Table of Contents: November 2013

Do robots dream of piece picking?
We won't have androids picking eaches any time soon, but robots used in distribution centers are becoming more sophisticated and moving deeper into operations.
CHAR-VANNAH? CHAR-VANNAH?
In theory, Charleston and Savannah could meld into a southeast Atlantic colossus rivaling the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. That, at least, is the theory.
The difference is in the details The difference is in the details
Handling returns of online orders in your DC? It's not quite the same as "traditional" reverse logistics. Here's why.
Managing the yard from the cloud
When Daimler Trucks North America decided it needed a yard management system for one of its Mexican plants, it went to the cloud.
Intermountain man: interview with Brent Johnson Intermountain man: interview with Brent Johnson
As Intermountain Healthcare's top supply chain guy, Brent Johnson oversees the distribution of some 2.5 million medical items annually. And that's just part of his job.
Pouring it on Pouring it on
Horizon Beverage's new distribution center is designed to assure the smooth flow of beer, wine, and spirits.

Voices
Big Picture: Farewell to drudgery
Robots are increasingly taking over tough, repetitive jobs in distribution centers. But the productivity gains come at a price.
Techwatch: Equipment makers eyeing LMS market?
A leading integrator reports that material handling equipment makers are planning to offer their own labor management software.
Fastlane: For LSPs, opportunity is knocking
Retailers are looking for ways to provide same-day deliveries without breaking the bank. Are you listening, LSPs?
Outbound: Forget the steam drill. It's John Henry versus the driverless car
A new study suggests that up to half of all existing jobs in the U.S. could be handled by computers. And that includes driving trucks.
Inbound
Lift truck manufacturers, dealers challenged to keep enough used equipment in stock
Four years after the end of the recession, demand for used lift trucks continues to outstrip supply, dealers say.
MIT seeks practitioner input to new online supply chain education program
SCMx, described as a "virtual classroom," is under development at Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Center for Transportation and Logistics.
Research confirms truck-trailer attachments boost fuel efficiency
Performance tests find that side skirts cut fuel usage by nearly 7 percent on average.
Manufacturer's blog showcases lighter side of casters
Hamilton Caster's informative and entertaining "The Revolution" blog makes a ubiquitous but often overlooked piece of material handling equipment interesting indeed.
CSCMP's Supply Chain Quarterly, DC Velocity launch "Supply Chain Pioneers" video series
Some of the most influential leaders in supply chain and logistics talk about the past, present, and future of the profession in our new monthly video series.
ODFL's Earl Congdon Jr. receives Salzberg Medallion for lifetime achievement
Oldest industry award goes to leader of family-owned transportation firm.
Good deeds
Here's our monthly roundup of community service projects and charitable works performed by companies in the logistics and material handling sectors.
10 global trends that are shaping the future of packaging
Trends will create both challenges and opportunities for supply chain executives, says Brian Wagner of Packaging Technology Integrated Solutions.
Newsworthy
MHI seeks comment on material handling and logistics roadmap
Goal of roadmap is to develop action plans and capabilities through 2025.
Peter Rose to retire as head of Expeditors; executive brought wit and wisdom to the job
Departure as CEO set for March 1; will remain as chairman until May 2015.
HOS compliance cutting driver wages by as much as 5.6 percent, survey finds
Data comes as CRST Expedited implements $10 million wage hikes for expedited unit.
Three years in making, intermodal service for fresh produce gets rolling this spring
"Tiger Cool Express" to be run by industry veterans Finkbiner, Prince, Shurstad.