Worth a Second Look

Shortly after the holidays, outgoing U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx released the final Beyond Traffic 2045 study highlighting transportation challenges facing the United States over the next three decades.

While you may have been overwhelmed by its heft at 200-plus pages, you may want to go back and take a good look at the document. There are a number of interesting questions and trends posed by the report. These are things those of us involved in the transportation industry simply can’t afford to ignore.

For example, did you know that in 2014, more than 10 million trucks moved over 10 billion tons of freight across America’s highways? And that by 2045, freight volume could increase by more than 40 percent from 11.5 billion tons to 16.5 billion tons? Or how about the current annual cost of truck congestion system wide is $28 billion?

If you haven’t taken a look at the report, be sure to download it. Or visit the U.S. Department of Transportation web site for more information.

The Short Haul

Heard a story on NPR on April 9 titled "Rail Operators Aim To Do More Short-Distance Hauling," that might have some in the trucking industry sitting up and taking notice - Norfolk Southern wants more of their business. And it’s building more intermodal facilities to accomplish that goal. Used to be railroads couldn’t make money on hauling intermodal freight less than 1,000 miles. Norfolk Southern believes it can do it profitably at distances as little as 550 miles. 

Still Not Ready for Prime Time

The Alliance for Safe, Efficient and Competitive Truck Transportation (ASECTT) has joined an industry chorus trying to get FMCSA to remove Compliance Safety Accountability (CSA) scores from public view.

In a Sept. 17 letter to Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx, the group, which represents brokers and smaller motor carriers, called for the "immediate removal of individual motor carriers’… scores from any and all public web sites maintained by the Federal Government…"

ASECTT, the ATA, OOIDA, and others contend that the scores paint a skewed picture of a carrier’s actual safety performance.

  • Check out the Government Accountability Office (GAO) report issued in February, which pulls at numerous loose threads in the SMS methodology.