Some Articles of Interest…Dec 10th.

To all…

1.  Here is a report from the Federal Reserve Bank in San Francisco that highlights the return on public spending in Transportation. They suggest that current multipliers for highway spending are too low, considering the long term effects that these projects have on local communities.  They suggest that multipliers should be higher than the tradition 1-1.5 used in economic models, suggesting that they should be more like 2 or higher.  The report they cite at the end of the article calls for the multiplier to be higher.  As the role of Benefit Cost analysis and Value Engineering remains an evolving tool at DOT, it will be interesting to see how these play out…

2.  The economic data remains mixed as the CASS Freight Index was down for November. (  The irony is that throughout 2012, we have seen mixed economic signals, and recently the OECD revised their forecasts for 2013 downward.  While we should rejoice about 2012 ending, we may not necessarily be jumping for joy that 2013 is here…

3. MAP-21 called for more work on freight advisory councils.  Here is a nice plug for KY from inbound logistics. There is some need to figure out how to work with advisory groups, as the MAP-21 guidance recommends this for freight projects, but it unclear if they really considered the various nature of freight advisory councils at the state and local level.  Clearly, the role of state freight advisory councils were not necessarily the catalyst behind Georgia’s agreement to expand the Port of Savannah .  And a recent commentary about how supply chains are becoming more important to a business’ bottom-line.  (

4.    Rail Intermodal trying to get under the 500 mile radius.  ( While rail intermodalism is growing, the question of can rail compete for shorter haul moves has been problematic. Traditionally, anyone said that rail can not be competitive for anything less than a day’s drive by truck, but there are some markets where short haul rail intermodal does exist.  For the Southeast, this is actually a reality, as Railroads have explored more intermodal terminal development in the region, especially tied to mainline container routings.

4.  Tolling versus fuel taxes?  The Reason Foundation came out with a new report that suggests this may not be as burdensome as first proposed and should be considered for future infrastructure funding.

5.  The USDOT Office of Inspector General released its FY2013 Top Management Challenges.  While not necessary program based, they do show the direction that the OIG is hoping to move in 2013, especially regarding program oversight.

Here are the priorities…

•           Ensuring the Next Generation Air Transportation System Advances Safety and Air Travel

•           Enhancing FAA’s Oversight and Use of Data To Identify and Mitigate Safety Risks

•           Overseeing Administration of Key Transportation Assets To Ensure Their Success and Sustainability

•           Strengthening Existing Surface Safety Programs and Effectively Implementing New Safety Requirements

•           Maximizing Surface Infrastructure Investments With Effective Program Oversight and Execution of New Legislative Requirements

•           Adequately Overseeing Administration of High Speed Intercity Passenger Rail Grant Funds

•           Strengthening Financial Management Over Grants To Better Use Funds, Create Jobs, and Improve Infrastructure

•           Ensuring Effective Management of DOT’s Acquisitions To Maximize Value and Program Performance

•           Managing and Securing Information Systems To Efficiently Modernize Technology Infrastructure and Protect Sensitive Data From Compromise


6.  Some information on local deliveries.  Inbound Logistics describes how firms are starting to look at local deliveries beyond just rush hour concerns ( and the focus on integrated logistics means that firms are still trying to better manage expedited services to maintain costs and inventory levels (  This is different from this report about FedEx changing its business model (

7.  Webinar

(SR500) NHI Innovations: GIS Tools for Linking Transportation and Natural Resource Planning

Date/Time:  12/20/2012 2:30 PM – 4:00 PM Eastern Time


8.  I also found the following Patagonia recommendations for Christmas ( :  Consider the following:

  1. Reduce. Do I need this?
  2. Repair. Can I fix what I already have?
  3. Reuse. If I can’t repair the thing I want to replace, can it be sold to someone who wants it or used somewhere else like a charity?
  4. Recycle. Can the materials of my old thing be remade into something else?
  5. Reimagine. Can we change global consumer habits to create a sustainable planet?

Does this sound like a good investment strategy for public infrastructure:

  1. Reduce: Deobligate state roads to local/private jurisdictions where appropriate
  2. Repair: Fix the system
  3. Reuse: Can we rehabilitate, put in ITS, etc., to improve throughput
  4. Recycle: Reusing materials and improving roadway assets
  5. Reimage: Can we find another use or mode that can work in this corridor?


9.          Department of Transportation is launching a new National On-Line Dialogue focused on the asset management requirements in MAP-21 for public transportation providers. The National Online Dialogue is open from December 12, 2012 to January 4, 2013 and can be accessed at

Questions to consider:

  • How should FTA define State of Good Repair?
  • What elements should be included in a Transit Asset Management Plan?
  • How will I know my Transit Asset Management Plan meets FTA requirements?
  • What triggers when I have to revise my Transit Asset Management Plan?
  • Should FTA tailor Transit Asset Management Plan requirements to accommodate different sized transit systems to avoid the “one size fits all” approach?
  • What kinds of technical assistance should FTA offer to aid transit agencies in meeting these requirements?
  • How should the requirement for state of good repair performance measures be implemented and integrated with the new MAP-21 performance-based planning process?
  • Other topics you believe should be considered as we prepare the TAM rulemaking.

10.  Finally, while I enjoy Christmas music, I get tired of hearing the same songs ad nauseam.  The following site contains Christmas Sharity materials ( with links to other sites) which are generally, older public domain versions. Although some are bad (you have been warned!), and some are quite good, you won’t hear these versions at every store or on the radio.



2 Responses to “Some Articles of Interest…Dec 10th.”

  1. Vella Mcbee says:

    Supply chain management is a cross-function approach including managing the movement of raw materials into a business, particular aspects of the inner processing of materials into finished goods, and the movement of finished products out of the organization and toward the end-consumer. They decrease their ownership of garbage sources and distribution channels, as organizations attempt to focus on core competencies and getting more adaptable. These capabilities are increasingly being outsourced to additional agencies that may perform those activities better or more cost effectively. The effect is to boost the number of organizations included in satisfying customer demand, while decreasing management control of daily logistics procedures. Less control and more supply chain partners led to the creation of supply chain management concepts. The goal of supply chain management is to improve trust and cooperation among supply chain associates, thus improving inventory awareness and the pace of inventory movement.

  2. Sansan says:

    Freight trains (US) don’t have sfiicpec schedules. Believe it or not, it is much simpler and more efficient to go trains this way. A train moving over several states or from one coast to another will pass through the territories (jurisdictions) of several Dispatchers. Dispatchers are centrally located and control all trains in their assigned territory. Their job is to go trains as quickly as possible through their area of control (even if many trainmen will disagree). The Dispatcher may have to direct an east bound train into a siding and stop here while one or two west bound trains pass, as just one model. Further expanding on that same model, the east bound train may have to stop at a sfiicpec city to set out a try out of rail cars and pick up another due in the east some place. Hard to predict how long this process will take. So trains don’t have schedules. Here are due dates and dead lines for much of the merchandise they carry, but when they might pass through a certain town can’t be predicted.