SOURCE: Aberdeen Group

Aberdeen Group

January 12, 2011 11:00 ET

Collaborative Inbound Transportation

Managing Inbound Product Flows From Source to Consumer

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - January 12, 2011) -  In July 2010, Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company (NYSE: HHS), as part of a broader study, surveyed 155 manufacturing, wholesale distribution and retail companies documenting their processes and capabilities regarding Inbound Transportation. The Aberdeen Group report, Collaborative Inbound Transportation: Managing Inbound Product Flows from Source to Consumer, reveals that the top two activities dominating current transportation services include domestic shipping (92%), and importing (88%) on the inbound supply side. Shipping direct-to-consumer (65%), direct-to-store (44%), and shipping through 3PL or e-fulfillment providers (45%) have been identified as key in-bound transportation and logistics activities by survey respondents. Most notably, this is changing the inbound transportation dynamics between the manufacturer, distributor, and retailer.

"The increased costs and the growing need for control have elevated inbound transportation to new levels of focus. Executing more volume in a cross-channel logistics environment and control of inbound freight results in a shift in the priority of 'transportation management / cost focus' more heavily to the inbound, rather than the outbound, side of transportation," explained Bob Heaney, Senior Research Analyst for Supply Chain Management at Aberdeen.

Heaney continues, "You can expect 2011 to be another year of change spurred on by the increasing global reach of transportation and the extended inbound supply chain. In general terms, regardless of segment, size or class, collaborative focus can improve on-time delivery, reduce expediting costs, and reduce transportation spend year-over-year. Top performers have been able to effect double digit freight rate reductions while meeting service requirements at the highest levels even when confronted with increasing costs in their inbound supply chains."

This report focuses on planning and executing inbound transportation and supplier/partner product flow across an increasingly more global, multi-tier, and cross-channel distribution network. Growing prominence of cross-channel logistics and fulfillment is driving a significant trend toward visibility, collaboration, and optimization of inbound transportation across all three segments.

A complimentary copy of this report is made available due in part by the following underwriters: G&D Integrated, and RedPrairie. To obtain a complimentary copy of the report, visit: http://www.aberdeen.com/link/sponsor.asp?spid=30410182&cid=6829&camp=2.

Find out where your company's international transportation management capabilities rank among the top performing companies. Take our International Transportation Management Assessment Tool: http://assessment.aberdeen.com/56TGMOdAYd/index.aspx 

Visit Aberdeen.com for additional access to complimentary Supply Chain Management Research.

About Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company
Aberdeen provides fact-based research and market intelligence that delivers demonstrable results. Having queried more than 30,000 companies in the past two years, Aberdeen is positioned to educate users to action: driving market awareness, creating demand, enabling sales, and delivering meaningful return-on-investment analysis. As the trusted advisor to the global technology markets, corporations turn to Aberdeen for insights that drive decisions.

As a Harte-Hanks Company, Aberdeen plays a key role of putting content in context for the global direct and targeted marketing company. Aberdeen's analytical and independent view of the "customer optimization" process of Harte-Hanks (Information - Opportunity - Insight - Engagement - Interaction) extends the client value and accentuates the strategic role Harte-Hanks brings to the market. For additional information, visit Aberdeen or call (617) 854-5200, or to learn more about Harte-Hanks, call (800) 456-9748.

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