Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!

Looking back at the first half of 2010

By Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
July 01, 2010

With the first half of the year officially in the books, now is a good time to assess how things are going in the supply chain/logistics/freight transportation sectors.

Let me start by overstating the obvious: based on pretty much every metric out there volumes are up across all modes on an annual basis when compared to a dismal 2009. We have also seen solid sequential growth to a large degree. But these growth numbers by no means portend that all is rosy.

In fact, in recent weeks we are seeing some signs that the second half of 2010 may not be as strong as the first half.

Among these signs are an ostensible slowing down of retail sales in May (the most recent month for which data is available), a disappointing Consumer Confidence report earlier this week, and last week’s report from the Commerce Department that durable goods orders are down. And jobs have not come back at the pace the White House had hoped.

Even with these warning signs, there remains an overall feeling of “cautious optimism” (a cliché to be certain, I know and apologize!) in the logistics and freight transportation marketplace. That has been evident in conversations LM has on a daily basis with shippers, carriers, and analysts.

These people told me repeatedly last week that things are getting better and that they expect things to stay that way. That in itself is good news. What’s more, if the positive volume trends we saw during the first half of this year continue, then it stands to reason that we may have a real Peak Season this year. Remember Peak Season? In the past few years, it has been more like “Peep Season,” it seems.

In any event, these are truly interesting and extraordinary times in our industry. And I am somewhat curious about how the last few years are viewed in a historical context when we are looking back at this time. Let’s hope that the first half of 2010 was when things truly started to turn the corner. It beats the alternative, eh?

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.

Article Topics

Blogs · All topics


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