All Columns Entries
Thursday, November 01, 2012
If you hate paying extra for baggage on flights, you will be unhappy with this news. The Commodity Classification Standards Board (CCSB), a voluntary rules committee representing 845 motor carriers, has passed a ruling that classifies pallets as a commodity subject to density rules and therefore potentially higher rates.
One hallmark in the era of permanent volatility is fluctuating commodity prices: everything from aluminum (variations up to 30 percent in 2012) to zinc (variations up to 25 percent in 2012). The result is endless headaches for people and departments in virtually every industry: the procurement folks buying materials; the logistics and transportation staff moving it; the finance guys forecasting expenses; and even the sales and marketing staff struggling to pass unanticipated cost increases on to customers.
With the presidential election just around the corner, divisive and intentionally misleading partisan talking points on energy have come to dominate the media.
An article in our local newspaper lamented the plight of individuals who live in the suburbs and rely upon bus service to get them to work, often at odd hours. Poor ridership has caused some towns to question the need for increased taxes to subsidize the service, while the metro transit authority cites insufficient revenue.
Monday, October 01, 2012
Multi-channel selling has revolutionized the retail industry—and I’m not sure if you can find anyone in the market who would argue that statement.
The U.S. railroad industry, consisting of over 600 large and small service providers, has successfully engineered itself into a viable and largely profitable segment of the nation’s logistics marketplace.
Effective use of business analytics—using quantitative methods to derive forward-looking insights from data—is essential for companies that are serious about supply chain excellence. Why? Because with analytics, supply chain managers gain a deeper understanding of what is happening upstream and downstream. As a result, they’re better able to assess the operational impacts of prospective supply chain decisions.
A senior vice president of a major national carrier recently asked me if I thought that tomorrow’s shippers have the commitment to maintain the depth of talent necessary to manage one of the value-added programs that I allude to in my columns. I have always maintained that committed process and performance excellence bring exceptional benefits to both the company and its carrier partners, but they require a combination of developmental and seasoned talent.
Friday, September 21, 2012
Staying abreast of developments that impact oil supply and demand helps shippers and carriers understand and plan for fuel price fluctuations; so the recent news coming out of Saudi Arabia must have left many in the logistics and transportation industry scratching their heads.
Saturday, September 01, 2012
As shippers consider entry into an outsourcing arrangement for freight management, they quickly discover a range of pricing options from various service providers. These service providers have a variety of business models that drive their market offers, and shippers need to understand what these models are so they can evaluate not just the offer, but the potential for long-term satisfaction with the contract.