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Intelligent Supply Chain Solutions from iGPS

The Circular Economy and Packaging: How Reusable Shipping Materials Can Close the Loop

Circular economies have always been with us. The world’s natural systems are constantly recycling minerals, nutrients, and energy. Early human civilizations developed with the help of these natural cycles. What has been changing since the industrial revolution is that the global economy has vastly outstripped the pace at which these natural systems can work. The…

The Most Popular Pallet Material Types

Pallet material types are as diverse as the products pallets carry. Some pallet materials are popular due to their low price point. Others provide high durability and weight capacity for shipping heavy loads. Some, like softwood stringer pallets, work fine for short one-way trips, while others, like plastic and metal platforms, are more durable for…

What Are the Benefits of Heat-Treated Pallets?

Companies that do a lot of international business are very familiar with the benefits of heat-treated pallets. These specially treated pallets—intended to eliminate insect infestation— are required to comply with international export standards. Besides being mandatory for exports, heat-treated pallets are also less prone to wood rot and other issues because of their lower moisture…

Improving Automated Storage and Retrieval System Safety

Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems (ASRS) are one of the newest and most impressive innovations among the myriad marvels of the global logistics chain. These automated systems palletize, store, and retrieve products with unmatched speed and precision, vastly increasing throughput and ensuring process controls are consistently followed. The use of these systems and other forms…

5 Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Best Practices

When it comes to supply chains, the pharmaceutical supply chain is probably the most heavily regulated of all–and for good reason. Even the smallest error in shipping and storage can impact the efficacy of a product and put lives at risk. Adhering to pharmaceutical supply chain best practices is crucial to ensure pharmaceuticals are delivered…

How to Optimize Your Warehouse Automation ROI

If you’ve implemented automation in your warehouse or are considering doing so, you know that pinning down hard numbers for an expected return on investment (ROI) can be tricky. Considering only the cost of technology leaves out other, less obvious costs, like the need to adjust the warehouse floor layout or support ongoing maintenance. By…

What Are Plastic Pallets Used for and When Should You Use Them?

Plastic pallets are rapidly becoming the platform of choice for many companies. As supply chain managers see them used more and more frequently in place of traditional wood pallets, they may wonder what plastic pallets are used for, when they should be used, and what logistics problems they solve. The short answer is that plastic…

How to Dispose of Pallets

A cost-effective answer to the question of how to dispose of pallets can be hard to find. Most retailers, warehouse managers, and manufacturers have had to deal with a big pile of unusable pallets wasting space on their floor or near their loading docks. Often, these pallets are left to sit because getting rid of…

How to Keep Track of Pallets: Tips on Tracking and Managing Assets

If you’re wondering how to keep track of pallets, you’re not alone. The ability to keep tabs on a pallet of goods as it moves through the supply chain is an enormous advantage for many industries, particularly those dealing with sensitive or perishable products, such as pharmaceuticals or fresh food. And as regulations mandating traceability…

5 Ways to Increase Traceability in the Food Industry

Food producers, grocery stores, and restaurants are increasingly concerned about traceability in the food industry for two big reasons: they want to be able to assure customers that products are safe if an outbreak of foodborne illness or contamination occurs, and they need to be able to quickly remove unsafe food from their shelves and…

Supply Chain Management for the Circular Economy: Reducing Waste and Lowering Costs

Supply chain management in the circular economy focuses on eliminating waste to improve operational efficiency and cut costs. Finding opportunities to create and support a circular supply chain requires that businesses audit their processes, labor pools, and the tools that support them. By reviewing these elements with a critical eye, most supply chain managers will…

The 4-Way vs. the 2-Way Pallet: How to Choose a Pallet Type

Comparing the 4-way pallet vs. the 2-way pallet, it’s obvious that the main difference between the two pallet types has to do with forklift entry. Two-way pallets are only accessible to a forklift from two sides, while 4-way pallets are accessible from all four sides. This design difference will affect how, and in some cases…

How to Improve the Warehouse Shipping Process

On its surface, the warehouse shipping process is simple. The customer places an order, the warehouse management system (WMS) generates a pick order, and a warehouseman follows the pick order, pulls the items needed from inventory, and brings them all to packing. The packing department boxes everything up, palletizes the load, and it all ships…

Reducing Food Waste in the Supply Chain

Food waste is a growing problem. It’s estimated that by 2030, total annual losses due to food waste could reach $1.5 trillion globally. Misuse of resources is one part of this problem, as when manufacturers overproduce or overstock items that go bad before sale. However, much of this food waste takes place before products ever…

The Disadvantages of Wood Pallets: Why Wood Isn’t for Everyone

Anyone who has worked in logistics knows that wood pallets have their place in the supply chain and always will. However, the disadvantages of wood pallets are clear, especially in highly regulated industries like food and pharmaceuticals. In these cases, switching from wood to an alternative pallet material like plastic can reduce the likelihood of…

How Much Do Wood Pallets Cost?

