Table of Contents: March 2013

That was easy (on the planet)
Customer complaints led Staples to adopt a new lean packaging system. As a result, the retailer expects to trim its carbon footprint by 30,200 tons a year.
Maintaining service during rapid growth Maintaining service during rapid growth
Medical supply company improves efficiency with automated system.
Reality check Reality check
In a bid to cut costs, more shippers are using computer modeling to decide whether to take control of their inbound shipments. But be prepared: Suppliers might not be willing to play along.
Bearing down Bearing down
With four months to go until DOT enforces the "Hours of Service" rule, the experts' advice to the supply chain is prepare to comply, or prepare to park it.
Oracle of the economy: interview with Walter Kemmsies
If politicians paid more attention to the transportation infrastructure—and its effect on supply chains and job creation—the U.S. economy would be stronger in the long term, argues economist Walter Kemmsies.
Hire our heroes ... the right way
Military veterans are highly qualified for jobs in logistics and warehousing, but the transition from the armed forces to private industry isn't always easy. Understanding the differences will help ensure a successful experience for everyone.
Emerging logistics hot spots: The Midwest
They may not be on your radar yet, but these three Midwestern locations are hoping to become the next logistics mega-hubs.

Voices
Techwatch: Test your Java brew
As the recent scare over Java-related security vulnerabilities makes clear, you can't be too vigilant when it comes to your software.
Outbound: Are you connecting, or just connected?
E-mail, text messaging, Tweets, and Facebook posts may be useful supplements to human interaction, but they are by no means a replacement.
Fastlane: Keep on trucking (by rail)
If current trends continue, intermodal will be an ongoing significant factor in rail revenues and growth.
Basic Training: Packaging sustainability
It's not just mega-retailers anymore. Customers from a wide swath of industries are demanding more earth-friendly packaging from suppliers.
Inbound
Mispicks cost individual warehouses $389,000 per year
A single mispick costs a warehouse about $22, according to a report from Intermec. Over the course of a year, that adds up to big money.
"Can't miss" conferences on tap for spring 2013
Need to know the latest news and trends in our industry? Consider attending these educational events.
Book examines impact of "macrotrends" on supply chains
Global Macrotrends and Their Impact on Supply Chain Management outlines strategies for dealing with global demographic and economic trends.
MHI bestows first-ever ProMat Innovation Awards
Companies recognized for best new product and best existing product at biennial material handling show.
You heard it here first ...
We pulled aside some of the lift truck vendors at this year's ProMat Show to ask what's new. Here's what they told us.
Are mergers on the horizon for ocean carriers?
Continued economic volatility could lead to consolidation within the next five years, maritime industry consultant predicts.
Canadian architect designs "palletial" office
Movable, modular "Pop-up Office" is made from reclaimed pallets.
Material handling and logistics companies give back to their communities
Here's our monthly roundup of charitable donations and public service work by companies in the material handling and logistics industries.
Georgia Tech offers certificate in health and humanitarian logistics
Program looks at how to manage logistics in the challenging—but rewarding—humanitarian response environment.
Newsworthy
USPS, regional parcel carrier OnTrac to launch "last-mile" delivery service in late summer
Offering to challenge big three parcel carriers in the West; news comes as USPS announces plans to keep Saturday delivery for parcels but not for first-class mail.
For Rogers, 2013 could be key to the YRC kingdom
YRC Freight chief seems to have unit on right path and could be primed to run the company when CEO Welch steps away.
New standard for safety restraints on man-up lift trucks go into effect Feb. 23
Fall-protection equipment for operators to be based on weight; some types of lanyards will no longer be allowed.
Spot market loads soared in January, firm says
Data could foreshadow higher TL rates for 2013.