Commentary

Commentary

Long-term contracts are a poor idea in today’s volatile business world. Parties should leave themselves free to reconsider contract terms in light of changing circumstances. This shipper's problem could have been alleviated.
In the month since the TPM Conference, I’ve had a chance to process what came out of the sessions and in private conversations, and here’s one of my main takeaways: Although carriers and cargo interests want to think they’re getting closer together in thought and deed, they aren’t, and the split may be getting wider.
Depending on your age, the recently announced contract between the International Longshoremen’s Association and United States Maritime Alliance could be considered “your father’s” (or grandfather’s) labor deal. Labor received wage and benefit improvements, while management achieved minimal concessions on other issues.
This week’s Government Accountability Office analysis of the Jones Act and Puerto Rico landed with a dull thud.
The hours-of-service rules proposed by the Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will be a disaster for the motor carrier industry. We already have enough trouble attracting qualified drivers, and the rules will hammer us further by requiring all kinds of additional “rest” times before drivers can get on the road after a shift.
Shipping lines on the busy North Sea and Baltic routes are jostling for position ahead of another round of consolidation as the private equity funds and buyout firms that rushed into the market during the boom days of easily available capital and debt finance and strong traffic growth are bowing out.
You have to hand it to Soren Skou and the company he leads: They know how to command a stage.
Notes and comments after a year of covering the wild ride to an International Longshoremen’s Association contract agreeme
On Sunday, July 31, 2011, Tropical Storm Nok-Ten made landfall in northern Vietnam, and quickly entered northeastern Thailand. The flash flooding that would begin across Thailand’s northern regions soon would spill onto the lower central provinces, fed by weeks of winter monsoon rains.
It’s an amazing thing: After a year of meetings, conference calls, multiple draft panel ideas and draft agendas; after dozens (hundreds?) of speaker recruitment calls around the world; new ideas, old ideas, rejected ideas and a pretty solid group of keepers; through industry ups and downs and an election; and after myriad distractions, errors and omissions, starts and stops, cancellations and last-minute changes, the 13th annual TPM Conference has come and gone, and planning for TPM 2014 is beginning.
After five years with an operating ratio above 96 percent, Saia was one of three public less-than-truckload carriers to report an operating ratio less than 95 percent in 2012.
Twitter may be an unparalleled tool to toss out a short thought, idea or a headline, but to say it tells half the story does it too much justice; it tells a much smaller fraction of the story. Below are a few of my tweets or re-tweets from this month’s TPM Conference with a bit more than 140 characters of explanation
We have a fairly large private trucking company, employing owner-operators. We train them, and maintain operational control, specifying routes the routes they must use. We require certain equipment installation. Our contracts specify the owner-operator is an independent contractor. Are we correct in not treating our drivers as employees?
The negative impacts of sequestration on the international trade community are looming for California's public ports, and what happens there will ripple through the national economy in a matter of weeks unless Congress takes quick action.