Robert V. Delaney, whose annual studies of transportation spending in the United States provided some of the most widely cited statistics in the field, died on April 2. He was 68.
For 14 years, Delaney's annual "State of Logistics Report" tracked the collective productivity gains made by the nation's logistics professionals. Though some critics questioned his methodology, his research was still considered the best measure available.
Delaney appeared destined for a career in logistics from childhood. In a profile in the November 2003 issue of DC VELOCITY, he recalled his fascination with the Berlin Air Lift as a high-school student in New Jersey. His official career in logistics started at the U.S. Army's Transportation Center in Virginia. It was while he was in the military, which was exempt from transportation regulation, that he became persuaded of the benefits of deregulation. In the 1970s, he took his deregulation crusade to Congress. To buttress his arguments, he developed statistics demonstrating the potential economic benefits of deregulation. Those statistics became the foundation for his annual report.
During his long career, Delaney held management positions with Nabisco, Monsanto, Pet Inc., Leaseway Transportation, International Paper and Arthur D. Little.Until this year, he was a vice president for Cass Information Systems, a large provider of information services and systems to the North American logistics and transportation community. He was also a consultant to ProLogis, the largest publicly held global owner and operator of distribution properties in North America, Europe and Asia. He served on the board of US Freightways Corp. and on the Eno Transportation Foundation's Board of Advisors. Early this year, he had become a consultant to the Council of Logistics Management, which had agreed to pick up sponsorship of the annual "State of Logistics Report."
Delaney received many industry honors during his career, including the Council of Logistics Management's Distinguished Service Award in 1981, the Harry E. Salzberg Medallion from Syracuse University in 1988 and the Scheleen Award for Excellence from the American Society of Transportation and Logistics in 1992.