T|WO Blogs

  • Posted by Tom Moore on 05/23/2017 - 02:00
    Meet Carol.  Carol, besides sending you this email each week, goes to the grocery store about 3 times a week.  She is typical of shoppers who, for the most part, start in produce, go to the meat section, then onto dairy, and finally to checkout.  Sales in the center of the store of packaged foods and beverages are down 0.4% year over year – but the center store for large more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 05/16/2017 - 02:00
    Many trucking companies’ earnings are being severely hurt by the lower value of their trucks.  As demand declined, used class 8 trucks, which were worth about $60,000 in early 2015, are now worth only $49,000.  This makes carriers “upside down” – i.e. the book value of the trucks is higher than their market price. Unless freight volume ticks up greatly, no recovery is more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 05/09/2017 - 02:00
    One of the big challenges in optimizing the supply chain is the sheer mass of data and the time it takes to come up with a better solution.  For example, rerouting trucks around a traffic jam, without causing congestion somewhere else, takes 45 minutes for a relatively small 10,000 vehicles in a city like Beijing. Help may be on its way – quantum computing, that may be readily more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 05/02/2017 - 02:00
    Anybody who knows me knows that I love riding on trains!  But the time for Amtrak, in any area other than the Northeast where they own their own tracks, is gone.  As a socialist railroad, formed in 1970 when the regulated rail industry was hemorrhaging money, Amtrak has bled red ink for nearly 50 years.  But the more troubling hidden damage is the priority Amtrak more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 04/25/2017 - 02:00
    Humping, the practice of sorting rail cars by allowing them to go downhill and switching each car to the desired track is used in a lot of places. I hate it!  It generates a lot of damage.  In my earlier life, I saw large steel coils being “smooshed” by massive collisions as the hump operator failed to slow the 200,000+ lb cargo.  It turns out that Hunter Harrison, the new more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 04/18/2017 - 02:00
    Judge Robert Lasnick accepted the argument that Uber drivers were contractors and having contractors band together was contrary to antitrust laws as well as against the National Labor Relations Act.  Uber and Lyft didn’t have to hand over their contractors’ names and subject them to a card-check election.  This is good news in the whole country as Teamsters, or any union for that more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 04/11/2017 - 02:00
    While Swift has four times more trucks than Knight, the market has valued them about the same – why? Swift has lots of debt // Knight  has none Swift’s operating ratio is higher than Knight’s They called it a merger but here is the key – Knight’s management will run the new entity… The combined business: 23,000 truck-tractors and 28 more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 04/04/2017 - 02:00
    Two things have made me re-think labor problems: The increasing problem with Opioids The fracking business taking off again   A quick look at the above map tells you the problem.  How can quality work be performed in light of this problem? Fracking is taking off again – and this time it demands even more transportation more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 03/28/2017 - 02:00
    In the last year, prices from Asia to California have increased by 50%.  The biggest container lane, Asia to Europe, has seen rates of $969 vs. $695 in 2016 (+40%) and poor container availability out of Europe going east – in the words of one of our clients – has been “problematic.  It's hard to get boxes.”    Why?  Here are some reasons given more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 03/21/2017 - 01:00
    Major oil producing countries are considering extending their efforts to curtail global petroleum supplies and raise crude prices but Russia is cheating on its commitments to reduce output.  Oil is down again to $48!    Urban Outfitters Inc. Chief Executive Richard Hayne likened the malaise in retail to that of the housing crisis more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 03/14/2017 - 01:00
      Diesel prices will follow slowly   The market didn’t respect all the pundits and it didn’t follow the projections that it would be selling at $70/barrel.  If it had known, the price would have not slid by more than 8% to end today at a little over $48.  Clearly the market has a mind of its own.  Faced with large inventories more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 03/07/2017 - 01:00
    Amazon is developing (or acquiring) technology to schedule and track truck shipments.  It seems they want to play in the $150 Billion market for booking transportation.     BP PLC aims to be able to be profitable with oil at $35 a barrel by 2021 and increase output by 5% each year until 2021 without increasing capital spending beyond the staggering more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 02/28/2017 - 01:00
    Rail efficiency is up and oil expected to be $70   At Warren Buffet’s railroad BNSF, over the past 2 years, revenues are down 14% while profits are only down 7% suggesting better margins and increased productivity.  Warren claims "price comparisons between major railroads are far more difficult to make because of significant differences in both their mix more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 02/22/2017 - 01:00
    DB Schenker took a $25 Million stake in the online freight booking platform uShip which has been around for more than 10 yrs.  The real question is which platform will become dominant – there are quite a few all fighting for the same shippers and carriers.  Here are some of the deals that have taken place recently: United Parcel Service Inc. bought Coyote more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 02/14/2017 - 01:00
    Justifying a WMS software upgrade is pretty tough!   Watching who upgrades their WMS, I can say “don’t do it for productivity gains.”  It is one thing to have code that is old and another to have to buy hardware on e-bay or from antique shops, but upgrading because of operational savings should be viewed with distain.  Simply put, new WMS’s don’t seem to more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 02/07/2017 - 01:00
    Amazon may not impact trucking much, but will hurt UPS and FedEx.   Amazon is starting to impact airfreight but make only small inroads to ground truckload transportation.  It has already bought 4000 trailers – suggesting it is tendering 1-2000 loads per day…not earth shattering.  Airfreight is a different story – Amazon has chosen Cincinnati airport to be its air hub… more
  • Posted by Tom Moore on 01/31/2017 - 01:00
    Some CSX directors met with Hunter Harrison over the weekend to discuss him ascending to CEO.  Recall Hunter has made 3 railroads (ICG, CP, and CN) more efficient over his career.  CSX would make it 4.  This could be good news for both shippers and CSX shareholders.     We have seen a lot of inquiries about dock scheduling lately…. so we made a more
  • Posted by admin on 01/23/2017 - 20:21
    CSX stock jumped more than 20% last week as Hunter Harrison announced that he, with some help from Wall Street funds, was attempting to force change at CSX. Harrison, who walked away from $89 million at Canadian Pacific Railroad, has a history of implementing high train scheduling that drives efficiency and cost cutting.  (We are big supporters of tight scheduling especially in warehouses more
  • Posted by admin on 07/09/2015 - 14:46
    While there will be a lot of fighting about the highway trust fund – a fund that is projected to go bankrupt next year as politicians use it to bankroll mass transit systems and other non-highway projects – unfortunately, there has been little talk about funding urgently-needed work on domestic waterways. In the US, $216 Billion of commodities like agricultural products, coal, oil, more