Freight brokers have seen net operating profits increase 23% year over year in the second quarter, and purchased transport costs for dry van services climbed 37%, according to a survey from DAT Solutions. Cost controls along with strong volume growth have helped brokers offset increasing freight rates.
Leaders have to do a lot of talking, but they need to remember when to stop and listen, writes Peter Tourian, CEO of SYNERGY HomeCare. Otherwise, they'll miss out on valuable insight from customers, employees and other stakeholders about how to improve their business, he writes.
Avnet has realized in recent years that it needs to be involved earlier in the product life cycle, says CEO William Amelio. "We've now had four quarters in a row where we either beat or met our commitments," he says.
Applied Industrial Technologies' profitable fourth quarter saw sales increase by 31.7%, largely driven by purchasing FCX Performance. The company posted a full-year profit of $141.6 million on revenue of $3.07 billion, with both figures up from fiscal 2017.
Strong relationships with suppliers and carriers can help companies better manage inbound logistics, as can emphasizing full truckloads and creating dynamic rate allowances, writes Kuebix President Dan Clark. "Unloading 10 to 14 different LTL shipments can be five times the cost of unloading a single truckload," he writes.
Chinese recyclers of copper and other materials are diverting US scrap shipments before China's 25% tariff on such imported materials goes into effect Aug. 23. "The impact will be draconian on both US scrap processors and Chinese consumers," said consultant Michael Lion.
Gold Medal Group has proposed to relocate a Philadelphia facility next to a solid-waste management facility. The plan is to use biological-enzyme and mechanical processes to turn mixed waste into a fuel that can be used in such industrial uses as cement kilns, says executive Mike Schmidt.
Up to $120 billion of value from plastic packaging is wasted each year, with 72% of such material not being recovered, according to the World Economic Forum. Digital platforms can help companies collaborate, track and trace production materials and measure the impact of their circular strategies, writes SAP's Stefan Guertzgen.
Alba IWS, contracted by Hong Kong to handle disposal of electrical appliances, says it can handle 30,000 metric tons of waste each year. The company offers free collection services and runs a plan for processing such waste.
Outsourcing higher-level functions can help materials and energy companies optimize their operations, but they have to be careful not to rely too much on suppliers or their proprietary technologies, write Calin Buia, Christiaan Heyning and Fiona Lander of McKinsey. They offer three rules for outsourcing: Use flexible contracts, keep data in-house and work with multiple suppliers to foster healthy competition.