Commentary

Ocean freight needs stability in an era of uncertainty: Freightos CEO

Zvi Schreiber, CEO, Freightos Group |
Global freight requires reliability, but if the commercial backdrop lacks fast and accurate information flows or trustworthy ocean contracts, containers don’t move as needed.
MaritimeContainer lines

Red Sea crisis shows timing is everything in carrier-BCO dynamics

John McCauley, consultant |
The security situation in and around the Red Sea has lifted the lid on a few new factors in ocean shipping, and therefore has done much to dispel the binary view of the prevailing balance of power between carriers and BCOs, writes John McCauley.
Container Shipping NewsContainer lines

Logistics ‘unicorns’ could go the way of the Xerox copier

Ted Prince, founder and CEO, Tri-Cities Intermodal LLC  |
Unicorns project an image of being visionary companies that can attract and retain private investors, but they are facing their own mortality as they suffer calamitous drops in value – or worse.

Polycrisis threat demands new supply chain thinking

Daniel Krassenstein, supply chain director, Procon Pacific |
Product shortages, price shocks and escalating geopolitical disruptions are slated to hit simultaneously in 2024, forewarning industry leaders to prepare now to lessen the impact.
MaritimeContainer Shipping NewsContainer linesForwardingTrans-PacificTrans-AtlanticAsia-Europe

Europe’s consortia block exemption failed to drive competition

John McCauley |
Europe’s CBER, which will be allowed to lapse next April, has not achieved increased competition or improved service levels provided by ocean carriers, writes industry veteran John McCauley.

Class I railroads navigate their own ‘barbarians at the gate’

Ted Prince, founder and CEO, Tri-Cities Intermodal LLC  |
With regulators watching carefully, some railroads have modified their message -- that lower expenses will actually enable them to compete more effectively for truck freight by offering better service at a lower price.
North-American rail

Recent palace intrigue puts LogTech at an interesting crossroads

Dan Gardner, owner, Trade Facilitators |
Borrowing a metaphor from the world of boxing to explain how logistics technology got to this point, many of the early champions underestimated their opponents, failed to stay in shape and punched themselves out in the early rounds of what’s proven to be a tough fight.

California’s supply chain partners face ‘challenging future’

John McLaurin, President, Pacific Merchant Shipping Association |
The work of the supply chain is underappreciated and undervalued, and from a public policy standpoint, that is the biggest long-term threat to the competitiveness of California’s ports, writes the head of the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association.
Supply chain

Using Incoterms to create competitive advantage in project logistics

By Dennis Mottola, global logistics consultant |
Every business should develop a risk assessment and profile for managing the obligations associated with the delivery of tangible goods, including which costs and risks they are best equipped to manage themselves as a seller or buyer.
Breakbulk NewsBreakbulk carriersProject cargoRo/ro cargoEnergy projectsHeavy-haul transport

Is your customs broker prepared for a government shutdown?

Jose D. (JD) Gonzalez, president, National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of America |
The US faces the potential of a government shutdown in November, and importers should be considering now if their customs broker is ready to help them navigate the ensuing chaos.
Maritime

FedEx should thank Teamsters for opening door to become market leader

Satish Jindel, president, ShipMatrix |
FedEx has cost and pricing dynamics in its favor, and thus has a limited opportunity to cut charges for shippers to increase its market share, offer higher payments to its independent service providers, and generate a greater return for its shareholders, writes Satish Jindel.
Surface

Identifying unreasonable detention charges still a work in progress

Lori Fellmer, vice president of logistics and carrier management, BassTech International |
These are issues with a myriad of complexity, but they are not beyond the ability of the talented individuals at the FMC and in our industry, who know intuitively and through their experience what is reasonable and just, writes an executive for BassTech International.
Container Shipping NewsTransport, Trade, and Regulation News

Knowing Incoterms rules

By Dennis Mottola |
Not knowing how to navigate Incoterms rules can create true vulnerability for sellers and buyers of breakbulk and project cargo.
Breakbulk NewsBreakbulk carriers

Proposed emissions rule would cap LA-LB port volumes

By John McLaurin, President, Pacific Merchant Shipping Association |
The South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) is pushing an indirect source emissions rule that would hold the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach responsible for emissions they do not control, potentially forcing them to reduce cargo volumes.

