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When transporting a temperature-sensitive load from point A to point B, a shipper often uses a data logger to provide a record of the temperature during transport and to provide proof that no temperature abuse occurred to the shipment. This electronic record is critical for shippers and provides evidence in claims situations to verify if and where any breaks occurred in the cold chain.

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A customer-oriented product development approach will not only result in a successful solution to a specific problem, it will also impact long-term business success. Developing a product around customer needs and preferences should not be based on historical behavior, however. Rather, product development should invite customer input for the purpose of understanding what will be truly impactful for the customer today. The 90’s notion of “Build it and they will come,” must be replaced by a new idea: “Build it with them, and they will stay.” The customer is then seen as a partner with whom to identify a solution. This is substantially different from creating a product based on assumptions and guesses, and hoping customers will use it.

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The COVID pandemic and the just-in-time inventory system have tested the global supply chain and every industry has felt the effects. Early scenes of empty shelves, shopping carts running over with toilet paper and distraught customers point to the panic buying that precipitated many of the COVID-19 product shortages. A video which was particularly telling showed a stressed young mother who was unable to find diapers for her baby. Her phone’s camera panned the ransacked store shelves, as she lamented that the only available diapers were in large multi-pack boxes…which she could not afford.

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The recent blockage of the Suez Canal by the Ever Given container ship has shown just how fragile global shipping can be. But, this Suez incident was just one episode in the overall shipping crisis triggered over a year ago by the Coronavirus pandemic.
 
Perhaps the biggest obstacle to shipping now is the shortage of transport boxes (shipping containers). Even when these containers are available, their prices have increased to sky-high levels—from about $1000/each prior to 2020 to up to $10,000 now, according to the DW article: “Coronavirus Pandemic Triggers Shipping Container Crisis.”

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How are YOU helping? For 50 years, the Earth Day movement has inspired us to adopt more sustainable ways of living and doing business. On April 22, 1970, the first Earth Day event was organized to draw attention to the effects of the previous 150 years of industrial and technological advancement. Air and water pollution from “oil spills, polluting factories and power plants, raw sewage, toxic dumps, pesticides, freeways” had taken a serious toll on human health.

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Over the past weeks, you likely have heard about the Suez Canal blockage. Indeed, one of the largest container ships in the world became wedged in one of the world’s busiest marine waterways, the Suez Canal, blocking billions of dollars’ worth of cargo from being transported out of the region. Such a blockage is devastating to the shippers of some commodities, such as food, that are highly perishable when subject to temperature abuses.

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