How vacations affect logistics and distribution

Worker loading a box onto a truck-vacation in the logistics vector

El verano ya está aquí y sin duda, es la época del año en la que la mayoría de la gente tiene y/o decide coger sus vacaciones. Se conocía que tiempo atrás gran parte de las empresas, incluidas con logística, cerraba por descanso del personal durante el mes de agosto, con la excepción de sectores … Read more

4 warehouse location strategies

Foto de parque industrial creado por 4045 - ubicación de los almacenes foto

Since the onset of the pandemic, it is clear that there has been considerable growth in the e-commerce sector. As a result, both online retailers and logistics operators have been working to improve and implement all the necessary changes in both warehouse management and last mile distribution. However, large retailers and distribution centers have gone a step further in the location of warehouses.

It is known that 82 logistics parks have been opened in Spain in the last 2 years, which is a remarkable number considering the impact of the e-commerce boom. However, what strategies are companies taking into account to locate their activities in certain logistics centers? If you want to know them, take a look!

Product features

This is one of the most important factors in warehouse location, as the product to be sold or distributed is at the heart of the business model, whether B2B or B2C. However, several components of the goods such as durability, intrinsic stability and manageability must also be taken into account.

Durability is a fundamental aspect when it comes to fresh goods where they are to be consumed soon after purchase such as foodstuffs. While intrinsic stability is a relevant factor for chemical products where mishandling can cause health problems, so they are safer, being stored only at their production plant and points of use. Handling is also an important point for bulk liquids and aggregates because it is not convenient to store them in many places and transfer them until they are already packaged. 

Production capacity

Another aspect to be taken into account in the location of warehouses is the storage capacity, which is in proportion to the amount of manufacturing and/or imports by suppliers. But it is not only a question of focusing on volume, but also of paying attention to other factors such as the degrees of transformation.

The degrees of transformation classify goods on the amount of processing required to become the manufactured product they distribute (which may not necessarily be destined to the final consumer depending on the business model). A product with a low degree of conversion is usually one that needs only to be packaged and/or processed such as fresh goods. While an item with a medium or high degree of modification are those that go through many or many developments and changes to make them suitable for sale such as industrial materials, so it might need several warehouses for the raw materials involved in manufacturing.

Finally, it is known that a distribution network is mainly composed of the following three characteristics of the warehouses: the number, location and types of warehouses. Keeping these aspects in balance in order to be as profitable as possible is not at all simple because of the tedious planning involved, apart from the fact that there are two important factors to take into account: the composition and the distribution in the marketing network.

Vector de cadena de suministro - ubicación de los almacenes vector

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Crisis in maritime transport

Cargo barge moored at port dock loading with colorful cargo containers isometric composition isometric vector illustration-vector shipping crisis vector

Usually, the focus of attention is usually placed on land freight transport, on issues that are up to date such as the lack of carriers, traffic restrictions in cities, the digitization of the sector, among other aspects. However, a crisis is occurring in maritime transport and it is currently in the spotlight because of the great collapse of one of the key pieces of the most important supply chain worldwide, since 80% of international trade depends on this means.

However, how did it come to this point of crisis in the ports? How is it going to affect the supply chain? If you want to learn more about the crisis in shipping, you have to take a look at the following points that make it up:

Shanghai port collapse

One of the world's most important ports, the port of Shanghai, has suffered a considerable hold-up of cargo ships, which is already greatly affecting certain supply chains such as the technological ones that focus on tablets and screens. Its main cause is the resurgence of covid-19 which has led to strict confinements in several residential apartments and limited the work of millions of inhabitants, including factories.

In this situation of the shipping crisis, if raw materials are increasing in price due to inflation because of the pandemic stoppage, the cost of these same materials along with their transportation could increase much more. It should be noted that prices may increase particularly in the technology and appliance sector, in addition to the fact that these products will run out and take longer to be replenished due to delays. 

Sustainability rate

Cargo ships are known to be one of the main culprits of the greenhouse effect that is already threatening climate change. Several entities are already thinking about how to tackle this problem in the face of the decarbonization of maritime transport and one of the solutions proposed is the application of the "emissions market".

Undoubtedly, such a decision may cause a misuse of the same tax because companies would choose to "flee" European ports and resort to other international ports without this type of restrictions. If this is the case, the main objective of reducing emissions would end up being in vain and other ways of applying sustainable taxes should be considered. In addition, the current crisis in maritime transport would delay the implementation of this type of measures.

