Think Tank

Blog Photo ... Think Tank is where the editors of SupplyChainBrain share their thoughts and comments on the latest supply chain trends and developments. Read what they have to say and then join the discussion by posting your own observations.
Hosts: Jean Murphy, Russell Goodman, Robert Bowman
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A Warning From TSA: Get Onboard With New Cargo-Screening Law

August 03, 2009
By:Robert J. Bowman, SupplyChainBrain

The Transportation Security Administration is worried. TSA thinks that shippers aren't keeping up with the timetable for complying with a new law requiring that 100 percent of cargo moved on passenger aircraft be screened on a per-piece level - just like passenger baggage. Things were going well for awhile, the agency says, then the pace of compliance...[more]

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Failure of Small Suppliers Can Have a Big Impact on Your Supply Chain

July 31, 2009
By:Robert J. Bowman, SupplyChainBrain

Major suppliers to the big automotive and aerospace manufacturers are dropping like flies. Lear Corp. recently joined the parade of Tier 1 auto suppliers to seek protection under Chapter 11 of U.S. bankruptcy law. Another, Visteon Corp., will receive at least $125m in financing from Ford Motor Co., which has seen the number of its suppliers entering...[more]

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Turmoil in the Pacific: When is a Contract Not a Contract?

July 30, 2009
By:Robert J. Bowman, SupplyChainBrain

Ocean carriers to shippers: we blew it. Now open your wallets. That's one way to describe what's going on in the eastbound trans-Pacific container trade. The Transpacific Stabilization Agreement (TSA) is asking shippers to shoulder a rate increase of $500 per 40-foot container, beginning August 10. Sounds like business as usual - except that TSA members are...[more]

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Downturn Has Positive Side for Facility Location Teams

July 27, 2009
By:Russell W. Goodman, SupplyChainBrain

If the slowdown in site selection in the Mid-Atlantic region is any indicator of nationwide trends, it could be another year to 18 months before things begin to return to normal across the country. So says Jason Grace, vice president of sales and leasing in the corporate brokerage services division of Landmark Commercial Realty, based in Lemoyne, Pa.From...[more]

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Bar Codes Celebrate 35th Anniversary

July 24, 2009
By:Jean V. Murphy, SupplyChainBrain

The good people at Motorola recently reminded us of a milestone worth noting - the 35th anniversary of commercial use of the UPC bar code. At precisely 8:06 a.m. on June 26, 1974, the first bar code was scanned at a Marsh supermarket in Troy, Ohio. The item? A pack of Wrigley's Juicy Fruit gum. Since then, the bar code has totally revolutionized...[more]

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Crafting a New Transportation Bill: The Battle Begins

July 21, 2009
By:Robert J. Bowman, SupplyChainBrain

Congress has seldom managed to pass a transportation funding measure without severe birth pangs, and this time around promises to be no exception. The draft of the latest authorization bill, released by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, is a sweeping measure that calls for big changes in policy and funding. It sets up a battle with the...[more]

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Will Recovery Bring a Different Kind of Pain?

June 24, 2009
By:Jean V. Murphy, SupplyChainBrain

I guess no one needed any additional proof that 2008 was a dismal year, but I still found the statistic-filled 2008 State of Logistics report interesting. Sponsored by CSCMP and compiled by Roslyn Wilson, this annual report, released June 17 and available to members at, is chock full of numbers documenting recession-driven declines in freight...[more]

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