Transportation Challenges: Truckload Capacity

There are many examples of how something can improve, but still have plenty of room to get better.  Take a report card for example, raising your grades from a C- to a B is great, but there is still room for improvement to reach that A.  Your favorite team winning the wildcard and making the playoffs is exciting, but they can still improve and win the division. The same is true for the current state of truckload (TL) capacity. 

Transportation Management System Developments

Transportation management systems are growing, not only in their capabilities, but also in the number of companies using them.  54% of logistics professionals, according to a survey from InMotion Global, currently use a TMS.  This is a 15% increase over the past decade. Additionally, the adoption rate is only expected to increase over the next 12 to 24 months as well.  Developments in cloud computing and increased competitive pressure has made it necessary for supply chains to create new efficiencies and this type of software is doing exactly that.  A recent article from DC Velocity outlines some interesting trends around TMS use and development.

Consumer Electronics Fulfillment: LTL and Partial Truckload Shipping

The consumer electronics (CE) market hit an all-time high in revenue last year of $211.3 billion, a two percent increase from the previous year. CE is expected to grow again by over one to two percent this year as well.  Another exciting trend in this sector is the growing role that e-commerce is playing.  In 2012, the e-commerce channel accounted for $49 billion of CE sales.  That number is forecasted to eclipse $108 billion by 2018.  

3PL Technology: Transportation Management Systems in the Cloud

With the power of smartphones, the convenience of wifi and the endless reach of the internet, we are constantly connected.  The ability to make purchasing decisions without being tethered has forced supply chains to adapt in order to respond to these new and changing demands.  Cloud technology has leveled the level playing field for fulfillment centers.  Integrating transportation management systems (TMS) with the cloud is a growing development.

The Hours of Service Ruling: Will It Ever End?

On July 1, when the new driver hours of service rules became effective, many shippers and probably some carriers breathed a sigh of relief. After 14 years of negotiation and litigation, finally everyone should know what the rules will be and can plan accordingly. When the U.S. Court of Appeals refused to block the implementation they strongly implied that even they were getting a little tired of hearing about the subject. Certainly the new rules are not popular with everyone. FTA Associates believes they will increase annual trucking costs by about 3% annually, and Schneider National already has experienced a 3% loss in productivity. Even so, the current provisions are now the law of the land. 

The Logistics Road Less Certain

Once again this year there is uncertainty in the motor carrier industry and for the country’s truck shippers. The new hours of service rules (HOS) are scheduled to become effective on July 1, and it is still unclear as to how they will impact motor carrier costs and capacity. The American Trucking Associations (ATA) has asked the Court of Appeals in Washington, DC to overturn the changes the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has suggested, but the court has not yet made a decision.