Thursday, January 10, 2013

Despite a gloomy 2012, logistics and transportation providers found opportunities in the North American Market

Despite some bumps throughout the year, North America remained a bright spot in an otherwise dismal global economy. For 2012, the growth was slow but the region’s economies remained positive and growth in trade was recorded. The growth prompted mergers and acquisitions and new service offerings throughout the region by logistics and transportation providers.

For example, the increasing regionalization resulted in an increase in NAFTA trade. To accommodate this growth, providers such as Exel opened multi-client distribution facilities along the border. UTi Worldwide and DHL introduced cross-border solutions that encompass bundled solutions such as transportation, warehousing and brokerage services. UPS Crossborder Connect, ground freight service between the US and Mexico was also launched. The Canadian-US border also saw new solutions with US Express Enterprise and Canada’s Maritime Ontario Freight Lines partnering to move freight across the border and create a single North America network. Werner Enterprises opened a new freight terminal near Detroit. The terminal is located south of the Detroit, Michigan/Windsor, Ontario region, which is the primary border crossing point to facilitate freight for Werner's continually expanding customer base in eastern Canada.

Port expansions continued and new ocean freight services were also introduced such as Ceva’s consolidation of all inbound containers into its Container Freight Station in Illinois. Also, CMA CGM purchased a stake in the port of Long Beach, its only investment in an US West Coast port, which is expected to bring additional 2.6m units to the port.

A focus on expansion of airfreight facilities was also noted as DHL expanded its Miami International Airport hub to support growing demand from the Latin American market as well as its Americas hub facility at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky airport. FedEx Canada expanded its capacity to Edmonton, Canada while FedEx Express expanded its “International First” early delivery service to Canada and Mexico.

Road freight remained positive as truck carriers acquired regional carriers to expand into new markets as well as launched new services such as expedited, temperature-controlled and guaranteed solutions. Class I railroads continue to build out infrastructure and establish intermodal hubs along with expanding solutions to the growing energy industry.

For 2013, Logistics and transportation providers will continue to invest in the region due to the expectation of slow, albeit positive economic growth. Regionalization will likely continue as more manufacturing moves to Mexico and US, thus creating additional opportunities for providers.

For additional insight, the new North America Logistics Monitor is a monthly analysis of the trends affecting the logistics and transportation market in Canada, Mexico and the US available for $830 for an annual subscription.  Along with a regional overview and country-specific analysis, the report also includes charts from Ti's Dashboard service. The report serves as a quick and easy reference for decision makers to monitor this important region.