Saturday, March 31, 2007

Supply Chain Blogs Come of Age...we are getting critiqued!

This is an on-line article from Amy Roach Partridge, who is the assistant editor for She checked out the logistics blog community and critiqued her favorites...

Say what you will about blogging -- that it democratizes information dissemination, or, adversely, that it is killing well-edited, fact-checked journalism -- logistics professionals have embraced it.

Because of their low-tech, easy-to-use nature, blogs have exploded not only as forums to discuss celebrity and political goings-on, but as a resource tool for finding solutions to real business challenges.

While blogging about inventory turns and LTL shipping rates might not be a sanctioned workday activity at all companies, many logisticians use these web destinations as a way to share solutions and experiences, and spark interesting conversation about a variety of supply chain concerns.

The downside is that you can easily spend hours clicking through blogs and posting comments instead of, say, optimizing your inventory or developing a new vendor management program. The upside? You might learn something you can use to make your job easier.

Hundreds of logistics blogs are now in operation; some are quite informative, while others offer little more than a cluster of links to other web sites.

Here is an informal roundup of some logistics blogs that are worth checking out:


Blogger: Michael Stolarczyk, senior director, business development, for global 3PL Exel.

Audience: SCM professionals interested in third-party logistics and transportation.

Content: Although Exel does find its way into some articles and Stolarczyk drops a few snarky comments about his competitors, the blog is more than a promotional vehicle for Exel. Stolarczyk clearly knows his stuff, offering insightful commentary about key logistics trends and issues. While it falls a bit short of its dramatic tag line -- "insight, foresight for the dawning conceptual age in the global logistics, transportation, and supply chain markets" -- the blog is a useful tool that generates a healthy amount of user interaction.


China Logistics News

Bloggers: Writers for The China Economic Review.

Audience: Anyone interested in China's burgeoning logistics prowess.

Content: China Logistics News tracks all things China, offering information on transportation infrastructure developments, news on the Chinese economy, and updates on services available for companies importing and/or exporting from China. The site is light on user interaction, however; only a few articles inspire commentary.


Lean Blog

Blogger: Lean manufacturing consultant Mark Graban.

Audience: Devotees of lean manufacturing and supply chain philosophies.

Content: In addition to Graban's interesting posts -- which run the gamut from dispelling Dell's lean myth to analyzing Boeing's "elegantly screwed-up supply chain" -- the blog includes book reviews, podcasts, and a collection of user-contributed lean quotes, such as "If lean is common sense, it would be more common." Eight other manufacturing professionals write frequently for the site, which is updated regularly and has an active user community.


Logistics List

Blogger: Not identified on site.

Audience: Logistics professionals seeking information on how to outsource logistics capabilities.

Content: Logistics List, which debuted in September 2005, bills itself as a "comprehensive third-party logistics directory for supply chain and logistics decision-makers." In addition to 3PL-focused articles from a variety of logistics sources, the blog includes regional provider directories, a job board, and links to logistics associations and 3PL companies. The site is updated regularly, but does not include user feedback or discussion boards.


SCM Pulse

Blogger: Rick Ankrum, who has worked in procurement, supply chain management, and strategic sourcing since 1978.

Audience: General supply chain and logistics professionals, as well as procurement specialists.

Content: This blog provides a compilation of news, resources, and commentary about supply chain management and strategic sourcing, gleaned from a wide variety of web-based sources. The blog's clean, uncluttered design makes for a user-friendly experience, but the site does not have an active visitor base. It also includes links to other procurement blogs and news pages.



Blogger: Ehsan Ehsani, a technology author and SCM expert, who also contributes to several other blogs.

Audience: Tech-savvy logistics and transportation professionals.
Content: Supplychainer covers a wide range of logistics topics, with an emphasis on logistics technology news. Ehsani's point-of-view entries are particularly interesting, with recent postings covering the financial supply chain, the year's top supply chain technologies, and Wal-Mart's "RFID disruption dilemma." While the blog provides interesting user commentary and useful links to logistics information sites, it also includes a distracting number of irrelevant links.


Who Said Supply Chains Are Boring?

Blogger: Chris Sciaccia, media relations manager, integrated supply chain and logistics, for IBM.

Audience: Logisticians looking for a dose of humor with their information.

