We are coming through a slower than expected first half of the year with a great deal of uncertainty about what the next quarter will bring. Earlier this month, the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals released its 24th annual State of Logistics Report in which author Rosalyn Wilson described the “new normal” as characterized by slow growth with GDP at 4% or less; higher unemployment than usual during economic recovery; slower job creation; increased productivity of the current workforce from investment in machinery/technology; and less reliable or predictable freight services. Economic experts looking beyond 2013 are calling 2010-2020 the “Low Growth Decade.”
For supply chain managers, the main challenge of a Low Growth Decade will be twofold: Walking the tightrope between meeting customer demands for service and government demands for compliance while staying true to company edicts on cost control; and securing capacity in less predictable freight markets with less reliable freight service providers as volumes rise, but capacity does not.
Clearly, it’s a time that calls for the most innovative of supply chain strategies put into effect by the most informed of supply chain managers.
We are hoping to be of some help in that regard with our next Surface Transportation Summit, which we put on in partnership with Dan Goodwill & Associates. The all-day event, scheduled for Oct. 16 at a new venue, The Mississauga Convention Centre, will bring together carrier, shipper and industry supplier executives to discuss the industry’s most pressing issues and share insights on how to solve them.
We start off the Summit with an economic forecast provided by one of Canada’s leading economists and look at the implications for shippers and transportation providers as they prepare their 2014 business plans.
Our most popular session from last year’s Summit, The View from the Top, is back, featuring CEO perspectives on major transportation trends. For this track, we assembled a blue chip group of transportation company executives from the LTL, truckload, rail and insurance industries, as well as arranged for insights from a leading global management consultancy.
We round out an information-packed morning with expert panels examining the growth potential of dedicated transportation and intermodal services.
Many of North America’s leading shippers have outsourced their private fleet operations to dedicated fleet management companies. Our panel consists of a major shipper and the leader of Canada’s largest dedicated fleet management company. The two parties will outline the keys to a successful implementation and provide an overview of some of the best practices in private fleet management.
Intermodal operations are enjoying similar growth. Still, for many companies, intermodal transportation remains a niche component of their operations with intermodal revenues representing about 3% of the total North American freight spend. Is this about to change and are you making the most effective use of this transportation option? Our panel of experts will dig into those questions.
The afternoon will include several concurrent tracks, including insights on carrier scorecards and compliance management, and the current environment for mergers and acquisition strategies.
We close out the day with one of the hottest topics in transportation today: An in-depth look – from both the shipper and carrier perspective – on running a successful Freight RFP. The market reality is that freight bids or RFPs have become increasingly popular as a mechanism to negotiate freight rates and service. Is this the best way to build trust and dependability? Does the process allow carriers to communicate their value propositions and to secure compensatory rates? What factors should you consider in making a thoughtful decision on your largest supply chain expenses? To answer these questions, we have assembled a panel of two large shippers and two leading carriers. All of the panellists have had extensive experience with freight bids and will share their insights on how to improve the freight procurement process.
But that’s not all. The Summit is designed to be of practical use to both shippers and carriers alike and last year attracted more than 200 transportation and supply chain executives. So it’s sure to present delegates with the ideal business networking opportunity.