On Wednesday, July 28, the Senate voted to start working on a national infrastructure plan costing almost $1 trillion. If passed, this bipartisan plan will update infrastructure systems that have needed significant investments for decades.
The bill, as part of President Biden’s agenda, includes an investment of $66 billion in passenger and freight rail, and $40 billion to fix bridges.
This plan would be on par with building the transcontinental railroad or the Interstate highway system and would greatly benefit the transportation industry.
As the world emerges from the coronavirus pandemic, these improvements may lead to a boost in the U.S. economy due to the creation of good-paying jobs across the country and more efficient delivery processes due to improved transportation conditions.
According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, over 42% of U.S. bridges are at least 50 years old. 220,000 or more need repair work, and almost 80,000 need to be replaced as per the American Road & Transportation Builders Association.
The Biden Administration’s infrastructure plan will help fill federal funding gaps, repairing bridges and thousands of miles of highway in the nation that are in poor condition.
For the transportation and shipping industry, this would mean not only a better experience for our employees, but also our customers. Our land transportation services will benefit from improved road conditions, leading to a more seamless experience for the customer. To learn more about our services contact us today.
https://i2.wp.com/pointgl.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/pexels-eli-zaturanski-821679-1.jpg?fit=2048%2C1366&ssl=113662048Point Global Logisticshttps://pointgl.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/POINT_GL_LOGO.pngPoint Global Logistics2021-07-29 21:39:502021-07-29 21:39:50Congress Debates Funding for U.S. Infrastructure
As we reflect on the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, this spring and summer seem like a turning point in recovery as restrictions ease across the world. It’s the perfect time to pause and consider how the world has changed and how it will continue to change.
As a highly specialized freight forwarder, part of our job is to take the hassle out of transportation. Through a year of uncertainty, fear, and change, Point Global Logistics was able to help keep the world moving, even when the pandemic left many industries at a standstill.
We are well-accustomed to dealing with uncertainty, as the freight-forwarding industry is constantly evolving. The shipping cycle is an economic process that determines the cost of shipping, influenced by social, political, and economic factors.
The pandemic has complicated the supply chain and caused shortages of certain products. As the supply chain rebalances, we understand that the effects of the pandemic are still present. We are doing everything we can to make this transition back to normalcy as smooth as possible.
So, what is the shipping cycle, and how does it work?
The Shipping Cycle
The shipping cycle is a concept that explains how shipping and freight-forwarding companies respond to supply and demand. The four stages of the shipping cycle are based on customer demand and are trough, recovery, peak, and collapse.
Trough. The first stage of the shipping cycle begins with an excess capacity. There are plenty of ships ready to transport goods arriving at ports, while others still carrying goods slow down on shipments to save fuel costs. Freight costs start to decrease.
Recovery. The second stage occurs when supply and demand begin to fall into equilibrium and freight charges start to increase. Shipping containers begin to move out of ports as demand increases.
Peak. The third stage happens when shipping freight rates become high. The levels of supply and demand are almost equal at this point. Most of the shipping fleet is in operation.
Collapse. The fourth and final stage is when supply levels begin to exceed demand. Freight rates start to decline, and shipping containers start to line up to ports again.
This cycle thus repeats itself. In an industry where the market is highly variable, Point Global Logistics differentiates itself by offering our clients a level of service previously unseen in the industry. We pride ourselves on providing a seamless integration of supply chain solutions to tackle even the most complex problems. To learn more about our services, click here.
https://pointgl.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/POINT_GL_LOGO.png00Point Global Logisticshttps://pointgl.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/POINT_GL_LOGO.pngPoint Global Logistics2021-06-15 14:56:112021-06-15 14:56:11How the COVID-19 Pandemic Has Affected the Shipping Industry
Logistics, supply chain and transportation are undergoing a sea change. As highlighted in earlier installments of this series, industry and functional executives recognize they are facing a nearly unprecedented barrage of challenges and opportunities. In response, executives are doing all they can to address their most pressing issues. But resources are scarce.
Today’s opportunities require cooperation across the ecosystem at large. As indicated by Forbes Insights research, transportation-focused executives will not only be looking to hire outside providers for a wider array of services, but they will also be seeking closer collaboration with suppliers, customers and even competitors. In short, for logistics, supply chain and transportation, this is the era of external outreach.
So Hard Keeping Up
Amid so many challenges and opportunities, keeping up with it all is becoming increasingly difficult. In fact, 64% of executives surveyed by Forbes Insights say it is becoming increasingly difficult to keep up with changes in technology, demographics and the competitive environment. Similarly, over half, 53%, say they are concerned their competitors may be moving significantly faster, contributing to disruption in terms of capabilities, costs/margins, service provision and similar attributes.
