Two seismic events occurred in the fourth quarter of 2012 that will have a lasting impact well into 2013 and beyond. The first event — a $6 billion, four-year push to bring dramatic change to our gridlocked political system — never materialized and the end result was a November vote for the status quo. The second event, Hurricane Sandy, brought a wallop of change and is one of the most decisive events in the recent history of the Northeast U.S. The hurricane left a trail of destruction and damage that could surpass $50 billion. Both events will play out significantly for our industry in 2013.
Hurricane Sandy tells us a lot about infrastructure investment. Although many of us thought of Wall Street as a metaphor for the financial world, Hurricane Sandy reminded it is a real street and it is part of infrastructure that links us to our jobs, our commerce and our livelihoods. The election also opens the door for us to revisit our investment into our supply chain infrastructure. Although we have a two-year transportation bill, we need to focus on a longer-term plan that brings more resources to repairing and rebuilding our infrastructure from coast to coast. Let’s use infrastructure investment as a platform for bipartisan leadership that benefits not only political parties but also our nation’s supply chain.
No look into the transportation crystal ball is complete without mention of safety. Refining and improving the CSA program is a priority for the trucking industry in 2013. We’re working with the American Trucking Associations to make sure the program accurately reflects the exemplary industry work to improve safety, not just as part of a scoring system but also as part of a commitment that we make every day to our customers, employees and the public.
Here is to a safe and prosperous 2013.