Savvy Supply Chain Solutions

Industry Insights From the IDS Logistics Team


IDS Logistics and Transportation 2012: A Year In Review (Looking Ahead at 2013)

“Where was I? – looking ahead. What has me writing this? – looking behind.” Also a little looking forward still!

As we reflect on IDS’s 2012, a few (or more) main themes are apparent:

1. It was a roller coaster of a year: We had some very strong months and months where sales were [...]

Sustainable Logistics Initiative

A lot has been written and discussed lately about the Green Supply Chain. The concept is getting more traction because, at a time when everyone is looking for ways to reduce costs, many are finding that it pays to be eco-friendly. Fulfillment centers can achieve noticeable cost savings through simple steps such as recycling [...]

Do you really know Intermodal? A Look at the Misconceptions

What do you think of when you hear the word ‘intermodal’…slow, unreliable, complicated???

There are many forms of intermodal transportation. The type of intermodal we are addressing is where a truck handles both ends of the shipment for a pickup and delivery, with the long-haul being run over the rail. The railroads have made [...]

Challenging the ATA: The Intermodal ‘Prospective’

As a part of my morning routine, I typically scour the internet across various websites and social media outlets to catch up on the current events in our industry. Over the past couple weeks, there has been one topic that has captured the headlines of numerous industry articles and created a real buzz online.

On May 11th The American Trucking Association (ATA) issued a report titled ATA US Freight Transportation Forecast to 2021.  The report indicates that the US freight economy, particularly the trucking industry, is poised to take off as the nation recovers from the worst recession in the post-war era.

Continue reading Challenging the ATA: The Intermodal ‘Prospective’

Solutions to Increasing Fuel Costs

Below is an article written by Fred Smith, FedEx President & CEO, which first appeared in The Financial Times on May 9, 2011. We’ve taken the liberty of providing additional comments to consider as fuel continues to rise.

It is tempting to say that the headlines about rising fuel prices, Libya and other events in the Middle East will be a wake-up call to the dangers of oil dependence. But such calls have been repeated for almost 40 years, and yet the vulnerability – both in the US and across the globe – remains.

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IDS Named Mira Award Finalist

Just recently Integrated Distribution Services (IDS) was named a Techpoint Mira Awards finalist for their contribution to state of Indiana through technology-related economy. The Mira Awards honor individuals, schools, universities, businesses, and entrepreneurs for their contribution not only through technology, but also the way the promote technology within the Indiana Economy.

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Diesel Prices Continue to Surge

The price of diesel surged 15.5 cents per gallen last week to $3.871. Now the second week in a row the increase was as large as any seen since 2008. The diesel price increases experienced in the past 15 weeks has been 22.4 percent, or 70.9 cents, according to figures from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Two options IDS  offers clients to lessen the impact of rising fuel are:

Continue reading Diesel Prices Continue to Surge

Intermodal Continues to Make Gains

Domestic intermodal traffic continues to rise. January marks the 13th consecutive month of year-over-year gains. COFC (53′ domestic containers) increased 7.6% to 342,616 containers. Rising fuel prices, additional COFC boxes added to the market, upward OTR rate pressures and continued improvement on intermodal transit times are sure to assist in further increases throughout 2011.

The “Shift” to Intermodal is On

An article in this month’s Journal of Commerce Magazine highlights a real shift in the way intermodal is seen by, and supported by, the government. The Obama administration has a stated goal of getting more trucks off the road and, as Deputy Transportation Secretary John Porcari said, to “keep movement on water as long as possible, and then on rail as long as possible, and truck it for the last miles.” Their ultimate goal is to shift 25 percent of freight traffic from trucks to rail with a potential fuel savings of 15 billion gallons per year.

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High Speed Passenger Rail May Benefit Freight Too

Under the American Recover and Reinvestment Act, President Obama and the White House awarded $8 billion to 31 states for development of high speed rail along 13 key transportation corridors. Many lauded the move as long overdue given how passenger rail in other parts of the world is much more advanced than here in the U.S. Environmentalists liked the idea of reducing cars on the road and thereby greenhouse gas emissions. Economists saw it as another move to reduce dependence on foreign oil. And, freight transporters saw some real benefits too.

Continue reading High Speed Passenger Rail May Help Freight Too