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Viewpoint: Collaborative efforts celebrated

By Michael Levans, Group Editorial Director
March 01, 2012

Our March issue includes coverage of a number of recent collaborative efforts geared toward driving the industry forward through the power of a more unified voice.

First and foremost, the Logistics Management (LM) editorial staff would like to congratulate Mike Regan, head of NASSTRAC’s advocacy committee and LM blogger, for successfully organizing the recent “Stand Up for Trucking” fly-in event held on Capitol Hill on February 1, the eve of a crucial highway bill mark-up.

Regan pulled together more than 100 shippers and truckers along with members of 12 freight transportation associations to blanket Congressional offices and educate legislators, as a unified front, on the effects that HOS, increasing tolls, and truck size and weight issues are having on trucking’s productivity.

“Trucking is a national asset,” said Regan to event attendees.

“There are no issues specific to carriers. There are no issues specific to shippers. There are only issues that affect the entire country.”

Our John Schulz joined the event and shares his report on page 16. “The feeling of camaraderie between shippers and truckers was impressive,” Schulz told me after the event. “In the past, shippers have been left out of the conversation when it comes to lobbying, and it’s hurt them. But this was a visible, meaningful show of support for the trucking industry at a time when it needs it the most.”

News of often-opposed factions combining forces doesn’t stop there. In fact, the very next news story (page 17) explains how the two largest, and most influential industry associations—the American Trucking Associations and the Associations of American Railroads—have issued a joint statement calling for the passage of H.R. 7, the American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act, a five-year, $260 billion bill that puts a strong emphasis on trucking productivity.

While the two groups had been at odds on truck size and weight issues for years, it appears that they’ve found common ground in the bill’s language.

We’d also like to congratulate the staff of the Material Handling Industry of American (MHIA) on their success with the first Modex (Feb. 6-9), a new expo and conference designed to pull materials handling, logistics, and supply chain management education together under a single roof. MHIA reported that over 20,000 visitors walked the floor and attended conference sessions.

LM has a special Modex review section starting on page 55S that highlights the diverse keynote lineup. The speakers covered a range of critical topics—from the Panama Canal expansion to a forecast of global trade. But what I found most impressive about the Modex event was the more than 30 educational events that were sponsored by 17 diverse, co-located partners including CSCMP, WERC, AST&L, and MHEDA, among others.

In fact, the Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics co-located its annual Georgia Logistics Summit—a transportation, logistics, and global trade event—just upstairs from the 180,000 square-foot trade show of predominately materials handling products.

And when you broaden your scope, that juxtaposition will make even more sense after you read this month’s Warehouse/DC Management case study on Wet Seal’s recent retrofit project in Foothill Ranch, Calif. The story combines the implementation of new automated sortation inside the DC that’s closest to its busiest inbound port.

The result: The retailer streamlined its receiving and shipping along with cutting Customs time and overall transportation costs—a near-perfect encapsulation of all supply chain elements working together.

About the Author

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Michael Levans
Group Editorial Director

Michael Levans is Group Editorial Director of Peerless Media’s Supply Chain Group of publications and websites including Logistics Management, Supply Chain Management Review, Modern Materials Handling, and Material Handling Product News. He’s a 23-year publishing veteran who started out at the Pittsburgh Press as a business reporter and has spent the last 17 years in the business-to-business press. He’s been covering the logistics and supply chain markets for the past seven years. You can reach him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


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