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Top Trends and Concerns in Inbound Transportation Surveyed

The top two activities dominating current transportation services include domestic shipping (92 percent) and importing (88 percent) on the inbound supply side, according to an Aberdeen survey of 155 manufacturing, wholesale distribution and retail companies. Shipping direct-to-consumer (65 percent), direct-to-store (44 percent), and shipping through 3PL or e-fulfillment providers (45 percent) have been identified as key inbound transportation and logistics activities by survey respondents. Most notably, this is changing the inbound transportation dynamics between the manufacturer, distributor and retailer.

"The increased costs and the growing need for control have elevated inbound transportation to new levels of focus. Executing more volume in a cross-channel logistics environment and control of inbound freight results in a shift in the priority of 'transportation management / cost focus' more heavily to the inbound, rather than the outbound, side of transportation," said Bob Heaney, senior research analyst for supply chain management at Aberdeen.

"You can expect 2011 to be another year of change spurred on by the increasing global reach of transportation and the extended inbound supply chain. In general terms, regardless of segment, size or class, collaborative focus can improve on-time delivery, reduce expediting costs, and reduce transportation spend year-over-year. Top performers have been able to effect double-digit freight rate reductions while meeting service requirements at the highest levels even when confronted with increasing costs in their inbound supply chains."

The report, "Collaborative Inbound Transportation: Managing Inbound Product Flows from Source to Consumer" focuses on planning and executing inbound transportation and supplier/partner product flow across an increasingly more global, multi-tier, and cross-channel distribution network. Growing prominence of cross-channel logistics and fulfillment is driving a significant trend toward visibility, collaboration, and optimization of inbound transportation across all three segments, Heaney says.

A complimentary copy of this report is made available due in part by G&D Integrated and RedPrairie. To obtain a copy, visit:

Source: Aberdeen Group

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