Content: This well-written blog is Sciaccia's personal crusade to convince the world that supply chains are not boring, while providing useful industry insights along the way. The blog scopes out unusual ideas -- finding logistics tie-ins in video games and hit movies, for instance -- while keeping users informed of industry developments, research, and trends. Some of Sciaccia's postings highlight IBM products or services, but he is candid about it, offering disclaimers where necessary. The site also includes book reviews, and a fun "supply chain rumor mill" news feed.

@Supply Chain Management

Blogger: Chris Abraham, supply chain management consultant.

Audience: General logistics and supply chain professionals.

Content: The newly redesigned blog provides Abraham's insightful take on news articles, trade publication features, and research reports pertaining to SCM and logistics. It also includes a comprehensive list of recommended logistics blogs and a fun map showing the location of site visitors throughout the world. (Kudos to Abraham for drawing visitors from as far away as Africa and New Zealand.) The blog is updated regularly and provides a moderate amount of user commentary.


3PL Wire

Bloggers: "Swizstick" and "Splatty," who claim 20 years of third-party logistics experience between them.

Audience: Logistics professionals seeking a resource for trends, news, and information related to third-party logistics providers.

Content: Divided into a variety of detailed sections -- including air freight, contract logistics, warehousing, and "odd news" -- the site provides commentary on industry happenings, new product and service releases, and best practices for selecting a 3PL. The site also features a weekly poll (which appears to be more sporadic than weekly), a bookstore, and guest bloggers.

What logistics blogs do you log on to every day? Have thoughts or comments about the ones mentioned here?

Okay, so she called me "snarky." I can accept that, because in my circles...this is a supreme compliment...a la the Urban Dictionary:

"Snarky (adjective) describes a witty mannerism, personality, or
behavior that is a combination of sarcasm and cynicism. Usually
accepted as a complimentary term. Snark is sometimes mistaken for a
snotty or arrogant attitude.

Thanks for the props will always have space here to air your insight and opinions as well...

However, just so you know...what I really aspire to be is...SNIDE!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

WVU Mountaineers - 2007 NIT Champs!

NEW YORK -- West Virginia has a championship to help lessen the disappointment of missing the NCAA Tournament.

Frank Young and the Mountaineers shot past Clemson to their first NIT title in 65 years.

Young scored 24 points, including six 3-pointers, and De'Sean Butler added 20 points to help West Virginia beat Clemson 78-73 in the National Invitation Tournament final Thursday night.

The Mountaineers thought they had a good case to receive an NCAA bid, with a 9-7 mark in the tough Big East and a victory over UCLA. But they didn't make the cut.

"It's been a lot of fun to play in this tournament and all the emotions just built up as it went along," Young said. "Of course we wanted to be in the NCAA Tournament, but to win this tournament, all the joy is still there. We're still happy about finishing our season with a win"

Young averaged over 22 points in the five games of the NIT and was named the tournament's most outstanding player.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The IT Factor - Continued via THE Freight Dawg!

Eric Joiner, who has created a great resource for the logistics world, Freight Dawg Blawg, has posted my article and also added some valuable comments as well. Listed below is his full post for your review. Thank you Eric for allowing me to join the rest of the Dawgs...

Michael, having worked for a company that sold supply chain visibility tools (Celarix) and having implemented them (Tradebeams suite in another past life!)... I can add:

1. There is no visibility without trading partners who can contribute the data elements. Write data compliance into your transportation contracts with clearly stated data transmission requirements and the data elements you need. Not all carriers will be able to give you the same info on the same timing. Thats a factor in carrier selection as a balance against rates and transit times.

2. Clearly determine what milestones are important for YOUR supply chain. And they may be different depending on which product chain you are talking about...

3. Determine the ability of all your vendors to provide that information. This will vary by market and mode. You may well get PO invoices hand coded in China for some visibility tool, but you will NEVER get them done in France or the Benelux. Too much bitching, incomplete data and big expense. It just won't happen.

4. Have a hard look at 3PL solutions for visibility. Make Supply Chain visibility tools provision be a cornerstone of your 3PL/4PL contracts. Make the 3PL provide the technology because their potential install base, and carrier integration points may be better due to volume. Technology and visibility should be a key element in 3PL selection.

5. Strongly consider use of XML as a data communication format rather than EDI. Much more flexible and it can be customized easily. Most big carriers and integrators vastly prefer it to use of ANSI or EDIFACT messaging because it is readily tweaked and is cheaper to develop.