One proven means to more rapidly reap the benefits of any fast-evolving set of technologies or business practices is to engage experienced third parties. Today, only about one-third of companies (33%) say they outsource the majority or a significant portion of their logistics, supply chain and transport operations/needs. But going forward, 61% say they will be relying significantly more on external sources—outsourcers, service, truck leasing and technology providers—to meet their fast-evolving supply chain, transportation and logistics needs.
Technology: Looking For Outside Help
Amid so many advancements on so many fronts—from telematics/IoT to artificial intelligence and safety/self-driving innovations—technology deserves special attention. Some of the most visible needs include access to leading-edge technology, logistics processes (optimization of routes/loads), or even fleet leasing or maintenance.
A particularly intriguing aspect of the research findings is that in terms of both current and future reliance on outsourcing, the figures are remarkably consistent for all firms large and small. What this means, says Mary Long, managing director of the Supply Chain Management Institute at the University of San Diego School of Business, “is that even those companies with greater resources, the largest in their industries, recognize that with such complex and fast-moving technologies, it makes sense to look more to outside providers.”
Technology is, in fact, transforming logistics, supply chain and transportation processes on so many fronts that the choices, development and onboarding paths can seem bewildering. So it’s no wonder 58% of executives are saying that when it comes to pursuing related technology, they plan to rely on or at least heavily lean on external partners. Only one-third (32%) plan to go it alone; a mere 11% say they will not be pursuing new technologies.
Greater Collaboration Across The Ecosystem
Transportation-focused executives in general will be pursuing greater outreach and collaboration across the whole of the value chain—all participants will be working more intimately with intermediate customers, shippers and 3PLs (third-party logistics companies), end customers, technology providers and so on. Certainly, if the goals are greater efficiency, speed and accuracy, it pays to forge closer ties with others with shared interests and needs.
Such expanded collaboration can take many forms. For example, 60% will pursue expanded partnerships with vehicle manufacturers themselves. By speaking with vehicle makers, users of such products are able to more clearly communicate their evolving needs as well as understand upcoming options and improvements. Similarly, OEMs will more actively reach out to end-users and prospects of their products.
Almost three in five, 59%, say they will more aggressively pursue the outsourcing of transportation processes. This includes activities such as fleet leasing and maintenance. Similarly, 57% of executives say they will aggressively pursue greater outsourcing of logistics processes, including warehousing-as-a-service, scheduling, carrier management, etc.
As to the former—transportation processes—the thinking here, says Long, “is that as the technology in the vehicles becomes even more sophisticated, it becomes not only harder to keep up with changes but also to service existing fleets.” Firms will also turn to leasing and related services “as a means of gaining greater flexibility as well as access to the latest technologies and lower capital costs,” she continues. As to the latter—logistics processes—here, companies can gain earlier and deeper access to advances in artificial intelligence, machine learning and related technologies as a means of optimizing routes, loads, costs and other variables.
Finally, in a series of interrelated findings, 60% say they will aggressively pursue closer collaboration with their own suppliers; 57% will collaborate more closely with partners/distributors; 55% will pursue closer collaboration with customers. Focuses will be on issues such as the sharing of more data, with an eye toward greater end-to-end visibility and process improvement.
Expect A Surge In M&A
Also likely, the industry should be poised for a significant uptick in M&A. Consolidation builds breadth and scale, which, when coupled with optimizing technologies like AI, can also lead to greater efficiency, flexibility and margins. Firms may also acquire technology providers in a bid to build greater sophistication. Overall, the Forbes Insights report reveals, nearly three out of five executives, 57%, plan to pursue this ultimate form of external outreach.
No One Can Do It All
Change is all around. Structurally, the industry is looking at new global trade patterns as well as shifting customer expectations. In terms of frontline technologies, executives are seeing all manner of new safety equipment—and soon will need to contend with driverless vehicles and drones. Behind the scenes? Logistics, supply chain and transportation teams are moving as fast as they can to understand and obtain the benefits of technologies such as telematics/IoT, AI and machine learning. It’s a remarkably demanding set of challenges. No wonder industry professionals are seeking outside assistance—it’s a necessity.
https://pointgl.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/POINT_GL_LOGO.png00Point Global Logisticshttps://pointgl.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/POINT_GL_LOGO.pngPoint Global Logistics2019-08-05 17:21:452019-08-05 17:21:45It Takes An Ecosystem: Transportation-Focused Executives Turn To Outside Providers, Customers, Suppliers And Competitors