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The first important consideration in transportation will be, again, the price of oil. I believe world oil production is going to start curtailing, and with a reduction in supply, there inevitably will be an increase in the price of oil. This will make transportation modes using alternative energy, as well as "oil-efficient" transportation, and equipment more popular. Higher oil prices will result in an increase in overall transport costs.

The methods of transport that make the most efficient use of energy — ocean carriage on bigger vessels and rail in the United States — will eventually grow at a faster rate than other forms of carriage.

The use of larger vessels in ocean freight will be more of a reality in 2011, but I look for carriers to seek to reduce total available carriage space. Vessels will sail less often with a goal of achieving higher utilization rates. The carriers will do this to increase carriage prices.

By artificially restricting supply at a time of increasing demand, they will force price increases. The result will be higher carrier profits — something they will continue to push for given the losses they experienced in 2009. One example of this dynamic was the Australia/New Zealand trade in 2010. Although there were not larger vessels, carriers deployed fewer ships, saw more demand, and the result was much higher pricing.

One major consideration to keep in mind is that if a terrorist act takes place through the use of a container on an ocean vessel, the world of ocean transportation will change rapidly, and not for a cheaper, better alternative. Security measures will change the way we all do business, at great expense, with little forethought about practicality.
 

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