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Logistics managers always struggle to balance speed and cost. Now, for the first time in years, cost is winning.
It's no longer good enough for supply chains to be just-in-time; now they must be just-in-budget. Transport cost increases spurred by surging fuel prices are rattling even the best-run logistics operations, forcing shippers to rethink distribution strategies and to seek new ways to become more efficient.
Even before this summer's record fuel price run-up--and long before Hurricane Katrina slammed into the economy there were signs that the drive to squeeze costs out of logistics had hit bottom and that logistics costs had nowhere to go but up. …