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JDA Direct Commerce Partners with Agile Network to Provide Advanced Global Shipping Capabilities

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CHESTERFIELD, MO, November 10, 2016 – Agile Network, a leading provider of multi-carrier and multi-modal transportation execution technology in North America, has partnered with JDA Software to provide JDA Direct Commerce clients with advanced global shipping capabilities.

Agile Network TME (Transportation Management Execution) is a software that optimizes carrier selection and service levels with certified integrations to FedEx, UPS, the USPS and hundreds of other carriers. The partnership offers JDA Direct Commerce clients with an integrated execution capability that addresses critical carrier compliance requirements that clients will be challenged within 2017 and beyond. Agile Network TME supports multi-modal rating and routing, offering enterprise clients a streamlined process for carrier compliant shipping with the integration having obtained UPS Ready Compliance, FedEx Diamond Compatible, and USPS IMPB Compliance awards.

The Agile Network and JDA Software partnership benefits clients shipping globally with full support and professional services available for the install and configuration of the TME software system implementation for JDA Direct Commerce.

Shipping since the Last World Series Title for Chicago Cubs & Cleveland Indians

Shipping and shipping system technologies have come a long way since the last time either of these two teams, the Cleveland Indians or Chicago Cubs have won the World Series & Baseball’s Commissioner’s Trophy.

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The Chicago Cubs haven’t won since 1908. The 1908 World Series saw at the time, defending champion Chicago Cubs play against the Detroit Tigers. In this first-ever rematch of the World Series event, the Cubs won in five games for their World Series title. Shipping anything by air back then would have been tough, as in Flight was just 5 years old, the United Parcel Service (UPS) would be established 6 years later, and Federal Express, who later became FedEx, was still 57 years away. In fact, the last time the Chicago Cubs won the World Series, the only viable transportation option for shipping packages, parcel, and freight was the Railway system, which accounted for approximately 90% of all freight in the US. The Last Mile delivery at this time was managed by local couriers on foot and by bicycle, with there only being a handful of automobiles in existence.

A little later in 1948, the Cleveland Indians defeated the Boston Braves 4 games to 2. During this time shipping by rail accounted for approximately 54% of all freight in the US. However vast improvements in transportation were made with technologies of the automobile and telephones. In addition, the practice of consolidating delivery helped to greatly improve efficiencies of deliveries, which drove the cost of shipments down. It wasn’t much later until 1971 that the United States Postal Service (USPS) and US mail boxes would emerge.

So it’s a fun exercise to think about what it would have been like in 1908, or in 1948, to ship arguably the most famous trophy in all of pro sports, the World Series of Baseball’s Commissioner’s Trophy, to the winning team, at the winning stadium. Without Dimensional Units (“DIMs”) pricing established, shipping the World Series Commissioner’s Trophy in 1908 or 1948 would have been based on weight and the cost would have ranged somewhere between $2 – $10.00 USD.

That compares to today in 2016, to ship the World Series Trophy from the MLB Commissioner’s Office in New York, NY to the winning team at Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio, would cost anywhere from $33.20 to $232.81, depending on the carrier, & level of service needed, and lastly assuming the trophy weighs 30 lbs. For experimental purposes, these rate quotes are without insuring the package for the standalone value of the World Series trophy at roughly ~$15,000.00, but the point is that in 2016 we’re able to quickly generate a shipment quote using innovative shipping software technologies.

Shipping software encompasses many innovative technologies that help determine if an expedited service makes sense, and also enables a business to tackle more sophisticated challenges such as their enterprises’ shipment planning, routing, rating, and tracking and tracing capabilities. Shipping software has even developed to help manage international compliance documents and reverse logistics functionality allowing companies to better manage their customers’ returns.

Shipping software technologies are in part to credit for the explosive growth of eCommerce, where a customers’ hesitation to purchase can be quickly placated with a pre-printed returns label for a worry-free, online checkout experience.

And when you’re ordering your Cleveland Indians or Chicago Cubs World Series Champions merchandise tomorrow, think about how the long the last Cleveland Indians & Chicago Cubs fans had to wait, some of them a lifetime, to be delivered their World Series swag.


Sources:
“1948 Prices”. Tvhistory.tv. N.p., 2016. Web. 2 Nov. 2016.
“About MLB”. Major League Baseball. N.p., 2016. Web. 2 Nov. 2016.
“Commissioner’s Trophy (MLB)”. En.wikipedia.org. N.p., 2016. Web. 2 Nov. 2016.
“Is The World Series Commissioner’s Trophy The Most Valuable Trophy In Sports?”. Forbes.com. N.p., 2016. Web. 2 Nov. 2016.
“Historical Inflation Rates: 1914-2016″. US Inflation Calculator. N.p., 2016. Web. 2 Nov. 2016.
“Timeline – About Fedex”. About FedEx. N.p., 2016. Web. 2 Nov. 2016.
“Transportation History (1900 To 1950) – Transportation History Timeline – Kern Council Of Governments – Kern COG – Kern Council Of Governments – Kern COG”. Kerncog.org. N.p., 2016. Web. 2 Nov. 2016.
“UPS: 1907-1929″. Ups.com. N.p., 2016. Web. 2 Nov. 2016.

USPS Files Request for Parcel Rates Increase in 2017

On October 19, 2016, the U.S. Postal Service filed a notice with the Postal Regulatory Commission of price changes for its’ shipping services and products to take effect next year, following the end of the 2016 holiday mailing season.

The filing does not include any price increase for First-Class Package International Service, Priority Mail Express International, and Priority Mail International.

The USPS average price change is 3.9%, which results in an average shipping price of less than $5 per shipment across all USPS shipping products.

If the USPS new pricing is approved, it will represent a modest price increase for USPS Priority Mail by 3.9%, and an average of 3.3% in USPS Priority Mail Retail pricing. This compares to general rate increases (GRI) of 4.9% for both UPS and FedEx, that are proposed to go into effect on December 26 and January 2, respectively.

The Postal Regulatory Commission will review the USPS proposed pricing changes scheduled to take effect Jan. 22, 2017.

The US Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sales of postage, and USPS products and services to fund operations.

The USPS proposed pricing will allow the USPS to continue to provide an excellent value shipping option and reliability for the shipping industry, along with expedited service transportation choices catering to consumers.

Supply chain managers and transportation professionals interested in the recent USPS pricing updates may learn more on USPS parcel shipping rates and solution capabilities with a certified USPS shipping solution.


Source: MultiChannel Merchant. To view the original post, please click here. 

UPS extends global premium express package service

UPS’s global parcel shipping service just got a bit faster, as one of the largest global transportation providers extended their UPS Worldwide Express Plus service to 28 new countries.

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With the latest expansion, early-morning express package delivery is now available in 56 countries, mid-day delivery in 118 countries, and end-of-the-day delivery in 220 countries and territories.

UPS most recently expanded their Worldwide Express Freight service in August 2016, extending the expedited pallet shipping business to 9 new countries in the Middle East and Asia Pacific.

Logistics and supply chain managers interested in the recent UPS expansion may learn more on international parcel shipping solution capabilities with UPS Ready shipping solutions.


Source: JOC
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2016 Holiday Shipping Season Strategies

The 2015 shipping season was the among the largest ever, with 524 million packages reported delivered by the United States Postal Service alone.  The upcoming 2016 holiday season is expected to again set new records.

 

While increased shipping volumes are great news for retailers in terms of sales, it can be a challenge to get those massive amounts of orders to customers during the peak shipping season. What if shipping and delivery could be as efficient during the holiday season as it is during the rest of the year? Many retailers may not believe this is possible, but with proper transportation planning, the holiday can truly be the most wonderful time of the year for all.

As carriers around the globe prepare for the massive 2016 holiday shipping season, retailers are focused on the total customer experience ranging from their web sites, ordering, payments, fulfillment and packaging, customer service and the all-important execution of shipments and delivery.

A smooth holiday shipping season is possible when leveraging a shipping solution that’s multi-carrier for serving enterprise operations. In addition, a shipping solution can provide accurate tracking information to their customers and automate international documentation for overseas orders. Most important, a shipping solution also helps business’ easily identify the carrier with the lowest service costs and/or best delivery options for greater convenience to both retailers and their customers, many of whom will be eagerly awaiting their holiday orders.

Learn more about how enterprise shipping solutions help better manage transportation this holiday shipping season.

 

Agile Network Enhances Global Shipping Solutions with Strategic Acquisition of Pantechnik International

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CHESTERFIELD, MO, October 10, 2016 – Agile Network, a leading provider of multi-carrier and multi-modal transportation execution technology in North America, announced it has reached an agreement for the acquisition of Pantechnik International, a leading provider of transportation execution technology in Europe and Asia.

“Expanding Agile Network’s reach into Asia and Europe is a key component of the Agile Network long term strategic plan. Pantechnik International has operated in Singapore, London, and Amsterdam and has helped pioneer technology in the international transportation industry, providing the ideal platform for our expansion. As we explored the market, we were impressed with the Pantechnik customer base, their track record of delivery solutions worldwide, and their technological expertise and execution experience,” explained Kevin V. Cox, CEO, Agile Network.

