Role of Warehouse Management Systems to Drive Productivity & Accuracy

role-of-warehouse-management-systems
Unlock operational efficiency and deliver exceptional customer service with a WMS. Learn how cloud-based WMS improves control, enhances customer service, and prepares businesses to develop & succeed.

Contents
1. Importance of Warehouse Management Systems 
2. How Warehouse Management Systems Optimize Operations 

3.  Essential Warehouse Operations Procedures  5. Conclusion 


1. Importance of Warehouse Management Systems

A warehouse management system (WMS) is essential for optimizing warehouse operations and delivering exceptional customer service. There are five compelling reasons to consider implementing a WMS. Firstly, it enhances inventory control and management by reducing inventory levels, improving order fulfillment, and increasing accuracy. Secondly, it improves customer service and tracking through improved picking accuracy and automated shipment organization. Thirdly, a WMS boosts company productivity by adding warehouse efficiency and quality control to the fulfillment process. Fourthly, it provides a significant return on investment by improving sales accuracy, reducing errors, providing safe warehouse and simplifying customer support. Lastly, a good WMS integrates seamlessly with existing business management systems and adapts to evolving needs. Additionally, WMS enables businesses to meet compliance regulations through real-time data recording, enhanced business intelligence, and process automation.


2. How Warehouse Management Systems Optimize Operations


2.1. Productivity Tracking

Warehouse management systems (WMS) are crucial in optimizing operations by providing comprehensive productivity tracking tools. These systems capture and analyze key performance indicators (KPIs) such as order fulfillment rates, picking accuracy, and labor productivity. Organizations can identify bottlenecks, allocate resources effectively, and implement process improvements by tracking these metrics in real-time and generating insightful reports. With WMS productivity tracking, businesses gain a clear understanding of their operational efficiency and can make data-driven decisions to enhance overall performance.


2.2. Inventory Control

Efficient inventory control is essential for logistics warehouse management, and WMS solutions excel in this aspect. WMS provides real-time visibility into inventory levels, locations, and movements. Businesses can accurately track stock levels, monitor expiration dates, and implement automated replenishment warehouse processes. With advanced features like cycle counting and stock level alerts, WMS ensures inventory accuracy and reduces carrying costs. By optimizing inventory control, businesses can avoid stockouts, minimize excess stock, and improve order fulfillment rates, enhancing customer satisfaction.


2.3. Labor Management System

WMS incorporates a robust labor management system that enables businesses to allocate and manage their workforce effectively. These systems provide tools for labor planning, task allocation, and performance tracking. WMS optimizes labor allocation by assigning tasks based on employee skills, availability, and workload. By monitoring labor productivity and efficiency, businesses can identify opportunities for improvement and implement training programs to enhance employee
performance. With WMS labor management capabilities, organizations optimize labor costs, minimize overtime, and improve overall operational efficiency.


2.4. Slotting

Strategic slotting is a critical component of warehouse optimization, and WMS offers advanced slotting capabilities. By analyzing data on product demand, turnover rates, and order frequency, WMS determines the optimal locations for different products within the warehouse. Efficient slotting reduces travel time, minimizes congestion, and streamlines order picking. WMS enables businesses to assign appropriate storage locations based on product size, weight, and velocity. By optimizing slotting strategies, organizations can significantly enhance picking efficiency, reduce errors, and improve overall warehouse productivity.


2.5. Batching Logic

Batching logic is a key feature of WMS that enhances order-picking efficiency. WMS intelligently groups multiple orders with similar product requirements, locations, or delivery routes. By consolidating these orders into batches, the system enables batch picking, where a picker can fulfill multiple orders in a single trip through the warehouse. Batching logic reduces travel time, minimizes labor costs, and increases order picking speed. By maximizing picking efficiency, businesses can improve order fulfillment rates, reduce order cycle time, and meet customer expectations effectively.


3.  Essential Warehouse Operations Procedures

A robust distribution center network serves as the backbone of operations, transforming raw materials into finished products and ensuring their timely delivery to customers. To gain a comprehensive view of logistics network and improve supply chain visibility, it's crucial to understand the distinction between inbound and outbound logistics.


3.1. Inbound Logistics Process

Inbound logistics encompasses the services required to bring materials and goods into businesses. This includes transportation, storage, and delivery processes. With the help of warehouse management systems (WMS), purchasing can be streamlined by synchronizing vendor details and inventory control levels. WMS allows efficient receipt scanning and guides warehouse staff to shelve items accurately. It also recommends optimal put-away, slotting, and storage space utilization techniques. Additionally, WMS facilitates reverse logistics by providing real-time information on product availability, enabling timely restocking and preventing stockouts.


3.2. Outbound Logistics Process

Outbound logistics focuses on the storage, transportation, and delivery systems that ensures finished products reach their final destination. WMS plays a vital role in this process as well. It enables accurate order picking through barcode or RFID scanners, reducing errors and ensuring the right products are chosen. Warehouse management processes integrated with WMS can automate product packaging, allowing for differentiation across sizes and optimizing packaging channels. Moreover, WMS simplifies printing shipping labels, price tags, logos, and other necessary documentation, eliminating manual data input and reducing human errors. WMS enhances the overall customer experience and minimizes fulfillment errors by ensuring timely delivery and notifying customers.


4. Implementing Cloud Warehouse Management Systems to improve productivity 

Using a cloud-based warehouse management system offers several advantages for businesses looking to optimize their inventory control and streamline operations in complex distribution environments. Cloud supply chain management solutions provide benefits like multi-warehouse tracking, sales forecasting, and on-time delivery. Here are three key benefits of implementing a cloud WMS:

  1. Increased control over business growth: Cloud-based WMS provides real-time visibility into inventory, allowing businesses to manage operations and make informed decisions efficiently. With automatic updates and centralized access, stakeholders can access relevant information anytime, enabling better control over business growth and flexibility to adapt to changing market demands.
  2. Improved customer service: A cloud WMS empowers teams to track shipments, update arrival dates, and effectively manage the supply chain. It enables seamless communication and collaboration across the organization, ensuring timely deliveries and enhancing customer satisfaction. Efficiently conveying information leads to better customer service and a competitive edge.
  3. Preparedness for upcoming changes: Cloud WMS offers an affordable and scalable warehousing solution. With cloud computing, businesses can easily adjust resources to meet fluctuating demands and seasonal changes. The ‘self-service’ access to WMS applications in the cloud allows for increased agility and quick adaptation to evolving business needs. Unlike traditional self-hosted systems, cloud WMS eliminates the need for upfront hardware investments and provides seamless scalability.


