Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!



Infrastructure’s unsolved riddle

By Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
July 23, 2010

In case you missed it, a trio of like-minded Senators rolled out some very interesting “FREIGHT”-focused legislation yesterday.

LM reported on this yesterday, noting that this ambitious legislation puts freight—and goods movement—as a real driver of economic change and gains should this legislation one day be enacted into law or rolled into a larger bill (SAFETEA-LU, the next phase, perhaps?

Among the items the bill proposes are:

  • to reduce delays of goods and commodities entering into and out of intermodal connectors that serve international points of entry on an annual basis;
  • increase travel time reliability on major freight corridors that connect major population centers with freight generators and   international gateways on an annual basis;
  • reduce the number of transportation-related fatalities by 10 percent by   2015;
  • reduce national freight transportation-related carbon dioxide levels by 40 percent by 2030; and
    reduce freight transportation-related air, water, and noise pollution and impacts on ecosystems and communities on an annual basis.

These are all very good ideas that could, in fact, go a long way in improving the economy and having freight play a key role in the process…..if it were not only for one thing—-money—and lots of it.

This bill, like the six-year, $450 billion surface transportation reauthorization penned by Congressman James L. Oberstar last year, simply does not have a tangible way of getting the resources it needs to get off the ground and make a difference.

That much was obvious, given the absence of a dollar figure or estimate in yesterday’s bill. Coalition of America’s Gateways Executive Director Leslie Blakey made it clear on a conference call yesterday that the bill’s absence of funding was not by accident.

She said the matter of funding needs to be overseen by the Senate Finance Committee, adding that from a cost perspective this bill may be better off as an individual effort as opposed to a bigger bill.

What’s more, she pointed out that the “cards are stacked” against SAFETEA-LU truly going anywhere in the short term.

And even though the most obvious remedy for funding—raising a gas tax which has not budged since 1993—is clearly off the table, as per the words of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood on more than one occasion, the available remedies out there to fund a bill of this kind are limited to put it mildly.

LaHood recently touted increased tolling revenues, coupled with the gas tax, to serve as the funding engine, but that appears to be a tough sell to the freight transportation community at this point.

With so many great ideas out there to help give freight a seat at the table to make things better on myriad levels, we as a nation need to find a way to pony up to make it reality. But for now the question remains how it should be accomplished.

What is the solution when it comes to transportation funding? Newsroom Notes wants to know.

About the Author

Jeff Berman headshot
Jeff Berman
Group News Editor

Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


Subscribe to Logistics Management magazine

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your
entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Recent Entries

The average price per gallon of diesel rose 4.3 cents to $2.854 per gallon, following gains of 3.1 cents and 2.6 cents, respectively, the previous two weeks for a cumulative ten cent gain over the last three weeks.

The index ISM uses to measure non-manufacturing growth—known as the NMI—was 57.8 in April which was 1.3 percent above March and also 0.5 percent above the 12-month average of 57.3. Economic activity in the non-manufacturing sector has grown for the last 63 months, according to ISM.

Non asset-based 3PL XPO Logistics reported solid first quarter earnings last night, with total gross revenue seeing a 148.9 percent annual gain at $703.0 million and net revenue up 349.0 percent to $262.2 million. Despite the significant gains in total gross revenue and net revenue, the company had a $14.7 million quarterly net loss, which marked an improvement compared to a $28.3 million net loss a year ago.

So far, so good may be the best way to describe the current state of progress in the negotiating process regarding the announcement made last month by FedEx that it plans to acquire Netherlands-based TNT-NV and a provider of mail and courier services and the fourth largest global parcel operator for $4.8 billion.

A new study, “Understanding Risk Assessment Practices at Manufacturing Companies,” uncovers complex business risks and disruptors facing manufacturers, and a pressing need for the industry to evolve its risk assessment capabilities.

Article Topics

Blogs · Intermodal · Transportation · SAFETEA-LU · All topics

Comments

Post a comment
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.


© Copyright 2015 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA