Case Studies

Impending Labor Shortages and the TLD Industry

It seems that the Transportation, Logistics and Delivery (TLD) market has been caught off-guard by the labor shortage, and is now struggling to fill the demand for supply chain and logistics professionals. Employers are scrambling to fill jobs and facing an unprecedented shortage of qualified workers amid low unemployment rates, a rapidly aging workforce in trucking and warehousing, a need for a new type of employee who is more tech savvy, and mounting customer expectations for faster delivery of goods (sellers like Amazon and their Prime service have driven delivery window expectations through the roof).

Trucking executives say their industry is experiencing a “perfect storm”— the strong economy is creating a heavy demand for trucks, but it’s difficult to find drivers with unemployment so low, and potential candidates ignoring job openings because they fear self-driving trucks will eventually replace them.

According to a report from CBRE (the international industrial real estate firm), rapid growth of e-commerce will create demand for an additional 452,000 warehouse and distribution workers in 2018-19, which will make matters worse in this labor-strapped industry.

The warehousing operations of the future are expected to undergo a transformation; they are more likely to resemble light industrial manufacturing operations vs. traditional warehouses. This will require the warehousing workforce to become more skilled and expand past their more traditional roles of picking and packing inventory for shipment.

What can companies and leaders do to address the problem?

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SNS Turns Up The Speed

Turn 14 is a progressive innovative aftermarket auto parts distributor with facilities in Hatfield, Reno, and Dallas. Their unique business model is centered on offering a comprehensive line of products from multiple specialized suppliers. Their goal is to make their products available to their dealers quickly and efficiently by using cost effective sales and logistics processes.

Turn 14 needs to uniquely identify each item received in their distribution center with a serial ID. Part of this process is capturing the item’s dimension and weight allowing to maintain the most detailed inventory records. Because of the daily high volume of items received, this process is a very labor intensive operation with the risk of inaccuracies.

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Reverse Logistics

What is Reverse Logistics?

Reverse logistics, also known as return logistics or reverse supply chain, is the process of moving products from their point of intended consumption back to their point of origin–either for disposal or recapturing value.

The process of reverse logistics is one that many e-commerce businesses have yet to master, as the goal of e-retail and the e-retail supply chain is to send products outwards, not returning them to their point of creation. In the e-retail industry, returns and recalls are an unwanted outcome and an inevitability, so businesses must create plans to accommodate them in the least costly and most efficient way possible.

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Dimension, Weigh and Scan Solutions

“Package Intelligence” is a phrase that may be used to describe what today’s package distribution companies consider the nucleus of their operations. The phrase reflects the objective of manufacturers, shippers, transporters and distribution centers to capture information about a package and do so automatically. The “intelligence” that package handlers want includes barcode data (shipper, customer, address, unique package ID, etc.), weight, dimensions, condition and even package material type.

The Dimension Weigh Scan (DWS) system integrates dimensioners, scales and barcode readers to provide parcel profiles. The DWS system combines parcel dimension, weight and barcode data into a single message that can be used for verification, trailer cubing, freight cost calculation, and sortation. Many configurations of DWS systems are available. Choosing the best configuration is driven by key business requirements including inbound barcode location(s) and type(s), package sizes and weight ranges, package characteristics, throughput, scalability, host system interface and operator interface. The following section examines some key design considerations for an automated DWS system.

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Postal Automation

With the growth of e-commerce, the volume of parcels and packages traveling through postal processing centers has trended upward by nearly 70% over the past decade. The accelerating shift from flats to parcel mail introduces new opportunities for postal carriers to expand services and increase revenue — but only if they can adapt their automated mail processing systems to accommodate this new content.

Automated sortation provided a competitive edge when postal carriers processed only flat mail. It is fast becoming a competitive game changer as the number of small parcels in today’s mail trays increases. Only automated sorting can meet the growing demand for speed and accuracy while reducing costs, minimizing human error, and keeping productivity ahead of tight delivery demands.

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