We’ve all had the experience of finding a great deal on a product or tool and then finding out that it doesn’t work nearly as well as we thought it would. We’re left spending extra time trying to make it work, buying add-ons to improve functionality, or finally giving up and buying the product whose…

Hardwood Pallets Vs. Pine Pallets: Which One Is Right for Your Business?

If you’re comparing hardwood pallets vs. pine platforms, you’ll most likely end up choosing between durability or affordability. While hardwood offers a level of longevity, softwoods like pine are cheap enough that lightweight stringer pallets are often used only once before being abandoned at the end of the supply chain. Yet in choosing between these…

How Improving Supply Chain Visibility Via Technology Keeps You Competitive

Thirty years ago, before ecommerce existed, if you decided to buy something you saw advertised on television, you’d quickly write down the number to call, give your information to the operators on the phone, and four to six weeks later–after you’d forgotten all about it–the product you’d ordered would arrive. Today, to get the same…

Tips and Tricks for Managing Pallet Inventory

It takes literally billions of pallets to keep supply chains in the United States moving. Hundreds of millions of new pallets are produced every year just to maintain the numbers needed to keep the stream of goods flowing from manufacturers to retailers and consumers. Even a single manufacturer or distributor deals with a huge number…

Why Your Aftermarket Logistics Strategy Is So Important

Aftermarket logistics is a phrase subject to some confusion. Auto parts dominate many people’s understanding of the term aftermarket, and while brake, supercharger, and spoiler kits can be a part of aftermarket logistics, an aftermarket logistics strategy is about more than automobile parts. The term is actually nearly synonymous with the reverse supply chain. Aftermarket…

How Long Is a Plastic Pallet’s Lifespan?

Because of its strength, durability, and resistance to liquids, a plastic pallet’s lifespan can be more than double that of its wood counterpart–up to ten years, depending on how it’s maintained, the weight it carries, and how often it’s used, among other factors. Often, the superior longevity of plastic pallets is what drives supply chain…

FDA Pallet Requirements: Finding a Pallet for Sanitary Transportation of Food

Recently, the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) has expanded the responsibility of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for ensuring food safety to encompass all parts of the food supply chain, including transportation. Along with this legislation has come a raft of new FDA requirements, many of which are still being ironed out. The FSMA…

DSCSA Requirements for Manufacturers and What They Might Mean for You

In February of 2019, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued its first warning letter under the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) to McKesson Corporation for failing to identify, quarantine, and investigate suspect pharmaceuticals. Under the DSCSA, pharmaceutical manufacturers and others in the pharma supply chain must have systems in place to track drugs…

Preventing Foreign Material Contamination in Foods

Recently, the risk of contamination in the food supply chain was underlined when Tyson Foods recalled more than 36,000 pounds of chicken nuggets due to potential rubber contamination. While no one was hurt and only a few people reported finding small pieces of blue rubber in the packages of nuggets, the recall still cost Tyson…

Omnichannel Supply Chain Solutions: Optimizing for Omnichannel Fulfillment

Omnichannel fulfillment–fulfillment of an order through multiple possible channels–is no longer just a trend in retail, it’s a necessity. Customers expect to be able to order items from anywhere and they want delivery locations to be just as flexible. This presents challenges for companies who want to deliver items quickly but may not have the…

Wood Pallet Alternatives: Why Wood Isn’t the Best Pallet Material

Wood shipping pallets have long been the standard in most supply chains purely because there was no viable alternative. While other options are now available, wood pallets are still in wide use simply because many companies aren’t familiar with the alternatives and continuing to use wood is the path of least resistance. However, there are…

Tips on Logistics Management: Keeping Your Supply Chain Running Smoothly

The world dangles in a web of very long threads–these are the various supply chains that keep food in our refrigerators, deliver the refrigerators to the stores in the first place, and keep the power plants that allow the refrigerators to run stocked with fuel. If any thread in this interconnected web comes loose, the…

