Shippers' Associations: Operations, Trends, and Comparative Prices

Brown, Terence A.
September 1981
Transportation Journal (American Society of Transportation & Log;Fall81, Vol. 21 Issue 1, p54
Academic Journal
This article attempts to fill some of the gaps in the understanding of such associations by reviewing their basic operating characteristics, their industry position and growth trends, and their rate levels in comparison with other freight transportation media. Shippers' associations are unregulated, nonprofit organizations which consolidate their members' shipments into larger lots in order to take advantage of quantity discounts and other savings offered by rail and motor common carriers. Their operations are described as either outbound or inbound. Outbound associations normally collect shipments from a city or surrounding area and consolidate them for transport to a few or many distant cities. Such associations generally depend more heavily for membership on manufacturers than on retailers. Inbound associations generally represent retailers or wholesalers in a single city or area. The association arranges for members' shipments from one or a few important production centers to be consolidated into trailers and shipped via trailer-on-flat-car service into the local area. Once in the local area, the goods may be delivered to a retailer or to a distribution center-possibly for eventual re-shipment to another city in the region.


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