One of the basic tenets of the Boy Scout code is to “leave no trace” when vacating a campsite. The same rule applies to proper supply chain management, according to some former scouts now serving as prominent reverse logistics practitioners.
“We owe it to our community and future generations,” says Gary Cullen, chief operating officer of 4PRL, the reverse logistics operation of The Georgetowne Group, a consultancy based in Clarksville, Md. “Consumer buying patterns in the past were more conservative and therefore pushed product obsolescence to a larger window—three to five years for a television, for example,” he adds.
“The secondary markets are effective in diverting a large number of products from landfill and creating numerous jobs.”
“But now, consumers want the newest television set on the market. One year it’s the flat screen, the next it’s got to be 3D.” And just as “secondary markets” exist in the financial world to offer investment alternatives, a similar convention helps manufacturers repurpose their supply chains.
“There are new revenue streams to be explored,” says Dale Rogers, the incoming director for Supply Chain Management at Rutgers University. “The secondary markets are effective in diverting a large number of products from landfill and creating numerous jobs.”
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Working with research partner, The Economist Intelligence Unit, the IBM Institute for Business Value surveyed 1,023 global procurement executives from 41 countries in North America, Europe and Asia.
U.S. Carloads were down 7.8 percent annually at 259,544, and intermodal volume was off 15.7 percent for the week ending February 21 at 213,617 containers and trailers.
The Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Logistics (BTS) reported this week that U.S. trade with its North America Free Trade Agreement partners Canada and Mexico in December 2014 was up 5.4 percent annually at $95.8 billion. This marks the 11th straight month of annual increases, according to BTS officials.
While the volume decline was steep, there was numerous reasons behind it, including terminal congestion, protracted contract negotiations between the Pacific Maritime Association and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, and other supply chain-related issues, according to POLA officials.
Truckload rates for the month of January, which measures truckload linehaul rates paid during the month, saw a 7.9 percent annual hike, and intermodal rates dropped 0.3 percent compared to January 2014, which the report pointed out marks the first annual intermodal pricing decline since December 2013.