T|WO Blogs

  • Posted by Tom Moore on 08/02/2022 - 07:00
    Diesel supply constrained The International Energy Agency (IEA) says global refining capacity decreased by 730,000 barrels per day (b/d) in 2021—the more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 07/27/2022 - 07:00
    Just read the underlined and you’ll get the whole story. 2Q 2022 Revenue, excluding Fuel Surcharge: $3.16 billion; up 21% — it’s not just fuel pushing the top line   Intermodal Revenue: more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 07/20/2022 - 07:00
    The volatility of deployment has caused a lot of heartaches: What couldn’t be covered by contracted carriers switched to high-cost spot Overtime and detention as sites got buried   We are proud to more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 07/17/2022 - 07:00
        ProvisionAI and Kimberly-Clark Project EARL recognized as CSCMP Innovation award finalist for solving costly transportation volatility challenges   Franklin, TN – (July 15, 2022) Kimberly-Clarks Project “EARL” (Early Tendering and Leveling) is a collaboration with Transportation | Warehouse Optimization (T|WO) and ProvisionAI. EARL has more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 07/13/2022 - 07:00
    Many major shippers suffer high-cost, spot freight   Congratulations Kimberly-Clark for being a finalist for the CSCMP Innovation Award! Many major shippers suffer high-cost, spot freight — they did something about it:  Project EARL (Early Tendering and Leveling).      AutoO2 and our sister company more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 07/12/2022 - 07:00
      Many smaller suppliers agreed to have Walmart handle their freight (to Walmart DCs and stores, of course). What I hear is that Walmart is not a totally reliable provider of transportation and some gripe that they are paying fines for this unreliable performance. Now, the plot thickens. New charges include: A collect pickup fee based on more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 07/05/2022 - 07:00
    The EIA (Energy Information Administration), which is responsible for publishing the weekly diesel fuel costs, has failed in this simple duty for June 20, June 27, and July 4. "Unfortunately, we will not be able to publish those figures by the next scheduled release date of July 5 more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 06/28/2022 - 07:00
    The contradiction is: Maersk's CEO sees inflation pushing container rates up faster than 25% to 30%. This is aided by port and rail congestion Spot rates for containers are not sometimes below contract rates. The average rate per 40-foot more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 06/23/2022 - 17:45
    Diesel prices are holding their own— despite refineries coming on line. What gives?   While fuel exports haven’t hit records, they are trending higher than in prior years. Seaborne shipments of gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel departing the U.S. Gulf Coast in more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 06/14/2022 - 07:00
    January 2020: All leasing of Federal land for oil and gas exploration was stopped   June 2021: the courts intervened saying the Department of the Interior was breaking the law. The Department appealed but lost again   November 2021: Interior sold some more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 06/07/2022 - 07:00
    The “new order" in energy: US, Japan, and Europe who say no to Russian oil China, India, Turkey, Vietnam, and third world countries— we’ll buy Russian oil as long as it is cheap Arab countries — we’ll pick up market share "The new order promises to make the energy trade less efficient more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 06/01/2022 - 07:00
    Expect controversy and some great tips from veterans Jeff Potts and yours truly. 15-minute webinar on June 9th. 1 PM CST  Registration: https://new.elasticwebcast.com/user/registration/theme_04/index.php?videocast=NDY0.   Diesel prices are up because: more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 05/24/2022 - 15:39
    The good news:  The Cass Freight Index declined 0.5% year-over-year in April. The bad news: Petroleum product tanker rates for routes originating in Europe rose to record highs in April 2022.  And this is important because of how we balance fuel stocks between Europe more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 05/17/2022 - 07:00
    From the EIA: "We expect prices for gasoline, distillate fuel oil, and jet fuel to begin decreasing after May as refinery maintenance from April comes to an end, increasing production and reducing some of the pressure on prices in the current market.” That’s the good news. more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 05/10/2022 - 07:00
    Most contracts read like this: “we’ll give the carrier x lots per year (maybe) and the carrier will accept some of them if they feel like it.”  Sounds like a great basis for a partnership.  So, what is happening: Ocean carriers are refusing contract loads and more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 05/03/2022 - 07:00
    The second Staten Island Amazon distribution center rejected the union by a factor of 68% to 32% — wait, there is more. Amazon is challenging the other election where the union won by, amongst other things, attacking the NLRB (National Labor Relation Board). Their 25 objections include more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 04/26/2022 - 07:00
    JB Hunt quarterly report: Intermodal (JBI) revenue grew 36%, driven by a 28% increase in revenue per load and complimented by a 7% increase in load volume. Truckload (JBT) and Integrated Capacity Solutions™ (ICS) -- aka brokerage — grew revenue more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 04/19/2022 - 07:00
    Last year at CSCMP, Unilever spoke of freeing truck drivers (and trucks) by increasing load size — they use our AutoO2 tool to do that. But here is another way that helps solve 2 problems: The driver shortage  High rate of recidivism among more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 04/12/2022 - 16:39
    Diesel: $5.07 (down 7 cents). But, in March fuel prices were up 27%! Are brokers passing fuel surcharges (FSC) on fast enough? By their very nature, FSC is in arrears—so when prices rise fast, the carrier is playing catchup—add delays (e.g. from a broker) and carriers have a cash more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 04/05/2022 - 16:59
    While it was overshadowed by the union win against Amazon, something good came out of the Senate: David Weil’s nomination for the Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division was defeated. This is a victory for 3PL’s and everybody who uses contractors in the supply chain. Recall Mr. Weil more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 03/29/2022 - 07:00
    Several sources have commented that spot truckload rates have leveled off or have even declined. This may be true, but savings are being masked by fuel surcharges running 65 cents per mile (dry van) — up 19 cents from February and 33 cents more than March 2021. Companies renegotiating annual contracts are more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 03/22/2022 - 06:00
    I'm proud of the team. Rafal, who lives 50 miles from the Ukrainian border, set up a table next to the crossing and gave away toys to children coming across the border. Members of the T|WO team sent money to support Rafal with these gestures of kindness.  more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 03/16/2022 - 06:00
    Diesel topics worth repeating: Street prices react to oil’s rise quickly — but when oil falls, the price you pay lags far behind. In traditional contracts, carriers make incremental income out of fuel surcharges more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 03/08/2022 - 07:00
    Sometimes collateral damage is self inflicted.  Here are examples:   The push to Electric Vehicles (EV’) and “clean” power, has the unintended consequence of: more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 03/01/2022 - 07:00
    On Monday afternoon, the future price for Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel (ULSD)  was $2.94.  Recall this is the price in NY Harbor if you buy 42,000 gallons next month.  In the graph below, it is even more expensive than ARA - ARA (Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Antwerp including Flushing and Ghent) and more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 02/23/2022 - 07:00
    The US Postal Service (USPS) has lost $92 Billion since 2007. USPS has claimed these losses stem from being forced by law to fund retiree healthcare costs.  It hasn’t made a retiree healthcare payment since 2010 and now has $52 Billion in unfunded liabilities.  In political slight-of-hand, Congress says USPS is not mandated to make these payments.  To quote the Wall Street more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 02/15/2022 - 07:00
      As stocks fell on Monday, Oil jumped to $95/barrel.  At the same time, predictions of $100/barrel now seem “achievable.” But wait, the EIA, in January, predicted a price decline: “the price of Brent crude oil averaged $71 per barrel (b) in 2021, and we forecast that the price will fall from the current price of around $80/b [Now $96] to average $75/b in 2022 and $68/b in 2023 more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 02/08/2022 - 07:00
    Previous entries have outlined California’s stance on independent contractors: "someone cannot be considered a contractor if they are in the same line of business as the employer.  As a result, a plumber doing work for a retail store can be considered a contractor, while a truck driver working for a trucking company cannot be.” (Source M H & L).  If the more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 02/01/2022 - 07:00
    Diesel is set to rise further. Why?  Oil is selling for 15% more today than January 1 and is predicted to go to $100.  This from the WallStreet Journal: But it could get a lot worse… if Russia invades Ukraine, then say goodbye to Russian oil for the free world.  Russia is a BIG exporter and one of the biggest producers at 10-11 MM barrels per day - about the same as the more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 01/25/2022 - 07:00
      "[To help supply chain leaders get competitive advantage,] Gartner has identified multiple technology innovations poised to transform warehousing and distribution operations.” One technology identified is what they call "warehouse resource planning and scheduling.” This technology can be used to accelerate legacy and even the latest WMS functionality. We are proud to say our more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 01/19/2022 - 07:00
    Results from JB Hunt are no surprise:   Carriers more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 01/11/2022 - 07:00
    Fewer trucks are being ordered.  While orders are up over the recent record lows, the December to December class 8 truck orders are down 55% to 23,100.    The Jones Act strikes again.  Recall the 100 year old Jones Act (Merchant Marine Act, 1920) that prevents any foreign more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 01/04/2022 - 07:00
    Firstly, Happy 2022.   New for ’22: Our new logo showing our ascent New messaging that emphasizes that AutoO2 is not just good at saving money on transportation, but is also good for the environment.  We calculated we took 88,000 truck journeys off the road last year New team members — and hope to add more News: Oil prices are more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 12/28/2021 - 01:00
    Just as J.B. Hunt is paying nearly $10 million in holiday bonuses to truck drivers and other workers, the American Trucking Association, an industry group that monitors the driver shortage, has said the sector is some 80,000 drivers short.  Watch for even more carrier-cost increases followed by “cost-of-living” labor contracts.      more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 12/21/2021 - 01:00
    I hate to ruin your Christmas, but I want to give you my predictions about what will happen next year to freight contracts.  Here is my take: Ocean containers:  Contract rates will more than double given the spot price to ship a 40-foot container from Shanghai to Los Angeles early December was 75% higher than the same time last year Contract carriage: more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 12/14/2021 - 01:00
    As companies push out their payables – some as far as 180 days – they are offering vendors a way to get their money earlier called supply-chain financing.  How it works: The vendor sends a bill The customer approves it A bank then offers terms something like: We’ll pay now and charge Libor (or its replacement) PLUS some markup more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 12/07/2021 - 01:00
    On a day when we remember Pearl Harbor as a “day of infamy,” here are 2 examples of things that Federal and State Governments are doing that should become infamous: In the "we love unions" department, the dubious requirement for Amazon to re-vote in the union election in Bessemer, Alabama.  Dubious because the union lost by over a 2 : 1 margin (71% pro union to 21%). more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 11/30/2021 - 01:00
    Automation is seen as a great way to eliminate tasks in the warehouse that require unskilled labor.  Unfortunately, automation requires skilled labor to set up and maintain. One company is struggling to get automation running and are finding the necessary electrical, electronic, and mechanical skills to be in short supply.  Additionally, when you can get the requisite skills, the more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 11/23/2021 - 01:00
    It seems like somebody in Congress has had to wait for a long train to pass and is now taking some revenge.  The latest infrastructure bill funds a study to limiting train length to 7,500 ft. There are no rules today about train length with many trains exceeding 12,000 ft.  The railroads’ goal is to move as much freight as possible while operating locomotives at peak  more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 11/16/2021 - 01:00
    Trucking: Driver shortfall:  80,000 Parts shortage is forcing some carriers to cannibalize some trucks to get other vehicles running  LTL carrier Old Dominion getting 10.1% more per cwt this year than last – and that excludes the impact of fuel   Ocean: Trans-Pacific container “Spot prices” fell 25% last week more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 11/09/2021 - 01:00
    Long Beach and LA ports handle about 40% of import volume, but they are hampered by California’s laws like: AB5 – requiring companies that hire independent contractors to reclassify them as employees.  Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, a Teamsters member, pushed AB5 to eliminate independents.  Carriers are trying to get this reviewed by the Supreme Court more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 11/02/2021 - 01:00
