Cathy Roberson

Cathy Roberson

Contributing Editor, Cargo Facts Consulting

Cathy Morrow Roberson is an analyst with deep experience across the transportation and logistics business. Cathy is the founder of Logistics Trends & Insights, which provides strategic supply chain research and analysis. She also writes a weekly column for Air Cargo World. Previously she worked for a logistics research firm, an internet consultancy and UPS Supply Chain solutions. At UPS she was instrumental in the initial set up of UPS Supply Chain Solutions, as well as its further development. Cathy began her career as a librarian, primarily managing research departments for several libraries. Her experience spans projects that cover product development, market analysis, customer service, M&A due diligence, freight forwarding operations and has in depth knowledge of the global freight forwarding, logistics, technology and e-commerce markets. She is also active in the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) Cathy has a BA in History from Winthrop University, a Masters in Library Science from the University of South Carolina and an MBA in finance and marketing from Mercer University.

Consultant Insight: FedEx and UPS 2020 express rates now in effect

According to Benjamin Franklin, only two things are certain in life: death and taxes. We may want to add transportation rate increases to the list, as well. Despite overall declining volumes, airfreight carriers, including express providers, continue to raise rates. Express operators have been among the positive standouts in an otherwise dismal airfreight market, with […]

Consultant Insight: Will 2020 be life changing or mean life support for air cargo?

Will 2020 begin with improving air cargo volumes? It’s possible, especially with easier year-over-year volume comparisons. According to IATA data, December 2018 marked the beginning of international freight tonne kilometers (FTK) declines that lasted through at least October 2019 (latest data available), except for March when FTKs increased by a paltry 0.1%. There are a […]

Consultant Insight: Middle East outlook for 2020 is promising

A flurry of activity from forwarders and logistics providers has focused on the Middle East region of late.  Kerry Logistics opened a new office in Bahrain as well as a new bonded logistics facility in Dubai. Meanwhile, DB Schenker and DHL Express, both of which took advantage of free trade areas around airports, opened a […]

Consultant Insight: FedEx falls hard in its latest earnings report

FedEx reported a surprising fiscal second-quarter decline in revenue and operating income during Tuesday’s earnings call in which CEO Fred Smith described the quarter (period ending November 30) as an anomaly. Smith reminded those on the call of the shorter holiday season that required planning and expenses to handle volumes that would fall during the […]

Consultant Insight: Amazon’s logistics network gets the holiday hiccups

Amazon began the holiday season strong by announcing that Cyber Monday was its single biggest shopping day in the company’s history, based on the number of items ordered worldwide. Meanwhile, company leadership stressed the focus on catering to increasing e-commerce sales, with Worldwide Consumer CEO Jeff Wilke saying, “We’re focused on making this holiday season […]

Consultant Insight: Could drones rescue the ailing air cargo industry?

It seems hardly a week goes by without news of another drone delivery trial. While these stories are fascinating, they are also polarizing, often pitting analysts against one another in terms of the viability of drones in last-mile deliveries. A recent Wall Street Journal commentary by Matthias Winkenbach, director of the Megacity Logistics Lab at […]

FedEx, UPS and Amazon prepare for short holiday season’s mad dash

Ready or not, this week marks the traditional beginning of the holiday season, which will be a huge test for the last mile with a shorter holiday season – 26 days compared to 32 days last year – and forecasted record volumes. FedEx expects to move a record 33 million packages this Cyber Monday and […]

Consultant Insight: Forwarders end 3Q uncertain of what 2020 may bring

Declining volumes, profit improvements and a pessimistic outlook for 2020 pretty much sums up the latest earnings reports from major freight forwarders. Earnings reports from Kuehne + Nagel, DSV Panalpina, Expeditors, C.H. Robinson and DHL Global Forwarding and Freight were reviewed and while there was some positive news, overall, there is concern for the freight […]

Could airports be the next hubs for disruptive 3D printing? 

Is manufacturing really slowing down or is it undergoing a transformation that can not yet be measured by traditional means? Robotics, drones, augmented reality and other technologies are transforming manufacturing in such a way not seen since the Industrial Revolution. But, in my opinion, one of the most disruptive forces is 3D printing. Not only could it disrupt the actual manufacturing process, but […]

A starting point for selecting a digital air freight platform  

Online platforms are growing in numbers as well as in importance to shippers and logistics and transportation providers alike. As the focus on this technology grows, stakeholders are working to navigate available options to determine which platform best fits the needs of their supply chains.  For the small-to-medium sized shipper, these online platforms can help level the playing field in regards to competition and in terms of cost savings. However, […]

UAVs to become an integral part of SF Express’ nationwide delivery network by 2022

Drones are finally becoming an accepted part of last-mile deliveries in the U.S., thanks to the Federal Aviation Administration stepping up and establishing guidelines and requirements. Earlier this year, UPS, in partnership with Matternet and WakeMed with oversight by the FAA and North Carolina Department of Transportation, began utilizing drone transport as an option for […]

Air cargo’s peak season – promising or a bust?

A year that started with great uncertainty will likely end the same. As we head into the traditional peak season, the world is faced with increasing trade barriers and weakening demand for goods. Global manufacturing activity is hovering dangerously close to contraction for many countries and for some countries, including the United States, contraction has […]
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