Overcoming the Challenges of Ocean Container Transportation Operations

November 14, 2017

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Many organizations find themselves losing budget accuracy due to increases in contracted rates and fluctuating spot rates on ocean container lanes. The lack of visibility needed to ensure the accuracy of your ocean freight management presents additional challenges for shippers who utilize this mode of transport. Unsurprisingly, many organizations have their transportation spend spread across several modes such as truckload, LTL, parcel, intermodal, and ocean. Due to a larger focus on domestic spend, international spend, and especially ocean Full Container Load, often falls to a secondary concern.

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Bleckmann

Founded in 1862, Bleckmann has evolved from a transport company into a full supply chain solutions provider with a specific expertise in e-fulfilment solutions. With a strong base in Europe the company has expanded to the US and Asia enabling Bleckmann to service its customers across the glob

OTHER ARTICLES

How AI and automation could impact supply chain roles

Article | April 19, 2020

Innovations such as AI and automation have been tipped to kickstart the Fourth Revolution. While the technology is being widely adopted, it is constantly evolving. Therefore, there is uncertainty surrounding its overall impact, particularly on professional roles within the supply chain. Some fear that the technology will replace its human counterparts, while other experts suggest it will work in unison with humans, supporting them to focus on higher value opportunities. Amidst all of this uncertainty one thing is for certain: AI and automation will change how we operate.

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4 features to look for when buying a quality warehouse order picking cart

Article | October 16, 2020

Order picking is the most resource-intensive operation of a warehouse or fulfillment center. More than 55% of the operating cost for a warehouse is related to order picking, and fulfillment centers, the number stands at 50%. It is the process that can bring in the most cost savings with an effective, streamlined and efficient order picking system. One of the most important components of your order picking system is the warehouse order picking cart. Order picking carts are used to move inventory from the warehouse shelves to sorting or packing stations. They make it easier for warehouse associates to carry multiple items at a time or to carry large, unwieldy items. When it is possible to carry multiple items on a trip, it drastically reduces the distance traveled by associates on foot. It also helps to reduce physical fatigue and improves efficiency dramatically.

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For our deep Sustainability commitment and world leading contributions

Article | June 27, 2020

We track our commitments and goals quarterly through the Schneider Sustainability Impact 2018 – 2020 (formerly called the Planet & Society barometer). The 2018 – 2020 Schneider Sustainability Impact ?shows our commitments by 2020, as well as our contribution to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals to be achieved by governments, companies, and civil society by 2030. For nearly 15 years we have been following a clear action plan with a dashboard called Schneider Sustainability Impact. It is based on our 2050 vision with tangible deliverables updated every three years. Our CEO and CFO announce our results on a quarterly basis, together with the company’s financial results.

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3 Ways to Benchmark to Boost Supply Chain Performance

Article | April 20, 2021

You might be wondering what the benefits are of benchmarking. Well, imagine you are training for a 100 metre sprint in your district. What would be the key number, or metric that you would need to know? It would, of course, be what the winning time was when this race was last run in your district. Without that information, you don’t know what you’re trying to target. It would be impossible to know if you’ll have any chance at all of winning the race. It’s exactly the same in business. If, for example, you are concerned about the pick rates in your warehouse, or your transport costs, or your inventory accuracy, benchmarking can help you because it can show you exactly where your performance is compared to others in your industry. A few years ago, I was working with an automotive parts business. They had a little issue with their picking productivity in the warehouse. They wondered how good it was, whether they could improve it. They actually thought it was okay. We looked at the figures and compared them with other businesses. This helped us realise that their picking productivity should be three times better than it was. And believe it or not, over a few months they did begin to improve their productivity. Why? Because benchmarking opened their eyes to the fact that they were at a level quite far below others in the industry. That’s the beauty of benchmarking. Until you know what others are doing, you can’t be sure how good your performance is. If you’ve never tried benchmarking, there are three ways you could do it. 1. Informal Benchmarking This exercise would involve you measuring particular functions or aspects of your business and comparing that against other parts of your business. Let’s say you have a warehouse operating in one city and another operating in another city. You might start to measure the same metrics and see which one is performing better. You might know other people in the industry who are also operating warehouses so you might agree to share some data with them. This is probably the easiest way to start off, but it has some downsides: You’re only measuring against a very small sample size. If all of you in the pool are not that good, how would you know what good is? You have to make sure that the businesses are similar and you are measuring things in exactly the same way. It’s very important in benchmarking to have a standard way of applying the metric. 2. Formal Benchmarking This can work for much larger businesses. Perhaps you have operations in many different countries. You could agree a formal structure for how you are going to measure performance. You could do monthly or quarterly benchmarks with all the parts of your international organisation. You could learn from each other and share best practice. This method is okay but you’re not getting access to a very large pool of results to measure yourself against. You will find that companies are very reluctant to give out benchmarking data. You might also be operating in an environment where the performance is quite low right across the business. 3. Hire a Professional Benchmarking Firm This is the ultimate way to do it, although there are not a lot of professional benchmarking firms such as ours around. If you do manage to find one, you will quickly realise that there are significant benefits to be had by bringing in the professionals: The metrics are put together in exactly the same way: When we do a benchmarking exercise for our consulting clients, we go through a very robust data-gathering process and then make sure all the costs, for example, are in the same buckets as everyone else’s in the database. You gain access to a big pool of results: Professionals have measured hundreds, if not thousands, of companies. This enables you to say, ‘Our company is this size, it operates in this industry, these are the characteristics of our supply chain, who else in that pool of results is like us? We want to be measured against them.” It’s no good measuring the performance of a grocery retailer, for example, against an industrial product supplier. They have different supply chains. You need to be measuring like with like.

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Spotlight

Bleckmann

Founded in 1862, Bleckmann has evolved from a transport company into a full supply chain solutions provider with a specific expertise in e-fulfilment solutions. With a strong base in Europe the company has expanded to the US and Asia enabling Bleckmann to service its customers across the glob

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