3 Warehouse Cost Reduction Ideas That Will Trim Expenses

You’ve probably noticed that supply chains everywhere are undergoing significant changes. Technology is widely available that allows us to automate tasks, coordinate shipments, and reduce labor costs, and many warehouse managers have chosen to implement these technologies in order to streamline their processes. But automation isn’t the only option for reducing costs in the warehouse.…

Tips to Reduce Dust in Your Warehouse

One of the constants of working in a warehouse is dirt and dust; even if you work mostly in a warehouse office as a supervisor or logistics manager, you’ll still be familiar with the gritty feeling of dirt under your collar at the end of the day and the crunch of warehouse debris beneath your…

Reverse Logistics in the Food Industry: How to Make Reuse Easy

Discussions of logistics in the food industry are overwhelmingly concerned with the forward supply chain, that is, getting products from farms or factories to retailers where they can be sold. But these supply chain operations are only half of the logistics system. Once food products arrive at markets, something has to happen to the shipping…

Why You Need a Pallet Management Company

Logistics professionals of all types have a lot on their minds. Deadlines for shipping products out, delays in the arrival of components, and the complex logistics of product storage all compete for attention. It’s no wonder that pallets aren’t given much thought, even though they are the basic load unit around which all things in…

Create a Circular Business Model by Focusing on Your Supply Chain

It’s estimated that there are more than 7.5 billion people alive in the world today. A person born in 1960 has seen the global population more than double in the time they’ve been alive. The world population is expected to peak at around 9 billion in 2070, and it will be a serious challenge to…

How Much Does a Plastic Pallet Cost?

If you’re asking, “How much does a plastic pallet cost?”, chances are you’re considering making some decisions for your business and supply chain that aren’t very cost effective. That’s not because there’s anything wrong with plastic pallets; in fact, they’re the best kind to use when it comes to reducing your total cost of business…

What Is the Weight of a Standard Pallet?

Standard wood pallets are made by large-scale companies and small local shops, out of hardwood or softwood. The design is roughly the same from pallet to pallet, but the variables involved mean that two different standard pallets may have very different weights. For these reasons, those asking “What is the weight of a standard pallet?”…

Kaizen Ideas for the Warehouse That Will Improve Productivity

Kaizen business strategies have come a long way since their implementation on Toyota factory floors in 1948. The company adopted kaizen as one of its principles when it established the “Toyota Way,” which most experts consider the gold standard in Lean manufacturing. Kaizen ensures businesses grow by focusing not just on eliminating waste, but also…

Idle Pallet Storage: What You Need to Know to Keep Your Warehouse Safe

Whether they belong to your company’s internal pallet pool or are merely waiting to be disposed of, tall stacks of pallets are almost inevitable at warehouses and distribution centers. The location of these pallet stacks is also often haphazard, as employees pile pallets wherever they can in order to free up space. But idle shipping…

Pallet Industry Trends and What They Mean for Your Supply Chain

There is little doubt that our world is changing. Technology has made a lifestyle that would have been unimaginable a decade ago an everyday reality. Films and communications are available wherever we happen to find ourselves, and the furnishings, food, and devices that we fill our homes with are ordered online and delivered with just…

5 Supply Chain Improvement Opportunities That Can Lower Costs

Logistics is often the most expensive part of running a business. That broad term covers the processing, storage, and transportation of not only your products but also the components or ingredients used to make them. If any one of those elements isn’t perfectly coordinated with the others, your Total Cost of Business (TCOB) can needlessly…

Pallet Requirements for Export: What to Know

It’s exciting when your product finds a new market overseas. Finding a niche at home makes a successful business, but a market abroad makes your brand global–even if that new market is just across the border in Canada or Mexico. But exporting does come with a more complicated supply chain, as well as various requirements…

How to Improve Food Traceability with the Right Shipping Pallet

On the 13th of March in 2018, the first illness in what would become a national outbreak of E. coli linked to romaine lettuce was reported. The outbreak went on for four months before ending in June and 210 people in 36 states were affected. Even though the outbreak was traced back to farms in…

How to Build an Ethical Supply Chain (and Why)

Over 80 percent of U.S. consumers say they would buy from a company that advocated for a cause they cared about and 75 percent say they would refuse to purchase from a company that supported a cause they disagreed with. Americans are increasingly making statements with their purchases. They want to be sure that the…

Why Choose a Pooled Pallet Rental Program?

