The Last Mile:  How Data Analytics In The Cloud Is Improving Parcel Delivery

January 03, 2017 • Articles

UPS is the largest delivery company on the planet, flying more than 500 jets in a mission to serve a customer base that topped 8 million last year.

Operating at a similar scale is the U.S. Postal Service, which delivered 154 billion pieces of mail in 2015 using 215,000 vehicles. At that scale, the postal service is one of the largest civilian fleets in the world.

Despite the enormity of their infrastructures and logistical smarts, UPS and the Postal Service haven’t been able to overcome one long-standing obstacle: the last mile from distribution center to doorstep. 

The Potential Promise and Pitfalls of 3D Printing

January 03, 2017 • Articles

There are many innovations and societal changes such as robotics, autonomous vehicles, and the sharing economy that could shape the future of supply chains. But none of these developments is likely to transform the way manufacturing and supply chains are managed more than additive manufacturing, commonly known as 3D printing.

While the concept of additive manufacturing is not new, the technology has become good enough that it is starting to be applied at scale.

Does Your Supply Chain Risk Management Strategy Hold Water?

December 27, 2016 • Articles

Companies have come a long way in their ability to manage supply chain risk, but they urgently need to step up their efforts in one key area: the threats posed by water scarcity.

The Carbon Disclosure Project’s (CDP) 2016 Annual Report of Corporate Water Disclosure, published in November 2016, provides a wake-up call. A total of 607 of the world’s largest global companies submitted data about their efforts to manage and govern freshwater resources — the largest response in the report’s seven-year history.

A Faster, Cheaper Master's Degree - From MIT To Boot

November 28, 2016 • Articles

When the Massachusetts Institute of Technology piloted its first online master’s degree in Supply Chain Management last year, Danaka Porter thought it was exactly what she needed to boost her career.

"I found that people were a little bit more respected once they had their master's because it was like they had taken that next step to go a little bit further," Porter said.

The 30-year-old business consultant from Vancouver, British Columbia, said she simply couldn't afford to stop working to become a student again.

"The Power of Resilience" Named Among 2016's Best Business Books

November 02, 2016 • Articles

Strategy + Business Magazine named Dr. Yossi Sheffi's book, The Power of Resilience one of the best business strategy books of 2016.

Small Firm Supply Chains in Latin America the Focus of New SCALE Study

October 27, 2016 • Articles

Why is it that most of the micro and small firms that represent 99% of the businesses operating in Latin America survive for less than a year? One of the main reasons is a lack of supply chain expertise – an issue that has received scant attention from researchers up until now. This knowledge gap is being addressed by a new research project from the MIT Global SCALE Network, that involves on-site research at some 500 enterprises across Latin America in collaboration with at least 14 of the region’s top universities.

MIT-USAID Program Releases Supply Chain Evaluation of Malaria Diagnostics

October 13, 2016 • Articles

The World Health Organization estimates that nearly half of the world’s population is at risk for malaria, a life-threatening, but ultimately curable and preventable disease spread by mosquitos.

Malaria rapid diagnostic tests are an important part of the fight against the disease, but according to new research from MIT, supply chain challenges keep these tests from making it onto clinic shelves, putting patients at risk of misdiagnosis, which over time can lead to antibiotic resistance. 

A Fresh Take on Supply Chain Innovation

September 22, 2016 • Articles

Companies are presented with many opportunities when they decide to enter a new market. Venturing into unfamiliar territory offers a unique chance to innovate and make changes that benefit the business as a whole. One of PepsiCo’s growth strategies is to proactively adapt to emerging market trends for natural, healthy, and nutritious beverages. The strategy makes the company’s supply chain more global and complex. It also presents new challenges and risks.

MicroMasters in Supply Chain Management Paves the Way for Courses Around the World

September 22, 2016 • Press Releases

In October 2015, MIT launched the MITx MicroMasters credential, which enables online learners to take a semester’s worth of master’s-level courses on the edX platform, then complete a master’s degree in a single full semester on campus at MIT.

Humanitarian Response Lab alum Emily Gooding receives Fulbright

July 21, 2016 • Press Releases

Six MIT graduate students, one undergraduate, and a recent alumnus have accepted Fulbright U.S. Student Program awards to conduct independent research projects during the coming year. Humanitarian Response Lab alum Emily Gooding graduated from MIT this spring with an MS in technology and policy.

Second Thoughts on Second Sourcing

July 08, 2016 • Articles

A widely used method for mitigating supply chain risk is multi-sourcing — using more than one vendor to supply specific items. But there are significant risks to consider. Not keeping all of your eggs in one supply basket is an appealing strategy to increase supply chain resilience. But it’s not always effective.

Studying Advanced Vehicle Technologies

June 30, 2016 • Articles

Every day, automobiles equipped with increasingly sophisticated autonomous driving technologies are coursing onto the world’s roadways. There is a remarkable amount already known about the capabilities of these technologies, even in the face of unpredictable driving situations. But in addition to the road, these systems must interact with something far more complex: the driver, who is rapidly becoming a part-time passenger in his or her own car.

Does Drop Shipping Online Orders Deliver Value?

June 27, 2016 • Articles

By Chris Creyts and Nora Weisskopf, SCM class of 2016.  In response to the growth of their e-commerce businesses, many retailers are looking for ways to reduce the supply chain costs associated with internet orders. Some retailers are starting to look upstream in their supply chains, and are requesting that manufacturers fulfill orders via drop shipping. The change in delivery practices creates a number of key issues, including the potential for impacting per-unit distribution costs for manufacturers.

