Putting 2012 in perspective

Climactic upheavals and entitled union misbehavior notwithstanding, here’s hoping that shippers will face fewer barriers to trade and prosperity in the next 12 months

By ·

As we approach a new year, shippers will no doubt reflect upon the many challenges and opportunities they faced in 2012.

Recent trade agreements with Columbia, Panama, and South Korea were big pluses, and we moved much closer to completion of the Transpacific Trade Partnership – which will usher in a new era for Pacific Rim commerce. For air cargo shippers, the good news came when the European Commissioner for Climate Action suspended the inclusion of international aviation in the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme.

All of these developments promise to foster new international links for U.S. shippers, and make the penetration of new markets less risky and costly.

The darker part of the year was marked by the catastrophic damage done by Hurricane Sandy, which exacted its human toll and caused havoc with holiday season supply chains. U.S. port authorities, however, were quick to cooperate, as vessels were rerouted to ocean cargo gateways just out of the storm’s deadly path.

Port and terminal operators nationwide were left with another problem, however, that was entirely man made: dockside labor disruption.

With the nation’s largest ports – Los Angeles and Long Beach – shut down for eight days due to an International Longshore and Warehouse strike, November was a bleak month indeed. Meanwhile, the ILWU continues to cause uncertainty in the Pacific Northwest as they threaten to shut down operations at several grain and wheat terminals.

The biggest labor story, though, seems to have been resolved with the agreement made by the International Longshore Association last week to renegotiate its contract with management before striking East Coast and Gulf ports. But the very threat of such an action did considerable damage to shippers who had to make sudden – and expensive – shifts in their distribution and sourcing strategies.

Climactic upheavals and entitled union misbehavior notwithstanding, here’s hoping that shippers will face fewer barriers to trade and prosperity in the next 12 months.

Cheers.


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!

Article Topics

Global · Supply Chain · Trade · All Topics
Latest Whitepaper
The Internet of Things and the Modern Supply Chain
Learn today how the internet of things is transforming supply chain operations.
Download Today!
From the February 2017 Issue
As the new administration sends waves of uncertainly through the global trade community, this could be the best time ever for shippers to build an investment case for GTM. Here are five trends you need to watch if you’re about to put these savvy systems to work
Carrier Consolidation Keeps Shippers Guessing
Getting Value from the Cloud
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
Advance your career with the fastest growing logistics certification – APICS CLTD
During this webcast presenters will give an overview of APICS and the new Certified in Logistics, Transportation and Distribution (CLTD) designation. Learn how the CLTD program can help you stay on top of current trends and advance your career.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
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...
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)...