    The distance you can afford to move an item depends on its value divided by its cost to ship.  High value-per-pound or per-cube items, like electronics, can come a long distance – Refrigerators, not so far.  With ocean freight going sky-high (see the graph below), North American companies have a great opportunity to bring manufacturing back "home”.  But with a general lack more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 10/26/2021 - 02:00
    It is ugly and it is involved.  So here goes….    In 2015, wanting to unionize workers in such industries as 3PL and fast food, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) overturned 30 years of law to declare that businesses are responsible for their contractors employees.   In 2017, this was overturned.   Sen. more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 10/19/2021 - 02:00
    JB Hunt (JBH) is a great barometer of the industry.  It confirms what we already know: Brokerage – all the revenue increases are not being passed onto the underlying carriers.  This does not bode well for their health (JBH Gross profit margins increased to 12.0% in Q3 versus 7.6% in Q2) Prices are way up (JBH: intermodal prices up more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 10/13/2021 - 02:00
    WSJ profile article:  (“Global Supply-Chain Problems Escalate, Threatening Economic Recovery”).  A crisis?  To quote Winston Churchill:  “Never let a good crisis go to waste.”  So what are you doing about it?  With Transportation costs having gone from an afterthought in many global supply chains to a major source of financial pain, and the WSJ reporting more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 10/05/2021 - 02:00
    Goldman Sachs is predicting oil at $90/barrel THIS YEAR!   This comes at a time of contradictions from our government: Encouraging OPEC to pump more oil "to support the world economy” but discouraging US drilling (Permits on Federal land down 75%) Canceling the Keystone Canada-US pipeline while supporting the Russian pipeline to Germany more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 09/28/2021 - 02:00
    Gartner has named AutoScheduler.AI a “Cool Vendor”.  Gartner recognizes that running a warehouse requires intelligence:  AutoScheduler is the “brain” telling the WMS what to do and when to do it.  By orchestrating all the activities, AutoScheduler increases productivity, enhances order fill, and cuts administrative costs.  Average payback is measured in months.  In more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 09/21/2021 - 02:00
    We brought in more heavy hitting talent to join the team of sluggers at AutoScheduler.ai.  Dr. Andrew Gibson is now CTO.  Highlights: 23 years supply chain experience with Nestlé in warehousing, transportation, production, forecasting, and supply planning Consulting – he used big data techniques to analyze retail scale information to drive  more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 09/14/2021 - 02:00
    Two sessions at CSCMP are worth watching:   Session 1:  Meshing Deployment Planning and Execution – Unilever’s Path to Contain Costs.  Giovanni Dal Bon, Head of NA logistics for Unilever, will be talking about the benefits of optimized load building.  Unilever is one of our customers.   Session 2:  Panel Discussion – Data more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 09/08/2021 - 02:00
    The good news is that new courier and warehouse worker employment grew by 40,000 in August.  This represented about 17% of the total growth in US-wide August employment.      In the short-term, U.S. Port executives say they expect the logjams stretching from China to Midwestern container terminals to extend beyond the Lunar New Year in February.  In more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 08/31/2021 - 02:00
    Amazing as it sounds, retailer fines now exceed the cost of distribution labor in some grocery suppliers.  Grocers simply want what they want in the quantities they want on the day they want it.  They rightly claim that if they don’t have it, the shelf may stock out.  The bigger problem however, is not always the supplier’s reliability but the grocer’s ability to get the more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 08/24/2021 - 02:00
    Oil is down substantially yet diesel hasn’t declined nearly as much because refiners are making more money.  Over the past year, refiners have averaged $10/barrel for processing – the so called "crack spread”.  Now the crack spread is running around $25/barrel.     Meishan terminal at China's Ningbo port, the third largest port in the world, closed for 2 more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 08/17/2021 - 02:00
    On the nations freight rails, Amtrak is a nuisance – its frequently-late trains just get in the way.  Now, the infrastructure bill gives money to start a new route that is all but guaranteed to be money losing.  And if you want further proof that government shouldn’t run anything:  in the age of the internet and automated ticket machines, the infrastructure bill mandates a human more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 08/10/2021 - 02:00
    Maersk CEO says he sees "no relief from today’s congestion and delays before year-end": Maersk Q2 revenue rose to $14.23 billion, up 58% from a year earlier. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization nearly tripled to $5.06 billion With annual $11.5 billion in free cash flow and no debt, Maersk is seeking more acquisitions.  They more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 08/03/2021 - 02:00
    Are you planning on going to CSCMP at the end of September this year?  The head of supply-chain operations from Unilever is presenting the benefits of using optimized load building (they use AutoO2).  At the same time, I’d like to meet as many of the loyal readers of this email.  Please send me a note to schedule some time.   Bad news on the cost from ( more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 07/27/2021 - 02:00
    Results from JB Hunt confirm Cass Freight Index – up 11% from May and 27.9% compared to June 2019. JBH’s revenue is up 36% and profits up 38%.  Segments (year over year): Intermodal (JBI) revenue grew 21%, driven by a 6% increase in volume and a 15% increase in revenue per load Brokerage revenue up 100% – with revenue per load up a whopping 66%... mostly from spot more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 07/20/2021 - 02:00
    Presidential order is trying to push: Reciprocal switching. This enables competition and decouples a shipper from the railroad whose tracks are next to their building.  In Tom’s opinion = good More Amtrak trains on freight rails. The Presidential order encourages the Surface Transportation Board “to require railroad track owners to provide rights of way more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 07/07/2021 - 02:00
    Diesel price is being pushed up: US refinery capacity totaled 18.1 million barrels per calendar day (b/cd) at the start of 2021 – down 0.8 million b/cd (4.5%) from 19.0 million b/cd at the start of 2020 While down from nearly $78/barrel – oil is still $73+ Meanwhile OPEC failed in its third attempt to resolve a deadlock over oil production more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 06/29/2021 - 02:00
    Trucking fleets won't face enforcement of California's gig-economy law making owner operators employees until the Supreme Court decides whether to take up a case challenging its application to freight carriers. At least the freight will flow – for now.     OPEC and its allies are considering boosting the group’s collective output by some 500,000 barrels more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 06/22/2021 - 02:00
    I love trains…but I see another futile attempt to expand Amtrak into areas that jeopardize freight operations.  The profitable part of Amtrak is the high-volume corridor between Boston and Washington where it owns its right-of-way and can maintain schedules.  In other mostly money-losing routes, Amtrak has “priority” over freight on tracks owned by the freight railroads more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 06/15/2021 - 02:00
    Wall Street’s love of renewable energy could mean oil producers will now struggle to meet demand.  Spending on oil extraction fell last year to about $330 billion, less than half the total from its 2014 record.  Some traders are using options, which allow the holder to buy or sell an asset at a specific price in the future, to wager on prices hitting $100 by the more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 06/08/2021 - 02:00
    In particular, Long Beach and LA are substantially less productive than Chinese ports. The following table shows the Chinese working longer hours and moving more containers in each hour: The future is not great: 2022 is another labor negotiation.  Recall 2014-15 the Longshoremen held up lots of containers Less than 1% of the originally proposed $2.3 more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 06/02/2021 - 02:00
    The supply chain can’t catch a break: WTI Oil hits $68/barrel Road congestion costs U.S. truckers more than $42 billion in 2019 and led to 660 million hours in delays (Source: Federal Govt.) Rail congestion is a worry:U.S. rail regulators are seeking detailed assessments from freight railroads on their service plans amid growing demand more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 05/25/2021 - 02:00
    Some data points: Consumer price index is up 4% year over year Container ship charter rates reached the highest levels in 16 years with 60% late in arriving at ports in March (about double normal)  Refrigerated spot freight rates are up 21% from February – $3.09/mile (Source DAT) – first time above $3 Meanwhile retailers have not let more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 05/18/2021 - 02:00
    Amazon hiring at $17/hr will surely drive-up costs for others…the question is will they get the 75,000 employees they seek given the current unemployment payments that, on average, when you consider that they are tax free represent $21.80/hr.  (And you have expenses like commuting and you actually have to work).  “Over the years, the refrain of businesses complaining about how more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 05/11/2021 - 02:00
    Walmart and Sysco were singled out in the Wall Street Journal as pushing vendor fines for missing “on-time, in-full” (OTIF) targets.  Suppliers are finding it really hard:  tight labor, supply constraints, and carrier shortages.  While we can help with our AutoScheduler and LevelLoad products, is it time to drive 2-tier pricing?  Flexibility = Lower Price. more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 05/04/2021 - 02:00
    There is a pallet shortage. Why?  My take is that the Bullwhip effect is in full display.  For example, after hoarding toilet paper, consumers stopped buying (Sales down 14%) but manufactures keep on making it.  I suspect that we are seeing this in a lot of commodities.     With lumber prices sky high, expect pallet pools (Chep, Peco, etc.) to scour more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 04/27/2021 - 02:00
    Chicago is known as the “black hole” for trains because of the frequent congestion.  With Canadian National (CN) now bidding for the Kansas City Southern, if that deal goes through, some of the problems might go away.  CN owns the old EJ&E – the Elgin, Joliet and Eastern Railway that neatly bypasses the Windy City.  See the map from days gone by. more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 04/20/2021 - 02:00
    Here are numbers you should tell the CSCO:  JB Hunt from Q1 Intermodal:  Volume down 3%.  Income per load up 10.5% Brokerage:  Revenue per load up 58%. This is remarkable given contracts are 49% of the volume and only 35% of the revenue.  Great profit for being non-asset Truckload:  Loads up 6% with a 38% increase in revenue per more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 04/13/2021 - 02:00
    Academics at it again:  Electric trucks 'can compete with diesel ones’.  This appears to be true if: Operated for 4.5 hrs and then charged for 40 minutes on a high-powered device Somebody invents the charger (commercial fast charger doesn't yet exist) And there is enough power in the grid.  For example, the head of Toyota indicated Japan didn’t more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 04/06/2021 - 02:00
    When I reported the Ever Given’s $3.1 billion in insurance might not be enough to cover the fallout from its grounding in the Suez Canal, I missed the mark big-time!  What I know now is that when a ship runs aground or containers go overboard, the shipping company can claim “General Average” – i.e. all the shippers share the cost with the carrier.  The last time General Average more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 03/30/2021 - 02:00
    The Evergreen ship is now free from the Suez Canal.  Now for the bad news:  lawsuits!  How many?  Lots.  Shippers, other carriers, the Suez Canal itself, will all have claims on the $3.1 billion insurance policy – and way beyond.  The insurance policy is actually a “protection and indemnity club” of other vessel operators – sort of like a mutual insurance more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 03/23/2021 - 01:00
    No rail interlining from  Mexico to Canada!  That is the promise of Canadian Pacific Railway agreeing to acquire Kansas City Southern – BUT, will the Fed’s agree?  Last time CP tried to buy Norfolk Southern, they (the Feds) intervened.  This time may be different as the route overlap is minimal.  Comment:  to enhance rail competition,  more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 03/16/2021 - 01:00
    Snowflake (NYSE: SNOW) "data warehouse-as-a-service” got a lot of hype, and a huge stock valuation.  Now warehouse management systems (WMS) has its own data-warehouse-as-a-service offerings.  AutoScheduler.AI is partnering with Rebus by Longbow.  Rebus provides real-time data from the WMS and AutoScheduler uses that data to sequence activities in a way that optimizes more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 03/09/2021 - 01:00
    Getting more carrier capacity the expensive way:  Buy trucks – the backlog at truck assembly lines in North America has grown to 205,000 orders – up sharply from 89,300.   Getting more carrier capacity the cheap way:  Ryder, who rents trucks and trailers, is allowing others to set their own price and rent their idle equipment on a short-term basis more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 03/02/2021 - 01:00
    From the 10K of a large non-union LTL carrier:  "We can offer no assurance that the Department of Labor will not adopt new regulations or interpret existing regulations in a manner that would favor the agenda of unions, or that our employees will not unionize in the future, particularly if regulatory changes occur that facilitate unionization.”  It is clear being non-union more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 02/23/2021 - 01:00
