Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!

Tackling transportation

May 19, 2010

Responding effectively to the challenge of perpetually pricy petrol, shippers may need to revisit and potentially revamp their transportation strategies. Virtually every aspect—from asset ownership to carrier relationships to customer service—belongs on the table, with priorities that most likely include:

Lower-cost modes: To one extent or another, shippers may need to move from fuel-intensive modes (e.g., road and air) to slower but more economical choices, such as rail and water. Better planning, timing, inter-company collaboration, and even philosophical changes may be needed to accommodate slower modes of transportation.

A tighter focus on utilization: Most companies should consider re-examining their operating models and transportation paradigms. Some may conclude that realigning customer/store-service contracts is needed—pushing, for example, for more factory-direct shipments, larger inventory minimums, or wider delivery windows that let the shipper hold freight until a truck is full. Two or more organizations might also work together to consolidate shipments to low-density areas.

Smarter ways to buy: Companies could determine that maximizing volume with one carrier is not the best policy in an era of runaway fuel prices. Instead, an entity might use an elite carrier when on-time delivery is key, and a low-cost carrier when delivery timing or accuracy are less important.

Thinking differently about transportation assets: Oil price cataclysms could make many private fleets less justifiable—replaced by commodity transportation providers or third-party logistics services providers that can

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

Slowing global trade and a bloated orderbook of large vessel capacity mean that container shipping is set for another three years of overcapacity and financial pain, according to the latest Container Forecaster report published by global shipping consultancy Drewry.

The NRF is calling for 2015 holiday sales to see a 3.7 percent annual gain to $630.5 billion, which comfortably outpaces the ten-year average of 2.5 percent.

On the heels of announcing it plans to acquire freight transportation and logistics services provider Con-way Inc. for $3 billion, XPO Logistics may be considering selling off Con-way Truckload, the company’s truckload arm.

The International Air Cargo Association (TIACA) has called on world leaders meeting at the United Nations this week to work together to find solutions to the ongoing migrant crisis in Europe

More than 20 U.S. port authority officials and their key staff, representing seaports from all four U.S. coasts, will gather on October 8 to meet with Congressional leadership to discuss the upcoming surface transportation bill and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ navigation budget.

Article Topics

News · News and Analysis · 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