Commentary

The Panama Canal expansion has triggered some serious consideration about a port’s place in the new world order of larger ships and the place of its neighbor(s).
What are shippers really willing to pay for? Better documentation? Better customer service and problem resolution?
The driving public may not know it yet, but its sustained desire to eliminate the risk of fatal truck accidents is leading inexorably to a future of automated trucks on U.S. highways. Jarring as that may seem, it’s not a bad thing at all. Everyone will be safer, and the business benefits will be huge.
The U.S. maritime industry is experiencing two trends — one promising and the other much less so. How the industry and the federal government craft a policy and implement it to harness shipbuilding momentum and aid the ailing Merchant Marine will determine whether the so-called rising tide does indeed lift all boats.
Yesterday was gray, gloomy and rainy in Newark, New Jersey — just the kind of day Conrad H.C. Everhard would have picked for a luncheon in his memory.
These are heady days for Hamburg, with its home carrier Hapag-Lloyd on the verge of acquiring the Chilean line CSAV’s container assets to leapfrog a couple of Asian rivals into fourth place in the global rankings just five years after it was rescued from a near-certain bankruptcy and a humiliating takeover by Singapore’s Neptune Orient Lines.
It’s easy to get carried away in building extra time into supply chains in the chaotic environment of 2014. Fear of disappointing customers just once can lead to overly cautious transit time assumptions.
Brokers beware: A new interpretation of law regarding who may be held responsible for events that result in injury may land you in court — or worse.
The baking of literally billions of Girl Scout cookies and the subsequent distribution and delivery of tens of millions of boxes must be accomplished within a narrow time frame, creating one of today’s truly remarkable logistical feats, and earning admiration from corporate and military logistics alike.
The good news: corporations are taking sustainability seriously.
In her 2008 book, “The Celebrity Experience: Insider Secrets to Delivering Red Carpet Customer Service,” author and motivational speaker Donna Cutting delivers some simple advice to companies of all types when dealing with those who buy their services: “Give them their chicken soup.”
As much of North America thaws out from a brutal winter, the burning question in freight transportation is whether the heavy congestion experienced in many areas was solely a weather-related phenomenon or whether limits in transportation capacity are finally starting to be revealed.
In my 42-plus years in the industry, I’ve seen many variations of what we now call alliances — joint services, slot-charter arrangements, vessel-sharing agreements, alliances and now mega-alliances — and more no doubt will follow.
Congress again will consider an infrastructure fund, this time supported by a 1 percent tax on freight charges. Why shippers shouldn’t lose sleep about it becoming law.

Pages