Lee Hong Liang has written an interesting article about the call for standards in maritime documentation. To my view, it’s no doubt needed badly, and has been for years. The desires of maritime operators to work as local optimizers has hurt their presence in supply chains, which are the ultimate cooperative enterprise. That won’t do any more, especially with supply chains themselves changing so fast in the light of trade wars and operating location changes.
Devolution of supply chains is occurring, if I can borrow a word from the port governance literature. Now they are more focused on insuring end to end performance rather than perpetuating themselves to get ‘volume’. There are too many external factors driving changes. Trump’s trade wars are just the ultimate hyper-push to this trend.
Apparently INTTRA has been purchased by another firm, so it remains to be seen how much impact this will have. But the effort is much appreciated.
via INTTRA urges industry-led standards for containers and logistics
Alex Lennane has written in the Loadstar about the merger or assimilation of six UK diverse logistics firms under one management. Perhaps this is what’s necessary to get firms to work together– a bigger hammer. If they cannot learn to do it on their own, let’s put them together under one management.
However, this approach is fraught with issues. Most mergers do not reach the state of grace they envisioned, because of resistance to change within. And much of the value of a firm is in its people, and their skills at dealing with the countless exceptions that mark any business. Another is the heterogeneity of the businesses– every firm in a merger thinks their way of doing something has to work that way for them. It might not be true, or it might, but even thinking it draws boundaries that can take considerable effort to crack.
We will have to see if this new management structure generates rewards the size the PE firm expects. Of course if they just make something big enough to sell publicly with temporary results, that will be enough for them to make their money and pass the risk on.
via PE firm puts six operators together to form the UK’s largest logistics company – The Loadstar
The Chicago area just can’t seem to get its act together. The result will be delayed cargoes and higher costs for cargo owners. Ian Putzger of the Loadstar gives us the story.
Chicago is unlikely to lose its dominance over this, though if it goes on long enough supply chains will think about shifting. The impact on service delay measures and failure to deliver on time will be quite large. And for more money? Can Kansas City or Memphis do better? How about the East Coast seaports and the Panama Canal?
via Intermodal wrangles just making the pain worse for US shippers using rail – The Loadstar