Table of Contents: January 2015

Does the store backroom need to look like a DC?
As retail goes omnichannel, more vendors are filling online orders from stores. This has big implications for their backroom operations.
Will the revolution be dimensionalized? Will the revolution be dimensionalized?
The rise of dimensioning machines will make LTL trailer space allocation more efficient than ever. It will also eventually end shippers' 80-year free rate ride.
Executing the omnichannel vision Executing the omnichannel vision
Omnichannel retailing, or using store inventory to fill e-commerce orders, is one of today's hottest trends. Here are two technologies that can help companies operate in this new environment.
Convergence is the word Convergence is the word
Third-party logistics providers (3PLs) are transforming themselves into businesses that provide a diverse array of services well beyond logistics.
Filling big shoes: interview with Kathy Fulton
When ALAN President Jock Menzies died suddenly in 2013, Kathy Fulton took over the interim reins. Now, the group, and a new legacy, is hers.
Almost ready for takeoff?
Hydrogen fuel cells have been touted as the next big thing in powering electric lift trucks, yet for many reasons adoption rates remain low. Here's why.
Spending in the storm Spending in the storm
Intermodal traffic grew in 2014 despite a bad year on the rails. Will 2015 bring more of the same, or will it bring an end to shippers' patience?

Voices
Big Picture: Farewell, class rates?
As carriers seek to shift their customers away from the traditional freight classification system, many shippers are resisting the change. That's ironic, because shippers have complained loudly for decades about the way the classifications are developed.
Basic Training: What's worse than a triple witching hour?
Challenges ranging from labor shortages to fuel price volatility could create kinks in global supply chains in the coming year. And these are just the threats we're aware of.
Fastlane: What's ahead in '15?
What lies in store for shippers in the coming year? Several trends bear watching—including the latest moves by the nation's largest online retailer.
Outbound: Highway safety starts with the shippers
Curbing road accidents is a marketplace mission, not a bureaucratic one.
Inbound
Good deeds of the month
Here's our monthly roundup of some charitable activities and donations by companies in the logistics field.
Automated container terminal produces zero emissions
Maasvlakte II terminal in Rotterdam is all-electric, buys all of its power from wind farms.
Report considers current state and future opportunities for self-driving vehicles
DHL research highlights advances and practical applications in logistics.
Asset-locator robot could soon be on the wing
Pinc Solutions says its aerial robot will go into production sometime early this year.
Colorful solution keeps material handling equipment in the right place
Simple but effective tactic stops trailers from "going AWOL."
Swiss photographer presents a fresh view of highway trucks
Ulysse Fr├ęchelin's new book, American Trucks, reveals that a big rig can be a thing of beauty.
New uses for old pallets: "Build your own maze" edition
Volunteers at an Ohio elementary school designed and built a 3,828-square-foot maze out of shipping pallets and straw.
Do you know a Rainmaker?
Know someone who's making a difference in the world of logistics? Then consider nominating him or her as one of DC Velocity's "Rainmakers."
Conference to cover transportation law, claims, contracts, and more
The Transportation & Logistics Council's upcoming conference is a "don't miss" for anyone concerned with cargo loss, liability, regulations, and contracts.
Newsworthy
Robinson buys Freightquote.com for $365 million in cash; takes big step into LTL
Deal also expands Robinson's reach into "enormous" small business arena, CEO says.
Domestic shipments toted up best November activity since '07, Cass report finds
Data portends strong end to the year, monthly index shows.
FedEx acquires Genco in big push to match UPS, DHL in contract logistics
Move affirms FedEx strategy to move beyond transport into other areas of supply chain management.
NACCO Materials Handling Group acquires hydrogen fuel cell company Nuvera
NMHG says its Hyster and Yale brands plan to commercialize Nuvera's technology; will be first OEM to integrate and factory-fit fuel cells into lift trucks.