There’s a reason most of the large companies you can think of depend on a pallet rental program for the shipping pallets they need to deliver their goods. Pallets are absolutely critical to the supply chain and have been for nearly a century, yet despite this, few companies have mastered the art of pallet management.…

Shipping Pallet Market Analysis and Trends

Analyzing the shipping pallet market is a difficult task, and drawing firm conclusions about future trends is harder still. The pallet market is divided into two separate worlds: that of large pallet pools which offer multi-use pallets on an international scale, and the more fragmented world of single-use stringer pallets. Making things even more complicated,…

Plastic vs. Wood Pallets: Choosing a Shipping Pallet Material

Executives paid more attention to the supply chain in 2018 than they have in decades. One big reason was increasing transportation costs, which will continue to threaten profit margins into 2019 as contributing factors, like the truck driver shortage, persist. There is a silver lining to all this, though. Logistics operations have been conducted for…

ISPM Pallets: Bypassing Wood Pallet Requirements for ISPM 15

If you’ve ever been on the Gulf Coast on a humid summer night just after dusk, you may have noticed clouds of insects swarming every light source, buzzing around faces, and crunching underfoot. These winged creatures haunting the coast are not moths or mosquitoes, but Formosan termites, an invasive pest that causes millions of dollars…

Deep Lane Storage: When to Choose High-Density Automated Warehouse Storage

The modern supply chain is complicated, to say the least. A variety of products from locations thousands of miles apart arrive at the same warehouse to be processed and shipped off to locations that are also thousands of miles apart. Keeping track of these products and finding slots that keep different product types separate and…

Optimizing the Grocery Supply Chain

Most of the attention-grabbing headlines around the grocery supply chain have to do with Amazon, Whole Foods, and the future of grocery delivery to the home. It’s a tricky model to get right, and even Amazon hasn’t quite managed to make home grocery delivery safe, profitable, and attractive for the general public. Yet, in spite…

Pharmaceutical Warehouse Requirements: How to Design Pharma Storage and Retrieval

It’s something of an old saw that logistics is understudied, but it is true. Businesses, the public, and even regulators tend to pay little attention to the details of getting products from point A to point B. The Code of Federal Regulations for Food and Drugs Title 21 has many pages dedicated to the application…

Building a Safe, Efficient Egg Supply Chain

Growing up, my grandfather was famous for his sneer of disdain whenever he was presented with a chicken dinner. It resembled Elvis’ own sneer and to this day is the purest expression of distaste I’ve ever seen. The reason for it was that as the youngest son of the family, my grandfather was tasked with…

How to Increase Warehouse Efficiency

The order is due out by 5 pm. Two of your forklift drivers are out with the flu and the rest are coming down with it. Your warehouse has slowed to a crawl, your employees have just started their lunch break, and the future of the company depends on shipping out this order on time.…

Warehouse Pest Control: Preventing and Managing Common Pests

Working in a steel yard, I and the other workers were bedeviled by what we assumed were droppings from an insect or spider. The ghostly white hairy oblongs were everywhere around the outdoor stacks where we kept our steel channel, tubing, and other raw materials. We would also find them in the stacks of pallets…

Automated Case Picking: Using Automation to Create Mixed-Case Pallets

When the financial crisis hit in 2008, I took advantage of my G.I. Bill and student aid to go back to school. But I still had to make payments and was often forced to do day labor in order to make ends meet. One of the most commonly available jobs was in the warehouse of…

Will There Be a Truck Driver Shortage in 2019?

Transportation costs are rising–and have been for some time–across all industries. The economy is growing, and as business picks up, more freight has to be carried on the same number of trailers and trains. It’s a cycle that the country has seen many times before. In recent years, however, other factors have also come into…

Deadhead Trucking: Avoiding Empty Miles

No one in logistics likes deadhead trucking. The term refers to driving a big rig without a load, and when trucks are driven empty no one is making money from the trip. In fact, since the truck is burning fuel without transporting product, a deadhead trip actually loses money. If the driver is an hourly…

How to Use Warehouse Picking Best Practices

Warehouse picking is the simple act of pulling product loads out of inventory. However, picking the right loads and doing so speedily without wasting time double-checking manifests can be complicated. The difficulty of the task scales up with the size of the warehouse, the density of the product it contains, and the number of different…

How Does Pallet Pooling Work?