5. Conclusion

In the rapidly evolving business landscape, a warehouse management system (WMS) holds immense importance for organizations aiming to optimize their operations. As we look to the future, the role of WMS becomes even more crucial. With advancements in technology and the advent of new platforms, a cloud-based WMS offers unparalleled integration possibilities. By harnessing the power of cloud supply chain planning systems, businesses can gain better control over their inventory and navigate the complexities of modern distribution environments. The benefits are significant: increased control over business growth, improved customer service through real-time tracking, and preparedness for upcoming changes. By embracing cloud, WMS empowers businesses to stay agile, enhance productivity, and drive sustainable success in the dynamic business landscape of the future.

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Warehousing and Distribution

Optimize B2B Supply Chain: Maximizing Efficiency from Planning to Delivery

Article | June 16, 2023

Efficiency is crucial for B2B supply chain success. Effective supply chain management techniques can streamline operations, reduce costs, and enhance customer satisfaction from planning to delivery. Contents 1. Strategic Planning to Enhance Supply Chain Optimization 1.1 Roadmap for Developing Supply Chain Optimization 1.2 Integrating Supply Chain Strategy with Business Strategy for ROI Growth 2. Effective Procurement Strategies to Maximise ROI in Supply Chain 2.1 Supplier Relationship Management 2.2 Cost-effective Procurement Processes 2.3 Continuous Improvement and Innovation 2.4 Risk Management and Mitigation 3. Optimizing Supply Chain with Effective Demand Forecasting Techniques 3.1 Anticipate Future Demand 3.2 Overstocking and Understocking Risk Management 3.3 Integrated Forecasting approach between Supply Chain Stakeholders 4. Emerging Technologies for Supply Chain Optimization Leveraged by Enterprises 4.1 AI and ML 4.2 Blockchain Technology 4.3 IoT 4.4 Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality 5. Leading Solution Providers for B2B 6. Conclusion Optimizing the B2B logistics and supply chain management has become a crucial business strategy to increase efficiency, cut costs, and boost customer satisfaction in the fiercely competitive business environment. With the increasing customer demand, supply chain managers now emphasize on faster, more precise, and unique ways to fulfill orders with enhanced logistics management techniques. “Companies that optimize their supply chain operations experience a 2.3 times greater EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) than their competitors.” (Source - A survey by Deloitte in 2020) Despite the significance of supply chain optimization, it is challenging to keep up with the latest industry trends and best practices due to the dynamic nature of the logistics industry. Learning the value of optimizing the B2B supply chain and how it can assist businesses in keeping up with the ever-growing demands of their customers through planning, strategizing and leveraging technologies helps businesses maintain a competitive advantage and achieve sustainable growth. 1. Strategic Planning to Enhance Supply Chain Optimization To achieve optimal results, businesses must develop a comprehensive plan outlining their supply chain improvement goals, objectives, and strategies. 1.1 Roadmap for Developing Supply Chain Optimization Developing a roadmap for supply chain optimization includes reviewing current operations that help in identifying the strengths and weakness of the supply chain management and assist in recognizing the opportunities for improvement, establishing SMART goals and objectives, defining strategies to meet these goals, involve streamlining processes, investing in technology, improving supplier relationships, and engaging customers and actions, as well as ensuring market adaptability to accommodate changing market conditions and evolving customer needs through assessment and adjusting the roadmap. 1.2 Integrating Supply Chain Strategy with Business Strategy for ROI Growth Integration of the supply chain involves aligning the supply chain objectives with the overall business goals, such as revenue growth, cost reduction, and customer satisfaction. The integration ensures the supply chain operations support the business goals, like cost reduction, customer satisfaction and revenue growth. "Companies that successfully integrate their supply chain and business strategies can reduce operating costs by 10-15% and increase efficiency by 20-30%.” (Source - A study by Accenture in 2020) The alignment further helps track KPIs and data-driven decision-making and continuously improves the supply chain operations to achieve objectives. Furthermore, it assists in better planning, coordination, and execution of supply chain activities, resulting in faster and more accurate fulfillment of customer orders. 2. Effective Procurement Strategies to Maximize ROI in Supply Chain Procurement strategies can raise productivity in the fast-paced logistics management and supply chain industry by optimizing the supply chain, boosting efficiency, and giving a competitive edge. 2.1 Supplier Relationship Management Effective supplier relationship management (SRM) can result in more competitive pricing, enhanced product quality, and increased dependability. To accomplish SRM, businesses must identify key suppliers, develop partnerships, communicate effectively to ensure clear expectations and mutual understanding, share information and collaborate to foster innovation and continuous improvement. 2.2 Cost-effective Procurement Processes Implementing cost-effective procurement procedures can help businesses reduce expenses and enhance productivity. To achieve cost-effectiveness, businesses should streamline operations to save time and money, leverage technology to automate processes and improve accuracy and negotiate with suppliers for better pricing and terms. 2.3 Continuous Improvement and Innovation Continuous improvement and innovation are necessary for logistics and the supply chain to remain competitive. This involves regularly reviewing and updating procurement processes, supporting supplier innovation, and keeping up with procurement and supply chain management technology trends and developments. 2.4 Risk Management and Mitigation Effective risk management and mitigation strategies are essential to prevent disruptions in the supply chain. To achieve this, businesses should focus on identifying potential risks and developing mitigation strategies, incorporating redundancy into the supply chain to minimize the impact of disruptions, and establishing transparent emergency communication and escalation procedures. 3. Optimizing Supply Chain with Effective Demand Forecasting Techniques 3.1 Anticipate Future Demand Accurate demand forecasting is crucial for supply chain optimizing done by analyzing real-time supply chain data to identify trends. For demand forecasting, businesses can utilize historical sales data, market trends, and customer feedback. To make accurate forecasts, companies must consider various factors influencing demand, such as seasonality, economic conditions, and shifting customer preferences. 3.2 Overstocking and Understocking Risk Management Demand forecasting errors can lead to overstocking and understocking in supply chain management. Using demand forecasting rightly can determine the optimal inventory level at any given time to avoid overstocking and understocking. Businesses can predict demand and adjust inventory by analyzing sales data, market trends, and other factors. 3.3 Integrated Forecasting approach between Supply Chain Stakeholders The integrated forecasting approach entails coordinating data sharing and communication between all supply chain stakeholders, from suppliers to customers. Stakeholder participation in demand forecasting improves accuracy. In addition, each stakeholder has unique knowledge and perspective that can help identify trends and patterns. 