SOURCE: eyefortransport

August 03, 2005 02:02 ET

Eyefortransport - Confronting supply chain challenges

Philadelphia -- (MARKET WIRE) -- August 3, 2005 --

Press Release

Date: August 3, 2005

For immediate release

Confronting supply chain challenges

Contrary to popular belief, supply chain management is not a new concept.

According to an article published almost fifty years ago in the Harvard Business Review, the success of an industrial firm depends on the "interactions between the flows of information, materials, money, manpower, and capital equipment".

In recent years, however, supply chain management has received new and intense emphasis, says Cliff Lynch, author of a new study, The 21st century supply chain: a study in complexity, which was especially written for eyefortransport, and is available for download at www.eyefortransport.com/supplychain/study.shtml

While companies attempt to understand and apply modern supply chain management techniques to their businesses, they continue to face major challenges in the form of capacity crises, rising fuel costs and insurance rates, consolidation within the industry, port congestion and driver shortages.

This was confirmed at eyefortransport's 3PL Summit held in Atlanta earlier this month, when CEOs from some of the world's top 3PLs and shippers agreed that these issues are the biggest headaches for the transportation and logistics industry. Delegates also stressed that it is imperative that the US resolves its transportation supply chain crisis.

The trend of outsourcing and producing more abroad than ever before has resulted in a situation where trade outstrips capacity, and shipyards are being commissioned to build bigger and better containerships to cope with ever increasing volumes.

Which creates another problem. "The new container ships are too large for the Panama Canal," says Lynch. "If they call on US ports, they must, by necessity, move through the Suez Canal to eastern ports, at least until the canal is enlarged."

For example, on July 16, the Gudrun Maersk, the world's largest container vessel, called at the port of Yantian, China. The berthing of this ship, 1,204 feet long and 140 feet wide, with a draft of 49 feet, was a record for Chinese ports. "Don't look for it in Houston anytime soon," says Lynch. "The Panama Canal maximum ship dimensions are a length of 951 feet, a width of 106 feet, and a draft of 39 feet."

Even though the eastern ports are getting ready (two super post-Panamax cranes recently arrived at the port of Savannah), Lynch says that this shifting of the port base to the east will have implications for distribution centre locations and shipping patterns.

These issues will be extensively discussed and debated by the Fortune 500 leaders at the eyefortransport Supply Chain Directions Summit 2005, which will be held on September 20th and 21st in Philadelphia. Download the brochure from www.eyefortransport.com/supplychain/brochure.shtml for more information about the event.

"Managing today's supply chain calls for expertise in collaboration, co-operation and relationship building, as well as mastery of the arts of negotiation and persuasion," says Lynch, chairman of the Supply Chain Directions Summit 2005. "Collaboration will be the glue that holds this fragile supply chain together."

For more information on attending, exhibiting or sponsoring this event, contact Rodrigo Canete at rcanete@eyefortransport.com, US toll-free 1 800 814 3459 ext 481 or +44 (0) 20 7375 7591.

                     This information is provided by RNS
           The company news service from the London Stock Exchange