The need for faster, more dependable transportation to keep low-inventory plants running smoothly has led many to change long-standing methods of delivery of materials and components to just-in-time (JIT) delivery in private fleet of trucks. For example Ford took 3 days to move engines from Dearborn to Wayne by rail (Conrail). Conrail managed to cut the time down to less than half a day, but Ford now moves the engines from one plant to the other in less than an hour. Trucking and railroad deregulation facilitate this. New route and pricing freedoms enable transportation companies to tailor services to cumtomers' needs. Greater latitude to expand contract coverage gives shippers the leverage to hold carriers to strict performance standards. Servicing JIT customers requires flexibility and ability to deliver consistently on tight schedules. Penalties for failure to do so are often about 10% to 20% cuts from the price of the missed shipment. With so much at stake, truckers must make sure they live up to their end of the bargain. Terminals, "banks" and backup capapilities are used by many truckers. Critics have charged that switching to JIT only substitutes high-priced transportation for high-priced inventory; but it has been found lower inventory costs more than justify the higher rates for just-in-time shipping. This article also describes a new generation of truck trailers with loading doors on the side that can effectively turn rail sidings into truck docks.

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  • Corporate Authors:

    McGraw-Hill, Incorporated

    330 West 42nd Street
    New York, NY  United States  10036
  • Publication Date: 1984-5

Media Info

  • Features: Photos;
  • Pagination: p. 176-179
  • Serial:
    • Business Week
    • Issue Number: 2842
    • Publisher: McGraw-Hill, Incorporated
    • ISSN: 0007-7135

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00386457
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 28 1984 12:00AM