4. Emerging Technologies for Supply Chain Optimization Leveraged by Enterprises 4.1 AI and ML Leading SCM providers do offer regression modeling and causal analysis for demand forecasting. Using AI and ML, the functionality is embedded within the DP module. If a more rigorous and sophisticated approach is desired, it is possible to forecast demand numbers outside the SCM system using sophisticated modeling and then upload them back into the SCM system. 4.2 Blockchain Technology Blockchain enables secure, transparent, and decentralized transactions. It can be utilized in the supply chain to track the movement of goods, reduce the risk of fraud, and increase supply chain visibility by maintaining an immutable record of every transaction. 4.3 IoT To monitor humidity, temperature control, and other environmental factors that affect the quality of products while in transit. IoT helps businesses enhance supply chain visibility, reduce product spoilage risk, and enhance customer satisfaction using modern temperature control technology. 4.4 Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality AR and VR technologies are transforming the supply chain by improving the accuracy of inventory management, reducing errors, and enhancing the training of employees. In addition, its tools can be used to create digital representations of warehouses, products, and equipment, allowing employees to visualize the supply chain and identify areas for improvement. 5. Leading Solution Providers for B2B Several leading B2B companies have been identified based on research for supply chain optimization. To optimize supply chains, these companies have demonstrated a commitment to strategic planning, effective procurement strategies, and demand forecasting techniques. The solution providers also recognize the significance of managing risks associated with overstocking and understocking and have implemented integrated forecasting approaches with their supply chain partners and customers. In addition, these companies use emerging technologies such as augmented reality, virtual reality, cloud technology, machine learning and AI, blockchain technology, and the IoT to improve their supply chain operations. By prioritizing supply chain optimization, the following B2B companies gain a competitive advantage within logistics and supply chain industries and provide exceptional customer experiences. Coupa Software The supply management solutions offered by Coupa Software are hosted in the cloud and make use of machine learning and artificial intelligence to provide businesses with insights that can be used for data-driven decision-making.It assists businesses in tracking the performance of their supply chains compared to key performance indicators, identifying areas in which advancements can be made, and taking action to optimize their supply chain operations. Stord Stord a platform provider, offers a suite of software solutions that improve supply chain management for businesses. Its warehousing, transport, and inventory management solutions are integrated into a single platform. As a result, Stord offers companies greater visibility and control over their supply chains, allowing them to make more informed decisions and optimize operations by combining these functions into a single platform. Roambee Roambee is an artificial intelligence (AI)-powered platform that provides improved supply chain and visibility solutions for real-time, on-demand, and end-to-end data. Using cloud data analytics and automation, it assists in monitoring shipments, inventories, and returnable assets to provide dependable and responsive monitoring solutions. The result is a return on investment (ROI) of 4X or more on the supply chain assets by optimizing inventory levels and utilization. FlowSpace FlowSpace offers cloud-based supply chain solutions. With an internet connection, businesses can access real-time inventory, orders, and shipments from anywhere. Its solutions optimize inventory and demand fulfillment with machine learning and predictive analytics. In addition, IoT sensors and beacons provide accurate warehouse operations data for the company. FlowSpace uses cutting-edge technology to provide efficient and effective supply chain solutions. OPTEL Group OPTEL Group's cutting-edge traceability solutions help businesses optimize their supply chain. These solutions permit businesses to track their products and materials throughout the supply chain, from production to distribution. It's traceability solutions provide businesses with real-time visibility into their supply chain operations by utilizing advanced data capture technologies such as barcode scanning, RFID, and serialization. This allows them to identify potential bottlenecks, optimize workflows, and decrease waste and inefficiency. Blue Ridge Blue Ridge,a provider of cloud-based supply chain solutions, has developed a suite of solutions that make use of machine learning and artificial intelligence to improve the accuracy of forecasts, reduce the costs associated with inventory, and increase company's profitability. It does this by providing businesses with flexible and scalable solutions, as well as ones that can be adapted to meet the particular requirements of each business. GMDH Streamline GMDH Streamline makes use of complex algorithms to perform data analysis and provide insights that, when implemented in B2B logistics operations, can lead to increased efficiency and a reduction in costs. This software can analyze past sales data and make predictions about future demand patterns, which helps to ensure that the right products are always available for purchase. Because of this, there will be less of a need for excessive stockpiling, which can prevent the free flow of capital and raise the risk of stock obsolescence. Netstock Netstock's cloud-based solutions provide businesses the agility and responsiveness they need to stay competitive in the ever-changing business landscape. With its seamless integration with industry-leading ERPs, Netstock unlocks valuable ERP data and enables businesses to make informed decisions based on enhanced analytics. In addition, by leveraging Netstock's solutions, businesses can respond swiftly to supply and demand fluctuations, resulting in optimized logistics and efficient supply chain management. Solvoyo With Solvoyo's platform, businesses can optimize their supply chain performance, reduce inefficiencies, and achieve cost savings. In addition, the platform offers advanced scenario modeling and real-time analytics to help companies to make informed decisions and quickly adapt to changing market conditions. By leveraging Solvoyo's capabilities, businesses can achieve a competitive advantage and drive growth in the dynamic world of supply chain management. American Software, Inc. American Software provides logistics and supply chain companies with supply chain management software solutions. Its solutions including supply chain planning, warehouse management, transportation management, global trade management, and vendor inventory management are intended to assist businesses in optimizing their B2B logistics operations, increasing their efficiency, and lowering their expenses. In addition, it provides modern temperature control technology to ensure safe and efficient transport of temperature-sensitive goods in the supply chain. 6. Conclusion “The global supply chain management market size is expected to reach USD 37.4 billion at a CAGR of 11.3% by 2027." (Source - Grand View Research) The anticipated growth of the global supply chain management market presents businesses with opportunities to enhance their supply chain operations by implementing innovative technologies and strategies. The increase in market size indicates a growing demand for efficient supply chain management solutions that reduce costs, optimize efficiency, and improve customer satisfaction. Businesses can use AI, blockchain, and augmented reality to analyze real-time data, forecast demand, and streamline procurement. These technologies and strategies can give logistics and supply chain management businesses an edge in the increasingly competitive marketplace.

