Logistics and Transportation

You Can't Get There From Here - Spring 2009 - Vol. 21, No. 1 - available PDF file

Residents of major U.S. cities are no stranger to traffic congestion. The Travel Time Index (TTI)--the ratio of travel time in the peak period to the travel time at free-flow conditions--is plotted for the ten most congested metro areas. It’s no surprise which city is ranked number one for travel congestion.

Cruising for a Bruising - Spring 2009 - Vol. 21, No. 1 - available PDF file

Ocean shipping analysts predict that the global shipping industry will barely tread water in 2009 with an “anemic” global dry bulk shipping forecast on the horizon. Find out the reasons behind this “perfect storm” prediction.

Excuse Me...Is That Spot Taken? - Fall 2008-Vol.20, No.2 - available PDF file

Record freight flows of consumer goods are one factor that drives the need for more trailer parking at companies’ mega-distribution centers, and is creating headaches for developers.

The Road to Ruin? - Spring 2008-Vol.20, No.1 - available PDF file

Has the country’s burgeoning highway congestion and deterioration taken a back seat to other internal supply chain problems? This article pinpoints the regional areas whose interstate highways are operating at 90% capacity or higher, and in the top quintile for truck traffic.

Explosion in RFIDs - Spring 2008-Vol.20, No.1 - available PDF file

The market demand for these radio-frequency tracking devices continues to escalate each year, especially as a tool to detect possible weapons of mass destruction in shipping containers entering U.S. seaports. On the flip side, RFID technology poses some frightening risks.

Globalization - Impact on U.S. Ports and Supply Chain - Winter 2007 Vol. 19, No. 1 - available PDF file

This article shows the impact international trade has had on U.S. ports, transportation infrastructures, and industrial real estate trends. It projects that the changes will continue over the next 25 years since Third World countries are able to manufacture goods at prices well below what can be produced domestically.

Getting Blood from a Turnip: The continuing success in reducing logistics costs - Winter 2005 - Vol.16, No.1 - available PDF file

In 2003, U.S. Logistics costs totaled $936 billion, 8.5% of gross domestic product. After hovering around 10% for nearly a decade, logistics cost as a percent of GDP have been on a steady decline since 2001. This abstract explores the difficulties supply chain professionals have in keeping these cost low.

Logistics Network Analysis: Following the Numbers Out the Window – An Easy Fix for a Serious Deficiency - Winter 2005 - Vol.16, No.1 - available PDF file

You’ve seen the analysis published annually identifying the best location for distribution centers if your objective is minimizing distance to every person in the U.S. As an “attention grabber” this research is effective, but it ignores two critical facts: transportation costs are not directly correlated with distance and transportation costs are only one variable of total logistic cost. The Walker Companies have developed a fast, inexpensive method for adding far more analytical power to the traditional network optimization study, which can shave millions of dollars from the logistics budget.

Less than Truckload – More Than Expected: LTL carriers put the pedal to medal in ‘04 - Winter 2005 - Vol.16, No.1 - available PDF file

This article explores the reasons behind the less-than-truckload (LTL) resurgence in 2004. In addition, it provides insight on how the changes in the LTL industry will affect unionized LTL carriers.

Profit Floats, Service S(t)inks - Fall 2004 - Vol.15, No. 4 - available PDF file

As ocean carrier profits rebound, service has deteriorated, according to major importers and exporters. Lately ocean freight companies have gained some measure of profitability, but at a cost in customer loyalty and satisfaction.

RFID – The “Wave” (radio that is) of the Future - Fall 2004 - Vol.15, No. 4 - available PDF file

Radio Frequency Identification, or RFID, is a generic term for technologies that use radio waves for product identification. This article explores the positive and limiting characteristics of this technology, which could dramatically reduce labor costs, improve efficiencies in order selection, inventory counts, shipping and receiving and much more.

