Commodity Management Blog

Innovative Ideas and Thought Leadership for Volatile Commodity Marketplace

We recently returned from sponsoring Logichem Europe where over 250 supply chain planning professionals discussed top industry trends.  A topic of particular interest this year was supply chain segmentation.

What is supply chain segmentation?  It’s a way to have your physical supply chain support multiple, virtual supply chains—each focusing on a different segment of products or markets with unique production costs, distribution costs, and customer requirements.

For example, companies can use segmentation to have their low margin products follow the most cost-effective paths through the supply chain, isolate unpredictable customers into separately forecasted groups to improve overall accuracy, or give…

Over the past decade, Brazil has grown to be the largest economy in Latin America and a major player in global agricultural production. As the world’s largest exporter of sugar, it produces around 20% of the world’s supply annually. In addition, Brazil is a leading exporter of chicken, coffee and soy beans. A significant portion of the world’s economy is dependent on the continued success of agricultural exports, and industry leaders are recognizing the need for advanced commodity trading and risk management (CTRM) solutions that help maintain a competitive advantage by managing volatility and optimizing supply chain efficiency.

In…

Triple Point will join CPOs from Barilla and Chesapeake Packaging on a  webinar panel on April 18th, to discuss commodity risk and potential solutions. For more details, click here.

Did you see the recent headline: Samoa Air to price tickets by   passenger weight?  All fat jokes aside, the underlying logic for the pricing change is so Samoa Air can find the best way to manage jet fuel costs.  Each pound shed from a plane saves the company 14,000 gallons of fuel each year.  At roughly $3.03 per gallon, that’s $42,400 per year that drops to the bottom line…

European energy markets continue to experience change that will prevent power and gas companies from putting their eggs in the same old baskets. Ongoing developments have exposed the shortcomings of legacy software applications that are no longer capable of effectively calculating risk or optimizing trading activity.

Commodity Now’s latest white paper, Managing the European Energy Equation, written by publisher Guy Isherwood, discusses the adversity that companies have encountered in Europe’s power and gas markets. Uncertainty has made trading in product isolation obsolete, and participants are challenged with managing multiple commodities while struggling to meet…

Whatever you do, don’t collaborate with your supply chain planning peers.  No need to share information about inventory levels, customer orders or transportation woes.  And definitely don’t try to predict sales out into the future, because there’s just no evidence that it’s a worthwhile endeavor.

OK, I didn’t think you’d agree with that.  If nothing else, the previous paragraph was an unexpected swim against the current of overwhelming support for doing the exact opposite.  Of course you should be collaborating.  Of course you need to share information upon which critical supply chain planning decisions are made.  Of course you should…

Just a few years back, there were many articles discussing “Peak Oil” and whether the world had already passed the peak.  A typical headline was one in Fortune Magazine in 2008 with a headline predicting a dramatic increase in oil prices – “Here comes $500 oil.”

At the recent HIS CERA Week, it was reported that “Peak Oil” was already a distant thought for most presenters, and that much of the talk was about growth in natural gas and oil from unconventional shale resources in the U.S.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), crude oil production in the…

Really, there is a National Cereal Day…

Who doesn’t love cereal?  Sometimes it’s my three square meals for the day, and a midnight snack.  The cereal aisle is my favorite destination at the supermarket, as I’m sure it is for many of you as well.

Supermarkets offer an assortment of cereals. There are the sugary and fruity cereals for the kids, and let’s face it, some adults too. And for the responsible adults, there are the organic, healthy, and high fiber cereals. The cereal industry is enormous and ever-changing due to the volatile nature of the commodities that are used. …

Triple Point officially opened its Latin American headquarters in Rio de Janeiro this week with a special reception hosting Vale, NORSUL, and other leading companies that rely on Triple Point’s Commodity Management solutions.

The new office enables Triple Point to service its rapidly growing customer base throughout the region. Latin America has always been an important market to Triple Point, with Petrobras becoming a customer back in 2000.

The Latin American economy is very commodity-driven because of rich natural resources including coffee, sugar, oil, and iron ore. The Brazilian economy in particular is the largest in the region, and the…

I would be hard-pressed to cite a manufacturing process that didn’t inevitably lead to the co-manufacture of some form of waste. Throughout history, successful companies have developed creative ways of breathing new life into those by-products. When Henry Ford, of Ford Motor Company, began his assembly line production of Model T’s; he discovered that scrap wood pieces could be used to manufacture charcoal. That discovery not only repurposed the wood but allowed Ford to earn additional profit and ultimately spinoff the business. Today, Kingsford Products Company remains the leading U.S. charcoal manufacturer.

In the same vein, Natural Gas Liquids…

As you read this, Triple Point headquarters is emerging from the second of two headline-grabbing storms to wreak havoc on the northeastern United States.  Winter storm Nemo dumped 40 inches of snow on New England, cutting power to 650,000 customers across eight states and paralyzing air, rail and road networks.  And while recovery should not take too long this time, that was not the case with Hurricane Sandy last October whose 110 mph winds caused $74 billion in damages in a swath from the Caribbean to Cape Cod.

If your job is managing the distribution of materials across a supply…

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