Table of Contents: August 2012

The Container Store turns up the sound
Late last year, The Container Store pulled the plug on its old RF picking system and switched over to voice. The result? A 10-percent productivity gain.
It's the exports, stupid! It's the exports, stupid!
Over the long haul, exports will be the engine that drives the U.S. economy. But without the equipment properly positioned to get the goods from origin to port, the nation's exporters may lose out.
The basics of battery recycling The basics of battery recycling
Lift truck battery given up the ghost? You can't just put it out with the trash. Here's what to do instead.
Five keys to picking the right integrator Five keys to picking the right integrator
Using the right systems integrator can make or break a project. Here are five things to consider when choosing an integration firm.
Six steps to a successful retrofit Six steps to a successful retrofit
Is a DC retrofit in your future? Here are some tips from the experts for keeping this type of complex project on track.
Into the wild: interview with Brig. Gen. Kristin French Into the wild: interview with Brig. Gen. Kristin French
Brigadier General Kristin French may face the ultimate supply chain challenge: getting fuel, food, water, and ammo to every warfighter in Afghanistan—no matter how remote.
The right fit The right fit
As business boomed, two specialty apparel companies found themselves struggling with order fulfillment. Linking up with the right 3PLs took care of that.

Voices
Techwatch: Getting insight from "big data"
"Big data" analysis offers the promise of gleaning operational insights from the millions of bits of information stored in dozens of computers and on the Internet.
Basic Training: The Era of Collaboration
No, it's not just another buzzword or the latest fad. Collaboration is the new way we do business in the supply chain world.
Fastlane: The long road ahead
The new transportation law addresses a host of important matters. Unfortunately, funding isn't one of them.
Outbound: A problem too important to be ignored
The truckload industry has fallen, and it will have a hell of a hard time getting up. People need to pay attention.
Big Picture: Rough roads and plenty more
It may be mid-summer, but the fall shipping season begins in earnest any time now.
Inbound
CSCMP, Competitive Insights contribute to U.S. supply chain security policy
Research conducted by both organizations on supply chain risk mitigation was used to shape a new national security policy for supply chains.
New book features "Vested" success stories
McDonald's, P&G, and Microsoft are among the companies that have adopted the outcomes-based approach to partnerships.
Ocean race tests logisticians' mettle, creativity
For DHL, handling logistics for 11th Volvo Ocean Race was much more than a matter of moving equipment and supplies around the world on a tight timetable.
Amazon gets ready to roll out new DCs in six states
DC network expansion expected to support online retailer's plan to launch same-day delivery.
Industry players give back to their communities
Here's our monthly round-up of charitable contributions and good deeds by providers of material handling and logistics products and services.
Report: Most container ships arrive on time, but delivery to customer lags
A new report by Inttra and SeaIntel reveals that on some trade lanes, vessel on-time performance far outstrips container delivery reliability.
US Airways relies on AS/RS to keep maintenance parts moving
Airline stores and ships millions of parts annually from four DCs.
Newsworthy
Datalogic Automation, Accu-Sort, PPT Vision merge to form single organization
New entity will target factory automation, transportation, and logistics markets in North America, Europe, and Asia.
Cost control remains the top supply chain goal for manufacturers
IDC survey finds that the number-two goal is increasing agility.
As transport bill becomes law, freight interests see a new day dawning
Bill will build "bridge" to comprehensive multi-modal freight plan, advocates say.
Intermodal rates hit seven-year high in June
Truckload rates likely to stay flat in 2012, index shows.
USPS to rebid FedEx air contract upon next-year's renewal
The U.S. Postal Service has informed FedEx Corp. that it intends to rebid a large air services contract when it comes up for renewal in September 2013.
Old Dominion announces 4.9-percent general rate increase
For the second straight year, the LTL provider announced its rates late in the year and undercut its rivals.
Asian air export rates fall
Drewry report says rates to Europe, North America have plummeted to lowest levels since 2009.
CSCMP names Ann Drake as its 2012 Distinguished Service Award recipient
3Pl executive becomes 47th person to receive industry organizations's highest honor.