6. Develop your own SDK (software Development Kit) for XML for use by your carriers. Many integrators like UPS or DHL can provide these for their own tools. Decide what elements work for you, then ask all your carriers to develop to that standard. XML can feed everything from ERP systems to Excel spreadsheets if managed properly.

7. Avoid directly integrating to massive ERP systems like Oracle or SAP. Instead, think about having the messages go into some middleware database that can be easily hooked to a report writer, rather than trying to get special reports from SAP etc. Let the middleware feed SAP, but use a report writer against the database, not the ERP system.


Monday, March 26, 2007

The IT Factor

The globalization of commerce has made it necessary for companies both large and small to have a world view – a big-picture, global perspective that helps them see the possibilities for their business in their entirety. It’s particularly essential for manufacturers whose markets demand that they source from overseas.

A U.S. apparel company might source fabric from China, manufacture garments in Vietnam, send them to Italy for customer design work, then ship final product to a stateside warehouse for retail delivery. There’s no pulling off that complex, unbelievably urgent piece of multi-party commerce without a world view – and some fairly sophisticated logistics technology.

Pulling it off in an economical way – and I mean economical in every sense – comes down to far more than technology. It comes down to having a world view of the supply chain. A view that extends well beyond the physical means of moving products and considers the impact the supply chain has on corporate finance.

Technology is a good place to start, though. The need for advanced IT solutions may seem obvious, but The Aberdeen Group’s research suggests that a surprising number of companies still have a long way to go when it comes to having the kind of sophisticated global supply chain technology that can help them make crucial and timely financial decisions.

According to EyeForTransport’s 2006 Fortune 500 Supply Chain & Logistics Challenges Report, many Fortune 500 companies report their global supply chain technology is inadequate to provide the kind of timely information required for budget and cash flow planning. They’ve got cargo visibility but no fiscal visibility, if you will.

The global supply chain has been relatively ignored because it traditionally has been a small part of a company’s business mindset. The world has changed, though, and companies now realize that neither their IT systems nor their fiscal models are set up to support globalization.

With international sourcing growing at a rapid clip, companies have been caught off guard and are now scrambling to close the technology gap. Without fiscal models to account for costs throughout these systems, and, in most cases, without additional staff, global supply chain managers face the daunting task of managing this activity using makeshift systems, faxes and phones.

Because the supply chain technology void affects logistics managers’ ability to deliver crucial financial data, some CEOs and CFOs have noticed and are now joining the technology crusade. This may open a window of opportunity for logisticians who can tie technology investments to a business case outside the supply chain in order to secure needed funding for global commerce tools.

After a company decides to invest in technology, the next question is whether to develop solutions in house or partner with a technology or logistics provider. According to The Global Institute of Logistics Global IT Council, organizations are increasingly choosing to forego proprietary solutions and seek outside help.

Upfront investment and implementation costs are primary factors. Maintenance is another. So is speed to market. Most supply chain departments don’t have the budget to buy external technology, and multi-party, collaborative practices are not a core competency. They also can’t be confident that the technology solution they build today will support their needs five years from now. They need to be able to combat supply chain inefficiencies now and into the future.

How do they do it? By having fiscal visibility within their supply chains.

It’s unrealistic to try to solve every problem at once. For most organizations, achieving fiscal supply chain visibility should be both the immediate and ultimate goal, and it can be accomplished in steps.

First, pinpoint the area of the global supply chain that can benefit the most from a quick technology upgrade and make that change. Keep in mind that technology is not the magic fix for global logistics problems. Technology for technology’s sake is nothing. It has to be accompanied by skilled people and efficient processes in order to work. That may make it a larger investment, but it will reduce risk and improve return.

The next and most important step is to fiscally account for the total supply chain – not just international inbound or domestic distribution, but every aspect from Purchase Order to Point of Purchase (PO to Pop). Fiscal visibility, from PO to PoP, is the essence of supply chain efficiency. It quickens cycle times and reduces inventory investment. It also draws interest and excitement from CFOs, who invariably come knocking on logisticians’ doors asking, “What’s next?”
The edited version of this was published in the Journal of Commerce this the March 26, 2007 edition. Thanks to Scott R and Brian N for the guidance/support/editing of the original post. Chris Brook of the JoC also deserves a thank you as well...he was the guy that gave me the shot to do this.
So, what do you think?

