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Trying to get a better grip on shipping costs in an import-driven economy, more shippers are turning supply chain planning inside out. It's a strategy that cuts against the grain of most logistics practices that have put more focus on the active management of outbound logistics and the gains to be had from transportation optimization and other performance tools.
"Inbound freight has always been the final frontier of freight optimization," said Ben Cubitt, director at Adjoined Consulting.
It's the frontier Ford Motor Co. looked to as it sought get the most out of a lean manufacturing strategy implemented at Ford North America a few years ago.
The material logistics group …