What does a well-established multinational truck manufacturer have in common with a relatively new telecommunications equipment provider? Quite a bit if you are examining their respective global distribution strategies.
Navistar Inc. and Vology Data Systems are both undergoing transformational changes as each builds upon existing relationships with time-tested logistics partners. In fact, the following two case studies demonstrate that working to transform your existing 3PL into your 4PL makes sense if it’s done with “cultural integration” as a primary goal.
Navistar’s global challenge When Ed Melching, Navistar’s director of global logistics, began searching for a partner capable of supporting the company’s five-year plan to re-engineer and improve performance in its supply chain, he didn’t have to look far. His existing two-year contract with a 3PL as a starting point for global expansion.
“There are normal growing pains in any partnership,” he says. “But at the beginning, we spent a lot of time on alignment of vision, mission and strategy, governance, ensuring executive support for the steering teams, and taking an ‘open book’ approach to the relationship where both of us would be rewarded when we were successful.”
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Seasonally-adjusted (SA) for-hire truck tonnage in July headed up 1.3 percent on the heels of a 0.8 percent increase in June. The ATA’s not seasonally-adjusted (NSA) index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by fleets before any seasonal adjustment, was 133.3 in July, which outpaced June’s 132.3 by 0.8 percent, and was up 2.8 percent annually.
Volumes for the month of July at the Port of Long Beach (POLB) and the Port of Los Angeles (POLA) were mixed, according to data recently issued by the ports. Unlike May and June, which saw higher than usual seasonal volumes, due to the West Coast port labor situation, July was down as retailers had completed filling inventories for back-to-school shopping.
With a 0.8 cent decrease, this week’s average price per gallon is $3.835 and stands as the lowest price since hitting $3.844 the week of November 25, 2013.
LTL carriers are rapidly investing in expensive, on-dock, three-dimensional size measurement capturing machinery, and they are hoping one day of being able to more accurately charge shippers rates based on the actual dimensions of their shipments, rather than the traditional weight-and-distance-based formula that has been in effect since the 1930s or even earlier.
The Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) recently reported that its Freight Transportation Services Index (TSI) dipped 0.9 percent from May to June.