Seaports get their due at WERC conference

The Warehousing Education and Research Council provided a fresh forum for ocean cargo concerns

By ·

When the Warehousing Education and Research Council (WERC) staged its annual conference in Chicago last week, organizers promised to deliver some fresh perspectives on supply chain management. According to many who participated in the event, they did that much – and more.

“It is always interesting going to conferences pertaining to different aspects of the shipping business,” said Tim Van Wormer, Marine Planning and Development Manager for the Port of Portland. “It is easy to become focused on the aspect of the shipping business that you specialize in and lose track of the bigger consumer and distribution picture.”

Van Wormer, who gave a presentation on “U.S. Port Update: Investing in the Future,” added that he was intrigued with the progress that has been made on what he called “horizontal collaboration.”

“This is the ability to better utilize existing investments by sharing resources between companies,” he added. “Port collaboration has always been an area of interest of mine, and the progress that has been made with horizontal collaboration in logistics could serve as a model for the port industry.”

Co-panelist, Russell Held, Director of Economic Development for The Port of Virginia, said the WERC conference also provided him with new market intelligence.

“We discovered, for example, that shippers may be carrying a little more inventory this spring in anticipation of labor disruptions on the West Coast,” he said. “We also see the trend for near-shoring gaining traction, and a great focus on ocean carrier reliability.”

Like most port authorities, Virginia is paying closer attention to the direct demands being made by “Beneficial Cargo Owners.”

“The carriers pay our bills, but we have to make sure they are serving the end-user,” added Held.

Paul Rasmussen, U.S. trade expert and CEO of Zepol, shared his insights on the nation’s “Top 30” ocean cargo gateways, noting that ocean carrier consolidation and new trade agreements would soon reshape the deployment schedules. Bob Trebilcock, editorial director for Supply Chain Management Review, served as panel moderator.


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

Logistics · Ocean Cargo · Shipping · All Topics
Latest Whitepaper
Logistics Network Analysis
Logistics network monitoring is an important step in understanding what actually occurs throughout your supply chain.
Download Today!
From the January 2018 Logistics Management Magazine Issue
Industry experts agree that costs across all sectors worldwide will continue to rise in 2018, and the most successful shippers will be those that are able to mitigate their impact on profitability. And, the right technology will play an increasingly vital role in driving efficiencies across the global logistics network.
The Future of Retail Distribution
Navigating the Reverse Supply Chain for Connected Devices
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
IAM, IoT and the Connected Supply Chain
There are three primary models of Identity and Access Management (IAM) technology that CTOs, CSOs, and Supply Chain executives are using to enhance their trading partner communities. While each leverages IAM and the IoT as core components only an “Outside-in” approach truly connects people, systems and things reliably and securely across the supply chain.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
State of Global Logistics: Delivering above and beyond
Industry experts agree that costs across all sectors worldwide will continue to rise in 2018, and...
2018 Rate Outlook: Economic Expansion, Pushing Rates Skyward
Trade and transport analysts see rates rising across all modes in accordance with continued...

Building the NextGen Supply Chain: Keeping pace with the digital economy
Peerless Media’s 2017 Virtual Summit shows how creating a data-rich ecosystem can eliminate...
2017 NASSTRAC Shipper of the Year: Mallinckrodt; Mastering and managing complexity
An inside look at how a large pharmaceutical firm transformed its vendor and supplier relationships...