Commentary

The 18th Annual TPM Conference marks the start of formal negotiations between many beneficial cargo owners and container lines on annual trans-Pacific service contracts. Price, as always, will drive those negotiations. However, as recent news demonstrates, price is not everything.
Shippers and all involved in trade take note: US railroads, in some respects, hold the destiny of the 2018 intermodal year in their hands.
As I hear about technology being the game changer in logistics, I am certainly open to the thoughts, but recall the caution of the Harvard professors who taught the classes on process improvement — first make sure you have the right processes, then build systems that support those processes. 
Shippers are complaining and fearing a huge increase in US transportation costs. For those who keep informed of developments impacting this spike in prices, this should not have come as a shock. Further, the factors impacting the hikes are outside the control of the trucking industry.
While the US administration has fixated on balancing trade relationships, many economists have argued that neither a trade deficit nor a trade surplus is a meaningful indicator of economic prosperity when examined in isolation of other economic influences.
I believe we are turning the page. The US Congress and the Trump administration are taking action to expedite the dredging activities for our ports, waterways, rivers, and shorelines.
The ocean carriers’ long-standing determination to retain the business of large retailers and other large trans-Pacific importers, even if it means accepting marginally profitable or even loss making cargo, is slamming head on into the reality of the US trucking market.
A company agrees to pay a premium to guarantee same-day delivery. After the truck breaks down, service becomes next-day delivery. Is there recourse?
There are many startups out there already offering different value propositions to the logistics industry and its participants. And although they all have a clear unique selling proposition, not all of them will be successful. Simon-Kucher has evaluated the most important factors that will determine whether or not these startups will be successful in the long run.
The delays at the Port of Prince Rupert, and to a lesser degree, Port of Vancover, raise a compelling question: can Canadian marine terminals and railroads handle the growing volumes efficiently, especially during peak periods, with reliabilty?
How can one recognize business challenges that can be tackled with predictive analytics?
The term "artificial intelligence" (AI) conjures up images of futuristic, all-knowing, all-powerful artificial beings. So far, however, in global trade AI already is being put to work in a much more prosaic, less-perilous arena.
In launching a joint venture company with IBM, with whom it has had a relationship going back to the 1950s, Maersk would seem to be in the pole position to exploit blockchain’s potential in container shipping. And that move also highlights the factor that is at the core of what happens next in the industry.
Goods of almost any description have more than an intrinsic worth; they also have time-and-place value. Transportation serves to help realize that time-and-place value.