As one of the proud sponsors of The North Carolina League of Transportation and Logistics Conference in Myrtle Beach, SC, we at Electric Guard Dog were there for the event. Congratulations to Fred Piercy, Sr. of CV International for receiving the Bill H. Teague Lifetime Achievement Award — well deserved.
The Washington Update
Duane Long, Chairman of the American Trucking Associations provided an energetic keynote “Washington Update” focused first and foremost on the driver shortage. Currently the industry has a shortage of 50,000 truck drivers; in the next 10 years it could swell to 500,000 vacancies. In order to address this he encouraged:
- Strengthening the image of trucking and transportation industries to attract young people
- Working to lower the stringent age and experience required by insurance
- Offering training programs and apprenticeships
- Hiring veterans using the Returning Heroes Tax Credit
Long also delved into ATA legislative priorities and noted their successes, including ATA’s effective battle against onerous provisions regarding Hours of Service.
2015: The Peak for Trucking or the Prelude to More Capacity Tightness?
Steve Crompton of Servantage Dixie Sales
is excited to try out our shock pen.
Thom Albrecht of BB&T Capital Markets discussed the economic state of the trucking industry and made a few predictions for the future. Currently, Albrecht noted the trucking industry is in good stead; regulatory changes, challenges with rail service, and port strikes have all aided the industry.
Despite the increasing strength of the national economy — evidenced by increased auto sales, housing, and consumer goods — Albrecht cautioned that he did see indicators of a potential upcoming lull in trucking’s future. His reasons included:
- A reduction of industrial production; although spending is up, many growing markets including internet, cell phones and healthcare do not require freight
- A strong dollar has hurt demand for U.S. Exports
- 3-D printing may mean smaller shipments in the future
Florida East Coast Railway and Rail Industry Update
James R. Hertwig, President & CEO of Florida East Coast Railway LLC, spoke about the complimentary relationship between railroads and trucking, and discussed railroad’s emphasis on safety. With the U.S. infrastructure suffering from wear and tear, Florida East Coast Railway has invested heavily on capital expenditures, and the industry as a whole has invested a whopping $575 billion. As a result, railway accidents have been reduced by 80% and capacity has doubled.
Hertwig anticipated that the trend for shippers to utilize East Coast ports will continue to grow. Due to the strike issues on the West Coast, as well as the chassis shortage, already 10% of port shipments have been shifted to the East Coast. His company is preparing for additional shifts, with investments in 24 new GE locomotives.
Supply chain professionals seem to be well on the path in terms of tracking, anticipating and growing infrastructure to accommodate changes in the coming years, which is why we had time to finish with a spectacular golf tournament! After all, the conference WAS in Myrtle Beach.
The North Carolina League of Transportation and Logistics is an effective vehicle to organize shippers and receivers of freight in order to: network, take common action, stimulate public interest and promote the well-being of the transportation infrastructure. The League promotes close relationships with providers of transportation services, cooperates with government entities on matters of mutual interest, lobbies its positions when appropriate and promotes transportation education.