Logistics Lowdown - August 2016

Brought to you by AGWorld.

We give you the skinny in the big bad world of logistics. Read this curated collection of articles every month to learn about the latest developments and most pressing problems facing our fast-changing industry.
 
1.
WHERE HAVE ALL THE TRUCK DRIVERS GONE

An increasingly short supply of truck drivers has become a weak link in the supply chain. Inflation has raced ahead of trucker wages since the 1980s, diminishing the benefits of a profession that calls for an unconventional lifestyle. Coupled with an ongoing image problem, and it’s no surprise new drivers are leaving almost as soon as they start. The shortage is reaching crisis levels – potentially 200,000 drivers short in the next decade. Read post on the AGWorld blog.
 
2.
THE NEW PANAMA CANAL IS HERE

In a time when megaships are becoming the definitive vessel, the Panama Canal is striving to cement its relevance by a historic expansion that permits ships carrying up to 14000 TEUs. With U.S.-Asia trade patterns predicted to shift, how will this intensify the competition between East Coast and West Coast ports? Read post on the AGWorld blog.
 
3.
SELF-DRIVING TRUCKS: THE REALITY BEHIND THE HYPE

How close are we really to a world where driverless trucks rumble down the highway? Despite the recent media hype, there are still significant limitations to the autonomy of self-driving trucks and some experts, like Steven Shladover at UC Berkeley’s PATH program, believe the self-driving truck will never truly be driverless. Read more about the mechanics of self-driving trucks and what capabilities we’ll see in in the near future.  
 
4.
A FUTURISTIC SOLUTION FOR PORT CONGESTION

Elon Musk envisioned the Hyperloop, a magnetic levitation train inside a low pressure tube, to be a supersonic transporter of people that would leave railroads in the dust. Today, the Port of Dubai is eyeing the invention for possible transportation of freight from ship to inland hub. Allowing freight to bypass the docks would open the docks for other activities, alleviate port congestion, and pave the way for more shipments to pass through the port. Does this invention have a place in the shipping industry? Read more about Dubai’s exploration into the Hyperloop.
 
5.
THE U.S. WANTS TO SLOW DOWN TRUCKS

The dilemma between safety and efficiency continues to play out on America’s highways. In an effort to reduce the number of accidents, federal regulators have proposed a new rule that would curb the speed of trucks by requiring the installation of speed limiters at the factory. When the rule comes into effect, it will reduce the number of miles that truckers will be allowed to travel per day, and make it necessary for trucking companies to hire more drivers or take other measures. This will hit small trucking companies the hardest, and the Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association has come out forcefully against it, though they are giving a different reason for their opposition…. See what.
 
See you next month!

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