Annual Review and Outlook -

Annual Review and Outlook -

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Forty-seven of the top 50 global transportation providers saw revenues rise in 2018, benefitting from a strong global economic growth and growing anticipation of reciprocal tariffs between the United States and China.

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An analysis of new Indian container data shows importers and exporters are increasingly shifting cargo to private, minor terminals, and Adani Group is the beneficiary of much of that diversion.
The extent to which US retailers rebuild their inventories post-Christmas will provide a hint as to how consumers will respond to mixed economic signals and higher prices on some Chinese goods.
A 30-year shipping industry veteran who heads up Modern Terminals in the Port of Hong Kong will become president of Ports America in February.
SaaS tools in the international logistics space have been relatively underfunded compared to other models, like digital freight forwarders and marketplaces, but investment in Seattle-based Logixboard could signal investors are ready for more pure software-based plays.
If the heavy support of subsidies from China was withdrawn quickly, it is likely only higher-value products would be viable on the China-Europe rail network.
Barring a major turnaround in December, BNSF Railway and CSX Transportation will record their lowest annual intermodal volumes this year since 2016, and two other Class I railroads could possibly join that list.
The week-long strike by workers at Canadian National Railroad will end Tuesday after the railroad and Teamsters reached a contract agreement that will go to the union membership for ratification.
An array of ocean freight portals, mostly developed by tech startups, have entered the Indian freight landscape in recent years, trumpeting pricing transparency and shipment visibility. But they have much ground to gain to seriously challenge traditional players.
The Port of Halifax will meet its self-imposed deadline to handle two mega vessels simultaneously by March, when the extension of a berth at one of the port’s two container terminals is completed.
Maersk is dealing with its second high-profile executive departure in just the past two weeks with the news CFO Carolina Dybeck Happe is leaving to take the same position with GE.
There have been no serious backlogs yet at Canadian container ports as the Canadian National Railway strike enters its seventh day, but the harsh winter of 2017-18 showed that once a disruption occurs, congestion mounts rapidly.
CMA CGM will dispose of ships and terminals over the next few months to lighten its capital structure and raise cash to pare down its significant debt levels.
US motor carriers say the switch from AOBRDs to ELDs is anything but simple. Shippers need to ensure their trucking providers have made the conversion by Dec. 16.
Stakeholders in the Indian freight industry generally agree that digitization plays a role in improving transparency, but say a more coordinated effort at the human level is needed to fix many of the things ailing trade development in the region.
Canadian Pacific Railroad is looking to enhance the services offered at its facility in Montreal, starting with the construction of a transload terminal that will open next year.
The Indian government has proposed selling a significant portion of its holdings in the country’s containerized transport sector, and railway Concor could be an attractive target for potential investors.
Mexico is moving ahead with a plan to create a cabotage program in the first quarter of 2020 to enable shippers to move cargo over water within the country’s borders, providing an alternative to trucking.
JAXPORT expects terminal upgrades and a dredging project will attract larger vessels and more volumes when work is complete in 2023.
Growth in US imports from the Caribbean and Central America was unable to offset a decline in exports in the first nine months of 2019.
Carrier rankings in the eastbound trans-Pacific show no year-over-year change as container lines operate cautiously in a slow-growth market.

ARO Commentaries

The logistics industry faces a rapidly evolving marketplace.
Technological roadblocks are rooted in the complexity and the sheer volume of governmental, industry, and trade-related rules and regulations.
As the trade landscape is continuously moving further away from simplifications to protectionism, it becomes increasingly more difficult to ensure a balanced approach.
Logistics real estate will remain strong in 2019.
The withdrawal of the BER would exacerbate the delicate financial standing of some carriers and pave the way for further liner consolidation.
Pricing volatility and the unenforceable nature of ocean contracts are significant pain points that negatively impact supply chain integrity and delivery to customers, resulting in added costs and the inability to effectively plan freight costs.
Technology is just one part of overhauling a traditional supply chain industry.
Alliance monitoring remains a priority as we add senior economists to the FMC team.
To have a complete view of one’s supply chain — a critical component for long-term success — a transportation management system (TMS) holds the most promise to provide a comprehensive "control tower" approach to the supply chain process.
While there are no silver bullets in logistics technology, there are some golden principles.
The biggest challenge facing the ocean-going portion of the logistics industry is that there will be little change in 2019.
2018 has been a watershed moment in freight technology.
Online booking and pricing automation close the technology gap that the logistics industry so desperately needs to fill; not for technology’s sake but for customers’ sake.
Ocean carriers need to be transparent with the new formula for bunker fuel so that customers like Eastman Chemical will be able to “buy into” their new way of pricing bunker fuel.
Surcharges will be a critical issue in 2019 because it will alter the entire present cost structure.
If the trade war continues between the US and China, 2019 may be the year that changes the foundation of where supply chains originate.
It is imperative for shippers to engage with trusted partners to fully understand and develop contingency strategies necessary to manage changing industry dynamics.
Our hope is that 2019 is the year the industry collaborates to safely navigate the detours together.
Few have doubts that e-commerce is changing the landscape of trade, as growth continues unabated in many economies.
Business planning for 2019 has become ever more challenging because of tariff uncertainties.