August 18, 2015 • Articles

By Dr. Yossi Sheffi, LinkedIn Influencer

A shortage of truck drivers has bedeviled the logistics industry for so long, that it’s difficult to imagine a time when filling driver vacancies was not a problem. What is also difficult to fathom is why simply paying these workers more is not a solution.

August 14, 2015 • Articles

The lessons learned at this stage can help to avoid missteps before the network has to handle higher product volumes.

Read the article.

July 24, 2015 • Articles

The Internet of Things, a network of physical objects that are embedded with electronics, software, sensors and connectivity that enable objects to “talk” to each other, is also closer than most people think, said Joseph Coughlin, director of the AgeLab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

July 23, 2015 • Articles

By Jarrod Goentzel and James B. Rice, Jr.

Many companies have become adept at using supply-chain management to increase their competitiveness, yet the function remains under-utilized in one vital area: working capital management.

As interest rates rise and markets become less tolerant of performers who are careless with working capital, companies may pay a high price for failing to make full use of the financial management capabilities in their supply chains

July 14, 2015 • Articles

It was once thought so called "combinatorial bidding" - in which carriers bid on combinations of lanes as packages to drive network efficiencies and thus presumably lower rates - would dominate truckload freight sourcing.


It all looks good on paper, says MIT's Dr. Chris Caplice, and he ought to know - he wrote his PhD dissertation on the concept. But when the rubber hits the road - literally in this case - the theory is just not practical to implement, Caplice now says, even though some shippers still try to use the tactic.


July 14, 2015 • Articles

By Jarrod Goentzel and Ian Heigh

As the deadly Ebola outbreak threatened West Africa, a team of medical, humanitarian and logistics experts teamed up to respond to the deadly virus. The lessons learned by the team could provide a logistics blueprint for handling future crises.

Read the article.

July 13, 2015 • Articles

By Dr. Yossi Sheffi, LinkedIn Influencer

No one knows for sure how Greece’s financial crisis will impact the global economy over the long-haul. However, what companies can expect is instability in some form or other, such as volatile prices and fluctuating currency values within the Eurozone and beyond. 

July 13, 2015 • Articles

It takes more than original thinking to be innovative. The skills and knowledge gained from professional education programs are also important pieces of the puzzle. How do these programs help supply chain professionals to be innovators?

July 10, 2015 • Articles

During the event, a presentation titled "Supply Chain Innovations in Emerging Markets," was conducted by Dr. Edgar Blanco, Research Director in the Center for Transportation & Logistics (CTL) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Dr. Blanco’s presentation highlighted the importance of innovation and the types of changes currently being made in the logistics sector that are adding value to supply chains around the world.

June 25, 2015 • Articles

For our 2015 Rainmakers, success isn't just about fame and fortune. It's also about making a contribution to the logistics field and advancing the profession.

Q: Some see supply chain management (SCM) as a business management discipline, while others place it in the realm of engineering. Do you see those approaches as competitive or complementary?

June 22, 2015 • Articles

By Jarrod Goentzel and James B. Rice, Jr.

June 10, 2015 • Articles

By Dr. Yossi Sheffi, LinkedIn Influencer

The success of the taxi-like Uber service has spawned many start-up attempts in related (and other) areas. In fact, it seems that any time a new app puts service providers in direct contact with customers, the service involved becomes an “Uber” activity.

But the Uber moniker does not necessarily mean that a new business model has been created. And the service innovations bestowed by the classification might not be as disruptive as is assumed.

May 26, 2015 • Articles

Although the Ebola outbreak in West Africa unfolded half a world away from UMass Medical School in Worcester, the crisis in West Africa engaged the hearts, minds and hands-on expertise of a phalanx of UMMS faculty members and collaborators.

These brave and committed individuals will be recognized for their selfless and lifesaving efforts to help stem the Ebola outbreak in Liberia at UMass Medical School’s 42nd Commencement Exercises on Sunday, May 31.

May 14, 2015 • Articles

By Dr. Yossi Sheffi, LinkedIn Influencer

April 29, 2015 • Articles

The roster of food companies that want to eliminate palm oil from their products is getting longer. But actually reaching that goal will require an enormous effort across their supply chains.

“Once a company goes into the palm oil supply chain, it gets incredibly complex,” says Alexis Bateman, a research associate with the MIT Center for Transportation and Logistics. The company “can have multiple different products that contain the material and then palm oil can come from several different derivatives—from fruit bunches, from the tree, from the palm kernel.”

April 23, 2015 • Articles

Dr. Bruce Arntzen, executive director of the supply chain management program at the MIT Center for Transportation and Logistics found this year’s Salary Survey results compelling for that very reason. “As far as the value of an advanced education, our program is the ‘poster child’ for that,” he says. “Since I have been here, our 10-month program has resulted in the class average salary boost ranging between 57 percent to 81 percent. Not bad for a hiatus of less than a year out of the work force.”

April 15, 2015 • Articles

With sustainability a topic of significant interest among many in the logistics industry, C.H. Robinson and the MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics (MIT CTL) have combined to develop research aimed at finding ways to better quantify carbon emissions at the Less-Than-Truckload (LTL) shipment level.

Read the full article.

April 13, 2015 • Articles

Jarrod Goentzel, founder and director of the MIT Humanitarian Response Lab, has been using these methods to help West Africa cope with the Ebola outbreak, and said the same approach could be used in Boston to create a central point among its cluster of large hospitals to house supplies needed in crisis situations.

“We have lots of hospitals here. In a panic mode, everyone is trying to procure supplies,” he said. “Basic human nature is to hoard and hoard and be prepared. But the more centrally you stock things, the more risk that can cover.”

April 07, 2015 • Articles

By Dr. Yossi Sheffi, LinkedIn Influencer

The tragic loss of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps has galvanized discussions about pilotless aircraft, and whether we have the technology to safely replace humans with computers in the cockpit.

In broad terms the answer is yes, we do have the technology, but of course the route to full automation in passenger planes – and for that matter in cars and trucks too – is far from straight. To find answers we need to look at the journey rather than the destination.

April 07, 2015 • Articles

Conference spotlights companies and organizations that are innovating across various sectors.

Panelist Jarrod Goentzel, director of the MIT Humanitarian Response Lab, which aims to improve supply chains and response times during humanitarian crises, said mobile technologies have great potential for improving supply chains, especially among African countries.

March 30, 2015 • Articles

Attending a symposium on the future of transportation and logistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is as forward looking at you might imagine. The event, MIT Crossroads, is organized by the university’s Center for Transportation & Logistics and is designed to bring to light concepts and ideas that may well impact transportation networks in the coming years. Low-cost, long-life batteries that store electricity, autonomous motorized bicycles that carry people and packages, and the future of 3D printing were just a few of the ideas on display this year.

March 18, 2015 • Articles

By Roberto Perez-Franco

While it is true that supply chains are key for sustained innovation in a company, it is also true that all innovations are not the same. A given supply chain can work perfectly for developing and launching a given innovative product, and yet—if applied like a cookie-cutter—the very same supply chain can spell disaster for a different innovative endeavor.

March 17, 2015 • Articles

Before lunch on the first day of this year’s TPM, Chris Caplice, executive director of MIT’s Center for Transportation & Logistics, blew us away with a rapid-fire 20-minute talk on the future of transportation and logistics. He used the great horse-manure crisis of 1894 as a case study — the main form of transportation in those days, after all, was the horse. The horse population had reached problematic levels around the world, producing unpleasant consequences: urine, flies, congestion, carcasses and traffic accidents.

March 09, 2015 • Articles

More cargo is being shifted away from congested West Coast trade routes

“Currently, the lowest-cost option is to go to the West Coast ports,” said Yossi Sheffi, director of the MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “The supply-chain procurement managers are doing this on day-to-day price cost pressures. Why rock the boat?”

Read the full article. (PDF)

February 27, 2015 • Articles

By Dr. Yossi Sheffi, LinkedIn Influencer

It appears that ports on the US West Coast are back in full swing after a protracted labor dispute delayed cargo worth billions of dollars and caused untold reputational damage to the companies caught in the crossfire.

But the implications of this standoff between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the Pacific Maritime Association go beyond idle ships and stranded freight containers.