Table of Contents: December 2012

Green and growing
A retrofit helped fast-growing Other World Computing boost throughput and efficiency at its LEED Platinum distribution center without compromising its green principles.
Can we talk? Can we talk?
IT advancements make electronic communications in the supply chain easier and better than ever. But that's not where the problem lies, experts say.
Yamaha's "hybrid" approach to foreign trade zones Yamaha's "hybrid" approach to foreign trade zones
The musical instruments maker wanted to import through an FTZ, but neither of the traditional approaches seemed a good fit. That's when it decided to improvise.
The coming of farm-to-fork traceability The coming of farm-to-fork traceability
Before long, nearly everyone in the food supply chain should have tools to trace products back to the point of origin. It's the law, and it's good for business.
Sizing up your shipments Sizing up your shipments
Gathering dimensional data has traditionally helped with slotting, picking, and order filling. But there are applications on the shipping side as well.
Logistics clusters as drivers of growth: interview with Yossi Sheffi Logistics clusters as drivers of growth: interview with Yossi Sheffi
Locating logistics companies and the businesses they serve in close proximity—in the right spot—can drive economic growth and become a significant source of jobs in our global economy, argues Yossi Sheffi.
Queen of the road: interview with Lana Batts Queen of the road: interview with Lana Batts
Lana Batts' appeal stems from her lifelong love of trucking and her ability to speak the language of the guys and gals on the road. Now, she's tackling a new and thorny issue: driver pre-screening.

Techwatch: Buying a WMS? Have it your way
Recent developments in programming are making software implementations less painful and less expensive.
Fastlane: Cliff Lynch's annual letter to Santa Claus
My fervent hope is that you can convince our leaders they must develop a firm plan for improving our infrastructure and provide the resources to accomplish it.
Basic Training: Dashing through the snow, sun, surf, sand—whatever
In theory, dashboards provide mission-critical information that's key to continuous improvement. In practice, it's often another matter altogether.
Big Picture: Rebounding from Sandy
The response to the storm highlights both the vulnerability of supply chains to sudden disruption and the U.S. logistics industry's ability to bounce back.
Outbound: When green opportunity comes a-knocking
Remember all those stories about companies turning green into gold and trash into cash? Turns out it wasn't just hype.
Five ways to improve the stability of pallet loads
Following these basic tips can greatly reduce product damage, says Jim Lancaster, president and CEO of Lantech, a maker of stretch- and shrink-wrappers.
Armstrong & Associates releases report on Mexican logistics market
Free publication provides hard-to-find info on international and Mexican carriers and third parties.
Book offers roadmap for supply chain transformation
Supply Chain Transformation: Practical Roadmap to Best Practice Results helps readers get started on the journey to supply chain excellence.
Logistics community gives back in time of need
Here's our monthly roundup of "good deeds" by logistics, warehousing, and material handling equipment companies.
Not your ordinary pallet projects
A bonfire in England and an Ohio State student research project show that you can do some pretty interesting things with pallets.
New headset computer provides visual guides for field service, training
Motorola's head-mounted HC1 device displays maps, schematics, and more through an optics pod; warehouse applications are under consideration.
DC VELOCITY, Supply Chain Quarterly win national design awards
Director of Creative Services Keisha Capitola receives awards from Graphic Design USA.
Study: Economic uncertainty reshaping outlook for logistics service industry
Annual Northeastern University third-party logistics survey finds economic conditions have created both problems and opportunities for 3PLs worldwide.
RedPrairie, JDA honchos go live to tout benefits of $1.9 billion combination
Focus to be on supply chain "ecosystem," executives say; analyst says merged company in good shape to compete abroad with Oracle, SAP.
Trucking association estimates 239,000 drivers needed by 2022
As pool of eligible drivers shrinks, carriers see costs rise, struggle to hit earnings estimates.
Supply chain IT systems increasingly vulnerable to attack, analysts warn
Supply chain operations could lose millions of dollars due to IT breaches by 2016, according to recent report.
At FedEx, say hello to the next 40 years
A major revamp reshapes the company, lays the foundation for how it does business in the 21st century, and bows to present and future realities.
Liquidity Services buys National Electronic Service Association
Deal is one of the first to marry an e-commerce company and physical distribution provider.
Descartes acquires Exentra for $17 million
SaaS provider of driver compliance solutions for the EU becomes part of Descartes.
Intermodal struggles to crack short-haul market
Taking share in the under-500 mile category will be an uphill climb.
UPS' announced rate hikes understate real impact to customers, parcel consultants contend
Shippers unlikely to get pricing relief from FedEx, they caution.