Dear Teamsters: A strike could make UPS union-free

Satish Jindel, president, SJC/ShipMatrix |
Teamsters members contemplating a strike at UPS would be well advised to rethink that strategy given that the company’s competitors can provide a huge pool of non-union workers for UPS to hire, warns industry executive and consultant Satish Jindel.

Shippers need more diverse, resilient trucking networks to avoid next capacity crunch

Jeff Tucker, CEO, Tucker Company Worldwide |
The timing of the next capacity challenge remains uncertain, but is approaching steadily. By preparing now, shippers will be better positioned to win the next capacity crisis.
Trucking NewsTrucking labor

FMC rulemaking on detention and demurrage billing will boost supply chain efficiency

Lisa Yakomin, president, Association of Bi-State Motor Carriers; Matt Schrap, CEO, Harbor Trucking Association; Jonathan Eisen, executive director, Intermodal Motor Carriers Conference |
The FMC proposed rulemaking to restrict billing to only those parties that have entered into a contractual agreement is sound policy, and one that is welcomed by the vast majority of the supply chain community, say the heads of three motor carrier groups.
Container Shipping NewsTrucking News

Congress should allow FedEx, UPS to deliver small parcels to mailboxes

Satish Jindel, president, SJC/ShipMatrix |
For decades, the US Postal Service has been the only parcel carrier with rates for parcels weighing in ounces, partly a result of it having a monopoly on delivering those lightweight and small-size parcels to mailboxes.

Proposal prohibiting billing truckers at odds with detention rule’s intent

Lori Fellmer, VP of logistics and carrier management, BassTech International |
A proposed change to the billable party for detention fees would simply pass the burden from the trucker, which controls a container’s movements and is directly witness to the circumstances that can disqualify detention charges, to the cargo owner, who has no such control or visibility.
Container Shipping NewsTrucking NewsTransport, Trade, and Regulation News

Small, mid-sized truck carriers can successfully navigate market downturn

Christopher Thornycroft, executive vice president, Redwood Logistics |
Shifting capacity landscapes have caused several changes in the US freight industry — owner-operators have become company drivers or shut down, while small carriers with 10 or fewer trucks have begun exiting the market, says the executive vice president of 3PL Redwood Logistics.

Let the party paying for the chassis select the chassis provider: NACPC

David Manning, CEO, North American Chassis Pool Cooperative |
The head of the NACPC says the group believes the open market — not a chassis provider’s contract with an ocean carrier — should determine the best chassis model to employ.

‘Modern’ forwarders must navigate uncertainty of ocean container rates

Robert Khachatryan, founder and CEO, Freight Right |
A forwarder's ability to adapt and offer valuable expertise in this uncertain environment will be a crucial factor in ensuring the success of shippers and the shipping industry as a whole, writes the CEO of Freight Right.

Avoid ‘one-size-fits-all’ business model for chassis use in US: DCLI CEO

Bill Shea, CEO, DCLI |
Any effort to dictate chassis pool models would reduce competition, innovation, and capital investment, making intermodal networks less resilient for the shippers and consumers who rely on them, writes the CEO of chassis provider DCLI.
Supply chain

North American intermodal unlikely to rebound after 'disappointing' 2022

Lawrence Gross, president, Gross Transportation Consulting, and Journal of Commerce analyst |
As we come to the end of a surge of historic proportions in terms of both scope and longevity, the only place for volumes to go, at least in the near term, is down.
Annual Review and Outlook

Pandemic disruption unlikely to prompt 'structural change' in supply chains

Theodore Prince, chief strategy officer, Tiger Cool Express |
There can be no improvement in supply chain resilience if fundamental behaviors do not change, and there is little appetite for the increased expense and reduced margins of such an approach.
Annual Review and Outlook

Changing liability regime could make shippers targets

Ryan B. Schreiber, vice president of industry and growth, Metafora |
The logistics industry should prepare itself for more lawsuits such as Miller v. C.H. Robinson, and for plaintiff’s attorneys to look for the deepest pockets possible — potentially including cargo owners — to satisfy judgements.
Annual Review and Outlook

Resilience the new 'holy grail' for supply chains

Jeff Tucker, CEO, Tucker Company Worldwide |
The COVID-19 pandemic, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s aggression in Ukraine, and issues surrounding China’s claim to the Taiwan Strait have brought the need for resilient and durable supply chains into sharp focus.

