I have read the new report on the "state of logistics and I have a few thoughts. First, we have to figure out how to make the report more relevant. The logistics' industry is under tremendous change right now and to have a report on 2010 come out in the summer of 2011 is tough. All the verbiage around what is happening in the transportation industry is almost not worth reading beyond just good history.
Second, it does forecast for 2011 correctly but it probably is a bit late in its prediction. The report says rates will change dramatically in late 2011. Well, we have gone through a cycle already in 2011 where rates changed a lot in Q1 and now the economy has put the brakes on thereby changing the capacity / demand equation just in the last few months. I think however capacity has finally come out faster than demand has slowed resulting in a still favorable environment for carriers. Intermodal is still on fire.
Real estate is still very weak. It is not hard to find great warehousing deals but, of course, who the hell wants a warehouse!
Overall, if there were a measurement of whether the "shipper" or the "carrier" are in control, I would say it definitely is favoring the carrier at this point. Shippers will need to ensure they have a good strategy in place to manage carriers and also work with good regional carriers. I have found a lot of value in the regional carriers and the value they can provide. Do not always just default to the "big 5". There are other great players out there and as the "big 5" regionalize their operations they lose the competitive advantage against the local players.
More to follow but it is very interesting times to say the least.