Growing volume

posted Mar 11, 2014, 1:41 PM by Alejandro Suescun

  • Highway traffic is growing at a faster pace than the United States economy, according to one study. Traffic congestion on the nation’s highways increased 6% in 2013 over the previous year, traffic tracking firm Inrix Inc. reported. That rate is more than three times the growth of U.S. gross domestic product, which increased 1.9% last year. According to the study, the four most congested U.S. cities are Los Angeles, Honolulu, San Francisco and Austin, Texas.
  • Manufacturing growth has slowed in most of the world over the past month, but not in the United States. Factory activity in the U.S. for February reached its highest level since 2010, with a Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI) of 53.2%. A PMI reading of more than 50% indicates growth in the manufacturing sector, according to the Institute for Supply Management. According to the institute’s findings, February was the ninth straight month that activity in the U.S. manufacturing sector has increased.

The Top 5 LTL Carriers

posted Mar 11, 2014, 1:39 PM by Alejandro Suescun

Company2013 Revenues
FedEx Freight$5.4 billion
Con-Way Freight$3.46 billion
YRC Freight$3.13 billion
UPS Freight$2.88 billion
Old Dominion Freight Line$2.33 billion

Supply Chains Bind Us Together, says WTO's Pascal Lamy

posted Sep 24, 2012, 2:27 PM by Alejandro Suescun

Speaking at a seminar in Beijing, China on how value chains are shaping world trade, Lamy said: “The high level of import intensity in export production has created an unprecedented level of inter-dependency among countries engaged in supply chains. It is no longer just about exports. Imports are essential to export. It is no longer just about ‘them’. It is about ‘us’.” Lamy added that to understand the true nature of trade relationships you need to know what each country in a global supply chain contributes to the value of a final product. He also stressed the importance of knowing how much employment international trade is generating along the chain, and said trade should be measured in terms of ‘value added.’ 

He explained there are huge opportunities available through international production for developing countries, as reduced costs are enabling them to reach out into the global market. But he warned these governments have to be willing to create attractive environments for this type of engagement to go ahead. Lamy said the industry tends to look only at the international aspects of a supply chain, the size of countries involved, and the overall value created. While this is important, “localising” the amount of value created through a supply chain can be vital to a nation’s development.

To make the most of the growth, employment and diversification that arises from participating in a global supply chain, Lamy advised governments look beyond traditional trade policies and instead suggested focusing on the impact of various other policies, including investment, technology, innovation and intellectual property. He added the long-term success of a country’s economic prosperity will be influenced by factors other than trade, such as education and “social safety nets”. The inter-agency seminar was also supported by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Mobile TMS Applications Improve Supply Chain Visibility

posted Apr 15, 2012, 5:24 AM by Alejandro Suescun   [ updated Sep 24, 2012, 2:22 PM ]

Online applications for mobile devices are emerging in ways that can finally close or reduce many of the information gaps in the supply chain between transportation planning, the shipping/receiving dock, customers, and even accounts payable. These mobile applications are enabling shippers to interface directly and more effectively with logistic partners; access logistics information in non-traditional business settings; and enhance communications where access to a computer is not readily available.

Transportation Management System (TMS) Carrier Mobile Applications, already available for the Apple iPhone and iPad, are giving carriers the ability to communicate directly with a shipper's TMS, even from the cab of their truck, to respond to shipment tender requests and to report shipment status in real-time.

This remote interface capability is especially important to shippers needing to communicate with smaller carriers who do not have EDI systems, including for those owner/operators whose dispatch offices ride in the passenger seats of their tractors. Once trained on the iPhone application, shippers can contact carriers online who can immediately respond to tender requests.

Once booked on a load, carriers can interface through the TMS application to provide pickup and delivery status updates. Tying this information to their own networks, shippers can feed real-time data directly into their TMS systems.

In addition to finding out immediately if carriers can accept their loads, shippers gain greater visibility to in-transit inventory status from pickup to delivery. It's a win-win situation, as carriers are able to respond to tender requests in real time, and shippers can provide enhanced communications to customers for improved service—resulting in fewer calls from customers asking where shipments are.

The iPad and other emerging tablet devices create additional opportunities to quickly and easily bring transportation information to its point of greatest impact. TMS mobile applications currently in development will enable sales reps to retrieve real-time reports and updates on shipment delivery performance. Rather than rely on last month's performance reports, sales reps will be able to access the latest data on delivery stats for loads while on their way into a client meeting. A week-old performance report showing 99-percent on-time delivery means nothing to the client if three shipments in the past two days were late or missed. Nothing ruins a sales call faster than bad surprises.

At the plant, on the loading dock, at the guard shack, or in the cab of the truck moving trailers to the dock for loading, iPad and tablet applications provide real-time information, and process worker feedback about shipping and receiving appointments, trailer assignments, and in-gate/out-gate dates and times.

When it comes down to it, supply chain and transportation optimization and management systems are only as good as the timeliness and accuracy of information delivered to the right place at the right time. Mobile apps for phones and tablet PC's now available and in development offer supply chain management the next opportunity to leap forward.

ILA Agrees to 90 Day Extention of Contract

posted Apr 15, 2012, 5:24 AM by Alejandro Suescun   [ updated Sep 24, 2012, 2:24 PM ]

WASHINGTON, D.C. — "I am pleased to announce that at the close of today’s productive negotiation session, in which progress was made on several important subjects, the parties have agreed to extend the collective bargaining agreement due to expire on September 30, 2012 for a ninety (90) day period, i.e. through December 29, 2012. In taking this significant step, the parties emphasized that they are doing so “for the good of the country” to avoid any interruption in interstate commerce.
"This extension will provide the parties an opportunity to focus on the outstanding core issues in a deliberate manner apart from the pressure of an immediate deadline. The negotiations on the Master Agreement will be conducted during the same time frame as negotiations for local agreements. The negotiations will continue under the auspices of the FMCS. Due to the sensitive nature of these high profile negotiations, we will have no further comment on the schedule for the negotiations, their location, or the substance of what takes place during those negotiations."

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