The Back Page

The Back Page

Copyright 2003, Traffic World, Inc.

Disclaimer. This back page contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Action of 1995. Such statements may be identified by words or phrases such as "looking forward," "next month or so," "if any shipper ever is nuts enough to sign a contract with us," "we don''t know where last year''s financial statements or the petty cash are," "should those drivers ever return those trailers," "you''ll get the freight when we deliver it and not a day before," and "what does an accountant know about goodwill?"

TVLand. If you''re like us, you like nothing better than curling up with a frosty bottle of Yoohoo and watching the HBO George Clooney-produced series "K Street." Imagine our surprise a couple of weeks back when who turns up on the show but Bill Zollars, the president, chairman and CEO of Yellow, along with marketing chief Greg Reid and PR woman Suzanne Dawson. With all those truckers, couldn''t one of them have been reading a copy of Traffic World?

ATA. Everyone was upbeat about business at the American Trucking Associations annual meeting last month. But were we the only ones troubled that as the ATA guys were leaving, the group coming into San Antonio for their annual meeting was the Reusable Industrial Packaging Association?

Aerosaurus. U.S. airlines are a bit piqued that Rep. John Mica, R-Fla., called them "brain dead" and "pigs at the trough" for seeking financial help from the government. "You can only feed dinosaurs for so long," Mica says. Hey, it''s only a few hundred million in subsidies and look at what Congress gets in return: upgrades.

Sold. It turns out that commemorative coins UPS has been passing out to mark its logo change are worth money - two weeks ago a set sold for about $32 on eBay, last week for about $26. But that''s not all: toy UPS trucks were selling for $9.99. FedEx some of those over here.

High spirits. Now we know why 3PLs offer value-added services. Wilson Logistics recently employed 800 people to unscrew vodka bottle tops, CEO Henrik von Sydow said at the 3PL Summit in London. The customer was shipping 1.5 million bottles of vodka to Russia and needed help replacing bottle tops. "Did we make money? You bet. And we had a lot of fun as well," he said.

Rockets. We see the Aerospace Industries Association is sponsoring the Team America Rocketry Challenge for high school and middle school kids. You know, it doesn''t help calm a jittery nation to know teenagers are practicing firing off rockets.

Match, natch. We see one prominent air carrier (we won''t give their name, bien sur) says its goal in 2004 will be to match capacity as closely as possible to demand. Really? Gosh, exactly what was the plan before?

Last Mile. No need to go to hospital on an empty stomach in the United Kingdom. "The U.K. is the country where you can get a pizza faster than an ambulance," says supply chain consultant Derek Wright. Wright''s a consultant - why should we have to tell him that the pizza places could add cash by hiring out as 3PLs to hospitals? On second thought, who ever tipped an ambulance driver?