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What’s the Latest on EV Charging Infrastructure in Rural Areas?

Article | June 27, 2023

Contents 1. Accessing The State and Federal Benefits 2. A Learning Portal to Educate Rural Communities On EV Charging 3. The Significance of an Equitably Relevant EV Charging Network Electric Vehicles (EVs) are making waves in cities and are more than just the latest trend in transportation. With the advancement of the EV charging network and its deployment across urban areas, experts are asking what’s next and how this growth can be replicated in rural areas. 1. Accessing State and Federal Benefits Based in Oregon, Forth is an EV research and advocacy group that recently announced a partnership with General Motors to build grant templates that can help rural communities win and access state and federal grant money to build EV charging networks. The templates will be provided free of charge and cover 80% of a complete grant. Geoff Gibson, the senior program manager for Forth, believes this will give rural communities the impetus to seek out the grant money and get over the initial hurdle of framing a grant proposal. 2. A Learning Portal to Educate Rural Communities on EV Charging Forth also announced the slated launch of a learning portal that will address the lack of know-how on deploying a charging program for EVs. The portal will empower communities with not just the knowledge of implementing charging programs but also their significance and long-term impact on the community. The learning portal will tentatively go live in 2023 and will be free for local communities, counties, cities, and states, as well as community organizations. The program will be accessible for a year and could be further extended. According to Steve Lommele from the Joint Office of Energy and Transportation, he reiterated the importance of building a national EV charging network. He states that this is the first time a major program has been put in place that covers all 50 states in the U.S., including Puerto Rico and Washington D.C. 3. The Significance of an Equitably Relevant EV Charging Network Deploying EV charging stations in rural areas has to be meaningful for the communities that will be using them. Forth’s Geoff Gibson emphasizes that the needs of the communities need to be given priority when designing the charging network. For instance, DC charging or charging that is publicly accessible should be preferred at trailheads. EVs as part of our transport in the future is inevitable and charging networks and program need to be prioritized to ensure all communities are able to access its benefits equally.

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Warehousing and Distribution

Schneider Electric for suppliers

Article | July 11, 2023

At Schneider Electric, meeting our customers’ expectations is a key priority. As concern over COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus) grows, we are monitoring developments to this situation globally, as well as following local health and government regulations, continually assessing and responding to changes. Our Business Continuity Plan (BCP) has been tested and implemented in geographies impacted. This plan includes health and safety, supply chain, lifecycle management services, and IT infrastructure. Schneider Electric operations meet the criteria of an essential critical infrastructure as defined by most governments. While we do not anticipate interruptions to our operations, local governments may require temporary containment measures. In these cases, we comply with local laws, and in most cases seek support from local authorities to maintain critical business operations as an essential business for our communities.

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A New Mobility Landscape Is Coming (but not fully yet)

