Oct 30

Don’t limit your logistics risk planning to Hurricanes like Sandy

Watching the damage to the national infrastructure and the transportation of Sandy, maybe a once in a decade monster storm, it is easy to focus your supply chain risk strategy to Mother Nature events.  A  more happy blog post from Greg Reimer of C H Robinson, http://bit.ly/TsKQka, discusses significant sudden demand changes social media may have on the supply chain. Here things that a very large number of people might think as fun or funny, generally something we think as a positive can swamp the supply chain.

In the blog post, Mr. Reimer mentions Psy’s Utube video has  595 million views. With Halloween coming, all of sudden Psy’s trademark Tuxes became Halloween costumes. When Big Bird after one of the debates was mentioned, Big Bird costumes for Halloween shot way up.   Can your product have spikes in demand?  Is planning done in advance to address those demand spikes?

The article listed above shows Psy on the Ellen show and you can see why he is a such a popular entertainer. One can pretty safely predict sometime in the future that something like this will happen future, maybe to the business that employs you!

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Sep 05

The New Midwest Freight Corridor

Between September 23 and 25 up in Winnipeg, the North American Corridor Coalition (NASCO) will be meeting. One of the major topics of the convention is developing a midwest freight corridor from Texas ports to the Midwest.

What is driving this is the expansion of the Panama Canal in 2015.  Lots has been written about how the Panama Canal expansion will affect East Coast ports. But there is an opportunity to significantly increase ocean freight from Panama to the Port of Houston and other Texas ports. By doing so, inland transportation distances can be cut substantially. With fuel costs rising and trucks being scarce, shippers may find a low cost opportunity through Texas and Panama to ship from or to Asia and western Central and South America. Today the inland freight corridors from Texas to the Midwest are not fully developed and circuitous.

The Midwest Freight Corridor provides a chance for grain and heavy machinery users in the Midwest to increase their competitiveness. Walmart choose to bring some product from Asia into Midwest through the Port of Houston a few years back to gain alternatives to the west coast ports. Today, in all probability Walmart is paying a small premium on this freight rather than come through the West Coast, but has instead a more reliable supply chain, which is crucial to their operation.

The standard these days is to work for joint public-private partnerships on the infrastructure of this nature.  Likely to potential to increase employment and growth in an area needing it, will propel this process along. See the process develop will be of great interest. How new is this? There is not a website established for it yet.



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