Fotografía aérea de la terminal de contenedores-crisis en el transporte marítimo foto

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Hedyla en el e-Show de 2022

stand de Hedyla e-Show 2022

La semana pasada parte del equipo de Hedyla ha estado presente una vez más en el e-Show de 2022 que tuvo lugar en la Fira de Barcelona, en particular en el recinto de Montjuic. Este año se ha notado más afluencia que el año pasado gracias a la relajación de las restricciones de la pandemia. … Read more

4 Logistical decisions to be made by Artificial Intelligence

Ilustración del concepto de cara de robot. decisiones logísticas que tomará la inteligencia artificial vector

Whether in the digitization of processes or digital transformation, artificial intelligence is increasingly present among companies in any sector. But logistics stands out, as companies today seek to streamline their digital operations and/or change their strategy to meet current industry demands, looking for the best logistics decisions that Artificial Intelligence will make.

There are currently many options and tools with AI on the market that, rather than offering a magic solution to all problems, help in the management of the most complicated processes and assist in making decisions in the face of difficult challenges to solve. Some of them have already been heard a lot about due to their recent use in large companies, but others are not so well known.

The following are the types of logistics decisions that Artificial Intelligence will make in both operations and strategy.

Demand forecasting

It is no mystery to know the most popular peak demand times such as Christmas or Black Friday, when most industries are affected. However, each sector and, in particular, each company knows its own order increases in more or less detail depending on the times and data from previous years, among other aspects.

Despite this, the optimal number of stock is not always right in order not to suffer losses due to excess or broken stock due to its incredible complexity determined by both external and internal factors. That is where AI comes in to plan demand based on algorithms that calculate previous years, marketing campaigns and even taking into account some external circumstances such as changes in laws.

Reverse logistics costs

Reverse logistics is known to be one of the biggest challenges for a company running a supply chain. This is because the cost of a return is much higher than that of a shipment because it is not only a matter of bringing the product back to the warehouse. It is not only a matter of bringing the product back to the warehouse, but also a rigorous administrative management to reintroduce it to the active stock, repair it if necessary, or destroy it if the previous steps cannot be applied.

At this point is when Artificial Intelligence comes in to make decisions based on several criteria, but whose main objective is to assess whether to process the return of the order or not. To do this, the AI takes into account such obvious factors as the cost of the refund, but also other not so obvious ones such as the condition of the product to consider its resale and even the buyer's history to analyze his behavior with the brand.

Once these facts have been analyzed, the AI can make two decisions: either not to process the return, but to pay the customer if the costs are not profitable, or to process it when the losses are not so serious for the company's economy. Not forgetting that the dissatisfied consumer is also analyzed in terms of his brand loyalty and whether he will be penalized for processing too many returns.

Hombre usando un asistente digital en su tableta. decisiones logísticas que tomará la inteligencia artificial

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3 logistics solutions for the wine sector

Manos de personas recibiendo una botella de vino tinto. soluciones logisticas para el sector vitivinícola foto

Two years after the beginning of the pandemic, we can confirm that the wine sector is gradually recovering. That is because its consumption is growing to pre-pandemic levels after the presence of really important stock problems derived from the lack of sales and reduction of production due to the pandemic.

On the other hand, we should not overlook the current threats to post-pandemic recovery that also affect the other sectors. From the increase in the price of supplies and their shortage to the political and economic tension caused by the invasion of Ukraine, which have left a difficult panorama for the restoration.

One solution for logistics in the wine sector to cope with the growing demand and cost savings has been digitization and with it, the use of digital tools to improve internal processes. In this case, the planning of e-commerce and in-store distribution routes and the tracking of deliveries through a mobile application have improved the quality of service. The customer is the most important thing and a mistake in delivery can be catastrophic for their confidence and satisfaction.

But let's go a step further and discover the ways in which logistics solutions for the wine industry can help in the supply chain. Here are some of them:

Transportation Management

An essential part of logistics in the wine sector is transportation. We are talking about a product that is sensitive not only to sudden temperature changes but also to the duration of the journey. To this must be added the weight of glass, which in some cases can exceed the maximum authorized weight and the consequent penalty that this entails.

With a transport management system we will be able to optimize not only the specific loads needed but also the routes. All this taking into account the necessary conditions to load wines safely without losing quality. This is undoubtedly one of the most important logistics solutions for the wine industry.

Traceability

Another problem faced by logistics in the wine sector is fraud caused by the lack of traceability of the origin of the products. To validate the quality of the wine, especially if it is a high-priced product distributed in bulk, it is very important to have the location of the components in hand. In this way, apart from fraud, we can avoid excessive costs for the recall of products in the market that are out of our control.

Among the logistics solutions for the wine sector, it is important to implement a warehouse management system or WMS, which has a good identification and coding system. That is because its correct labeling can unequivocally guarantee the origin of the products, particularly if they are high quality wines. Besides that a blockchain system is perfect in traceability. That is because such processes become more transparent for the consumer and more secure for producers thanks to its encrypted blockchain system.

