Transport Experts Call for New Generation of Ocean Cargo Services

Arlington, VA — February 14, 2007 — Two freight transport experts have called for the creation of "fast track" ocean cargo services that can provide shippers reliable and timely delivery of Asian imports.

Brian Clancy and David Hoppin of Arlington-based MergeGlobal issued a research paper concluding that innovative concepts are needed to take the variability out of international supply chains and ease the pain caused by a congested U.S. freight transport system.

Their 16-page report, "Coping with Uncertainty," urges transportation providers to use existing technology and business models to create faster, more reliable ocean transportation products — especially in the less-than-containerload (LCL) market.

"Why not create a 'fast track' for LCL shipments that receive expedited processing at both the load and discharge ports, and then are injected directly into an LTL network for delivery to consignees?" asked Clancy and Hoppin, managing directors at the transportation and logistics consultancy.

Shippers' Top Concerns

Their research project was sponsored by supply chain services provider APL Logistics and Con-way Freight, the less-than-truckload freight delivery company. The two firms launched OceanGuaranteed in 2006, a day-definite guaranteed LCL product for shipments from Asia to the U.S. market.

In their report, Clancy and Hoppin identified three primary concerns for shippers managing international supply chains:

  • Controlling total distribution cost, which is the sum of transport and inventory-carrying costs;

  • Minimizing transit time variability; and;

  • Coping with a network of U.S. ports, railways and highways that is nearing capacity.

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