Article | August 18, 2021

A sector which has been heavily disrupted in the last years is the mobility sector. Following decades of "car being king", we have reached a saturation and mentality shift. People want to be more healthy and more ecological (sustainable) and also avoid losing precious time in traffic jams. As a result a whole eco-system of companies has been created to find solutions for this. This article tries to provide an overview of the trends in this market, with a focus on the Belgian market. First of all when looking at mobility and the offers on the market it is important to make a distinction between private and professional displacements. This last category can additionally be split up between the daily commute and professional displacements during working hours. When looking at private mobility (the so-called B2C market), the car remains an important pilar. Especially for families with (young) children it remains difficult to do everything without a car. Obviously, there is a trend to be more sustainable, which is reflected in more sales of hybrid and electric vehicles, more usage of (e)bikes and (e)steps and an increasing usage of shared mobility options (like shared bikes, steps or cars). Statistics from China, which is already the furthest in the post-Covid era, show that most mobility options have lost terrain (compared to pre-Covid), with the exception of the car and bike. The car, although still not very sustainable, is still the most flexible and has the least chance for contamination. Especially the flexibility will become more important as office hours also become more flexible. Additionally due to the increased home working, in some cities traffic jams have considerably reduced, making room again for more people to switch back from public transport to their car. Additionally there is the bike. This is a very flexible, individual, healthy and sustainable mode of transportation that many have discovered during the crisis. Furthermore with ebikes becoming more and more common, bigger distances can be covered without needing to be in excellent physical shape. The professional mobility (i.e. B2B(2C) market) is however even more in evolution, as governments provide all kinds of fiscal incentives to change the mobility habits of employees and employers. Furthermore employers want to offer more flexibility (in working hours, in working location and in mobility options) and less administrative burden to their employees, allow them to profit from those fiscal incentives (resulting in an increased buying power) and become more sustainable. As a result a variety of new offers to be more flexible and optimally profit of those extra-legal advantages has come to the market. This makes it very complex for an employer to find his way in this tangle. Obviously, every company is unique, with multiple axes determining which mobility options are possible and best suited for the company: The location of the company, i.e. Is the company situated in a city with a lot of mobility difficulties (traffic jams)? Is the company situated near public transport options? Is the company situated in a city where a lot of shared mobility options are available? Are the employees typically living close or far away from the company? Which kind of parking facilities does the company have? Does the company have multiple offices geographically spread over the country? The type of work done at the company, i.e. Does the work require physical presence at a specific location (i.e. time- and location-dependent work)? Is remote work possible? Does the work require a lot of displacements to customers (and/or partners, suppliers…) during working hours? The type of employees working at the firm, i.e. Are the employees typically living close or far away from the company? What is the age distribution of the employees within the company (e.g. lot of young people, lot of employees with children…)? How strong is the war for talent for the desired employees, forcing the employer to offer a lot of extra advantages to attract people? The size of the company, i.e. a bigger company has the means to setup more complex mobility plans/options, as they often have dedicated people within HR specialized in these setups. This makes it difficult to define a "one-solution-that-fits-all" approach, but rather a more tailored approach is required, with some degree of customization per customer. Some examples: Promoting commuting by bike via bike leasing and a bike allowance is mainly interesting for companies with employees not living too far away from the company and not requiring doing customer or other professional displacements during working hours. Additionally it depends on the profile of the employees and the safety of the trajectory between the home of the employees and the office. Note that 54% of Belgian employees does not want to use a bike to come to work, with the main reason people finding it too dangerous. At the other hand a similar percentage of employees indicates they would be very interested in options like bike leasing and bike allowances. Shared mobility options are of course only interesting in the bigger cities, where those options are also strongly available. As a result incorporating those options in a mobility plan does not make much sense when the employer is situated in a location where those options are (almost) not available. The same applies for "multi-modal transportation" (and the associated multi-modal route planners), which are also only interesting in the larger cities where multiple mobility options are readily available. Furthermore a company introducing this multi-modal mobility concept should be able to put a whole change management trajectory in place, as it requires discovering new mobility options and changing existing commute habits (for most employees the commute is a routine activity, which they do in "auto-pilot") Setting up a Cafeteria plan or Mobility budget can be quite complex, making the costs and effort, especially for smaller firms, not always outweigh the benefits. New digital solutions can provide a (partial) solution to this, but they typically do not take away the uncertainties for employers to deal with something they do not fully understand. Electric cars are still difficult for people doing large distances on a regular basis, due to their limited action radius and the too low number of charging stations (especially in the South of Belgium). On the other hand for companies where employees come to the office the whole day and that have the required space to setup charging stations, this can be a very interesting option both fiscally and ecologically. Collective organized transport is typically only economically viable for large companies, for which a large number of employees are coming from the same region. Platforms exist to manage this cross-employers, but this raises a number of other concerns and reduces the added-value. Options like "no-mobility" (i.e. home working) and "less-mobility" (flex-offices / co-working places) depend on the work culture and the type of work to be done. For some companies the shift to homeworking during the Covid-confinements was already a serious stretch, which will take years to get fully absorbed. Introducing new concepts like "flex-offices" (co-working places) is probably a bridge too far, especially as there is still a lot of unclarity of who will be paying (and what the fiscal implications are) for the office space (employee paying out of his mobility budget or employer paying) and even more for the added-services like drinks, snacks, catering… … In general employers have a big interest to do something around mobility, but when having to deal with all complexity (fiscal and operational concerns like policies, load administration…), many employers drop out. Employers fear especially all exceptions, as they often represent hidden costs and lot of extra effort. E.g. what happens if an employee leaves the company? What if someone is fired? What about the liability in case of accidents/theft/vandalism? What will be the exact total cost for me as an employer? How do I need to manage VAT? What is the exact value of benefit of all kind for the employee? Which proofs do I need to collect for the tax authorities? Does it fit with the agreements made in the collective labor agreement of the joint committee?… These questions mainly originate from the existing unclarities in the fiscal regime, which is due to the fact that many HR managers are not yet acquainted with these new offers, the fact that new mobility offers are created continuously (making it impossible for the government to stay up-to-date) and the continuous change in regulation (e.g. "Mobility Budget", "Company Car Legislation"…). This lack of maturity in the industry puts a break on the adoption and this maturation might take years to unfold. E.g. meal vouchers took 40 years to arrive to a market penetration of 50%, while this is a much simpler HR product than most mobility options. Until this maturity level is reached, resulting in more well-known, better integrated, more frictionless and cheaper offers, the traditional company mobility options of reimbursing public transport subscriptions and salary cars will remain mostly used. Those are still most widely known by HR managers, are fiscally still very interesting and fit well the needs and desires of most employees. This last argument is important, as no mobility option will become mainstream unless employees are happy with it. This means the mobility option should not only give a solution for "Professional displacements" but also for the "Private displacements" (in evenings, weekend, holidays…), often with the whole family. Nonetheless we see the market is maturing and transforming, as millions of euros of VC money are invested in promising new start-ups. Almost all of those start-ups are not profitable yet but given the market potential a few of them could grow out to become unicorns. Today’s students are more acquainted and open for these new mobility services, so likely some of them will become mainstream in the next decade. Today a whole eco-system of young start-ups and existing incumbent players are offering mobility services, like Car leasing companies: Alphabet, ALD Automotive, ING Lease, KBC Autolease, LeasePlan, ARVAL… Car rental companies: Sixt, Avis, Dockx, Hertz, Rent a car… Car sharing companies (in the form of cars that can be easily used for individual trips up to platforms facilitating sharing your private car or co-driving): Cambio, Poppy, Partago, Zipcar, Cozywheels, Getaround, Dégage, Share Now, Stapp.in, Tapazz, BlaBlaCar, Klaxit, TooGethr, Carpool (Mpact)… Taxi services: Uber, Wave-a-Cab, Taxi.eu, Heetch, Bolt, Free Now, Allocab… Bike leasing companies: Ctec, O2O, Joulebikes, KBC-Fietsleasing, B2Bike, Cyclis, Lease-a-bike, Cyclobility, Cycle Valley… (e)bike, (e)step and scooter sharing & renting: Lime, Dott, Bird, Felyx, Scooty, Villo!, Billy Bike, Mobit, Blue Bike, Swapfiets, Spinlister… Fuel card and Electric charging card issuing companies: Network Fuel Card, Modalizy, Fleetpass, Belgian Fuel Card (BFC), XXImo, EDI (Electric by D’Ieteren), New Motion, Plugsurfing, Blue Corner, Luminus, EVBOX, Cenergy, Eneco, Dats24, EV-Point,… Parking companies (either companies providing public parkings or platforms to share individual and company parkings): Yellowbrick, Indigo, QPark, BeMobile, BePark, Pasha, ParkOffice… Companies helping to define mobility plan and manage setup of policies and mobility plans/budgets: Social Secretariats (SD Worx, Partena, Securex, Acerta, Liantis…), Payflip, Mbrella, MaestroMobile (Espaces-Mobilités)… MaaS (Mobility as a Service) players: Modalizy, Skipr, Optimile, Olympus, Be-Mobile, MyMove, Vaigo (Eurides), Moveasy… (Inter-modal) Route planners: Google Maps, Coyote, Waze, Mappy, Jeasy, Skipr, Stoomlink… Co-working place companies (either companies providing co-working places or platforms allowing to reserve spaces over multiple co-working places): Bar d’Office, Workero, Cowallonia, Burogest, Regus, Welkin, Meraki, Frame 21, Fosbury & Sons, Start it, Coffice, Spaces, House of Innovation, Ampla House, WeWork, Betacowork, Startbloc, SilverSquare… Expense management solutions for local and international (mobility) expenses: Rydoo, XXImo, MobileXpense, N2F, Certify, SAP Concur, Travel Perk, Trippeo, SpenDesk, Splendid, Declaree, SRXP, Dicom, WebExpenses, Notilus, Expensify, ExpensePath, Abacus, ExpensePoint… It will be interesting to see which of those companies will still be around in 10 years (i.e. which of the start-up have sufficient funding to bridge the long-time gap to profitability) and to which form they have evolved. Clearly regular pivoting will be required as this market is in full evolution.

