Logistics Industry Update: October 2014 in Review
Rushing headlong into the new month - not to mention the busy holiday season! - it's easy to miss the forest for the trees. If you're in the business, we have your birds-eye view of the last month of news in and around the logistics industry. Here are some of the headlines that you may have missed last month:
- Ongoing delays and labor disagreements at the Port of Los Angeles - the country's busiest - threaten to affect availability of key products during peak season, despite planners anticipating a record-breaking shopping season.
- Triple play success for U.S. railroads, as stats continue to show increases across the board, for the week, month, and year-to-date. October typified this trend, with rail freight loads up 4.4% on October 2013 and the average weekly carload rate of 301,583 marking only the third time U.S. tracks have broken the 300K level in the past six years.
- UPS and Fed Ex announced average rate increases of 4.9% for 2015. Combined with the move to dimensional weight pricing, it's time to take stock of shipping costs and adjust operations accordingly.
- The transportation and warehousing sector added 13,300 new positions in October, following the wider economic climate in slow but steady job growth as the U.S. unemployment nudged down to 5.8%.
- New York governor Andrew Cuomo's plan to divert JFK's airfreight to an upstate airfield has experts cringing. Despite the potential of Stewart International as an effective distribution hub, industry analysts say the combination passenger and freight aircraft that serve JFK mean the initiative is unworkable. The change could affect as many as 600 air freight forwarding companies who currently conduct operations through Kennedy.
- Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer continued her call for critical transportation infrastructure funding, not only for threatened programs like the Highway Trust Fund, but longer term initiatives required to maintain and improve America's aging transport routes.