By Bob Evans, Johns Manville Sr. Logistics Manager
A recent report from transportation services experts at C.H. Robinson highlighted an improved balance between supply and demand due to a variety of overlapping factors. The report, titled “The U.S. North America Surface Transportation Market Update Q1 2019” details contributing factors and highlights how each could impact the transportation industry. The report also touches on how data and technology are influencing the industry’s reaction to the balance.
See below graphic with further detail on these drivers.
This is something transportation teams at Johns Manville are also experiencing. A few factors JM is focusing on include:
Carrier partnerships: The U.S. economy remains strong, giving the feeling of continued demand for building products. JM transportation teams are prepared to meet this demand through a continued focus on carrier partnerships, a critical part of a shipper’s strategy to support stability in productivity and reduce costs.
Driver satisfaction: An increase in drivers helps JM meet customer goals more efficiently. JM works closely with drivers via “JMShip,” a platform that provides an improved experience for carriers when they check in and out of plants helping to organize practices that reduce wait time and allow drivers to provide direct feedback on their experience.
JM expects capacity to remain tight in 2019 and is encouraging customers to remain flexible when planning shipping and receiving schedules and to plan ahead when possible. Despite the industry’s sensitivity to the performance of the broader economy, the American Trucking Association’s (ATA) latest tonnage index equals a healthy 113.2. The ATA number is calculated based on surveys from its membership, which includes month-to-month and year-over-year results, relevant economic comparisons, and key financial indicators.