The Hidden Costs of Globalization
Retailers are becoming more global, both in terms of sourcing and selling. In the process, they tap into a wealth of new opportunities. But they also heighten the level of risk in their supply chains. Janet Suleski, research director with AMR Research, discusses the hidden costs of global retail supply chains, including delays in time to market, disruptions caused by natural disasters, product loss and rising energy costs. To minimize the impact of those risks, retailers need to do a better job of sharing customer information with various partners in the supply chain, all the way back to the product-design stage. Success means gaining a better understanding of who the customer is, and what he or she really wants....
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Air Cargo Output Drop Worst Since DotCom Bubble Burst
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has announced global international air transport figures for September, which show that cargo traffic dropped by 7.7% compared to the same month in 2007. It described that decline as the worst since the 'dotcom' technology bubble burst in 2001.
According to IATA, recent declines in airfreight have slowed 2008 year-to-date growth to 0.1%, with all regions except the Middle East and Africa reporting negative results. The most alarming drop was...
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Customs to Include Product Safety in Pilot Program for Importer Self-Assessment of Compliance
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is adding a product-safety component to its Importer Self-Assessment Program. The action, taken in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), is part of a new pilot program. The intent, according to a statement by Customs, "is to maintain a higher level of product-safety compliance through a cooperative partnership between CBP, CPSC and the importer." The new Importer Self-Assessment Product Safety Initiative is...
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Customs Might Delay Final Rule on 10+2 Regulations Until 2009, to Conduct Further Cost-Benefit Analysis
A final rule from U.S. Customs and Border Protection on the new "10+2" filing regulations might not be forthcoming until 2009, according to Sandler & Travis Advisory Services, Inc. Customs had earlier said it expected to publish the rule by this fall, but that schedule appears to have been amended. The delay stems from a decision by Customs, the Department of Homeland Security and Office of Management and Budget to conduct a more detailed analysis of the costs involved in the action, Sandler & Travis said. The agencies were responding to a Sept. 16 letter to OMB from numerous industry groups, charging that Customs' initial cost-benefit analysis "grossly underestimated the impact on industry and failed to...
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The Transformation of Logistics Providers
The first wave of third-party logistics providers offered a discrete set of execution-based services, such as warehousing and transportation management. Now, the 3PL landscape is changing, in answer to companies' greater need for outside help in managing their supply chains. Greg Aimi, research director with AMR Research, traces the evolution of 3PLs and discusses how far they've come--and how far they need to go--in becoming "one-stop" providers of multiple supply-chain services. Some companies are relying so heavily on external partners that they have essentially outsourced their supply chains. Others are careful to keep certain logistics responsibilities in-house. Aimi discusses some of the questions that should be asked before making this determination....
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Faster Fashion, Greater Distances
Apparel companies want to speed up the flow of product to market, so that they can react more quickly to changes in consumer buying patterns. At the same time, they're coping with longer supply lines and greater complexity in the chain, thanks to a huge increase in SKUs and the growth of non-traditional merchandising channels. Dave Aquino, research director with AMR Research, discusses how companies can outsource manufacturing to low-cost countries while maintaining control over their supply chains. He also talks about the growing popularity of private labels, and how some companies are making the move from traditional suppliers to ones that control the manufacturing and distribution of their products....
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