I find myself marveling at the astonishing pace at which another year has come to an end. I thought I would take a moment to look back at 2014 and at some of the more noteworthy items within the context of People, Processes and Enabling Technology.
Mark Szakonyi, Associate Managing Editor
The “Obama is soft on the unions” explanation seems questionable, as sending a federal mediator and invoking the Taft-Hartley Act aren't easy cures.
An owner-operator shares some often overlooked facts about U.S. truck driver hours of service rules and how they affect his business.
Joseph Bonney, Senior Editor
Can the International Longshoremen's Association and United States Maritime Alliance tweak their bargaining process so that it doesn't scare shippers every three to six years? We'll find out ... eventually.
2014 will surely go down as a momentous year — and not in a good way — for those who depend on international container transportation. Hardly a year of progress, this was a year when the system regressed.
The less-than-truckload industry saw some resurgence in 2014 with carriers’ ability to dig out of suboptimal returns from low-single-digit operating margins. Third-quarter results for publicly traded LTL carriers show a collective operating ratio of 92, a significant improvement from 94 a year ago. This should give LTL carriers optimism about achieving a much-needed 10 percent operating margin by the third quarter of 2015.
From crumbling roads and bridges to congested airports and a “vast majority of seaports in danger of becoming obsolete,” a 60 Minutes television newsmagazine feature pulled no punches about the risks not only to U.S. competitiveness and freight supply chains, but also to the safety of the American public.
If a seal is broken or missing, should a motor carrier be held liable for the destruction of perfectly good boxed, skidded or palletized freight that shows no evidence of contamination or malicious tampering?
The International Longshore and Warehouse Union's monopoly has kept its wage and benefits package so out of the line with other U.S. workers, and prevented major productivity improvements at U.S. West Coast terminals.
This week's blast of cold weather is an unwelcome reminder of last winter’s polar vortex and a portent of supply chain disruption to come.
Supply chain security analyst
The recent attack on a Egyptian Naval patrol boat serves as a reminder that Egypt’s relative calm should not be mistaken as a sign of stability, and that maritime interests tied to the Suez Canal are far from insulated from country's many security problems.
I’m not certain why it is that, every time I mention transfer of title in any connection with a question about an Incoterm, somebody feels obliged to “correct” me by emphasizing that Incoterms don’t control the transfer of title. I know that.
Given Ebola’s combined potential for substantial loss of life and economic disruption, it certainly could qualify as a weapon of mass disruption-level threat, so why not treat it as one? Take Homeland Security’s defense of the international supply chain, for example. Substitute “WMD” with “Ebola,” and “freight conveyance” with “foreign traveler,” and the tactics are essentially identical.
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