      Put the following three things together and you’ll see the challenges shippers face: A shipping-container shortage has snarled global supply chains for commodities, raising prices. Commodity traders in the likes of sugar, copper, coffee, and metals are looking to pass higher transport prices along, when they can find a box to ship their goods more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 02/17/2021 - 01:00
    Here is why oil prices have increased and will continue increasing (if OPEC and Russia keep a steady hand):  Shell said that in the next decade it would cut production of traditional fuels such as diesel and gasoline by 55%. Its oil output has already peaked OPEC and the International Energy Agency said second-half oil demand will outstrip more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 02/17/2021 - 01:00
    Here is why oil prices have increased and will continue increasing (if OPEC and Russia keep a steady hand):  Shell said that in the next decade it would cut production of traditional fuels such as diesel and gasoline by 55%. Its oil output has already peaked OPEC and the International Energy Agency said second-half oil demand  more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 02/09/2021 - 01:00
    What if the COVID 19 pandemic turns into being endemic COVID 19?  With variants emerging and vaccines one step or more steps behind, this is starting to sound like a more potent version of the flu – something to be grappled with for a long time – just like the flu.  What can this do to the supply chain and how do you prepare?  Some things others are trying: more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 02/02/2021 - 01:00
    The headline speaks for itself…   As containerships get bigger, their losses of cargo get bigger too.  A Maersk ship lost 750 and other major carriers have reported losses.  The most startling was a  ship operated by Ocean Network Express that lost 1800 last November!     There is a video of the ship going in for more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 01/26/2021 - 01:00
    Looking at the JB Hunt quarterly report released last week, it becomes clear: Truck load revenue per loaded mile – excluding fuel – is up 19% year over year (YOY) Deadhead down slightly – 18.4% vs. 19.2% YOY Dedicated is a money spinner – $4,544 per tractor/week = $236K per tractor/year Brokerage is killing it:   Revenue more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 01/20/2021 - 01:00
    Surveys show shippers expect their truckload contract rates to increase by 6.9% in 2021 (last year they expected a 1.0% decline).  But there is potential relief – December was the fourth straight month with over 40,000 preliminary orders for trailers.  Recall carriers are buying 40K tractors per month too…all this assumes carriers can get drivers. more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 01/12/2021 - 01:00
    Prices are up as oil is over $52/barrel.  But what is happening in the future?  BP predicts the future of demand – a future which indicates demand is at best flat.  What this means to me is the price will really depend on the willingness of countries to hold back supply.     But, for diesel, unless there is a viable alternative, the more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 01/05/2021 - 01:00
    Happy 2021!     2021 will be the year for us to capitalize on the public’s recognition of the importance of the supply chain.  When they ran out of toilet paper…they noticed – when vaccines needed to be shipped at ultra-low temperatures…they applauded.  Now we must leverage this recognition with things like: A more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 12/15/2020 - 01:00
    Consumer-product companies have traditionally performed network planning every year or so.  But their monolithic order systems are seldom tuned to allow such things across the network as daily: Work-load balancing Space management Least cost sourcing.  As an example, a customer located between 2 DC’s (“A” & “B”) might order the preponderance  more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 12/08/2020 - 01:00
    Will electric “Semi’s” become the norm?  Right now my guess is the electrification of trucks will revolve around:   Battery technology – not up to big rig standards – and progressing slower than expected.Recall Tesla promised an electric Semi in 2019 The willingness of government to subsidize The ability to augment other sources of energy – more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 12/01/2020 - 01:00
    You have probably heard that a 3PL that distributes a large share of frozen food lost all its systems in a cyber-attack.  I don’t want to focus on the poor company – they have suffered enough. Instead, look at the down-stream impacts:  while many companies in the cold chain were impacted and I suspect some goods didn’t make it to the freezer case in your local supermarket.   more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 11/24/2020 - 01:00
    Firstly – Happy Thanksgiving to all readers!   Average spot container freight rates from Shanghai have hit all-time highs, according to Jefferies. Rates from North Asia to the West Coast of North America were $3,900 per 40-foot equivalent unit last week = more than double a year earlier.   In the vein of never let an emergency go to more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 11/17/2020 - 01:00
    Year-end will be tough for direct to consumer businesses: Cardboard lead-times are getting much longer  Delivery (UPS/FedEx/etc.) are projecting capacity constraints despite adding 99K people since February)  Staffing in warehouses are under pressure (they added 28K jobs in October – but there is some relief in the form of small, highly automated “ more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 11/10/2020 - 01:00
    While we have always known that time spent inside the gate – waiting to be loaded or unloaded – pushes up carrier charges, it also endangers life and limb:  according to the U.S. Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General, “a 15-minute increase in average dwell time raises the expected crash rate for a truck by 6.2%.”  The DOT even estimates that detention more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 11/03/2020 - 01:00
    The very large container ships (14,000 TEU’s* or larger) were supposed to help commerce – they have not because they go against all lean principles: They steam slower (18 vs. 24 knots) They take longer to unload (not just the number of containers but how far cranes need to reach) When they are unloading, ports get congested and slow down – witness the shortage more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 10/27/2020 - 01:00
    The chairman of the U.K.’s Royal Mail says the existing universal mandate for letter delivery is “not economic”.  They should know – they have been around since 1516 but they are now a for-profit company.  With a much larger geography and allocating a lot of costs to first-class mail,  where volume is dropping like a stone, the US Postal Service has a more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 10/20/2020 - 02:00
    JB Hunt reported results Friday – the details are below….including remarks from the CEO that highlighted their big problem:  trailers being held by "delays at customer warehouses”. Once trailers go through the gate there is a “black hole”.  YMS’s tell the warehouse where things are and WMS tell what is in house but most warehouses have little/no prescriptive analytics to more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 10/14/2020 - 02:00
    Average price per mile of $2.46 = U.S. truckload spot market in the first week of October – up 20.6% since July and a record high in the DAT Solutions measure.  At the same time, intermodal freight is up 7.1% in September – the 4th busiest month ever for container shipments.   One way to mitigate freight cost increases is through load optimization – putting more “ more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 10/06/2020 - 02:00
    Greenbrier – a private equity company – focused on logistics and transportation is buying a stake in Uber Freight.  Uber gets $500 Million, which values the Freight business at $3.3 Billion, and it also gets Greenbrier’s expertise.  But Uber Freight is losing money – $50 Million on $211 Million in revenue for Q2 and it has a big challenge:  become dominant in an area more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 09/29/2020 - 02:00
    That is what is happening now to some oil pipelines. Two years ago, getting oil out of the Permian Basin was hard…there wasn’t enough pipeline capacity. Now, there is more capacity than needed.  Here is what is causing this: Lower oil volumes New, expensive pipeline construction  Pipeline conversions from gas to oil The result is more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 09/22/2020 - 02:00
    The Journal of Commerce Truckload Capacity Index shows large truckload carriers made their deepest capacity cuts in a decade in the second quarter.  No wonder large shippers are complaining about a shortage of trucks…spending high premiums on the spot market.  At the same time: The surge in imports has caused great stress on the Southern California ports more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 09/15/2020 - 02:00
    AutoScheduler.AI is off to a hot start.  We were recently named one of the most promising companies in the supply chain space by CIOReview.      AI’s potential is finally beginning to be realized as more and more businesses are welcoming the idea of supply chain analytics to bring competitive advantage.  As illustrated in CIOReview, where more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 09/09/2020 - 02:00
    Announced Sept 1:  Walmart suppliers will be required to deliver inventory to distribution centers on time and in full (OTIF) 98% of the time beginning Sept. 15 – up from the existing 87%.  Let me be clear: It is important that suppliers get better (full disclosure here:  we have a vested interest as we have tools to help with OTIF – so it is in our more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 09/01/2020 - 02:00
    The Gartner concept of digital twin is often misunderstood.  Digital twins are virtual replicas of a physical product, process, or system…there are many companies out there that create simulations of warehouses to test, for example, a new layout.  But digital twins can be the basis of an optimization of the way minute-to-minute decisions are made.  A good example is more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 08/25/2020 - 02:00
    AutoScheduler – a new kind of WMS accelerator was mentioned by Yahoo.  (You can read that article below)  What wasn’t said in the article is that WMS really do need acceleration…they have been substantially unchanged for the past 20 years – focusing on “accounting” and “reacting” rather than managing and pro-acting.  AutoScheduler changes all that.   more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 08/18/2020 - 02:00
    Politics!  At least somebody is now looking at the USPS (US Postal Service) issues – but probably with the wrong lens.  What is missing is how will the USPS chart a path to profits?  USPS is completely upside down.  In previous weeks, I have detailed the USPS’s plight and the claimed need for investing over $200 per man woman and child in the U.S. to right the more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 08/11/2020 - 02:00
    Strange as it may seem, some major companies are abandoning their “best-of-breed” warehouse management software (WMS) and going back to their legacy systems ….why can be summarized as: control, customization, and cost.      Inventory expressed as a ratio to sales has risen sharply…as sales have fallen and companies have invested in Just-in-Case inventories: more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 08/04/2020 - 02:00
    There are no dominant carriers in the US.  So in tough times, like now, they will scrap for declining volume and keep prices down…this is good for shippers…not good for carriers.  McKinsey did an analysis that shows the depth of the problem (see below) that is directionally correct as everything scales down except fixed costs.  Result = losses. more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 07/28/2020 - 02:00
    U.S. gasoline and diesel crack spreads (the difference between the price of crude oil and the wholesale price of the petroleum product, which are used as estimates of refinery margins) diverged sharply in March as the Covid shutdown happened.  Cars drove fewer miles = less gas needed.   Lower gasoline demand pulled gasoline crack spreads down.  During the same period, demand more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 07/21/2020 - 02:00
    Tracking J.B. Hunt gives a good picture of what is happening in the marketplace: Lower fuel prices = lower carrier revenues.  Revenue/tractor/week dropped 6.4% Networks are less efficient – deadhead miles for over-the-road trucks are up (19.1% vs. 18.6% Q2 2019 and 16.7% in 2018) but trucks are doing ~17% more loads each week Still no investment in OTR more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 07/07/2020 - 02:00
    For a company that has the stock market valuation of only $75 million, to get a $700 million federal loan seems to be bizarre.   Yes – the Feds claim this is an essential Department of Defense (DoD) contractor, which is doubtful in my opinion, and they get ~30% of the company.  But this is the same company the DoD is suing for overcharging.  more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 06/30/2020 - 02:00
    While manufacturing and, to a lesser extent, marketing managers have struggled for years to rationalize product offerings, the Covid emergency has enabled quick changes in product line offerings.  Nielsen tells us the number of SKU’s on grocery shelves is down 7.3%.  Less SKU’s drive savings at the manufacturing level and may improve consumer sales.  While totally more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 06/23/2020 - 02:00
    YRC is in trouble.  Key facts: $5 billion in revenue 31,000 employees – 75% of which are unionized YRC is the biggest pure LTL carrier…(XPO, UPS, and FedEx are much bigger) While Q1 they made money, YRC lost $104 MM last year.To stay afloat, they have: Cut costs Worked with their banks for flexibility more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 06/16/2020 - 02:00
    I don't usually go into something that is not mainstream but this is instructive.  HCSB bank lost $200 Million dollars in one day because it couldn’t move gold from London to New York to address a disparity between the price of gold in London vs. the price in New York.  The reasons highlighted below are the same seen by many logistics managers: Lift capacity – more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 06/09/2020 - 02:00
    A fixed dock schedule is a fantasy – we all recognize that $#!T happens…and the schedule must adjust on the fly.  Check out what we believe is the only dynamic dock schedule here Good news for the economy: US jobs report follow-up – the 2.5MM adds figure was clearly a blow-out number, far above the print consensus (and well ahead of ADP on Wed more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 06/02/2020 - 02:00
