All Columns Entries
Thursday, May 01, 2014
The terms “convergence” and “collaboration” have been popping up recently in discussions about improving logistics and supply chain management processes and the collection and synchronization of the data that can foster those improvements.
Private fleet operations are faced with more challenges than ever as the three major external cost drivers—hours of service, equipment modernization, and fuel cost—are clamoring for attention.
A growing number of manufacturing companies are warming up to sustainability—taking aggressive steps to soften and shrink their environmental footprints. However, buy-in from those companies’ suppliers has been less encouraging.
Cost conscious shippers understand that fuel comprises between 40 percent and 60 percent of ocean carriers’ operating costs, and bunker surcharges are a similarly important line item on a shipper’s own income statement.
Tuesday, April 01, 2014
As it has been for the past 29 years, the April issue of Logistics Management
) is once again delivers our Annual Salary Survey, a research project conducted by Peerless Research Group (PRG) that is the fuel for our best read feature (page 28) and the foundation of the most downloaded survey report that we produce.
I asked a pilot friend of mine if the large change in the upper level jet stream that we’ve been experiencing on the ground as unusual weather is having an impact on flight times and costs. While he said that the real impact has been on airport operations, he pointed out that there are significant changes in the “business jet stream” that will have an impact on both carriers and shippers.
Saturday, March 01, 2014
We’ve certainly been reading and hearing more about the benefits of improved communication and collaboration in logistics management—be it with our carriers, third party-logistics (3PL) providers, suppliers, and even competitors.
In a recent speech to shippers and carriers, Anne Ferro, administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), said: “We need a real change in our transportation culture to recognize that safety means more than complying with safety rules. It means changing work/rest schedules that contribute to fatigue.”
Volatile markets. Unstable currencies. Vacillating demand. Unpredictable commodity costs. Manufacturers, like most companies, have plenty to worry about.
Natural gas prices have risen 40 percent to over $6 per thousand cubic feet (Mcf) since the beginning of the year. As a regular reader of this column, rising prices should come as no surprise. In July of last year, when the price was just $3.52 per Mcf, I predicted that prices would rise to between $4.00 and $4.25 per Mcf by the end of the year.