Mark Nicholls, CEO of Pantechnik International stated, “Our founder was a pioneer in this industry and we have always believed the market now requires a solution that is robust and scalable while at the same time working with the unique local requirements of transportation markets in Europe and Asia. The combination of Agile Network and Pantechnik International, makes that achievable.”

Agile Network and Pantechnik International will be the primary solution of choice for shippers with multi-national operations. The combined operation will continue to expand its global presence while maintaining its existing regional operations. The merger is expected to be complete in the first quarter of 2017.

FedEx Announces 2017 General Rate Increase

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On September 20, 2016, FedEx announced it’s U.S. rate changes for 2017.

In a somewhat surprising move to industry analysts, FedEx has announced shipping rate and surcharge changes for 2017 that do not match those announced September 1 by rival UPS. FedEx Express, FedEx Ground, and FedEx Freight, subsidiaries of FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX), will increase shipping rates effective January 2, 2017 as follows:

  • FedEx Express will increase shipping rates by an average of 3.9% for US domestic, US export, and US import services. Rates for UPS services will increase 4.9% for similar service categories.
  • FedEx Ground and FedEx Home Delivery will increase shipping rates by an average of 4.9%. FedEx SmartPost rates will also change. While UPS also announced a 4.9% average increase, the UPS and FedEx published rates will not match in 2017. As an example, the Ground minimum charge for FedEx will be $7.25 compared to $7.32 for UPS.
  • The dimensional weight calculation for FedEx Express and FedEx Ground packages will change from 166 to 139. On the other hand, UPS did not change the dimensional divisor for US domestic services.
  • FedEx Freight Extreme Length surcharge will change from $85 to $150 and will be applied to shipments with dimensions of 12 feet or greater versus 15 feet.
  • Other FedEx surcharges and fees will increase in 2017. Delivery Area Surcharges (DAS) will no longer match between FedEx and UPS.
  • FedEx Freight will increase shipping rates by an average of 4.9%. This rate change applies to eligible FedEx Freight shipments within the U.S. (including Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands), between the contiguous US and Canada, within Canada, between the contiguous US and Mexico, and within Mexico.

Effective February 6, 2017, the fuel surcharge percentage for FedEx Express and FedEx Ground shipment will be subject to weekly adjustment. Previously, the surcharge was based on a monthly average.

The most striking change announced is the adjustment in dimensional weight calculation which has been in place since 2011. Prior to 2011, the dimensional divisor was 194. Today, it is 166, and effective January 2, 2017, it will be reduced to 139, which is the current divisor for International Export and Import shipments. The shift for many shippers is a surprise. As of this writing, UPS has not announced any intention of following the lead of its rival, FedEx. If you are interested in how the shift can significantly affect you, contact us for a free shipping assessment of your business’ transportation costs.


Source: PARCEL, news listing has been edited here for brevity & comments.
To view the original posting, please click here.

UPS Announces 2016 Rates Increase

 

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On September 1, 2016, UPS announced it’s U.S. rate changes.

Per UPS, “Effective December 26, 2016, the UPS U.S. Ground service Daily rate will increase by an average net 4.9 percent. Daily rates for UPS U.S. Air and International services will increase an average net 4.9 percent. UPS Air Freight rates within and between the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico, will increase an average net 4.9 percent, also effective December 26, 2016. Further, UPS Freight announced an average net 4.9 percent general rate increase effective September 19, 2016.

Rate increases will support ongoing expansion and capabilities enhancements, while UPS strives to maintain the high service levels customers expect.”

Fortunately, the 4.9% increase is a consistent increase for the announced categories below, effective December 26, 2016:

  • U.S. Ground service Daily rate
  • U.S. Air and International services
  • Air Freight rates within and between the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico
  • UPS Freight announced an average net 4.9% general rate increase effective September 19, 2016

If you are interested in how the 4.9% increase could significantly affect your rates, potentially much more than 4.9% in 2017, contact us for a free shipping assessment of your business’ transportation costs.


Source: UPS Pressroom, News listing has been edited here for brevity. Please click here to view.

Tesla Talks Self-Driving Trucks

Elon Musk has finally published the details of his second “Tesla Master Plan” almost exactly 10 years after the automaker publicly revealed its first car. The new plan shifts Tesla’s focus towards expanding its energy endeavors with SolarCity, developing ride-sharing fleets and developing electric trucks.

