All Columns Entries
Sunday, January 01, 2012
From a business standpoint, the first 10 years of the 21st Century have been anything but normal. Economic turmoil is almost constant, currency valuations shift with the wind, and bank lending vacillates between lenient and tight-fisted.
Faced with a tight domestic transport market that includes labor and fuel pressure on carriers, shippers are inclined to leverage volume and go for extensions of past rate agreements. I would like to encourage shippers to start thinking outside the box.
Consider this post-holiday scenario: You go to return something you received for Christmas, and when you finally get to the front of the exchange line after waiting 20 minutes, a smirking face behind the counter condescendingly tells you that “all you needed to do is pick out the right size and exchange it at the regular checkout counter.”
Our January issue features one of our most anticipated reports, Logistics Management
’s Annual Rate Outlook. Not only has it traditionally been one of our best-read reports—second online only to our Annual Salary Survey—but over the past seven years the related webcast has attracted thousands of shippers looking for insight into what the coming year may hold in terms of rates and capacity.
Thursday, December 01, 2011
Driven by the boom in shale oil production from the Bakken formation that straddles the Montana/North Dakota border, U.S. oil production has climbed steadily since 2008 after declining for 22 of the previous 23 years. This fact alone might lead logistics professionals to the conclusion that price relief is just around the corner. Well, it isn’t.
Tuesday, November 01, 2011
it’s a safe bet that few of you can name a famous demographer alive today. I certainly can’t, and I studied the subject as a graduate and post-graduate student. Yet demography—the statistical study of the size, structure, and distribution of population over time—provides an essential foundation for those wishing to understand oil economics and the development of oil and fuel markets.
i’m pleased to announce that the National Industrial Transportation League (NITL) and Logistics Management
) magazine are presenting U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood with the 2011 McCullough/NITL Executive of the Year Award.
Since I acquired a second home in Vermont this year, my car has new tires and adjustments have been made to my brakes. Once again, I have become an active traveler on America’s busy interstate system; and what I have observed on these highways reminds me not only about the challenges that logistics professionals have in qualifying and selecting safe carriers, but the direct and indirect breadth of your safety responsibilities and oversight.
The use of dedicated and private truck fleets seams to wax and wane with the economy. I’m referring, of course, to those who are trying to optimize transportation cost through use of dedicated equipment and not those who justify a private fleet primarily as a marketing tool.
In the future, companies’ physical end-to-end supply chains will work in concert with equally comprehensive and far reaching “digital supply networks”—from systems that support initial design and development work, all the way to those that help manage delivery and post-sale service.