Don’t tell Caterpillar Inc.’s vice president and chief procurement officer that his job includes overseeing the heavy equipment company’s supply chain.
Rather, as Frank Crespo told attendees of the eighth annual Georgia Logistics Summit, Caterpillar depends upon its “global supply network” to move massive products from construction and mining equipment to engines and turbines to diesel-electric locomotives plus half a million different parts throughout the world.
“There’s nothing linear about it,” Crespo said of Caterpillar’s logistics network in closing the April 19-20 event at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. “It’s no longer a chain.”
Crespo said Caterpillar, which ships machine and engines to 32 countries via Georgia’s ports of Savannah and Brunswick, in addition to importing parts and materials through Savannah, benefits from on-dock rail, direct Interstate highway access and flexible pickup and delivery hours and looks to soon gain from a deeper Savannah harbor.
Caterpillar relies heavily on intermodal rail, according to Crespo, and focuses on maximizing visibility throughout the supply network.
“Visibility is a premier asset,” he said. “More and more, visibility will drive success.”
In a discussion of regulatory onuses, Jason N. Craig, director of government affairs at third-party logistics leader C.H. Robinson said the soon-to-be-implemented mandate for electronic logging devices in trucks should definitely bring higher trucking rates.
“Whether rates go up because of fear or because of actual capacity shortage, it’s the same for shippers: Rates go up,” Craig said.
Rhett Willis, president and chief executive officer of Savannah-based D.J. Powers Co. Inc., said the Automated Commercial Environment requirement for a single data window, to take full effect by yearend, places a heavy burden on freight forwarding and customs brokerage firms such as his.
Log in or Join AJOT to read the complete article
If you are not a premium subscriber, you can get access to AJOT Premium online content for only $59.95 per year!
Did you forget your password?