    Uber Freight lost $64 million in the first quarter despite a 57% jump in revenue, to $199 Million (i.e. It is losing 33¢ on every dollar of revenue).  Commentary from the Wall Street Journal:  "Uber Freight has had a significant impact on its market but has been hard-pressed to turn its gains into profits."   US Postal Service (USPS) has significant backlogs more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 05/27/2020 - 02:00
    To Benjamin Norman and David Segal:  you are wrong about the US Logistics system – just give it a little time.  "Nobody could make supply chains sing like the United States. And now maybe nobody can, period.  Credit...Benjamin Norman for The New York Times"   Lessons from history show that it is tough to retool a country in an emergency.  In World more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 05/19/2020 - 02:00
    There is a ton of data out there…but who is using it for good purposes?  When will mainline software suppliers, who make the WMS, TMS, and YMS everybody uses, start to think about using data to help productivity?  Every article I read about Artificial Intelligence (AI) in supply chain is pretty generic.  Yes, there are sales forecasting applications that are using AI – but more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 05/12/2020 - 02:00
    The Postal Service, which is, for the most part, a government-mandated disaster, wants $75 billion for corona virus relief.  The reality is that USPS was pretty sick before it got hit with the virus: Heavy unfunded-pension obligations Strange, mandated pricing Poor allocation of costs Outdated equipment (look at the delivery vehicles – Grumman LLV more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 05/05/2020 - 02:00
    Most warehouses use the time the trailer has to leave to sequence picking, etc.  It all makes sense in a perfect world….but we know that we all try to pick and load ahead.  And we know that this creates problems as inbound inventory may not have arrived yet or the staging area may be full.  It is tough for planners to take these barriers into consideration – so instead of more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 04/28/2020 - 02:00
    Bigger ships.  While over 400 sailings have been canceled since February on key lanes, a new class of container ship is being launched:  the Megamax.  This giant ship is over 4 football fields long and hauls 24,000 containers (TEU).     More bankrupt carriers.  While government payments are keeping smaller companies afloat, next comes more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 04/21/2020 - 02:00
    Not many people would call it a warehousing problem, but simply put there is almost no place to put oil production…storage facilities (tank farms = warehouses) are full.  When I asked one oil executive last week when they would use pipelines to store crude, the response was – many are filled already.  This, along with a flotilla of 20 tankers filled with 490 million barrels of more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 04/14/2020 - 02:00
    JIT (just-in-time) inventory policies are being blamed for shortages of medical equipment and toilet paper.  My comment is:  don’t take us back to the bad old days when buyers waited for quarter-end price reductions to stock up for the following quarter.  This drove over-sized warehouses, stale product, and a lethargic response to changing markets.  How about buying a 3 more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 04/07/2020 - 02:00
    The good news for carriers is: Traffic is not a concern – average speed in cities like LA and Atlanta have more than doubled Fuel costs are down – BUT, with fewer miles being driven by gasoline vehicles, the refineries have to find a place to put the gasoline – which is now a by-product of cracking crude oil.  Storage is all filling up! The more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 03/24/2020 - 01:00
    Things are happening quickly – how do you react to things like Ohio raising its load weight limit to 90,000 lbs?   How do you keep pickers picking and loaders loading?  How do you keep the supply-chain humming?  The number one thing we will all agree on is looking after the people.  Here are a few strategies that I am hearing: Pay attendance bonuses and more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 03/17/2020 - 01:00
    Extreme (panic) demand meets with the US grocery supply chain…. and the supply chain is keeping up. Store shelves may have been bare yesterday – but through great effort, the people on the front line, the pickers, the loaders, and the truck drivers are re-suppling – ready for another onslaught.  For those supply-chain managers not on the front line who have been told to work from more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 03/10/2020 - 01:00
    After being rebuffed by Russia, the Saudi’s made it clear that, if Mr. Putin didn’t want to cut oil supplies along with OPEC, they would ruin the Russian economy.  With oil down nearly 50% over the past weeks, Russia’s principal source of currency has taken a big hit.  While we may eventually (it takes a long time for retail pricing to reflect big drops in crude prices) more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 03/03/2020 - 01:00
    In the US, trucks omit about 7% of green-house gases – compare that with 17% coming from cars and light trucks.  But, just as government is pushing to reduce the carbon emissions of cars by moving them into electric, higher mileage, etc., there is coming pressure to move trucks into better/different fuels than diesel.  New rules go into effect in 2021.  Europe already more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 02/25/2020 - 01:00
    People in the prime age for case picking and truck loading are more expensive and harder to find.  Consider this: Wages for 20-24 years old – are increasing double the speed of other workers Labor participation of 16-24 years old – down 10% (more people going to college?) Nearly 12% of 25-64 years old in Kentucky are on disability  Fuel more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 02/19/2020 - 01:00
    Even before disappointing results from JB Hunt – one of my leading indicators – and well before the Coronavirus, the Cass freight index showed December volume down 7.9% while spend was only down 6.2%. This is not good news.  Note the change in intermodal cost – no wonder some companies are converting to truck.   Looks like “Precision Railroading” ( more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 02/11/2020 - 01:00
    Many fires at sea are being caused by the cargo – not the ships operations. The Maersk Honam lost 25% of its crew to one such fire.  Complex rules means that labeling of containers is both wrong and sometimes dangerous.  A survey showed about 55% of the 500 containers examined were potential fire hazards and 69% had cargo that was either not properly secured or lacked labels more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 02/04/2020 - 01:00
    There are thousands (some say it is nearly 400,000) of lessor-owned rail cars sitting idle around the country.  Why? Railroads turning cars more quickly Coal and sand volume down Add to this the requirement to strengthen cars used to transport oil, and you have a mess for the investor who bought rolling stock as an investment.   more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 01/28/2020 - 01:00
    How could it be that the same department that finds and prosecutes labor problems can also be judge, jury, and executioner?  Oracle is challenging the Labor Department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance legal authority to judge its own cases.  This has wider implications for all employers and hopefully the power will ultimately go back to the Justice system.  In the more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 01/22/2020 - 01:00
    Insurance claims for big rigs have skyrocketed taking carrier insurance costs with them.  In 18 months, the average accident claim has risen from $23 to $44 million. (Blame the lawyers – hence the heading) Insurance used to cost ~8.4 ¢ per mile in 2018.  Last year carriers received “double digit increases” and this year expect more of the same…and that is the carriers where more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 01/14/2020 - 01:00
    Finally some sense prevails…California has long wanted to have owner operators and other contract workers considered as employees.  Fortunately, a California judge gave the thumbs-down to this.  California law is preempted by Federal law that largely prevents states regulating the economics of trucking companies.  One win for the good guys that will substantially help keep more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 01/07/2020 - 01:00
    Oil will continue its upward rise…Why? Fracked wells are not producing at the level originally projected.  As they age, well yield is declining 15% faster than forecast Because of the above, frackers are having trouble raising cash or borrowing money….meaning fewer wells will be drilled in the next years OPEC, and allied countries like Russia, are more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 12/17/2019 - 01:00
    McDonalds’ is NOT the joint employers for staff working for their franchisees. This case sets an important precedence…. but it may not be a lasting precedence…the NLRB (National Labor Relations Board) delivered a split decision.  What this means for companies that hire 3PL’s to do their warehousing or dedicated carriers to do distribution, is that they should be insulated from more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 12/10/2019 - 01:00
    OPEC will hold back a total of roughly 1.7 million barrels a day from global oil markets, deepening the current curb of 1.2 million barrels a day. The move came after Saudi Arabia threatened to boost oil production unilaterally if some OPEC nations continued failing to comply with the group’s output curbs. This means:  Diesel prices will continue to  more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 12/03/2019 - 01:00
    When discussing generating transportation savings in the current environment, Gartner analyst Farrah Salim agreed with what we have been saying:  “All trucks and containers [should] hold as much capacity as possible.  If it’s not possible to achieve a full load, consider collaborative distribution.”  She also recommended matching inbound and outbound movements.   more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 11/26/2019 - 01:00
    There was a time when network strategy was relatively stable.  Not anymore.  The cost and reliability of transportation drives a rethink.  For high-value, low-weight items like electronics, it is still economic to transport them zillions of miles and even by air.  Low-value, heavy or “fluffy” products need close manufacturing sites.  That is why electronics can be more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 11/19/2019 - 01:00
    Oil prices may be in for a bumpy ride: Saudi ARAMCO is to sell some shares to the public.  While most of the discussion has been around the valuation – $1.7 Trillion (With a “T”) or $2 Trillion (they have settled on $1.7T).  The real question is can it sustain a dividend while acting as the “buffer” in the world markets?  Today, when oil prices decline, ARAMCO more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 11/13/2019 - 01:00
    For the past months, freight demand has run ahead of 2018 (it just went below this week).  Yet, at the same time, everybody tells me this has been a much easier year to find trucks.  Even that data bears that out:  Tender rejection rate July 2018 = 32% –  now 6%.  This means that supply has grown….despite dire warnings about a driver shortage. more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 11/05/2019 - 01:00
    It is no secret that warehouses near urban markets have been a hot commodity.  Blackstone has been buying them based on the belief that rents will rise rapidly…they already own 443 million square feet in the Americas.  Much of this space is near major markets like Dallas and LA.  Blackstone’s thesis is that warehouse rent is only 5% of supply chain cost so even large rent more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 10/29/2019 - 01:00
    Effective Jan. 1, California law reclassifies most independent contractors as full-time employees.  For example, Uber drivers are now employees.  What is the difference between Uber drivers and Owner operators?  Nothing!  [This bill]  “will put tens of thousands of owner-operator truckers, who service agriculture, retail and other industry sectors, out of business more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 10/22/2019 - 02:00
    One shipper claims the efficiency of "Precision railroading” is “doing less with less and not charging less.”  But there have been benefits:  Norfolk Southern, using lean techniques, has reduced dwell time in its terminals by 20% and Union Pacific claims that Precision railroading helped clear some gridlock earlier in the year.  The stock market spoke angrily:  shares more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 10/16/2019 - 02:00
    As politicians talk more about regulation in industries and making sure “stakeholders” come in front of shareholders, we should keep in mind that what was considered as “good regulation” often has bad impacts.  Wall Street Journal author Phil Gramm had this thesis that I will paraphrase as "Government does more harm than companies”.     As evidence, they site more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 10/08/2019 - 02:00
    With Cosco Shipping Energy Transportation being blacklisted by the US for moving Iranian crude, one broker sees ‘snowballing panic’ as oil traders rush to find replacement vessels. Supply down = costs up.     So far, the parent company COSCO is not on the blacklist…but there is concern that this, the world’s largest shipping company, which moves millions more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 10/01/2019 - 02:00
    Spot-market freight received another boost from Uber: $600 million investment  Hiring 2000 people New “Freight” HQ in Chicago (where it can find qualified people from Hub, Coyote, etc.)   At the same time, Uber is enhancing carrier efficiency: Providing trailers for drop and hook (they call this Powerloop and is limited more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 09/24/2019 - 02:00
    Rob Estes CEO, Estes Express gave some disturbing stats: Dwell time is up (this is disturbing – we are supposed to be carrier friendly)  Trailers for each tractor has grown from 1.5 to 4   The only good thing seems to be that LTL is losing volume that is uneconomic or low margin: Big shipments e.g.10,000 are going truck more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 09/17/2019 - 02:00
