Laurel of Hellas noble-born,
most celebrated tree,
gazing to your lofty crown
the mind must dazzled be.
– Laurel of Hellas by Aale Maria Tynni
Gold Medalist, Literature, 1948 Summer Olympics
Did you know that literature was an official Olympic competition from 1912 to 1948? Do you care? Ok, me neither.
This week’s logistics news is all about the Olympics… and lots of earnings news, so let’s get to it.
- The logistics behind the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics
- How The Sochi Olympics Skate Around Logistics Hurdles
- Olympics 2014: Russian officials block shipment of U.S. athletes’ Chobani yogurt
- Cass Freight Index for January 2014
- Ryder Reports Record Fourth Quarter and Full-Year 2013 Results
- Manhattan Associates Reports Record Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2013 Performance
- Con-way Inc. Reports 2013 Fourth-Quarter and Full-Year Results
- C.H. Robinson Reports Fourth Quarter Results
The Sochi Olympics has been the major news story of the week. There have been a number of articles and reports about the games themselves and the competitors, the costs of infrastructure and preparation for the Olympics, and the potential for terrorist attacks. However, there have also been a number of Olympic logistics stories. Supply Chain Digital posted a nice overview of the expected traffic and processes involved. They highlighted a customs and security issue I hadn’t thought of – that biathletes require rifles and ammunition to compete in the event.
Forbes.com published an article by Richard Howells of SAP on the logistics of the Sochi Olympics. He noted that the organizers saved 450,000 tons of snow from last winter, amounting to the largest ice box since the invention of electricity, in case this year’s snow was insufficient. Spending on transportation infrastructure was estimated at $43 million, including a 48 kilometer road and railway systems with an $8 billion price tag (the $1.6 billion cost overrun of the Panama Canal project is peanuts in comparison). Finally, Richard notes that AT&T developed a guide app to help members of Team USA communicate with each other. In a related note, NBC news and others have been reporting the pervaisive internet hacking in Russia. It may be wise for Sochi travelers keep in mind that the use of this app, along with any form of connectivity, may come with the hidden cost of identity theft.
From the Customs and Compliance file, it appears that Russian officials have blocked the import of US athletes’ Chobani yogurt. There are currently 5,000 cups of yogurt being held in a temperature controlled facility in New Jersey. However, the article notes that
Russia doesn’t allow in any American yogurt in due to its issues with American dairy standards…..The U.S. government is involved in a long-running negotiation with Russia and Russia’s two partners in the Eurasian Customs Union — Belarus and Kazakhstan — about the public-health standards that American dairy products must meet.
Oh no. Let them have their yogurt. I guess there really isn’t much in the way of interesting Sochi logistics news if this story is getting press.
Cass Info published the January 2014 Freight Index. The news was a bit discouraging. Shipments were down 2 percent year over year, and down 3.6 percent month to month. Inclement weather may be the cause of the reduction in shipments. However, January typically sees a post‐holiday drop‐off and is also the slowest month of the year. Here is a quote from the report:
Railroad carload and intermodal loadings – good barometers of the volume of freight moving – have trended down in the last three months. Snowy January weather contributed to the depressed figures. That being said, many of January’s other indicators do not point to a quick turnaround next month.
Ryder released its fourth quarter and full year financials. The company achieved record operating revenue for the quarter, up 4 pecent from the same period last year, partially due to new business and higher volumes in SCS. Quarterly operating revenue in the SCS business segment was up 8 percent year over year, with strong growth in the industrial, consumer packaged goods/retail, and high tech vertical industry groups.
Manhattan Associated also released fourth quarter and full year results. Total revenues for the year increased by 10 percent to $414.5 million. New software license revenues were also up for the year. ARC research shows that Manhattan Associates’ has been experiencing above market growth rates over the recent past. Manhattan’s management has attributed its growth to its product development efforts, new suite of platform-based products, and its ability to seize upon the omni-channel commerce paradigm shift.
Con-way, Inc. reported Q4 and full-year results. Menlo Worldwide Logistics, the company’s global logistics and supply chain management operation, reported a 7.9 percent reduction in Q4 revenue reflecting a decline in transportation management services, that was partially offset by an increase in warehouse management services. Net revenue was also down for the quarter.
CH Robinson reported its fourth quarter and annual results, as well. Total revenues for the quarter increased by 6.1 percent, while net revenues decreased slighted due to a reduction in sourcing and payment services net revenues. The best performing operations measured by net revenues were ocean transportation up 37.6 percent, customs up 36.7 percent, air up 12.8 percent, and intermodal up 9.4 percent.
Have an enjoyable weekend, and wishing the world a safe and enjoyable Olympics experience!
Note: Ryder, Manhattan Associates, Menlo Worldwide, and C.H Robinson are Logistics Viewpoints sponsors.