Friday, July 01, 2011
The cost of the U.S. business logistics system jumped up 10.4 percent in 2010, making up more than half of the preceding year’s decline. But don’t expect gains like this to continue as the economy begins to slow and all four transportation modes scramble to make adjustments during this period of unprecedented volatility.
Whether driven by reducing costs or by new business strategies, our panel of experts says that rethinking your distribution network has become more important than ever.
The ISM reported that the index it uses to measure the manufacturing sector—known as the PMI—was 55.3 in June, up 1.8 percent from May’s 53.5. May marked the first month in 2011 that the PMI did not exceed 60. But even though the last two months were below 60, manufacturing experts said it was likely the PMI would head down a little bit.
Carload volume—at 284,562—was down 0.2 percent annually and behind the weeks ending June 17 and June 10 which hit 294,310 and 290,181, respectively.
By setting reasonable goals, the converter and packager of cheese products upgraded its antiquated TMS, reduced its LTL shipments by nearly 30 percent, and brought its carrier relations into the 21st century.
Over the past several years, the hair care manufacturer his tied its core business systems into a WMS that’s allowed it to effectively manage its high-volume shipping operation—and the results have been simply gorgeous.
The elimination of required cargo liability insurance by the FMCSA now forces shippers to independently verify the existence of the policy and nature of the coverage held by their carriers. Sound time-consuming? Our transportation law expert offers some practical advice.
Challenges remain, but carriers prove resilient
Carriers get their house in order
While North America’s great ocean cargo gateways are heavily reliant on containerized throughput, major and minor ports alike are not letting go of their bulk and breakbulk operations. Indeed, many of them are coming to regard this basic piece of their portfolio as a value-added service.