California trade industry falling behind nationally as other US ports grow

John McLaurin, president, Pacific Merchant Shipping Association |
California needs to embrace and advance a future that strives to achieve environmental and community goals, but also preserves the job and economic contributions provided by ports in the state, the head of the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association says.
North American ports

Change under way to elevate ‘T&C’ functions to proper status in supply chain

Jerry Peck, vice president of product strategy, QAD Precision |
After years of “trade and customs” functions being largely considered an afterthought in supply chain decisions, a shift is afoot that would correct that.
Supply chain

Why the NMFC system has stood the test of time

Joel Ringer, vice president of classification, National Motor Freight Traffic Association |
A classification system that considers the full requirements and costs of service providers, and is constantly being adapted to new realities, is the best system available, writes the vice president of classification for the National Motor Freight Traffic Association.

Time to wean the LTL industry off the NMFC model

Satish Jindel, president, SJ Consulting Group and Shipmatrix |
While a few carriers such as ABF Freight and FedEx Freight have rolled out dimensional pricing, and others have expressed the desire to do so, they have largely overlooked the reasons for shippers’ reluctance to switch to dimensional rates.
SurfaceLTL

Supply chain failures of recent years have ‘Groundhog Day’ feel

Theodore Prince, chief strategy officer and co-founder, Tiger Cool Express |
Nobody has been willing to admit that the only question about recent supply chain failures was when — not if — they were going to occur, writes Theodore Prince.
Supply chain

OSRA-22 not designed to control freight rates: NITL

E. Nancy O’Liddy, executive director, National Industrial Transportation League |
The objective of OSRA-22 was never to address freight rates, but rather to provide the FMC with additional tools to better identify, prevent, and hold ocean carriers accountable for unfair or deceptive practices and behaviors, writes the executive director of the National Industrial Transportation League.
Transport, Trade, and Regulation News

Pausing to look back at supply chain prognostications

Lawrence Gross, president, Gross Transportation Consulting |

STB, FMC increasingly active in pursuing statutory mandates

Theodore Prince, chief strategy officer and co-founder, Tiger Cool Express |
Paul Revere’s midnight ride to warn the colonial militia of the impending British military action was facilitated by the sexton of Boston’s North Church using a lantern signal —one if the enemy approached by land, two lights if it came by sea. These days, we would need three lanterns to indicate trouble coming from both land and sea.
Transport, Trade, and Regulation News

Unraveling the complexities of zero carbon with hydrogen

Georgios Plevrakis, vice president of global sustainability, American Bureau of Shipping |
Maritime

Let’s level the playing field for small importers

Brian Glick, CEO, Chain.io |

Course correction needed in wake of OSRA-22

Jessica Darby and Andrew Balthrop |
Predictably, OSRA-22 overpromised and is at risk of under-delivering. Changes need to be made to mitigate the law’s unintended consequences.
Transport, Trade, and Regulation News

Standardization eroding long-term value for standalone visibility providers

Kai Timmermann, chief operating officer at Prompt |
Visibility aggregators face obsolescence as data standards increase the availability and usefulness of visibility data — unless they work now to deliver standalone functional value before the enterprise resource planning (ERP) and freight management systems in the operating layer co-opt their capabilities and value.

US railroads need to overcome fear of ‘adverse publicity’

Theodore Prince, chief strategy officer and co-founder, Tiger Cool Express |
The railroad industry’s previously inexhaustible supply of goodwill is rapidly dwindling as a recent avalanche of adverse publicity brings to the surface a long-standing undercurrent of discontent with the rail industry.
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