Stories Behind the State of Logistics Report

image

The Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) released the 21st Annual “State of Logistics Report®” on June 9, 2010 in Washington, DC. The report, titled “The Great Freight Recession,” was delivered by Rosalyn Wilson and additional commentary was provided by a panel of industry leaders representing various areas within the supply chain.

By Francis J. Quinn, Editorial Director
June 30, 2010 - SCMR Editorial

If you haven’t yet read the 21st Annual “State of Logistics Report” from CSCMP (Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals), you really should take a few minutes out of your workweek to do so (it’s free to CSCMP members, $395 to nonmembers).

Researched and written by SCMR’s newest blogger, Rosalyn Wilson, the report contains a wealth of information to help managers better understand the current and future state of logistics and supply chain management. But there’s much more beyond the data alone.

The big picture numbers in this year’s report—total logistics costs, inventory levels, carrier capacities, for example—all dropped sharply. Yet this was not totally unexpected given that 2009 was only marginally better than 2008, another tough year for companies in just about every business sector.

But what I really like about the State of Logistics Report are the inferences that you can draw from many of the numbers. Take the downward trending on truckload capacity. As study author Wilson reports, capacity in this segment of the motor carrier industry is dropping at a dizzying pace. Part of this is due to consolidation in the industry, part to aging equipment being taken out of service and not replaced, and part to truckers just going out of business.

Certainly, this is not a good development. But what are the specific implications for logistics and supply chain managers? For one thing, dwindling carrier capacity—coupled with a gradual economic upturn—reinforces the wisdom of the old-fashioned virtues like partnership and collaboration. How so? Those shippers that have treated their carriers fairly and consistently when capacity are in a much better position to get the service they need when things get tight.

The same goes for a driver shortage, another industry trend spotted in the State of Logistics Report.  Fewer drivers can only exacerbate the tightening capacity constraints.

We recognize that in the real world notions like partnership and collaboration with your motor carriers (or providers of any transportation service for that matter) are honored as much in the breach as in the observance.  But when you read into research like the State of Logistics report, you realize that these “quaint” traits still have great currency.



About the Author

image
Francis J. Quinn
Editorial Director
Frank Quinn is the editorial director of Supply Chain Management Review, considered the premier publication for supply chain executives. Frank was the founding editor SCMR and has overseen its growth over the past 14 years. He has been covering the logistics/supply chain scene in various editorial and consulting positions for more than three decade. Frank is co-author of the recently published book Diagnosing Greatness: Ten Traits of the Best Supply Chains. You can reach him directly at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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

The Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) August edition of the Manufacturing Report on Business saw its PMI, the ISM’s index to measure growth, fall 1.6 percent to 51.1, following a 0.8 percent decline to 52.7 in July. Even with the relatively slow growth over the last two months, the PI has been at 50 or higher for 31 consecutive months.

Hackett observed in the new report that China’s economy has lost steam, with actual growth falling short of targeted rates, while the United States most recent second quarter GDP reading at 3.7 percent outpaced expected targets, even though it was negatively impacted by gains in manufacturing and retail inventories.

The proposed merger of Cosco and CSCL could spark further container consolidation

The average price dropped 4.7 cents to $2.514 per gallon, which now stands at the lowest weekly average price for diesel since July 2009, when it was at $2.542 the week of July 27, 2009, according to EIA data.

The Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reported this week that U.S. trade with its North America Free Trade Agreement partners Canada and Mexico in June dropped 3.8 percent annually to $99.0 billion. This followed a 10.8 percent decline in May to $92.7 billion.

About the Author

Frank Quinn, Editor Emeritus
Frank Quinn is Editor Emeritus of Supply Chain Management Review, considered the premier publication for supply chain executives. Frank was the founding editor of SCMR and has overseen its growth over the past 16 years. He has been covering the logistics and supply chain scene in various editorial and consulting positions for more than three decades. Frank is also co-author of the book Diagnosing Greatness: Ten Traits of the Best Supply Chains.

Comments

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