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Retaining Warehouse Staff with Ergonomic Equipment

Hiring and retaining warehouse staff could be the next big challenge facing the logistics industry as a whole. And while you might have read a lot about the ongoing scarcity of truck drivers, the entire supply chain, from start to finish, is starting to compete for the best workers to stay ahead of the curve. These new conditions could hit unprepared warehousing operations hard. Consider the following points: In 2017, the unemployment rate in the U.S. dipped below the long-term natural rate of unemployment — the point at which the demand for jobs is at parity with the number of qualified job-seekers. Dipping below that number is a pretty clear sign of impending labor shortages. By the end of last…more

Electric Forklift Fleet Costs Over Time

If this is the year you switch to an electric forklift fleet, costs are bound to be a major topic of conversation in your office. The expense of a capital investment like a forklift fleet can’t be limited to the purchase price alone, of course. You need to consider the future costs, as well, and those can be hard to foresee. When you’re planning an investment in electric forklifts, then, be sure to include the following factors into your calculation to ensure the best return on investment throughout the entire working life of your trucks: The sticker price of each lift truck. This is where you might start, but it’s far from the whole picture. In fact, trade journal Inbound…more

How Warehouse Ergonomics Can Help You Cope with Labor Shortages

The logistics and warehousing industries are facing substantial labor shortages. A 2015 study presented at the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) conference showed issues with labor availability throughout the sectors; however, the CSCMP’s 2018 survey noted that the vast majority of 3PL professionals agreed upon an increased need “to respond to customers more quickly and with complete, accurate, and consistent information.” In other words: Labor shortages will occur, but they can’t slow down your operation. In the warehouse, even a temporary labor shortage can have drastic effects, and while they’re a standard part of doing business, successful managers should know how to work through them. Of course, that’s easier said than done. According to the Third-Party Logistics Study,…more

The 5 Biggest Differences Between Traditional Fulfillment and E-Commerce Distribution

Online shopping has officially overtaken brick-and-mortar retail. Every year, the United Parcel Service (UPS) consults more than 5,000 online shoppers to track trends in retail. The results of the 2016 UPS survey showed an anticipated but historic change: Shoppers made 51 percent of their purchases online in 2016, the survey said. This is the first time in the long history of retail that online shopping eclipsed traditional brick-and-mortar purchases. Behind the scenes, this change is affecting virtually every aspect of the fulfillment process including the way products move from their point of origin to the consumer’s home. In order to understand the changes e-commerce has inflicted on the warehousing world, we’ve compiled a few of the biggest differences between traditional…more

Designing a Better Forklift Battery Room

So you’ve decided you need a new battery room. Maybe your current battery charging area is outdated, or perhaps your fleet is just now large enough to justify the expense. Regardless of the reason, your new battery room’s success depends on a great plan — from choosing the ideal location to optimizing equipment. Battery room planning tools from BHS help you distribute your budget the smart way, ensuring that your forklift fleet stays fully powered, shift after shift. Forklift Battery Rooms: Asking the Right Questions Start by figuring out your facility’s precise motive power requirements. That’s actually a more detailed task than it sounds; here are just a few of the questions you’ll need to answer before you even begin…more

What is International Logistics?

If you’re involved with warehousing in any capacity, you’ve likely heard the term “international logistics.” It’s a fairly large and complex concept — in short, it encompasses the entire process of controlling the movement of goods as they travel from one country to another. International logistics includes a close consideration of every factor involved in the flow of products, people, and paperwork, starting from the acquisition of raw materials and ending with the product’s purchase. In a traditional framework, the flow of goods is as follows: raw materials are harvested, components are produced from the raw materials, the final product is produced, goods travel to wholesalers, wholesalers distribute the goods to retailers, and customers purchase and use the goods. Along…more

Order Picking and Shipping Strategies for Omni-Channel Retailers

In order to survive, online retailers need to streamline the order picking and shipping processes. Efficiency is always an important factor — regardless of the size of the operation — and while the largest distribution centers may rely on automated goods-to-picker systems, this technology isn’t cost efficient for small to mid-sized stores. The Internet provides these smaller retailers with ample opportunities to compete, and with the recent rise of omni-channel logistics, many brick-and-mortar retailers are entering e-commerce for the first time. By shipping directly from their existing stores, omni-channel retailers can serve their customers more efficiently than centralized distribution centers. This approach can improve cash flow during down periods while allowing retailers to offer a more diverse set of products.…more

Planning for Battery Room Expansion in the Logistics Industry

Even if you’re not ready to add to your current lift truck battery inventory, you should always be prepared to expand. Any facility may suddenly need to add shifts, hire new workers, and add new lift trucks to its fleet — especially given current growth trends in the warehousing industry. Demand for warehousing services is soaring as consumer spending increases in the wake of the U.S. financial recovery. The 26th Annual State of Logistics Report, published in June, reports that 2014 was the best year for supply chain industries since recovery from when the Great Recession began. Transportation grew by 3.6 percent last year, while the national vacancy rate of warehouses in the U.S. declined to a total of 7…more