Table of Contents: March 2012

On a roll at Amway
A new state-of-the-art conveyor system whisks more than 24,000 items through the company's Michigan DC a day.
Coping with CSA: Love it, hate it, or ignore it
The government safety initiative isn't going away, so those affected by the program need to make their peace with it.
Going postal (in a good way) Going postal (in a good way)
Online retailer OWC knew it could get more bang for its parcel buck by making heavier use of the USPS. The trick was finding a way to do it.
Sharing supply chains for mutual gain Sharing supply chains for mutual gain
Kimberly-Clark helped to pioneer the concept of collaborative supply chains. The benefits have been so great that the practice is now sweeping through Europe.
Four steps to TMS success Four steps to TMS success
Installing a transportation management system can yield big savings and boost your customer service—but you have to do it right.
Setting the standard: interview with Linda Hothem Setting the standard: interview with Linda Hothem
Up until last year, members of the 3PL industry lacked a set of universal standards for assessing the sustainability of their operations. Thanks to Linda Hothem and her cohorts at IWLA, that's about to change.
Let there be light ... and light ... and light
Israeli engineer and inventor moves to take industrial lighting into a brighter era.

Voices
Big Picture: A visionary remembered
Don Schneider was about the nearest thing the transportation industry had to a superstar, although the self-effacing Schneider would have dismissed any such characterization.
Basic Training: Solutions to driver shortage elusive
Higher pay and expanded training won't be enough. What we need is a comprehensive strategy and the committed engagement of industry and governmental players ... and maybe another look at immigration.
Fastlane: A weighty disappointment
Raising truck weight limits could help solve the capacity crunch and conserve fuel to boot. Too bad we can't sell Congress on the idea.
Outbound: Getting everyone on the same page
New software aims to bring the data generated by multiple systems—TMS, WMS, ERP, and the like—into a unified database for ease of analysis.
Techwatch: New kids on the LMS block
The newest players in the labor management software market specialize in affordable packages for small and medium-sized DCs.
Inbound
Simple equipment designs solve complex problems
The back stories of a stretch wrapper and collapsible crates exhibited at Modex 2012 demonstrate how necessity can be the mother of material handling invention.
Webcast dispels confusion about cloud-based software
Not quite sure what cloud-based computing is and whether it's suited to supply chain applications? Our webcast will answer your questions.
Hiring engineers during the recession pays off for material handling equipment vendor
Dematic Corp.'s decision to invest in technical personnel proves to be a good call.
New book helps warehouse operators assess performance
Developer of the "Warehouse Maturity Scan" says it will help warehouse operators achieve best-in-class performance.
Unique RFID app tracks pachyderms
RFID technology is helping the Dallas Zoo monitor the behavior of elephants.
TMS can help manage product returns
Transportation management systems (TMS) aren't just for ordinary outbound and inbound traffic, says a software executive. They can help manage reverse logistics, too.
Mushroom-based packaging gets a boost in business deal
Sealed Air Corp. will help Ecovative Design expand distribution of its compostable packaging material.
UPS employee is first to tally 50 years of safe driving
In an unusual feat of longevity, UPS driver Ron Sowder achieves 50 years on the road without an accident.
Are solar- and wind-powered cargo ships nearing reality?
An Australian company is planning a commercial trial of its hybrid "solar sail" technology.
Newsworthy
USPS launches flat rate box pricing for Express Mail
Service priced at $39.95 for overnight deliveries of up to 70 pounds.
Broader look needed in DC automation decisions, study says
Research indicates companies should look beyond labor and consider impact on overall supply chain.
Cut down to size: push to raise truck size, weight limits falls victim to political realities
Proposal seen as impediment to passage of highway funding bill.
Will FedEx bid for TNT Express?
UPS buyout offer prompts talk of possible bidding war.
Parcel company EquaShip suspends operations, goes back to drawing board to retool
Company founder promises faster, better service upon re-launch
YRC posts brightening revenue, tonnage picture in Q4 of 2011, but operating losses persist
YRC Worldwide's regional unit is profitable; long-haul business still struggling even as tonnage and revenue rise.
Shippers to 3PLs: give us more! 3PLs to shippers: then open the door!
Shippers urge third-party providers to offer innovation; 3PLs say they're capable but need to get closer to the source.
Saddle Creek opens CNG fueling facility in Florida
Fueling station is first such operation in state to serve for-hire truck fleet.
Maersk, BNSF launch guaranteed Asia-North America service
Day-definite sea-rail service will hit its delivery targets 95 percent of the time, companies say.
YRC dumps holding in Chinese trucker joint venture
Move squares with carrier's plan to focus on North American LTL service.
House, Senate agree to three-month extension of federal transport programs
Move would provide financing for highway and transit programs through end of June.