Supply Scan

News and trends from across the food supply chain.

Schneider Logistics Inc., Green Bay, WI, has announced that its American Port Services subsidiary has signed a significant warehousing contract with Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Under the contract, American Port Services will provide Wal-Mart with full operating services in its 3.4 million square feet of warehousing space, creating a new Import Distribution Center in Elwood, IL, and bringing more than 300 new jobs to the area.

The American Port Services contract will support Wal-Mart's import business flowing from West Coast ports by rail to the Greater Chicagoland area. Products moving through the corridor will be forwarded to Wal-Mart distribution centers and stores throughout the Midwest.

American Port Services will provide warehousing services out of the CenterPoint Industrial Park, adjacent to the BNSF Logistics Park-Chicago. Operations at the facility will begin in mid-summer.

The Elwood contract comes on the heels of a major Mira Loma, CA, transloading and warehousing contract awarded to American Port Services by Wal-Mart earlier this year.

Report: Dynamic Distribution Improves Throughput

No longer confined within the walls of a distribution center, dynamic distribution networks are changing the way supply chain throughput is conducted, and early adopters have already experienced significant business opportunities as a result, according to a new study by AberdeenGroup, Boston.

The study, titled "The Supply Chain Integration Benchmark Report: Warehouse Without Walls," reported that best-in-class performers that adhere to a dynamic distribution philosophy reported the highest proficiency in reduction of cycle time and inventory within supply chains, along with providing high levels of customer service.

These best-in-class companies are experts in combining the skills of internal resources, service providers and suppliers to create a responsive and cost-effective network, it concluded.

Key findings in the report include best-in-class companies reporting:

  • Cash-to-cycle times that are 25 percent shorter than their peers;
  • On-time delivery performance and order fill rates that far exceed others responding to the survey;
  • Less company assets committed to the fulfillment process;
  • The ability to rapidly assemble or reassemble supply chain services to meet specific needs by using in-sourced or outsourced logistics and manufacturing services; and
  • A willingness to evaluate logistics service providers on both their operational and technical excellence. The majority of the top logistics enterprises include supply chain performance metrics as part of their supplier agreements.

"Departmental rivalries, misaligned goals and performance metrics and poor partner management policies all contribute to a company's inability to create more fluid and flexible fulfillment operations," says John Fontanella, senior vice president of research at AberdeenGroup. "Top performers have enough confidence in themselves and partner organizations to rewrite the book on how fulfillment in a global supply chain is done."

GMA, FPA To Merge

The executive committee of the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) and the board of directors of the Food Products Association (FPA) plan to merge their two organizations at the start of next year, pending approval from their respective memberships.

If the merger is approved, current FPA president and CEO Cal Dooley will be the head of the new organization, which will be known as GMA/FPA for the first year and GMA after that. Current GMA president and CEO Manly Molpus has already announced his intentions to retire Dec. 31.

"This merger recognizes the unique strengths of each organization," Molpus says. "GMA/FPA achieves the long-sought objective of uniting the industry behind a common vision and agenda, with the resources and leadership to accomplish its goals."

"This merger brings together two very effective advocacy organizations and complements the exceptional public policy and industry affairs work GMA has conducted on behalf of its members since 1908," says Rick Lenny, GMA chairman and chairman, president and CEO of The Hershey Co.

"This merger will bring the best of both FPA and GMA into a single trade association, offering new services and expertise to all members and providing scientific, public policy and industry affairs representation to member companies," says Dooley.

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