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Muller Shipment was established after Second World War, and has developed into one of the largest, leading carriers in the global container shipping industry.

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CPKC Joins RailPulse Coalition Driving Innovation in Railcar Telematics

PR Newswire | February 02, 2024

Canadian Pacific Kansas City (CPKC) today announced its membership in the RailPulse Coalition. RailPulse, founded by a dynamic consortium of forward-thinking railcar owners, is working to develop, broaden and accelerate the use of GPS and other telematics technologies on railcars that increase safety, efficiency, and visibility across North America's freight rail industry. CPKC becomes the third Class I railroad and 10th member of the coalition, joining Bunge North America, GATX, Genesee & Wyoming Inc., Norfolk Southern Corporation, Railroad Development Corporation, The Greenbrier Companies, TrinityRail, Union Pacific Railroad, and Watco Companies LLC. "We are pleased to be a part of RailPulse and to contribute to accelerating adoption of railcar telemetry in North America," said John Brooks, CPKC Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. "This collaboration aligns with our commitment to innovation and will play an important role in modernizing our customer experience and provide benefits to the entire supply chain by advancing safety and improving operations." The key objectives of RailPulse include: Industry Wide Telematics Infrastructure: The initiative facilitates collaboration among industry players by creating a secure, trusted, standardized, and vendor neutral railcar telematics infrastructure that spans the entire North American freight rail industry. Data-Driven Transformation: By building an information infrastructure that harnesses data from GPS and railcar-mounted sensors and prioritizing data standardization and storage in the cloud, RailPulse focuses on delivering actionable insights enabling enhance service levels, visibility, safety, sustainability, and productivity. Enhanced Service through Visibility: Through RailPulse, the integration of telematic sensors on railcars enables the generation of valuable data, empowering shippers with real-time visibility of railcar and goods movements to make informed decisions and optimize their operations. "We welcome CPKC to the RailPulse Coalition. Together, we will drive transformative change in the rail sector by combining our strengths and fostering a culture of innovation," said David Shannon, General Manager of RailPulse. "This partnership underscores our commitment to shaping the future of rail transportation." Response from RailPulse Members: "The Board of RailPulse is very excited to welcome CPKC," said Mike McClellan, RailPulse Board Chair and Sr. VP &Chief Strategy Officer at Norfolk Southern. "CPKC brings a breadth of railroading knowledge to the table, and the insights that CPKC will be able to contribute from operating in 3 countries will be invaluable as we drive RailPulse to serve all of North America." Forward looking information This news release contains certain forward-looking information and forward-looking statements (collectively, "forward-looking information") within the meaning of applicable securities laws in both the U.S. and Canada. Forward-looking information includes, but is not limited to, statements concerning expectations, beliefs, plans, goals, objectives, assumptions and statements about possible future events, conditions, and results of operations or performance. Forward-looking information may contain statements with words or headings such as "financial expectations", "key assumptions", "will", "anticipate", "believe", "expect", "plan", "should", "commit", "outlook", "guidance" or similar words suggesting future outcomes. This news release contains forward-looking information relating, but not limited, to statements about future technology and the potential for telematics technologies to increase safety, efficiency, and visibility across North America's freight rail industry and CPKC's expected benefits from such future technology. The forward-looking information contained in this news release is based on current expectations, estimates, projections, and assumptions, having regard to CPKC's experience and its perception of historical trends. Forward-looking information involves many inherent risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking information, including but not limited to the factors that are detailed from time to time in reports filed by CPKC with securities regulators in Canada and with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the United States. Reference should be made to "Item 1A - Risk Factors" and "Item 7 - Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations - Forward-Looking Statements" in CPKC's annual and interim reports on Form 10-K and 10-Q. Any forward-looking information contained in this news release is made as of the date hereof. Except as required by law, CPKC undertakes no obligation to update publicly or otherwise revise any forward-looking information, or the foregoing assumptions and risks affecting such forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

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Logistics, Supply Chain, Transportation

