Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!



Is a new transportation bill finally a reality?

By Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
June 21, 2012

Still holding your breath to see if our elected leaders might just pass a transportation bill nearly three years after the last bill expired? Well, guess what? You are in luck….sort of.

While House and Senate conferees have been meeting frequently over the past several weeks, reports of any meaningful progress towards a new bill have been lacking. With the ninth continuing resolution—political speak for “extension”—of the old bill, SAFETEA-LU—expiring at the end of the month (which keeps spending at previous and now clearly underfunded levels), it has been widely assumed a tenth one is en route for myriad reasons.

That was the general consensus, until today anyhow.

Earlier in the day, U.S. Rep. John L. Mica (R-FL), Chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee issued a statement about the bill and the negotiations. And if what they are saying ends up becoming a reality, it stands to reason that it is good news for freight transportation stakeholders everywhere.

“The conferees have moved forward toward a bipartisan, bicameral agreement on a highway reauthorization bill,” said Mica and Boxer. “Both House and Senate conferees will continue to work with a goal of completing a package by next week.”

This development was widely embraced by Janet Kavinoky, executive director of transportation and infrastructure for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

“It is time for Congress to pass a transportation reauthorization bill and send it to the president for his signature,” said Kavinoky. “We are increasingly confident that this agreement will include critical reforms that will greatly improve the business of transportation investment in this country.  The conference committee appears poised to advance policies that will consolidate overlapping and duplicative federal programs; streamline the project delivery process to shorten project times and save limited federal dollars; give states the flexibility to target federal funds where they are most needed; and increase opportunities for private investment.  It is our hope that the Congress will also provide much needed certainty by maintaining funding levels over the next year and a half. Legislation to improve this country’s transportation system is long overdue and will help stabilize critical parts of the economy and strengthen our competitive edge.”

Now, we wait and see what happens next week. It seems like there is reason for optimism. Let’s hope that is the case.

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

Seasonally-adjusted (SA) for-hire truck tonnage in July headed up 1.3 percent on the heels of a 0.8 percent increase in June. The ATA’s not seasonally-adjusted (NSA) index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by fleets before any seasonal adjustment, was 133.3 in July, which outpaced June’s 132.3 by 0.8 percent, and was up 2.8 percent annually.

Volumes for the month of July at the Port of Long Beach (POLB) and the Port of Los Angeles (POLA) were mixed, according to data recently issued by the ports. Unlike May and June, which saw higher than usual seasonal volumes, due to the West Coast port labor situation, July was down as retailers had completed filling inventories for back-to-school shopping.

With a 0.8 cent decrease, this week’s average price per gallon is $3.835 and stands as the lowest price since hitting $3.844 the week of November 25, 2013.

LTL carriers are rapidly investing in expensive, on-dock, three-dimensional size measurement capturing machinery, and they are hoping one day of being able to more accurately charge shippers rates based on the actual dimensions of their shipments, rather than the traditional weight-and-distance-based formula that has been in effect since the 1930s or even earlier.

The Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) recently reported that its Freight Transportation Services Index (TSI) dipped 0.9 percent from May to June.

Article Topics

Blogs · All topics

Comments

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


© Copyright 2013 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA