19th Annual Masters of Logistics Study: Efficiency remains top priority

The findings of our annual study reveal that shippers have not significantly changed how they manage their logistics and transportation activities over the past year. However, we find that the Masters are moving to a more defined organizational structure and are putting more 3PLs to work to help them gain significant cost advantage once the recovery finally kicks in.
image
By Mary C. Holcomb, Ph.D., and Karl Manrodt, Ph.D., Contributing Editors
September 10, 2010 - LM Editorial

Last year we reported that the economy had leveled the playing field for all firms with respect to competitive advantage that can be built through transportation and logistics. In essence, the significant performance and organizational structural differences between the Masters (firms with sales greater than $3 billion) and other firms that was built from 2006 to 2008 was largely eroded as the economy slid into a global recession in 2009.

The main focus for every firm became surviving the difficult economic times, and many began an unrelenting quest to reduce costs across all areas including transportation and logistics. The advent of 2010 brought hope and anticipation that the economy would begin its recovery from the recession; but to date, the economic signals have been mixed.

This uncertain environment is also reflected in transportation and logistics practice across firms of all sizes according to the results of the 19th Annual Study of Logistics and Transportation Trends (Masters of Logistics). In short, shippers report that they have not significantly changed how they manage these activities, and reducing costs remains the primary objective. A deeper look at the study results suggests, however, that while the playing field remains on equal ground relative to transportation, this may only be an intermediary gear for the true Masters of Logistics.

See below for related articles

27th Annual Quest for Quality Awards

Supply Chain Fundamentals: The Building Blocks of Success Virtual Conference



About the Author

Mary C. Holcomb, Ph.D., and Karl Manrodt, Ph.D.
Contributing Editors

Mary Collins Holcomb, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Logistics and Transportation at The University of Tennessee.  Dr. Holcomb was also a member of the faculty in Transportation and Logistics at Iowa State University, Ames.  She holds B.S., MBA, and Ph.D. degrees from The University of Tennessee.  Her professional career involved some eighteen years at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in transportation research and policy issues for the U.S. Departments of Energy, Transportation, and Defense.  Dr. Holcomb’s background also consists of various industry experience with the former Burlington Northern Railroad, General Motors, Milliken & Company, and two years of collaborative research with Procter & Gamble.  She is a principal researcher in one of the longest running annual studies – Logistics and Supply Chain Trends and Issues – that has been conducted for more than 14 years.  Dr. Holcomb is the former editor of the Transportation Energy Data Book, author and co-author of numerous reports and articles in the area of transportation policy and logistics systems design.

Karl Manrodt, Ph.D., serves an Associate Professor in the Department of Management, Marketing and Logistics and Georgia Southern University, located in Statesboro, Georgia.  Prior to joining Georgia Southern, he served as the Executive Director for the Office of Corporate Partnerships and the Supply Chain Strategy Management Forum in the Department of Marketing, Logistics and Transportation at the University of Tennessee.  Degrees include a B.A. in Philosophy and Psychology, Wartburg College, M.S. in Logistics, Wright State University, and his Ph.D. at the University of Tennessee.  He is the recipient of the Chancellor’s Citation for Professional Promise, the Walter Melville Bonham Dissertation Scholarship, both at the University of Tennessee, and the E. Grosvenor Plowman Award awarded by the Council of Logistics Management.


Subscribe to Logistics Management magazine

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your
entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Recent Entries

Last week, the United States Department of Transportation took further steps to address various issues identified in recent train accidents involving crude oil and ethanol shipped by rail. The announcement was made by DOT with other DOT agencies, including the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA).

Logistics Management Group News Editor Jeff Berman had an opportunity to interview Derek Leathers, President and Chief Operating Officer of Werner Enterprises, at this month's NASSTRAC Shippers Conference and Transportation Expo in Orlando. They discussed various aspects of the truckload market, including prices, fuel, and regulations.

During this webcast our presenters will apply the findings of the 23rd Annual Trends & Issues in Transportation and Logistics Study to the world of shipper-carrier decision making. They'll examine the primary aspects that will influence the future direction for shipper-carrier decision-making.

For February, the month for which most recent data is available, the SCI dropped to -1.0 from January’s 2.6, with FTR explaining that the short term positive impact from one-time adjustments for rapidly dropping diesel prices and the suspension of the 2013 motor carriers hours-of-service expires later this year.

Seasonally-adjusted (SA) for-hire truck tonnage in March was up 1.1 percent on the heels of a revised 2.8 percent (from 3.1 percent) February decline, with the SA index at 133.5 (2000=100). This is off 0.3 percent from the all-time high for the SA of 135.8 from January 2015 and is up 5 percent annually.

Comments

Post a comment
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.


© Copyright 2015 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA