Table of Contents: December 2019

Rental robots help DCs solve labor woes
The "Robotics-as-a-Service" model provides users with autonomous bots for a monthly subscription fee, allowing them to swiftly scale up their operations for peak season.
Hanko Kiessner of Packsize Hanko Kiessner of Packsize
In our continuing series of discussions with top supply-chain company executives, Hanko Kiessner discusses the advantages of right-sized packaging.
Tariffs, technology, slowing economy drive 3PLs to adapt — again Tariffs, technology, slowing economy drive 3PLs to adapt — again
2020 is shaping up as a uniquely challenging time for freight brokers and third-party logistics service providers. Those who can adapt may find opportunities aplenty.
Is the industry robot-ready? interview with Dr. Christian Wurll Is the industry robot-ready? interview with Dr. Christian Wurll
Warehouse robots are becoming cheaper and more collaborative all the time. But that doesn't mean they're all ready for 24/7 use, cautions Professor Christian Wurll.
A convenient solution to conveyor challenges A convenient solution to conveyor challenges
Convenience-store wholesaler Chambers & Owen improves throughput, cuts processing time with upgraded conveyor system from TREW Hilmot and Modo 8.
Lift off Lift off
Like many fast-growing companies, spare-parts supplier TVH Parts Co. was running up against a shortage of space in its U.S. DC. Installing an automated five-aisle shuttle system took care of that problem and kicked operations into high gear.
The future of last-mile logistics takes shape The future of last-mile logistics takes shape
From light-industrial properties to large multistory facilities, the urban logistics real-estate landscape is changing as shippers get a handle on the best warehousing strategies to tackle their "last-touch" challenges.
Going mobile
When paperwork started slowing its drivers down, Cardinal Logistics began searching for a mobile device that could meet the unique needs of trucking. It found the answer in two Zebra mobile computers.

Voices
Big Picture: The mothers (and fathers) of invention
Some of our most important material handling technologies have surprising origins.
Outbound: Simon says
The past two decades have seen unprecedented changes and advances in logistics and supply chain management. But now what?
Inbound
It's still not easy being green
With new emissions standards about to kick in, Maersk seeks low-sulfur fuel in paper mill waste.
White paper takes deep dive into big data
New report from MHI digs into the mysteries of big data analytics and how it can add value to supply chain operations.
Amazon to staffers: You can bring your dog
At e-commerce giant's Seattle HQ, every day is "bring your dog to work day."
Not your usual training wheels
Schneider donates trucks equipped with advanced technologies to CDL driver-training programs.
Illinois trucker earns raves for "moving" performance
Local carrier donates transportation services for "Nutcracker" ballet.
Logistics gives back
Here's our monthly roundup of some of the charitable works and donations by companies in the material handling and logistics space.
Newsworthy
Kuehne + Nagel pledges less-than-container-load shipments to be carbon-neutral by 2020
Move comes alongside renewable energy and reforestation programs from logistics giants IKEA, Amazon.
Vecna and UniCarriers team up on autonomous mobile robots
Navigation technology and workflow orchestration could improve material handling productivity, partners say.
Demand surges for cold-storage warehousing, CBRE says
But construction requirements pose challenges for developers looking to capitalize on the trend.
Retailers are failing to meet customer expectations, study shows
Companies are missing the mark on delivery, convenience, and the in-store experience, according to tech firm study.
Teradyne acquires autonomous forklift vendor AutoGuide for $165 million
Move marks consolidation in AMR sector as Teradyne adds to its portfolio of Universal Robots and Mobile Industrial Robots.
Retailers look to 5G, AR for competitive edge in 2020
Nielsen study says smart supply chains need to anticipate consumers' demands.
Postal Service upgrades mobile computers to adapt to on-demand economy
USPS will deploy 300,000 Zebra handheld devices in 2020 to scan, track, and trace packages.
Report: Speed matters this holiday season
Consumer survey reveals shoppers' need for speed, not just free shipping, as the peak delivery season nears.
Users ask for better communication from warehouse robotics vendors
Retailers and manufacturers need automation to help with labor shortages, but vendors tend to overpromise and underperform, MHI panelists say.