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 ·

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 Collins Holcomb and Karl Manrodt
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!

Article Topics

3PL · Logistics · Supply Chain · Transportation · All Topics
Latest Whitepaper
Efficiency improvements in Track/Trace Enhances Customer Loyalty
Consumer satisfaction with the quality of your products is clearly important, but the service you provide before and after the sale is equally important to any business, but often overlooked as benefiting the bottom line.
Download Today!
From the October 2016 Issue
Over the past decade we’ve seen a major trend in regards to safety regulations for freight transport within the United States as well as for import and export shippers—that trend is the “international­ization” of rules and regulations.
European Logistics Update: Post-Brexit U.K. moving ahead, but in which direction?
Badcock Home Furniture &more: Out with paper, in with Cloud TMS
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
How API Technology Connects the Transportation Economy
Dynamic decision making is made possible through accurate, actionable data. When combined with progress in data science and the Internet of Things, technology companies that add value to direct-to-carrier APIs and combine them with high-power data analytics will create new concepts for the information economy.
Register Today!
Motor Carrier Regulations Update: Caught in a Trap
The fed is hitting truckers with a barrage of costly regulations in an era of scant profits....
25th Annual Masters of Logistics
Indecision revolving around three complex supply chain elements—transportation, technology and...

2016 Quest for Quality: Winners Take the Spotlight
Which carriers, third-party logistics providers and U.S. ports have crossed the service-excellence...
Regional ports concentrate on growth and connectivity
With the Panama Canal expansion complete, ocean cargo gateways in the Caribbean are investing to...