Is Transportation coming back to “Normal?”

Truck rates are down, ocean carriers are charging less (See graph) and package volume is down. Does this mean we are returning to a more normal time?  My answer is “no.”  There are a number of new and not-so-nice headwinds or factors, affecting supply chain: Lower labor participation rates haven’t gotten back to 2019 levels. […]

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Wish Us Luck!

As you read this we are competing to win the CSCMP innovation award. Recall we are a finalist for the work to: Level replenishment shipment volume Tender early We will be telling the judges that LevelLoad and AutoO2, combined with the great team from Kimberly-Clark, have generated significant savings by using the best carriers in […]

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More humping

While 2 unions are threatening a walkout this week, if there isn’t a stoppage, there will be more humping. Even if there is a stoppage, when they come back to work, there will be more humping. Before your mind goes in the wrong direction, humping is a way of sorting rail cars onto trains that […]

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Container arteries constricted

Railroads are limiting container loads into locations like Chicago. Here is why: Inland container yards are full Warehouses are full. Prologis Inc. said the vacancy rate in the firm’s top 30 U.S. markets is 3%—good for them but historically vacancy rates are >5% Chassis are scarce: Direct ChassisLink Inc. said that because of the extended […]

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How technology is eliminating deployment volatility and high-cost freight

LevelLoad and AutoO2 eliminate deployment (e.g. from plant to customer-facing distribution centers) volatility using a combination of:  Tendering early smooth freight volumes over time by pushing lower-priority deployment demand to a later day and pulling forward more-needed replenishments Intelligently prioritizing the use of limited carrier and site capacities across the network The Transportation Planning suite created by […]

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Are you targeting a payload that is too low?

I advocate weighing the trucks to see where payload targets should be set.  Here is a sample of refrigerated trucks from major carriers in 2021: What does this tell you?   In this sample, which was large enough to be valid, 69% of all trucks could carry more than 45,000# and 77% could carry more […]

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Good news and bad news on Diesel Prices

Good News (Price will go down):  Today: Crude oil prices are way down + refiners’ margins are down by ~50% Future: High prices ~$100/barrel for oil and $9+ for gas mean that economically recoverable reserves rise. e.g. Eagle Ford sees a fifteen-fold increase from 0.5 billion barrels to 8.4 billion barrels  Bad news: Refineries that […]

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Freight rates on their way down?

The Cass freight index appears to show expenditures and Shipments tracking fairly closely. The same is not true for bulk ocean freight. The London-based Baltic Exchange index is a weighted average based on 11-20 international ship routes and three commodities – coal, iron ore, and grain that measures the spot market for ocean shipping. Capesize […]

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