If you work in logistics, you’ve probably had to deal with pallets quite a bit. You know how hard it can be to find an economical way of returning them to the start of the supply chain for reuse. You’ve dealt with the hassle of sorting them, stacking them, and getting rid of unusable pallets,…

Finding Cost-Effective Pallet Management Strategies

If you’ve spent any amount of time around a grocery store or other packaged goods retailer, you know that abandoned pallets are a common sight. Orphaned pallets can often be found propped against the back walls of retail stores where drivers abandoned them after delivery. To dispose of the pallets, the retailer will generally end…

How to Sanitize Plastic Pallets: Keeping Your Supply Chain Hygienic

Across this great land, piled behind millions of grocery and department stores, are millions of reusable wood block pallets. At many of those stores, teenagers working their first jobs have been ordered to add another pallet to the stack out back, and are thinking, “Ew, I have to touch that?” Wood pallets easily collect grime…

Dealing with and Preventing Rejected Loads

Having worked in the supply chain, I can vouch for the fact that rejected loads are one of the things that truckers hate most. After a journey across the state or even the country, it’s a blow to arrive at your destination only to find that the receiver won’t accept a portion or the entirety…

What Is Palletizing?

Anyone who has worked in logistics and had to explain a situation in the field has probably been frustrated by the way their phone’s autocorrect changes the word “pallets” to “palates” or “palettes.” The shipping pallet just isn’t discussed or appreciated by the average consumer. But just as important as pallets–and just as unheralded–is what…

The Advantages and Disadvantages of an ASRS

Heavy equipment operators are a famously hardheaded lot, given to trusting their skills with the forklift over anything else. I know at least a couple warehouse supervisors and logistics coordinators who have heard an almighty crash and emerged from their offices to find products all over the warehouse floor and a sheepish forklift operator trying…

The Warehouse of the Future: Planning for Intelligent Transformation

Twenty years ago, a warehouse worker would wake up, fill a thermos with coffee, and hop into his car to drive to work. He might run into traffic on the way there and flip through radio stations looking for a good song. When he arrived at the warehouse, he would get the day’s paperwork from…

Warehouse Racking Safety Guidelines: Satisfying OSHA

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is something of a bogeyman to most employers. While the agency has an important job—keeping workplaces and workers safe—its rules are often nuanced, detailed, and hard to follow, making it easy to accidentally violate an obscure rule. Violations usually carry steep penalties, so large companies pour resources into…

Following Lean Warehousing Principles for Improved Efficiency

Many logistics coordinators see their main task as ensuring that there is enough inventory on hand at all times to meet demands. Their biggest concern is running short of products or components, leaving them unable to meet customers’ needs. However, an excess of inventory is also a problem that can leave your warehouses and distribution…

How to Keep a Warehouse Clean

One of the constants of working in a warehouse is grit, grime, and miscellaneous trash that no one really knows the source of. Keeping a warehouse clean is an ongoing struggle, and one that is becoming more and more important. A dirty or cluttered warehouse is not only an eyesore and a safety hazard, but…

Cold Chain Best Practices: Tips for Temperature-Sensitive Products

The cold chain is likely the most unforgiving supply chain in logistics, and it isn’t hard to understand why. It’s energy intensive to run cooling systems in storage and transportation, and the environment between transportation vehicles and storage areas is often uncontrolled and, indeed, uncontrollable. As a result, the weather can affect the viability of…

The Block Pallet vs. Stringer Pallet: Choosing a Platform for Your Product

Having the right shipping pallet for your products is vitally important to ensuring those products move through the supply chain safely. A reliable pallet makes the difference between swiftly moving product off the truck and to its next destination, and picking single inventory items off the floor of the receiving dock because of pallet failure.…

AGVs in the Warehouse: What to Know About Implementing Autonomous Guided Vehicles

If you work in logistics, you may have noticed that you had to pay entry level warehouse workers more to start this year, and that even with the extra pay you had more trouble filling your ranks than in the past. Being short-handed may have left you struggling to meet quotas or perform compliance checks…

Good Warehouse Practices in the Pharmaceutical Industry

Losses associated with temperature lapses in the pharmaceutical supply chain are estimated at $320 billion globally, a number larger than the combined market valuation of Visa, Intel, and Walmart. Plainly, reliable supply chains are critically important for the profitability of the pharmaceutical industry and for the safety of consumers. While the medical professionals who administer…

Supply Chain Trends for 2018: The Future of Logistics

It’s been a good year for business. In April 2018, the unemployment rate dipped below the four percent mark for the first time in over a decade, and those employees have started to spend their wages. The supply chain has sprung to life to provide consumers with the products they demand. It’s a heartening sign…

Using Lean Supply Chain Management to Eliminate Waste

It wasn’t very long ago that warehouses in every industry stored not only what was ordered, but also a generous surplus of products in order to meet unexpected demand. It was a method that complicated purchasing and forced warehouses to work around lots of unsold goods, leading to waste when out-of-date groceries and pharmaceuticals had…

GMA Pallet Grades: How and Why Are Pallets Graded?

