Issues and Challenges for Global Supply Chains Assignment

Part A
1. There have been an increasing number of editorials in newspapers and magazines about concerns over transport capacity and infrastructure. What is the nature of this issue? Why is it such a problem? How can it be resolved?
2. “Don’t ship air” and “don’t ship water” are the bases of some important supply chain strategies. What do these statements really mean? What are the related strategies? How do these strategies help?
3. Fuel prices have been very volatile during the last five years. What factors have contributed to this volatility? What impact will lower fuel prices have on transportation?
4. What is your view of the use of technology in transportation systems in the future?

Green and Lean
George Harry and Jeff Pilof, friends and former classmates in college, had not seen each other face-to-face for about 15 years when they had one of these chance meetings in the Atlanta Airport. They both just received the news that their flights to their respective destinations, Philadelphia and Boston, had been canceled. As they walked into an airport restaurant to get a sandwich and wait for their new flights, they spotted and immediately recognized each other. After the customary greetings and questions about family and mutual friends, they started discussing their current jobs and responsibilities. George had spent the last 20 years with two pharmaceutical companies, while Jeff had worked for a chemical company and a large retailer and had established his own package- delivery company. They were both now vice presidents of transportation for their latest companies—a very large retailer and a large consumer products company.
Surprisingly, George and Jeff found that they were both concerned about the same general area in their respective companies. Now that fuel cost has decreased dramatically for transportation services, they did not want to lose their focus on sustainability.
1. Why would declining fuel prices lead to less emphasis on sustainability?
2. What advice would you give George and Jeff?

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