Earlier this year, I attended the BGSA Supply Chain Conference in Palm Beach, and I wanted to take the opportunity to not only thank Ben Gordon and his entire team at BGSA for putting on an outstanding event, but also share some of my experiences from this year’s show. I was one of more than 220 CEOs in attendance from all corners of the transportation, logistics and supply chain sector. While there, I was able to listen to speakers and share ideas with other industry leaders.
Below, I’ve compiled some of the highlights and trends that cropped up most frequently throughout my time at the BGSA Conference.
No one is about to make the case that trains or transport by train is a new concept, but rail transportation is a rising trend in our industry. One reason rail is back on the rise is thanks to green initiatives. For a wait that is often only one day longer than transport by truck, the option to save a significant amount of money exists.
Intermodal transportation from truck to rail and back to truck is among the most cost effective methods of transport out there, but it is not among the speediest of options. Some might argue that the multiple changes in mode of transport leave room for error, but if slow and steady at the right price is the order of the day, as opposed to a costlier, non-stop option, well, I say that’s what innovations like shipment tracking and inventory tracking systems were made for. Thanks to the increased visibility and accessibility that the rise of mobile tech in our industry has given us, we can keep an eye on inventory around the globe from the palm of our hands, and that takes the worry out of keeping tabs on intermodal shipments.
Transport by truck remains speedy, but expensive. Conversations at the conference suggest that the trucking industry is at risk of freezing up; it could come to a gridlock if the economy continues to tick up. There could also be a labor shortage, as people are less inclined to accept trucking positions when jobs that allow them to get off the road are more readily available. If such a labor shortage does arise, it would leave trailers sitting idle as a result.
The Oil Industry
Our business has become more involved with the oil and fracking industry as U.S. oil has started making a comeback. Oil equipment is now being moved and distributed around the country, much of it by the above discussed modes of transport.
Whatever mode of transportation progresses into the fastest, most cost-effective option, people like me won’t have to worry; the technologically-advanced inventory tracking systems that exist can keep track of goods, or products, or “stuff,” no matter the method of transport.