For Jonathan Gold, 2010 was a year for lessons. For Donna Lemm, 2011 is about hope. And for George Macko, the trucking concerns of today will be with us into 2012. As a new decade begins, this diverse group of shippers — Gold from the National Retail Federation, Lemm from Mallory Alexander International Logistics and Macko from USG —discuss 2010 and the year to come in The Journal of Commerce’s 3rd Annual Shippers Roundtable.
2010, which started quietly enough in the recession’s wake, quickly built a head of steam that overwhelmed an ocean carrier industry still operating in recession mode. Soon it was importers and exporters who were steaming, their goods stuck at far-flung and not-so-far-flung ports alike, waiting for a ship or a container. By the time the industry established some sense of supply-demand equilibrium, the Federal Maritime Commission was well into a fact-finding investigation that ultimately led to, well, an uneasy discussion agreement among shippers and carriers.
For trucking companies, it was a year of rebuilding lost volume, of tightening capacity and of preparing for new regulations — CSA 2010 and potential new hours-of-service restrictions — that will put new strains on drivers and companies.
And for the railroads, well, we know the railroads can do no wrong — but Congress can, and for shippers such as Macko who are more than satisfied with rail service, only re-regulation can derail a good thing.
For interests up and down the supply chain, these issues are just the beginning of what they hope will mark 2011 as the year the recovery was sustained — if capacity can keep up.
JOC: After a tumultuous year wrestling with capacity and service issues, what do you think 2011 will look like? Will you conduct business differently?
George MACKO: As we look back to last year, 2010 was a year of affirmation for USG. As we look at the various modes we shipped on, we really didn’t experience significant problems with capacity and service, and I think our takeaway from that reinforced within our organization that our strategies for managing our carrier capacity relationships are spot-on for us, and allow us to effectively manage the cycles, both up and down.
Being a contract shipper and having maintained our relationships for many years, we have a very dedicated carrier base that provides consistent service to us at the extremes of the marketplace. We’ve traditionally stayed away from being a spot market participant. Our experience shows that’s where you run into issues of service and commitment to capacity.
Jon Gold: It’s funny, earlier in the year, I never had so many irate phone calls from my members talking about what was going on in the trans-Pacific, and there was so much frustration with the ocean carriers and breaking of contracts, rolling cargo, the new rates, etc. There was a lot of disappointment with how the ocean carriers were conducting themselves. That led to meetings with the Federal Maritime Commission, and the fact-finding investigation.
The hope is that everyone learned a lesson, that this is not the way to conduct business. The retailers are being more careful in how they conduct their business with carriers, trying to work with the carriers to make sure they have a good understanding of what to expect for their forecasts so they don’t get caught short again with capacity issues.
From what I’ve heard from a number of my members, they don’t expect capacity issues this year that we saw in early 2010. I think the carriers have openly admitted there were a number of mistakes going back to 2009 when rates were dropped through the floor and capacity was taken out. They all recognized that was a mistake, and hopefully, they’ve learned from that. Retailers are going to be holding them accountable for those issues.
Donna Lemm: I’m cautiously optimistic we will see improvements in 2011. Having said this, a repeat performance of equipment and capacity constraints is not out of the question. We have been fortunate that usual capacity reductions during winter deployment have been pushed back; perhaps the FMC investigation that closed at the end of November had everyone on their best behavior. Others argue it is an early Chinese New Year, and carriers found it more economical to keep new deployments in service. Regardless, carriers will eventually respond to sailings that do not have strong utilization.
If there is anything that we will be doing with diligence, it is protecting our equipment and capacity needs under contract. Our export volumes are sometimes harder to forecast with so many different variables that come into play. The importance of being as accurate as possible with the forecast and sharing these forecasts with our carriers is critical.
JOC: Are you doing anything differently this year?
Lemm: I have spoken about the critical role of contracting true volume and confirming with our carriers weekly allocations. In terms of dealing with equipment concerns, we have been doing things differently for the past couple of years. We have been moving to the ports instead of source loading as much as we can. We are moving to rail hubs and rail centers where there are equipment supplies. Whether it’s in boxcars or domestic intermodal equipment, we are transloading on the coasts. Equipment concerns in the interior are not going away, so we must continue to move in this direction.
JOC: What do you see in terms of costs this year?
Gold: Across the modes, my members expect rates to increase because of any number of issues, whether it’s new regulatory burdens that are placed on the different modes of transportation to just general rate increases. We’ll see rates increase across the board. I don’t think I can give you percentages, per se, but a lot of my members forecast their supply chain costs to increase.
Lemm: I am hopeful we’ll see some flattening in the market, but it will all depend on this capacity discussion. That said, if I had a crystal ball, we are hopeful that 2011 will be pretty flat in terms of rate activity.
Macko: For us, the truck marketplace is the big question mark right now, primarily related to issues such as CSA 2010 and hours-of- service. So if there’s one segment that’s of most concern to us right now, it’s the trucking market. There are too many unknowns.
Gold: I know the ocean carriers have announced their peak season surcharges or rate-restoration charges for January, but there’s a question whether they’ll actually be able to get those from the shippers. With Alphaliner reporting carriers back to profitability (the Paris-based research analyst predicts combined carrier profits of $13 billion for 2010), how are they going to be able to force these surcharges on the shippers? I don’t know. I hope it remains flat, but we’ll see.
JOC: Do you think ocean carriers will be able to maintain the discipline they’ve shown in the last year, or could overcapacity become a problem again?
Macko: We think all transportation providers, including ocean carriers, have really come to understand the importance of managing capacity relative to demand. I think the biggest challenge to that is how uncertain the economic horizon is. We think all providers of transportation will again be closely managing capacity in 2011.
JOC: Are carriers looking more intensely for those forecasts and what your activity is going to be?
Macko: We’ve seen more requests for forecasting over the past 18 to 24 months than in a long, long time. The unknown about where the marketplace is going and the demand that marketplace is going to create, combined with the spot opportunities that the carriers see in the market is the driver behind this.
Gold: I would agree. I don’t think we expect a repeat of what happened in early 2010, but I think the carriers, regardless of the mode, are going to be more careful in how they manage their capacity. One of the things I hope the carriers have learned over the last year or so is that they’ve got to work with their customers. The customers want to work with them to make sure they have the right capacity there. We need the carriers to be profitable. If the carriers aren’t profitable and they fold, we can’t get our goods to market. We’ve got to work in partnership to make sure the right capacity’s out there to carry what the demand is.
I know my members are working with their carriers constantly to provide them with their forecasts for what they expect. I know in talking with Brian Conrad at the Transpacific Stabilization Agreement that one of the things the carriers want to work on, work through, is trying to develop a better forecasting system to figure out how better to manage their capacity.
JOC: What are the NRF’s members forecasting for the retail market for 2011?
Gold: I think you’ll see the typical seasonal drop-off in January and February, and then we’ll see it pick up again. We’ve been pleased with what we’ve seen in the holiday shopping season.
JOC: Inventories are at historically low levels, even with the economy recovering. Is the target to keep inventories low going forward as companies have done over the last couple years?
Gold: From what I hear from my members, lean inventories are here to stay. Everyone’s trying to keep costs down, and lean inventory is a part of that. My members are going to keep an eye on consumer demand and do their forecasting accordingly to make sure they have enough inventory on hand to meet that demand. We’re not going to go back to the old days where you have a warehouse full of goods. Lean inventories are the norm for the foreseeable future.
Macko: Our inventories are managed in such a way that providing service to our customers is our first priority. Our supply chain to the market is short, with high service expectations, so our inventories have to be set at levels so we provide the service our customers are accustomed to receiving.
JOC: How does the emphasis on lean inventories square with carriers’ desire to keep vessel capacity tight?
Gold: I think they’ll marry up well. It all gets back to forecasting, making sure you have the capacity to meet the demand.
JOC: What impact will carriers’ move out of the chassis-supply business have on your businesses?
Macko: The chassis segment is definitely going through a whole reinventing process, not unlike what the domestic container market had to do over the last two years when we saw a dynamic shift in ISO containers not moving inland. So what we’re seeing is what I would call a lot of “clean sheets” our there, where people are stepping back, looking at the marketplace and starting from scratch to develop new solutions and approaches. I think it’s going to be a pretty active part of this market for the next year or so.
JOC: Will it be more difficult to get those containers to inland points? Will you have to pay more?
Macko: At the end of the day, competition is ultimately going to drive solutions. As a shipper, we’re going to focus on solutions that will avoid these cost pinch points when a segment of the marketplace gets out of sync. We think competition will throttle the impact of any runaway situations.
Gold: It’s a concern as far as what the impact will be on that inland movement portion of it, what it’s going to mean for port operations, how it’s going to impact the drivers. There’s a lot that has to be thought through and figured out here, so we’re keeping an eye on it, trying to figure out what’s going to happen.
I think my members want to work with their providers to make sure they have the right systems in place to be able to move the goods from the ports to where they need to be.
Lemm: Carriers’ inland repositioning is certainly a concern not only as it relates to carrier chassis availability, but also how carriers are looking at their assets in general. Carriers have been telling us for years that containers and chassis are precious and expensive assets. Carriers mindful of profitability will always be scrutinizing the cost of inland moves. We began with more and more store door locations going away and now we compound the challenge with the issue of carriers getting out of the chassis business.
What does that mean? It means added cost to the shipper for repositioning of equipment. It means added management and coordination of the move by the shipper. While carriers may take some time in implementing their policies, the shipping community should definitely prepare for options in managing their inland freight. We have had practice with all areas of the country experiencing container and chassis deficits.
The shipper that no longer takes equipment and chassis for granted and seeks alternate management of freight execution in the interior will be the real winner in the future.
JOC: Harold Daggett, the heir apparent to Richard Hughes as president of the ILA, has said he’s going to go to war to make sure the ILA maintains its jurisdiction over chassis maintenance and repair. Are you worried about East Coast labor issues?
Gold: There’s always concern about labor disruption. We saw it in October with a little action in New York-New Jersey. Going forward, we hope we don’t see major disruptions, but there’s always that possibility. We hope it doesn’t happen. We hope the ILA and management can work through these issues without resulting in any kind of major disruption. We don’t want to see ourselves back where we were on the West Coast in 2004, when you saw major disruption, and especially in 2002 when we had the lockout.
Hopefully, labor has learned from that, and hopefully we have an administration that would step in and not allow that to occur.
JOC: Have your members made any contingency plans?
Gold: Not that I’m aware of yet. But with supply chains the way they are, if they start to see more and more pressure coming through the ports, more militant actions coming from the ILA, they’ll look to put forward any contingency plans they have. Obviously, contingency plans are there for any number of reasons. It’s whether or not they pull the trigger on them.
JOC: What about larger labor issues. The administration is seen as very pro-organized labor. Do you see the concerns about that in the business community dissipating after the November elections?
Gold: A little bit. Obviously, with a sea change in Congress and a Republican majority in the House, you’re not going to see as much of a pro-labor agenda moving forward. But there are still concerns with how the administration and the agencies move forward with some labor actions. You have the Department of Labor looking at the independent contractor status. That’s a concern for a lot of people out there.
JOC: What about the Port of Los Angeles and the attempt to change the law regarding federal pre-emption of truck regulation? Do you see that as a continuing concern in 2011?
Gold: I think it’s going to continue to be a concern, though there’s less threat of congressional action now. We’ll see what happens with the lawsuit between the American Trucking Associations and the Port of LA. It’s still a concern in that you have additional ports looking at doing clean-trucks programs, though most have looked at doing it the right way, without having things like the employee mandate, but really focusing on the clean truck itself and not who’s driving the truck.
Our hope is that ports look to the Port of Long Beach and the Port of Seattle as the models on how to do this. We’re looking forward to how New York comes on line with its implementation.
JOC: What does the Obama administration’s National Export Initiative mean for transportation? Can we get to its goal of doubling exports in the next five years with the current systems in place?
Lemm: All the national focus has been so positive for the export community. We saw the momentum building as early as the president’s State of the Union Address last January. The president helped catapult our export crisis in the national spotlight given his announcement to double exports right smack in the middle of a crippled export community. We kept asking how we were going to do that when we could not find space and equipment in the first quarter of 2010. Since that time, we’ve had strong media attention.
The FMC investigation of carrier practices offered huge assistance in allowing shippers a forum to share complaints on rolled bookings, canceled bookings and forced GRIs. I applaud the FMC’s work and effort to bring both sides to the table in search of efficiency and fair shared practices. I was encouraged by James Oberstar’s introduced legislation, and now with the election results, we basically have to start over. We are hopeful to resurrect some of the provisions in Oberstar’s bill moving forward.
Whether we support new Shipping Act legislation or perhaps simply support taking measures into our own hands by stronger protective contracting language, our shipping community must stay focused on the need for fair shipping practices.
JOC: One thing transportation providers say inhibits exports is that their low value doesn’t support profitable rate levels. Are exporters prepared to pay more to move their goods?
Lemm: Exporters are paying more. Exporters got hit hard in 2010, and we’ve reached some pretty reasonable and compensatory levels. I believe you will never see exports be the head-haul, especially considering the deadweight issue when sailing our heavy goods.
All we ask for is fair play, because we are consistent in our movement, because we are there day after day with committed volume to support the backhaul of trade. We just ask the carriers not to forget this huge export community that is such a vital part of this round-trip process. I think the exporters have taken the rate hit, and I’m hopeful 2011 will bring rate stability.
JOC: Carriers say they’re paying closer and closer attention to environmental initiatives because their shippers are more and more concerned about carbon footprints. How much are you seeing in your businesses regarding environmental initiatives?
Macko: It’s our view that the green transportation initiative and discussion is not going away, and will only gain momentum as we move into the future. USG was an early adopter of the EPA SmartWay program in late 2007 and 2008, and it’s been an important initiative for us. While the focus of that program has primarily been on domestic truck and rail, we clearly see the EPA expanding its focus into both inland waterway and ocean transportation.
Gold: I’d agree. And it’s not just greening of the supply chain, but also greening of the corporate culture. A lot of NRF members have taken sustainability to heart and are really applying it throughout their organizations to see how they can be greener throughout the entire process, starting with the products they’re sourcing. How are the products sustainable? How green are they? And that comes from a lot of requests from their customers, and starting with the customers becoming more knowledgeable about the products and requesting more green products from the outset.
Whether you’re small, medium-sized or large, everyone’s looking at this to see how they can incorporate greening into their entire corporate culture.
JOC: How much concern do you have about infrastructure problems in ports, with highway and rail connections? Are we going to be ready for increasing trade in the years ahead?
Gold: There’s still a great deal of concern, even though volumes have dropped. Now is the time to work on those issues to make sure we don’t have those congestion points when the volumes return. I think we’ve missed a golden opportunity in Congress to get a new highway bill done — hopefully we can get it done before the 2012 elections — and we’re going to keep working the issue.
But it’s a major concern. President Obama has his National Export Initiative, and hopefully infrastructure is a part of that. You’ve got to have a working infrastructure there for both imports and exports to make sure we can keep the economy going and get goods to market both in and out of the United States.
