All Columns Entries
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.
Today more than ever, innovation is a top priority. Sixty-two percent of executives questioned in a recent Accenture survey noted that their business strategy is “largely” or “totally” dependent on innovation. Nowadays, however, companies don’t only need to innovate, they also need collaborators—partners—to help make innovation happen.
While the next few months may see a stall in its torrid pace of development, there’s little doubt about Brazil’s resolve to conquer hemispheric markets and penetrate new ones.
Once you retire from the traditional 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. work days, new hobbies and picture puzzles become a part of everyday life. Sounds boring? Well, it’s just the opposite.
Ron and Linda Arnett, highly skilled “puzzlers” with extraordinary insight and sequential awareness, recently introduced me to picture puzzles. Their tutelage provided me with a greater appreciation of the challenges logisticians face in determining the fine points of vendor qualification criteria, assembling the best pre-qualified providers, and selecting the players who can do the precise points of detailed tasks both effortlessly and consistently.
Wednesday, August 01, 2012
It’s my honor to present the logistics and transportation community with the results of the 29th Annual Quest for Quality Survey. This is the culmination of a six-month research project conducted by Peerless Research Group (PRG) that’s become known as the most important measure of customer satisfaction and service performance excellence available in our industry.
Shippers are increasingly telling me that the number of options in the less-than-500-pound shipment market confuses them. The one thing that many can understand is that costs continue to climb despite the deregulation of rates. However, enormous savings can be achieved by knowing your shipment weight and distance, direction, and cube as well as the capabilities of your carrier.
In last month’s column, we presented some dramatic research insights about emerging markets. By 2020, 57 percent of the world’s economic growth could come from emerging markets. Emerging market household incomes are expected to increase by a total of $8.5 trillion between 2010 and 2020. And if emerging-market-to-emerging-market (E2E) exports continue to increase at their current rate, they will outpace developed-country-to-developed-country (D2D) volumes by 2013.
The average truck consumes roughly 11,000 gallons of diesel per year. Consequently, even minor shifts in fuel prices have a significant impact on operating costs. For instance, when applied to a fleet of 100 trucks, a price drop of 25 cents per gallon generates annual savings exceeding a quarter of a million dollars.
It dawned on me the other day that some of the practices we employ in the planning and management of our logistics operations are similar to how farmers plan and harvest crops and how baseball managers select their team and deal with the variety of performance issues and injuries throughout the long season.