Blog for updates and happenings in logistics in the Asia-Pacific region

June 9, 2015

When It Comes to Public Safety, There Are No ‘Small’ Recalls

Filed under: News,Newsletter,Reverse Logistics,Supply Chain Management — admin @ 11:08 am

poisonThe recall of a single spice can have huge ramifications for food safety.

For proof of that statement, look no further than the recall of cumin, along with products that contain it, that occurred in the first quarter of this year. The spice was found to contain undeclared peanut proteins, threatening the health, and even life, of those with an allergy to any form of peanut products.

The issue turned out to be responsible for 95 percent of all food recalls in the first quarter of 2015, according to Todd Harris, vice president of recalls with Stericycle, Inc. During that period, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had more than 19 million food units recalled, a 40-percent increase over the first quarter of 2014.

[Read more… Curated from Supply Chain Brain]


February 18, 2015

Food Supply Chains in 2015: A Banquet of Risk

Filed under: News,Newsletter,Reverse Logistics,Supply Chain Management — admin @ 11:13 am

FoodThe food industry has a lot on its plate these days.

Product recalls, quality issues, tougher regulations, new industry standards, rising costs – they’re all impacting food and beverage supply chains across the globe.

The recall issue, for one, appears to present something of a contradiction. Although the number of incidents is on the rise, overall food safety is improving, according to Keri Dawson, vice president of industry solutions and advisory services with MetricStream, a vendor of governance, risk and compliance software.

Companies are encouraged to be more proactive in tackling fraud in the food supply chain, and food suppliers need to be increasingly vigilant with food handling. Additionally, toxins, pesticides and other chemicals introduced in to the food supply chain are coming under greater scrutiny.

[Read more… Curated from Supply Chain Brain]


December 30, 2014

UPS Expects to Handle 4 Million e-commerce Gift Returns

Filed under: Logistics,News,Newsletter,Reverse Logistics — admin @ 11:13 am

16915sWith the uptick in online shopping, UPS expects consumers to return more than 800,000 packages to retailers and merchants during the weekend of National Return Day. By the end of January, UPS predicts that it will have carried 4 million return packages in the U.S.

as internet shopping has grown, no-hassle returns have become essential to the online shopper. Free shipping labels have made it easy to return unwanted gifts.

He said 66 percent of consumers review a retailer’s return policy before making a purchase, and 68 percent said they would complete an online purchase if the retailer offered a free return shipping label.

[Read more… Curated from Air Cargo World]


December 28, 2014

After-Sales Service, Parts Management to Become More Important to Manufacturers’ Profitability, Report Says

logistics serviceAs manufacturers continue to competitively differentiate themselves within various industry settings, after-sales service will increasingly become more important in their overall business and profitability strategy, according to Business Strategy: Spare Parts Planning for Service Excellence, a report from IDC Manufacturing Insights. In fact, many discrete manufacturers can expect to capture upward of 30 percent of revenue from service and service-based product strategies.

“In the coming years, manufacturers will continue to provide both competitive differentiation and higher margins by bundling or providing added services with products, including product-as-a-service business models where customers pay for product operational uptime and performance, over time,” said Heather Ashton, research manager, Service Innovation and Connected Products, IDC Manufacturing Insights. “[We predict] that by 2020, onboard service revenue will outpace product-related revenue by a factor of two. Customers benefit from such service programs through optimized usage of equipment and products, higher productivity and decreased support costs.”

[Read more… Curated from Supply Chain Brain]


December 1, 2014

Technologies Provide Huge Savings for Retailers When Items Returned

ReverseReturned merchandise, which retailers have to discount or even dump, end up costing U.S. merchants as much as $20bn a year, and are a “ticking time bomb” that threatens retailers’ profitability. To avoid that blowup, merchants are turning to new technologies.

With Christmas fast approaching, Stage Stores (SSI) is busily stocking its 866 stores, in small towns and neighborhoods across the U.S., with the sweaters, dresses, and footwear that are gift-giving staples during the holiday season. But the Houston-based retailer is also preparing for a second, less-loved surge: that of the inevitable postholiday returns. Stage’s average rate of return throughout the year is about 7 percent of sales in its physical stores and about 11 percent online, adjusted for exchanges. Over the holidays, those figures grow. (Many merchants keep the exact increase a secret.) Says Steven Hunter, chief information officer at Stage: “Holiday returns for any retailer can be challenging.”

