John McCown, a former shipping company CEO and transport hedge fund executive, debunks the faulty calculations in the Cato Institute’s analysis of the Jones Act as it applies to Puerto Rico.
Most container traffic from the US flows from Jacksonville FL to Puerto Rico. Containers headed to Puerto Rico must be carried in US-flagged hulls, due to the cabotage restrictions of the Jones Act.
It appears Cato Institute researchers’ figures are patently wrong, their methodology is flawed, and they have excluded several factors that would affect the Puerto Rico – US container trade link. Cato researchers came up with an 88% decline in the cost of shipping a container by their flawed technique. But Mr McCown’s spreadsheet says it is more like 10-12%, an amount that is hardly worth junking the Jones Act.
The purpose of the Jones Act is to maintain a capable US maritime segment. It embraces, for instance, container shipping between US ports, US shipbuilding, and US seamen and training, along with the stricter requirements for seamen’s well-being that a US flag puts into effect.
The Cato Institute seems to have aligned itself with some radical allies of the sitting US President. We don’t see why they would be so eager to cook the books on this issue. And we don’t understand why they insist on repeating their false conclusions even when they have been called into question by a serious critic, on fairly easily ascertainable facts.
It seems as though Cato is falling prey to the fake news fad, and won’t shut their collective mug when they are found out. It’s a good way to lose everyone’s respect.
via Commentary: Cato’s Jones Act numbers wrong
This article looking at Flexport now appeared recently under Cathy Morrow Roberson’s byline in The Loadstar. We enjoy hearing about what Flexport is doing now. But the idea that they are changing direction to become more like a 4PL is not the point. That’s where they were always going!! The press and financial folks may have perceived them as a technology play. But all along Ryan Petersen has intended to create a firm that actually helps customers manage their supply chains, by giving them visibility, a certain amount of in-depth analysis, and good service assistance in dealing among supply chain partners, temporary or permanent. I don’t think the vision has changed; just the world’s view of it.
Cathy Morrow Roberson via The Morrow-Roberson road test: Flexport – moving beyond freight forwarding – The Loadstar
July 22, 2019 in entrepreneurship, Logistics, Service Management, Supply Chains
Tagged 3PLs, entrepreneurship, innovation, Logistics, supply chains, technology, trade, transportation
Sam Whelan, Asia correspondent, has written an interesting piece about a new port communication and collaboration system that is revolutionizing how Indian p[orts operate. It’s called PC51x, and it connects port users via secure messaging to exchange paperwork, financial info, and other messages. In trials, it reduced cost and time for interaction drastically.
And it did NOT involve blockchain. In fact, it uses only technology developed years ago and tested severely by those years of practice. It seems that for the user it operates like one of those doctor portals we have all become accustomed to in the US; annoying, but much faster and less annoying than waiting for her to call back (!@?^%$#!). And capable of much faster integration if those communicating have a desire to make it better and faster.
They have announced a portal type interface. This type of function is like what we used to call ‘middleware’, connecting systems with different data specifications and requirements, and letting them work out how to use the data. It makes a lot of sense to me.
I think any port could copy this with a little hard nose bargaining with those it collaborates with. Getting truckers on board might be more difficult without a good look at the systems they use every day. But for many others it makes sense.
But should the port be the driver? I think there is potential for 3PLs to usurp the role for their cargoes. Then we’d have to link in their systems. Hard, but not impractical, and easier than forcing all their shippers to use the port’s message portal. Everyone would benefit. And more players such as banks and customs could participate as well. Better that this should be driven by a lot of smaller players (if ports can be thought of as smaller) than by a national or global standards initiative, especially one from a single source. Let it evolve, I say.
via Online port community system a ‘game-changer’ for India’s shipping industry – The Loadstar
May 30, 2019 in Advanced Computing, Leadership, Logistics, Ports, Shipping, Strategy, Supply Chains
Tagged entrepreneurship, innovation, Logistics, ocean shipping, performance, ports, Shipping, technology, transportation