The Second World War revolutionized supply technology. The Allies created a global supply chain to keep their armies around the world stocked with food, ammunition, and machinery. The wood pallet—at the time a revolutionary concept in a 48”x48” square—carried most of these goods to battlefronts around the world. After the war, the revolutionary pallet concept…

Maximizing Warehouse Space to Make the Most of Your Building

A warehouse only operates at peak efficiency when the warehouse manager is able to play live-action Tetris in three dimensions in order to find space for inventory. This difficult job isn’t made easier by the warehouse manager’s distance from the company’s decision makers. Many at the executive level pay little attention to logistics systems. A…

How to Stack Empty Pallets Safely

When a pallet is emptied at your warehouse or distribution center, chances are good it’ll be used again. This means that pallets start to accumulate around the loading docks until enough pile up to make it worthwhile to ship them back up the supply chain. After all, a handful of pallets hardly justifies the fuel…

Warehouse Inventory Management Techniques That Trim Costs

Logistics coordinators are the great unsung heroes of the modern world. Without their work constantly managing the supply chain to ensure that products are delivered on time, we’d go without the necessities of daily life like fresh food, medicine, toiletries, and a million other things that keep us in good health. We quite literally owe…

Achieving Cost Reduction in Logistics Management

A business’ number one priority is the bottom line. After all, companies are in business to make money. Unfortunately, the old adage that you have to spend money to make money is true. Manufacturing, transportation, and distribution all cost money even before any sales are made. Naturally, executives and managers are under pressure from shareholders…

Pallet Safety Tips: How to Keep Your Employees Injury-Free

On July 26, 2017, as three warehouse employees were trying to remove a block of wood that was jammed beneath a pallet, an unsecured load fell and amputated one employee’s thumb. Later that month in a different warehouse, an employee pulling a pallet jack tripped over a stack of empty pallets and fractured his ankle.…

How to Reduce Product Damage During Transportation

It’s normal for some products to be damaged during their journey from the manufacturer to the retailer. In fact, one important task of retail managers is to inspect incoming shipments for damaged products and intercept the damaged goods before they can enter inventory. Later they’ll record the product data and arrange to ship the damaged…

Distribution Center Best Practices That Increase Efficiency

Distribution centers are the linchpin of a company’s supply chain. A distribution center can serve anywhere from 50 to 125 retail stores, and is frequently responsible for keeping an entire region fully stocked with products. At a distribution center, an accident or issue that brings work to a halt could create a regional crisis for…

What Are ISO Standard Pallet Dimensions?

During the industrial revolution, anyone building a structure or putting together machinery found themselves with a problem. No two people could agree on acceptable dimensions for a girder, and even something as simple as a screw wasn’t standardized for use across different projects. In the early twentieth century, national governments began to create standard bodies…

How to Make the Most of Supply Chain Automation

If you’ve ever walked into a grocery store–or any sort of store–then you’ve probably seen a stocker scanning individual items before placing them back on the shelf. He or she is checking the stock keeping unit (SKU) to help keep track of what the store has on the shelf, what is still in inventory, and…

How to Increase Truck Loading Efficiency to Lower Your Cost of Business

In 2013, the Ford Motor Company made headlines by announcing that, instead of steel, its popular F-150 line of pickup trucks would be made almost entirely out of aluminum, from the engine block to the frame. The move sent a shockwave through the automotive world. The high cost of aluminum meant that the change was…

Why the Dairy Supply Chain Should Use Plastic Pallets

The dairy industry is very aware of the advantages of a plastic pallet. In fact, if you’re shopping around for a pallet for dairy in the 40×40 pallet size, most of the pallets that you’ll see are in fact plastic pallets. Anyone who has ever smelled sour milk will immediately grasp the obvious advantage of…

How to Prevent Forklift Damage

One of the most persistent problems in logistics supply chains is damage caused by forklifts. It is a constant complication that dogs companies through every phase of their logistics operations by creating additional costs and complicating the delivery of products. Forklift damage comes in several forms: product can be damaged by the forklift as it…