For us, it’s an ongoing concern. If you can’t get your goods through the ports, to the stores, it’s a problem. The administration has to take the lead and work with Congress and the shipping community on getting a bill done. The issue, though, that no one has tackled is how do we pay for it? If you can solve that problem, we’ll have a new highway bill. There’s been a lot of talk over the past couple years, a lot of studies that have been done, about how to pay for it.
Obviously, the easiest way to do it is through the gas tax that’s already there. The deficit commission just came out in support of an increase in the gas tax, tying that to the highway bill. But that’s what’s holding everyone up, figuring out how to pay for it.
Lemm: We’re not having problems, but I agree we’re missing a golden opportunity before we’re bumper-to-bumper again. We seem to be pretty fluid in Memphis; we are served by all major railroads that have individually invested millions of dollars in infrastructure at this major inland corridor. We are able to ship to any coast from where we are, but some of our bigger challenges have been to the Gulf and to the South Atlantic. We are hopeful that the coming years will bring stronger ways to transit to those ports.
For the ports themselves, the biggest concern we have is how they will adapt for these bigger ships.
Macko: Let’s segment this into ocean, rail and the trucking marketplace. The area of greatest concern to us is the highway situation, particularly when you look at some of the studies looking forward for the next 20 to 30 years. You see a very consistent picture of problems, with significant need for highway and bridge repair, highway expansion and other things. There are some big challenges ahead of us on the highway side of the equation.
Railroads, on the other hand, kind of take care of themselves. It’s a private network, and they’re investing heavily back into it and growing their capacity. Rail is the trump card for the whole transportation segment, and we believe it has a huge strategic role in solving the country’s transportation needs over the next 10 to 30 years.
Highway solutions are huge and complicated. My personal view is that highway needs aren’t going to be solved until we all understand that we need a strong federally driven strategy, not unlike what we saw in the Eisenhower, post-World War II era. Unfortunately, we don’t see that kind of effort being talked about right now.
JOC: What about on the ports side?
Macko: It gets a little more dynamic there because of the unknowns about what impact the Panama Canal expansion is going to have on the general flow of goods into and out of the country, both for Gulf and East Coast ports. There’s a little bit of shaking out that’s going to have to take place to understand just what the Panama Canal expansion’s impact is going to have on the overall movement of goods.
If you look at it from that standpoint that there’s a lot of infrastructure investment on both the East and West Coasts, whether it be ports themselves or the rail and truck infrastructure that moves the product out of those ports. I don’t think those investments, particularly on the West Coast, are just going to roll over and play dead with the changing horizon of the Panama Canal.
JOC: Do you support an increase in the gas tax to pay for highway infrastructure?
Gold: As long as the members knew it was going to the highway fund, they’d be fine with it. The American Trucking Associations is in favor of it, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is in favor of it, as are a number of other organizations.
JOC: Is there a way of carving out a diesel tax increase from a general gasoline tax increase?
Gold: I think that’s what we need to take a look at. That’s among the suggestions moving forward from the ATA.
Macko: This is very, very interesting. Obviously, this whole issue is about the dreaded “tax” word. We find it somewhat interesting that some folks, like the ATA, have taken an aggressive stand supporting a gas tax increase as a means of funding highway needs going forward, obviously with the caveat that the incremental funds generated are exclusively pumped back into the highway network. I think that’s where it gets a little out of balance, and it’s interesting that positions like what the ATA have taken haven’t created any traction.
JOC: How would you classify the current state of trucking and rail service?
Macko: Trucking and rail, from our perspective, are providing very good service. We did not have any challenges in 2010 across either of those modes as it relates to meeting the demands of our customers. We do think the horizon is a bit more challenging for trucking, just because everyone’s out there trying to understand and digest the ultimate impact of CSA 2010 and its potential impact on capacity and driver availability. The hours-of-service issue has another potential impact on driver productivity. The horizon for trucking is the cloudiest of them all.
JOC: Do you see your shippers going more toward rail and away from truck?
Macko: We’ve definitely seen a boost in intermodal demand over the past couple of years and that may be an early indicator of some of the trucking challenges on the long-distance movement of goods. If the truck marketplace has some struggles meeting the capacity needs of the marketplace, shippers will look to rail as an alternative. There’s wide market discussion about the average length of intermodal moves declining as we move forward.
Ultimately, trying to get an intermodal solution competitive with a 500-mile truck move is something all the rails have in their sights. This is why we feel rail has a strong strategic place in the nation’s transportation infrastructure.
JOC: How concerned are you about possible increased regulatory oversight on railroads?
Macko: Very. We’ve never been a supporter of the Rockefeller legislation. Not to sound like a broken record, but we view rail as a strategic solution. We see it this way: The highway transportation bill is not going to come quickly. What does come forward ... is it truly going to have a focus toward that 20- to 30-year planning horizon?
There are big, big challenges on the truck side and that’s where our view comes from that rail has better control of its future. It’s a private network that’s owned, grown and maintained by the railroads. Railroads have demonstrated over the past five years if not longer that they’re prepared and capable of pumping significant capital back into their business to maintain and grow their operations and services.
We just think the rail industry is very well positioned to continue forward with that strategy — provided we don’t see an aggressive move toward re-regulation.
JOC: Does the outcome of the November election help your case?
Macko: I think that’s yet to be seen. Unless something dramatic happens as we start the new Congress, the issues will continue in debate. But it’s our view that the rail network is working right now, and that was the whole intention when railroads were deregulated 30 years ago.
JOC: Do you see cargo being re-routed from Los Angeles-Long Beach because of their skyrocketing fees?
Gold: I think it’s more than just the fees. It’s everything that’s going on in the environment in California and LA-Long Beach, whether it’s the fees, the clean-trucks programs, or other issues we’re seeing such as night gates. We just continue to see challenges operating in LA-Long Beach. Shippers want to work with the terminal operators, the ports, the carriers and the truckers and hopefully they can resolve some of the issues they’re facing.
But when you continue to see an anti-business environment there, I think folks are going to continue to look for alternatives. It started back with the lockout in 2002. People realized they couldn’t just ship everything through LA-Long Beach. I think that’s one of the reasons you’re starting to see some business increasing in the Gulf and at East Coast ports.
Lemm: Certainly from an export perspective, we have been looking at options. We talked about lessons learned, and those lessons go back to the lockout. Our export community has been searching for options for years. But at the end of the day, exporters need to go where the capacity is. You’ve seen movements to the Gulf and movements to the South Atlantic. In our search for options, we have found ourselves with limitations at times. The bottom line is that we have to go where there are ships and capacity to service some our strong export volumes.
JOC: How big a concern is fuel?
Lemm: Fuel is a part of our cost regardless of mode, and it is always a concern and a factor. Rising fuel costs have been felt, but what is so interesting is that the issue of capacity and equipment totally eclipsed any conversation we had on fuel this year. Fuel will always be a part of our transportation costs, and we have come to expect it to be a part of the equation.
Macko: The truck and rail sectors have well-established measures to manage the ups and downs of fuel. It’s become accepted as a reality of the world we live in and a part of doing business. The mechanisms for managing the impact of fuel on the business are there, but is it a concern? Absolutely. The volatility continues to be the challenge.
JOC: Are you seeing any change in sourcing patterns as manufacturing costs rise in China?
Gold: Retailers are always looking at their sourcing options. Obviously, they don’t want to put all their eggs in one basket, especially with China. They’re focusing a lot of time and effort on Vietnam, India and elsewhere in Southeast Asia.
JOC: What about Central America and Mexico?
Gold: They’re still looking at Central America and Mexico, obviously using CAFTA and NAFTA and some of the trade preference programs out there. Obviously, rules of origin make it very difficult on my members, especially for textiles and apparel, but they’re always looking at those opportunities.
