President’s Letter: August, 2016

Welcome to August. I like to think we're deep in the heart of the summer (and it has been a warm one to date, certainly) but judging from my television and the sale fliers starting to appear in my mailbox, I apparently need to get to planning the return to school of my kids later this month. Before we start having thoughts of classrooms, though, there are bigger and better concerns for our IACAC members and I wanted to share those with you today.

Last reminder: The golf outing is on August 9th.

Honestly, I know we've been drilling it into everybody's heads and we hope you're not utterly sick of hearing from us.

This is an important event because it's one of our two major fundraising activities throughout the year that raises money for our annual scholarship fund that awards money to students continuing their education. I won't bore you with the details, you can go here to read them and register, but join us to golf. If you can't join us to golf, join us for lunch. If you can't do either of those, donate something that we can raffle off to help our recipient(s) defray the cost of their education. We're not putting anybody through Harvard with a full ride, but we can certain help them with books and materials for a semester or two.

Watch this space for the IACAC Scholarship applications and questions.

Our Scholarship Committee Chair Olya Lebedyeva has come up with the list of questions for our applicants and our goal is to follow the same calendar we did last year calling for applications later in August and accepting them through October. We will announce and present the winners at our annual Holiday Luncheon.

PSS and forecast from Asia.

The Journal of Commerce reports that as retailers are gearing up for the 2016 PSS that rates on the Shanghai Containerized Index are ticking upwards. Bill Mongeluzzo reports that while the bumps in volume are not what they were during peak years (as much as a twenty percent increase in volume), retailers will still move their high-value merchandise through West Coast ports for the transit time savings it affords them versus an all-water service to the East Coast and then a return westward by rail or truck.

The importance of being active (in your networks).

As the owner of a logistics placement firm representing both employers and recruits, I stress to both sides of the equation the importance of keeping things current. Employers need to be sure their job listings are accurate and timely, otherwise individuals will feel dismayed and not trust a company who is misleading in their hunt for people. For recruits, network, make connections and stay engaged in discussions. Carve out some time each day to work through your professional social media channels, sharing things that are interesting or making new connections. Heck, if you attend any of our networking events and come home with a pocket full of business cards, you should be trying to connect with those people as soon as possible after meeting them. Add to that network because you never know when you'll need it.

Stay current because there's always an M or an A right around the corner.

M = Merger, A = Acquisition. If you've been through one (or more), you know what it is like to come out on one side or the other. Maybe your position gets retained, maybe it is eliminated because the other company's department is superior or doesn't need double the headcount. According to consulting firm PwC, while M&A activity was off in the first quarter of this year, they anticipate that low oil prices will continue to free up capital to pursue opportunities throughout the rest of 2016. You can read the story in American Shipper.