Looking back at the first half of 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.

By ·

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, 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. Contact Jeff Berman

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

All Topics
Latest Whitepaper
Lead your organization through the driver shortage and over-the-road regulations.
Potential transportation disruptions are looming as increased over-the-road regulations are set to go into effect in 2017. Experts believe these regulations will further impact the already challenged driver pool as well as reduce driver productivity.
Download Today!
From the January 2017 Issue
Following LM tradition, we start off the New Year with our annual “Rate Outlook” cover story and subsequent Webcast
Moore on Pricing: The other TMS functional options
2017 Rate Outlook: Where are freight transportation rates headed?
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
2017 Rate Outlook: Where are freight transportation rates headed?
Join our panel of top oil and transportation analysts for an exclusive look at where rates are headed and the issues driving those rate increases over the coming year.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
2017 Rate Outlook: Will the pieces fall into place?
Trade and transport analysts see a turnaround in last year’s negative market outlook, but as...
Logistics Management’s Top Logistics News Stories 2016
From mergers and acquisitions to regulation changes, Logistics Management has compiled the most...

Making the TMS Decision: Ariens Finds Just the Right Fit
The third time is the charm for this U.S. manufacturer on the hunt for a third-party logistics (3PL)...
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....