Shipper Strategy: Factors That Will Influence 2017 Transportation Management

Posted by PLS Logistics October 20, 2016 at 8:20 AM

By 2017, the US population is expected to rise to 332 million, a 70% increase from fifty years ago. Population growth in cities is placing a strain on existing transportation systems and creating demand for more transportation choices. Industries and consumers depend on the consistent, timely flow of goods and services. The mounting volume and availability of information and the rapid development and adoption of technologies is transforming all aspects of life – including transportation.

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Will Cuba be the Next Major Transportation Hub?

Posted by PLS Logistics October 18, 2016 at 9:50 AM

For cargo shipping, focus is on the Cuban port, Container Terminal Mariel (TC Mariel) which opened in January 2014. The Obama Administration has made it easier for container services to add Cuba as a port of call since they’ve reopened embassies and ended a 54-year diplomatic standstill with the country. In May 2016, the first US cruise ship docked in Cuba since 1978 - opening the door to more travel and business with Cuba, but there are still limitations on trade in goods and services - the US trade embargo is still in place.

The US Office of Foreign Assets Control broadened allowances for US vessels carrying certain agricultural or otherwise approved cargoes, extending them to non-US vessels. “Cuba does have the potential to act as a transshipment hub for US cargo, in a similar way to how Freeport, Bahamas does now,” said Drewry.

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3 Technology Applications to Advance Your Supply Chain

Posted by PLS Logistics October 12, 2016 at 2:05 PM

The fast e-commerce environment, which is increasing competition, and the initiative to use data to analyze trends and operational efficiency are contributing to the demand for hi-tech logistics solutions. Technology is the key driver to an organization’s supply chain efficiency and success. Shippers are familiar with transportation management software (TMS) systems that give them a competitive edge. New tools like mobile apps, cloud-based software and big data provide shippers immediate, enhanced visibility that breaks silos and generates communication, collaboration and efficiency.

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Reviewing 2016’s Intermodal Predictions & Anticipating 2017

Posted by PLS Logistics October 11, 2016 at 10:05 AM

Intermodal transportation is a hybrid system that relies on an interchangeable relationship among truck, rail and barge. Intermodal transport is a reliable mode, providing standardized transit schedules, low costs and easy access to equipment.

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How to Use a TMS to Manage Inbound Transportation (And Gain Visibility)

Posted by PLS Logistics October 6, 2016 at 7:50 AM

Inbound freight management is multifaceted and can eat up more than 40% of the average organization’s annual freight budget, according to Aberdeen Group. Since inbound freight savings have a direct impact on an organization’s bottom line, shippers that make it a supply chain priority reap inventory efficiencies, cost containment and enhanced productivity and service.

Companies expect to receive about 34,000 inbound shipments every month, so even decidedly successful inbound freight shippers are likely to encounter glitches. 35% of shippers claim that lack of visibility is one of the biggest challenges of inbound transportation, while 37% say determining hidden costs, and 25% say data analysis and decision support are the greatest challenges. Shippers experiencing challenges with inbound freight management might not be fully leveraging available optimization logic with a transportation management system (TMS).

Download Inbound Freight Cost Management ebook.

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The 3 Most Popular Uses of TMS Technology

Posted by PLS Logistics October 4, 2016 at 4:10 PM

Supply chains are increasingly complex, and companies who leverage technology find competitive rates, enhanced operations, greater flexibility, and cost reductions. Logistics providers continue to work in order to provide added value to their client’s supply chain processes. Successful 3PL relationships include committed and ongoing value through technology -- access to historical and real-time reports can be used to make data-driven decisions that enable lasting results.

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5 Trending Transportation Updates: September 2016

Posted by PLS Logistics September 29, 2016 at 10:30 AM

  • LTL Rates Increase Despite Freight Conditions. Freight companies announced rate increases despite the uncertain freight market. UPS said that the rate increases will support ongoing expansion and capability enhancements. LTL rates are primed for an overall 1.5% increase in 2016, and another 2% increase in 2017. (Read: Transportation Outlook: What if there’s Another Recession?)
  • Fleets Not Increasing Wages. Driver pay increases during Q2 sank to the lowest level in 7 years. The average increase was less than a half-cent per mile, the smallest change since the second half of 2009. National driver pay trends fell flat, but many fleets believe market conditions will improve in the next 12 months. (Source: Transport Topics) Find out the real story behind freight rates and driver pay here

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Differences Between LTL Shipping and TL Shipping

Posted by PLS Logistics September 27, 2016 at 11:05 AM

Deciding the best mode to ship your freight can be complicated. To determine the primary way to move freight, shippers should identify the size of the shipment, the budget, the delivery schedule, and the freight’s fragility.

The 2016 logistics report exposed challenges in over-the-road (OTR) transportation; truckload carriers have extra capacity, most shippers have surplus inventory and consumer spending is low.

Low transportation rates and fuel surcharges are affecting truckload carriers more than LTL companies. As a solution, many truckload carriers are removing old trucks from their fleets to close the overcapacity gap until freight demand picks up. LTL carriers, however, are not experiencing overcapacity and have maintained, and even raised rates. In July 2016, both truckload and LTL carriers added jobs.

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Did Brake Safety Week Create a Rate Surge?

Posted by PLS Logistics September 22, 2016 at 3:00 PM

The week of September 11-17, 2016 was Brake Safety Week, an annual outreach and enforcement campaign designed to improve commercial motor vehicle brake safety.

More than 3.4 million brakes have been inspected since the program’s inception in 1998.

During the 7-day period, law enforcement agencies across North America conduct inspections on large trucks and buses to identify out-of-adjustment brakes, and brake-system and anti-lock braking system violations as part of CVSA’s Brake Safety Week.

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Recent History: International Trade and US Transportation

Posted by PLS Logistics September 20, 2016 at 7:45 AM

Advances in transportation and telecommunications technology have contributed to the growth of international trade. The United States imports and exports more merchandise than any other country making it the world’s largest trading nation. The US trades with nearly 200 countries worldwide. Trade encourages economic efficiency by providing an assortment of goods at lower, competitive costs.

Our nation’s freight transportation system has shaped and been shaped by the increase and change of demands of international trade. The expansion in trade has been accompanied by changes in security, economies and freight modes.

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