    First some news bites: Trucker bankruptcies are up over 300% YTD vs. the same period last year Truckload freight rates over-all dipped 0.1% in July – Source Cass Spot rates are down 19% YoY – Source DAT Hiring new order selectors every day is a fact of life when you have turnover – and what warehouse doesn’t have turnover?  How so you make them more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 09/10/2019 - 02:00
    Maersk is investing millions of dollars in that company that develops optimization software to better manage drayage at ports.  We all know the problems: Long lines Insufficient truck use – too few daily turns Upset contractors   These problems stem from inefficient matching of containers with dray operators.  For example, a more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 09/04/2019 - 02:00
    Class 8 truck orders are down 80% from July last year and 69% June to June.  But let's put things in perspective – most years ~240,000 trucks are built.  This year 350,000 trucks are expected to roll off US production lines.  Key takeaways: Truckers have been growing fleets – not just replacing vehicles Many carriers have over bought (ACT Research says more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 08/27/2019 - 02:00
    Tightening schedules has generated a lot of productivity improvements: Dwell time in the yards down (NS was 25.5 hours – now 18) Average miles per day per car up (up 7% on the UP) Operating ratio improved (CSX was 67% last year – now 59%)   But this “precision railroading” has been offset by lower coal volume (down 50% over the past 10 more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 08/20/2019 - 02:00
    Revised hours of service rules were released on Wednesday.  The new rules, when implemented, provide flexibility for drivers to determine when to take breaks and when they can be off the clock.  These rules should cut carrier costs without jeopardizing safety.  Next step…the public has 45 days to comment – that is your job…otherwise the teamsters will kill this initiative more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 08/13/2019 - 02:00
    Amazon is proposing fining companies that don’t streamline packaging to eliminate costs or make the product consumer friendly.  But everybody should be looking at things like wasted space in cartons and pallet fit.  Pallet fit is a real concern.  Too much under-hang and there is: Lost trailer and storage cube Potential shifting and damage Sometimes a need for more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 08/06/2019 - 02:00
    JB Hunt is my bellwether – I can see what is happening in each segment.  My summary is: Prices are up in truckload Brokerage is suffering from increased costs and declining spot prices Intermodal is a mixed bag – maybe longer hauls, definitely higher cost to the shipper  Dedicated is always a cash cow Here are the details more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 07/30/2019 - 02:00
    Warehouses competing for labor know where your workers are from “geofencing” their cell phones and know how to connect on social media.  “If somebody is going to sit in their car before their shift …and watch YouTube, I want them to watch our ads in the pre-roll.” – staffing firm EmployBridge.  Targeted Facebook ads may offer employment to warehouse workers in say, a 20-mile more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 07/23/2019 - 02:00
    Take an “attaboy” or “attagirl” for your role in the last 10 years of global prosperity.  Historically, prosperity never lasted this long.  Andy Kessler, writing in the Wall Street Journal, believes that JIT inventory and better systems have sustained these long periods of prosperity.      For anybody who has played the beer game you know that time more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 07/16/2019 - 02:00
    "No capital for revising the supply chain network…make do with what you have.”  I heard this the other day….I’d appreciate your thoughts on what to do.  Here are mine: Survey the customers and non-customers by having the sales team go out with a customer-service questionnaire.  Don’t ask customers  "what do you want?” but rather ask “who is your best more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 07/09/2019 - 02:00
    "On June 21, the Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES) 335,000 barrels per day (b/d) refinery in South Philadelphia experienced a major fire and explosion. The resulting damage to the refinery and preexisting financial strains led PES to announce its intention to shut down operations at the refinery.”  (Source EIA)  That’s 25% of the East Coast’s refining capacity gone “boom more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 07/03/2019 - 02:00
    “Uber is currently prioritizing the build out of supply/demand density and is therefore sharing 99% of gross revenue with its carriers (vs. the industry standard of 80-85%),” Morgan Stanley.  At the same time, JB Hunt’s digital brokerage is committing 500 drop trailers to make it more efficient for carriers using the platform.  While Uber and Convoy have put trailers in more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 06/25/2019 - 02:00
    With modern tracking technology, paying over-the-road drivers by the hour concept, which a few years ago would've been totally counter-productive, seems to have significant merit.  John Haggerty tells us that Burris Logistics converted some operations to hourly pay with more to follow – and while there were implementation challenges, the overall program has been positive. more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 06/18/2019 - 02:00
    Money can’t buy you love:  While more money will attract some drivers, Germany has taught us that high wages hasn’t attracted more drivers.  Fewer people are leaving Eastern Europe to work in Germany – despite substantial wage differentials.  Economic theory that suggests that "more money will generate more drivers” is colliding with personal motivations that keep drivers’ more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 06/11/2019 - 02:00
    Last week, Mike Green and I witnessed a brilliant conference.  Congratulations to the TPA (Trading Partner Alliance) for: Excellent case studies with practical, scalable results.  Example:  dock scheduling issues at the manufacturer cause 14% of shipments to miss their appointment time/date at the grocer Good team cooperation between manufacturers and more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 06/04/2019 - 02:00
    New York and New Jersey encourage strikes – how else can you explain: A new law in New Jersey allowing strikers to claim unemployment insurance in only 4 weeks  A bill that hasn't yet been signed by the Governor – but passed by the NY Senate – to allow striking workers to get unemployment benefits after only one week? After a rapid-price fall driven by more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 05/29/2019 - 02:00
    Brokered freight is now 20% of all truck moves – up from 5% in 2000.  But brokers are moving beyond just moving data. JB Hunt Brokerage, Convoy, and Uber, amongst others, are providing drop trailers to expedite shipments and enhance driver productivity.  Participating shippers include Unilever PLC, Procter & Gamble Co., and Anheuser-Busch InBev  more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 05/21/2019 - 02:00
    At last week’s Gartner conference, Simon Bailey (Analyst) talked about how it is harder to get on-time, in-full (OTIF).  From 2015-2018 : Case fill is down 1.2%  to 93.3% On time is down 1% to 90.6% But Monique Picou, VP at Walmart, made it clear that high OTIF is good for sales – i.e. good for everyone!  Monique’s comment:  “We more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 05/14/2019 - 02:00
    This piece is long – but it is worth reading…   Sea change #1:  "Freight rates are becoming more dynamic and moving away from static rate tables in LTL” according to Peter Moore (an academic writing in Logistics Management and no relation).  This got me thinking – imagine a connected world where all shipper TMS’s are connected so there is network-wide more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 05/07/2019 - 02:00
    Amazon's freight brokerage platform has been in testing since last year for approved carriers to send shipments among five East Coast states. (Sources CNBC)  "This service, intended to better utilize our freight network, has been around in various forms for quite some time" Amazon said in a statement.   Uber's freight re-launches its platform – growth more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 04/30/2019 - 02:00
    President Trump reversed President Obama’s approach to offshore drilling expanding areas that can be explored and developed for oil.  Not so fast said the courts.  A president can make the executive orders  BUT  there is nothing that says he (or she) can rescind them.  The constitution gives Congress the right to make laws but is silent on its ability to more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 04/23/2019 - 02:00
    Revenue up 8% – income down 1%... but this breaks down to: What we know… dedicated is profitable.  A portion of revenue increases comes from pricing.   I hear from clients that more often than before intermodal can cost more than truck.  JBH -Intermodal load volume fell 7% from a year earlier and, according to them, was caused by more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 04/16/2019 - 02:00
    Sequencing activities in a warehouse based on when it is going out the door makes a lot of sense…in theory.  In practice, ship times are often clustered around the beginning and end of day shift, meaning that it is necessary to pick hours ahead of scheduled-ship time.  JIT inventory practices create inventory availability miss matches so workers go into the racks to pick orders more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 04/09/2019 - 02:00
    Diesel fuel costs will spike when ships owners comply with clean air rules by filling up en masse with distillates, i.e. diesel.  Imagine ships suddenly all wanting carrier diesel fuel.  It will be a shock.   Volume shock:  Carriers cut payrolls by 1,200 jobs last month, according to preliminary figures the Labor Department reported Friday. more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 04/02/2019 - 02:00
    Flooding has wiped out bridges, roads, and railroads…   Did you know that railroads help each other when disaster strikes?  When one has a washout, a competitor will allow them to use their undamaged tracks.  Burlington Northern has been using others tracks since losing sections of their own line.   Did you know that Oil prices rose 32% more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 03/26/2019 - 01:00
    There have been 4 major ship fires in 4 months.  While this is exceptional, and we hope a blue-moon event, the reality is that shippers need to take significant responsibility.  Undeclared hazardous goods and poorly packed dangerous goods subject to the constant movement of the ship, may be the cause of these blazes.  And they are hard to put out – the fire on the   more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 03/19/2019 - 01:00
    Oil producers are finding that their strategy to supercharge oil and gas production by drilling thousands of new wells close together is turning out to be a bust.  What’s more, it is hurting the performance of older existing wells, forcing the industry to rethink its future.  Upshot – oil production from such sites as the Permian Basin won’t rise as quickly as expected more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 03/12/2019 - 01:00
    "Modern wars are won by grinding, not by genius” – Cathal J Nolan.  This may apply to the e-commerce war between Walmart and Amazon.  News from the RILA Supply Conference and other sources show Walmart exceeded expectations with comparable e-commerce sales up in Q4 2018, and in 2018 overall.  Amazon remains at the top, but it appears that the momentum in e- more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 03/05/2019 - 01:00
    Mega container ships keep getting bigger – adding capacity to lanes.  Total capacity is expected to grow 5% over the next 4 years while demand for boxes may be down (no trade deal) or up 2% (with a trade deal). To be profitable, steam ship rates on Asia-to-Europe trade route would need to go up 40% – 33% for trans-Pacific and travel more fully loaded.   more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 02/26/2019 - 01:00
    In many consumer product warehouses, the process of getting volume to flow is punctuated by delays and piles of inventory.   Receiving wants to get the trucks unloaded – and they do it in order of receipt.  Picking wants to get ahead – who knows what volume spikes lie ahead?  Shipping wants everything staged, including dropped trailers as far as the eye can see, so they more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 02/20/2019 - 01:00
    Why can’t manufacturers and retailers just be friends – and get the benefits! FMI and GMA used to put on a joint Supply Chain Conference to discuss important “Trading Partner” issues, but it dwindled to mostly second-tier retailers and a few manufacturers (it will be smaller and transportation-focused this year).  There are important questions to be answered and solutions more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 02/12/2019 - 01:00
    How much time and effort is wasted in picking and loading because nobody takes the time to get the item master accurate?  Here are examples: A supplier complains because their customers keep ordering 15 cases – when a layer is 14.  Turns out the customer thought they were ordering in layers – but they had been given the wrong number of cases per layer more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 02/05/2019 - 01:00
    Uber Freight is doing to shippers (and we assume receivers) what UberX has done for passengers… rating them.  For too long, carriers have been rated by shippers… but few carriers have had the audacity to rate shippers.  Now there will be a database and known bad actors may get a rude awakening.  In a world where many suppliers are paying premium freight costs to ship to more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 01/29/2019 - 01:00
    The fashionable approach to supply chain management is to outsource anything that is not a core competency.  Key points: Obviously no one ever wants to focus on something at which they are incompetent There is the inherent assumption that the company to which you outsource is more competent than you. Frankly, this is not always the case – but more on this in a more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 01/23/2019 - 01:00
    JB Hunt Q4 operating revenue, excluding fuel surcharges, increased 15% vs. the comparable quarter 2017.  JB Hunt has multiple segments.  Here is how each did:   Intermodal had more revenue, 1% less volume, and a big hit to profit as it faces costs from an arbitration with BNSF Brokerage had 14% more volume but a change in the mix – away from more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 01/15/2019 - 01:00
