Table of Contents: August 2008

a top-shelf solution
For the U.K.'s largest grocer, the key to a successful distribution network redesign turned out to be warehouse management software.
plenty of life left
Emerging technologies may be the future of lift truck propulsion, but the lead acid battery will remain the dominant technology in the DC for some time to come.
the secret to going "lean"
Your lean initiatives will go nowhere unless you can motivate your workforce to eliminate waste and improve speed and flow.
to catch a thief
Shippers looking to crack down on cargo theft are enlisting the aid of high-tech devices. But there's more to it than simply tucking a covert wireless tracker into a shipment.
snake eater to box kicker: interview with Gen. Norton Schwartz
It's not every day that a snake eater (Special Forces operator) rises to the top of TRANSCOM, the U.S. military's transportation command. But Gen. Norton Schwartz has done just that.

Voices
Basic Training: on-demand supply chain management
For the last couple of years now, a concept called on-demand supply chain management has been rattling around the business. But what does it mean?
Big Picture: logistics and the cost of food
There's not much logistics managers in the food industry can do about rising fuel costs. But there still may be some things managers can do to make those networks even more efficient.
Fastlane: old concept, new justification
With prices at the pump rising by the day, distribution professionals are constantly on the lookout for fresh new ways to cut transportation costs. But they might do better to look back to the past.
Labor Pool: look before you leave: tips to ensure a successful succession
If you are in mid-career or later, the next generation of managers is right behind you. And now it's your turn to identify the talented up-and-comers on your staff who can support you now and step into your shoes when the time comes.
Outbound: a crack in the firewall?
As most any business person will agree, in the global market of the 21st century, the unrestricted flow of information is as critical to success as the unrestricted flow of goods. By creating barriers to the flow of information, the Chinese government is creating barriers to global trade.
Techwatch: frustrated with fuel price hikes? Try software tools
A number of companies have found opportunities to shave transportation costs through inventory optimization initiatives.
Inbound
small company, big results
Small and medium-sized companies often assume their recycling programs won't make much of a difference to the environment. But Ken Lakin begs to differ.
this warehouse is rock-solid
In June, Kraft Foods opened a 400,000-square-foot energy-efficient warehouse in—or rather, under—Springfield, Mo.
RFID makes benefit nation of Kazakhstan
The Customs Control Agency (CCA) in Kazakhstan has implemented an RFID-based cargo monitoring system at several checkpoints on its border with China.
ice escapades
Kinedyne Corp. has road tested its cargo straps, slings, and other tie-down products in some of the most extreme conditions truckers are likely to meet.
garbage in, garbage out
In June, the Virginia Port Authority fielded a team of volunteers for the 20th annual Clean the Bay Day, an event that aims to clean up Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries.
blood is thicker than flood waters
But when floods left parts of the Midwest underwater in June, some of those who usually are on the giving end were themselves in need of assistance.
Newsworthy
upbeat despite the downturn
When the results of the State of Logistics Report were released earlier this summer, the report's author, Rosalyn Wilson, announced that logistics costs as a percentage of GDP had risen in 2007, climbing above the 10-percent mark for the first time since 2000.
Congress scolds Customs on First Sale Rule
The message from Congress to U.S. Customs and Border Protection couldn't have been more blunt: Check with us before you mess with the law.
USPS takes a page from the private sector
The battle for shippers' parcel business heated up last month when the U.S. Postal Service announced a major realignment and some important new hires from private industry.
warehouse expenditures up 8%
A new report from market research firm Armstrong & Associates shows that the public and contract warehouse market saw growth of 7.7 percent over year-ago levels in 2007 and has now reached $37.5 billion in revenue.

Continuing Education

on the fast track
The American Society of Transportation and Logistics has entered into a partnership with APICS to speed up the certification process for APICS members.
what's in it for me?
That's the question many companies keep asking when it comes to RFID. A seminar that may offer some answers will be held in September.
essential elements
A group of professors from Arizona State University have developed a course called "Essentials of Supply and Logistics Management."