@ Supply Chain Management


A review of Transportation Management System (TMS) players

Inbound Logistics has posted a review of Transportation Management Systems (TMS) players in the market. They note:

Still, at the heart of all TMS products is a software engine that strives to create maximum transportation efficiency for its users.

All the major players are listed as well as whether they offer a licensed or hosted version of their particular solution. Take a saunter that way!

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Update on the Top 3PL listings

First off: Thanks to Logisticsgal who directed me to the Inbound Logistics report on 3PL providers here. Inbound Logistics has assembled a comprehensive chart to identify the capabilities, competencies and specializations of the Top 100 3PLs in N. America. There is no ranking of these 3PL providers though.
Logisticsgal also asserts that Dick Armstrong’s list of top 30 3PL providers is not that useful because those 3PL providers have to pay to be included on the list. That is quite different from the objective of that ranking which is to list those providers by decreasing magnitude of revenues. I did surf the web to find similar reactions to Dick Armstrong’s list – here is one such reaction but about the list from the previous year. There is always a difficulty in estimating the revenues of private 3PL providers and so I agree that the numbers of private 3PL providers should always be taken with a grain of salt as suggested by the contributor on the linked thread.
Logistics Today also has a list of 3PL providers whose capabilities are assessed and listed in a comprehensive manner.

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Wal-Mart boss says he will press suppliers in race to go green

From across the pond, The Guardian reports,

The chief executive of the world’s biggest retailer yesterday stepped up the pace in the race to be green with a series of initiatives to cut its own giant carbon footprint – and those of its suppliers, customers and staff.

The report further elucidates what Lee Scott, Walmart’s CEO has in mind about going green,

Mr Scott outlined his “Sustainability 360” campaign in London last night at a lecture to UK business leaders hosted by the Prince of Wales. He said the vast retailer, which is the world’s second biggest company after Exxon Mobil, was determined to make its merchandise “affordable and sustainable” so that customers could “do the right thing … for this planet”.

Editorializing within a news report is quite common at The Guardian – see if you can spot it:

Speaking to The Guardian before last night’s lecture Mr Scott insisted the new initiative was not part of a “greenwash” PR campaign to improve the image of Wal-Mart, which is regularly accused of crushing smaller rivals, squeezing suppliers and paying poverty wages to thousands of workers.

Nevertheless, if The Guardian editorializes, Lee Scott grasps and employs myth effectively:

Yesterday Mr Scott said the moment Wal-Mart decided to get serious about sustainability was when Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans. The “desperate images” of the chaos, he said, “pushed us from a learning process into taking more aggressive action.”

Is it true that Hurrican Katrina devastated New Orleans? But we cannot let facts get in the way of a good grounding myth. I do believe that foundational myths (and here I’m using the word myth as deliberate falsehood rather than another usage which would be more along the lines of embellished legends or history) are quite necessary to creating a change in direction such as the one that Walmart is attempting to make here in going green. What it is is a good story?

t also provided a welcome boost to the store’s reputation when Wal-Mart staff opened stores to hand out food and drugs and the retailer’s relief trucks arrived in the flooded city before the US army. “Hurricane Katrina changed Wal-Mart forever,” Mr Scott told last night’s lecture.
In the wake of the hurricane he set three groundbreaking goals: to switch the entire group to using renewable energy; to achieve zero waste and to sell sustainable products. His new plan takes that further.

Now, I don’t think Walmart will ever get credit for the things that they did (in part because of an efficient supply chain that prepared for the aftermath of the storm just like retailers such as Home Depot and Lowes usually do) post Katrina because it is a symbol of something more than just “regularly accused of crushing smaller rivals, squeezing suppliers and paying poverty wages to thousands of workers.” A symbol of everything that is wrong with American capitalism, corporations etc?
Now, what is the meat of the story? If you want a flavor:

Mr Scott himself walks the talk, to an extent. His family car is a hybrid Lexus SUV but he crossed the Atlantic in a private Wal-Mart jet, one of a fleet of more than 20, with just four passengers on board.

Read the rest of this entry »

Top 30 3PLs in 2006

3PLWire alerted me to the publication of the Top 30 3PLs of 2006, a list compiled by Richard Armstrong of Armstrong & Associates released his annual report of the top 3PL providers in North America.

Rankings are based on total annual revenue in N. America.

Well, it looks like GENCO made the list this year and at the #24 position. Well, its good to know that even if it were a Top 25 list, GENCO would have still made it.
The Top 30 3PL list:

1. UPS Supply Chain Solutions
2. C.H. Robinson Worldwide
3. Schenker USA/BAX Global
4. Expeditors International of Washington
5. Schneider Logistics/Dedicated
6. DHL Contract Logistics (Exel)
7. Penske Logistics
8. EGL Eagle Global Logistics
9. UTi Worldwide
10. Kuehne + Nagel Contract Logistics, North America
11. Ryder System
12. Caterpillar Logistics Services
13. Hub Group
14. Menlo Worldwide
15. Meridian IQ
16. J.B. Hunt Dedicated Services
17. TNT Logistics North America
18. Werner Dedicated Services
19. Landstar Global Logistics
20. Greatwide Logistics Services
21. Transplace
22. NFI Industries
23. PBB Global Logistics
25. Logistics Insight Corporation
26. Ozburn-Hessey Logistics
27. Total Logistics Control
28. BNSF Logistics
29. A.N. Deringer
30. Kelron Logistics

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About me

I am Chris Jacob Abraham and I live, work and blog from Newburgh, New York. I work for IBM as a Senior consultant in the Fab PowerOps group that works around the issue of detailed Fab (semiconductor fab) level scheduling on a continual basis. My erstwhile company ILOG was recently acquired by IBM and I've joined the Industry Solutions Group there.

@ SCM Clustrmap

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February 2007