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 logisticsmgmt.com 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

Transportation stakeholders reliant on North Carolina’s major seaports are welcoming news this week, which outlines plans to enhance the intermodal and cold chain network in the region.

The index ISM uses to measure non-manufacturing growth—known as the NMI—was 56.9 in February, which was 0.2 percent ahead of January and also 0.1 percent ahead of the 12-month average of 56.8. Economic activity in the non-manufacturing sector has grown for the last 61 months, according to ISM.

Non asset-based third-party logistics (3PL) services and logistics technology services provider Transplace said today that Brooks Bentz has joined the company in a newly-created role as president of Transplace Consulting in conjunction with the launch of the company’s new North American consulting services practice.

The advent of e-commerce continues to grow and gain increased traction over time. The many ways for consumers to order and purchase goods online continues to expand and leads to various subsequent byproducts of online purchases, including shopping through multiple channels, and delivery and payment options, among other things. These types of topics serve as the thesis in the second annual UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper Global Study issued this week by UPS and comScore Inc.

A major highlight of CEVA’s fourth quarter performance was its new business wins, which were up 14 percent for all of 2014, with Freight Management wins up 14 percent, and Ocean Freight and Air Freight wins up 30 percent and 14 percent, respectively, while Contract Logistics wins were up 2 percent.

Article Topics

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

Comments

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