The Bigger the Better: Not Yet - Fall 2001-Vol. 11, No.4 - available PDF file

As containerships get bigger, ports have the daunting task of accommodating these giants of the sea. Some ports are ready, but many have a long way to go.

If You Bought It, a Truck Brought It - Fall 2001-Vol. 11, No.4 - available PDF file

Total U.S. logistic expenditures exceeded $1 trillion in 2000 for the first time in history, representing 10% of U.S. Gross Domestic Product. This article includes statistics on logistic costs by category.

A Tale of Ten Cities - Fall 1999-Vol. 9, No. 3 - available PDF file

The ten best locations for a distribution center network that will minimize average distance to the US population base.

Third Lock’s a Charm - Fall 1998-Vol. 9, No. 2 - available PDF file

Growth in international trade is exceeding the Panama Canal’s ability to accommodate the traffic. A theoretical solution to this problem is a third set of locks; however, there are some economic and environmental concerns.

Where Air Cargo? - Spring 1998-Vol.9, No.1 - available PDF file

According to the Air Transport Association the most metric tons handled by an airport in 1996 was the main hub of Federal Express operation—Memphis. The rest of the top ten were Los Angeles, Miami, New York-JFK, Louisville, Anchorage, Chicago-O’Hare, Newark, Atlanta, and Dallas/Ft. Worth.

How Large is the U.S. Logistics Market? - Fall 1997-Vol.8, No.2 - available PDF file

Line-item summary of logistics expenditures in the US, including inventory carrying costs, transportation and administration.

The Better Marriage - Fall 1997-Vol.8, No.2 - available PDF file

An overview of the benefits and problems arising from two railroad mergers: Burlington Northern/ Sante Fe (BNSF) and Union Pacific/ Southern Pacific (UPSP).

Bigger and Faster - Summer 1996-Vol.7, No.3 - request reprint

In January 1996, the Maersk Line introduced a 6,000 TEU (twenty foot equivalent unit) container ship. This bigger vessel may precipitate a new battle among shipping lines to gain a competitive advantage in other parts of the world

Explosion in Containerized Freight - Summer 1996-Vol.7, No.3 - request reprint

Since 1980, TEU (twenty foot equivalent unit) volume in container ships has experienced very heavy growth. The article presents a 30-year comparison of containerized freight volume by region of the world.

Railroad Industry at Crossroads - Spring 1996-Vol. 7, No.2 - request reprint

Railroad mergers lead to more capital improvements, profits, efficiency, and success. However, the Union Pacific/ Southern Pacific marriage has members of the Coalition for Competitive Rail Transportation feeling that UP/SP is in violation of anti-trust law.

Full-Steam Ahead for Intermodal - Fall 1995-Vol.7, No. 1 - request reprint

Sharing more of the market and becoming the preferred mode of transportation, intermodal is starting to steal business from the trucking industry. Data are presented showing intermodal market share over time and level of satisfaction versus truck transport.

Repositioning the Costs - Spring 1995-Vol.6, No.3 - request reprint

Ocean freight carriers find they are spending billions on repositioning empty containers. The introduction of the “Gray Box” concept, the free interchange of all containers among carriers, has produced mixed results and lower transportation costs.

Railroads and Intermodal Getting on the Right Track - Spring 1995-Vol.6, No.3 - request reprint

After much criticism, Conrail developed ACCESS, which is a PC-based tracking tool that allows shippers to monitor the movements of a product. This system significantly reduces costs through better efficiency and the elimination of repetitive activities.

Atlanta Joins Memphis as a Distribution Hub: Some Surprises Among the Ten Top Cities for Distribution Centers - Fall 1990-Vol.2, No.3 - request reprint

In the Southeast, Atlanta joins Memphis as a leader in distribution. Actually, the South Atlantic holds 22% of all distribution centers in the U.S.

Twin 34’ Versus 48’ - Spring 1990-Vol.2, No.1 - request reprint

Comparison of operating costs for twin 34 foot trailers versus a single 48 foot trailer.