The consultancy Armstrong & Associates Inc.'s "3PL Value Creation Summit 2015," held the last week of October in Chicago, offered a solid lineup of speakers and a chance for attendees to gather in an informal setting, the recipe for an excellent educational conference. We learned, for example, that today one can actually buy a product from one retailer and exchange it for a similar product at another retailer, at no charge. This could add another layer of challenges to the reverse logistics segment.
We also learned, courtesy of Tom Sanderson, CEO of Transplace, a Dallas-based third-party logistics service provider (3PL) with a strong presence in Mexico, that Mexican truck drivers are just as qualified and professional as U.S. drivers, that good Mexican carriers have the same access to liability coverage as do U.S. carriers, and that the differences in the two legal systems don't really faze Mexican companies. What keeps Mexican truckers out of U.S. commerce (beyond the 25-mile border commercial zones) is a ban on operating between U.S. points after delivering a load, Sanderson said. Because Mexican drivers must immediately return to their country from their U.S. dropoff point, there is little incentive to operate one-way unless there are loads available at or very near the dropoff location, Sanderson said.