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MHI Blog—Santa. He is the man of the season. There are songs, stories, mythology, pictures, you name it about the guy. But what we’re interested in is the fact that he’s got a killer supply chain. Don’t believe me? The evidence is right in front of you:

Order prediction (Santa Claus is Coming to Town)

Exceptional shipment tracking (Here Comes Santa Claus)

Loyal, satisfied workforce (Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer)
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The New York Times—When Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s chief executive, first said that the e-commerce giant wanted to use drones to deliver packages directly to customers’ homes, many people thought he was crazy.

Three years later, his claims no longer look so outlandish.

On Wednesday, Mr. Bezos announced on Twitter that his company had made its first commercial drone delivery, on Dec. 7, to an Amazon shopper in Cambridgeshire, England, a major step forward in its experiments with automated shipments.
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Forbes—The problem with trends is that they are like a freight train gaining speed; everyone can see the train, but at what point do you say the train is really moving at speed?  With that in mind, here are the trends I’m following, the predictions I am making, or if not a prediction, the inflection points I am paying attention to.
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CCJ Digital—Administration announced December 13 it will maintain its current 25 percent random drug testing rate of truck operators in 2017, meaning carriers will be required to randomly test 25 percent of their drivers in the calendar year.

FMCSA requires trucking and bus companies to conduct random drug and alcohol tests at the nationally prescribed percentage.
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Vidir Inc.

The New York Times—The federal government has bet on driverless vehicles as a way to reduce road fatalities. Now, it is also betting that drivers and passengers will be safer if cars can talk to one another to prevent accidents.

The Transportation Department proposed rules on Tuesday that all new cars and small trucks contain communications technology to broadcast data to one another about their speed, location and direction they are traveling.
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MHI Blog—REI recently put to work a brand new and incredibly innovative distribution center located in Goodyear, AZ. The mind-blowing thing? The 393,000 square-foot building has a Net Zero Energy designation.

On top of the dedication to sustainable supply chain, the order fulfillment process is utilizing a reworked system, dubbed ‘one-touch production’, where goods are touched just one to fill order, the system being otherwise automated. This is done through a mini-load shuttle system, pocket sortation technology, and a warehouse layout that is both efficient and sustainable. You can see the full warehouse layout here. They’re achieving (on average) 6 second pick and put combinations. 
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EBN—Supply chains resemble actual metal chain: each step in the product's creation and distribution is a link that plays a critical role in turning an idea into a tangible, deliverable product. However, when a link weakens, the entire chain loses strength-or breaks altogether.

Disengaged and distracted employees are one of the weakest links in the supply chain. They cost U.S. employers an estimated $350 billion annually in lost revenue and are more likely to quit their jobs, resulting in another $11 billion that employees spend trying to replace them, according to statistics from the Bureau of National Affairs.
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As part of MHI view's ongoing video program, this new episode focuses on: Closing the Skills Gap.

Finding qualified employees for the supply chain industry may currently be difficult, but work is being done to ensure this changes in the future.


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Modern Materials Handling—Articulated robots are the largest segment, accounting for $12.97 billion following increasing usage in packaging and healthcare sectors. Food and beverage industry expected to post highest growth rate at 7%. 
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Forbes—100 years ago, nearly 40% of all US jobs were in agriculture. Today, the figure is 2%. The same dynamic happened in manufacturing, which in the 1950s dominated work, but since then has receded as a mass employer. Technology made it happen then, and technology shows no evidence of slowing down now. 

What lies ahead for work, and how will supply chain careers evolve in the next decade? Digitization is having disruptive effects on managerial, logistics and other supply chain functions. Automation in plants, fulfillment centers, and areas like procurement, production planning and maintenance is eliminating jobs. And yet overall hiring continues to rise and senior leaders say that finding and hiring the right talent is harder than ever.
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Tri-Boro Storage Products
Infor Global Solution

Material Handling & Logistics—Imports at the nation’s major retail container ports are expected to be up 3.2% this month over the same time last year as stores bring in the last of the merchandise for the holiday season, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report produced by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates. 
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Business Insider—Amazon is building an app that matches truck drivers with shippers, a new service that would deepen its presence in the $800 billion trucking industry, a person with direct knowledge of the matter told Business Insider.
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Supply Management—Speed and risk minimization will be the top issues concerning global supply chain executives over the next year, according to a survey by software company AEB and the University DHBW in Stuttgart.

More than half of 330 logistics and global trade experts also reported major shortcomings in talent in the Global Trade Management Agenda 2017 study. 
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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.
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Engineering Innovation

Transport Topics—The U.S. average retail price of diesel rose 1.3 cents to $2.493 a gallon, according to the Department of Energy, as the price of crude oil reached its highest level in about 17 months as producers added to earlier announced production cuts. 

The national diesel average is 15.5 cents higher than it was a year ago, when the price was $2.338, DOE said after its Dec. 12 survey of fueling stations.
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Supply Chain Brain—Supply chain managers are constantly bombarded with offers of technology that will transform supply chain efficiency, trim order cycles and eradicate stock-outs, but they rarely focus on order management solutions. That's a shame, because the right order management tools can give supply chain executives incredible control and agility over order fulfillment - the ultimate goal of supply chain excellence. 
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EBN—Although we will never be able to predict the future, with a bit of extrapolation and foresight, we can try to imagine it. Today, advances in science, technology and supply chain management may only be constrained by the limits of our imagination and ingenuity. And as our supply chain management capabilities evolve, so will the technical, business, and leadership skill requirements and performance expectations. One of the best ways to prepare for supply chain's dynamic and exciting future is to examine the megatrends that are impacting, improving, and reshaping our industry. 
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