Table of Contents: September 2006

now you see it
New hypernetworked software tools may finally deliver something that has long eluded the industry: end-to-end supply chain visibility.
into thicker air
New aircargo security regs mean more trouble and expense for carriers. But what do they mean for shippers?
the Innovative Eight
Here are eight of the best new picking technologies you've probably never heard of. Go ahead, take your pick.
learning the business from the ground up: an interview with Steve Inacker
Today he heads one of the most complicated distribution networks in the nation. But Steve Inacker started in the business at the ground level—literally—as part of a conveyor installation crew.
forklifts get smart
They're not just for heavy lifting anymore. The next generation of forklifts will be RFID-enabled smart trucks that not only collect data but crunch it as well.

Basic Training: from the cosmic to the commonplace
Our supply chain universe can be seen as clustered around three "estates," roughly comparable to the social divisions in pre-revolutionary France. We might, without stretching too far, term them the First Estate—the academic community (or the "clergy"); the Second Estate—the consultants and software developers (or the "nobility"); and the Third Estate—working practitioners (or the "commoners").
Big Picture: eight days a week
What congestion on highways, at ports and on the rails costs our economy is hard to measure. But it is certainly expensive, and by all accounts, it is only going to get worse.
Fastlane: is intermodal too darn hot?
Today, over 70 percent of general ocean cargo is shipped in containers, and about 11,000,000 containers, representing $1.5 billion in goods, enter the United States each year. As the wave of incoming containers turns tidal, the question becomes whether the nation's transportation system can handle the flood.
Labor Pool: sit up straight and don't mumble!

Don't be surprised if the next interview you're offered turns out to be a telephone interview.

Outbound: just what rock have these folks been under?

Can they really be this clueless? Or have they simply chosen to ignore an inconvenient truth?

Not long ago, I came across the results of a study that got me wondering whether the CEOs and CFOs at some Fortune 1,000 companies were due for a reality check.

Rfidwatch: Big Brother, can you spare a dime?

The Department of Defense is doing its part to advance the adoption of RFID technology by speeding up installations at its 19 U.

Rfidwatch: IBM rolls out RFID systems

RFID is red hot at Big Blue.

beyond the call of duty

Supplying military personnel around the world with everything from groceries to jet fuel might seem challenge enough.

take a left at the light, no wait ...

Most of us don't think twice about making a left turn, but UPS drivers do everything they can to avoid them.

license and registration, please

The trucks may be in better shape, but the drivers have us a little worried.

Mineta's parting shot

In the end, he got the last word.

taking it on the road

If the roads seemed a bit more crowded last year, it might have had something to do with freight.

on top of the world

Its sister division—the automobile maker—usually gets all the glory, but Toyota's lift truck manufacturing unit recently earned some accolades of its own.

the "R" stands for rapid

Any lingering doubts that RFID is fueling a tech boom can be laid to rest.

Walgreens turns to the Web for innovative recruitment drive

At Walgreens, the commitment to being an equal opportunity employer is more than just talk.

we've heard of job fairs, but job concerts?

Country music star Travis Tritt had the crowd on its feet at a July concert in Front Royal,Va.

all is calm at the ports this year

Reports of record traffic volumes at the nation's seaports this summer might seem cause for alarm.

Alien IPO a no-go; is a sale next?

Up until late July, it appeared that Alien Technology was on track to become the first RFID start-up to go public.

Smeal's winning streak remains intact

It's been a good year for the Center for Supply Chain Research at Penn State's Smeal College of Business.


Our August issue more fuel for the debate

What's a fair way to calculate the fuel surcharges imposed on rail customers? That's been the subject of some debate this year.

Wegmans gets in sync with suppliers

High-end grocery chain Wegmans Food Markets has found a way to chop more than $1 million in redundant costs from its supply chain, and it doesn't even involve RFID.

don't touch that dial!

News that advanced real-time traffic information services are under development may come as welcome news to commuters tired of scanning the radio dial in search of traffic updates.

Unilever tests new RFID data-sharing tool

One of the clear takeaways from Wal-Mart's RFID pilot was confirmation that the technology can help grocery manufacturers like Unilever get their products from the back room to the store shelf quicker.

Continuing Education

plenty of chances to SCOR

At 10 years old, the Supply Chain Council (SCC) has grown from an organization with 69 member companies to one with nearly 1,000 members and global reach.

space exploration

The Warehousing Education and Research Council (WERC) brings its popular two-day workshop "Maximizing Warehouse Space" to Princeton, N.