January 06, 2015 • Articles

U.S. transportation secretary discusses “infrastructure deficit,” need for long-term innovation and planning.

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx warned, in remarks at an MIT forum on Monday, that America’s “infrastructure deficit” was growing and would worsen without further investment and long-term planning for new technologies.

January 06, 2015 • Articles

By Dr. Yossi Sheffi, LinkedIn Influencer

Comparing your company to industry leaders is a popular way to benchmark the organization's performance, and there are plenty of industry indices out there that rank companies according to various measures of excellence.

In the supply chain domain, the Gartner Supply Chain Top 25 index is one of the most closely followed indices. But do rankings such as the one published annually by Gartner really provide meaningful assessments of the world's top supply chains?

December 18, 2014 • Articles

The in-person learning environment allows participants to network and engage in lively discussion, but does involve time away from work and travel expenses on top of registration fees.

December 02, 2014 • Articles

By Dr. Yossi Sheffi, LinkedIn Influencer

Many of the large companies that dominate world markets owe their strength and continuing growth to their underlying structure: a formidable network. Such networks have special economic characteristics which provide competitive advantage.

We are surrounded by networks: social networks, airline networks, highway networks, wireless networks, and numerous others. These entities contain points (“nodes”) connected by “links or “edges.”

November 20, 2014 • Articles

“The e-commerce shipping model isn’t sustainable in its current form,” said Yossi Sheffi, a professor of engineering systems and director of the Center for Transportation & Logistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

“You cannot build a shipping network to operate 365 days a year based on a spike in packages three days before Christmas.”

Read More

November 19, 2014 • Articles

For its inaugural event, the recently formed MIT Global Health and Medical Humanities Initiative presented “Examining Ebola,” a panel that probed the current global public health emergency from multiple disciplinary perspectives. The gathering, held at MIT on Oct. 28, also encapsulated the goals of the new initiative, which is based in the Anthropology section of the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences.

November 17, 2014 • Articles

By Greg Israel and Hala Jalwan, MIT SCM Class of 2014

The process for creating product sales samples can be something of an afterthought in the consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry. Yet improving this specialized supply chain can streamline new product introductions; a significant competitive advantage given the sheer number of product launches in the industry.

November 10, 2014 • Articles

Somewhere beneath the graying shock of mad professor hair, the dark circles under his eyes and the Russian-strained, cigarette-stained baritone, there remains in Igor Pasternak a boy with a dream.

It has been this way since his curiosity was piqued growing up in the Soviet Union during the last throes of the space race. Photos of blimps and dirigibles in magazines fascinated him. By the time he was 10, with the encouragement of an airship designer to whom he had written, Pasternak was consumed with the idea of building a vessel that would float across the sky.

November 05, 2014 • Articles

By Jim Rice

The recent cyber attacks and security breaches at Target and Home Depot drew executives’ attention to the vulnerability of their companies to this type of crime. The incidents exposed some 40 million and 56 million credit cards respectively, and in the case of Home Depot, occurred despite the company’s best efforts to protect the firm.

October 31, 2014 • Articles

One of my favorite supply chain academics is Dr. Chris Caplice, executive director of MIT'S Center for Transportation and Logistics, because he leads research that is in the end highly practical and usually quite relevant for real supply chain professionals. He also adds to that an ability to articulate that research very effectively - both qualities not so common in academia.

October 31, 2014 • Articles

By Dr. Yossi Sheffi, LinkedIn Influencer

I’m no fan of Big Government, but there are some cases where a system-wide view is much more efficient than a localized, distributed view. An example in the supply chain space is US maritime policy. A broader, and more topical example, is managing the Ebola crisis.

Americans have an almost visceral dislike for large, centralized government, and for good reason. Who wants to rely on the feds to provide local services such as trash collections or trust the authorities to spend local tax revenues wisely?

October 23, 2014 • Articles

The University of Massachusetts Medical School will lead a team of doctors and nurses destined for Liberia, where they will provide care to the ill and train health workers in a nation ravaged by history’s deadliest outbreak of Ebola, officials announced Thursday.

