Follow us on Twitter!
Blog Header Logo
DG&A's Transportation Consulting Blog
Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in 2014 freight volumes

As the year 2013 winds down, it is time to reflect on the major transportation trends of the past year.  While I saw and read about a wide range of developments, these are the ones that resonated most with me.

1.Technology Comes to Freight Transportation

Last year I predicted that we would see a flurry of new technologies come to freight transportation.  They did and I wrote about some of these new companies on several occasions during the year.  Technology was successfully applied to the freight brokerage business, freight portals, LTL density calculations and to other segments of the industry., PostBidShip, Freightopolis, QuoteMyTruckload,  and Freightsnap were featured in various blogs during the year.  They are changing the way business is done in freight transportation.  Watch for more of these companies to surface in 2014.

2013 has been called the Year of the Network by numerous supply chain and transportation industry thought leaders.  Companies that built a successful supply chain trading partner network focused on three elements:

Connectivity— unite disparate systems and trading partners

Hits: 11941
Continue reading 0 Comments

At the end of each year, I like to take stock of the major freight transportation stories of the past twelve months and look ahead to the trends that will drive the industry in the coming year.  The two blogs that I write are prepared from my perspective as a consultant to shippers and carriers.

This year I would like to hear from you.  Those of you who follow this blog observe trends in your segment of the industry.  Please take a minute to share them with me.  Please post them on this blog or send a private e mail to

Please feel free to select any major trend or trends that are having or will have a major impact on our industry, whether regulatory, economic, technological, demographic, consumer behavior, environmental, modal shifts or business strategy.

To broaden the range of inputs and perspectives, I will also post this request on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.  In the coming weeks I will be preparing my two lists.  The lists will include a blend of my observations and yours.  Look for these two blogs in mid-December.  Thank you to those of you who take the time to share your observations with me.


Hits: 22810
Continue reading 0 Comments

One of the highlights of this year’s Surface Transportation Summit was the impassioned plea from Jacquie Meyers, President of Meyers Transportation Services, for shippers and carriers to collaborate.  This is not a new message.  In fact, it is a message I have heard many times over the past ten years.  The difference was the sincerity with which Jacquie communicated her message, the rationale for the message, the unique issues the transportation industry faces as we enter 2014 and the way her message resonated with the audience.  I have had the opportunity to read all of the completed post-Summit surveys that we received this year.  Jacquie was repeatedly singled out as one of the most important voices at the event. 

Trucking companies are not commodities

As we know, the pendulum swings back and forth over time between shippers and carriers.  When the economy is weak, shippers can play one carrier off against another as leverage to reduce rates.  When the economy is strong and capacity is tight, carriers hold the upper hand and can push through rate increases. 

One of the key messages that Jacquie made is that in recent years, shippers have tended to commoditize carriers.  The many shippers that have flooded the market with RFPs have tended to focus on price.  As several Summit speakers pointed out, some shippers send their RFPs to forty or fifty or more carriers.  Jacquie and others expressed the view that shippers often don’t take into consideration the range in quality from one carrier to another.  Quality is reflected in superior on-time service performance, superior customer service, late model equipment, strong safety records, excellent shipment tracking tools and low damage claims. 

This is a critical issue that seems to be ignored by some shippers.  Since a supply chain is only as strong as its weakest link, the use of low priced carriers can result in customer dissatisfaction and lost sales. 

Hits: 11407
Continue reading 0 Comments

Last week the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals released its 24th annual State of Logistics Report. Last year, business logistics costs were once again 8.5 percent of U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the same level they hit in 2011, the new report says. That means freight logistics was growing at about the same rate as the GDP. Inventory carrying costs and transportation costs rose "quite modestly" in 2012, said the report's author Rosalyn Wilson. Year-over-year, inventory carrying costs (interest, taxes/obsolescence/depreciation/insurance, and warehousing) increased 4% y/y as inventory levels climbed to a new peak. Meanwhile, transportation costs were up 3% y/y predominantly from an increase of 2.9% in overall truck transportation costs.

This "new normal" is characterized by slow growth (GDP growth of 2.5% to 4.0%), higher unemployment, slower job creation (which will primarily be filled by part-time workers due to higher healthcare costs), increased productivity of the current workforce from investment in machinery/technology (and not human capital), and a less reliable or predictable freight service (as volumes rise but capacity does not increase fast enough to meet demand). Wilson noted that slow growth and lackluster job creation has caused the global economy to wallow in mixed levels of recovery. "This month will mark the fourth year of recovery after the Great Recession, and you're probably thinking that here has not been much to celebrate," said Wilson. "Is it time to ask, 'Is this the new normal?'"

For logisticians, the "new normal" means less predictable and less reliable freight services as volumes rise but capacity does not. In areas such as ocean transport, Wilson said, this can mean slower transit times. "I do believe the economy and logistics sector will slowly regain sustainable momentum, but that we'll still experience unevenness in growth rates," Wilson predicted.

For cutting-edge logistics managers, however, the current environment also means great opportunities to secure increasingly tight capacity in an era of shrewd rate bargaining. This is partly because the trucking industry, in particular, is facing a lid on capacity because of higher qualifications for drivers while top carriers are becoming increasingly selective in their choice of customers and in the allocation of their assets.

"Truck capacity is still walking a fine line—few shortages, but industry-high utilization rates," Wilson explained. Truckload capacity continues to remain stagnant (with the majority of new equipment orders for replacement or dedicated fleets and the copious amount of truckload capacity sapping regulations coming down the pipeline) and the assumption that freight demand will continue to modestly increase (as the economy continues to muddle along at low single digit GDP growth in combination with population growth), a less predictable and less reliable freight market is developing (as described in the "new normal").

Hits: 14257
Continue reading 0 Comments

Most Recent Posts


Tag Cloud

driverless hiring process tanker cars coaching broker bonds UP IANA Training freight payment Shipper Rate per Mile shipper-carrier contracts CN Rail FCPC Associates Sales Training Horizontal Supply Chain Collaboration trade Failure Tracy Matura Canadian truckers home delivery Leadership FuelQuest ELD Spanx financial management FCA Ferromex transportation news CSA scores CSX bulk shipping Entrepreneur Conway Blogging NMFC Retail transportation Global Transportation Hub Stephen Harper Trade Vision LTL 2012 Transportation Business Strategies. Jugaad online shopping shipping wine Driving for Profit economic forecasts for 2012 capacity shortage Dedicated Contract Carriage freight agreements NS Climate Change MPG Packaging Career Advice Transportation service Dedicated Trucking Colilers International Doug Davis Warehousing truck driver Blockchain dynamic pricing New York Times Amazon Transplace 3PL technology shipping freight bid Toronto Loblaw Load Boards BlueGrace Logistics freight transportation USA Truck Education Otto driver shortages Comey Surety bond Business Strategy Distribution Freight Recession fuel surcharge Whole Foods Load broker TransForce Masters in Logistics Inbound Transportation cheap oil Training New Hires Sales Management derailments Trucking Adrian Gonzalez Fire Phone Success 2014 freight volumes Freight Carriers Association of Canada Facebook CRM Celadon Canada U.S. trade routing guide Social Media buying trucking companies Microsoft Trump Doug Nix Right Shoring capacity shortages Canada-U.S. trade agreement YRC CP Rail FMS CSA Canadian Transportation & Logistics Crude Oil by Rail dimensional pricing rail safety mentoring Software Advice 3PLTL economy consumer centric Twitter Canada's global strategy Werner e-commerce US Manufacturing Freight Rates Freight Management Management business start-up network optimization shipper-carrier collaboration BNSF US Housing Market David Tuttle peak season Transportation trucking company acquisitions supply chain management 2014 economic forecast Rotman School of Business APL Transloading CN Life Lessons Global experience EBOR Reshoring robotics drones MBA transportation audit US Economy broker security JB Hunt risk management freight transportation in 2011 Broker Transport Capital Partners (TCP) Business Transformation Strategy Freight Canadian freight market freight forwarders Finance and Transportation Search engine optimization Consulting CITA Shipper Pulse Survey Regina Infrastructure small business Canada Emergent Strategy Freight Shuttle System Outsourcing Sales selling trucking companies US Election carrier conference home delibery Harper Davos speech Cleveland Cavaliers RFP Swift Success failure entrepreneur Yield Improvement Grocery 2013 Economic Forecast Rail President Obama Omni Channel Freight Capacity FMCSA Job satisfaction Scott Monty University of Tennessee Social Media in Transportation LinkedIn last mile delivery Wal-Mart Transcom Fleet Leasing Canadian economy freight rate increases ShipMax 360ideaspace ProMiles Carriers natural disasters Map-21 employee termination freight broker future of freight industry shipper-carrier roundtable Retail Transportation Buying Trends Survey Business skills marketing 2015 Economic Forecast Deferred Packaging Freight contracts Keystone Pipeline driver Hudsons Bay Company US Auto Sales Dan Goodwill LCV's professional drivers Crisis management 2014 freight forecast Donald Trump truck drivers NCC Truckload Driver Shortage solutions provider freight RFP freight cost savings the future of transportation Bobby Harris Schneider Logistics TMP Worldwide freight costs TMS NAFTA transportation newspaper autonomous vehicles Derek Singleton freight audit Freight Matching KCS customer engagement $75000 bond freight payment freight audit Politics energy efficiency intermodal Muhammad Ali freight transportation conference Sales Railway Association of Canada automation pipelines Accessorial Charges

Blog Archives