- THE MAGAZINE
- INFO CENTER
Air: Cargo Volume at San Antonio On Track to Break RecordA strong economy coupled with changing demands in the global supply chain is likely to push air cargo volumes at San Antonio International Airport to a record high this year, say airport officials.
Although air cargo traffic hit a record-low in 2001, there's been a dramatic turnaround thanks to a stronger economy and an increasing demand for smaller, more frequent shipments in global supply chains.
The airport has been attracting more business from express carriers FedEx and UPS, which operate six and five daily flights out of the airport, respectively.
San Antonio handled more than 66.7 million pounds of consumer goods, small auto parts, medical supplies and other items between January and May of this year, up 10 percent from the same period last year. Meanwhile, the August through October period is one of the airport's busiest, as that's when most of the holiday shipments arrive.
Rail: Proposed Bill Aims to Spur InvestmentU.S. Senators Trent Lott (R-Miss.) and Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) have introduced a bill entitled the “Freight Rail Infrastructure Capacity Expansion Act” to help drive private investment in the nation's rail network.
The incentive is a 25 percent tax credit for businesses making investments in new rail, track, intermodal facilities, rail yards, locomotives, and other rail-related infrastructure upgrades.
The proposed bill comes at a time when many logistics experts are increasingly worried about the U.S. infrastructure's ability to handle growing volumes of freight, which is expected to rise 67 percent over the next 15 years.
According to the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Office (AASHTO), trucks and the highway system carry 78 percent of domestic tonnage, while the freight-rail system carries 16 percent and coastal shipping handles 6 percent.
However, by 2020, the highway system is likely to carry an additional 6,600 million tons of freight (a 62 percent increase) while the freight-rail system could see an additional 888 million tons (a 44 percent increase).
Rail: Intermodal Volume Up SharplyThe Intermodal Association of North America reports that intermodal volume during the second quarter has outpaced last year's peak season levels. A total of 3.58 million loads were moved during the second quarter compared to 3.56 million loads during the fourth quarter of 2005. International containers were largely responsible for the gains, accounting for more than 90 percent of the second quarter increases. Most of these containers were imports from Asia moving through Pacific Southwest ports.
Trucking: Customs Expands e-Manifest Along U.S. Northern BorderU.S. Customs and Border Protection's electronic truck manifest filing system has been expanded along the U.S. northern border with the addition of two more bridge crossings in Buffalo, New York.
The e-manifest system is part of the larger Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) system, which allows motor carriers to transmit data to Customs electronically.
The Peace Bridge was the first to be added to the e-manifest system in August, while the Lewiston Bridge was added later that month.
The e-manifest system is already operational along the U.S. southern border and much of the northern border. The system will be deployed to all land border ports during 2006.
Ocean: Drought Hampers Barge Traffic on Missouri RiverFor the fourth consecutive year, the barge navigation season on the Missouri River will be shortened because of drought and below-average water levels.
This year, barge operators will lose 44 days, compared to a record 48 days last year, 47 days in 2004, and 6 days in 2003.
The shorter season is affecting much-needed shipments of cement, asphalt, fertilizer, and steel.
Ocean: New Niche Port for VirginiaA new niche port in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia has opened to serve break-bulk, heavy-lift and unusual cargoes.
The 20-acre Peck Marine Terminal will be part of the second-busiest port on the U.S. East Coast. Located in Chesapeake, next to Norfolk, on the Elizabeth River's southern branch, it will have a depth of 40-feet, easy truck access to I-64, and a spur leading to two rail lines (Norfolk Southern and CSX).
The port's anchor tenant is Oceaneering International Inc., a Houston-based advanced applied technology company that provides engineering services and hardware to customers who work in marine, space and other harsh environments.
Technology: IT Spending Up Sharply in 2006According to AMR Research, companies plan to increase investments across their organization in order to expand and transform the business in the coming months, with IT spending in particular expected to increase by 19.5 percent this year.
This was the finding of AMR Research's latest “Tech Trends” tracking study in the manufacturing and service industries of more than 200 IT and business executives from midsized and enterprise-sized companies within the U.S.