Table of Contents: July 2012

The Rainmakers
For our 2012 Rainmakers, success isn't just about fame and fortune. It's also about making a contribution to the logistics field and advancing the profession.
Is item-level RFID right for you? Is item-level RFID right for you?
Sure it's pricey, but for certain companies, the benefits of item-level tagging far outweigh the cost. Here are five signs yours might be one of them.
How to keep your conveyors up to speed How to keep your conveyors up to speed
Anything from age to "carton dust" can cause conveyor performance to decline. We asked some experts for tips on keeping the equipment running at top efficiency.
L.L. Bean's smarter stocking strategy L.L. Bean's smarter stocking strategy
The iconic retailer has revamped its inventory practices to support a multi-channel selling strategy. The result: less overstock of seasonal inventory, more of the products its customers buy all year long, and a reduction in warehousing costs.
Ten years after: supply chain reminded of West Coast lockout as it plans for possible work stoppage in the East, Gulf Ten years after: supply chain reminded of West Coast lockout as it plans for possible work stoppage in the East, Gulf
Planning for possible service disruptions should start soon, or even now, experts contend.
Is there a "DIY" AGV in your future? Is there a "DIY" AGV in your future?
Using easy-to-install kits made from off-the-shelf components, Toyota converted 22 tow tractors at one of its plants into automated guided vehicles. Plans are now in the works to bring the technology to DCs.
A bridge too close?
Building a bridge to ease border crossing delays in a busy trade corridor sounds like a can't-miss proposition ... unless you own a bridge just two miles to the north.
A better way to calculate equipment ROI A better way to calculate equipment ROI
Too many companies buy warehouse equipment and technology based on a "best case" scenario. Using an "engineered" approach to evaluating the return on investment will provide a more accurate picture of cost and productivity benefits.

Techwatch: WCS or WMS: Which is right for you?
It used to be an easy call. But now that the lines between the two are blurring, that's no longer the case.
Basic Training: The nincompoop's guide to going green
Looking to green up your supply chain operations? Here are some ideas that can be understood by people who haven't mastered the intricacies of carbon chemistry.
Outbound: Creating jobs by replacing jobs?
Conventional wisdom holds that automation usually leads to the loss of jobs. But one company has a very different take on the matter.
Big Picture: Manufacturing the future
The future of U.S. manufacturing hangs on choices we make today about education, immigration, infrastructure, regulation, and R&D. Will we rise to the challenge?
Company exemplifies international nature of forklift business
A visit to Mitsubishi Caterpillar Forklift America's headquarters highlighted the global nature of the material handling industry.
DC VELOCITY adds new blog for young professionals
"Joe Tillman on The New Generation," a new blog at, speaks to the concerns of young logistics and supply chain professionals.
No-frills forklift focuses on simplicity, service
The new Utilev line of basic forklifts is backed by a well-established service network.
Cargo-carrying "robocopters" earn their stripes
Unmanned helicopters have delivered more than 1 million pounds of cargo in support of the U.S. Marine Corps in Afghanistan.
Industry companies contribute to charities, nonprofits
Here's our monthly roundup of efforts by logistics and material handling companies to make the world a better place.
Kansas City: logistics powerhouse?
Take an ideal location and an engaged business community, throw in some world-class barbeque, and Kansas City may have the recipe for 21st century supply chain success.
Intelligrated to be acquired by private equity firm
U.K.-based Permira to buy material handling company in $500 million deal.
U.S. logistics system improved only modestly in 2011
State of Logistics Report shows "unremarkable" year for industry as logistics costs reach $1.28 trillion.
Motorola Solutions to buy Psion
Wireless giant to pay $200 million in cash for ruggedized mobile computer company.
ABF parent to buy Panther Expedited
$180 million deal strengthens trucker's position in time-critical delivery segment.
Streamlite, parcel consolidator, shuts down; $200 million of business is back in play
Loss of "critical customer," believed to be CVS Caremark, seen as reason.
YRC Freight touts faster deliveries in wake of network re-alignment
Long-haul LTL provider has reduced transit times by one day on thousands of traffic lanes.
Judge grants class status to shippers in five-year rail surcharge imbroglio
Ruling hands shippers victory in long-running price-fixing fight.