Port metrics and key performance indicators are popular topics often discussed in Washington D.C. and by local port authorities, but while metrics and KPI’s are good goals, they come with a cautionary note.
John McLaurin, president, Pacific Merchant Shipping Association
Jon DeCesare, president, World Class Logistics Consulting
One of the major takeaways from this year’s TPM Conference in Long Beach was that global supply chain volatility and uncertainty continue to pressure beneficial cargo owners to demand best practices from their freight transportation stakeholders. The operating models at a majority of container ports don’t provide a sustainable strategy to meet these critical demands. It’s time for ports to consider implementing best practices.
Duluth has developed a solid business in heavy-lift and project cargo at the western end of Lake Superior, 2,340 miles from the Atlantic. This fall, the port will open 28 acres of additional open storage and a new dock that will handle loads of 2,000 pounds per square foot.
The extent to which beneficial cargo owners are controlling the discussion in trans-Pacific contract negotiations is becoming more evident, and that leverage is greater now than at any time since the 2008-09 recession.
Gary Ferrulli, president-North America, Unicon Logistics
As with similar matters involving revenue, costs and other things that affect the bottom line, ocean carriers are their own worst enemies at times. Unfortunately for the carriers, it’s one of those times.
Lawrence J. Gross, president, Gross Transportation Consulting
For the first 10 weeks of 2016, North American Class I railroads originated 3.3 million carloads of freight (excluding intermodal). That’s 427,000 fewer carloads than the same period last year, or a decline of more than 11 percent.
With the industry just just more than three months away from the July 1 implementation date of the new container weight verification rule under the Safety of Life at Sea convention, fears of disruptions have abated somewhat. The industry seems to have come a long way from last fall when panic-stricken shippers, carriers and forwarders wondered how a new type of rule applied to container shipping would have any hope of being implemented without disrupting trade.
Theodore Prince, chief operating officer, Tiger Cool Express
The intermodal industry finds itself in a perfect microeconomic storm. Energy is a primary driver. The price of diesel has dropped by approximately one-third in the past year, greatly reducing intermodal’s secular price advantage over truck.
Colin Barrett, president, Barrett Transportation Consultants
A shipper should regard set-off as a last-resort measure where a carrier is being insupportably obdurate about paying claims and the shipper is confident of prevailing if the carrier challenges you. It’s not a proper substitute for resolving claims out of hand without clear provocation.
CMA CGM’s announcement this month that it would deploy six ships with capacities of up to 18,000 TEUs to the West Coast beginning in May is the latest indication that the French carrier believes Los Angeles, Long Beach and Oakland are up to the task. But will the ports be ready?
Michael Scheid, Senior Analyst, SJ Consulting
Despite the calm market in early 2016, a storm is forming that is going to hit the trucking industry. New regulations coming into play in the next several months and the increasing influence of a major retailer are prepped to cause significant turbulence in the U.S. trucking market.
Alex Brisbourne, KORE Telematics president and CEO
Satellite offers numerous benefits, including the ability to provide coverage in remote regions where trucks and oceanic vessels often travel.
Bill Eilenfeld, manager, Weighbridge Strategic Product Group, Mettler Toledo
Ahead of the SOLAS container weight mandate its important to ask yourself these questions: Will you purchase weighing equipment to use Method 1 or 2? Will you purchase a service from others and pay by the container? Will you purchase the equipment and provide the service for others and potentially yourself?
Praveen Raveendran, Container Shipping Consultant
An often overlooked and increasingly relevant form of intermodal transport is truck to barge or train to barge. The Mississippi River is really a “free railroad” for the U.S. whose potential for intermodal transport has not been fully exploited.
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