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Leveraging Logistics Blog

InTek Freight and Logistics Blog

InTek Freight and Logistics is where companies come when faced with a freight and logistics problem within their supply chain.

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Logistics & Supply Chain | Logistics Service Provider

Freight and Logistics - A 'Mini' Marathon, Not a Sprint

By: Kevin Baxter
May 4th, 2022

Here in Indianapolis, the Month of May is capitalized, as it brings with it a little auto race called the Indy 500 and many related festivities. One of those festivities is the Indy Mini Marathon - which InTek Freight & Logistics staff will be a part of coincidentally enough - and it brings to mind comparisons to the industry in which we work. When addressing the freight and logistics component of a business, it's tempting to jump right in, look for the lowest spot rate and sprint each shipment to the finish line. However, an approach suitable for a marathon (or a mini marathon in Indy's case) is the smarter bet, as a well-functioning shipping operation requires a steady, measured process and the right preparation. Exploding out of the starting gates at top speed may work for a shipment or two, but that strategy will burn a freight and logistics budget and bandwidth, as moving every load as if it's a fire drill is unsustainable. And you may get a nasty case of shin splints, too.

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Logistics & Supply Chain | Logistics Service Provider

Consumers and Sustainability

By: Kevin Baxter
April 22nd, 2022

A key factor for any business in assessing its operations is how they are perceived by consumers, and the question of embracing sustainability is no exception. After all, becoming a greener, more sustainable company does take a concerted effort. So is it worth it for a company's relationship with existing consumers, as well as the opportunity to gain new ones? The answer in a number of surveys and studies is increasingly: Yes. A 2020 Deloitte survey found 43% of consumers made a conscious lifestyle change to choose brands with environmentally sustainable values and practices.  by  shows that sustainability is becoming increasingly important in consumers’ purchasing decisions, especially as consumers see themselves, along with for profit companies, as the primary catalysts for change. In the Global Sustainability Study 2021 - a major study of more than 10,000 people across 17 countries - that percentage doubled to 85% who'd shifted their purchasing behavior in the past five years. Also in that study, more than a third of respondents said they'd be willing to pay a premium to support sustainable companies. In fact, in our freight and logistics zone, another study showed over half of 500 customers surveyed would pay at least 10% more for eco-friendly shipping and packaging.

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The Ins & Outs of Intermodal Transportation.

The Ins & Outs of Intermodal Transportation.

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.

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Logistics & Supply Chain | Freight Broker | Logistics Service Provider

What Is SmartWay Certified?

By: Kevin Baxter
April 13th, 2022

When looking into carriers and freight brokers to determine if environmental impact matters to them, whether or not they are SmartWay certified is a strong indicator. The program - founded in 2004 by the EPA - allows companies to become SmartWay certified partners through measuring, benchmarking and improving freight transportation efficiency - indicating a focus on supply chain sustainability. SmartWay certified partners can be shippers, carriers or logistics companies, while those not directly involved in freight can become affiliates. The SmartWay program includes three core elements: The SmartWay Transport Partnership - Freight & logistics companies (and affiliates) can become SmartWay certified by participating in this voluntary program, committing to reduce their environmental footprint. The SmartWay Brand - Partners can share SmartWay branding to demonstrate their commitment to sustainability, plus transport equipment featuring SmartWay Verified Technologies meets standards of efficiency which save money & fuel - reducing environmental impacts. SmartWay Global Collaboration - This collaboration harmonizes sustainability accounting methods in freight and logistics with national and global organizations as well as global policymakers. InTek Freight & Logistics is among the nearly 4,000 motor carriers and freight logistics providers who count themselves as SmartWay certified, committing to sustainable efforts.

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Logistics & Supply Chain | Logistics Service Provider | International & Cross Border Logistics

Air Freight vs Ocean Freight Carbon Footprint & Environmental Impact

By: Kevin Baxter
April 6th, 2022

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.

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Logistics & Supply Chain | Transportation Management System | Logistics Service Provider

Why Should Shippers Care About Sustainability?

By: Kevin Baxter
April 4th, 2022

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.

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Logistics & Supply Chain | Warehousing & Distribution | Logistics Service Provider

The Logistics of Vaccines and PPE

By: Kevin Baxter
March 30th, 2022

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. 

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Logistics & Supply Chain | Warehousing & Distribution | Logistics Service Provider

What Are Logistics in Healthcare?

By: Kevin Baxter
March 28th, 2022

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. 

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Logistics & Supply Chain | Logistics Service Provider

Preparing for Cyber Attack: Logistics & Transportation Cybersecurity

By: Kevin Baxter
March 2nd, 2022

Cyber attacks have been on the rise just about everywhere, making the need for cybersecurity vital - including among logistics and transportation companies. With tensions rising in areas of the world associated with cyber attacks, logistics and transportation companies must take cybersecurity especially seriously as they can be an attractive, high-impact target. The most high profile of these cyber threats of late has been ransomware, which encrypts a company's files until it pays a designated ransom - which can be thousands or even millions of dollars.  And the threat is especially great for small to mid-sized businesses, as studies have shown nearly two-thirds of those attacked close within six months.

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Logistics & Supply Chain | Logistics Service Provider

What Is a Shipper of Choice? - And How to Become One

By: Kevin Baxter
February 28th, 2022

In an era of finite carrier bandwidth, it pays for companies that need their goods moved - AKA shippers - to stand out from the crowd in a positive way. A shipper of choice establishes a pattern of behaviors that make carriers' - and their employees' - lives easier, including flexibility, reliability and foresight to name a few. By becoming a shipper of choice - also sometimes called a preferred shipper - a company is more likely to jump to the front of a carrier's line. Being seen as a shipper of choice takes some effort, but there is a shortcut: working with the right third party logistics provider (3PL) instantly gives shippers some of that 3PL's established credibility by proxy. Plus, the 3PL can handle many of the nuts and bolts (see below) of implementing preferred shipper behaviors. Let's go a little deeper on just how to become a shipper of choice.

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Truckload | Intermodal Transportation | Logistics & Supply Chain | Logistics Service Provider | International & Cross Border Logistics

What Is IPI in Shipping? About Interior or Inland Point Intermodal

By: Kevin Baxter
February 25th, 2022

Shipping and logistics are full of abbreviations and acronyms, and sometimes, the same one can stand for multiple phrases. In this case, IPI in shipping refers interchangeably to interior point intermodal and inland point intermodal. Regardless of which 'I' word is preferred, the term IPI covers inbound freight moves from a port to a shipper’s door within the country via a domestic or international intermodal container. So it's clear, the reason IPI can refer to either inland or interior is because the two words reference the same type of location. IPI shipments typically move via truck for short distances and intermodal rail for long distances. IPI and transloading are often intertwined, as while in some cases the load moves inland in its original ISO ocean container, it's often transloaded through a third party logistics provider (3PL) into a domestic intermodal container to continue its journey. The split may be about 50/50 in fact.

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