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Image Credit: Jason Torchinsky via Truck Yeah

The first installment of the Tesla Master Plan roughly outlined Elon Musk’s goals to introduce a sports car, and then an affordable model, and then an even more affordable model, which ended up being the Tesla Roadster, Model S and, finally, the Model 3 earlier this year.

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Image Credit: Jason Torchinsky via Truck Yeah

The second Tesla Master Plan, published a few days later than originally promised, outlines an even bigger future for Tesla. In a section titled “Expand to Cover the Major Forms of Terrestrial Transport”, Musk mentioned two types of electric transportation vehicles needed: freight/cargo trucks and trucks designed for passengers.

As the technology matures, all Tesla trucking vehicles will have the hardware necessary to be fully autonomous with fail-operational capability, meaning that any given system in the freight truck could break and redundancies in the software designed for the truck will allow it to operate safely.

Imagine simply adding a carrier’s truck to a shared transport fleet just by cliking a button on an shipping application for quicker delivery of shipments while significantly offsetting shipping costs on trucking.

Tesla hasn’t released any details on the project, but an electric truck design may be in the future and is sure to keep the company busy for the next decade or so.

 

 

 


Source: Truck Yeah
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Home Depot has Strongest Quarter Ever | Investing in Interconnected Retail

Home Depot enjoyed its strongest quarter in company history in Q2. The home improvement retailer saw its sales reach $26.5 billion, up 6.6% over 2015.

Home Depot is enhancing delivery and supply chain capabilities with an interconnected retail initiative as reported by Retail Info Systems - September 6, 2016

Home Depot is enhancing delivery and supply chain capabilities with an interconnected retail initiative as reported by Retail Info Systems – September 6, 2016

Online sales also increased by approximately 19% year-over-year, representing 5.6% of total revenue.  Online sales are reportedly increasing due to the enhancements in the supply chain the retailer continues to implement.

“In the past, we issued a generic delivery window estimate, which allowed for extra time or cushion for the delivery commitment to customers,” said Craig Menear, CEO and chairman, Home Depot said on a recent earnings call with analysts. “As we’ve begun to implement the dynamic ETA, our promised delivery date to customers is earlier and more accurately estimated. As a result, we’re seeing an increased conversion in customer satisfaction.”

In addition to its dynamic ETA feature, the Home Depot is rolling out its Sync feature to its DCs to supercharge is supply chain efforts.

“We continue to see opportunity to improve our in-stock, our inventory productivity, our logistics costs,” said Mark Holifield, EVP, supply chain and product development. “Sync is the biggest initiative we’ve going in that. Sync is currently in two-thirds of our RDCs, 12 of our 18 RDCs, and we’re handling about 60% of the cost of goods sold, the dollar volume that goes through there on the Sync initiative. From that we’re seeing mainly improved transportation costs and smoother demand flow and we are working with our suppliers to continue to improve those benefits for all in the supply chain. So we will continue along that path until — but we’re not in a hurry. It’s still early days and it’s a multiyear initiative.”

While Home Depot’s digital channels demonstrate impressive growth, in-store sales are still predominant and the retailer is investing to enhance the in-store experience. Having the right products in stock and ready for purchase is critical to successfully maintaining engaged shoppers in their buying experience. In the omnichannel world, retailers have the ability to sell their entire inventory both in-store and out, however a few products just lend themselves better to the in-store environment, a lesson Home Depot learned first-hand when it removed many of its patio sets from its in-store assortment.

“In our ongoing effort to update and refresh our assortments, we continually leverage our merchandising tools to fine tune our online and in store assortments,” said Ted Decker, EVP, merchandising. “One specific example of this is with our patio offering. We found that many customers want to come into our stores to purchase and pick up their patio sets. We altered our assortment and put certain patio sets back into the store. This strategic move was well-received by our customers, leading to record sales and sell-through in our stores.”

As store assortments continue to be redesigned to align with customers shopping habits, Home Depot’s digital channels, especially its mobile offerings, are being fine-tuned. Over 50% of the retailer’s digital traffic comes from smartphones and tablets, highlighting the importance of an engaging, interconnected experience.

“We are enhancing the functionality in mobile with features like larger and clear product images, live mobile chat, and a simplified checkout experience,” Decker said. “As evidence of the success of our interconnected strategy, approximately 42% of our online orders are now leveraging our store footprint for fulfillment and nearly 90% of our online product returns are processed through the convenience of our stores.”

 

 

 


 Source: Retail Info Systems. news listing has been edited here for brevity.
To view the original posting, please click here.