    Often the number of trucks on a deployment (Stock Transfer or Intra Company) lane can fluctuate dramatically day-to-day creating stress at the shipping and receiving sites. When the site receiving large numbers of loads on one day gets buried, sometimes the right truck is left unloaded and customer-order fill suffers.   Almost always, volume spikes cause significantly higher more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 01/08/2019 - 01:00
    Firstly, we wish you a very happy and prosperous 2019!   Railroads are imposing fees when customers take too long to unload railcars, don’t have their facilities ready to pick up shipments, and take other actions that could cause slowdowns on the rail network.  The Surface Transportation Board questions the fairness of hitting shippers with fees while more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 01/02/2019 - 01:00
    Truckers are paying through the nose for diesel…why was revealed by a Wall Street Journal analysis late last year.  Because breaking a barrel of crude into its component parts yields ~44% gasoline and only 29% distillates (Diesel), refiners are running a lot more gasoline than they need just to supply the diesel the market demands.  Inventories of diesel are more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 12/27/2018 - 01:00
    Here is another instance of infrastructure not keeping up with technology.  The Port of Houston is joined to the ocean by the 50 mile long Houston Ship Channel.  This artery is not wide enough to allow two-way traffic when 1100 feet long large container ships come to port.  Energy companies that export 50% of the total crude oil as well as the likes of excess gasoline or more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 12/18/2018 - 01:00
    Month to month orders for new class 8 tractors fell 36% – a sign that trucking companies are not as excited as they once were.  Considering that carriers have ordered 468,600 trucks in 11 months this year – up 81% from last year, the world is far from coming to an end!   Oil prices are down below $50.  Consider that an early Christmas present! more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 12/11/2018 - 01:00
    Why is the price of diesel still falling when crude oil is actually going up?  Here is my list of answers: When prices are declining, there is a long lag between crude costs falling and diesel matching.  When prices are rising, there is no lag.  (Up like a rocket – down like a feather) The U.S. became a net exporter of oil and oil products for the first more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 12/04/2018 - 01:00
    Answering this question is harder now than ever:   Forcing prices up: Saudi Arabia and Russia (the second and third largest producers in the world) are planning production cuts along with OPEC US embargo on Iran (which has more exceptions than expected) Canada cutting production At some point shale drilling becomes uneconomical – more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 11/27/2018 - 01:00
    Noel Perry of FTR predicts a slowdown or even a recession by 2020.  Even though 2018 is likely to see 3% growth – the best growth since the recession of 2008 – the lights are flashing yellow: Constraints on labor and trucking  Declining energy prices (Oil – West Texas Intermediate – has tanked to ~$51.61 per barrel on concerns of a glut  caused by rising more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 11/20/2018 - 01:00
    Moving from Intermodal back to truck is normally driven by service needs.  A recent discussion with a transportation manager for a $1 billion company said he was moving to truck for cost reasons.  Is anybody else experiencing this?   BNSF Railway and JB Hunt have had a series of arbitrations – dating back to 2004. Now Hunt is saying that earnings could take more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 11/14/2018 - 01:00
    While US companies are looking to build plants closer to customers to offset record-high trucking costs and seek out pockets of available workers in a tight labor market, India, a source of plentiful labor and fast-growing economy, is building and has built great infrastructure.  It has been 11 years since my last visit to India.  I see new highways and metros more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 11/06/2018 - 01:00
    I spent a week in Europe and can report: Shortages of labor in Western Europe are as concerning as they are here High labor costs in Western Europe are driving increased automation of items such as layer picking.  Migrants are seen as ready labor sources Congestion is a real concern.  The parts of the famed Autobahn I drove on have few stretches with more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 10/30/2018 - 01:00
    Loss:  In a ruling that will cost shippers more, an Arkansas court ruled drivers must be paid for all time worked – including waiting.      Win:  Like Trump or not, the decision to pull out of the postal agreement that allowed China, among others, to ship into the US cheaper than I can mail the same package across town, has generated action.   more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 10/23/2018 - 02:00
    At the CSCMP conference in early October, a trucking company owner said in order to reduce the shortage of trucks, the industry needed to increase driver wages – his take was $85-$100K.  This is not out of line with what I hear Walmart is paying but it is a large jump for most shippers.  This same carrier spoke of converting his for hire fleet to dedicated.  I have written more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 10/16/2018 - 02:00
    The Amazon generation is driving significant supply chain inefficiency.  It used to be that only "high value / pound” products like cameras and electronics went by air.  Now, to meet the two-day or next-day delivery schedules demanded by consumers, more products like pet food and clothing are traveling by air.  By the end of this year, 40 more 767’s will be moved into more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 10/10/2018 - 02:00
    At the CSCMP conference, I heard a lot about the need for good relationships with carriers.  Given that more than 50% of the for hire trucks are in fleets of less than 20 trucks, having a relationship is impractical. (It is like one girl wanting to date everybody in the Marine Corp).  My thesis is that: Most transportation contracts are too vague to be the foundation more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 10/03/2018 - 02:00
    Access to capital for the majority of the 700,000 carriers that have fewer than 20 trucks is coming at a hefty price.  FreightRover Inc. plans to factor $500 million in freight bills as soon as the carrier sends the data from a phone app.  But fast payment costs these small carriers at 9.5-12%.  I don’t understand why companies that are crying out for capacity won’ more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 09/25/2018 - 02:00
    Oil prices look to increase as OPEC and Russia seem reluctant to grow shipments to fully meet both growth and the loss of Iranian oil.  While the US is now the world’s biggest producer, bottlenecks in pipelines and infrastructure are hobbling the US’s ability to expand faster.     The origins of CHEP:  The Australian Government sold off as a bundle – more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 09/18/2018 - 02:00
    The fracking revolution is really taking off…and it is sucking up truck drivers.  As we have reported in the past, each well is taking more and more sand…last year’s total consumption was 100 million lbs – that is 4 million truckloads that must be ferried from the rail to each well.  A year from now, sand consumption is projected to be 150 million lbs – 6 Million loads.  more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 09/11/2018 - 02:00
    Many big shippers have so-called contracts with “core carriers”.  Many of these are loosely structured promising a limited volume of loads in exchange for a rate structure. Even carrier contracts that are more stringent may be on the endangered list.  Here is why: The vast majority of trucks on the road belong to small fleets with less than 10 power units more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 09/05/2018 - 02:00
    Manufacturers are getting stressed by demand.  A great example is Boeing which is building 737’s at rates that its engine supplier is having difficulty matching. Partially finished 737’s are piling up and Boeing is taking the drastic measure of installing temporary engines and flying the planes to a nearby field.  They then take the engines off and repeat the process.   more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 08/28/2018 - 02:00
    Hormel joined other companies, like Kellogg, reporting that rising freight costs were part of the reason it cut its forecast.  Really?  If freight is such a large cost, surely they would say what they are doing to mitigate that cost.  So far this year, I have not seen any company announce steps it is taking to cut trucking costs.  How many transportation managers more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 08/21/2018 - 02:00
    When a Starbucks employee claimed before the California Supreme Court  that he was not being paid for closing up the store, a task that took 4-10 minutes each day,  the court ruled he should be compensated….this is a direct challenge to the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.  The Fair Labor Standards Act allows employers to disregard short bits of time that employees more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 08/14/2018 - 02:00
    635,000 – The number of pilots Boeing estimates that airlines world-wide will need to recruit over the next two decades   298,000 – The number of unfilled jobs in transportation, warehousing, and utilities   $12.28 – The profit Phillips 66 makes on each barrel of oil – up from $8.44 last year   58% – The number this has grown more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 08/07/2018 - 02:00
    Freight costs are rising and probably faster than most managers think.  For example:  A Morgan Stanley poll suggested freight rates would go up 10% in the next year BUT Knight-Swift said its revenue per loaded mile, a key measure of pricing strength, rose 21% year-over-year in Q2.  Company officials said it was getting customers to convert higher spot-market rates into more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 07/31/2018 - 02:00
    Interesting data points:   70% of all sustainability projects result in cost savings.  My question is why would any profit-motivated company ever do the other 30%? Victims of direct-to-consumer demand: Such mundane things as household cleaners are now being air-freighted around the USA – courtesy of the need for 1 or 2 day delivery more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 07/24/2018 - 02:00
    While conservation and alternate energy sources are impacting oil demand, the clear trend is demand is up.  In 2010, global oil demand was ~85 MM (million) barrels per day – in 2018, it is close to 100 MM.  Oil price (Monday lunch time) was back up to $68. Fueled by prices, which have floated around a 3-year high, USA produced a record 11 MM barrels per day last month and more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 07/17/2018 - 02:00
    The Wall Street Journal page 1 detailed how big companies were gaining significant competitive advantage from both scale and innovation.  Examples given include: A partnership between IKEA and a construction firm to build “factory” apartment buildings.  Cost down 35% – elapsed construction time down 50%  Amazon – where volume drives the ability to more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 07/10/2018 - 02:00
    While we all see the need for highway construction, expenditure on road repairs is down 2.9% in a country where roads are making it to the end of their useful life.  This is a problem!   With the US importing much less oil, 7% of the ships that carry it (very large Crude Carriers) are being scrapped this year.  With break-even rates at $250K per day and more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 07/03/2018 - 02:00
    As we celebrate one revolution on July 4, there are other sea changes happening:    Amazon is offering to finance individuals to compete with existing package delivery businesses While Amazon is setting up owner operators, the teamsters and UPS have tentatively agreed to a new five-year contract to raise wages for existing workers by about .80¢/hour more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 06/26/2018 - 02:00
    We all know that if you want less of something, tax it.  The Colorado DOT is looking to have less traffic so they have started testing variable tolls – when congestion is bad, it costs more to use the road.  Problem solved.  But that creates a new set of problems for JIT and other time-sensitive deliveries.  Will carriers start to provide rates based on the more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 06/19/2018 - 02:00
    Maersk, which bought Hamburg Süd last year for $4 billion, is "taking one for the team” by reducing fleet size.  Its current fleet of 750 ships includes 400 chartered vessels – i.e. it doesn’t own them.  Maersk will not start retuning them to their owners until freight rates improve.  The hope is that reduced capacity will support higher container rates and wipe more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 06/12/2018 - 02:00
    OMG – the Supreme Court allowed a class action suit against J.B.Hunt Transport Inc.’s to move ahead.  Hunt had claimed that Federal transportation law doesn’t preempt California from setting its own rules on how truck drivers are paid and when they must take meal and rest breaks.  This opens a Pandora’s box of state-specific regulations.     more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 06/05/2018 - 02:00
    Micro unions:  Consider this:  178 workers in Boeing’s Charleston operation were asked to vote to form a “Micro Union”.  Such a union is permissible because "they have different skills, salary, and supervision."  104 voted for the union.  So now the micro union (178 people) can shut down the operation.  The problem is 74% of Boeing’s 3000 people voted against more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 05/30/2018 - 02:00
    One word from Saudi Arabia and the price of oil comes down fast even as Iran and Venezuela stumble.  (See Graph from Noon Tuesday) Iran is on the cusp of punishing sanctions Venezuela – which sits on the world’s largest oil reserves – may not like how I paraphrase Margaret Thatcher’s great quote “The problem with socialism is eventually you run out of oil money more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 05/22/2018 - 02:00
    Last week the Gartner conference highlighted the digital revolution.  While many presentations highlighted somewhat nebulous things – "where the rubber meets the sky” – one, Aera Technology, caught my attention for its long-term promise to automate processes using artificial intelligence.  Another significant feature is their use of “crawlers” to grab data from databases of “ more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 05/08/2018 - 02:00
