The potential impacts of climate change are many, but one that particularly affects ports is sea level rise. With oceans projected to rise 10-12 inches in the next 30 years on U.S. coastlines, ports must be prepared for both the day-to-day impacts and those when storms strike. Why should the average shipper or consumer be concerned about this? Because between 90 and 100% of all international freight passes through ocean ports. If major ports are unprepared for sea level rise, it will have major consequences on domestic and global supply chains. So that begs the question: Are ports prepared for sea level rise? The answer is, it depends. Some, like Los Angeles, seem well prepared, some are in the process of preparing and others may find themselves sunk. Regardless, there are steps ports can take to mitigate the impact of sea level rise.
When moving loads overseas, shippers have two options: air freight and ocean freight. And while there are factors like cost and speed to consider when choosing between modes, another key element that should go into shipping strategy is a shipping method's carbon footprint, AKA environmental impact. Comparing air freight vs. ocean freight - or sea freight if you prefer - purely based on carbon footprint reveals that moving cargo by ship offers significant advantages over doing so by plane. Depending on the statistics you cite, long-haul air freight can generate 47 times as much greenhouse gas emissions as ocean freight, per ton-mile. Put another way, airplanes emit 500 grams of CO2 per metric ton of freight per kilometer of transportation, while container ships emit only 10 to 40 grams of CO2 per kilometer. However, the overall environmental impact of air freight versus sea freight is a bit more cloudy.
Everything you need to know about domestic intermodal and how to be successful implementing it into your logistics strategy. Gives tips, tricks and insights on intermodal and what to watch out for when converting from truckload to intermodal.
There are a number of reasons why shippers should care about sustainability. Looking at its most basic definition, sustainability means practices that can be maintained over the long haul. And in the modern sense, that carries over to practices today that won't cause undue environmental harm and thus hurt tomorrow. For shippers, finding solutions that work long-term seems like a pretty good idea. On top of that, customers care about sustainability, too. That means they're more likely to use shippers who share that value and use sustainable methods. Yet another reason shippers should care about sustainability? While in some cases there may be higher upfront costs - though not always - environmentally friendly shipping practices often save money over time. Plus, governments care about sustainable practices as well and tend to offer tax incentives to companies who adopt them. And finally, aside from all those factors, sustainability is the right thing to do for society - and future generations.
A greater emphasis on intermodal freight usage offers several benefits, but perhaps the most impactful is how its use of rail can reduce shippers' carbon footprint. Intermodal freight carries far more loads on far less energy than its chief over-land competitor of truckload. Just how much environmental impact can a switch to more intermodal shipping have? According to CSX, rail is four times more fuel efficient than trucks when it comes to moving freight. In fact, if just 10% of long haul highway freight was shipped intermodally instead for a given year, it would save 12 billion - with a 'b' - gallons of fuel. And burning less fuel means a lower carbon footprint. Of course, for those also concerned about the bottom line, intermodal freight offers a variety of other benefits, too, including cost savings. And shippers may be surprised to know that intermodal options are more available than they may think.
The logistics of vaccines and PPE - aka personal protective equipment - have become complicated since the pandemic began. While these products have long been necessities in the medical field, demand for vaccines and PPE during different coronavirus periods placed logistics front and center. It hasn't only been about vaccine approval or production of masks, but getting those finished products to where they're needed most when they're needed most. And where they're needed most has at different times been literally everywhere. When considering the logistics of vaccines, there are very specific security and temperature-controlled cold chain needs. While PPE - masks and the like - don't have the same requirements, they present unique shipping challenges as well - especially when they're needed yesterday.
The need for medical equipment, medical supplies and medicine is never-ending, and getting all those items to where they are needed when they are needed is healthcare logistics. The practice of healthcare logistics is similar to any other industry, only with potentially higher stakes. Logistics in healthcare is a true life and death scenario as if the right pharmaceutical or medical tool is unavailable where it's needed, patients suffer the consequences. Within healthcare or medical logistics are unique supply chains depending on the product. Some medicines (and even some equipment) require temperature-controlled environments, while some equipment may need special packaging due to fragility or awkward sizing. Regardless, healthcare logistics is multi-faceted and quite important, so managing the process is made easier by a logistics service provider with the right expertise.
Blocking and bracing are necessary steps to take to prevent damage to a load during shipping. Blocking refers to packing in such a way to prevent a load from moving side to side or forward and backward within a container or trailer. Bracing is done to prevent a load from moving up and down. These are - of course - related. If a load isn't properly blocked, braces won't hold. And without the right bracing, a load can jump over its blocks. In essence a failure of one or the other becomes a failure of both, leading to shifting and most likely damage. Since getting a load from point A to point B without damage is kind of a big deal, so too is proper blocking and bracing.
Manufacturing and supply chains go hand in hand, as the products that traverse supply chains of course have to be brought into existence. While supply chains feature unique specializations depending on the type of product, manufacturing is one key link consistently included in just about all of them. Where does manufacturing fit in? Raw materials and components from suppliers go to manufacturing facilities to be made into finished products. Those products then move through the next steps of supply chains - to distribution facilities and/or retailers - to eventually get to end customers.
Steel and aluminum are building blocks of a wide variety of necessities, from small smartphones that fit in a pocket to literal buildings that scrape the sky. Both these metals are shipped a variety of ways depending on their form, but one form they share in the shipping process is via coil. Mills process steel and aluminum into coils via various heating techniques - often this practice involves hot-rolling - to prepare them for manufacturers to use them as they see fit. This standard preparation means shipping steel and aluminum coils can be a fairly predictable process, but it takes specialization to do it properly and optimize each shipment - as we aren't talking about a slinky here. Add in the weight - as steel is normally two and a half times as dense as aluminum - and it's important to have the right know-how in the shipping process to ensure the steel and/or aluminum coils get to their destination successfully.
Retail supply chain management refers to the how behind a retail supply chain, as in the coordination of the logistics activities that get a product from raw material to customer. Some activities involved in retail supply chain management include: Creating and executing a shipping strategy Incorporating freight and logistics technology Tracking changes in supply and demand Inventory management Managing costs Ensuring speedy, reliable product delivery Quality control Maintaining strong partner relationships Practicing effective retail supply chain management is vital to optimizing each logistical step that goes into a retail supply chain. Falling short in even one area can lead to gaps that cause product delays, thus jeopardizing customer retention.