Supply Chain Expertise and Technology Blog by TMC, a division of C.H. Robinson

Archives for January 2013

The Cost of Natural Gas

natural gas

Natural gas is a cleaner fuel for trucks than diesel, but is it a more cost effective alternative?

The cost issue was explored at the American Trucking Association Natural Gas Summit in Washington D.C., on November 28th, 2012. The operational case for natural gas was also explored at the conference, and I’ll be discussing this in an upcoming Logistics Viewpoints guest post titled Making Operational Sense of Natural Gas.

Diesel quantity is measured in gallons, while natural gas is typically measured in cubic feet. A commonly used equivalent is 145 cubic feet of compressed natural gas (CNG) or 1.7 gallons of liquid natural gas (LNG) per gallon of diesel. These are routinely referred to as Diesel Gallon Equivalents.  Read More…

- Director, Government Affairs, C.H. Robinson
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Mobilizing Managers to Find the Right Answers


Mobile communications is not only revolutionizing the way freight delivery is managed; it is also fundamentally changing the way people interact with co-workers and the extended supply chain.

The ability to access general work systems like email while away from the office is trivial, but the line between work and home life is beginning to blur. This is problematic for workers who typically use specialized work systems. Co-workers assume that, if they have access to sufficient technology to ask a question, their transportation managers will have access to the tools needed to answer it. Read More…

Exceptions That Prove the Importance of Succession Planning

succession planning

Key to the success of an outsourced transportation management system (TMS) relationship is how much the provider manager responsible for the account knows about your business. Also important – but less obvious – is the availability of a backup manager who is also familiar with the nuances of your account. Such is the increasing complexity of freight networks that having a knowledgeable account manager is no longer enough; shippers also need to be reassured that there is an operations person who can step up to the plate and take over your account should the primary contact be unavailable. Read More…

Real-World Collaboration with Academia


It’s tempting to write off university research as too ivory tower, especially in such a pragmatic business as freight management. But in our experience academic studies that are tied to real-world issues can pay back hugely.

We’ve sponsored a number of projects at MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics (MIT CTL) over the years.  Below are a few of these projects:  Read More…

- Director of Consulting Services, C.H. Robinson
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Guest Post: A Resolution You Might Want to Consider – Think Big

think big

Here’s a prediction for 2013: something big will happen.

OK, I’m not exactly going out on a limb here, but bear with me.

By “big” I mean a world-scale event such as a natural disaster, a political upheaval, or a technological breakthrough. Unfortunately, the statistics favor the first possibility. Read More…