Ilustración isométrica de la fabricación de vino. soluciones logísticas para el sector vitivinícola vector. soluciones logísticas para el sector vitivinícola

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What are the most sought-after professional profiles in logistics?

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Currently, the logistics and transportation sector is becoming quite relevant due to the growth of e-commerce. In addition to the fact that in Spain it is one of the most important sectors of the economy for having a GDP of 10% and managing more than 500 thousand shipments per year.

Looking at this panorama, it can be stated that it is an industry that employs more than 950,000 people, a very attractive figure for people who wish to start or change their professional career. But, specifically, what are the professional profiles in logistics, and is any specific training required to be able to exercise these professions?

If you are interested in knowing the details of the most in-demand logistics professional profiles, take a look!

Warehouse handler

Undoubtedly, this is the most sought-after profile in the logistics sector. Their tasks are based on assisting in the loading and unloading of trucks, checking and ordering merchandise, controlling the stock of products, preparing them and keeping the warehouse register up to date.

These professional logistics profiles require a minimum of compulsory secondary education. However, there are specialized training courses such as forklift or warehouse handler that help to have a solid foundation for the job performance and improve the curriculum. Not to mention the physical ability to move heavy objects from one place to another. cursos de formación especializados como la de carretillero o la de mozo de almacén que ayuda a tener una base sólida para el desempeño del trabajo y mejoran el currículum. Sin olvidar que se debe poseer la capacidad física para mover objetos pesados de un lugar a otro.

Forklift operator

The second most sought-after profile in the sector is the warehouse foreman. These are people who handle forklifts and are responsible for receiving, placing heavy packages on pallets and preparing orders and packaging.

Despite what the name suggests, the professional is not only focused on a specific task. In the case of forklift operators, they perform other complementary tasks such as reviewing delivery notes. In order to access this position, it is required to have passed the ESO and to undergo forklift training to be able to handle the machinery.

Delivery person

This is probably one of the professional logistics profiles that has gained much relevance in recent years due to the considerable growth of e-commerce. The delivery driver is in charge of getting the goods to their destination, as well as planning the most efficient schedules and routes. This task can be much easier if a route optimizer is used.

In addition to that, he also organizes the merchandise in his van and communicates directly with customers, having a certain profile of a salesman. To be able to work as such, you need a type B driver's license, own your own van and have all the documentation in order to be self-employed.

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Keys to understand the rise in fuel prices

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La gran subida del precio del combustible es un hecho, ya que está presente en nuestro día a día, además de preocupante. La mayoría de las personas están comentando por su gran impacto tanto a particulares como a empresas. Pero, ¿cuáles son las causas principales que nos ha llevado a este punto? ¿Qué consecuencias va … Read more

5 ways to optimize your logistics nodes

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Logistics nodes are known to be a fundamental part of all the processes involved in logistics. They range from factories to last mile distribution centers in charge of receiving, storing and managing the entire distribution of goods.

However, these operations are often not optimized. Therefore, the quality of service to customers deteriorates considerably due to delays, reduced shelf life of perishable products, having a product out of stock for a prolonged period of time, among others.

For ways to get the most out of your logistics infrastructure, take a look at the following points:

Design distribution strategies

The company may already have its own distribution strategies for its own network of logistics nodes. However, given the constant changes that can affect all logistics, it may be necessary to update them according to current demands.

Para ello, recopilar la mayor cantidad de datos posibles es esencial para conocer los siguientes pasos que se tienen que dar. De esta manera, se pueden diseñar estrategias eficientes para cubrir las necesidades de la mercancía y la distribución.

Define management indicators

As it is often mentioned, the performance of an activity cannot be evaluated if we do not have key indicators assigned. In the management of a logistics infrastructure, this is no exception and KPIs must also be assigned in all operations to have their monitoring at hand.

It not only serves to measure the performance of merchandise management. It is also very useful for keeping logistics node costs and customer satisfaction in check, especially in the event of complaints and problems with products.

Perform inspection of the infrastructure

The inspection and maintenance of the infrastructure of the logistics nodes is essential both for the safety of the personnel and for the guarantee of the goods. Otherwise it can cause serious accidents in both situations.

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7 benefits of a TMS that will help your business

Ilustración de vector de concepto abstracto de gestión de cadena de suministro - beneficios del tms

You've probably already heard about why it's so important for your company to implement transportation management software because of all the benefits a TMS provides. Thanks to the growth that the TMS industry has experienced, there are now more affordable options for small and medium sized companies along with that of large enterprises.

However, it may seem complicated to install a TMS and that it will take time to understand its interface and manage it. But the opposite is true: it saves time and money in your logistics operations.

If you want to know in detail the benefits of a TMS, take a look at the following tips:

Unify all data in one place

Imagine a TMS as a control tower that also unifies all types of data on a single platform, from the manufacturer to the last mile. In this way, you can visualize it from a single platform and always keep the information up to date.

