Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!

More questions than answers when it comes to logistics landscape

By Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
August 31, 2010

Every so often, it is good to take stock of what is going on in your world—and the world around you for that matter. With that in mind, now is a good time to assess what is happening in the world of freight transportation, supply chain, and logistics.

One thing which has received a fair amount of attention is the matter of Peak Season? This brings up questions like: will there be one or did it already happen? Given that fact that the past 4 Peak Seasons have essentially been a bust to a large degree, those are good—and fair—questions in my opinion. But we need to let things happen to see what happened at the end of the day.

A shipper told me in a recent Peak Season story I wrote for that this year’s Peak Season will be a “doozy,” because of shrunken capacity, which can create challenges when it comes to re-positioning intermodal equipment. This situation, said the shipper, subsequently leads to carriers having a hard time getting boxes back to the West Coast. In short, that shipper said overall Peak Season activity will be driven by a lack of capacity, as opposed to growth in the economy.

This point leads me back to one of Newsroom Notes’ favorite topics—the economy. I am not an economist, nor do I play one on TV (excuse my poor attempt at humor here; I should be much funnier by Friday). But I don’t need to be an economist to determine that the confluence of mixed economic signals is still in fifth gear.

Last week’s 1.6 percent GDP forecast is certain to not get anyone excited, nor are the high levels of unemployment we continue to see either, or a steep trade deficit. But we need to keep in mind there are some encouraging things at play, too.

What are those things? For one, diesel and oil prices remain digestible for shippers and carriers for the most part continue to report demand is steady if not as strong as it was just a few weeks back.

Other good news signs are record-breaking weekly intermodal volumes over the past two weeks being reported by the Association of American Railroads and a resurgent air cargo market.

But at the end of the day, consumer demand and inventory restocking activity—which is clearly slowing down—look to be the Wild Cards, when it comes to assessing future freight volumes. What will happen? Who knows? But it figures to be a wild ride.

What do you think? Newsroom Notes wants to know. 

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

Kurt Nagle, president and CEO of the American Association of Port Authorities recently voiced his endorsement of this trade legislation

While many auto executives expect more industry recalls in 2015 and 2016, just 8 percent use advanced predictive analytics to help prevent, prepare for, and manage recalls, according to a recent online poll from Deloitte.

Purolator white paper highlights common Canadian shipping mistakes. From failing to appreciate the complexity of the customs clearance process to not realizing that Canada recognizes both French and English as its official languages, U.S. businesses frequently misjudge the complexity of shipping to the Canadian market. This often results in mistakes - mistakes that can come with hefty penalties and border clearance delays, and that can result in lingering negative perceptions among Canadian consumers.

At a certain point, it seems like the ongoing truck driver shortage cannot get any worse, right? Well, think again, because of myriad reasons we could well be in the very early innings of a game that is, and continues, to be hard to watch. That was made clear in a report issued by the American Trucking Associations (ATA), entitled “Truck Driver Analysis 2015.”

Coming off of 2014, which in many ways is viewed as a banner year for freight, it appears that some tailwinds have firmly kicked in, as 2015 enters its official homestretch, according to Rosalyn Wilson, senior business analyst at Parsons, and author of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) Annual State of Logistics (SOL) Report at last week’s CSCMP Annual Conference in San Diego. The SOL report is sponsored by Penske Logistics.

Article Topics

Blogs · Air Cargo · Trucking · Railroad · Intermodal · Peak Season · 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