Table of Contents: December 2014

Heading for zero
Ace Hardware worked with its waste and recycling contractor to get one DC to the point where it ships nothing to a landfill. A second DC is close behind. And that's only a part of the hardware cooperative's sustainability efforts.
Shippers show "grudging acceptance" of truck rate hikes Shippers show "grudging acceptance" of truck rate hikes
Shippers, carriers conclude contract talks, with shippers resigned to rates heading upward one way or another.
R is for "robot": interview with Tom Bonkenburg R is for "robot": interview with Tom Bonkenburg
We're likely to see more robots in DCs within the decade. But Tom Bonkenburg says the first wave will probably look a lot more like driverless forklifts than R2-D2 or C-3PO.
How to avoid a DIM future How to avoid a DIM future
Don't panic. Parcel dim weight pricing is coming, but there are things you can do to skirt parcel Armageddon.
A complicated question A complicated question
Which is better: one centralized reverse logistics processing center or several regional ones? Experts say the answer depends on a lot more than just cost and efficiency.

Voices
Big Picture: A new NAFTA?
Nearly 21 years after NAFTA took effect, a report from the Council of Foreign Relations looks at where the three trade partners should go next.
Basic Training: We're from legal, and we're here to help you ...
With legal as a permanent adversary, you're guaranteed to lose. But if you make it an ally, you have a fighting chance at supply chain success.
Fastlane: Cliff Lynch's annual letter to Santa Claus
Please see what you can do to get Congress to resolve the highway funding issue as well as convince retailers to be more cautious with their delivery promises. And btw, the entire West Coast needs some attention.
Outbound: Coming home
An unprecedented study of home delivery logistics offers up traditional solutions to a very nontraditional challenge.
Inbound
DC Velocity editors launch new blog
"Dispatches" will feature commentaries on logistics and material handling topics.
And you thought a "long haul" meant 1,000 miles and up
Truck drivers today want to stick even closer to home than you might have assumed.
Scholarship fund seeks "investors" in industry-specific education
Contributors to the Howard Bernstein Scholarship Fund help students pursuing careers in material handling, industrial engineering, logistics, and supply chain management.
DCV video interviews feature internationally known thought leaders
Wikipedia's Jimmy Wales, John Kao of the Institute for Large Scale Innovation, and MIT's Thomas Malone are just some of the leading thinkers we interviewed at MHI's 2014 Executive Summit and Annual Conference.
Battery sales manager gets a charge out of college football
When he's not selling lift truck battery chargers, Pat Bayers is out on the football field refereeing at Big Ten games.
CEMA to extend membership throughout the Americas
The Conveyor Equipment Manufacturers Association has committed significant resources to making itself a more international organization.
Stranded warehouse worker makes the best of it
Stuck for 36 hours, Buffalo-area resident Tom Wilson finds pallets do not make comfortable beds.
Logistics gives back
Here are some recent example of donations and other charitable works by companies in the logistics, transportation, and material handling fields.
How to talk to "outsiders" about transportation budgets
A new CSCMP publication offers advice on how to explain transportation budgets to decision makers in other functions.
Newsworthy
Industrial property business basks in the glow of a virtuous cycle
Solid demand, tight supply, higher prices? What's not to like, if you're on the supply side.
U.S. military launches logistics response to Ebola crisis
Operation United Assistance helps establish health care operations in afflicted regions of West Africa.
Brennan named first woman postmaster general in history; Donahue to retire in February
Current chief operating officer faces same secular challenges as her predecessor.
NITL attendees get a glimpse of chickens coming home to roost
Steady rate climb seen for rest of decade as supply tightens, traffic grows.