Graduate supply chain management students from the MIT Global Supply Chain and Logistics Excellence (SCALE) Network put their heads together last month to find solutions to real-world supply chain problems in the second annual MIT Supply Chain Challenge.
The 2022 SCALE Connect conference ended in a whirlwind of group project presentations and awards ceremonies. One of the team-based challenges of the conference is the annual entrepreneurial challenge competition: a product development and pitch challenge sponsored by the ASCM Massachusetts Minuteman chapter, in the style of the hit TV show "Shark Tank". Randomly assigned student teams propose and pitch solutions to problems on the UN Global Issues List.
In The Wall Street Journal, CTL Director Yossi Sheffi writes that pandemic-induced shortages aren't a reason to dismiss the importance of just-in-time practices, as they help to reinforce resilience by strengthening the relationship along the supply chain between companies, their suppliers, and customers:
NBC10 Boston spoke with CTL Director Yossi Sheffi for a January 26 piece about recent pet food shortages. Pet adoptions increased during the pandemic, leading to higher demand for pet food and supplies at a time of ongoing supply chain disruptions and raw material shortages.
"Demand for goods started going through the roof," Sheffi said. "When this issue starts, people start hoarding, people start buying everything in sight just to make sure they are not going to run short, and this, of course, exacerbates the situation."
El nuevo libro de Sheffi del MIT relata la épica misión llevada a cabo para entregar vacunas contra el COVID-19
In an article for MIT Sloan Management Review, CTL Director Yossi Sheffi writes that rising inflation and global supply chain problems raise concerns that a recession is looming.
CTL Executive Director Chris Caplice was recently interviewed by the Wall Street Journal on current freight trends. Last month, the average contract rate for freight hit a record $2.51 per mile. Such tight trucking capacity is prompting companies to continue their current contracts with carriers to avoid competition on the open market bidding for new transportation.
“If you go out to bid, you can expect your rates will be 10% to 15% higher, on average,” he said.
MIT FreightLab Co-Director David Correll was interviewed by Scripps Media about the Biden administration's action plan on trucking, which was released Thursday. The plan, he says, is a step in the right direction and the sign of a potential shift—that drivers' time is being valued more highly and more fairly.
Watch the full interview here:
Today, the Biden administration released details on its Trucking Action Plan to Strengthen America's Trucking Workforce.
SCM Instructor Toby Gooley, Contributing Editor at CSCMP's Supply Chain Quarterly magazine writes that low inventory and shipping backlogs have caused many U.S. importers to shift from ocean to air transport.
“Normally, that would be an effective, if expensive, strategy, but as the Covid-19 pandemic grinds on, it has exacerbated some of the very problems shippers were trying to avoid: capacity constraints, congestion, and delayed deliveries.”
CSCMP's Supply Chain Quarterly features Dr. Eva Ponce's research on omnichannel fulfillment and how it is changing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"To address omnichannel distribution challenges, retailers are concentrating on upgrading and, in some cases, completely redesigning their networks to integrate the online and offline channels and be able to compete in today's cutthroat retail environment. As part of the process, many must weight the tradeoffs between distance, cost, and fulfillment capacity, especially when they need to provide same-day deliveries"
MIT FreightLab Co-Director David Correll was interviewed by Business Insider about the current issues facing America's truck driving shortage.
"I think if consumers really understood what it was like for the truck drivers who deliver all their goods, they might be a little embarrassed or ashamed," Correll told Insider. "There's no way to over-emphasize how difficult their job is, but now that we have this spotlight on the industry, maybe people can try to make it better.
FreightLab Co-Director Gives Expert Testimony on Improving Trucking Capacity at Congressional Hearing
MIT CTL Research Scientist David Correll was recently invited to give expert testimony to the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. He served as a witness at a committee hearing held November 17 to dive into the ongoing supply chain bottlenecks and explore the issue from the perspectives of industry and labor.
J.D. Power and MIT AVT Study on Fully Automated Self-Driving Vehicles: Consumers Don’t Know What They Don’t Know
Mobility Confidence Index Study in collaboration with MIT Advanced Vehicle Technology Consortium and Partners for Automated Vehicle Education (PAVE)
CSCMP's Supply Chain Quarterly Q3 2021 issue features a cover story by CTL's Jonathan Byrnes, writing with John Wass (Staples, Profit Isle). The piece is adapted from their recently published book, Choose Your Customer: How to Compete Against the Digital Giants and Thrive.
AgeLab Director Joe Coughlin writes in Forbes:
"The bridges, roads, rails, dams, wastewater treatment, electrical grid, and transit systems are not the only infrastructure that is aging. The trades, the people, with the skills to build, maintain, and operate the nation’s infrastructure are also aging. Even if millions, billions, and trillions are spent, there is a major workforce gap that will leave public investment a noble goal but not shovel ready – at least not soon."
CTL researcher David Correll weighs in on a USA Today Fact Check article detailing some of the real reasons behind product shortages and delays.
"To run optimally, logistics has to be well-planned and coordinated," David Correll, co-director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's FreightLab, said in an email. "The pandemic and the homebody economy wreaked havoc on those networks, leaving supply chains unbalanced and out of whack."
Consumer Reports talked with supply chain experts, including CTL Director Yossi Sheffi, for an October 20 article titled "Experts Agree: Get Your Holiday Shopping Done ASAP.
“If your kids want the pink sneakers, make sure that red sneakers are not going to send them into a depression,” says Sheffi at MIT. "Just be flexible. Order early. There’s not much else that you can do.”
The race to deliver a Covid-19 vaccine has been likened to a moonshot, but in several ways landing a man on the moon was easier. In his new book, A Shot in the Arm: How Science, Engineering, and Supply Chains Converged to Vaccinate the World, published today by MIT CTL Media, MIT Professor Yossi Sheffi recounts the vaccine’s extraordinary journey from scientific breakthroughs to coronavirus antidote and mass vaccination.
Correll discussed MIT Freightlab's research into truck driver utilization for a Scripps National News segment on labor shortages and related factors that contribute to supply chain inefficiencies.
Yossi Sheffi talked with David Pogue for an October 11 segment on CBS Sunday Morning examining the paradox of empty store shelves, higher prices and longer wait times for good of all kinds, despite the "glut of goods" coming into the country.
"The underlying cause of all of this is actually a huge increase in demand. People did not spend during the pandemic, and then all the government help came... trillions of dollars went to households, so they ordered stuff... they ordered more and more stuff, and global markets were not ready."
MIT CTL's Jarrod Goentzel was quoted in Bloomberg Business Week
Winners of the Amazon Last-Mile Routing Research Challenge were announced in a live webinar event held on July 30, 2021. Amazon and the MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics created the challenge to engage with a global community of researchers across a range of disciplines, from computer science to business operations to supply chain management, challenging them to build data-driven route optimization models leveraging massive historical route execution data. The three winning teams were awarded prize money totaling $175,000 for their innovative route optimization models.