How did gigantic ships break our global supply chains?

global supply chains: Image of the cargo ship MSC Gulsun

How did the arrival of gigantic mega-ships break our global supply chains? This topic is covered in depth in the Odd Lots podcast episode: How Gigantic Ships Are Creating Global Supply Chain Havoc. This blog post is a summary of that podcast episode. Odd Lots, in my mind, is an EXCELLENT podcast dealing with logistics […]

Why the rising cost of shipping isn’t a surprise, part 5

cost of shipping: Image shows TEUs being unloaded from a ship and loaded onto chassis for truck transport
This entry is part 5 of 5 in the series Cost of Shipping

If you found this post via search, it probably makes sense to start with the first post in this series on the cost of shipping. The link to the full series is above, and here. Is the bigness of modern ships because of anticipation of a never ending shipping boom as we saw prior to […]

Why the rising cost of shipping isn’t a surprise, part 4

Cost of shipping: Image of an Evergreen ship docked at the port of Los Angeles
This entry is part 4 of 5 in the series Cost of Shipping

If you found this post via search, it probably makes sense to start with the first post in this series on the cost of shipping. The link to the full series is above, and here. What’s the downside of the overcapacity of megaships? Why is that bad for the overall global economy? I wouldn’t say […]

Why the rising cost of shipping isn’t a surprise, part 3

Cost of shipping: Chart shows map of the worlds global shipping lanes
This entry is part 3 of 5 in the series Cost of Shipping

If you found this post via search, it probably makes sense to start with the first post in this series on the cost of shipping. The link to the full series is both above, and here. If actual shipping costs are not public information, how can I lookup shipping costs online? When you look up […]

Why the rising cost of shipping isn’t a surprise, part 2

Cost of shipping: image shows a fully laden ship of China Shipping Line
This entry is part 2 of 5 in the series Cost of Shipping

If you found this post via search, it probably makes sense to start with the first post in this series on the cost of shipping. The link to the full series is both above, and here. What’s causing our current shipping disruptions and how much of a problem is it? Starting in the early 2000s, […]

Why the rising cost of shipping isn’t a surprise

Cost of shipping: Image shows a picture of a Merete Maersk ship loaded with intermodal shipping containers
This entry is part 1 of 5 in the series Cost of Shipping

This blog post is a quick-to-read summary of the Odd Lots podcast episode: Why the Cost of Shipping Goods From China Is Suddenly Soaring. Bear in mind that by “suddenly” they mean about a year ago, in late 2020, as this podcast episode was published on 18 Jan 2021. Odd Lots, in my mind, is […]

Are we now in a world of competition between supply chains?

competition between supply chains: image shows a rough representation of a global supply chain.

Since any chain is only as strong as its weakest link, and modern manufacturing supply chains are incredibly intertwined, it seems safe to say we now live in a world of competition between supply chains. We all get the idea that a company is a group of people working in competition against other groups of […]

How the evolution of supply chains increased our wealth

evolution of supply chains: Image shows a system dynamics model of the supply chains of the meat industry in South Africa

To give you an idea of the complexity of modern supply chains, and the evolution of supply chains over time, the image at the top of the post is a conceptual model of the supply chain for “just” the meat industry in South Africa11. Image credit: A systems analysis and conceptual system dynamics model of […]

Why do the economics of supply chain management matter?

Economics of supply chains: The image shows a complex web of supply chains focused around a single computer manufacturer: DELL

Warning, this blog post is a bit of a rant. Consider yourself warned. And why is the economics of supply chain management generally ignored by economic models? First, some definitions What is economics? Investopedia has a good definition, which starts with: Economics is a social science concerned with the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and […]

Why reverse logistics is WAY better than recycling

Reverse logistics: Image shows a reverse logistics pipeline flow

Reverse logistics is a phrase a first stumbled across about a week ago. When I googled for what it means, I was left with the distinct impression that it means “recycling”. Except, maybe it IS “just” recycling But, convinced that it can’t be just a new buzz phrase for an old idea, I read several […]