Table of Contents: May 2013

Amazon: Just can't wait to be king
Amazon rules the B2C online domain. Now, it has set its sights on the larger B2B space. The plain may never look the same.
Kimberly-Clark connects its supply chain to the store shelf
In its quest to achieve a demand-driven supply chain, Kimberly-Clark turned to software that generates shipment forecasts based on point-of-sale data. The move has allowed the consumer products giant to better serve some of its customers with a lot less inventory.
Creating a better rail hub: interview with William C. Thompson Creating a better rail hub: interview with William C. Thompson
As Chicago goes, so goes the country's railroad network. It's Bill Thompson's job to see that the region's historically clogged rail system doesn't go to hell in a hand basket.
Is your lift truck ready to retire? Is your lift truck ready to retire?
Wondering whether to keep that lift truck going a little longer or put it out to pasture? Here are some things to consider when making that decision.
On the up and up On the up and up
Our 10th annual study of distribution center metrics shows that despite some bumps in the road, DC operations continue to improve.
Emerging logistics hot spots: The Southeast Emerging logistics hot spots: The Southeast
Logistics activity in the southeastern United States is heating up—and not just in the traditional hot spot of Atlanta. Here are three more rising stars.

Voices
Fastlane: Government by default
The federal government's failure to deal with the infrastructure crisis has states—and even corporations—thinking about stepping in. That could prove a mixed blessing.
Big Picture: The right thing—and good business, too
Hiring veterans isn't just a humanitarian gesture—it's a first-class opportunity to match talent supply with employer demand.
Techwatch: The next big trend: dynamic optimization
A TMS can tell you the cheapest way to move goods between two fixed points, but what if those shippng points are constantly in flux? That's where dynamic optimization comes in.
Problem Solved: Problem: Lackluster order picking performance
The solution for Hawaiian food distributor Suisan was a voice-directed picking system.
Outbound: The myth of "one big pothole"
We've all heard about the deplorable state of the nation's roads and bridges. But is that really the case?
Inbound
Electric scooters proving popular for transporting people in large warehouses
Users say low-cost vehicles save time and miles of walking.
Software entrepreneur brings former colleagues together to launch third TMS venture
New software vendor 3Gtms calls on experienced execs to develop TMS for small and medium-sized shippers.
Good deeds
Here's our monthly roundup of community service by companies in the logistics and material handling industries.
May, June conferences offer strong educational programs
Learn from the experts in international trade, furniture logistics, and technology at upcoming events.
"Young professionals" groups gather steam
In an effort to draw a new generation into the field, an increasing number of logistics industry associations are establishing groups for those under 40.
Consulting firm releases annual "best warehouse networks" list
Chicago Consulting's analysis identifies networks with lowest possible "time to market."
Floor marking best-practices guide shows how to improve safety, efficiency
Free publication from Graphics Products gives the lowdown on floor marking.
Space: the final supply chain frontier
Infographic developed by Florida Tech University illustrates the size and complexity of space project supply chains.
Hot topics for international traders: The view from Washington
Trade attorney Peter Friedmann gave his annual fast-paced wrap-up of what should be on international traders' radar screens.
Newsworthy
U.S. Customs expects to avoid staff furloughs—for now
Agency should continue to provide current level of service despite budget cuts, assistant commissioner tells trade group.
U.S. catches up to Mexico as preferred North American "nearshore" location, survey finds
Both countries score equally among respondents with nearshoring interest.
NY State budget cuts imperil future of nonprofit logistics subcontracting firm
Organization that helps disabled find logistics work hit with $700K cut.
DHL Express expands trans-Pacific service with new flights linking Japan, Cincinnati hub
Delivery firm also doubles weekly frequencies between Australia, Japan.
Raising the de minimis threshold: An idea whose time has come?
Push intensifies for law to hike levels on import shipments not requiring major customs compliance.
Postal Service awards FedEx seven-year flying pact for expedited mail; weighs change in Priority Mail deliveries
USPS looks to shift Priority Mail deliveries to one-day; new FedEx compact seen saving agency $200 million annually.
Bring out your trucks! Whoops, they're already here!
Despite forecasts of dire conditions for buyers of trucking services, no shippers we heard from at NASSTRAC's annual conference last month reported problems finding rigs, trailers, or drivers.
A tale of two truckers
YRC was out in force at last month's NASSTRAC annual meeting, while ABF is locked in a struggle with the Teamsters union.