Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!

Chaos reigns in the logistics landscape

By Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
August 30, 2011

As the calendar is set to turn to September, I am amazed, once again, at how quickly summer has gone. I should not be surprised as this is the case every year but still.

Looking at the logistics landscape, it appears that September should be very telling on a number of fronts in terms of how the fourth quarter and beyond may shape up, coupled with numerous legislative efforts on the table (or not, given the current political climate).

A few things to keep top of mind in the coming weeks and months and beyond include:

  • the expiring gasoline tax on September 30;

  • the expiration of the most recent SAFETEA-LU extension, also on September 30;

  • the next steps in the Hours-of-Service and Electronic Onboard Recorder sagas;

  • oil and diesel prices and the next steps regarding natural gas and its potential impact on freight transportation, specifically trucking;

  • the upcoming Peak Season…is it happening? If so, when?;

  • retail sales growth and consumer confidence trends;

  • increasing intermodal momentum (nothing new there really—it continues to gain steam);

  • the situation regarding the financial travails of the United States Postal Service and YRC Worldwide—the former seems mired in a difficult situation, while the latter is showing decent signs of emerging from the abyss; and

  • the constant focus on GDP growth and economic recovery.

Now, these are just a few of many things to keep an eye on and monitor, but it is merely a start.

There are also things like manufacturing growth, imports and exports, and mode-specific items, too. The list is long and getting longer all the time.

But that should not scare anyone, it is what it is. These are hectic—and often confusing— times we are in. If things are not chaotic enough for you now, just wait until the 2012 Presidential Race truly begins in earnest.

When it comes to the 2012 election, one can only hope Congress gets into gear and truly gets some meaningful work done, especially when it comes to things that will aid the growth of commerce and goods movement, before it becomes “all election, all the time” and everything else falls by the wayside.

Wishful thinking? Perhaps. But I prefer to be an optimist. Things are confusing and much work needs to be done all around. Let’s hope a year from now that we have seen progress and improvement on at least some of things I previously mentioned.

Until then, be prepared for more chaos, I guess.

About the Author

Jeff Berman headshot
Jeff Berman
Group News Editor

Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Subscribe to Logistics Management magazine

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your
entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Recent Entries

Seasonally-adjusted (SA) for-hire truck tonnage in October at 135.7 (2000=100) was up 1.9 percent compared to September’s 133.1, and the ATA’s not seasonally-adjusted (NSA) index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by fleets before any seasonal adjustment was 139.8 in October, which was 0.9 percent ahead of September.

The average price per gallon of diesel gasoline fell 3.7 cents to $2.445 per gallon, according to data issued today by the Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA). This marks the lowest weekly price for diesel since June 1, 2009, when it was at $2.352 per gallon.

In its report, entitled “Grey is the new Black,” JLL takes a close look at supply chain-related trends that can influence retailers’ approaches to Black Friday.

This year, it's all about the digital supply network. In this virtual conference, we will define the challenges currently facing supply chain organizations and offer solutions designed to transform linear operations into dynamic, automated networks that offer seamless communication, visibility, and the ability to respond and optimize processes at any given time.

In his opening comments assessing the economy at last week’s RailTrends conference hosted by Progressive Railroading magazine and independent railroad analyst Tony Hatch, FTR Senior analyst Larry Gross said the economy continues to slog ahead at a relatively tepid pace, coupled with some volatility in terms of overall GDP growth. And amid that slogging, Gross said there is currently an economic hand-off occurring between the industrial sector and the consumer sector.


Post a comment
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.

© Copyright 2015 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA