Hauling New Treasure Along the Silk Road (NYT)

Hewlett-Packard, the Silicon Valley electronics company, has pioneered the revival of a route famous in the West since the Roman Empire. For the last two years, the company has shipped laptops and accessories to stores in Europe with increasing frequency aboard express trains that cross Central Asia at a clip of 50 miles an hour.

A New Breed of Rapid-Delivery Apps Cuts Through Urban Congestion(WSJ)

In São Paulo, startup Loggi has an app that makes life easier and more lucrative for package-toting couriers, while customers get their goods faster

Canada’s efficient grain supply chain

The Australian Export Grains Innovation Centre has compared the different farm-to-market systems of Australia and Canada. The report, “The Puck Stops Here – Canada Challenges Australia’s Grain Supply Chains”, shows Canada is able to move grain to markets in Asia for about the same cost as Australian farmers, despite greater distances both in-country and on ship.

Ford, GM and Nissan Receive Low Marks From Suppliers in Survey (WSJ)

The Detroit auto makers lost out on as much as $144 in operating income on every vehicle they produced last year due to strained relationships with their parts suppliers, according to an annual study.

Wal-Mart Builds Supply Chain to Meet E-Commerce Demands(WSJ)

Distribution centers dedicated to online sales are part of a new logistics strategy as the retail industry sees customers take sales online.

Solving Chep’s Network Planning Problem

CHEP owns 500 million pallets that are used by customers around the world. In Europe, the complexity is illustrated by the fact that they have 50 SKUs, 200 service centers, 15,000 ship to locations, and 250,000 collection points! Production and Sourcing Optimization used to be a network strategic planning product, ran once a year or so. But it has scaled to the point where it can do a network solve on a daily basis.

This Could Be Tesla’s Next Billion-Dollar Industry

“Right now Tesla has created and is developing its own supply chain management solution, which competes head on with SAP and Oracle,” said Global Equities Research analyst Trip Chowdhry. “What we know is, there is a big difference [between] supply chain management software that was created in the ’80s, ’90s and 2000s. We are living in a world which needs a global platform and instant real-time updates. SAP can’t do it [and] Oracle can’t do it.”

DHL: How a logistics firm evolved to provide ‘software as a service’

DHL created its own SaaS big data tool to help customers to avoid supply chain risk.

Internet of Things could boost supply chain/logistics operations by almost $2T

Earlier this month DHL and Cisco Consulting Services released a Trend Report noting that the Internet of Things (IoT) will generate $8 trillion worldwide in “Value at Stake” over the next decade. This will come from five main drivers: innovation and revenue ($2.1 trillion); asset utilization ($2.1 trillion); supply chain and logistics ($1.9 trillion); employee productivity improvements ($1.2 trillion); and enhanced customer and citizen experience ($700 billion).

Bloomberg Terminals Suffer Widespread Failures (NYT)

The web that weaves together much of the global financial ecosystem went down for a few hours on Friday when the Bloomberg data and communication network unexpectedly crashed. The failure at Bloomberg, which provides data and trading services for 325,000 financial professionals around the world, effectively shut down some parts of the capital markets and forced traders to confront their level of reliance on the Bloomberg system. It immediately breathed new life into efforts across Wall Street to find alternatives to Bloomberg.

Using Big Data And Machine Learning To Enrich Customer Experiences(Forbes)

First-class customer support in the omni-channel era means analyzing volumes of data to understand their needs and connect the dots along a customer’s journey. The business mantra must be: learn, anticipate and simplify.

Amazon moves towards ‘internet of things’ shopping with Dash

New re-ordering device reduces need to ever leave the house again with a one-touch button for when products run out

Oil Glut Is a Boon to Shippers, as Buyers Stock Up at Low Prices(NYT)

What’s happening with prices and distribution is a new chapter in the history of the oil industry. As with most products, the price of oil is based on supply and demand. But rather than any big slump in demand, the plunge in oil prices in the last year is more a result of a growing world supply — mainly from higher output in the United States and OPEC’s reluctance to cut production.

China’s Long Food Chain Plugs In (NYT)

The country’s sprawling supply chain has challenged governmental efforts to ensure quality, and so its tech giants are working to provide shoppers with useful tools.

What Clever Robots Mean for Jobs (WSJ)

In the Australian Outback mining giant Rio Tinto uses self-driving trucks and drills that need no human operators at iron ore mines. Automated trains will soon carry the ore to a port 300 miles away. The new equipment cut many driving jobs, but the reductions will be partly offset by new types of work.

The Financial Risk Lurking in Your Supply Chain (CFO)

Perhaps unaware of that weight financial risk to their companies, many CFOs completely delegate supply chain risk management to a risk manager or supply chain manager. In my opinion, it’s beneficial for finance folks to drill more deeply into what these managers know about supply chain risks.

Why we need to learn to trust analytics (NYT)

People are reluctant to give computers a second chance when they mess up, even if it’s clear that the machines have a higher hit rate overall. Given that in many situations their “judgment” is superior to our own, that’s a problem. If algorithms are really going to live up to their potential to help us, we’re going to need to figure out how to put more confidence in their results.