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MHI Blog -- The recent explosions in the Chinese port of Tianjin could have far-reaching and long-lasting impacts on global supply chains. As one of the world’s largest ports, Tianjin is a primary gateway for goods produced in northern China and a shipping point for the chemicals used in electronics production.




The explosion occurred at a Ruihai International Logistics warehouse, which stored the majority of the hazardous chemicals shipped through Tianjin. As a result, experts predict that the price of many industrial materials, particularly for the electronics and health care industries, will rise in the coming weeks.
 

Logistics Viewpoints -- At the heart of everything omni-channel is inventory. The customer needs to be able to get the merchandise they want, when they want it, and through their channel of choice. There has to be inventory visibility across channels, so stores, warehouses, and distribution centers can see real-time inventory levels as part of the order fulfillment process. And finally, in order to actually fulfill orders in a timely and efficient manner, inventory needs to be shared across channels.
 

EBN -- Due to rising wages and growing logistics costs in China, a growing number of U.S.-based manufacturers are turning to Mexico for production. Corporate powerhouses including Ford and Emerson have already embraced this type of "nearshoring" strategy and opened new production facilities south of the border. While wages play a big role, this trend can be attributed to a series of changing opportunities and challenges currently confronting the global manufacturing supply chain.
 
As part of MHI view’s ongoing video program, this new episode focuses on:
Sensors and Automatic Identification

Identified as one of the eight emerging technologies that will transform supply chain models in the next decade, sensors and automatic identification technologies generate large amounts of real-time data, providing full visibility into the supply chain and removing a number of traditional limitations. Find out what you should do now to get ahead on this emerging trend. 

 

 

The Wall Street Journal -- The explosions that killed dozens in Tianjin disrupted operations at one of the world’s busiest ports, a complex of shipping berths and warehouses that serves as northern China’s gateway for factory exports and imported consumer goods. 




Logistics operators and cargo handlers on Thursday were still trying to determine the extent of the damage to the large volumes of container shipments, automobiles and commodities near the blast zone.
 
Tauber Institute for Global Operations at University of Michigan
Vidir Inc.

MHI Blog -- Contract logistics provider Exel, part of the Deutsche Post DHL group, is set to test "vision picking" technology in two of its US warehouses later this year.




Warehouse workers will be equipped with "smart glass" eyeware which can read bar codes and show the fastest route to find products – doing away with the need for hand-held scanners and paper job orders.
 

Geek Wire -- Amazon is experimenting with all sorts of ways to deliver packages, using everything from drones to everyday people. But this is a new one. An Amazon patent application, made public today, describes a plan for delivering packages via public transit — turning buses, trains, subways and other vehicles into roaming pickup locations.




One scenario described in the patent is essentially an Amazon Locker on wheels, installed inside or attached to the outside of a bus, train or other form of transit. 
 
Material Handling & Logistics -- Import cargo volume at the nation’s major retail container ports is expected to increase 3.6% this month over the same time last year as retailers begin to bring in merchandise for the holiday season, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released by the National Retail Federation and consulting firm Hackett Associates. Imports for the year are expected to be up 4.2% over 2014.
 

Media Post -- With online grocery delivery—finally—poised to catch on big in the U.S., Target is reportedly about to begin testing its own version.




Its rivals, including companies as diverse as Walmart, AmazonFresh, Instacart and just about every grocery store anywhere, are likely wondering if Target can come up with an approach that hits the bullseye. But experts are pondering a bigger question: Will any company figure out how to get fresh foods into America’s and still make money?
 
Wildeck, Inc.
International Business Systems

The Maritime Executive -- Drone ships may be the next generation of shipping. Rolls Royce recently launched a $7.2 million autonomous ship project intended to pave the way for drone vessels. The Advanced Autonomous Waterborne Applications Initiative will produce specifications and preliminary designs for next generation ship solutions. The project will run through 2017.




The primary aims of the project is traffic reduction in the European waterways, which will aim at in complying with environmental requirements as well as reducing costs. By eliminating the kitchens, mess decks and living quarters required for mariners, the Rolls Royce unmanned ship could potentially store more cargo and expend less fuel.
 

Supply Chain Brain -- Barcodes are indispensable for the exchange of vital data. It's time we recognized the important contribution that barcode printers make to the success of a company's supply chain – and to its bottom line.




If supply chain management is concerned about anything today, it's optimization. Ensuring that every link is working at peak capacity in the most efficient and productive manner is paramount. Moreover, it's crucially important that no part of the supply chain is overlooked or given short shrift. 
 

MHI Blog -- Demand for U.S. industrial real estate is outpacing demand, raising rents to near pre-recession levels and attracting speculative investment in new facilities, according to a new report by the real estate firm CBRE Inc.
 

The New York Times -- As Americans spend more money on doing things, not buying things, department stores are losing out.




A rebound in overall spending at retailers, which grew 0.6 percent in July from the previous month, has eluded department stores, where sales dropped 0.8 percent.
 
Engineering Innovation
Steel Guard Safety
MHI’s new Career Forum  enables manufacturing and supply chain professionals to view current job postings of MHI member companies. Go to http://www.mhi.org/careers to find the perfect opportunity for you.
 
Supply Chain Shaman -- The world is less certain than a decade ago. The move from regional to global supply chains increased risks. Geopolitical shifts, economic uncertainty, and demand/supply volatility are rising. In addition, to spur growth, companies are quick to add products to the item master, but slow to rationalize the portfolio. The rising complexity of items sold decreases the organization’s ability to forecast, and the longer lead times across multiple tiers of sourcing and supply increases the Bullwhip Effect’s impact (distortion of the demand signal across multiple tiers of the value network). This increases risk.
 

SmartBlog on Food & Beverage -- A recent survey by Boston Consulting Group and Grocery Manufacturers Association revealed that supply chain executives are facing rising costs and declining service levels in their transportation and logistics operations.




Freight costs increased by as much as 11% during the past year, the report found, while case-fill rates and on-time deliveries declined, with respondents reporting service levels falling 1% to 5%. However, there is also evidence that companies that find the right supply chain partners to work with are seeing improvements in their metrics.
 

SupplyChainBrain -- What exactly is "advanced analytics," and how can the concept help companies to gain a better understanding of true demand while propagating accurate forecasts throughout the supply chain? Mudit Bajaj, vice president of advanced analytics solutions with Jabil Inc., offers a perspective.




Advanced analytics refers to the processing of large amounts of data, progressing from "prescriptive" to "descriptive" to "actionable," according to Bajaj. In the end, "it's about making the right decisions."
 
 

 

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