CAI Transportation Blog

27 Mar, 2019

Keeping score: how CSA scores can help you find safety-conscious carriers


Choosing new carriers for transporting your goods on U.S. highways is not always an easy job. With multiple parameters to assess, such as price, availability, and dependability, the process can be cumbersome and time consuming. But finding the right carriers is crucial for the successful transportation of your valuable goods. That’s why you need to be sure every box is checked before making your decision.

One aspect that often gets overlooked is carrier safety. However, carrier and driver safety are critical to every aspect of your business — from cost to compliance to your business’s reputation. Fortunately, there’s an easy way to assess carrier and driver safety by using the Compliance, Safety, and Accountability (CSA) score.

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13 Mar, 2019

Where does logistics fit into the retail supply chain?


The retail supply chain involves many varied moving parts. Getting it right requires extensive and detailed coordination with a wide array of contacts to ensure adequate supply, efficient production, and timely distribution, among other factors.

One aspect of strategic supply chain planning involves choosing where to put distribution centers so that inventory is well-placed for customer demand— as well as deciding when it’s time to move those locations for more optimal results. For most retailers, logistics represents just one vital piece of the puzzle.

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04 Mar, 2019

A Conversation with CAI International CEO Victor Garcia on Capacity and IMO 2020


At the CSCMP Edge conference in Nashville last fall, CAI International CEO Victor Garcia sat down for an interview with Russell Goodman, the editor-in-chief of Supply Chain Brain, to share his thoughts on the capacity crunch that affected the global logistics sector for all of 2018, as well as the challenges involved in IMO 2020.

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13 Feb, 2019

Why and how to make your food supply chain "recall ready"


One day the food supply chain is running smoothly, then suddenly a notice alerts everyone about the recall of a product and they have to spring into action. Every link in the supply chain— from ingredient suppliers to storage facilities to the end consumer—has a role to play in the process of efficiently and safely removing the affected items.

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24 Jan, 2019

How potential international tariffs could impact logistics in 2019


International shipping typically sees two peak seasons: the holiday retail season from August to October and the second bump in shipping surrounding Chinese New Year in January and February. This year, however, we may have another peak shipping period. Due to the looming possibility of international tariffs, there’s been a surge in preemptive shipping between the U.S. and China.

While the tariffs have been delayed for 90 days—and some speculation about the possibility of renegotiations— it’s best to prepare your supply chain to handle either scenario. So what would be the impact of these tariffs on your supply chain, and how can you mitigate the potential challenges and expenses?

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16 Jan, 2019

Understanding logistics rates in the current market


Pricing in the transportation sector can be a source of frustration for many logistics managers. Factors that can affect rates in the truckload spot market create a domino effect that causes fluctuations for other services. Since your obligation is to get your company’s goods where they need to go safely and on time (preferably without breaking the bank), you may have found yourself frustrated by the many complex interrelated trends in the industry in the last year or so.

Having an understanding of the broad trends that affect market prices can help you make stronger and more sustainable decisions for your company. Let’s look at some of the factors that affect truckload rates in the spot market and the contract market, and how they relate to each other.

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27 Dec, 2018

A year in logistics industry trends + how to prepare for the future


As we approach the end of another year, it’s a great time to look back on what’s happened in the past twelve months and plan for the year to come. It seems like every year is action-packed for the logistics and transportation industries, and 2018 has been no exception. Technological, economic, and regulatory factors have all created a challenging market for shippers, highlighting the importance of strong relationships and proactive planning.

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19 Dec, 2018

How will IMO 2020 affect ship capacity and freight rates?


Fuel costs will rise by an estimated 25 percent (approximately $24 billion) in 2020 when the new International Maritime Organization (IMO) sulfur rules take effect.

The IMO, the United Nations body responsible for the shipping sector’s safety and environmental performance, aims to cut maximum sulfur emission from 3.5% m/m (mass by mass) to 0.5% m/m starting in January 2020.

Even as the new sulfur emission rate deadline draws near, the industry appears ill-prepared. The IMO sulfur rules are likely to mark the beginning of an uncertain era for not just the shipping industry, but many other sectors, as over 90 percent of global trade operates via the sea.

Let’s explore how the IMO 2020 regulations will affect capacity and freight rates:

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12 Dec, 2018

5 ways to beat high freight rates and secure capacity


‘Tis the season for high capacity demand and even higher freight prices. According to the DAT, spot market rates were at record highs in June and are set to climb in single digits through 2019. Even companies like Kraft Heinz and Coca-Cola are raising costs to offset higher freight expenses.

Covered deeply in the logistics industry, rising transportation costs is a serious issue. With many factors coloring rate fluctuations like scarce capacity, the driver shortage, regulations, tariffs hikes, fuel price surges, and booming economic growth, logistics leaders face everyday pressures to overcome escalating prices.

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06 Dec, 2018

Why a consultative approach leads to the most successful 3PL partnerships


With the holiday season in full swing, driver capacity scarce, and shipping expectations at an all-time high, it’s easy for shippers to feel the pressure. So how can you provide excellent, yet affordable, shipping services in this environment?

More and more, the answer points towards working with a consultative logistics partner who’s invested in your growth. But paying for a great shipping partner can seem like just another expense—especially when logistics budgets are tight.

Luckily, choosing the right logistics partner can actually reduce costs over time, streamline your operations, cause fewer headaches, and help you develop better long-term strategies for your business’ success.

Let’s explore the benefits of partnering with a consultative 3PL.

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