AIT Worldwide Logistics Acquires Global Transport Solutions Group

Business Wire | February 05, 2024

AIT Worldwide Logistics, one of the world’s leaders in global supply chain solutions, has acquired Global Transport Solutions Group (GTS), a prominent international freight forwarder specializing in time-critical marine spare parts logistics. Headquartered in the Netherlands, GTS and its more than 600 teammates across 16 locations in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and North America, serve over 2,000 ports around the world. The GTS network also includes nine consolidation hubs totaling more than 45,000 square meters of warehouse space. AIT Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Vaughn Moore, said, “I’d like to welcome our new GTS teammates to the global AIT network. This is the largest acquisition in our company’s history and GTS’ marine spare parts business is an excellent complement to AIT’s time-critical supply chain solutions.” The company’s business is divided into two sub-brands: Marinetrans (founded in 1991), excelling in “door-to-deck” spare parts logistics for ship owners and managers, and Best Global Logistics (founded in 2007), providing time-critical solutions and general forwarding for other industries, including life sciences shippers. According to AIT’s Chief Business Officer, Greg Weigel, the acquisition provides the company with new geographic presence in Greece, Japan and the Nordic region while adding significant capacity and subject matter expertise to existing AIT networks in China, the Netherlands and Singapore. The deal also provides a strong foundation to expand GTS’ world-class marine spare parts solutions via AIT’s expansive global freight network. “The acquisition of GTS creates an incredible portfolio of solutions serving the maritime industry with delivery of time-critical spare parts across all geographies. This is a perfect complement to AIT’s vertical strategies focused on expedited mission-critical services like our Critical Solutions Group, government and AOG team, and Life Sciences Division,” Weigel said. “We plan to rapidly invest and expand GTS’ North American operations by capitalizing on AIT’s robust salesforce in the United States and offering maritime customers a world-class spare parts logistics solution in every port.” AIT President and Chief Operating Officer, Keith Tholan, noted that the GTS core values – customer first, operational excellence, and partnership and collaboration – closely mirror AIT’s core values. “We are delighted to welcome GTS teammates to AIT,” Tholan said. “Their deep marine logistics expertise and three decades of proven on-time performance in a very demanding segment will complement the diverse solutions we offer across our vertical sector strategy. We also expect our best-in-class global air freight procurement will instantly benefit their time-critical operations.” According to GTS co-CEO John Burgstra, the acquisition is an opportunity for GTS to further expand their worldwide operations. “We aim to provide our clients an unrivaled experience when it comes to global visibility, transparency and on-time performance, fully unburdening them of the required logistical handling of their vessels’ spare parts,” he said. “We are excited about becoming part of a larger group and the global development opportunities this acquisition will provide for our teammates.” “Because of the highly fragmented and international nature of our clients’ requirements, they need a trusted partner with a vetted and effective global network,” added GTS co-CEO Vegard Prytz. “GTS will gain enormous benefits from leveraging the global AIT infrastructure, creating an even more integrated and seamless solution for clients around the world.”

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Operations, Warehousing and Distribution

LA Kings Partner with Lexani Performance Tires

PR Newswire | January 26, 2024

Turbo Wholesale Tires, and two-time Stanley Cup Champions, the LA Kings have announced a powerful brand partnership. As part of the multi-year agreement, brokered by AEG Global Partnerships, Lexani Performance Tires will become an official partner of the LA Kings, reaching millions of passionate sports fans. As an official partner of the LA Kings, Lexani Performance Tires will have the unique opportunity to engage fans each week during the season as a presenting sponsor of the LA Kings "Game Preview," which will appear on the team's official social channels. Lexani Performance Tire will also benefit from in-arena signage via dasher boards and scoreboard branding during all LA Kings home games at Crypto.com Arena. "We are proud to partner with the LA Kings and their global fanbase," said Phillip Kane, CEO of Turbo Wholesale Tires. "The Kings have a strong international brand and passionate following, we look forward to introducing their supporters to Lexani Performance Tire products." Turbo Wholesale Tires has been a trusted tire supplier, leading the industry with a strong emphasis and understanding of the independent tire dealer. Turbo Wholesale Tires has evolved into a national and international supplier of its proprietary brands, Lexani Performance Tire, RBP Tires and Lionhart Tires. With nearly a million square feet of warehouse space nationwide, Turbo Wholesale Tires continues to exceed the needs of its tire customers. "We are honored to be teaming up with Lexani Performance Tires," said Josh Veilleux, senior vice president, AEG Global Partnerships. "This collaboration not only brings a renowned tire supplier into our Kings family, but also introduces new ways for our fans to interact with its brand. We look forward to the positive impact this new partnership will bring to the team, Lexani Performance Tires and our incredible community of fans."

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Operations, Supply Chain, Transportation

CPKC Joins RailPulse Coalition Driving Innovation in Railcar Telematics

PR Newswire | February 02, 2024

Canadian Pacific Kansas City (CPKC) today announced its membership in the RailPulse Coalition. RailPulse, founded by a dynamic consortium of forward-thinking railcar owners, is working to develop, broaden and accelerate the use of GPS and other telematics technologies on railcars that increase safety, efficiency, and visibility across North America's freight rail industry. CPKC becomes the third Class I railroad and 10th member of the coalition, joining Bunge North America, GATX, Genesee & Wyoming Inc., Norfolk Southern Corporation, Railroad Development Corporation, The Greenbrier Companies, TrinityRail, Union Pacific Railroad, and Watco Companies LLC. "We are pleased to be a part of RailPulse and to contribute to accelerating adoption of railcar telemetry in North America," said John Brooks, CPKC Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. "This collaboration aligns with our commitment to innovation and will play an important role in modernizing our customer experience and provide benefits to the entire supply chain by advancing safety and improving operations." The key objectives of RailPulse include: Industry Wide Telematics Infrastructure: The initiative facilitates collaboration among industry players by creating a secure, trusted, standardized, and vendor neutral railcar telematics infrastructure that spans the entire North American freight rail industry. Data-Driven Transformation: By building an information infrastructure that harnesses data from GPS and railcar-mounted sensors and prioritizing data standardization and storage in the cloud, RailPulse focuses on delivering actionable insights enabling enhance service levels, visibility, safety, sustainability, and productivity. Enhanced Service through Visibility: Through RailPulse, the integration of telematic sensors on railcars enables the generation of valuable data, empowering shippers with real-time visibility of railcar and goods movements to make informed decisions and optimize their operations. "We welcome CPKC to the RailPulse Coalition. Together, we will drive transformative change in the rail sector by combining our strengths and fostering a culture of innovation," said David Shannon, General Manager of RailPulse. "This partnership underscores our commitment to shaping the future of rail transportation." Response from RailPulse Members: "The Board of RailPulse is very excited to welcome CPKC," said Mike McClellan, RailPulse Board Chair and Sr. VP &Chief Strategy Officer at Norfolk Southern. "CPKC brings a breadth of railroading knowledge to the table, and the insights that CPKC will be able to contribute from operating in 3 countries will be invaluable as we drive RailPulse to serve all of North America." Forward looking information This news release contains certain forward-looking information and forward-looking statements (collectively, "forward-looking information") within the meaning of applicable securities laws in both the U.S. and Canada. Forward-looking information includes, but is not limited to, statements concerning expectations, beliefs, plans, goals, objectives, assumptions and statements about possible future events, conditions, and results of operations or performance. Forward-looking information may contain statements with words or headings such as "financial expectations", "key assumptions", "will", "anticipate", "believe", "expect", "plan", "should", "commit", "outlook", "guidance" or similar words suggesting future outcomes. This news release contains forward-looking information relating, but not limited, to statements about future technology and the potential for telematics technologies to increase safety, efficiency, and visibility across North America's freight rail industry and CPKC's expected benefits from such future technology. The forward-looking information contained in this news release is based on current expectations, estimates, projections, and assumptions, having regard to CPKC's experience and its perception of historical trends. Forward-looking information involves many inherent risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking information, including but not limited to the factors that are detailed from time to time in reports filed by CPKC with securities regulators in Canada and with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the United States. Reference should be made to "Item 1A - Risk Factors" and "Item 7 - Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations - Forward-Looking Statements" in CPKC's annual and interim reports on Form 10-K and 10-Q. Any forward-looking information contained in this news release is made as of the date hereof. Except as required by law, CPKC undertakes no obligation to update publicly or otherwise revise any forward-looking information, or the foregoing assumptions and risks affecting such forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