    We often talk about labor constraints, but there are many infrastructure bottlenecks such as things identified in this email in the last year – the aging locks on the inland waterways or pipelines that are under capacity.  Here is a constraint that just surfaced – very large crude carriers (VLCC) can’t get into Gulf ports.  We have to use smaller, less efficient ships.  To more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 05/01/2018 - 02:00
    Intermodal:   Revenue per load up 7.5 % and average length of haul down 1% Intermodal was 68% of the profit in JB Hunt   Brokerage (ICS):   Gross margins holding at ~14.4%, loads up 5% with the carrier base up 15%…up to 44 branches and still investing in geographic expansion and systems.  Revenue up 41% with more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 04/24/2018 - 02:00
    I've been asked recently if CPG companies will be able to increase their prices as supply-chain costs increase.  The answer is no.  Grocers like Kroger are saying the “benchmark basket’s” price has, in fact, declined over the past year…so they have little appetite for price increases.  The only savings come from increased efficiency.   Here are some more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 04/17/2018 - 02:00
    News from Canada tells a sad story and it is hurting the US too: Canadian grain shippers can’t get rail cars for weeks Halliburton blames Canadian National…for halting new shipments of fracking sand out of Wisconsin and Minnesota Degradation of intermodal rail service, including reduced train speeds, increased container dwell times, and a shortage of rail cars more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 04/10/2018 - 02:00
    Most shippers really do hate brokers.  They are the supplier of last resort. The trucks vary in quality and the performance is perceived as being of lesser quality.  (Is this perception or reality?)  But we need brokers as they are the information conduit from the 97% of all over-the-road fleets that have 20 trucks or less.  Brokers hold all the information about who more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 04/03/2018 - 02:00
    The NLRB had historically defined an employer as somebody who could hire and fire workers.  The previous administration had “expannnnded” that definition to, for example, companies that employed 3PL’s.  This was reversed when this administration put a majority on the NLRB.  Now, by ambushing a member of the majority – claiming a conflict of interest that is dubious, to say more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 03/27/2018 - 02:00
    Yes, there is a mess in the center store.  At the same time that Kroger tells us that their prices to the consumer are going DOWN, manufacturers like Smucker’s, ConAgra, General Mills, and Hershey tell us that costs are going UP!  Something has to give. Improving vehicle fill rate may be part of the answer.  (Call me at (615) 791-0865 to learn more) more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 03/20/2018 - 01:00
    Our Will Cotten was at the Food Shippers Conference last week where many attendees focused on truck-capacity shortages.  Their solution set seems to be: Make freight more enticing – offer drop trailers to help with hours-of-service, etc. Fix current processes – quicker gate check-ins, quicker in and outs at the dock, etc.  Add more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 03/13/2018 - 01:00
    The International Energy Agency forecasts that the U.S. will overtake Russia to become the world’s largest oil producer by 2023.  Not so fast says an analyst – there are limits to the shale boom: Shortages of sand used to hydraulically fracture shale wells Limited water and capability to dispose of it Lack of truck drivers (where have we more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 03/06/2018 - 01:00
    Because tax is a dirty word, the trucking industry is proposing a fuel user fee to pay for infrastructure improvements.   Class 8 truck orders were up 76% in February.   CSX is seeing benefits from its “precision railroading”: CSX’s new CEO indicated he didn’t need to apologize for current service levels – “What we do apologize for was more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 02/27/2018 - 01:00
    In good times, my conjecture is that there is…no such thing as a shipper carrier partnership.  Think about it, when they have a choice: Do carriers accept a lower paying load from a favored “partner” shipper instead of a higher paying load from a “non-partner”? Do carriers accept the first load they are tendered or wait for a “partner shipper” to tender their more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 02/21/2018 - 01:00
    Hard to believe, but it is often cheaper to ship a parcel from China to a US address than from another state.  A vendor in New Jersey showed it cost him $6.30 to ship a parcel that cost a Chinese shipper a mere $1.30.  I have experienced something similar when buying from China (including Hong Kong) on eBay. Why? The USPS charges other nations what are called more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 02/13/2018 - 01:00
    You don’t often hear me say “it is time for government to act”.  But it is time to codify what the National Labor Review Board (NLRB) has put back on track in the last months: It has eliminated the precedent breaking joint employment rule that said a company that, for example, hires a 3PL is now a joint employer.  It is back to an employer being the “direct” more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 02/06/2018 - 01:00
    How many shippers are still not treating carriers well?  I think we are finding out that shippers’ who force long waits on their carriers, or have big spikes in demand are learning that trucks are harder and more expensive to get. There are stories of spot market pricing being double contract rates and Canadian shippers paying round-trip miles.  And it is expected to get worse as more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 01/30/2018 - 01:00
    Truck shortages are old, and unfortunately, recurring news.  To add insult to the incremental cost that shippers are paying to hire a truck on the spot market, gains in oil prices seem to be accelerating.  On Friday, as I write this, oil is over $66!  To put that in perspective, a year ago a barrel cost $45… so we see a ~50% rise.  Worse, the upward pressure is being more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 01/23/2018 - 01:00
    Options traded in New York are heavily wagering that diesel prices will rise.  The number of bets on the price rising is up 6% in the last week.  The last time we had this kind of activity was 2006.  What do these traders see?  The price of crude has been on a tear and demand for road transportation has grown stronger – and carriers are ordering more trucks. more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 01/17/2018 - 01:00
    Yes, oil at $80 per barrel is being discussed.  Key factors impacting the recent run up: Iran’s political uncertainty All the world’s economies are doing well (even France grew 2% – double what it has been doing) OPEC seems to be holding the line   What is not holding the line is US shale production.  My expectation is that it more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 01/09/2018 - 01:00
    While the Midwest-based shipper quoted in the title uses refrigerated trucks, the sentiments are nearly ubiquitous.  Spot rates are way up – 24% by one account.  Add to this – oil over $61/barrel, insurance prices rising, and labor costs rising while availability is falling.  With the economy picking up more speed, and the new e-log mandates, there may be little relief more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 01/03/2018 - 01:00
    When you hear that land on which to build a warehouse is going for $1.75 million per acre in Northern New Jersey (up 17 % year over year) and you hear famed real estate mogul Sam Zell say “If someone needs a bell ringing to figure out that the real-estate market is pretty frothy right now, I’m in the business of selling hearing aids”, you learn two things: more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 12/27/2017 - 01:00
    With the reconstituting on the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the stupid Joint Employment rules which had pushed the responsibility for a 3PL’s actions onto the company that hires said 3PL.  You can read the summary https://www.nlrb.gov/news-outreach/news-story/nlrb-overrules-browning-ferris-industries-and-reinstates-prior-joint.  But, as the headline says, “ more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 12/19/2017 - 01:00
    Firstly, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays!   While we don’t think about it, self-driving trucks and cars use artificial intelligence (AI) to make decisions.  But AI can be easily fooled.  For example, these vehicles stop when a stop sign is placed at the side of a highway.  Imagine the havoc of this happening on I-95 in rush hour.  Clearly AI more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 12/12/2017 - 01:00
    The White House is putting finishing touches on a plan to direct federal spending of $200 billion or more – funds it would propose to offset with cuts elsewhere in the federal budget – to leverage hundreds of billions more from local governments and private investors to pay for road, rail, water, and utility upgrades.  Let’s hope it happens!   more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 12/05/2017 - 01:00
    Who knew there was such a great name as the Dunning-Kruger effect for the state of being ignorant of being ignorant!  Can we develop a list of supply-chain related areas where this applies?  I know one:  the US Postal Service (USPS) has been running at a deficit for years – with, up until now, price increases capped by law at the rate of inflation.  The relaxing of more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 11/28/2017 - 01:00
    Can technological breakthroughs avoid oil shortages?  Yes – oil shortages are a real possibility in the next five years because companies are not investing in exploration the way they used to…and this is not just me saying this but also the International Energy Agency.  The only hope is that there are continued breakthroughs in energy extraction beyond fracking and improved more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 11/21/2017 - 01:00
    Here is what I said last month…."The flow of containers from Asia is likely to get more expensive.”   Now comes evidence of a potential countervailing force…lots of Mega-container ships coming on line soon.  COSCO, the fourth largest shipping company,  is adding 17 ships next year with MSC and CMA CGM  (second and third biggest operators respectively) starting to get more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 11/14/2017 - 01:00
    Last month’s report from the Association of American Railroads shows carloads at 1,065,777, off 0.1%, but intermodal set a new monthly record with a 6.4% annual gain to 1,144,157.    While self-driving trucks are some distance away, more details are emerging about the transition:   Add anti-collision features – the 7,000-plus trucks owned by more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 11/07/2017 - 01:00
    Trucking companies ordered 36,200 Class 8 trucks in October according to a preliminary report from ACT Research.  That was up 60.4% from September, and a 160% gain from a year ago…this is remarkable because normally orders peak in December.  So truckers are optimistic but still complaining about driver shortages.  This is going to be interesting!   more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 10/31/2017 - 01:00
    Canadian National Railway (CN) and Norfolk Southern (NS) strike joint-service deal to avoid Chicago’s congestion.  They will do their train interchanges in Elkhart IN – instead of Chicago and route trains around the old EJ & E track that is now owned by the CN. The belief is that this move will cut 1-2 days off transit times.     Brent crude held more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 10/24/2017 - 02:00
    The flow of containers from Asia is likely to get more expensive.  In a stroke of China’s central government’s pen, they have cut off scrap exports from the USA. Since more containers leave the US loaded with low-value commodities like scrap paper than come from Asia loaded with TV sets, expect pricing to increase as the "in and out" adjust to a new equilibrium.   more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 10/17/2017 - 02:00
    The American Trucking Association said Q3 volume increased 8.2% year over year. That, coincidentally, is how much JBHunt's revenue increased (excluding fuel surcharges).  Demand is high, drivers are in demand, and prices are going up…so why did Hunt have a decline in profit?  Dedicated trucking, which makes up 24% of JB Hunt’s revenue, is normally a far higher contributor to more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 10/11/2017 - 02:00
    The Panama Canal is getting a payout from its $5.4 billion widening project.  A wider canal enabled ships, which, for example can have a beam (width) of 49 meters – up from 32 meters and nearly three times the capacity – to transit the waterway.  The number of ships transiting the canal is up 23%!  Historically, bigger container vessels headed from Asia to ports more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 10/03/2017 - 02:00
    The VW scandal has made diesel go from "darling to devil” but only after a number of refiners in Europe had spent $10 billion adding “cat-crackers” to make more diesel. With European car drivers rapidly moving  away from diesel and back to gasoline, refiners have a surplus – some of which will go into mandated low-sulphur marine fuels, but the rest will flow into the more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 09/26/2017 - 02:00
    "The average tractor-trailer travels less than seven miles on a gallon of diesel, making it one of the least-efficient vehicles on the road.” Wall Street Journal   What a load of rubbish!  Tractor trailers often weigh 35-39 tons loaded (90% of the time) and 17 tons empty, (10% of the time) and get 7 MPG or more.  On the same ton-mpg basis a 3 ton diesel pickup should get 70 more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 09/19/2017 - 02:00
    Truckers tell us that Homeland Security is paying at least $4 per mile for loads into Florida.  The problem for carriers is that these loads are “really last minute”.  If you win the auction, there is no certainty that the load will actually go.     With hurricanes and all the things going on, it’s easy to forget that electronic logs will be mandatory in 3 more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 09/12/2017 - 02:00
