The Supply Chain Bottleneck at U.S. Ports

When the new mega-size container ship “Benjamin Franklin” docked in the Ports of Los Angeles in late 2015, it marked the beginning of a new shipping era. The ship can carry 18,000 containers. Placed end to end, the containers would reach from Boston to Hartford, a distance of nearly 100 miles. That’s a lot of containers!

And that number of containers has logistics experts worried. Their concern: The land-side infrastructure of ports on the US west coast cannot handle such a large influx of containers at one time. Trucks will not be able to get in and out of the ports quickly enough to move all those containers off the docks and make room for the next ship waiting its turn to unload, says Jared Vineyard, blogging for Universal Cargo.

This congestion starts a domino effect that is felt all the way down the supply chain – transportation delays increase, warehouses aren’t restocked on time, and retailers will feel the squeeze. Despite the increased shipping capacity, American shoppers may actually experience shortages of their favorite consumer goods. To keep retail shelves stocked, wholesalers and warehouse managers should be looking at ways to increase their own storage capacity ahead of the bottleneck that could be building at the seaports.

 

Photo © Jochen Binikowski– Fotolia.com

Air Force Boots Get Their Marching Orders From RFID

When you’re shipping thousands of pairs of military boots each month, as combat footwear supplier Wellco does, shipping errors can get expensive; to quote a famous senator, “Pretty soon you’re talking about real money!” So when Wellco made the commitment to RFID, they jumped in with both feet. Each and every pair of boots Wellco makes for the Air Force gets an RFID tag, while cloud-based software tracks the order. RFID scanners identify and verify the contents of shipping cartons, and further down the line, additional RFID tags identify the cartons assembled on pallets, adding another layer of order verification. Senior Network Administrator David Mason reports greater fulfillment efficiency and a considerable reduction in expensive order errors. Read the whole story: http://bit.ly/1hIik7f

 

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Photo © michaklootwijk – Fotolia.com