Forecasting, Overcapacity Lead Transportation Industry Concerns for 2011

Forecasting concerns and overall economic uncertainty are tempering the recovery optimism of transportation executives across the supply chain, reports The Journal of Commerce in its Annual Review and Outlook, a comprehensive examination of 2010 and the year ahead. The cautious approach will prompt transportation carriers to keep capacity growth to a minimum, leaving retailers and manufacturers facing higher shipping costs as they seek space to move their goods.

“We think all providers of transportation will again be closely managing capacity in 2011,” says George Macko, United States Gypsum.

The attention to space is most prominent in the ocean container shipping world but stretches across the distribution chain, The Journal of Commerce reported.

“Capacity management will figure prominently in shipping operations in 2011 as container ship operators, trucking companies and others try to get the right capacity to the right place at the right time – at the right rate,” says Paul Page, JOC editorial director.

The annual JOC special — including commentary from nearly 200 executives from major maritime, rail, trucking and air carriers as well as retailers and manufacturers that buy shipping services — suggests that while difficult lessons learned in the downturn have radically reshaped operating strategies in positive ways, uncertainty about economic stability has not abated. As the industry becomes more volatile, it is creating a more urgent need for accurate forecasts while increasing the elusiveness of precise predictions.

“Living with uncertainty is becoming a reality the industry is gradually adjusting to, and this will be central to business strategies in 2011,” says Peter Tirschwell, senior vice president for strategy, UBM Global Trade.

The Annual Review and Outlook Webcast Series will provide opportunity for dialogue on these topics beginning Jan. 13. To register for any/all of these webcasts, visit: http://www.joc.com/webcasts.

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