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Mix & Match Ship Components With CREATE3S

Trade between European countries is rapidly increasing, great demands are being made on Europe’s transport infrastructure. The implications and costs associated with expanding road and rail capacity are well understood by politicians and the general public alike.

The only freight transport mode that has virtually unlimited potential for expansion, and which is considered environmentally friendly, is coastal shipping, hence the current EU focus on encouraging more cargo to move by water.

However, the increasing volumes of cargo being shipped over relatively short distances must be reconfigured via the shipping companies and ports. Larger ships are required and for them to be efficient, faster cargo handling concepts are needed.

Otherwise ships will end up spending more time in port than at sea.

Lo-lo container vessels have, so far, proved to be very cost effective, but over short distances, larger ships become less rather than more efficient. An example: a 350teu ship can round-trip in 48 hours between Holland and the UK, typically making the sea voyage at night and loading/ discharging during the day. Containers arriving in the morning can be on the road (or rail or barge) within hours, en route for consignees, while containers arriving at the port can be loaded and heading across the North Sea the same day.

But if you want to increase the size of a vessel beyond 350/400teu, you have to make a major jump in size, say to 800teu, so that you can use two cranes and achieve similar turnround times to the smaller ships. However, the turnround times are lengthy in relation to time spent at sea and containers are still being handled one at a time.

Reducing dramatically the time a ship spends in port has become a challenge for all SS carriers, so Samskip has decided to take the lead co-ordination role in developing the Create3S concept. Create3S is an acronym for Creative concepts REalised by Advanced design and production to improve Total Efficiency of new-generation Short Sea Shipping.

The three-year project, which started on 1 November 2006, has a budget of €4.2m (US$5.5m) and EU funding amounting to €2.5m ($3.3m) has been secured.

This concept envisages a vessel consisting of two principal modules: a ship hull, including machinery and accommodation, and a cargo-carrying unit. It is intended that the cargo-carrying unit, which in the case of containers might be considered as a giant pallet, could also be designed to carry dry bulk and liquid cargo.

When the vessel arrives in port, it will be possible to separate quickly the cargo module from the ship section, placing it on the quay.

The ship module is then mated with a new cargo module for the return voyage.

In this way, time in port for the more expensive component - the ship module with its crew, machinery and bridge/navigation systems - will be minimized.

The cargo unit can then be unloaded and made ready for the next vessel call.

This approach will combine the ability of a "standard" ship design to be tuned to very different trades and commodities, while using advanced construction techniques such as the industrial pre-fabrication of large standardised components. This is expected to reduce both operational and manufacturing costs and could see production lead times trimmed by about 10%.

The most revolutionary feature of Create3S is the potential to transfer the complete cargo load in just one move. However, for certain vessel applications, it is possible that there may be more than one cargo module - for example, in the case of bulk liquids, more than one commodity may be moving on the same vessel, or it may even be practical to mix bulk and container modules on the same sailing.

The key feature remains that the individual cargo unit being discharged in one move will be far bigger than today, where the maximum size unit is typically a 45ft container or 20ft ISO tank. It is intended that the Create3S modular concept could be applied to a variety of cargo types, such as intermodal load units (containers), dry bulk and liquids, including petroleum products, chemicals and liquefied gas.

Safety and sustainability are also being investigated and accommodated through a comprehensive risk assessment and integration of solutions which facilitate reduced energy consumption, emissions and waste. The new generation vessels will be assessed on their operational and ecological performance in relation to total cost of ownership (including production cost) using advanced design and exploiting simulation techniques.
Frankly speaking, this could be the most innovative concept to hit the shipping industry since the shipping container was created. Wonder what the author of The Box, Marc Levinson would say? What do you say? Can this be created? Will it work? How will the very evironmentally aware EU react? Samskip is taking the lead...who will follow?

Monday, March 19, 2007

Samskip Heads Up New EU-Funded Project - CREATE3S

CREATE3S is a new research project funded by the European Commission. Bringing together some of the leading companies in short sea shipping and ship design, CREATE3S aims to develop a new generation of short sea vessels utilizing advanced design and manufacturing techniques, enabling Europe to strengthen its shipping and shipbuilding competitiveness. The project is being coordinated by Samskip Multimodal Container Logistics BV in Rotterdam and the company says it intends to be a prominent user of the concept.

