Sourcing automation solution
News aKeelvar has launched its new AI-powered ocean freight sourcing automation solution. This latest automation offering helps procurement teams offload work while remaining agile and responsive to dynamic changes experienced by global supply chains.

Keelvar’s new automation product provides an intelligent sourcing software bot specifically designed for ocean logistics spend and leverages Keelvar’s Sourcing Optimizer platform to improve sourcing decisions. The sourcing bot aims to vastly boost efficiency and quality for both buyers and carriers in handling many of the detailed, repetitive tasks associated with smaller bidding events that arise frequently and often unpredictably for companies shipping goods globally.

Speaking on the launch of their new ocean freight automation solution, Founder and CEO of Keelvar, Alan Holland said: “Agility in responding to supply chain disruptions, as we’ve seen in 2020, is crucial to success. Sourcing bots are ready 24/7 to source alternative supply lines when needed. This frees up personnel to build trust and relationships in strategic longer-term negotiations. Sourcing Automation can also help find more efficient and more environmentally-friendly alternatives that lead to win-win outcomes.”


Streamlined documents
News bNiceLabel, a leading global developer of label design software and label management systems, has launched a new version of its label management solutions portfolio: version, 2019.3. The new software update will enable organisations to use just a single platform for designing and printing their labels and supply chain documents (something many struggled with before), thereby saving them time and costs and streamlining their whole production process.

The NiceLabel software previously offered out-of-the-box label design, allowing business users to quickly and easily design and print labels. The new version builds on this capability, enabling users, especially those working in factories or warehouses, to seamlessly design and print related supply chain documents, including delivery notes, pick lists, packing slips and invoices, from a single platform.

The 2019.3 release of the NiceLabel software also features a connector to cloud-based software from Workday, as well as enhancements to NiceLabel’s SAP advanced business application programming (ABAP) package and a web-based manager for the NiceLabel integration system that allows users to centrally manage all integrations.

In parallel with the 2019.3 launch, NiceLabel is also introducing a brand-new edition of Label Cloud.

Sensing future issues
Supply chain and logistics have seen massive disruptions as a result of Covid-19, creating new challenges for retail and manufacturing operations worldwide. In the new report ‘Sensing for Modern Logistics,’ Lux Research identifies how sensors can be used to improve and modernize logistics across various industries to shore up global supply chain infrastructures.

According to Lux, there are four critical points in the logistics process – point of origin, warehousing, transit, and destination – each with a unique set of challenges that impact the efficiency of supply chains, sometimes even leading to complete breakdowns.

Fortunately, sensors can alert companies to problems and help them address these issues, sometimes even before they become a problem. They can be used to monitor environmental conditions, prevent misplacement, identify damages, avoid accidents, ensure compliance, track location, reveal real-time conditions, and more.

Global supply chain journey
Kinaxis Inc. has renewed a contract with Casio Computer Co., Ltd. to help manage the company’s major products including timepieces, electronic dictionaries and calculators. Casio has been using the Kinaxis RapidResponse platform and concurrent planning technique since 2003, to connect its global supply chain. Casio leverages the power of RapidResponse and a suite of applications including master production scheduling, inventory management and capacity planning.

With Kinaxis, Casio has end-to-end visibility of its supply chain, and the ability to instantly and continuously balance all aspects of the demand and supply plans, taking into consideration material restrictions, production capacity and market volatility. Especially important amid the current global pandemic, RapidResponse provides the ability to run multiple simulations and collaborate in real-time giving the agility and flexibility needed to react to market volatility and changes in demand.

Changing demands
News cWith the pandemic upending holiday trends, DS Smith has released a new survey that shows retailers and supply chains need to be prepared for a rush of online shopping and high consumer demand for effective packaging. The research shows most Americans plan to do at least half of their holiday shopping online, and consumers are looking for fast, free deliveries and sustainable packaging options.

“The rapid growth of e-commerce that has occurred during the pandemic, combined with the busy holiday shopping season, is putting unparalleled pressure on the behind-the-scenes logistics operations. Poorly designed packaging that doesn’t perform in this rigorous supply chain can create additional issues, like shipping delays or gifts arriving damaged,” said Mark Ushpol, managing director of packaging at DS Smith.





Digital logistics
News dLoadsmart, a leading digital freight technology company, has successfully completed its Series C fundraising. The $90 million round was led by BlackRock, Inc.’s managed funds and included prominent strategic investors from the transportation space such as TFI International Inc., a North American leader in the transportation and logistics industry, and Maersk, the world’s leading ocean carrier and a Loadsmart investor since Series A. The deal was co-led by Chromo Invest, with participation from Perry Capital, founded by Richard C. Perry; and Bramalea Partners, recently founded by Andrew Boyd, former head of global equity capital markets at Fidelity Investments. Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC served as Loadsmart’s exclusive placement agent. Paul Hastings served as legal adviser.

The proceeds of the Series C round will allow Loadsmart to better serve shippers through doubling down on the tools to deliver excellent operational performance, as well as an expansion of value-added services like mode optimization, price transparency and data insights on supply chain optimization opportunities.

2025 ambitions
News eBrambles, the global supply-chain solutions company operating through the CHEP brand, is embarking on a new five-year sustainability plan. Leveraging its circular business model, Brambles aims to transform how life’s essentials are delivered to people by pioneering regenerative supply chains for its customers.

According to Dr. JJ Freijo, Brambles’ Global Head of Sustainability: “For us ‘regenerative’ means restoring, replenishing and creating more value or capital for society and the environment than the business takes out. The business understands its responsibility around this ambitious vision which is why we are also seeking to account for both the Natural and Social capital of our 2025 programmes and validate our progress towards regenerative position.”

Brambles shared its achievements over the past five years in its annual Sustainability Review released in September where it also unveiled its new targets, seeking to create a nature-positive business with re-use, resilience and regeneration at its core. This innovative sustainability strategy sees an evolution from Brambles’ 2015 Better Planet, Better Business, Better Communities programme to a Planet Positive, Business Positive and Communities Positive strategy. In essence it’s about doing more good, creating more positive outcomes rather than being ‘less bad’ by only reducing negative impacts.

Brambles believes this vision is ambitious and, right now, it admits it doesn’t have all the answers. However, through the engagement of its people and commitment of its partners the company will collaborate to find the solutions. As a pioneer in the circular economy, Brambles is already well positioned to succeed in this new context and importantly, it has already begun.


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