Solutions for Food Supply Chain Challenges: How the Right Pallet Helps

If you’re in the grocery business you know that margins are tight and you make your money on volume. If you’re a retailer, any disruption to your production or supply chain that delays shipment or renders food unfit to be sold will impact your profit margin. If you’re a manufacturer, a disruption can mean that…

Warehouse Operations Best Practices: Increasing Efficiency and Safety

If you manage a warehouse or work in logistics, you’ve probably experienced how a sudden influx of products you don’t have space for can disrupt all of your operations. It’s challenging to run a warehouse or distribution center smoothly, and the changing demands of management and consumers complicate operations. Customers and business executives are notoriously…

How Plastic Pallets Increase Pallet Handling Safety

Injuries in the warehouse are shockingly common. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics put the rate of injury at five per 100 warehouse employees in 2016. In comparison, logging, which is widely recognized as the most dangerous job in America, averaged 3.6 injuries per 100 employees during that same year. The overwhelming majority of warehouse…

Cold Chain Management for Pharmaceuticals: Choosing a Pallet

One recent Sunday, I checked my apartment’s mailbox to find that the postman had left me a key to one of the lockboxes where the apartment stores packages as they arrive. At first, I was excited; I thought that the new graphics card I’d ordered for my PC had arrived. When I opened the lockbox…

Green Warehouse Practices: Running an Eco-Friendly Storage Warehouse

In the words of Niall FitzGerald, former CEO of Unilever, “Corporate social responsibility is a hard-edged business decision. Not because it is a nice thing to do or because people are forcing us to do it…because it is good for our business.” Businesses aren’t immune to the consequences of waste and excessive energy consumption; wasted…

Pharmaceutical Product Transportation: Why Your Pallet Matters

Pharmaceutical products are the result of centuries of insights, years of rigorous research, and the incredible feats of engineering that it took to turn all that science into a reliable production line. Yet, the distribution and transportation of pharmaceuticals is its own difficult field. Pharmaceutical product transportation is one of the biggest challenges in the…

How to Reduce Product Damage in the Warehouse with Plastic Pallets

No matter what industry you’re in, product damage is frustrating. If you’re in retail, you must carefully sort out damaged products from your shipment, note them, and send them back for credit. If you’re in the warehouse and notice product damage, you also have to find a place to store the damaged product and coordinate…

Improving Cube Utilization in the Warehouse

A vital part of meeting the growing demands of consumers is getting more of your goods to market. Producing those extra goods is often a relatively simple matter of assigning extra shifts to production or working more fields. In the supply chain, though, those extra goods pose more difficulties. Attempting to fit more product into…

Damage Prevention in the Supply Chain: How Plastic Pallets Can Help

Product damage during transit is universal in the supply chain. After all, you cannot tell a bag of lettuce or a shipment of medication to be careful on its journey to market, and unlike piggies, damaged products do not go “wee, wee, wee,” all the way home. Manufacturers have become used to simply reporting the…

What Are the Benefits of Warehouse Automation?

You could say these are the best of times to be in business and the worst of times. On the positive side, after almost a decade of little or no growth, businesses are finally expanding again as inventory moves out and orders bring production lines back to life. On the other hand, transportation and labor…

3 Ways to Improve Operational Efficiency Using Plastic Platform Pooling

Once your product is manufactured, then the real work begins of getting it to consumers via a complicated network of trucks and trains. A supply chain’s operations move staggering amounts of product every day, and its smooth function is what keeps your business going. There is no escaping the costs of running a supply chain;…

How to Exceed the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Industry Standards

In mid-May of this year, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) finally told consumers it is safe to resume purchasing and eating romaine lettuce following an outbreak of E.coli linked to romaine lettuce products. The reason isn’t that the exact source was found or the outbreak contained, but that the growing season of the region…

Why Efficient Supply Chain Management Systems Rely on Plastic Pallets

In logistics management, timetables are finely tuned. Grocery and pharma industries depend on just-in-time delivery to get perishable goods to market. The just-in-time approach—pioneered by Toyota—focuses on making or delivering only what is needed, when it is needed, and in only the amounts that are needed. It is a philosophy that frees companies from spending…

Why Pallets for Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems Should Be Plastic

The pace of business in the grocery and pharma industries is relentless. Meeting the standards of consumers and regulators means constantly refining processes to increase efficiency. But sometimes maintaining the required productivity and accuracy is beyond the capabilities of mere mortals, particularly in the warehouse. For this reason, many companies are choosing Automated Storage and…

