A lot of logistics activity in a short time
February 12, 2013
While 2013 is still basically in its infancy that by no stretch means that the year is not pulling its weight, when it comes to what is happening in the logistics and supply chain world.
What I am basically trying to say is that a lot has happened in a pretty short time.
Not sold on this theory? Take a look at things that have already happened so far, as of mid-February i.e. the halfway point of the first quarter:
-the United States Postal Service announced it intends to eliminate Saturday delivery;
-YRC reported steady improvements in Q4 and full-year 2012 earnings results;
-Port labor contract situations are trending both positively and negatively;
-DOT Secretary Ray LaHood announced he will be stepping down;
-Intermodal container movements hit a record high in 2012; and
-the planned acquisition of TNT Express by UPS is officially off.
Oh, yeah, diesel prices are heading up, again, in a big way, too, in recent weeks.
There are certainly more headlines that could be added to that list, but I will cut the list short for now. It does make one realize quite quickly that the logistics world we live in is one which is very, very rarely devoid of important and relevant things happening on a day-to-day basis.
As for what we can expect to see going down the rest of the 2013 road, there appears to be a smorgasbord of potential things to select off of the logistics menu.
One item sure to be at the top of the list is the aftereffect on capacity and rates stemming from the new government-mandated motor carrier Hours-of-Service regulations set to go into effect mid-year.
And on a more general level, the subsequent impact of higher taxes—as a result of the Fiscal Cliff negotiations—on consumer spending and shopping activity will be one to keep an eye on, especially at a time when the employment outlook, while stagnant at times, continues to trend in the right direction, coupled with ongoing signs of life for new housing starts and automotive sales, too.
Another factor to watch as the year moves on is the ongoing impact of e-commerce on supply chain and logistics operations. All of those UPS and FedEx trucks you saw in your neighborhood during the holiday season were no fluke by any stretch. Chances are you might still be seeing them, and that you will continue to for a long time to come.
These are just a few items from a pretty long list of exciting things happening in the sectors we report on and that you live in on a daily basis. Obviously, there is a long way to go, but it will be interesting—and fun—to see what happens next.
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