations of songwriters have found inspiration in the sound of freight cars clacking along the rails.
Newsworthy
Looking for a cheap distribution center? Consider Sioux Falls, S.D.
Analysis of 50 North American markets by site selection consulting firm pinpoints cheapest locations for operating a warehouse.
Dallas/Fort Worth may be good barometer for U.S. industrial property market
"Metroplex" region embodies opportunities and risks facing sector as it digs out from worst downturn in memory.
AMB, ProLogis confirm merger talks
Developers say they are "in discussions regarding a potential merger of equals."
USPS makes play for regional parcel traffic
Post office unveils service designed to compete with FedEx Ground and UPS standard ground service.
Pitt Ohio rebrands
Carrier drops "express" from name in effort to highlight other offerings.
U.S. manufacturing index hits 80-month high
Chair of ISM survey committee hails "very good report" but warns of rising costs.
Supply chain doubts grow
Survey finds managers uneasy at best about what the next year holds.
Survey: Inventories too lean, more restocking ahead
Morgan Stanley research points to surge in demand for transportation services.
Does silence speak volumes?
Zollars' absence from latest YRC communiqué fuels speculation of imminent departure.
Hub Group president vows aggressive push into Eastern U.S.
Company to target "local East" traffic in bid to expand share of short-haul intermodal market.
Old Dominion targets smaller rivals in bid to boost market share
LTL carrier says move is part of plan to double revenue in five years.
House committee approves FAA funding bill without FedEx labor provision
Final version of multiyear funding bill omits controversial language that would change FedEx's labor status.
ABF head: Company benefiting from "confusion"' over new FedEx Freight service
FedEx disputes claims of customer dissatisfaction, calls shipper response "positive."
ABF appeals lower court ruling in labor contract suit
Carrier says court erred in treating case as "jurisdictional dispute."
American Airlines Cargo launches first U.S. service to Tokyo's Haneda Airport
Daily service expands flight options within Japan, Japan-South America connections.
Railroads boost capital spending
Expenditures by biggest U.S. and Canadian railroads in 2011 could hit all-time industry high.