As we descend on Long Beach, California, for the 16th Annual TPM Conference, a slew of issues threatens to disrupt shipper supply chains. Long-awaited consolidation among container carriers is under way, with dramatic changes to alliances likely. But the biggest concern for shippers is the looming container weight policy mandated by the International Maritime Organization, an issue that will resonate through TPM and beyond.
Gary Ferrulli, president-North America, Unicon Logistics
Although communications have improved between stakeholders dealing with ports and terminals, and congestion has eased, much still needs to be done, and port productivity remains a concern. Progress that could be made hasn’t been because much of the design, infrastructure and equipment in ports don’t meet the requirements of today’s environment and markets.
Jeff Tucker, CEO, Tucker Company Worldwide, Inc. and QualifiedCarriers.com
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's decision to post “absolute performance measures” for BASIC scores in early March represents an affront to the intent of Congress when it passed the FAST Act.
Amazon is reimagining the modern supply chain, and we have to use our own imaginations to follow along. The company that simultaneously built the world’s largest cloud computing business and became a digital entertainment giant has grown uncomfortable with traditional freight transportation offerings, thus dabbling in trucking, air freight and now ocean.
Satish Jindel, president, SJ Consulting Group
While other segments of the transportation industry have consolidated to gain network efficiencies, the railroads continue to operate with the structural constraints of a bygone era.
Asaf Ashar, professor research, emeritus, National Ports & Waterways Initiative, University of New Orleans
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' channel assessment methodology based on national benefit/cost ratio is speculative and, in some areas, flawed, especially on the benefit side.
Colin Barrett, president, Barrett Transportation Consultants
A shipper’s failure to file a timely loss-and-damage claim with a motor carrier will bar recovery on the claimant’s part.
Michael Scheid, senior analyst, SJ Consulting
2016 is a test year for LTL carriers in how they react to reduced demand and the new aspects at play. Carriers should recall the difficulties in 2009-10, and that it took more than four years to regain lost profit. They must avoid price discounting to fill trucks with freight.
Eric Halsey, content creator, JW Surety Bonds
If you’re keeping up with the news on self-driving vehicles, you’d be forgiven for being confused whether their arrival is right around the corner or years away. Looking closely at the technology, we can see that both views are correct, and it will have wide-ranging implications for freight brokers.
Daniel M. Krassenstein, director, Asia operations, Procon Pacific
Many U.S. importers regard procurement cost and pallet vendor selection as the shippers' burden, but this is risky and exposes an importer to severe supply chain disruptions should their pallets not be compliant with local requirements and face rejection by border officials.
The average U.S. diesel pump price dropped below $2 per gallon for the first time since 2005 this week. With prices this low, perhaps its time for shippers and carriers to rethink fuel surcharges.
Chris Brooks, executive editor, The Journal of Commerce
High inventories impede GDP growth and depress freight demand, and often are seen as an omen of economic downturn and recession. Inventory-to-sales ratios “are approaching pre-recession levels, with retail, manufacturing and wholesale all trending in the wrong direction,” Deutsche Bank Markets Research said in a late-January report.
Rich Luhrs, senior vice president, CarrierDirect
While other transportation modes have long since adopted simple and sensible rating processes, the less-than-truckload industry has continued to wade through a mire of weight/class formulas that, in many cases, are inaccurate, obsolete, and baseless and, in all cases, costly to maintain and execute.
A cooperative win-win attitude from longshoremen, which has long been present throughout the South Atlantic and U.S. Gulf regions, is a key reason shippers seeking predictability are gravitating to Georgia and other ports in the region.
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