Read More

October 20, 2014 • Articles

By Ranjana Mary Ninan and Christopher Sean Wang, MIT SCM Class of 2014

There is no better way to show the impact of major disruptions on supply chains than to convey the level of risk involved through a clear, impactful, visual device.

This is what MIT CTL researchers have done. They collaborated with two service providers, Sourcemap and AIR Worldwide, to develop an interactive mapping tool that evaluates operational risk, and flags the relative importance of key suppliers and manufacturers to the integrity of a supply chain.

October 17, 2014 • Articles

By Dr. Yossi Sheffi, LinkedIn Influencer

There is no easy way to present this idea, so I’ll go right ahead and state it plainly.

If I could wave a magic wand, I’d impose a hefty gas tax on Americans. And by “hefty” I mean of the order of 50 percent to 70 percent. I would also require a different money allocation mechanism for the funds generated by the tax.

I can already hear the howls of anguish; many of them from my closest friends and colleagues. But before you dismiss the idea of a substantial tax on gasoline, please hear me out.

September 29, 2014 • Articles

Seventy-seven million aging baby boomers—aka the Silver Tsunami, champions of the driverless car—are about to change everything in transportation. Again.

September 22, 2014 • Articles

By Yossi Sheffi

Disruptive technology platforms are only as good as the human resources they leverage.

Technology can create new business models and transform existing businesses, but it takes more than technical wizardry to sustain commercial success over the long haul. It also requires a committed workforce, especially when the business involves the physical delivery of people or products.

September 19, 2014 • Articles

We’ve been hearing a lot lately about the return of industry from foreign shores to the U.S.—a practice commonly known as reshoring—and how these repatriated companies are driving a manufacturing renaissance in America. It’s an enticing idea that resonates both politically and socially, but is it as big a trend as its proponents and various surveys claim?

September 18, 2014 • Articles

By Dr. Yossi Sheffi, LinkedIn Influencer

Since the launch of the Apple Watch with much fanfare this month, there’s been a lot of talk about how the device will carve out a viable niche in the consumer electronics market.

Another, potentially bigger picture talking point is how Apple’s latest gizmo has the potential to spur significant growth in the ecosystem of apps that surrounds mobile devices. The growth of this technology has major implications for product supply chains.

September 12, 2014 • Articles

By Hang Shi and Daniele Primavera, MIT SCM Class of 2014

Each point of sale (POS) in a retail supply chain generates a goldmine of demand data. The data can be used to drive upstream decisions, but the amount of time, effort, and cross-team collaboration needed often frustrates such applications.

The MIT CTL researchers developed models to show how a leading CPG manufacturer can use large volumes of POS data to improve supply chain performance.

Read More

September 11, 2014 • Articles

By Dr. Edgar Blanco and Ken Cottrill

September 08, 2014 • Articles

Getting the experts and material into West Africa is difficult as many airlines have canceled flights to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. Shipping Lines are refusing to dock at the countries' ports.

Dr. Jarrod Goentzel is interviewed by Jackie Northam for NPR's Morning Edition news segment.

Right-click and choose 'Save As' to listen to the news segment (MP3).

September 07, 2014 • Articles

“Relatively few” of companies’ announced “reshorings” of manufacturing to the US have actually gone ahead and the trend’s effect on employment has been a “drop in the bucket,” research by a Massachusetts Institute of Technology academic suggests.

The work, by Jim Rice, deputy director of MIT’s Center for Transportation and Logistics, throws into doubt expectations that the US economy might enjoy significant growth in manufacturing employment through job repatriation.

August 22, 2014 • Articles

With the crisis in Iraq, four countries are now experiencing severe humanitarian emergencies involving the displacement of millions of people, something experts and relief groups say hasn’t been seen in decades.

Iraq, Syria, the Central African Republic and South Sudan are all going through Level 3 emergencies, the United Nations’ highest classification of a humanitarian crisis.

August 19, 2014 • Articles

By Hiral Nisar and Joshua Rosenzweig, MIT SCM Class of 2014

August 14, 2014 • Articles

By Edgar E. Blanco