Dr. Chris Caplice to Receive CSCMP's Distinguished Service Award

June 27, 2016 • Press Releases

Lombard, Illinois USA (June 23, 2016) -- Chris Caplice, executive director of the MIT Center for Transportation and Logistics, will receive the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals' (CSCMP) 2016 Distinguished Service Award. He will be presented with the award during the Opening General Session at CSCMP's Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida on Monday, September 26, 2016.

MIT AgeLab and The Hartford research on driverless cars cited in New York Times

June 17, 2016 • Articles

According to surveys, no matter the age, American drivers see potential benefits in autonomous vehicles, but they want to be sure the technology works. Safety features and the ability to manually intervene with the vehicles' self-driving technology are concerns for potential drivers. AgeLab’s (New England University Transportation Center Director) Joe Coughlin and The Hartford’s Jodi Olshevski discuss findings from their study showing age may matter less than we think in driverless car technology adoption. 

WSJ Guest Voices: Seeking the Value in Supply Chain Visibility

June 14, 2016 • Articles

By Jarrod Goentzel and Fredrik Eng Larsson. About 90% of world trade is carried by sea, so you might imagine that being able to track the status of ocean shipments accurately and in real time would be a critical goal for companies looking to improve the management of their supply chains. Yet this operational Holy Grail remains elusive, despite advances in information technology.

Megacities Logistics Lab director, Wickenbach weighs in on in-home delivery

May 30, 2016 • Articles

A Scandinavian courier company, PostNord AB, and supermarket chain, ICA AB, are testing the new service with about 20 households in the Swedish capital, promising that messengers will remove their shoes and unpack online deliveries, even when customers are away. The pioneering service hinges on a new add-on lock, which customers must install on their doors and which messengers can open with their smartphones. Made by Swedish startup Glue AB, the lock allows residents to decide remotely when to allow access to their homes.

Humanitarian Response Lab co-hosts Health and Humanitarian Logistics Conference

May 16, 2016 • Articles

Humanitarian Response Lab co-hosts Health and Humanitarian Logistics Conference. The main objective of the conference is to interactively discuss the opportunities and challenges in the sector in an open, neutral platform. Health and humanitarian related topics such as disaster preparedness and response, long-term development and humanitarian aid, and global health delivery are examined from the non-governmental, corporate, governmental, and academic perspectives. 

New MicroMaster’s MOOC teaches supply chain design

May 16, 2016 • Articles

MIT Office of Digital Learning-- The second in a new series of open online courses, part of MIT's MicroMaster’s program in supply chain management, is open for enrollment. The field of supply chain management (SCM) is on the rise. For organizations, the logistics behind moving products from factories and warehouses to storefronts and doorsteps across the globe is critical. For employees, the highly valued skills needed to do the job — data and financial analysis, technological know-how, leadership, and the art of negotiation — provide a tremendous opportunity for career advancement.

Desigual’s Multi-stranded Approach to Omni-channel

May 05, 2016 • Articles

Transitioning to an omni-channel supply chain undoubtedly brings many challenges for retailers. However, omni-channel is also a major source of supply chain innovation. The journey involves multiple changes that are forcing companies to rethink the way they design, build, implement, and manage global supply chains, as well as how they relate to key supply chain players.

Are Self-­Driving Delivery Vehicles Headed Underground?

March 23, 2016 • Articles

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — While Inc., A.P. Moller Maersk A/S and other big shippers look to the skies to speed up deliveries with drones, a group of Massachusetts Institute of Technology scientists are setting their sights far lower: Underground. Researchers at the new MIT Institute for Data, Systems and Society, along with other MIT­affiliated logistic R&D groups, are examining the viability of underground networks of small, autonomous vehicles to deliver goods to businesses in crowded urban centers.

MIT Team Uses Big Data, IoT to Speed Up ‘Last Mile’ Deliveries

March 23, 2016 • Articles

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.– High-­tech logistics systems have quickened the delivery of goods from manufacturing hubs to big­-city markets in recent years. But speeding up the so­ called last mile, from a local distribution center to a retailer or a customer’s home, has remained a challenge, especially in crowded urban centers.

Building Walls is Not the Answer to Economic Anxiety

March 22, 2016 • Articles

By Yossi Sheffi. When the Berlin Wall came down on November, 9, 1989, people across the world celebrated its destruction. The Wall was constructed by the communist regime in East Germany to prevent citizens from fleeing to the democratic west. The barrier that blocked the free flow of people and goods became a powerful symbol of oppression. A little more than a quarter century after the fall of the Berlin Wall, international wall building appears to be on the rise again.

New technologies can learn from mature markets

March 22, 2016 • Articles

What do Class 8 trucks and cell phones have in common? Their end-of-life (EOL) strategies are shaped in large part by each product’s characteristics as well as current market conditions.

Thinking globally

March 14, 2016 • Articles

That trend was equally clear at the recent Supply Chain Student Research Expo put on by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Global SCALE Network. This annual program brings together more than 100 graduate students from around the world to present the real-world supply chain projects they are working on. It was not unusual to see, for example, a student from Greece and another from India collaborating on an inventory management analysis, or students from Malaysia and China working together on a food and beverage metrics project.