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Logistics, Supply Chain, Transportation

AIT Worldwide Logistics Acquires Global Transport Solutions Group

Business Wire | February 05, 2024

AIT Worldwide Logistics, one of the world’s leaders in global supply chain solutions, has acquired Global Transport Solutions Group (GTS), a prominent international freight forwarder specializing in time-critical marine spare parts logistics. Headquartered in the Netherlands, GTS and its more than 600 teammates across 16 locations in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and North America, serve over 2,000 ports around the world. The GTS network also includes nine consolidation hubs totaling more than 45,000 square meters of warehouse space. AIT Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Vaughn Moore, said, “I’d like to welcome our new GTS teammates to the global AIT network. This is the largest acquisition in our company’s history and GTS’ marine spare parts business is an excellent complement to AIT’s time-critical supply chain solutions.” The company’s business is divided into two sub-brands: Marinetrans (founded in 1991), excelling in “door-to-deck” spare parts logistics for ship owners and managers, and Best Global Logistics (founded in 2007), providing time-critical solutions and general forwarding for other industries, including life sciences shippers. According to AIT’s Chief Business Officer, Greg Weigel, the acquisition provides the company with new geographic presence in Greece, Japan and the Nordic region while adding significant capacity and subject matter expertise to existing AIT networks in China, the Netherlands and Singapore. The deal also provides a strong foundation to expand GTS’ world-class marine spare parts solutions via AIT’s expansive global freight network. “The acquisition of GTS creates an incredible portfolio of solutions serving the maritime industry with delivery of time-critical spare parts across all geographies. This is a perfect complement to AIT’s vertical strategies focused on expedited mission-critical services like our Critical Solutions Group, government and AOG team, and Life Sciences Division,” Weigel said. “We plan to rapidly invest and expand GTS’ North American operations by capitalizing on AIT’s robust salesforce in the United States and offering maritime customers a world-class spare parts logistics solution in every port.” AIT President and Chief Operating Officer, Keith Tholan, noted that the GTS core values – customer first, operational excellence, and partnership and collaboration – closely mirror AIT’s core values. “We are delighted to welcome GTS teammates to AIT,” Tholan said. “Their deep marine logistics expertise and three decades of proven on-time performance in a very demanding segment will complement the diverse solutions we offer across our vertical sector strategy. We also expect our best-in-class global air freight procurement will instantly benefit their time-critical operations.” According to GTS co-CEO John Burgstra, the acquisition is an opportunity for GTS to further expand their worldwide operations. “We aim to provide our clients an unrivaled experience when it comes to global visibility, transparency and on-time performance, fully unburdening them of the required logistical handling of their vessels’ spare parts,” he said. “We are excited about becoming part of a larger group and the global development opportunities this acquisition will provide for our teammates.” “Because of the highly fragmented and international nature of our clients’ requirements, they need a trusted partner with a vetted and effective global network,” added GTS co-CEO Vegard Prytz. “GTS will gain enormous benefits from leveraging the global AIT infrastructure, creating an even more integrated and seamless solution for clients around the world.”

Read More

Operations, Warehousing and Distribution

LA Kings Partner with Lexani Performance Tires

PR Newswire | January 26, 2024

Turbo Wholesale Tires, and two-time Stanley Cup Champions, the LA Kings have announced a powerful brand partnership. As part of the multi-year agreement, brokered by AEG Global Partnerships, Lexani Performance Tires will become an official partner of the LA Kings, reaching millions of passionate sports fans. As an official partner of the LA Kings, Lexani Performance Tires will have the unique opportunity to engage fans each week during the season as a presenting sponsor of the LA Kings "Game Preview," which will appear on the team's official social channels. Lexani Performance Tire will also benefit from in-arena signage via dasher boards and scoreboard branding during all LA Kings home games at Crypto.com Arena. "We are proud to partner with the LA Kings and their global fanbase," said Phillip Kane, CEO of Turbo Wholesale Tires. "The Kings have a strong international brand and passionate following, we look forward to introducing their supporters to Lexani Performance Tire products." Turbo Wholesale Tires has been a trusted tire supplier, leading the industry with a strong emphasis and understanding of the independent tire dealer. Turbo Wholesale Tires has evolved into a national and international supplier of its proprietary brands, Lexani Performance Tire, RBP Tires and Lionhart Tires. With nearly a million square feet of warehouse space nationwide, Turbo Wholesale Tires continues to exceed the needs of its tire customers. "We are honored to be teaming up with Lexani Performance Tires," said Josh Veilleux, senior vice president, AEG Global Partnerships. "This collaboration not only brings a renowned tire supplier into our Kings family, but also introduces new ways for our fans to interact with its brand. We look forward to the positive impact this new partnership will bring to the team, Lexani Performance Tires and our incredible community of fans."

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