64 articles

An ‘All-of-the-Above’ Approach to U.S. Infrastructure

Investing in U.S. infrastructure may be one of the few bipartisan efforts that everyone can get behind.
Michele Nellenbach | Bipartisan Policy Center

Sarah Kline | Bipartisan Policy Center

In the days following the presidential election, infrastructure seemed a likely candidate for immediate action in 2017. President Donald Trump committed in his election night speech to rebuild our infrastructure so that it is “second to none.” Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle agreed that infrastructure should be high on the agenda. […]

Automating Supply Chain Resilience

To benefit from advanced risk identification tools and keep pace with customer expectations, companies need a new approach to supply chain resilience.
Dr. Luca Urciuoli | Zaragoza Logistics Center

Substantial investments in supply chain resilience have enabled companies to vastly improve their capacity for bouncing back after a disruption. But the digitization of supply chains is introducing new demands on company operations that require a different approach to building supply chain resilience. With the benefit of digital technologies, companies are using big data to […]

What the Gambler’s Fallacy Can Teach Us About Risk

Don't ignore Murphy's Law when making business decisions.

Have you ever heard of the gambler’s fallacy? In essence, it’s a cognitive bias in which one assumes that future probabilities are affected by past events. In other words, it’s the belief that something bad won’t happen in the future because you avoided calamity in the past. There’s a valuable business lesson within this misconception. […]

The Future of Delivery

UPS’s latest drone test shows that the gap between vision and reality is closing.
Mark Wallace | UPS

Drone delivery is one of the hottest topics – if not the most heavily discussed – in transportation and logistics circles these days. People ask me all the time how drones might change the delivery landscape and what we’re doing to leverage another disruptive technology. There’s plenty of speculation out there about a future where […]

Drone Meets Delivery Truck

This CEO is re-imagining package delivery. Learn more about his vision here.
Stephen Burns | Workhorse Group

UPS on Monday tested a residential package delivery, using a drone launched from the roof of a delivery truck. The drone and the delivery truck were made by Workhorse Group. In this test, the drone flew autonomously to a home where it delivered a package and returned to the vehicle – while the delivery driver continued […]

From Latin America With Love: The Valentine’s Day Challenge

There are remarkable similarities in how fresh flowers and fruit get to your doorstep.

Every February, shoppers depend on farmers in Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, the Dominican Republic and Costa Rica for a universal token of love and affection – fresh cut flowers. These temperate countries provide a significant amount of the delicate floras that are given during the Valentine’s Day season. For everyone preparing to take their loved ones […]

Book Excerpt: Thank You for Being Late

Bestselling author Thomas Friedman looks at UPS and the future of big data.
Thomas Friedman | The New York Times

Thomas Friedman, The New York Times columnist and author, is waiting at a downtown Washington, DC, restaurant, where he’ll repeat a normal ritual, combining an interview and breakfast. When his interview subject arrives, the man immediately begins to apologize for his tardiness. “No, please – don’t apologize,” Friedman interrupts, realizing that he had been enjoying […]

Breaking Down Supply Chain and Logistics Trends in 2017

In a society surrounded by digital innovations, companies must stay ahead of the trends to survive.
Ludger Schuh | INFORM GmbH

“The digital transformation is no longer just a buzzword.” This was a fitting conclusion from Prof. Dr. Raimund Klinker at last year’s international logistics congress in Berlin. For several years now, processes (especially in logistics, but also in many other economic areas) have become more and more digitalized. This trend will continue for the next […]

Improving Traceability for Better Supply Chain Performance

Choosing a solution to track and trace products can impact supply chains in multiple ways.

Many companies are striving to improve supply chain traceability in response to increasing demand from customers and government regulators for more information on product flows. The ability to accurately track the movement of products also helps companies increase the efficiency of supply chains. Researchers at the Malaysia Institute for Supply Chain Innovation (MISI), Shah Alam, Malaysia, […]

How Asking ‘What If?’ Will Lead Us to Tomorrow’s Innovations

Today's leaders should encourage their teams to journey into the unknown.

We often talk about how technology – and more specifically, how the Internet – has changed business, but we don’t often discuss how the Internet has changed leadership. The style of leadership we need today is very different from what worked 50, 20 – or even 10 – years ago. Just as the Internet enabled […]

How to Help Combat Malaria: Supply Chain Remedies

Saving millions of lives starts with better supply chains.
Lauren McKown | MIT-D Lab

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 mosquitoes.  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 […]

The Power of Core Values

Basic core values can create a sustainable world, but it will be an uphill battle moving forward.
Aron Cramer | BSR

This has been a remarkable year politically. When looking at Brexit, the U.S. presidential election, the ongoing refugee crisis and crackdowns by some governments on civil society, it’s clear that faith in Western political institutions, globalization and our future is dangerously low.  This landscape contrasts starkly with the exhilarating promise of 2015’s big achievements: the Sustainable […]

A Fresh Take on Supply Chain Innovation

How big ideas can redesign your supply chain.
James B. Rice Jr. | Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Tim Rowell | PepsiCo

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 […]

Entrepreneurial Crowd-Pleasers

Here are a few motivational gems from past keynote speakers Jeff Bezos, Conan O’Brien, Oprah and more.
Longitudes | UPS

Entrepreneurs look beyond convention and inspire creativity. That’s just one reason that they get hired to speak at commencement ceremonies at universities around the country.  True to form, some of them tried to motivate students with an unorthodox approach, like VC Ben Horowitz, who told Columbia graduates, “Don’t follow your passion.” Here are a few […]

To Expand Your Thinking, Explore the History of Your Industry

How the future of your company depends on your knowledge of its past.
Alex Goldman | Institute for the Future

Professionals tend to see the operational structure of their institutions as reflections of the natural state of things. From their vantage point, new disruptive models can seem unnatural, unfamiliar, outside forces. Clothing companies are supposed to have designers. Insurance companies are supposed to have agents. Hotel companies are supposed to manage buildings. If you believe […]

Sending Cancer Packing

How logistics can help make or break product launches.
Kevin Conroy | Exact Sciences

Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. It doesn’t have to be that way. A colonoscopy can detect the disease at an early, treatable stage. But because that traditional test is an invasive procedure, a third of all U.S. adults who should get tested don’t get screened. Exact […]

4 Trends Redefining Distribution

The dominant design of distribution is changing, and the results will be dramatic.
Chris Caplice | MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics

Remember the early days of cellphones when a new model seemed to appear every week and each one looked dramatically different? This is typical of a new product market. Initially, wildly different variants are released and tested in the market, but eventually they converge on a common core of features. That is, a dominant design […]

3 Tech Trends Shaping the Future of Global Logistics

Advanced logistics technologies will create a faster, cheaper and more sustainable circulation of goods.
UPS | WSJ Logistics Report

While the global logistics business has never taken many cues from Silicon Valley, an array of new technologies is set to significantly alter — and likely disrupt — the $4 trillion sector over the next several years. Smartphone apps and GPS technology have already removed the boundaries between factories and roads. Sophisticated tracking software is […]

Smoothing the Path From Grape to Glass

As costs for wine shipments shrink, small wineries would benefit from pro-growth regulations and new logistics strategies.
Derek Banta | UPS

Running a small winery may seem romantic – an endless parade of wine tastings and strolling through vineyards. At least, those are the images many of us have from movies and television. But as is the case with most things, the pictures don’t always match the reality. That’s especially the case for small wineries that […]

The Challenge of Transformation

Innovative and flexible supply chains are needed to help Southeast Asia live up to its potential.
Mark Wallace | UPS

The following is based on a speech given by Mark Wallace, UPS Senior Vice President-Global Engineering and Sustainability, at the Harvard Asia Business Conference in Cambridge, Mass. In the second of a two-part series, Wallace focuses on the transformation of Southeast Asia.  Click here to read part one. As Southeast Asia prepares to emerge from China’s […]

China in Transition

Logistics will play a critical role as Asia’s most powerful nation moves to a consumer economy.
Mark Wallace | UPS

The following is based on a speech given by Mark Wallace, UPS Senior Vice President-Global Engineering and Sustainability, at the Harvard Asia Business Conference in Cambridge, Mass. In the first of a two-part series, Wallace focuses on China in transition.  There are two powerful streams of change emerging to create the new Asia: Its most […]

You Build it. They Come. What Next?

For upstart businesses, bigger isn’t necessarily better.
Mark Modesti | UPS

I talk to small business owners every day about their challenges, and many of them – especially those on a solid growth path – tell me they struggle at times with operational efficiency. They’ve built a successful business around a solid idea, and the customers have followed. Now they realize there’s more to the story […]

Will Disruption Take a Bite Out of Logistics Jobs?

New technologies and trends will shake up the industry, but could boost employment.
Alan Amling | UPS

As advancing technology and business-model innovations gain momentum and threaten to disrupt logistics, some are beginning to worry about their impact on logistics-related jobs. Take 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, for example. The concern over jobs is based in the fact that 3D printing eliminates the need for both high-volume production facilities and […]

The Logistics of Keeping Flowers Fresh

With more than 100 million stems shipped, flowers may be the most-loved cargo in the cold-chain logistics process.

The roses in your living room. The blueberries in your salad. The fish you’re having for dinner. These products have likely traveled thousands of miles before arriving in your home, so how are they as fresh as the day they were harvested? The answer lies in the logistics “cold chain” that speeds flowers and other […]

10 Steps to Mitigating Transportation Risk

Shippers need to take these steps to effectively identify and avoid supply chain risk.
J. Paul Dittmann, Ph.D. | University of Tennessee

Last in a Six-Part Series. Click here to read part one,  part two, part three, part four and part five. So far in this series, we have discussed many factors that affect supply chain risk and insurance. In this post, I want to share 10 action steps that shippers can take in order to effectively identify and avoid supply chain […]

The Power of Resilience

A Q&A with Yossi Sheffi on how the best companies manage the unexpected.
Yossi Sheffi | MIT

In his new book, “The Power of Resilience: How the Best Companies Manage the Unexpected” (MIT Press), MIT professor Yossi Sheffi explains why modern vulnerabilities call for innovative processes and tools for creating and embedding corporate resilience and risk management. Sheffi spoke with Longitudes editor Samantha Slappey. Samantha: Your book is titled “The Power of […]

How to Unlock Hidden Opportunities

Success is often staring you right in the face. You might need a different point of view to find it.
Jack Broudy | OMBEE

In professional sports, coaches work to unlock every athlete’s hidden potential. The goal is simple: Put every team member in the best position to perform at the highest level. Finding the most effective techniques, however, often requires a different vantage point. [Also on Longitudes: Necessity is the Mother of Innovation] How my business came to life […]

The 10 Megatrends for Insuring Goods in Transit

Companies that consider these trends when making strategic decisions are likely to be prepared for future shifts in this dynamic industry.
J. Paul Dittmann, Ph.D. | University of Tennessee

Fifth in a Six-Part Series. Click here to read part one,  part two, part three and part four What does the future hold for insuring goods in transit? Below is a list of 10 megatrends for insuring goods in transit, some of which are already apparent in the marketplace today. Increased supply chain visibility More technology and carrier services […]

Cargo Insurance: A Go-to Guide

While each form of insurance can be beneficial to businesses, cargo insurance is the most effective way to insure your company’s supply chain.
J. Paul Dittmann, Ph.D. | University of Tennessee

Fourth in a Six-Part Series. Click here to read part one,  part two and part three. In my last post, I discussed the three most common types of supply chain insurance: self-insurance, business owner property and casualty, and cargo insurance. While each form of insurance can be beneficial to businesses, cargo insurance, which covers goods in transit, is […]

The Ins and Outs of Supply Chain Insurance

There are a number of insurance products available to protect supply chains from losses, and it’s important to understand the basics and the pitfalls associated with each.
J. Paul Dittmann, Ph.D. | University of Tennessee

Third in a Six-Part Series. Click here to read part one and part two. There are a number of insurance products available to protect your supply chain from the losses described in my last post– and it’s important that you understand the basics and the pitfalls associated with each. The more common include: Self-insurance Business owner property […]