Thursday, November 01, 2012
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.
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
In addition to infrastructure damage, Hurricane Sandy has forced the idling of about 70% of the East Coast’s oil refineries. This does not bode well for the supply of refined oil products as capacity was already quite tight prior to the shutdowns
Posted on 10/31 at 04:09 PM
Supply Chain •
The consumer products industry is undergoing significant change, with "empowered" consumers putting pressure on manufacturers and retailers for greater selection and speed. Traditional forms of consumer outreach are quickly being augmented and, in some cases, replaced by these new ways of communicating, reporting, and promoting.
UPS expects to deliver 527 million packages between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and FedEx expects to deliver more than 280 million packages during that same period.
Posted on 10/31 at 10:02 AM
A confluence of ongoing events, including the debt crisis hitting exports, domestic sales and consumer confidence and imports, which have added to declining trade volumes, has led to a recession being formally declared in the European Union, according to the most recent edition of the Global Port Tracker report.
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
While Hurricane Sandy continues to wreak havoc in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States, a new focus on risk mitigation is sure to take hold.
To say Hurricane Sandy has made her presence felt is very likely the understatement of the year. In this space yesterday, we basically speculated what the impact would be and now a day later it is clear this could very well be the biggest storm we have seen and been part of in our lifetimes.
Posted on 10/30 at 11:05 AM
In its preliminary evaluation of the economic impact of Hurricane Sandy IHS Global Insight said potential infrastructure damages currently stand around $10 billion of insured damages and about twice as much, or $20 billion, in terms of total damages