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Archives for May 2012

Guest Blog: Why the Chemical Industry Cares About Supply Chain Costs and Innovation

Chemical Industry

Just a couple months ago, Kristopher Glotzbach highlighted some of the key factors in serving the chemical industry. Taking an even higher level view, I’d say that what the chemical industry cares about most from its supply chain are safety (including regulatory compliance), security, cost efficiencies, and innovation. I’d like to share some thoughts on the last two priorities—cost efficiencies and innovation, starting with cost. » Read More

How Global Companies Maximize Transportation Technology

I frequently talk to companies about problems they experience with their transportation network. The transportation pain points usually get serious when their supply chain starts to go global. The operational processes grow more complicated, more people get involved, and the number of diverse language and cultural requirements increase. Further, it gets harder to track currencies, local shipping rules, and tax regulations. That’s when many companies find that their transportation management system (TMS) can no longer fulfill their business requirements and serve customers. » Read More

Update: CSA Changes Coming Soon


On May 16, FMCSA released new outreach information for shippers, brokers, and insurance companies on CSA. We have seen confusion in the shipper community about the relationship of safety ratings to BASIC data. While FMCSA has presented this data and message previously, they have not been brought together and targeted to the shipper community until now. Some highlights in the information are: » Read More

9 Deadly Sins of Customs-Related Mistakes

Customs audit

U.S. importers and exporters of any size aren’t immune from audits as the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) steps up enforcement of customs compliance. It’s not just fraud the CBP is looking to correct. Poor recordkeeping, mistakes, and uncorrected discrepancies in your import or export dealings—including myriad process or info gaps among trading partners—can result in fines while increasing your chance of a customs audit. » Read More

Guest Blog: Low-Hanging Fruit for Transportation Savings

Transportation Savings

A few weeks ago, Walmart reported in its 2012 Global Responsibility Report that it had improved the efficiency of its fleet by 69 percent compared to its 2005 baseline. The company delivered 65 million more cases—while driving 28 million fewer miles—by increasing its pallets per trailer and better managing routes (emphasis mine). Walmart also reported success in reducing empty backhauls, specifically in Mexico. “Our focus on backhauls,” the company reported, “saved more than 56,000 trips” last year. » Read More

Leveling the Fuel Surcharge Playing Field

Fuel Surcharge

Editor’s Note: Last summer, Kevin McCarthy’s Leveling the Surcharge Playing Field blog post on TMC Blog generated a lot of discussion on fuel surcharge programs. We’re sharing his original post here on Transportfolio because fuel is always a good topic of conversation. Please share your thoughts and read Kevin’s January blog post, How to Make the Best Choices in Procurement Bidding Season.

Is it possible to create a fuel surcharge program that is consistently fair to shippers and carriers? » Read More