Manufacturers advised to change logistics strategies

In his address before the Conveyor Equipment Manufacturers Association’s 78th Annual Meeting in Palm Springs California last week, Richard Thompson said the Panama Canal Expansion will be “transformational.”

By ·

A prominent industry analyst maintains that several key infrastructural events will shape the global supply chain in the coming years.

In his address before the Conveyor Equipment Manufacturers Association’s (CEMA) 78th Annual Meeting in Palm Springs California last week, Richard Thompson said the Panama Canal Expansion will be “transformational.”

“It will have huge consequences for U.S. West Coast seaports,” he said Thompson, executive vice president, global supply chain practice for Jones Lang LaSalle in Chicago. “And it will mean many of you will be shipping and sourcing through alternative ports in the East and Gulf.”

Indeed, Thompson maintained that Panama has aspirations to become a “logistical hub” as it completes its widening process. That means more traffic for gateways like Charleston, Savannah, and Miami.

“We can already see companies like Wal-Mart moving part of its supply chain away from LA/Long Beach,” he said. “The concentration of Asian imports will not be as intense there has it has been in the past.”

Thompson was the featured speaker at CEMA’s “global supply chain” session. CEMA is a small but highly influential shipper association comprising the most prominent multinational companies in the conveyor equipment sector – a group that literally moves the world’s goods. Although his remarks provided a general overview of the intermodal arena, he stressed that private investment in U.S. infrastructure would continue to inform shipper decisions.

“While we all wait for the government to spend money repairing our highways and roads, rail providers are using money from investors like Warren Buffet and Bill Gates to get the job done,” he said.
Buffet, who owns BNSF, and Microsoft founder Gates, who owns part of CN, are just two examples of “visionary” businessmen who see the future in rail.

“Given all the energy and regulatory issues related to trucking, the smart money is on direct rail service or intermodal in the future,” said Thompson. “All the major U.S. retailers are reconfiguring their supply chains to be aligned with rail hubs now.”

For related stories click here.


About the Author

Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at [email protected]

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!

Latest Whitepaper
The View from the New “Single Window”
The single window, officially known as the "International Trade Data System," operates via the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency's Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) platform, and serves as a single point of contact for all trade filings.
Download Today!
From the March 2017 Issue
WMS vendors are stepping up to the plate and developing functionalities and solutions that meet the complex needs of today’s companies. Our top analysts take a peek into these developments and discuss the DC of the future and the software that will support it.
5 Supply Chain Trends Happening Now
2017 Warehouse/DC Equipment Survey: Investment up as service pressures rise
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
2017 Trucking Regulations & Infrastructure Update
In this session our panel brings shippers up to date on the state of transportation regulations. Discussion will revolve around regulatory reform, aspects of the federal highway bill and what the transportation landscape looks like in the early days of the Trump administration.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
LM Exclusive: Major Modes Join E-commerce Mix
While last mile carriers receive much of the attention, the traditional modal heavyweights are in...
ASEAN Logistics: Building Collectively
While most of the world withdraws inward, Southeast Asia is practicing effective cooperation between...

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...