The Back Page

The Back Page

Copyright 2004, Traffic World, Inc.

Where? For this week''s "Where Are They Now" report, let''s look at what former DOT Secretary Neil Goldschmidt is doing. On second thought, we''d rather not know.

On Water. Like everyone who''s been to the Smithsonian''s "America on the Move" exhibit in Washington, we''ve wondered why most of the maritime material seems a bit set apart and not really integrated into this sprawling, very freight-focused exhibit. Turns out, the water crowd is going to be involved in a bigger way - just a little bit later than the other modes. Organizers of the "On the Water" addition have a big design set to go but they need funding to finish a project that will display the nation''s critical dependence on maritime commerce. We hope someone comes up with the cash, or should we expect that to be foreign-flagged?

Wearable. We''re as impressed by anyone by the work at the Fashion Institute of Technology, where the recent student fashion show - we never miss one - included designs for a competition to create a new "mock" UPS uniform. According to UPS, entries included a safari-style jumpsuit to a kimono-type jacket. Alas, none of the designs are for real uniforms that will be worn by delivery people.

60 years. Congratulations to the American Waterways Operators, which last week marked its 60th anniversary representing tugboat, towboat and barge operators. They had a reception to celebrate the anniversary and we trust no one had to be towed home.

Bitten. The U.S. Postal Service is marking National Dog Bite Prevention Week. This is the one area where the USPS would really like to see a level playing field with UPS and the other private carriers.

E-Mail. Corporate e-mail addresses tend to go from bland to blander. That''s why we love getting reports from one major transport operator whose official, company e-mail moniker is "2good2btrue."

Airlines. One reader complains that customer service at the airlines is sinking too low. But we''re not sure we believe the slogan of the airline he last flew really was, "If you think it''s so easy, get your own plane."

Galley Chat. When airlines design new planes, they often take into account cargo space or other such amenities. So when Airbus designed its new A340-500, it included a ?corpse cupboard? on the main deck. Every so often, a live passenger becomes, well, ahem, cargo during a flight. The manufacturer wants to give airline crews a way to address this rather delicate issue. It''s unclear whether upgrades are available, however.

Warned. Nigeria''s National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders is telling its members to shun what it calls "sharp practices" in business. Otherwise, says Dr. Boniface Aniebonam, they may become "victims of circumstances." Any readers who want to know more about this should just send us their bank account numbers via e-mail.