Transportation News

2018 Outlook: Rates up, capacity tight—time to get smarter

As we have since 2005, we charge into the New Year with our annual “Rate Outlook” cover story and corresponding Webcast where we round up the top analysts in each mode—trucking, air, ocean, rail/intermodal, parcel—to offer the most comprehensive snapshot available of what shippers can expect…

The 2018 edition marks the 8th year that executive editor Patrick Burnson has been our master of ceremonies for both of these offerings. Yet again, Burnson has neatly summarized our panel’s forecasts and will moderate a more detailed discussion with these keen minds in our “2018 Rate Outlook” Webcast on Thursday, Jan. 25, in what is—by far—our best-attended webcast of the year.

So, what can shippers expect to face this year? “The over-arching theme is pretty straightforward,” says Burnson. “The steadily expanding global and domestic economies will be pushing rates up across every mode, while capacity will become even more constrained. It’s as simple as that.”

And according to Burnson’s report, the underlying advice from our analysts is just as simple: Rates aren’t coming down any time soon and capacity isn’t going to magically appear. So, shippers need to get smarter about how they’re managing their current carrier relationships; how they’re optimizing routes and capacity; and they need to start putting data to work to plan in advance of any predictable disruptions—be it seasonable peaks or inclement weather.

“The bottom line is that you can no longer drag your feet in making the digital transformation to get more productivity out of your freight transportation,” Burnson adds.

What’s reassuring to any reluctant shipper is that most of the tools you need to meet today’s new challenges already exist and can be put to work almost immediately. For example, if you’re not yet up and running on a TMS, there are now many low-cost, Cloud-based options you can access at this very moment.

Contributing technology editor Bridget McCrea does a terrific job of rounding up the current collection of on-demand TMS solutions available (page 32) from both established vendors and start-ups to match your annual transportation spend, capacity needs and investment level.

“Small- to mid-sized shippers were the fastest adopters over 2017 and that’s hardly surprising,” says McCrea. “The software community has responded quickly to the current freight environment, and these new Cloud solutions are not only easy to implement and relevant to today’s needs, but are cheaper than ever.”

Is this approaching working? According to recent Gartner research, vendors are seeing thousands of new users signing up and sticking around. “And because these new shippers are introducing their own carriers into these networks, they also represent new levels of transactional volume,” adds McCrea. “In turn, they’re quickly saving money and making efficient use of available capacity that they didn’t know existed.”

I’m not one for making resolutions, but I suggest two quick things to get your New Year started off right. First, read our “2018 Rate Outlook” and attend the Webcast on Jan. 25. You’ll also be able to submit questions to the top-notch collection of analysts in real time and get straight talk on the challenging rate and capacity environment that awaits us in 2018.

Then give the “State of TMS” piece a close read and dig into new low-cost solutions. By finally making the TMS leap, your operation just may benefit faster than you imagined—especially on the cost and capacity front.

These simple steps can help to kick start your digital 


Article Topics
Gartner   All topics


Comments
You must be logged in to post a comment. Login.

About the Author
Michael Levans, Group Editorial Director
Michael Levans is Group Editorial Director of Peerless Media’s Supply Chain Group of publications and websites including Logistics Management, Supply Chain Management Review, Modern Materials Handling, and Material Handling Product News. He’s a 23-year publishing veteran who started out at the Pittsburgh Press as a business reporter and has spent the last 17 years in the business-to-business press. He’s been covering the logistics and supply chain markets for the past seven years. You can reach him at [email protected]
 
Latest Transportation News
Transportation Predictions That Will Shake-Up the Supply Chain Industry In 2018
Dan Clark, Founder and President of Kuebix, gives his annual vision of what he sees happening in the transportation and supply chain industry including; tax reforms, decreased capacity, higher rates, and…

Home Depot Considers Buying $9 Billion XPO Logistics So Amazon Doesn’t
If Home Depot were to make an offer, one main impetus would be to keep XPO out of the hands of Amazon, which the home improvement retailer believes has also considered buying the logistics company, according…

CSX Provides Surface Transportation Board with Update on Precision Scheduled Railroading Progress
In a letter to leadership at the United States Surface Transportation Board, CSX CEO James Foote outlined the progress the Jacksonville, Fla.-based Class I freight railroad carrier has made in its ongoing…

The Five Ways 3PLs Can Retain Their Employees
Creating a positive work environment can help your 3PL improve its operational performance.


 

24|7 Pro Team

The 24|7 Team is your direct pipeline to solutions for your business challenges. It's your opportunity to have supply chain and logistics experts look at your specific challenges and needs, and give you free, no-obligation advice, solutions, and information.

The 24|7 Team will simplify the task of creating a database of likely partners, building your knowledge base, and preparing your Request for Proposal list.

1
  Choose a topic for your RFP

Transportation RFP/RFI

The Transportation RFP is your direct pipeline to solutions for your transportation challenges. It's your opportunity to have logistics experts look at your specific transportation challenges and needs, and give you free, no-obligation advice, solutions, and information specific to your request.

