Table of Contents: December 2016

Logistics technology: Where is it headed?
Four IT folks from different walks of logistics life offer their views on what is fast becoming a core element of the supply chain.
Fewer restrooms, more charging stations: How robots will transform the warehouse Fewer restrooms, more charging stations: How robots will transform the warehouse
A warehouse designed for robots needs different "amenities" than one designed for people. Here are a few things to consider when going robotic.
Cutting costs on inbound freight Cutting costs on inbound freight
A food wholesale company finds there are big savings to be gained by using software to optimize inbound freight.
Mission control: interview with Sheila Benny Mission control: interview with Sheila Benny
Optricity's Sheila Benny has made it her personal mission to give back to the supply chain community through mentoring young people and leading an industry association.
Load tracking software means no more phone calls Load tracking software means no more phone calls
For foodservice distributor US Foods, real-time location information means there's no need to call drivers or dispatchers to manage exceptions and check on the whereabouts of loads.
Many happier returns? Many happier returns?
Returns are never easy to handle. That's why having a good strategy and maybe even a partner can help bring order to one of the supply chain's most chaotic processes.
Everyone (maybe) into the distribution pool! Everyone (maybe) into the distribution pool!
Pool distribution has been around for 30 years or so but has not been high on most logistics priority lists. Time to take another look?
Dim weight concerns? Who you gonna call? Dim weight concerns? Who you gonna call?
Can your third-party logistics partner help you ease the pain of dim weight pricing? Yes, but it may need some help and prodding.
The right forklift for the job The right forklift for the job
Not every job requires a high-end forklift with advanced features. Sometimes, a basic no-frills model is a better choice.

Voices
Fastlane: Cliff Lynch's annual letter to Santa Claus
With the election behind us, it's time for some new requests—like an end run on the TPP and the resolution of our infrastructure crisis.
Big Picture: Return to sender
As in the past, returns may be the undoing of many dot-com retailers.
Outbound: Blips on the radar
The truck driver shortage has long seemed as inevitable as death and taxes. But there are signs the crunch may be starting to ease.
Inbound
DHL teaches its couriers to march like a penguin
German parcel giant enlists a flightless bird to demonstrate how to walk safely on icy surfaces.
Aerodynamic mudflap boosts efficiency
So long, Yosemite Sam.
FedEx jet houses world's first aircargo exhibit
Display at Seattle's Museum of Flight offers a look at the history of air freight.
Exoskeleton gives DC workers "superhuman strength"
Modular industrial suit reduces the muscle force required to complete tasks.
Frankie Forklift returns
"Frankie Forklift and Friends" product line gets two new additions.
Three ways to cut fuel use
GPS company offers tips for curbing driver practices that waste fuel.
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.
Newsworthy
A new administration may mean major change across supply chain
A more business-friendly climate could slow regulatory oversight, be a boon to infrastructure, and reverse favorable union laws. Yet trade would likely suffer.
UPS, Sealed Air team up to streamline parcel packaging
Program comes as carriers struggle with high-cube parcels containing excess packaging.
Port of Los Angeles and GE Transportation test maritime information portal
Two-month pilot project could help service ultra-large container vessels by providing early notice of arrival.
Container industry chaos likely to continue, observers say
Speakers at Northeast Cargo Symposium caution that outlook for container shipping is uncertain as traditional sources of new revenue slip away; forecast is for more consolidation.
UPS, following FedEx lead, shrinks threshold of dimensional pricing on parcel shipments
Company drops divisor to 139 from 166, subjecting more parcels to costlier price formula; shipments measuring 1 cubic foot or less not affected.