Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!


19th Annual Masters of Logistics Study: Efficiency remains top priority

The findings of our annual study reveal that shippers have not significantly changed how they manage their logistics and transportation activities over the past year. However, we find that the Masters are moving to a more defined organizational structure and are putting more 3PLs to work to help them gain significant cost advantage once the recovery finally kicks in.
By Mary C. Holcomb, Ph.D., and Karl Manrodt, Ph.D., Contributing Editors
September 10, 2010

Last year we reported that the economy had leveled the playing field for all firms with respect to competitive advantage that can be built through transportation and logistics. In essence, the significant performance and organizational structural differences between the Masters (firms with sales greater than $3 billion) and other firms that was built from 2006 to 2008 was largely eroded as the economy slid into a global recession in 2009.

The main focus for every firm became surviving the difficult economic times, and many began an unrelenting quest to reduce costs across all areas including transportation and logistics. The advent of 2010 brought hope and anticipation that the economy would begin its recovery from the recession; but to date, the economic signals have been mixed.

This uncertain environment is also reflected in transportation and logistics practice across firms of all sizes according to the results of the 19th Annual Study of Logistics and Transportation Trends (Masters of Logistics). In short, shippers report that they have not significantly changed how they manage these activities, and reducing costs remains the primary objective. A deeper look at the study results suggests, however, that while the playing field remains on equal ground relative to transportation, this may only be an intermediary gear for the true Masters of Logistics.

See below for related articles

27th Annual Quest for Quality Awards

Supply Chain Fundamentals: The Building Blocks of Success Virtual Conference

About the Author

Mary C. Holcomb, Ph.D., and Karl Manrodt, Ph.D.
Contributing Editors

Mary Collins Holcomb, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Logistics and Transportation at The University of Tennessee.  Dr. Holcomb was also a member of the faculty in Transportation and Logistics at Iowa State University, Ames.  She holds B.S., MBA, and Ph.D. degrees from The University of Tennessee.  Her professional career involved some eighteen years at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in transportation research and policy issues for the U.S. Departments of Energy, Transportation, and Defense.  Dr. Holcomb’s background also consists of various industry experience with the former Burlington Northern Railroad, General Motors, Milliken & Company, and two years of collaborative research with Procter & Gamble.  She is a principal researcher in one of the longest running annual studies – Logistics and Supply Chain Trends and Issues – that has been conducted for more than 14 years.  Dr. Holcomb is the former editor of the Transportation Energy Data Book, author and co-author of numerous reports and articles in the area of transportation policy and logistics systems design.

Karl Manrodt, Ph.D., serves an Associate Professor in the Department of Management, Marketing and Logistics and Georgia Southern University, located in Statesboro, Georgia.  Prior to joining Georgia Southern, he served as the Executive Director for the Office of Corporate Partnerships and the Supply Chain Strategy Management Forum in the Department of Marketing, Logistics and Transportation at the University of Tennessee.  Degrees include a B.A. in Philosophy and Psychology, Wartburg College, M.S. in Logistics, Wright State University, and his Ph.D. at the University of Tennessee.  He is the recipient of the Chancellor’s Citation for Professional Promise, the Walter Melville Bonham Dissertation Scholarship, both at the University of Tennessee, and the E. Grosvenor Plowman Award awarded by the Council of Logistics Management.


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

The “good news story” of the season appears to be generated by officials at The Port of Oakland, who report that it has taken additional steps in an ongoing effort to manage a surge of inbound container vessel calls.

The PMA, which represents employers at America’s 29 West Coast ports, has finally asked for federal mediation in its contract negotiations with the ILWU.

Seasonally-adjusted (SA) for-hire truck tonnage in November was up 3.5 percent compared to October, which was up 0.5 percent over September at 136.8 (2000=100), marking the highest SA on record.

UPS said that through this acquisition it will augment its healthcare expertise and network in Europe, specifically in the fast growing healthcare markets in Central and Eastern Europe.

Carloads were up 12.1 percent at 312,271, and intermodal at 280,337 containers and trailers saw a 4.5 percent annual gain.

Comments

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


© Copyright 2013 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA