Top 12 logistics and transportation news stories of 2012

Group News Editor Jeff Berman offers his list of the 12 news stories that helped shape "the year that was" in logistics and transportation management. The list touches on the impact CSA will make on rates and capacity, how YRC’s comeback is affecting the LTL landscape, and how the DOT’s new Freight Policy Council could help our domestic freight network stay competitive in the global economy.

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The end of the year is a fun time to make lists to look back at what happened during the year we are wrapping up. I always look forward to these in magazines and newspapers and online, of course.

In the News & Analysis section of our December edition of LM, we have listed our annual top stories of the year and thought we would give you a sneak peak of what we have in store. Please note that there were MANY stories to choose from and we only got one print page for this, so there is a chance you did not see something you thought was top story-worthy but did not make the cut here. For that, I apologize and will endeavor to not have that happen in the future. But for now, enjoy what is in there and please feel free to send comments and suggestion to me at [email protected].

Happy Holidays from Newsroom Notes.

And now without further adieu—and in no particular order—are some of the top stories of 2012.

White House ready to step on the (natural) gas
In a January State of the Union address, President Barack Obama said the White House will take steps to develop the country’s natural gas supply that can last roughly 100 years and could create up to 600,000 jobs by the end of this decade, as well as power trucks and factories that are cheaper and cleaner.

UPS remains focused with planned acquisition of TNT Express.
Despite a fair share of stops and starts in the acquisition process—many of which stem from competition concerns within Europe—logistics and Transportation bellwether UPS is committed to bringing Netherlands-based TNT NV, a provider of mail and courier services and the fourth largest global parcel operator, into the Big Brown Family.

MAP-21 is signed into law
After 30 months of continuing resolutions, a two-year, $118 billion transportation bill for the nation’s transportation projects, the bill—entitled MAP-21 (Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century—on was signed into law in July.

CSA challenges are not going away
The fine print, execution and enforcement of CSA is irking trucking industry leaders and officials. CSA, which stands for “Compliance, Safety, Accountability,” was designed to weed out as many as 5 percent—of 150,000 of the nation’s 3 million or so long-haul truck drivers that the feds believe are involved in an disproportionately high number of truck accidents and fatalities.

ATA chief raises call for federal gas tax hike
Even though there is now a new transportation bill, funding remains an issue. American Trucking Associations President and CEO says raising the federal gas tax, which has not been raised in nearly 20 years, is an obvious way to help foot the bill.

The ‘new’ Peak Season?
Peak Season as we once knew it may have truly become a thing of the past, with shippers keeping a closer eye on inventory and ports pointing to instead of the majority of imports coming in August, that may be shifting to July.

RedPrairie to acquire JDA
Supply chain and logistics software and technology providers RedPrairie and JDA Software announced that the two companies and its affiliates have entered into a definitive merger agreement. The total value of the transaction is roughly $1.9 billion and it is expected to close by the end of this year.

DOT rolls out Freight Policy Council
Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood introduced the Freight Policy Council, an effort focused on national domestic freight initiatives that will focus on improving the condition and performance of the national freight network to better ensure the ability of the U.S. to compete in the global economy.

FedEx rolls out cost reduction plans
In October, the company unveiled its goal of an annual profitability improvement of $1.7 billion over the next three years, with the majority of benefits to be achieved by fiscal 2015.

USPS reports record-breaking loss
Even with continued gains in its Shipping Services segment, the financial outlook for the United States Postal Service remains dim, with announcement that it incurred a record net loss of $15.9 billion for fiscal year 2012, compared to a $5.1 billion loss in fiscal year 2011.

YRCW showing signs of improvement
LTL carrier YRC Worldwide, which has lost in excess of $2.6 billion in the last five years, posted sharply improved third quarter operating results in the 15th month under new CEO James L. Welch. YRCWorldwide reported a third quarter operating profit of $27.3 million on top of a $15.5 million operating profit in the second quarter.

EU puts a ‘freeze’ on emissions trading scheme
The European Union (EU) said it will implement a one-year “freeze” on its costly emissions trading scheme (ETS) that would impose new emissions taxes on U.S. and the United States and other nations’ air carriers flying into and out of the EU.

About the Author

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. Contact Jeff Berman

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