Choosing the perfect software or system can be an indomitable challenge. Using this transportation/TMS RFP will simplify the task of creating a database of likely partners, building your knowledge base, and preparing your Request for Proposal list.

Warehouse/DC Management RFP/RFI

The Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) RFP is your direct pipeline to solutions for your WMS challenges. It's your opportunity to have logistics experts look at your specific WMS challenges and needs, and give you free, no-obligation advice, solutions, and information specific to your request.

Choosing the perfect WMS solution can be an indomitable challenge. Using this WMS RFP will simplify the task of creating a database of likely partners, building your knowledge base, and preparing your WMS Request for Proposal list.

Supply Chain RFP/RFI

The Supply Chain RFP is your opportunity to have logistics experts look at your specific challenges and needs, and receive free, no-obligation advice, solutions, and information. It simplifies finding a pool of likely partners, building your knowledge base, and preparing your Request for Proposal list. The companies in the Logistics Planner have agreed to respond to your request for in-depth information and follow-up, and your request is totally confidential.

Software/Technology RFP/RFI

The Software/Technology is your direct pipeline to solutions for your logistics information technology challenges. It's your opportunity to have logistics experts look at your specific technology challenges and needs, and give you free, no-obligation advice, solutions, and information specific to your request. Whether it's WMS, TMS, Mobile or Cloud, our pros can help.

The companies listed below have agreed to respond to your request for in-depth information and follow-up. Your request is totally confidential.

Executive Education RFI

The Logistics and Supply Chain Education RFI can help you identify the schools, coursework, continuing education, distance learning and certification opportunities available from leading logistics educational institutions.

Upgrade and improve your logistics and supply chain skillsets. Whatever route you choose—advanced degree, executive education, certification or distance learning—the time and money you invest in your education today can pay off in continued career success tomorrow. Contact leading universities and professional institutions for the information you need to prepare for the future.

Third Party Logistics RFP/RFI

This 3PL Request for Proposal (RFP)/Request for Information (RFI) can help you find the 3PL and 4PL providers that can meet your specific 3PL service challenges and needs. The 3PL companies below will provide free, no-obligation third-party logistics advice, solutions, and information.

Ask your 3PL questions, you'll get answers. Simply complete the information, and detail your 3PL challenges. Then, check off the third-party logistics companies that you want to review your request.

1. Choose an RFI topic.
2. Enter your contact information and challenge.
3. Select companies and optional categories.
4. Submit.


2

Your Information



Your Challenge, Problem or Request *

3

Select Transportation Companies

  • Select All

  • 3Gtms
  • BluJay Solutions
  • CSX Trans. Intermodal
  • Kuebix
  • Landstar
  • Legacy Supply Chain Svs.
  • One Network
  • Pitt Ohio
  • Purolator
  • Quintiq
  • SEKO Logistics
  • SMC3


Select Relevent Categories

  • Air Freight
  • Intermodal
  • Motor Freight
  • Ocean Freight
  • Rail Freight
  • TMS

Select Warehouse/DC Management Companies

  • Select All

  • 3PL Central
  • Apex Supply Chain Tech.
  • Honeywell Intelligrated
  • Kuebix
  • Legacy Supply Chain Svs.
  • Swisslog
  • Westfalia Technologies
  • Zebra Technologies


Select Relevent Categories

  • Auto ID & Data Capture
  • Automation
  • Conveyors & Sortation
  • Lift Trucks
  • Packaging & Labeling
  • Pallets & Containers
  • Shelving & Racking
  • WMS

Select Supply Chain Companies

  • Select All

  • 3Gtms
  • 3PL Central
  • Amber Road
  • Apex Supply Chain Tech.
  • APICS
  • BluJay Solutions
  • CSX Trans. Intermodal
  • Frontier Business
  • Kuebix
  • Legacy Supply Chain Svs.
  • Logility
  • One Network
  • Purolator
  • Quintiq
  • SMC3
  • Synchrono
  • TAKE Supply Chain
  • Westfalia Technologies
  • Zebra Technologies


Select Relevent Categories

  • Global Trade
  • Inventory Management
  • Risk Management
  • Sustainability

Select Software/Technology Companies

  • Select All

  • 3GTMS
  • 3PL Central
  • Apex Supply Chain Tech.
  • BluJay Solutions
  • Honeywell Intelligrated
  • Frontier Business
  • Kuebix
  • Logility
  • One Network
  • Quintiq
  • SMC3
  • Swisslog Logistics
  • Synchrono
  • TAKE Supply Chain
  • Zebra Technologies


Select Relevent Categories

  • ERP
  • Sales & Operations
  • Sourcing/Procurement
  • Optimization
  • Transportation Mgmt
  • Warehouse Mgmt

Select Executive Education Choices

  • Select All

  • Graduate Courses
  • Online/Distance
  • Executive Education
  • Certifications
  • Undergraduate
  • Seminars
  • Associations
  • Conferences
  • Tradeshows


Select Third Party Logistics Companies

  • Select All

  • 3PL Central
  • Landstar
  • Legacy Supply Chain Svs.
  • Purolator
  • SEKO Logistics
  • Westfalia Technologies


4
 

24|7 Company Profiles