NEW ORLEANS -- The cost of "lumping" -- the hiring of local casual labor to unload trucks -- has risen 44% in the past two years.
That finding was among several presented during the "Inbound Logistics: Managing and Controlling Freight Costs" seminar at last week's Distribution Conference here sponsored by the Food Marketing Institute, Washington.
A survey conducted by Arthur Wells Group, St. Louis, examined trends in the trucking industry and how they are affecting the supermarket industry.
Hilton Kahn, president and chief executive officer of Arthur Wells Group, reported that more than 100 carriers have either merged with larger fleets or ceased operations entirely.
"By having less people to buy transportation services from, there are less players out there and transportation competition becomes very steep," he said.
Other issues affecting carrier services are declines in driver recruitment and retainment, and fluctuating fuel prices. "All retailers feel the effect, especially on the gas prices, but hopefully that will eventually level off," he said.