Author Archive for Steve Raetz

5 Truckload Shipping Trends For 2019

Our industry’s cyclical pattern of tension and slack has become familiar to many of us. To understand whether demand for truckload capacity will be up or down in the coming year, it’s critical to watch the economy. With slower economic growth forecasted for 2019, we could expect a more historically normal level of truckload market balance than we had last year. In addition to economic growth, there are a variety of factors that will influence […]

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Why Transportation Needs to be Included in Supply Chain Collaboration

Just how collaborative are your internal departments? If you’re running into issues when one department makes a decision that unintentionally affects one or more aspects of your supply chain, your answer is probably along the lines of “not very.” And it may be holding back your transportation team’s effectiveness due to a lack of supply chain collaboration. In many organizations, transportation is simply the recipient of collaboration that happens in other supply chain functions. Under that model, […]

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Is Your Routing Guide Ready for a Tune Up?

Asking, “What’s the point of conducting regular procurement events?” is just like asking, “What’s the point of conducting routine car maintenance?” You could skip some maintenance, but you’d probably pay for it in the end. And the same goes for procurement events. Whether it’s your supply chain or your car, regular “maintenance” can keep things running smoothly and save you money. To stick with my metaphor, all the parts in your car need to run […]

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How Transportation and Procurement Can Improve Spend

Negotiating truckload rates has always been a key element to transportation relationships and budgeting—and it always will be. But lately, I’ve seen what feels like a trend: corporate procurement leaders either assuming control of truckload negotiations or partnering with transportation teams to conduct negotiations. Procurement professionals may not have transportation operations experience, so they may not realize that employing certain strategies can produce far better results during negotiations. Here are some market and research insights that […]

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What Does Decreasing Boxcar Fleet Mean for U.S. Capacity?

Part of my job is to watch transportation trends and help our customers prepare for what might happen next. So when three customers asked me the same question recently—was a capacity crisis coming with so many boxcars going out of service?—I immediately took steps to look into it. I called upon the CyBIZ Lab at the Iowa State University College of Business to look at the implications for equipment and rates in the coming decades. […]

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