Returned apparel often is no longer in season, or items are brought back to locations that don’t need them. That means fewer than half can be resold at full price, finds researcher Gartner (IT). Retailers have to discount or even dump the rest—so returns end up costing U.S. merchants as much as $20 billion a year, says Sucharita Mulpuru, an analyst at Forrester Research.

Gartner recently called returns “the ticking time bomb” that threatens retailers’ profitability. To avoid that blowup, merchants are turning to new technologies. Online apparel seller Revolve, using software from OrderDynamics that tracks returns by week, brand, and product size, recently determined that a size chart for a new brand it was carrying wasn’t standard, so items didn’t fit well. The retailer replaced the chart, and the problem was solved. “A 1 percent reduction in returns can translate into a half-percent of additional profitability for the company,” says David Pujades, Revolve’s chief operating officer. “It’s a great area of focus. For us, there’s money there.”

[Read more… Curated from Business Week]


April 14, 2014

Managing Retail Returns: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Retailers have to cope with all kinds of returns—from apparel that just didn’t suit the customer, to expired products that are no longer saleable, to recalls endangering public safety. Here’s how retailers handle this range of returned goods to recover maximum value.

The forward side of retail logistics spends September through December moving high volumes of goods into stores and e-commerce distribution centers. For reverse logistics, however, it’s all about January, February, and March.

That’s when the good, the bad, and the ugly post-holiday returns hit: damaged, unwanted, outmoded, leaking, spoiled, or counterfeit merchandise that pours back into retail stores and returns consolidation centers, accounting for 40 to 60 percent of the year’s returns. It is up to retail’s reverse logistics operations to separate the wheat from the chafe, performing triage and processing it all to reduce costs and mitigate loss.

[Read more… Curated from Inbound Logistics]


March 15, 2014

How to Profit from Outsourcing

Outsourcing reverse logistics to a third-party logistics provider offers shippers flexibility and cost savings.

More companies outsource the reverse logistics function than any other part of the supply chain. In fact, most Fortune 1000 retailers and consumer goods manufacturers outsource part or all of their reverse logistics processes, and experts expect this trend to continue growing globally over the next 20 years.

Why do companies such as Walmart, Dell, Target, HP, Unilever, Pfizer, The Home Depot, and Dollar General outsource reverse logistics when they have well-developed forward supply chain capabilities? Why would some of the sharpest supply chain minds in the world decide to outsource reverse logistics?

The answer is: profits.

[Read full article – Curated from Inbound Logistics]


August 20, 2013

What to do in the event of a Marine Cargo Claim

In the last few months a few of our members have approached the Society on what should be done when they find themselves in the unfortunate situation of receiving a shipment that has been damaged. This is a summary of what the consignee of the cargo should do.

• On taking receipt of a container at port it is the haulier’s responsibility to check the external appearance and condition of the container and check that the seal and container numbers match those on the Bill of Lading. Any issues or discrepancies should be recorded on the interchange report and signed by a port representative.

• The consignee of the shipment should also perform the same checks when the container is delivered to their premises or the unstuffing location.

• If there are any issues with the condition of the container i.e. significant external damage that may have caused damage to the contents, the consignee should leave the container sealed and unopened, take photos of the problem(s), and notify the Shipping Line’s local office as soon as possible. Do not accept or unstuff the container unless agreed with the shipping line and the carrier should be asked to confirm any agreement in writing.

Failure to notify carrier’s local office could jeopardise any claim, as the carrier must be given the opportunity to survey the container, prior to discharge or release of the container.

• If the seal number is different to that on the Bill of Lading, consignee should notify the carrier’s local office and the shipper to seek an explanation prior to breaking the seal.

• If the container is delivered without a seal or if the seal is broken, the consignee should suspect loss or damage – Do not discharge! Instead, call the carrier’s local office and ask if they wish to arrange a survey or to give approval to take pictures and discharge. You should ask the carrier to confirm this in writing. This should be done prior to contacting the shipper.

