Table of Contents: March 2016

Workforce warrior: interview with Mike Rowe
Best known as the host of the TV shows "Dirty Jobs" and "Somebody's Gotta Do It," Mike Rowe is a passionate advocate for the blue-collar professions that underpin our economy but are often undervalued and overlooked.
Hot spot Hot spot
At the Modex exhibition and conference in Atlanta, attendees can get up close and personal with sizzling new technology, equipment, and services for the supply chain.
The wacky world of diesel fuel surcharges, or "How I learned to hate the peg" The wacky world of diesel fuel surcharges, or "How I learned to hate the peg"
In theory, surcharges should be a clean pass-through to shield truckers from fuel price gyrations. Theory became roadkill years ago.
Warehouses make room for wearable computers Warehouses make room for wearable computers
With the right adjustments to DC design and strategy, wearable computers can deliver the accuracy and efficiency needed to keep up with the rising demands of e-commerce fulfillment.
Five ways to squeeze extra value out of your LMS Five ways to squeeze extra value out of your LMS
Facing new market pressures, managers are using their labor management systems in a variety of creative ways. Here are some examples.
The leading edge The leading edge
Germany's Ostermann relies on a sophisticated automated storage and retrieval system to process orders for its carpentry products.
Cruze control Cruze control
Producing a car a minute requires coordination, split-second timing, and a lot of behind-the-scenes support. Here's how GM keeps the Chevrolet Cruze assembly lines humming.
Six small packaging changes that can save big money Six small packaging changes that can save big money
A quarter of an inch here, a few more items in a box there, and suddenly you've reaped thousands of dollars in savings. Here are a few small packaging tweaks that can produce huge benefits.

Voices
Big Picture: He bleeds blue (collar, that is)
Mike Rowe understands that blue-collar jobs are the backbone of our economy, and that these jobs are underappreciated and often go unfilled. Better yet, he's doing something about it.
Fastlane: Breaking up is (still) hard to do
Firing an LSP still ranks as one of the most difficult tasks in logistics management. Here are some ways to minimize the disruption to your operations.
Outbound: Getting focused
Maybe instead of flinging mud at one another, today's presidential candidates should be looking at productivity, growth, and job creation.
Inbound
Trucking firms use data analytics strategies to avoid driver shortage
Driver surveys reveal common complaints. Data firm advises development of loyalty programs to boost retention.
Truckers inspire pop songs, industrial art
Magazine traces impact of truck drivers on American culture.
Carrier delivers Super Bowl prize
FedEx carries Vince Lombardi trophy from New York to San Francisco.
DC workers learn technicians' trade on Crown forklifts
Lift-truck maker supplies vehicles to trade school.
Coast Guard orders extra icebreakers
Melting seas extend Arctic shipping season, boosting demand for ice-breaking vessels.
3PL offers "frequent flyer" points for freight shippers
Clients can collect credits to trade for gas, groceries, high-tech toys.
Detachable LED spotlight boosts forklift safety
Extra headlight warns warehouse workers of approaching vehicles.
Online course helps truck-stop owners aid the homeless
Trade group offers guidance to truck-stop owners and employees on how to respond to requests for help.
Logistics gives back
Here's our monthly roundup of some of the charitable works and donations by companies in the material handling and logistics space.
Mark your calendars!
Looking for education opportunities? The NASSTRAC Shippers Conference and CONECT's Northeast Trade & Transportation Conference may fill the bill.
Newsworthy
KION Group, Egemin subsidiary announce acquisition of Retrotech Inc.
Maker of lift trucks and automatic guided vehicles aims to get more deeply involved in warehouse automation by bringing systems integrator into the fold.
Rockwell Automation acquires conveyor supplier MagneMotion
Merger will support development of magnetically driven carts for material handling.
ShipX delivers volume LTL discounts for small businesses
Web startup business is powered by partnership with project44.
Businesses still struggle to improve 3PL relationships despite increasing demand for outsourced services, study finds
University of Tennessee report identifies three common complaints in outsourced logistics.
XPO to rationalize $3 billion in global spend during 2016, CEO says
Jacobs said $500 million in LTL line-haul from former Con-way Freight out for bid.
Technology turning truck drivers into sustainable, smarter players, experts say
IT gives drivers latitude to pick and choose their loads; small, tech-savvy players are pouring into the field.
Software startup lands $3 million funding to improve container shipping with artificial intelligence
ClearMetal's latest investors include Google chairman's personal venture fund.