Its new "global logistics company," called Publishers Logistics Worldwide, intends to help publishers cope with the problems that arise with outsourcing to Asia, particularly "lack of transparency," inaccurate estimates, delivery date promises, and lack of container space; as well as problems once the shipments reach the US, such as truckers' unwillingness to allocate full-load trailers to partial load shipments, according to Chris McKenney, Executive VP/COO of PGW.
says 35% of its clients' printed material comes from Asia.
Out of about 35 PGW
publishers that print in Asia, about 25 are already using the logistics services, which unofficially started this summer.
With an Oracle-based tracking system, PLW organizes the publishers' print runs so they can consolidate titles into PLW containers and link the shipments with freight networks in the US.
It will be extended to Europe "soon," with a "consolidation point" in the UK, and is working to have similar facilities in place for US exports to Australia, Asia, and Europe by spring 2005.
estimates the service will save publishers 10-70%, depending on the sizes of their shipments (more cost savings for smaller ones).
Regarding the recent delays, he
said, "We haven't seen any titles that aren't going to make it into Amazon's
supply chain, or B&N's
, or even our independents.
It's been much more of an annoyance than a hard-core sales problem — but if it doesn't improve by late November, then we really will have some failed deliveries."
The ports say it will ease up, and he's
skeptical, but optimistic.