Changing for the better

Changing for the better

If you've gotten this far, you probably realize, or at least suspect, that although you may not recognize this magazine, it's one that you may in fact have a subscription to and shouldn't simply toss out with your junk mail. That's a positive sign, because it was certainly not our intention to change beyond recognition what you've come to know as JoC Week. Your weekly magazine has a new name and appearance. But behind this new design is the same editorial commitment that has guided the publication of JoC Week and its online companion, JoC Online, since our transition from a daily print format nearly two-and-a-half years ago. That commitment is to be the most authoritative provider of news and analysis on the U.S. system of international trade and transportation. Some things may be changing, but that isn't one of them.

With that said, what have we done to your magazine?

Simply put, it's being improved to better serve your information needs. You have told us in readership surveys that you want a concise, well-written, probing weekly report that is devoid of nonsense. In delivering that to you, we should spare no effort in unearthing the major stories and trends in the U.S. trade, transportation and logistics universe and presenting them to you in an accessible, reader-friendly format.

First, the name change. The print version of our news service is once again The Journal of Commerce. For 175 years this name has stood for the highest standards of editorial excellence, and as we aspire to no less, it should and henceforth will be the name on our masthead. Well heck, welcome back!

Next, and most obvious, with this issue we unveil a new, more reader-friendly design. It's the product of several months of work by Robert Bertrand, art director of Common-wealth Business Media, and Larry Treat, the JoC's art director. The new typefaces, colors, captions and more were designed to make reading The Journal of Commerce an easier and more pleasant experience for you.

Embedded in the new design, but perhaps less obvious, are some other important changes. The table of contents will run over two pages and will include a number of new subject areas. You have told us, for example, that in addition to our staple coverage of ocean transportation, customs issues and logistics - which you don't want us to de-emphasize in the slightest - you expect more international trade coverage from The Journal of Commerce. We will deliver. Those whose businesses depend on the movement of trade into and out of the U.S. are affected to no small degree by developments in trade finance, trade policy, and sourcing patterns as the fortunes of U.S. trading partners rise and fall. Look for more of that in the months and years ahead.

You also can expect continued coverage of the major trends we have been tracking - the consolidation of container shipping and its consequences, the emergence of global third-party logistics providers, the stop-and-start progress of information technology, the quest to secure supply chains. As we have seen during the past few weeks at West Coast ports, the global logistics system no longer is a marginal concern of policymakers and the public. The importance of logistics is becoming much more understood, a fact that will affect how policy in this area evolves over the next several years.

A final point: Our electronic news service, Journal of Commerce Online, continues to be a companion to this magazine. The articles you read on the website are original content, written exclusively for the web. The articles you see in the magazine are not duplicated on the website except in the archive. I urge you to make use of both vehicles. The website gives you up-to-the-minute reports on major developments affecting trade, transportation and logistics, while The Journal of Commerce print edition offers you a comprehensive weekly analytical report.

We hope you like the improvements we've made.