I have previously mentioned in these posts how the cold and inclement weather across the US has disrupted transportation and impeded commerce and production. Well, on a more personal note, my computer froze this morning, and I found it incredibly ironic. I have truely had it with this winter. And I don’t want to hear another word about climate change or global warming until the snow in my neighborhood melts. Ok, enough about my discontent…..In this week’s news:
- Agency, states waive hours rules for fuel haulers, some food and relief load haulers
- Container shipping keeps a close watch over Crimea crisis
- FreightWatch: Cargo theft numbers in 2013 hit all-time high again, threat of theft grows
- GM Offers Fleets Insights on the Road
- Descartes Reports Fiscal 2014 Fourth Quarter and Annual Financial Results
- The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc. Announces New Ecommerce Fulfillment Center In The Columbus, Ohio Region
Due to the logistical impact from this unrelenting and endless winter, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and some states have issued hours of service (HOS) waivers for fuel haulers and a number of “relief loads” such as home heating fuel. Other examples of state specific relief loads include equipment for restoring utilities, food, medicine, livestock, feed for livestock, and highway rock salt. The polar vortex lives on!
The container shipping news from Ukraine is that there really aren’t any problems, currently. However, the situation is clearly unstable. The Crimean port of Sevastopol is the main terminal affected by tensions with Russia. This port mostly handled general and dry cargo, with limited container calls. Quotes from Maersk and others, along with data referenced in the article, point to Odessa as the country’s busiest container port. Odessa, although outside of the Crimea region, has experienced recent protests and unrest related to the political instability within Ukraine.
Overdriveonline published a brief overview discussing findings from FreightWatch International’s research on cargo theft. The article has some great infographics including cargo theft by product type, cargo theft by state, and theft by methodology or type. The total number of cargo thefts recorded in 2013 was 951. Of which 692 were full-truckload or container thefts. Food/Drink was the category that accounted for the greatest percentage of thefts, followed by electronics. The reported stated that the low level of security associated with food shipments likely accounts for the increase in thefts of those loads. California had the greatest percentage of thefts, more than double that of Texas, which reported the second highest percentage.
General Motors (GM) announced that it is partnering with Telogis to provide customers with an enhanced fleet telematics solution. Telogis is integrating its location intelligence platform with the OnStar API. The article is promotion the solution as a lower total cost of ownership option, stating that the system will not require additional hardware or third-party installation costs. Actually, Wednesday’s LV blog post argued that modern telematics solutions are currently displacing the legacy fleet telematics solutions. Telogis is one such entity that is doing just that. A recent Qualcomm financial report stated that OEM solutions had also been a competitive threat to its Omnitracs business.
Descartes reported its financial results for the fiscal year ended January 31, 2014. Fiscal year revenues were up 19 percent, to $151.3 million, of which $137.8 million were service revenues. Descartes has been increasing its services revenue as it obtains recurring revenues from its SaaS-based solutions and collaborative logistics platform.
The Bon-Ton Stores, a retailer with 270 department stores, announced they will be opening a new e-commerce fulfillment center in Ohio. The center, which is expected to open in 2015, will consolidate e-commerce fulfillment currently being performed at four other distribution centers. The article quotes the CEO as stating “This new fulfillment center will permit significant expansion of our shipping capacity with improved operational efficiency.”
And with that, have an enjoyable weekend!
Note: Descartes is a Logistics Viewpoints sponsor
This week’s video, a momentary reprieve from this unrelenting winter. Kokomo, by The Beach Boys