• Likewise if the container number differs to that on the Bill of Lading, the consignee should notify the carrier’s local office and the shipper. Do not open the container!

• On opening the container, if the product is damaged the customer should notify the carrier’s local office and take photos of the product, prior to unstuffing the container. Any claim for damage caused by the customer moving the goods will not be accepted.

Failure to notify carrier’s local office could jeopardise any claim, as the carrier must be given the opportunity to survey the container, prior to discharge or release of the container.

Documents Required When Submitting a Claim

The following documents will be required for each cargo claim for loss or damage.

• Itemised Claim Statement. On your letterhead, detailing the extent of loss and TOTAL VALUE of your claim.

• Copy Bill of Lading – including a copy of the reverse side showing applicable Standard Trading Conditions (STC’s)

• Shippers Commercial Invoice

• Shippers Packing List

• Copies of all available delivery receipts

• Copy of written claim made against Shipping Line together with their reply

• Certificate of Insurance (if insurance has been purchased for this shipment)

The above guidelines and documentary requirements are by no means meant to be an exhaustive list.

Handling a cargo claim could be a complicated issue.

For more advice on how to proceed, you should contact your underwriter or the Logistics Department within your company as soon as you are aware of a potential claim.


June 10, 2013

LogisSYM 2013 to address impact of 3D printing on Supply Chain industry

At the end of 2012, we were asked to give our outlook as to what 2013 would look like. Collaboration and more advanced methodologies of this such as Combined Distribution Networks or Horizontal Integration would be further developed. Oversupply and fuel prices would be a challenge for carriers. We have just seen a recent casualty of this with STX Pan Ocean going into receivership. We also indicated that in the area of technology and concepts to watch, we will see more interesting developments in 3D printing.

The prediction was that the application and market viability of 3D printing will be much faster than that of RFID and this future game changer will make some headway in 2013. Based on the recent buzz created by Singapore start-up Pirate 3D to raise US$100,000 in the first ten minutes after it made it’s debut on crowd funding website Kickstarter, it looks like this prediction had some merit.

The application and use of 3D printing technology is far reaching. The National University Hospital in Singapore also announced last week the purchase of a 3-D printer which helps them hold an exact model of a patient’s face in their hands to aid in the reconstructive and implant surgery.

At the rapid pace of development, 3D printing has the potential to change conventional Supply Chain models as we know it.

Local Manufacturing – More things will be made closer to their final destination. This will have definite impact on the logistics industry, and will change the way business try and schedule their operations.

Customisability – It will be easier, faster, and more efficient for companies to provide made-to-order products to their end users. A significant beneficiary will be Reverse Logistics pipelines.

Distribution of raw materials – There will need to be a dramatic shift in the way raw materials are distributed since these printers will require raw materials in order to produce the final product.

New replacement parts model – Business will be able to provide replacement parts as required instead of trying to predict the need and manufacture the stock well in advance (as they do today) and hold inventories in remote stocking locations.

Blurred boundaries within businesses – A closer integration of the various departments of an organization will be mandatory. A silo manufacturing department will no longer allow for a competitive business model as the technology transverse different parts of the business.

3D printing will definitely make the supply chain more complex and more difficult to manage but will inversely present us with larger opportunities for optimization and integration.

The companies that succeed through this transition will be the ones that adapt early and leverage the tools they need in order to manage this even more complex Supply Chain. There will need to be even tighter integration with all aspects of Supply Chain from S&OP to Project Management to collaboration amongst suppliers and customers.

Better visibility of the supply chain will be mandatory in order to understand how it is changing. But even more important will be the ability to analyse options and make proactive decisions based on the real data available at the time.

It is an exciting development for our industry and at LogiSYM2013, this development will be discussed at length, not only with thought leaders and academics but also with technology providers in this space. For more information or to register, please send us an email at


November 15, 2007

Discussion Forum – hot, Hot, HOT!

Filed under: Logistics,Reverse Logistics,Supply Chain Management — admin @ 2:43 am

We recently launched our discussion forum through Google Groups and discussions have been going hot! Some of the topics that have been addressed to date include:

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