Thanks to this unification, managers and staff can make changes easily and with all the updated information. From route adjustments to implementing new processes, this is one of the key benefits of a TMS for your company.

Increases warehouse efficiency

Being up to date on the life cycle of orders throughout the supply chain gives a clear view of future needs and anticipates when inventory needs to be replenished.

Having full control over the loads entering and leaving the warehouse helps to better calculate the amount of stock needed to meet demand without delays and also to avoid stock-outs.

Let's not forget either that all the time saved on more automated tasks can be invested in this very important aspect of the entire logistics process.

Save transportation costs

It is known that one of the most costly activities in the entire logistics process is transportation, due to the fact of handling fuel, distances traveled, personnel, among others. It is estimated that it accounts for more than 50% of the total logistic cost of all companies.

However, one of the benefits of a TMS is that it assists in the planning of all loads so that each trip is worthwhile and no more money is wasted than could be saved. In addition, if we optimize our routes for those loads, we will be able to reduce further costs.

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5 solutions for carriers to make their job easier

Ilustración de concepto abstracto de centro logístico vector gratuito - soluciones para transportistas

One of the most critical moments in logistics is the transport of goods in which we try to operate with the least possible inconveniences to achieve the objectives successfully. Also carriers are a key part of this process with many setbacks, therefore, it is important to find solutions for carriers.

The most common problems drivers encounter are often beyond their control and their main causes are overwork and lack of proper management. If you want to know the keys to help carriers in their delivery and driving management, take note!

Optimize routes

Carriers often work against the clock to get deliveries to loading and unloading centers on time, especially those over long distances. It usually takes a lot of work to organize all the destination points to save time. In addition, both freight managers and carriers have strict work schedules and limits on their vehicles, making organization even more difficult.

Therefore, a route optimizer plays an important role in finding the most efficient route possible taking into account the various constraints and characteristics of the load, the vehicle and the driver himself. That is why it is one of the most useful solutions for carriers.

Communicate in real time

On the road and in cities, many types of mishaps can occur despite a well-defined route and optimized loading. All this work would be in vain if good real-time communication is not maintained.

Thanks to the digitization of the industry, more carrier solutions have been developed that keep staff in touch and can instantly send messages about the status of the delivery. From supply chain delays to traffic restrictions and outages, everyone involved in the process must be informed of any unforeseen events and create strategies to avoid them as much as possible.

Upgrade vehicles

Given the increasing restrictions in cities and on highways regarding the circulation of a certain number and type of vehicles, it is time to consider such solutions for carriers as alternatives that meet the requirements of the environmental label.

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How Santa carries out his logistics for Christmas

Retrato de hombre en Traje de Santa Claus - logística para Navidad

It is one of the most important times of the year and Santa Claus along with the heads of each department's help prepare well in advance their logistics for Christmas so that all the gifts arrive on time to their homes.

Looking at how demand has grown in recent years, it is no longer enough to manufacture and distribute toys with his sleigh alone. The logistical processes have become increasingly complex and demanding, so Santa Claus has an army of elves and reindeer ready to facilitate such complex logistics management for Christmas.

From raw materials

When Santa Claus has an idea in mind for a new toy, he works with the development department to get the product into production. He makes sure that the elves get the raw materials they need for manufacturing thanks to his good relationships with suppliers.

To fullfill this, the materials travel through a complicated network of logistics from the time they are mined for processing in a factory and so on until they reach the hands of the elves, who make the final product. In addition, their magical staff has a warehouse for all those goods used for the manufacture of toys.

Inventory storage

From raw materials to toys ready to be shipped, all this inventory must be stored in their respective warehouses. There all the items are packed, sorted and well ordered so that they can be easily located in a warehouse as big as Santa's.

Thanks to the latest technological advances, Santa Claus has not hesitated to automate the ordering systems and to optimize the stock databases in order to have total control over the inventory and avoid stock-outs.

Warehouse operating processes

When one of the thousands of warehouses Santa Claus has all over the world orders a certain amount of toys, the elves in charge of the warehouse get down to work. First they check the available stock, locate the order and pack it carefully so that the products are not damaged in transport. For this purpose, a picking optimizer is very helpful in locating inventory quickly.

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Supply chain crisis

crisis en la cadena de suministro - 01

The crisis in the global supply chain is already more than evident and all the media are echoing it. The economic recovery is uneven, and while in some countries it is being reactivated in others, the lack of supplies is wreaking havoc.

The shortage of heavy vehicle drivers is causing bottlenecks that will be difficult to solve. Much of the product is staying in the factory, as it cannot get out due to transportation and supply problems.

This is causing large companies to start working directly with retailers in order to secure supply.

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