Coronavirus – Important Update from CLX Logistics

On behalf of the CLX Logistics team, we wanted to proactively reach out to you and let you know about the Continuity Policies & Procedures that CLX is implementing as it relates to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.  CLX is focused on the safety of our employees and ensuring our customers are well supported through this time.

CLX Logistics continues to monitor the situation closely, should there be a need for CLX offices to close as a result of COVID-19, we have several systems and processes in place to ensure we are able to provide our customers with uninterrupted service.  For starters, CLX staff are equipped with laptops and tablets, and CLX maintains a robust VPN that will allow staff to work remotely. Additionally, our phone systems are configured to allow for call forwarding, so staff will be reachable during normal business hours.

Updates will be made public via email, social media and the CLXLogistics.com website as they are available.  Should you have any questions or need any additional information, please contact CLX Logistics at info@CLXLogistics.com or 1.800.288.4851

It is our privilege to serve you and thank you for your trust. We remain committed to doing our very best to care for your business, our team members, and the community during this evolving situation.

Respectfully,

David Vieira
Chief Executive Officer
CLX Logistics, LLC

Exploring the Intricacies of Logistics in International Trade

As the world becomes more interconnected than ever, companies will need to adopt effective international logistics and supply chain strategies. But shipping internationally is an entirely different beast compared to domestic shipping. International logistics services involve shipping cargo through a variety of mediums between countries without the cargo being directly affected at any point in its journey. CLX Logistics has forged solid partnerships around the globe to offer unprecedented safety, speed, and dependability for our planning and logistics solutions for international trade.

In this blog, we’re taking a closer look at the key elements of logistics in international trade and supply chain management.
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Manufacturing is Slowing Down: Will Your Supply Chain Lead or Lag?

There are a lot of questions about the U.S. economy right now, as different trade and tariff bills are proposed, and laws are set in motion. The most recent data from the Institute for Supply Chain Management, show that manufacturing production, including chemical manufacturing, is slowing down. The Purchasing Managers’ Index is currently at 52.1%, which is slightly down from what it was in April.

As this number nears closer to 50, red flags of a possible recession are beginning to raise. It’s important at times like this, for manufacturers and supply chain executives alike, to understand the factors that are impacting production—because we’ve seen this before: when the winds change, companies either prevail as leaders or fail as laggards. So, in this blog, we’ll discuss the factors contributing to slowed manufacturing production and their impact on transportation and logistics.

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5 transportation Procurement & Benchmarking Trends to Keep Costs Down in 2019

The year 2018 was challenging for shippers in all industries, including chemical, due to capacity constraints in the marketplace that inflated costs. The convergence of high costs, limited capacity, emphasis on timely delivery and demand for greater supply chain visibility, made it a problematic year for shippers and carriers alike. So, what happens after a year like that?

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The 3PL Freight Brokerage Basics

A freight broker is very different from a third-party logistics (3PL) provider that offers freight brokerage services. In more ways than one, a 3PL can offer a speedier and more reliable route for solving urgent shipping issues than a broker and support you through a trusted network of high-quality carriers. Understanding the difference between 3PL freight brokerage services and freight broker services will help you make a more educated choice when you need something shipped fast.

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Carrier Roadblocks and Ways to Bypass the Barriers [Infographic]

Small and large trucking companies find themselves in a changing industrial, political and economic climate that’s having adverse effects on overall performance and bottom-line earnings. Let’s explore the particulars of the issue, then learn how to combat the challenges with a single decision.

  • An aging workforce and a high turnover rate have led to a severe driver shortage. The problem won’t be easily solved as low national unemployment makes replacement hires difficult, while an aging workforce means the problem will only intensify.
  • Even with fewer workers, carriers still have to do more work: the ELD Mandate and the Food Modernization Safety Act have increased regulations and liabilities, leading to a drop in productivity and distance traveled.
  • And even though these challenges demand increased spend, the price of doing business is already skyrocketing. A spike in insurance has created anywhere between a five to double-digit cost increase for carriers, and the price of fuel has increased by 50 percent since 2016.1
  • Despite these challenges, consumers expect superior service, demanding delivery transparency and refusing to pay extra for anything less than two-day shipping, while the increasing cost of technology demands greater spend overall.