The CREATE3S concept visualizes a vessel consisting of two principal modules: a ship hull module and one or more large cargo modules. The CREATE3S concept is intended to be equally applicable to container, dry bulk and liquid cargoes. When the vessel arrives in port, it will be possible to separate quickly the cargo modules from the ship section, placing them on the quay. The ship module is then mated with other cargo modules for the return voyage. In this way, time in port for the more expensive component, the ship module with its crew, machinery and bridge/navigation systems, will be minimized. The cargo units can then be unloaded and made ready for the next vessel call.

This approach will combine the ability for a standard ship design to be tuned to very different trades and commodities whilst using advanced construction techniques such as the industrial fabrication of large series of standardized basic modules. This is expected to reduce both operational and manufacturing costs. Production lead-times should also be trimmed by about 10%.

Mix and match cargo options for the 21st century! Stay tuned to see if this concept will looks like it has some sea legs, to me!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Cargo Trams are the "Wave" of the Future

Amsterdam tries cargo trams

A pilot scheme is underway to run cargo trams through Amsterdam, which could help reduce particle air pollution in the Dutch city by 15 percent.

City Cargo Nederland is carrying out the trial, which runs March 7-31. The trams will use the existing tram system of the Municipal Transportation Co. (GVB), but is restricted to lines with sufficient free capacity to avoid conflicts with passenger trams. The cargo trams operate from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. to avoid nocturnal noise.

City Cargo Nederland calculates that the air pollution in the inner city can be reduced by up to 20 percent if the number of freight trucks in the main city area can be halved.

The city's council will decide in May whether to continue or expand the project.

Keep an eye on these type of projects...our US port system will need this very thing in the near term.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Not Again!

100% inspection proposal pops up again in Senate

Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J, is taking another bite at the apple with a new amendment designed to create a system for conducting image scans on all cargo containers at foreign ports to detect terrorist smuggling of mass destruction weapons.

Last week the Senate voted down an amendment from Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., that would have required the Department of Homeland Security to deploy automated inspection systems and scan 100 percent of inbound cargo overseas within five years. The new proposal differs in that it doesn't set any deadline, but requires the department to establish a plan to achieve 100 percent scanning. It mirrors an amendment that was blocked from being attached to last year's SAFE Port Act.

In a letter to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, the National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of America urged defeat of the scan-all proposal because of the enormous cost of trying to inspect the vast majority of legitimate cargo. The trade association said the current approach of focusing resources on shipments for suspicious sources is more effective.

"Advocates of 100 percent scanning are deceived by the notion that theirs is a path to fully assured security. Moreover, they presume that the resources and technology will be there, at some arbitrary time in the future," the trade association said. "NCBFAA believes that the Menendez amendment … is a backdoor mandate for what Sen. Chuck Schumer's amendment attempted to accomplish last week."

Industry groups have been vigorously lobbying Congress for weeks to oppose attempts to require non-intrusive inspections of ocean containers, saying the technology and processes are not developed yet that can handle more than 11 million containers per year.
The use of the phrase "backdoor mandate" couldn't be more approriate!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Supply Chain Strategy - What's dat?

Creating a supply chain or logistics strategy in 2007 is an old fashioned boondoggle… you all think you know what your organization needs, but in reality, uncertainty reigns supreme. How should you go about it? Good question…May I present some guidance?

What is it? Logistics…supply chain…international transport????

Supply chain strategy and logistics projects, from concept to reality, start and end with your organization’s vision or business strategy.

So, ask yourself, what is the optimal supply chain design to help drive business results?

Your outcome must be a framework that is used to assess current and future needs, while detailing a process to build capabilities and supply chain efficiencies. Oh yeah, don’t forget to create a system of metrics that help drive continuous improvement as well.

Your plan must detail relationship strategies and processes for demand, supply, and innovation over five to 10 years that work to accomplish business goals. A cool design, that reflects changes in market dynamics, like power shifts in relationships, risk assessments and emerging constraints (workforce, logistic challenges, and governmental regulations, etc). This plan also outlines a clear organizational design with supporting processes mapped out for an extended period of time.

You must set clear milestones.

The audience that is perusing this strategy must be convinced that your goals and objectives are clear and actionable. Please assesses, review the right balance of risk, complexity, and opportunity. This business case will lead your organization to the ultimate plan.

