to get goods to market.
It’s hard to imagine that many ocean
shippers feel they are getting better service
for their money. A survey by marine consultancy SeaIntel found that schedule reliability among the top 20 global carriers dropped
to 71. 3 percent in the third quarter from
75. 5 percent in the second quarter. Severe
congestion at major hub ports in Northern
Europe, the United States, and Asia was
cited as the main reason for the decline.
The railroads, meanwhile, are poised to
re-price their contract rates by 5 to 7 percent
in 2015 in response to mid- to upper-sin-gle-digit increases in demand, even as they
continue to struggle with subpar service
metrics. At a shipper panel session, a panelist asked a roomful of about 80 brethren
if they used railroads to move their goods.
Virtually every hand was raised. The panelist then asked how many were satisfied with
their current level of rail service. Not one
hand went up.
Service levels have been dropping for the
past year due to rising demand, the terrible
winter weather, a shortage of locomotives
and crews, and persistent congestion at the
national chokepoint in Chicago. However,
Jason Long, transport analyst at investment
firm Stephens Inc., said industry executives
have told him that service could improve as
early as the spring. Long said that projection
is ambitious, especially if large parts of the
country get hit with similar weather this
Operators are doing what they can to, in
transport nomenclature, “increase fluidity”
in their systems. Western railroad BNSF
Railway said in late November it plans to
make a record $6 billion in capital expenditures in 2015, coming off a record $5.5
billion in capital expenditures this year. It
is expected that other railroads will follow
suit, resulting in another all-time industry
record for capital expenditures next year.
The improvements are badly needed. Long
said he was told by executives at Union
Pacific Corp., BNSF’s archrival in the West,
that a one-mile-per-hour increase in train
velocity effectively frees up 250 locomotives
go figure …
The average number of daily parcels the U.S. Postal
Service (USPS) will deliver on peak days this holiday.
USPS delivers, on average, 11 million business-to-consumer (B2C) parcels each day during the year, making
it by far the largest B2C delivery network.
SOURCE: USPS DATA
Apparel company Topson Downs has selected the GT Nexus platform to standardize supply chain workflows, improve visibility,
and support rapid growth. … The Georgia Ports Authority has
doubled its Toyota export business, as the company is now moving
Highlander SUVs bound for Australia and New Zealand through
the Port of Savannah’s ocean terminal. … Two Sazerac Co. dis-tilleries are the first facilities to apply Westfalia Technologies’
new conveyor standardization improvements, which include an
airchain with programmable logic control/solenoid valve control
and three-strand turntables. … Crane Worldwide Logistics, an
air, ocean, trucking, customs brokerage, and logistics company,
recently began partnering with Pelican BioThermal and utilizing the Credo Cube Thermal packaging solution to assist with
transporting temperature-controlled pharmaceutical products.
The company has also been designated by United Cargo as its
sole Civil Reserve Air Fleet (CRAF) freight forwarding partner.
… CLX Logistics, a supply chain benchmarking and consulting
firm, has agreed to provide European truckload, global ocean,
and global parcel data to customers of the supply chain software
company LLamasoft for use in strategic supply chain design. …
HighJump Software has named Schmidt Electronics Group Ltd.,
an integrated technology and solutions provider, as its newest
strategic partner in Asia. In other HighJump news, A&R Logistics
has selected HighJump Warehouse Advantage and HighJump
Billing Management to manage inventory and control costs
in its warehouses and rail yards throughout the country. …
United Pallet Services Inc. has signed a license agreement that
grants Ubeeco Packaging Solutions the right to sell, market, and
manufacture pointGuard Pallet Protectors in Australia and New
Zealand. … The bed company Dreams and British retailer Argos
have both implemented Paragon Software Systems’ advanced
home delivery software solution. … Gist, a supply chain services
provider, has expanded its use of Descartes’ Smartanalysis, a
tachograph analysis and compliance management solution,
across its European road transport operations.