This series of challenges can seem like an impossible knot to untie. Trying to solve one issue might only make another issue worse. But it’s possible to meet all these challenges with a single decision­—partnering with a 3PL.

A 3PL provides the solution by efficiently and comprehensively tackling these challenges. With a 3PL, trucking companies benefit from

  • enhanced scalability
  • next-level technology
  • greater access to resources
  • reinforced financial stability
  • increased safety

To find out how a 3PL clears away the obstacles facing modern carriers, review the infographic, Carrier Roadblocks and Ways to Bypass the Barriers.

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[Infographic] Capacity Crisis of 2018: Cause & Effect

The economy, the weather, new industry regulations—it seems as though today’s shippers have had everything going against them, including nature itself, as they tried to navigate 2017 and move on to see success this year. And these issues have only compounded to cause a truck capacity shortage that has caused even more damage to shippers’ bottom lines with effects that continue to impact business.

So where has the capacity crunch come from and how can shippers take steps now to come out on top as we enter 2019? A steadily climbing economy, increasing holiday sales, colder temperatures, an aging driver force and the introduction and enforcement of the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) Mandate have all led to a shortage of drivers and a loss in trucking capacity, which together make shippers unable to effectively meet the increased demand for their services and effectively bleed into other aspects of the logistics industry. Shippers can start to address these changes by working to strengthen their relationships with carriers, by obtaining private or dedicated fleets for captive, reliable capacity and by converting truck shipments to other modes of transportation, such as intermodal transportation or rail. It’s also a smart idea to start tapping into the resources of 3PL carrier networks to gain access to more carriers and better rates.

The infographic below provides a great overview of the main causes and tangible effects of the capacity crunch hitting shippers in 2018 and helps reframe the situation with more details on the four ways shippers can take action to protect their bottom line in the years to come. If your organization is taking a bit hit from these market forces, take time to consider the four strategies you can employ to fight the capacity crunch and invest in your long-term success.

Are you interested in chatting more about capacity crunch or capacity management services? Contact CLX Logistics today to learn how our vast carrier network can alleviate your capacity issues.

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CLX Logistics Donates $2,500 to Smile Train in Holiday Initiative

CLX Logistics is pleased to announce that Smile Train, an international children’s charity that provides corrective surgery for children with cleft lips and palates, was selected to receive its $2,500 donation.

The contribution comes after the Company’s holiday-initiative that engaged community members to vote for a receiving organization. Nominated non-profits included Smile Train, Doctors Without Borders, Wounded Warriors, Penn State IFC/Panehlleneic Dance Marathon, Kencrest and Rafiki Kids and Ministry.

As the winning organization, Smile Train will undoubtedly put the donation to good use as $1,000 can provide cleft surgery to four children while fifty dollars can cover the cost of an overnight hospital stay.

CLX Logistics thanks all participants and looks forward to the aid this will offer to multiple children.

Gauge & Improve Your Freight Management Performance: Six Critical Key Performance Indicators

In 2015, trucks were responsible for transporting 64% of the tons and 69% of the value in the United States, according to a federal report. Considering that a majority of our society’s goods are transported this way, it’s safe to say that trucking is an essential part of many businesses’ supply chains.

To ensure the safe, timely and cost-effective delivery of goods – from chemicals to industrial products to automobiles – consider conducting a comprehensive review of your freight management process.

To get started, click to download our infographic which defines the six core values or key performance indicators (KPIs) that can help guide the assessment of your freight management performance:

  1. Safety
  2. Service
  3. Freight costs
  4. Efficiency & productivity
  5. Route guide compliance
  6. Sustainability

Next, once you’ve identified the right KPI from each of the categories, be sure to incorporate them into your daily business routine. Adjust your reporting to reflect more valuable measurements, like an analysis of service defects, carrier compliance and shipping transit times.

Lastly, use these insights to diagnose your areas of improvement. Is your customer satisfaction suffering? Are you spending too much time or money on a certain task or criteria?

The solution may be incorporating Software as a Service (SaaS) into your business model. This approach is not a new one. In fact, “vertical-specific software represented the largest segment of the worldwide software market in 2014 with $114 billion in revenues,” according to a Gartner report.

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Moving forward, 85% of small business executives are willing to spend more on business software solutions in the next five years – will you be one of them?

If you’re interested in learning more about how CLX Logistics can cut costs for you, view the Helly Hansen freight management case study here.