What it is not? Your plan…that is…

To alleviate misconceptions, here’s a look at what the strategy should not be:

-- Focused solely on the supply chain or company operations--supply chain strategy is not just about supply, operations, or manufacturing. It is a holistic view of demand planning, product and supply processes aimed at maximizing opportunity and mitigating risk across your whole business. Psst…this will get the C dudes to buy in…!!!

-- Internally Focused—an excellent strategy looks beyond the corporate reservation. You have to analyze all the supporting ecosystems. This will ensure that your business strategy and objectives come to fruition.

-- Point in time—your idea is not at the fulcrum point in time. This is a multiyear plan, that will build the capabilities, infrastructure, process, and people to carry out the strategy.

-- Elitist or “company-centric”--no company is an island, so a good plan focuses on the ecosystem, the market dynamics, and the power shifts in all these relationships. It details how these shifts can be used to better support the over-all business strategy.

-- Technology Only--it is not a technology project or the output of a network design optimization project. While technology supports the business processes in the supply chain strategy, it should never be confused with the development of a supply chain strategy. People and process!

-- A substitute for business strategy--a company can only have a successful supply chain strategy if, and only if, its purpose is to support the business strategy.

-- A fiscal plan--the financial impact of the supply chain strategy is one output, and should not be confused with the development of a financial plan.

-- Dawn of the Dead Buzzwords--a good plan defines each term to make it actionable: flexibility, agility, demand driven, visibility, paradigm shift, quantum leap, AAARGH! Void yourself and the project of trite, hackneyed phrases and buzzology.

Check out Wired, Tired, Expired in Wired Magazine or any FastCompany article for the newest words. Go beyond the buzzwords!

What does a good one look like?

A solid plan is realistic and clear. You can ensure that it is actionable, and that it will get approval of the board and the leadership team.

The plan must be based on realistic market performance, the emerging market dynamics, and how well it will support the overall business strategy of your company.

Don’t be afraid to reach past what you may think will be acceptable within your company. Go for it!

Friday, March 02, 2007

100% Scans Downed By Dems

Senate drops 100-percent inspection proposal

Twelve Democrats and Independent Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut joined Republicans to defeat a proposal that would have required all containers to be scanned before they were shipped to the United States from a foreign port.

The Senate late Thursday voted 58-38 to table an amendment offered by Democrat Charles Schumer of New York requiring 100-percent scanning of all U.S.-bound containers within five years of the completion of the Secure Freight Initiative pilot program that Congress ordered last October in the SAFE Port Act.

The amendment would have become part of the “Improving America's Security by Implementing Unfinished Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007” (S. 4). In January the House of Representatives passed a companion bill that includes the scan-all provision.

Four of the opposing senators were members of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committee, which drafted SAFE Port. They were joined by senior lawmakers including Robert Byrd, D-W.V., and Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii. Byrd said he supported 100-percent scanning, but the technology was not available to achieve it. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania was the only Republican to vote in support of Schumer’s amendment.

Peter Gatti, executive vice president of the National Industrial Transportation League, said that senators from the Pacific Northwest were pivotal in defeating Schumer’s amendment, since they had been under intense political pressure to support it. They included Democrats Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell of Washington, and Ron Wyden of Oregon.

“This is the second round of debate on this particular question,” Gatti said. “Nobody in principle is against the concept of scanning, it’s the question of can we do it in a way that doesn’t cripple the very system we’re trying to protect.”

The Senate may pass its bill as early as Wednesday or Thursday of next week. The next step will be the conference to reconcile differences between the two bills before it is sent to President Bush for signing. Alison O’Donnell, director of government relations for the National Retail Federation, was optimistic that the scan-all provision would remain out of the conference report.

On one hand, the Senate gave the bill closer scrutiny through the committee process, while the House did not, O’Donnell said. In addition, the scan-all issue already has previously come up six or seven times as an amendment, and it has been defeated each time.

“Anything can happen in conference,” O’Donnell said. “Certainly our job isn’t done.”

Allen Thompson, vice president for global supply chain policy for the Retail Industry Leaders Association, agreed. “This is not a sprint, it’s a marathon.”

**Calmer heads prevailed here...if passed, the reality of scanning every container coming into the country would have cost millions! Thank you Senator Byrd and the rest of the Senate for taking a pragmatic approach to this issue.**

Have a great weekend! MJS