JOC: What about China as a market for U.S. exports?
Lemm: It’s huge. It is indeed our largest market for the commodities we service.
JOC: The U.S.-South Korea free trade agreement gives new hope for pending agreements with Colombia and Panama? How important are they to growth in trade?
Gold: Our hope is that we do start seeing some movement on free trade, whether it’s these agreements, preference programs or what have you, especially if President Obama wants to move on his National Export Initiative. We have to start moving on some of these free trade agreements. You can’t boost exports if you don’t have these agreements in place.
For us, it’s also really about looking at the rules of origin and whether they work. But, yes, trade is especially important to my members, and we hope to see some positive movement on trade legislation. We have to get back on the pro-trade route, for imports as well as exports. We can’t forget about the importance of imports on the economy. For retail, we represent one in five workers in this country.
JOC: Put yourself in January 2012. What issues are your top concerns?
Gold: I think it’ll be the continuing issue of pricing and service. How have the carriers been able to deliver throughout the year, and what will the expectations be in 2012? Also, have we been able to build upon the lessons learned and better partner with transportation partners to ensure their ability to remain competitive and continue to provide great service?
Macko: We’re going to continue to be concerned about the trucking market in 2012. I don’t think that’s totally going to settle itself out in the coming year. Rail should continue to be in good shape regarding their capabilities, provided there’s no clear-cut move toward government regulation. We’re hoping for some stability on the ocean side, but the big $64,000 question there is when we’ll start to see the ultimate impact of the Panama Canal expansion on trade routes. Ocean and truck are the areas we’ll keep an eye on the most going into 2012.
Lemm: I believe many of the issues we have today will still be around in 2012. The priority of our shipping challenges may rise and fall, but one thing is sure: We must seek collective awareness and shared resolution.
We have learned that the market may dictate who is in the driver seat, but when it comes to real solution, it requires a collective approach.
National Retail Federation
As the National Retail Federation’s vice president for supply chain and customs policy, Jonathan Gold is responsible for representing the NRF and its retail industry members before Congress and the administration on supply chain and customs issues affecting the retail industry. Prior to joining the NRF in 2007, Gold served as a policy analyst in the Office of Policy and Planning for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, where he was responsible for giving policy guidance on issues involving maritime cargo security and trade-related matters. Gold worked on implementation issues surrounding the SAFE Port Act and other issues within the agency, including Customs intelligence reform, pandemic flu and trade facilitation. He also served as vice president, global supply chain, and as director, international policy, for the Retail Industry Leaders Association. In 2005, Gold was appointed to the Departmental Advisory Committee on Commercial Operations of Customs and Border Protection and Related Homeland Security Functions, where he served as a technical adviser working on implementation of the Maritime Transportation Security Act and Customs’ 24-Hour Rule.
Mallory Alexander Logistics
Vice president of sales and marketing at Memphis-based Mallory, Donna Lemm has more than 25 years of experience in the maritime industry, working for major ocean carriers such as Sea-Land Service and Mitsui O.S.K. Lines. Prior to joining Mallory Alexander as directory of business development, she was director of logistics for intermodal marketing company Hub Group. She is now responsible for Mallory’s global sales, and has been instrumental in expanding its warehousing and distribution worldwide. She previously directed Mallory’s intermodal program in the United States, Canada and Mexico. A member of the Agriculture Transportation Coalition’s board, she is an active speaker on the challenges facing the U.S. export community.
United States Gypsum
As manager, transportation, for this USG subsidiary, George Macko is responsible for nationwide rail services, intermodal, bulk truck, less-than-truckload and USG’s transportation sustainability process. A 32-year veteran of the company, he has held various management positions within corporate purchasing and transportation. George also is treasurer of the North American Rail Shippers Association, serves on the executive committee of the Midwest Association of Rail Shippers and is active in the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals and the Traffic Club of Chicago.