Copyright 2003, Traffic World, Inc.
Quote of the week: "You don''t want to make the mistake of trying
to sell beef products to India." -- Darren Maynard, chief operating officer of NextLinx, on why it''s important to research international markets.
The nation''s two major shipper organizations, the National Industrial Transportation League and the National Small Shipments Traffic Conference, are struggling to fill their top staff positions. Despite dangling healthy salaries, both groups have gone the better part of six months without finding Mr. or Ms. Right. The delay is costing shippers because Capitol Hill is awash with legislation such as the six-year highway bill and hazardous materials rules related to national security that could affect the way transportation is defined over the next several years.
The Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill is moving through Congress. The House Aviation Subcommittee approved the Century of Aviation Reauthorization Act on May 14, following the lead of the Senate Commerce Committee, which approved its chamber''s version on May 1. At press time, the legislation - dubbed CARA-100 in the House - was on hold in the House, while the speaker''s office considered shifting it to the Homeland Security Committee. Transportation-oriented lawmakers in both chambers say it is important to move the FAA reauthorization bill early in the year before it gets overshadowed by its larger cousin, the highway reauthorization bill.
This summer the $1.5 billion automotive industry supplier Metaldyne will beta test new Kanban functionality from enterprise solutions vendor QAD Inc. The system allows companies to closely control inventory flows through just-in-time operations. Lean manufacturing not only enables automotive companies to increase supply-chain efficiency, it is part of the industry''s drive toward a build-to-order business model.
Several initiatives are under way to improve security practices and processes in global supply chains. The Geneva-based International Organization for Standardization is partnering with the Strategic Council on Security Technology on their Smart and Secure Tradelanes initiative. ISO signed a memorandum of understanding on March 31 with the chairman of the SCST, retired U.S. Army Gen. John Coburn. The two organizations began working with each other two weeks ago, said Steve Lambright, a spokesman for SCST and vice president of marketing for Savi Technology.
What''s in a name? More than meets the eye, apparently. The International Warehouse Logistics Association is changing its name to the Association for Logistics Outsourcing. "Our vision is to become the world''s leading association for logistics outsourcing," said Joel Hoiland, president and CEO of the Des Plaines, Ill.-based organization. "It''s a tremendous opportunity to fill that void. No other organization in the world that I know of is dedicated to that." Members will vote on the name change by June 30. Hoiland is confident the change will pass.
Nobody at the Big Three LTL carriers is seeing an economic recovery yet. Truckers, who are always on the vanguard of any large national economic rebound, are forecasting "flat" economic growth into their business models - which isn''t good news for the economy. There have been increases of tonnage at the Big Three, but that''s only because of the demise of $1.5 billion rival Consolidated Freightways last September. The carriers are heading into the peak freight season this year with fingers crossed that a recovery is around the corner, but they''ve felt that way the past two years.
The Department of Transportation administrative law judge in charge of reviewing the corporate citizenship of DHL Airways has scheduled a second prehearing conference to lay out the case. Judge Ronnie Yoder set a new, longer timeline for the case and scheduled the second conference for May 27 at DOT headquarters. Under the new timeline, the case will be completed in late October. In the meantime, DHL Airways reached a sale agreement with its chairman and CEO, John Dasburg, who plans to buy the company. The sale could be completed by June 30, if it''s approved by DOT.
The Port of New Orleans and the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad plan to turn an empty intermodal ramp into the anchor for a new rail shuttle service that will carry containers and trailers between the port and the Class 1 intermodal ramps. The service is to help offset a projected increase in truck drayage traffic that will be moving through the port once its new $100 million Napoleon Avenue container terminal opens in August. The port hopes a "steel wheel shuttle" will replace a portion of the drayage requirements in and out of the terminal by linking outlying intermodal ramps by rail instead of by truck.
The Bureau of Customs and Border Protection soon will deliver an Internet portal that gives companies a real-time window on the status of their international shipments. From its side of the window the agency will use the portal to improve its processes and promote supply-chain security. The ACE Secure Data Portal is the first rollout in a $1.5 billion, five-year program to revamp the Automated Commercial Environment.