Will the ASCE Report Card Help Kick-Start Trump’s Infrastructure Plan?

Trump's Infrastructure Plan

PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK

It’s official. We got a D+! That’s the score for our nation’s infrastructure given to us by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) in their latest Report Card on America’s Infrastructure. ASCE publishes the report card every four years to identify the performance and capacity of our public works. A worrying trend seen in each of the seven published reports starting from 1988, is the concern that fiscal investment is inadequate to meet the current operational costs and future demands on our infrastructure system.

We received the score D+ from the previous 2013 report card but the significant difference is that 4 years ago the ASCE estimated it would take $3.6 trillion over eight years to fix. This year it would take $4.59 trillion over 10 years to fix.

As logistics professionals we rely on the good health of our infrastructure to move goods around the nation. But Read more “Will the ASCE Report Card Help Kick-Start Trump’s Infrastructure Plan?”

Freight Forwarding – There’s an App for That!

flexport screenshot

PHOTO: COURTESY FLEXPORT

Freight forwarding is big business – a $1.1 trillion global logistics spend. It’s also a complex business with a lot of moving parts. Freight never stops moving. It crosses multiple time zones through numerous borders and customs checkpoints. And it gets handed off from one carrier to another many times on its journey from origin to destination. Read more “Freight Forwarding – There’s an App for That!”

Self Driving Truck Race Heats Up

Starsky Robotics

Photo Courtesy: Starsky Robotics

Two more companies have recently thrown their hats into the self-driving truck arena. San Mateo, CA, based Embark led by co-founders Alex Rodrigues, a 21-year-old robotics expert, and Brandon Moak, have “created a technology that allows trucks to drive from exit to exit on the freeway without any human input,” as stated in their press release. San Francisco-based Starsky Robotics are the second company and it is their stated aim to take drivers off the road and put them in an office! Read more “Self Driving Truck Race Heats Up”

The Freight Recession is Over

The-Freight-Recesssion-Is-Over

PHOTO: FLICKR – Ron Cogswell

The freight recession is over according to Donald Broughton, the author of the January 2017 Cass Freight Index report. He has some pretty compelling evidence to back up his claim too.

Jeff Berman, Group News Editor of Logistics Management Magazine, in his commentary on the report, writes:

“Many freight transportation and logistics executives and analysts consider the Cass Freight Index to be the most accurate barometer of freight volumes and market conditions, with many analysts noting that the Cass Freight Index sometimes leads the American trucking associations (ATA) tonnage index at turning points, which lends to the value of the Cass Freight Index.”

In other words we need to Read more “The Freight Recession is Over”

Five Key Supply Chain Trends for 2017

5-Key-Supply-Chain-Trends-for-2017

SCM world recently completed its annual “Future of Supply Chain” survey comprising opinions of 1,415 supply chain professionals from around the world. Five key supply chain trends emerged as a result.

SCM World is a cross industry learning community, “powered by the world’s most influential supply-chain practitioners.” Their membership includes many large and well-respected global companies.

The survey opened with the following question:

“With respect to supply chain strategy, which of the following technologies are disruptive and important for your company?” The results are shown below.  Read more “Five Key Supply Chain Trends for 2017”

The World According to Amazon

The World According to Amazon

PHOTO: Jonathan Weiss, Shutterstock Inc.

As many regular readers of this blog will know I’ve been keeping a very close eye on Amazon’s incursion into the logistics space and published regular articles on their progress. Over the next 2 to 3 years they will become the dominant logistics player in the global retail supply chain. It’s a journey many of us can learn from.

A Simple Playbook

Amazon is all about scale and low prices. It has been ever since the company was founded on July 5, 1994 as “Earth’s Biggest Bookstore”, with the tagline “1 million titles, consistently low prices”. It’s an ethos that drives every enterprise Amazon undertakes and underpins their simple playbook: Read more “The World According to Amazon”

Where Do Trucking Companies Go From Here?

Where-do-the-Trucking-Companies-Go-From-Here

Photo credit: Barry Blackburn / Shutterstock, Inc.

Last week I was able to report good news from the railroads. Fourth-quarter results show profits were being made across the board. (The exception was Kansas City Southern which has its own set of unique problems operating a railroad across the US – Mexico border.) Cost-cutting measures bringing operating ratios down were the prime drivers of profits, but hopeful economic signs are starting to show.

Lance Fritz, CEO of Union Pacific, was particularly excited about the economic outlook: Read more “Where Do Trucking Companies Go From Here?”

Trumps’ Infrastructure Plan – the Clock Has Started Ticking…

Trump's-Infrastructure-Plan

It’s the first day of the Trump presidency and the rubber has hit the road. Trump has promised to deliver an infrastructure rebuilding proposal to Congress within his first 100 days in office. Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.), Chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee remarked:

“We’re going to start to work on it, but first of all, you’ve got to figure out the pay-fors, which will come, I believe, in the first 100 days,” Shuster said Wednesday. “Then in the next second 100 days is when we’ll put together a big infrastructure package.”

House Speaker Paul Ryan similarly stated: Read more “Trumps’ Infrastructure Plan – the Clock Has Started Ticking…”