Supply Chain Visibility: A Precursor to Insight and Optimization

By Cosmas Hoefnagels for Talking Logistics

As digitization continues to modify the global supply chain landscape, its unprecedented data sources and solutions will lead to not only the demise of disparate information systems, but to the rise of true, end-to-end, supply chain visibility. For suppliers and mid- to large-sized companies, supply chain visibility serves as the foundation for strategic decisions and tactical improvements across the entire transportation network. It is through the establishment of supply chain visibility that supply chain insights, outside the four walls, will be garnered and leveraged as actionable data that supports supply chain optimization.

Today, companies have varied interpretations of “visibility,” largely due to evolving business demands and globalization trends. To an international 3PL in 2016 however, supply chain visibility (SVC) is known as the capability to monitor and register movements through a transportation network. This functionality then leads to supply chain insight which allows companies to learn about operational performance, strengths and weaknesses of a supply chain configuration, changes in supply or demand and customer service capabilities and cost.

While some industries have already achieved this ideal state of transparency, businesses in the chemical industry for example, that are better known for well-developed IT infrastructures or plant operations and less for the adoption of advanced supply chain concepts and optimization, are begetting one key question: how do we approach and achieve end-to-end supply chain visibility, and ultimately benefit from the network-wide insights it will offer? To these companies we say, follow these five steps.

1. Define Your Unique Corporate Goals and Objectives

Much like any other strategic initiative or company-wide process change, leadership must start with the end in mind. Consider the ways rich data collection can help shape your supply chain towards lower cost and optimal performance. The most common goals of supply chain visibility include the following, but as your company completes this exercise, be sure to include quantifiable metrics:

  • Reduce business and supply chain risk
  • Improve lead times and performance
  • Identify shortage and quality problems along the supply chain

2. Augment and Set Visibility Tools In Place

The first tangible step towards achieving SCV is to get the basic visibility tools in place. These tools include sophisticated IT platforms such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) software; electronic data interchange (EDI); or transportation management systems (TMS). For companies with existing supply chain technology, it is likely not necessary to collect new data, but to take a fresh look into a data warehouse through unused add-on and field functionalities. For international companies with multiple locations or scarce technology, it is often a best practice to seek the expertise of an experienced 3PL provider to recommend and integrate the ideal platform into your supply chain.

3. Track, Trace and Collect Data from Key Partners

Configure your visibility tools to establish data collection among key partners, such as suppliers, service providers, contract manufacturers and customers – all of which are focused namely on supply chain logistics functions. As data is collected from these primary and secondary parties, be sure to also integrate it with your global track and trace strategies to deliver cross-functional insights that can deliver return-on-investment.

4. Analyze Performance and Manage Expectations

With your data collection and visibility needs aligned, your company should leverage dashboards and scoreboards to not only monitor KPIs, but the bigger picture which includes enterprise-wide and outside the four walls workflows. For example, leverage your technology to track workflow events from purchase order to fulfillment and provide access to people beyond the primary addressees, such as trading partners and suppliers. This expanded accessibility is the key to fostering outside the four walls visibility, allowing data to be analyzed from myriad perspectives. The outcomes of knowledge-sharing at this level will strengthen relationships, drive new applications, improve contract negotiations, mitigate bottlenecks and uncover additional, unforeseen improvement areas.

5. Optimize from End-to-End with Business Intelligence

Upon analyzing the performance of your supply chain against different perspectives, your company will gain usable intelligence to improve basic operational measures and develop alternative supply chain strategies. This actionable data can be used to not only anticipate changes to supply and demand, but to remodel the supply chain and calculate alternative configurations and delivery networks, including inbound shipments and consolidation opportunities. Furthermore, once a well-fitted information system has been established, it is time to develop and adhere to regular evaluations and reviews to ensure continuous improvement and optimization is firing, and integrating, on all cylinders.

In a recent Kewill survey, more than one-third of organizations indicated they are planning to broaden workflow visibility outside the four walls. With almost half of the organizations surveyed seeking greater visibility and insight, it is palpable that digitization is not just challenging businesses to progress, but inspiring companies to adopt alternative approaches to supply chain optimization. So, while leaders may “start with the end in mind” to set their organization up for success, there are just as many organizations discussing the benefits of “first things first”— and that is supply chain visibility.

Read full article here.