Wednesday, August 01, 2012
The editorial staff of Logistics Management (LM) is proud to unveil the results of the 29th Annual Quest for Quality Awards. This year, 127 providers of transportation and logistics services have received the ultimate vote of confidence, posting the highest scores across our lists of critical service criteria.
While the recession left the national less-than-truck (LTL) carriers reeling, we’re happy to report that this sector is more “in balance” than in past years, with capacity now aligning with demand. For the first time in at least five years, the sector is showing positive operating margins—albeit scant—while rates have started to clearly reflect that equilibrium.
Being nimble, quick, and responsive to constantly changing customer demands has kept many of the nation’s top regional LTL’s alive over the past four years. But this year’s story revolves around the improved scores cross the entire regional category, signaling that this year’s Quest for Quality winners have come out of the Great Recession with a full head of steam.
Well, you wouldn’t know it by the scores, but the 30 winners represented in these five market sectors have just gone through a few of the toughest operational years of their existence. In fact, the number of winners in the category along with the overall scores have ticked up, marking an overall service improvement in this category according to LM
Not even the great recession could slow down progress on the nation’s rails. In fact, over the past four years, rail and intermodal service provider Quest for Quality scores have steadily improved as more shippers put this time-tested mode to work to cut costs and mitigate capacity issues on the road.
Unlike their brethren on the highways, ocean carriers will not be reporting capacity restraint issues from their unique position on the high seas over the next 12 months. As Executive Editor Patrick Burnson reported last month in our expansive State of Logistics Report, nearly 60 new vessels of at least 10,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) are being staged for deployment.
Due to the critical role our nation’s gateways play in the growth of global trade, the staffs of Peerless Research Group (PRG) and Logistics Management
felt the need to bring the Ports category back to the Quest for Quality Awards survey after a more than 10-year hiatus.
The Great Recession didn’t slow it down, and now economic woes throughout Europe don’t seem to be impeding its progress. The global third-party logistics (3PL) industry just keeps rolling along, as merger and acquisition (M&A) activity heats up and the world’s providers report decent revenue growth.
As if navigating the Great Recession, earthquakes, tsunamis, terrorist threats, revolutions, volcanos, and high fuel prices over the past 24 months wasn’t enough, along comes the European economic crisis to tug on the wings of world’s leading air cargo carriers.
Global manufacturing and retail shippers now have their eyes firmly fixed on the tentative economic condition of Europe, attempting to calculate the eventual impact the situation will have on supply chain operations in the region and the rest of the world.