More Shippers Turn to Transloading to Streamline Supply Chain
NEWARK, N.J., Sept. 20 /PRNewswire/ — Retailers and manufacturers anxious to reduce costs, lower their risk and get goods into the right place at the right time are making key operational changes in their supply chains to remain lean and flexible. Industry experts report an increase in a tool known as transloading on the West Coast over direct shipping to the Midwest via intermodal rail, according to the cover story in this week’s edition of The Journal of Commerce.
By repacking inbound container shipments into larger domestic containers, shippers save on inland transportation costs and gain more inventory flexibility. Various goods can be combined in a shipment to one store, and decisions on where goods should end up can be made later in the distribution chain. The tactic adds some handling costs and complexity at the front end when imports arrive, but more companies are saying the trade-off works because they end shipping fewer containers inland, and the ability to postpone destination decisions is important in the fragile economy.
There is a troubling trade-off for U.S. exporters, however, because the practice leaves fewer ocean containers available at inland distribution points, exacerbating a shortage of equipment for agriculture and light manufacturer companies looking to send goods abroad.
The Intermodal Association of North America estimates 29 percent of U.S. import shipments were transloaded into 53-foot containers last year, up to 30.2 percent in the first half of 2010. Carriers — who often end up responsible for the repositioning costs — are encouraging the shift by lowering ocean rates from Asia to the West Coast.
Stronger growth of the method, The Journal of Commerce reports in this week’s Cover Story, will depend on strategic management of equipment to avoid costly container repositioning, increase of customers with a year-round commitment to transloading and generating two-way traffic to balance the flow of equipment.
To view daily news visit www.joc.com. For all media enquires, including article reprints, please contact Editorial Director Paul Page.
Since 1827, The Journal of Commerce has been the most trusted source of intelligence for international logistics executives to help them plan global supply chains and better manage day-to-day transportation of goods and commodities in the United States and internationally.
To become a member of The Journal of Commerce click here. JOC members have access to our weekly print and digital magazine and Web site, as well as a 10% discount on all JOC events and trade shows, UBM Global Trade Directories and select PIERS products. Authoritative editorial content in the form of daily news, weekly analysis and regular features ensure our members have the information and data necessary to understand the issues facing trucking, rail and maritime transportation. Members enjoy access to “By the Numbers,” an exclusive weekly compilation of key industry statistics that provides detailed views of current market trends across all modes. Regular market intelligence reports — utilizing PIERS trade data — include Top 100 Imports and Exporters, quarterly Top 40 Container lines, Trans-Pacific and Trans-Atlantic Maritime Forecasts and Top Container Ports and Terminals. Market-sector supplements, including Breakbulk, Cool Cargoes, 3PL, JOC Guide to Trucking and others, ensure all modes are comprehensively covered.
About UBM Global Trade – UBM Global Trade is the leading provider of proprietary data, news, business intelligence and analytical content supporting commercial maritime, rail, trucking, warehousing and logistics industries worldwide. The company’s portfolio of more than 100 online, print and interactive workflow business solutions includes The Journal of Commerce, Breakbulk, RailResource, PIERS Global Intelligence Solutions and an array of international trade and transportation databases and directories. UBM Global Trade, a subsidiary of United Business Media Limited, is headquartered in Newark, NJ, with offices throughout the United States. For more information, explore www.ubmglobaltrade.com or call 800-223-0243 (+1-973-848-7250 outside the U.S. or Canada).
SOURCE The Journal of Commerce