Table of Contents: November 2008

from trash to cash
Furniture retailer Rooms To Go spins waste into gold through a broad-based recycling program.
billion dollar baby
The freight management contract signed late last year between the U.S. Department of Defense and Menlo Worldwide Government Services is a big deal in more ways than one.
here come the hybrids
Although electric trucks may be years away, a number of truck makers are coming out with hybrid mid-sized trucks that run on both diesel and electric power. And big rigs may be just around the corner.
how green are your pallets?
Which is more environmentally sustainable: the lightweight plastic pallet or the biodegradable wood one? It's more complicated than it might sound.
Koch cranks up the volume
When a new line of business caused backups at Koch Entertainment's packing stations, an automated packaging system cleared the logjam. Now the music and film distributor is shipping a lot more orders in much less time.
reverse logistics: interview with Bob Silverman
When it's time for a career change, lots of logistics and IT executives go over to the consulting side. Bob Silverman is one of a select few who did it the other way around.

Voices
Basic Training: beyond ship and store
When it comes to value-added services, how much is marketing and how much is truly the service provider's "secret sauce"?
Big Picture: fiddling while supply chains burn
It is not pessimism to assume that in highly complex supply chains, something will go wrong somewhere, sometime and that preparation is essential.
Fastlane: going for broke
The supply chain industry is not likely to escape the current economic crisis, but it's not likely to be a casualty either.
Special Handling: looking for tomorrow's workers today
There's a severe shortage of qualified workers in America—for industry in general, and for material handling in particular.
Outbound: a realistic timetable for withdrawal
A timetable for withdrawal from Iraq cannot be dictated by political desires; it must be driven in large part (if not primarily) by logistics.
Techwatch: do-it-yourself software
When logistics and distribution managers need software to solve a business problem, the first thing most of them do is look into buying an off-the-shelf package. But what happens if they can't find something that meets their precise needs?
Inbound
moose mania
In late September, a two-year-old male moose entered Castle Metals' 65,000-square-foot warehouse through a loading dock door.
that's highway—make that railway—robbery
If any of your intermodal shipments from the West Coast turned up short, you may have been the victim of a train robbery.
guns and (Arctic) roses
A new book just might become required reading wherever "lean" manufacturing and ISO 9001 quality standards are on the business agenda.
Tut gets the royal treatment
When American Airlines Cargo recently shipped the personal effects of a renowned—and long dead—monarch, the airline gave every item in the consignment the royal treatment.
need a job? Then get to WERC
If you're looking for a new position in warehousing and logistics, consider going to WERC.
where the growth is
Material handling equipment will suffer a slowdown in demand over the next five years, but sales growth will maintain a very respectable pace worldwide, according to The Freedonia Group.
Newsworthy
financial crisis hits warehouse, DC markets
A September study of the nation's top 30 industrial real estate markets by ProLogis, reported a sharp contraction in construction activity through mid-year.
HP goes anchors aweigh
Hewlett-Packard Co. reportedly is shifting some of its intercontinental shipments from air freight to ocean to mitigate the impact of jet fuel prices and the generally higher costs of moving goods by air.
desktop shipping: an "untapped opportunity"
Many desktop shippers don't use the automated shipping systems that transportation pros do to select carriers and analyze shipping activities and costs.
warehouse compensation looks strong
According to a survey by WERC, the median 2008 compensation for general managers, traffic managers, office managers, and customer service managers has grown by double-digit percentages over 2006 levels.
LTL recovery waits for Godot?
In mid-June, the CEO of the nation's largest LTL carrier said prospects for a U.S. economic recovery in 2009 were dimming, effectively scuttling the trucker's hopes for a near-term firm-up in LTL revenue and pricing.
new plant import rule takes root
Starting in late November or in December, plant and plant product importers will be required to file declarations that state the scientific name of any plant in a shipment along with the plant species' country of origin and a description of the plant or plant product's value and quantity.
will Smiley hit the gas?
According to a Sept. 17 e-mail communiqué from the T. Boone Pickens organization, Wal-Mart Stores CEO H. Lee Scott has commissioned a study to determine the feasibility of converting the retailer's 8,500 trucks from diesel to natural gas.
global container trade weakens
In a report issued in mid-September, Global Insight's Paul Bingham warned that 2008 would not be a good year for container shipping companies.
advice for living in uncertain times
Considering the turmoil in the financial markets last month, it was perhaps not surprising that managing uncertainty was on the minds of the 3,000 logistics professionals gathered at CSCMP's annual conference.
U.S. ports to feel the squeeze
At the National Defense Transportation Association's 62nd Annual Forum and Exposition in September, Lt. Gen. Bobby Dail, director of the Defense Logistics Agency, stood up at the podium and asserted, "We are a maritime nation."

Continuing Education

get real!
In their "Fundamentals of Supply Chain Management" course, Art Van Bodegraven and Ken Ackerman will talk about why transportation remains the largest and most critical link in many supply chains.
putting theory into practice at MIT
Supply Chains Driving Strategic Advantage: Managing Dynamics and Innovating the Future," will balance out these high-level topics with lots of hands-on learning.
make yourself more marketable
If you're looking to make yourself more marketable in these tough economic times, getting a master of science degree in supply chain management might be the way to go.
the right layout
Keogh Consulting has designed a one-day seminar to help you figure out the best layout for your distribution operations.