    There will be fewer truck drivers and warehouse workers available once storm cleanup gets underway.  There is already a perceived shortage of construction workers in the South and it will only get worse as skilled and unskilled labor pours in to fix the damage. Coincident will be: a large increase in recycling (250,000 cars to be junked in Texas alone) an influx more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 09/06/2017 - 02:00
    While diesel is seeing the disruption that we discussed last week, (and my daughter in Houston is ok – thanks for those who asked) longer term may be different…"A poll of 14 investment banks, surveyed by The Wall Street Journal at the end of August, predicted that Brent crude, the international benchmark, will average $54 a barrel next year, down $1 from the July survey more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 08/29/2017 - 02:00
    Ports are seeing larger-than-usual volumes of containers arriving for the Christmas period…and, in some cases are struggling with congestion. Meanwhile, Harvey is disrupting the flow of containers in the Gulf and beyond as ships that traditionally stop in a few ports, wait out the storm before entering Gulf ports.  Both oil exports and imports are on hold.  What is more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 08/22/2017 - 02:00
    UPS is rolling out Virtual Reality (VR) driver training.  While others have tried VR in the warehouse but backed off to Augmented Reality – showing data in a Google Glass type set up – driver training makes sense because it is not a long-term exposure to the virtual (unreal) world with a hot and sometimes heavy face mask.  From the Wall Street Journal:  "In virtual reality, more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 08/15/2017 - 02:00
    The latest data I have shows a container from Asia to the US West Coast costing around $1,400 in May – a year ago in May the same container cost about $750.   Oil prices are expected to be somewhat flat as shown by the futures market.  The price for delivery of oil a year from now is only .63¢/barrel more than the price today.  This more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 08/08/2017 - 02:00
    Managing inbound transportation has often been a mark of a mature supply chain organization. By making inbound transportation a profit center, landed costs go down. But simply managing transportation is not enough. Expert supply chains are now helping their buyers optimize their orders to fill trucks. We are seeing these expert supply chains saving 5-14% on transportation dollars, on more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 08/01/2017 - 02:00
    Mentioning that the sex lives of truck drivers could impact Wal-Mart suppliers hitting Wal-Mart’s on-time dictate generated an incredible 20 fold increase in blog traffic. Someone who really understands the situation – and who wants to remain anonymous – made good observations:   This "on-time in full” idea push makes very little sense and will not deliver the more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 07/25/2017 - 02:00
    Don't believe everything you read!   I read an article the other day claiming that the US Postal Service gave Amazon special rates to get their business – delivering Amazon parcels the critical last mile. What the article should have said is that the Post Office was not applying the correct overhead to their parcel rates and , as a result, under prices it’s service more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 07/18/2017 - 02:00
    Wal-Mart has announced that it will fine companies that don’t ship 95% on time and in full.  On time is defined to the exact day, so delays en route will be costly. One transportation manger put it “Now I have to worry about the sex lives of truck drivers.” But the truth is that he has had to worry about this for a while – Target implemented the “on-time to the day” last more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 07/11/2017 - 02:00
    Recent events with Celadon, one of the largest US long-haul truckers, show that to make a small fortune...start with a large fortune.  Celadon’s share price has dropped from $26 in 2015 to a little over $3 today and its creditors are in the process of taking a haircut.  Most troubling is an operating loss of $10 million for the quarter ending in March.  Trucking companies more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 07/05/2017 - 02:00
    I often travel over the bridge in I71 that connects Ohio with Northern Kentucky. Generally, there is a backup on the 50+ year old bridge that carries twice its designed traffic level.  The bad news is they will close half the lanes for maintenance.  (I guess I won’t be going to Cincinnati any time soon).  And this bridge is just one of about 84,000 U.S. bridges that the more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 06/27/2017 - 02:00
    Farmers claim that the lack of reliability of the U.S waterway system causes a 14% reduction in the prices they get for their grain.  This uncertainty, driven by a lock system that is older than its planned 50-year life span, is very real.  When a lock fails, the river can be closed 60-90 days backing up freight movements.  To compensate while providing reliable service to more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 06/20/2017 - 02:00
    “Circle January 2020 on your calendar for what could be a major disruption to the energy market and a jolt to the global economy” was the lead sentence in the Wall Street Journal. The cause – the International Maritime Organization (a group I had never heard of – a branch of the U.N.) has mandated that ships reduce the sulphur content in “bunker” fuel by a factor of seven.  Current bunker more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 06/13/2017 - 02:00
    In exchange for better insurance rates, trucking companies are adding cameras to truck cabs.   Insurance rates for commercial vehicles are on the rise.  Estes says they are up 20% in 2 years.  Driven by “nuclear judgments” – penalties that sometimes run to hundreds of millions of dollars – insurance companies are seeing payouts exceeding income.  To paraphrase more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 06/06/2017 - 02:00
    Energy Transfer Partners started moving oil through the much disputed, but now completed, Dakota Access Pipeline.  Capable of moving 450,000 barrels a day, it will reduce reliance on rail.  It will also further pressure tanker fleets.  Less than a third of all oil is transported by ocean tanker.  All the oil from the Mideast comes on tankers BUT that more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 05/31/2017 - 02:00
    Unfortunately, just because everybody is talking about drones and self driving trucks, it doesn’t mean they are going to happen soon.  But big data is happening now!  And every company should be preparing right now.  No need to go out and hire 5 PhD’s as Johnson & Johnson did to start their effort – rather clean up your data.  Simple things like item master data more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 05/23/2017 - 02:00
    Meet Carol.  Carol, besides sending you this email each week, goes to the grocery store about 3 times a week.  She is typical of shoppers who, for the most part, start in produce, go to the meat section, then onto dairy, and finally to checkout.  Sales in the center of the store of packaged foods and beverages are down 0.4% year over year – but the center store for large more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 05/16/2017 - 02:00
    Many trucking companies’ earnings are being severely hurt by the lower value of their trucks.  As demand declined, used class 8 trucks, which were worth about $60,000 in early 2015, are now worth only $49,000.  This makes carriers “upside down” – i.e. the book value of the trucks is higher than their market price. Unless freight volume ticks up greatly, no recovery is more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 05/09/2017 - 02:00
    One of the big challenges in optimizing the supply chain is the sheer mass of data and the time it takes to come up with a better solution.  For example, rerouting trucks around a traffic jam, without causing congestion somewhere else, takes 45 minutes for a relatively small 10,000 vehicles in a city like Beijing. Help may be on its way – quantum computing, that may be readily more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 05/02/2017 - 02:00
    Anybody who knows me knows that I love riding on trains!  But the time for Amtrak, in any area other than the Northeast where they own their own tracks, is gone.  As a socialist railroad, formed in 1970 when the regulated rail industry was hemorrhaging money, Amtrak has bled red ink for nearly 50 years.  But the more troubling hidden damage is the priority Amtrak more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 04/25/2017 - 02:00
    Humping, the practice of sorting rail cars by allowing them to go downhill and switching each car to the desired track is used in a lot of places. I hate it!  It generates a lot of damage.  In my earlier life, I saw large steel coils being “smooshed” by massive collisions as the hump operator failed to slow the 200,000+ lb cargo.  It turns out that Hunter Harrison, the new more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 04/18/2017 - 02:00
    Judge Robert Lasnick accepted the argument that Uber drivers were contractors and having contractors band together was contrary to antitrust laws as well as against the National Labor Relations Act.  Uber and Lyft didn’t have to hand over their contractors’ names and subject them to a card-check election.  This is good news in the whole country as Teamsters, or any union for that more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 04/11/2017 - 02:00
    While Swift has four times more trucks than Knight, the market has valued them about the same – why? Swift has lots of debt // Knight  has none Swift’s operating ratio is higher than Knight’s They called it a merger but here is the key – Knight’s management will run the new entity… The combined business: 23,000 truck-tractors and 28 more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 04/04/2017 - 02:00
    Two things have made me re-think labor problems: The increasing problem with Opioids The fracking business taking off again   A quick look at the above map tells you the problem.  How can quality work be performed in light of this problem? Fracking is taking off again – and this time it demands even more transportation more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 03/28/2017 - 02:00
    In the last year, prices from Asia to California have increased by 50%.  The biggest container lane, Asia to Europe, has seen rates of $969 vs. $695 in 2016 (+40%) and poor container availability out of Europe going east – in the words of one of our clients – has been “problematic.  It's hard to get boxes.”    Why?  Here are some reasons given more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 03/21/2017 - 01:00
    Major oil producing countries are considering extending their efforts to curtail global petroleum supplies and raise crude prices but Russia is cheating on its commitments to reduce output.  Oil is down again to $48!    Urban Outfitters Inc. Chief Executive Richard Hayne likened the malaise in retail to that of the housing crisis more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 03/14/2017 - 01:00
      Diesel prices will follow slowly   The market didn’t respect all the pundits and it didn’t follow the projections that it would be selling at $70/barrel.  If it had known, the price would have not slid by more than 8% to end today at a little over $48.  Clearly the market has a mind of its own.  Faced with large inventories more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 03/07/2017 - 01:00
    Amazon is developing (or acquiring) technology to schedule and track truck shipments.  It seems they want to play in the $150 Billion market for booking transportation.     BP PLC aims to be able to be profitable with oil at $35 a barrel by 2021 and increase output by 5% each year until 2021 without increasing capital spending beyond the staggering more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 02/28/2017 - 01:00
    Rail efficiency is up and oil expected to be $70   At Warren Buffet’s railroad BNSF, over the past 2 years, revenues are down 14% while profits are only down 7% suggesting better margins and increased productivity.  Warren claims "price comparisons between major railroads are far more difficult to make because of significant differences in both their mix more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 02/22/2017 - 01:00
    DB Schenker took a $25 Million stake in the online freight booking platform uShip which has been around for more than 10 yrs.  The real question is which platform will become dominant – there are quite a few all fighting for the same shippers and carriers.  Here are some of the deals that have taken place recently: United Parcel Service Inc. bought Coyote more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 02/14/2017 - 01:00
    Justifying a WMS software upgrade is pretty tough!   Watching who upgrades their WMS, I can say “don’t do it for productivity gains.”  It is one thing to have code that is old and another to have to buy hardware on e-bay or from antique shops, but upgrading because of operational savings should be viewed with distain.  Simply put, new WMS’s don’t seem to more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 02/07/2017 - 01:00
    Amazon may not impact trucking much, but will hurt UPS and FedEx.   Amazon is starting to impact airfreight but make only small inroads to ground truckload transportation.  It has already bought 4000 trailers – suggesting it is tendering 1-2000 loads per day…not earth shattering.  Airfreight is a different story – Amazon has chosen Cincinnati airport to be its air hub… more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 01/31/2017 - 01:00
    Some CSX directors met with Hunter Harrison over the weekend to discuss him ascending to CEO.  Recall Hunter has made 3 railroads (ICG, CP, and CN) more efficient over his career.  CSX would make it 4.  This could be good news for both shippers and CSX shareholders.     We have seen a lot of inquiries about dock scheduling lately…. so we made a more
  • Posted by admin on 01/23/2017 - 20:21
    CSX stock jumped more than 20% last week as Hunter Harrison announced that he, with some help from Wall Street funds, was attempting to force change at CSX. Harrison, who walked away from $89 million at Canadian Pacific Railroad, has a history of implementing high train scheduling that drives efficiency and cost cutting.  (We are big supporters of tight scheduling especially in warehouses more
  • Posted by admin on 07/09/2015 - 14:46
    While there will be a lot of fighting about the highway trust fund – a fund that is projected to go bankrupt next year as politicians use it to bankroll mass transit systems and other non-highway projects – unfortunately, there has been little talk about funding urgently-needed work on domestic waterways. In the US, $216 Billion of commodities like agricultural products, coal, oil, more