Logistics is behind many of the operations in our lives. Keep up to date on the industry you may not know you care about. Here’s the short on 3 logistics happenings that you’ll be glad you read.
There’s been a surge in job growth.
The WSJ reported on the comeback in transportation payroll after a tough 1st fiscal quarter (link). There was an economic bust in the industry resulting in a payroll decline in the first fiscal quarter. But the numbers are back up this month after a boom in U.S freight demand.
Couriers and messengers are up 6,500 jobs from last month and trucking fleets added 4,300 jobs. Warehousing and storage companies added 1,400 jobs. This is part of a national report that included 244,000 additional jobs in the last month, reports Morningstar.
But this month’s boom doesn’t compare to the surge in 2018- that was one for the books. Still, analysts are optimistic about the projected shipping growth. Confidence in the industry’s job market growth stems from companies planning to expand their fleets ( jobs jobs jobs). If you also consider the industry’s seasonal patterns (the real party is in Q3), things look pretty good going forward.
Other analysts are advising caution. US trade tensions with China have many playing the wait-and-see game before acting on the quarter’s turnaround.
Big moves are being made to combat climate change.
Maritime logistics, think cargo ships and vessels, have proven hard to regulate in terms of emissions. This is an emergent worry because maritime operations are accountable for a hefty carbon footprint.
You may recall the 2015 Paris Agreements that aimed to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Writing maritime logistics into its framework was problematic because it’s never been clear who would enforce climate protection. The law of the sea (or lack there of) and murky jurisdiction are the issue here. And I’m not counting on environmentalist pirates to be emissions vigilantes.
Despite the industry being excluded in the Paris Agreement, big moves have been made in the three years since. More and more key players are catching sustainability fever. Industry executives are forging reform without the legislation.
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) Secretary General, Kitack Lim, told the Wall Street Journal “We are moving full speed ahead. I understand some of the concerns, but shipping must do what it has to do to protect the climate.”
Ocean vessels burn heavy oil, the real bad stuff. The development of alternative fuels, like low-sulfur fuels and natural gas, are driving unprecedented innovation in the logistics industry. Members within the IMO have set goals to improve fuel efficiency by 30% by 2025 and cut 2008 level gas emissions in half by 2050.
Naturally, there are outstanding concerns from inside the industry about the costs of the these innovations.
Other industries and institutions are also assuming some responsibility here. Cue banks. Logistics companies trying to get loans may have to check themselves. Globally, big banks are going to consider climate when extending loans. You can read up on the Poseidon Principles (a big deal) here. Supporting environmentally-friendly vessels, the core of the Poseidon Principles are assessment, accountability, enforcement and transparency within the shipping industry.
We all could use an accountability buddy, right?
Truckers are saving our grapes.
The Spotted Lanternfly – it’s a bug with wings, but instead of flying it figured out you can just hitch a ride. Truckers in the Northeast region of the US are becoming honorary entomologists (bug scientists). Native to China, this invasive plant-hopper attacks things like grapes, hops and hardwoods (is anyone else worried about the wine?). It feeds on crops and leaves behind residue that ultimately damages trees.
These buggers make a habit of hitching a ride on trucks and cars. A lot of responsibility is falling to freight truckers to stop the spread of this invasive pest.
Permits are now required of commercial operators in quarantined areas. Truckers driving through Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Virginia will need to be certified and trained to recognize and eliminate the Spotted Lanternfly. Inspection points can be expected along routes. This situation is urgent, I’m talking up to $20,000 fine urgent.
If this doesn’t creep you out, you can learn more about the situation here.
The USDA and local partners work hard to stop the spread of this invasive pest.
Pictured (right) is a freight truck at an inspection point.
Left is the Spotted Lanternfly.
Logistics is behind many of the operations in our lives. Employment and decarbonization are important to everyone. If you want to stay up to date on the latest in the industry, follow RTD Logistic’s blog for short and sweet updates.