Sunday, January 01, 2012
Top supply chain software analysts break down the drivers that will keep the transportation management systems market on a steady upswing for years to come.
While analysts say rates across the board are forecast to be fairly level compared to what shippers have seen over the past two years, they add that there are a number of unanswered economic and regulatory questions that could greatly affect rates if suddenly resolved.
When it comes to the oil and fuel markets, it’s been quite a year. On the supply side, the biggest story was the Middle East and North Africa (MENA)
region uprising epitomized by the Libyan revolt that led to the death of Muammar Gadaffi and the shuttering of 1.6 million barrels of daily oil production.
Lift truck owners want it and are ready to spend money on it—but they’re not sure exactly what it means. These guidelines will help take the mystery out of implementing a comprehensive fleet management program from start to finish.
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.
A flurry of new trade agreements should signal greater opportunity for U.S. importers and exporters. But this means that another layer of compliance complexity has been introduced. How will today’s global shippers deal with the new risk/reward scenario?
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 distinguished panel tells shippers to expect to pay more for parcel services, be on the lookout for competition among existing carriers, and keep your eyes open for new regional entrants.
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.