BIMCO publishes monthly container shipping reports and outlook for the next period. They are based on good data they collect, and are sort of a reference standard. This summary comes from the Shipping Tribune, a daily publication that aggregates various news feeds.
There’s still overcapacity in container shipping. New ships of very large size are coming online, and the tonnage expected to be retired is less. Interesting facts on building of ships and demolition sales.
MIT’s supply chain blog has an interesting article on some new thinking about infrastructure planning. I recommend the PhillyFreightFinder website mapping tool to visualize locations of freight and other resources.
Philly rail lines and intermodal yards
This is useful but of course is static and does not represent the flow volumes.
Lora Cecere, one of the supply chain gurus I follow, has a report on the supply chain talent shortage, believed to be around 1.4 million workers in the next few years. It’s a business with an aging workforce, and it’s rapidly expanding, especially here in the Chicago area. Join the webinar to hear the report summary.
We get a lot of stuff from the west coast. And we also ship out a lot of ag products and manufactured goods out there. A major port strike is brewing if the players do not settle their differences. Here’s a story from Supply chain 24/7
It’s the season when goods for holiday and fall seasons are starting to come to the US. Retailers can’t be without these goods when the season starts. (Halloween? Before?) Unions of course chose a maximum impact time to strike. It’s the only time in the life of a contract (3 or 4 years) that they have leverage, so why wouldn’t they? You would too if you were in their position.
What would they like to see made better for their workers? Read up on the issue at the ILWU and PMA websites. PMA is the negotiator for all the port and terminal operators at these ports.
Tell us what you think about the issues. What would you like to learn about the role of ports in our economy?
Here is a considered view of the state of trucking and freight transportation, and some ideas on how to improve things, from Derek Leathers, President of Werner Enterprises, an important logistics firm.
It’s an interesting point that last-mile workers are really salespeople or customer service workers. How should they be trained? Shouldn’t they have the business skills we expect of in-store sales associates or sales reps? The truck driving becomes a small part of the equation. MIT has been looking at this area of transportation.
I’m interested for two reasons. First, how should these jobs in the supply chain be classified in government statistics on jobs in different fields? Are they sales people or transportation workers? It’s an example of how we can be misled about a job related to logistics, and perhaps underestimate the effect logistics has on our economy.
Second, the new emphasis on the last mile, direct customer contact with transportation is creating new opportunities. If we really are to have delivery within 24 hours, with customer support as part of the package, our supply chain operations skills and talents need reexamination and refocusing. Our workers wioll need to be more talented and be better educated in business and human skills as well as technical ones. Those who train themselves to manage logistics as customer service will put themselves in a position to make big contributions at companies and be leaders on the fast track.