The Trusted Experts In Transportation


Latest News March 25, 2013

Energy & Diesel Fuel & Other Commodities EIA

U.S. crude oil production on track to surpass imports for first time since 1995

TODAY IN ENERGY | Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Monthly crude oil production in the United States is expected to exceed the amount of U.S. crude oil imports later this year for the first time since February 1995. The gap between monthly U.S. crude oil production and imports is projected to be almost 2 million barrels per day (bbl/d) by the end of next year—according to EIA’s March 2013 Short-Term Energy Outlook.

North Dakota oil production reaches new high in 2012, drawing on unique supply chain

TODAY IN ENERGY | Monday, March 18, 2013

North Dakota crude oil production (including lease condensate) averaged an all-time high of 770,000 barrels per day in December 2012. About 75% of crude oil production in North Dakota is gathered and transported by truck to railcars leaving the state. Pipelines, which can be more efficient and less subject to winter storm disruptions than trucking, are still being built.

Above-normal outages of U.S. nuclear capacity persist at the start of 2013

TODAY IN ENERGY | Thursday, March 14, 2013

Nuclear outages in 2012 were generally higher than in recent years because of extended forced and planned outages at four nuclear power plants, and they continued into the new year. Coupled with the beginning of spring refueling outages, outage levels in early 2013 are above those seen in the previous five years.

Commerce – Regulatory & Compliance

Multimodal Meets Manufacturing in Southeast

World Trade | 3/22/2013

The Southeast region is putting together a manufacturing expansion, using multimodal logistics networks to reach the country and the world.

In recent decades, the Southeast United States has experienced an expansion — you might even say a boom — that has helped transform the regional economy. High-tech and service industries have both grown in the region, as has the manufacturing sector, led by foreign automakers that operate in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina and Tennessee. At the same time, the Southeast is in the middle of a population boom. The region contains nearly 45 percent of the U.S. population, and that number is expected to increase in the coming decades.

A growing population base means a growing consumer base. The majority of the nation’s customer base, roughly 70 percent, is located east of a line that stretches from Dallas to Chicago, and much of it in the Southeast. These are facts that help drive supply chain and logistics decisions.

Logistics and distribution strategies have grown in importance for companies as supply chains and customer bases continue to evolve globally. Many companies depend on raw materials and finished products moving between countries and on multiple modes of transportation. It is critically important to secure those goods in a timely and efficient manner.

“Companies are wrestling with what their distribution footprint needs to look like. ”The Memphis metro area describes itself as a quadri-modal distribution hub — runway, road, rail and river. These capabilities make Memphis a major inland port, with connections to ports on the East and West coasts (in both the U.S. and Canada), and the Gulf Coast.

The state of Georgia has similar logistics strengths. The state has four ports, led by the Port of Savannah, and rail and road distribution networks that offer efficient and reliable access to markets across the Southeast and Midwest. Adding to the state’s location strength is a highly skilled workforce, especially in the logistics sector. There are more than 100 different logistical and supply chain education offerings around the state, ranging from a new logistics/supply chain management program at Georgia Southern University to technical colleges that train warehouse workers and truck drivers.

Labor, Staffing & Issues


Ford Motor and the United Auto Workers union reached a tentative labor deal early Tuesday morning that the two sides say will create almost 6,000 new hourly jobs at Ford’s U.S. factories in the next four years. Those jobs will come from about $4.8 billion in additional product development, plants and equipment that Ford commits to in the new deal.

Washington – CNN

For many in labor unions, the political battles in Wisconsin, Ohio and now Indiana are seen as nothing short of a frontal assault on their very existence. But what’s happening in those states and elsewhere — a push by Republican governors to control state budget shortfalls by going after union pensions, wages and benefits — may have, instead, energized union supporters and polarized public opinion in favor of the labor movement. A USA Today/Gallup poll shows that 61 percent of Americans oppose eliminating or restricting collective bargaining rights for public employee unions.

Logistics: Carriers, All Transportation Modes & International

Shippers’ association updates rate software

American Shipper | Thursday, March 14, 2013

The United Shippers Alliance has released a new version of iRate RMS, a software that provides access to the organization’s database of global ocean container rates. The cloud-based software also lets shippers manage their ocean contracts and quotes across all of their trade lanes. Shippers can also compare ocean carrier options in a single shipping lane.

“In our fast-paced business where we are shipping ocean containers to customers around the globe, we need a fast, efficient way to access our numerous ocean contracts and associated rates,” Franklin International’s export manager said in a statement. “With iRate, my ocean rates to every destination are at my fingertips, just a few clicks away and it is so user friendly.”

Maersk to Halt Asia-U.S. East Coast Transit Through Panama Canal

Maritime Executive | March 18, 2013

Maersk Line, the world’s biggest container shipping company, will stop plying through the Panama Canal to move goods from Asia to the U.S. east coast as bigger ships help the company move it profitably through Suez Canal. Maersk Line will send vessels through Suez Canal that can carry as many as 9,000 20-foot boxes at a time, instead of using two 4,500-box-vessels through Panama Canal. The last sailing through Panama will be on April 7 and the first service through Suez will be a week later, the company said in an e-mail statement.

Four Major Trends in Transportation Management to Keep Close Tabs On

SupplyChainBrain | March 19, 2013

In 2013, four trends will become hot topics for transportation operations in companies large and small: transportation continuity planning, fuel efficiency and the move to alternative fuels, driver shortages, and transportation category management.

The Outlook: Transportation will continue to grow in importance across all industries and have a direct impact on the bottom line. It’s vital for companies to stay ahead of the aforementioned trends. Remember that the time for continuity planning is when there isn’t a disaster looming. Be ever-watchful for ways to improve fuel efficiency. Anticipate driver shortages – strategize and collaborate with core carriers to find creative solutions. Optimize transportation organization within your company to remain consistent with your vision.

The 3PL & 4PL World

Liquor shipper examines supply chain

American Shipper | March 14, 2013

London-based Diageo, the world’s largest distributor of liquor, has refocused its supply and procurement operation, aiming to save 60 million pounds annually by 2016. Restructuring costs are pegged at 100 million pounds. While the exact nature of the reorganization isn’t yet apparent, the company will focus on reducing regional structures and strengthening the bond between its global supply operation and its 21 key markets. According to a press release, the changes are a reaction of Diaego’s continued growth in new markets. For the six months ending Dec. 31, Diageo reported net sales of 6.03 billion pounds ($9.02 billion), up from 5.07 billion pounds the previous year. The company moved 88.8 million units, with the most activity coming in North America and Europe during that period, a slight increase from 2011’s activity.