How to Increase the Average Fuel Mileage for Semi-Trucks

Lately, as you pay the fuel bills for your shipping fleet or negotiate with your carriers, you may find that the prices leave you with a headache. Transportation costs are rising across the supply chain and are higher than they’ve been in a long time. In the transportation industry, there’s currently a perfect storm of…

Standard GMA Pallet Dimensions: Why 48″x40″ Uniformity Matters

If you work in logistics you know how important standardization is. It allows equipment separated by thousands of miles to handle the same materials without difficulty or downtime. Standards across markets are quite literally what make global trade possible. If your company is operating in North America, then you likely use a 48-by-40-inch pallet that…

Sustainable Supply Chain Management: The Case for Recyclable Plastic Pallets

In the 1960s, when the environmental movement first began, environmentalists and businessmen were mortal enemies. After all, the modern environmental movement coalesced when Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring pointed a finger at the chemical industry. Today, sustainability is a common topic of discussion around conference rooms in nearly every industry. The plain fact–one that companies…

Cold Chain Logistics Management and Shipping: Why Plastic Pallets Are Best

Products shipped through cold chain logistics are diverse. They include steaks, salads, and life-saving vaccinations. One thing they have in common is enough value to justify the expense of maintaining the cold storage and refrigerated vehicles required to ship them. With each product, a mistake as simple as taking too long to load or unload…

How to Optimize Food Supply Chain Management for Safety and Sustainability

Consider the taco. Rarely does anyone stop in their local grocery store to think about what it took to get meat, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, sour cream, and tortillas to their neighborhood grocery store. All of these products are grown and prepared in different places and shipped long distances through the food supply chain. Without the…

How Hygienic Plastic GMA Pallets Can Increase Safety

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that for every 100 workers in the warehouse and storage industry, five suffered a work-related injury or illness in 2016. Of these, 1.7 had to miss days of work as a result, and two were restricted from performing their regularly assigned duties for a period. Considering that in December…

Why Are Transportation Costs Increasing for Supply Chains?

Consumers are likely noticing that some grocery items–a box of Honey Nut Cheerios, for instance–now cost more than they used to. They’re also likely to find that these price increases aren’t confined to the cereal aisle. The culprit is higher transportation and logistics costs in the U.S., which have caused industries across the board to…

Fresh Food Logistics: How Plastic Pallet Pooling Simplifies Safe Distribution

Recently, consumers were told to avoid romaine lettuce from Yuma, Arizona due to E. coli contamination that made 98 people ill. Since it’s difficult for consumers (and sometimes even for grocery stores) to be certain where their lettuce is from, as a result, most people completely avoided romaine lettuce for a time, which affected the…

The Top 5 Pharma Supply Chain Challenges in 2018

In 2009, Johnson & Johnson made several recalls of their popular over-the-counter pain reliever Tylenol after a musty odor was reported by consumers. The company was continually forced to make larger recalls over the next couple of years, with the final one in 2011. The origin of the musty smell consumers had been reporting was…

How to Overcome Logistics Challenges in the Pharmaceutical Industry with Plastic Pallet Pooling

Of all the products that move through our supply chains, pharmaceuticals are some of the most sensitive and expensive. Vaccines and other injectables need temperature-sensitive environments to remain safe and effective, and even the tiniest sign of damage to a pharmaceutical’s bottle or blister pack means a loss of product. Damage caused by mishandling or…

How to Reduce Logistics Cost on Transportation with Industrial Plastic Pallet Pooling

Anyone in business knows that sales numbers sometimes seem like staggering amounts of money. A million pounds of apples sold at $1.68 per pound would appear to yield a princely $1.68 million. However, this number is deceptive because it doesn’t take into consideration the wholesale cost of the apples and what was spent getting them…

Why Green Supply Chain Management Practices Can’t Ignore Eco-Friendly Plastics

In 2014, Nobel prize winner Desmond Tutu penned an article calling for people of conscience to boycott companies that deal in fossil fuels in order to encourage corporations to begin reducing carbon emissions. You may have noticed that the public has grown increasingly aware of environmental issues and is more willing than ever to boycott…

Food Hygiene Regulations: How to Easily Meet FSMA Compliance Requirements

This year could see tons of food recalled in the name of safety. As of April 6, all shippers and carriers of food should be in compliance with the new rules for sanitary transportation laid out by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as part of the Food Safety and Modernization Act (FSMA). The FSMA…