Today's Pickup: Ports push for higher funding to keep up with multimodal freight spike

 (Photo: Unsplash)

(Photo: Unsplash)

Good day,

The House Appropriations Committee released its Fiscal Year 2019 Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development Funding bill that has set aside $250 million for port projects across the country. The American Association of Port Authorities though, has firmly responded back with a report saying it would need a lot more to handle the multimodal freight spike, asking for $20 billion for rail and multimodal projects over the next decade. 

Inland ports and multimodal hubs are mushrooming across the U.S., and the report states that 77% of the ports are planning to improve rail access over the next 10 years to meet the burgeoning demand, while 67% of them consider inadequate funding to be the primary barrier in completing the projects on time.

Did you know?

Five of the six major automakers manufacturing and selling vehicles in North America fell in their annual supplier relations rankings, according to the results of the North American Automotive OEM - Supplier Working Relations Index Study. 

Quotable:

“We’re putting the trade war on hold. So right now, we have agreed to put the tariffs on hold while we try to execute the framework.”

- Steven Mnuchin, U.S. Treasury Secretary on U.S.-China trade war concerns

In other news:

Alibaba Ties Thailand To Online Commerce

Thailand and Alibaba have signed a letter of intent to cooperate on initiatives to develop e-commerce in the country—from providing training to small and mid-sized companies and individuals to exploring ways to enhance the country's logistics capabilities to support Thailand 4.0 and Digital Economy strategies. (Inbound Logistics)

Rising e-commerce sales mean more returns

"The growth of e-commerce has changed when and how consumers return gifts." -- Alan Gershenhorn, UPS (Fleet Owner)

Amazon pushes dedicated truck operation; will it suck oxygen out of the driver room?

E-tailer eyeing partnerships with fleets of three or more trucks to haul between DCs. (DC Velocity)

J.C. Penney Aims to Trim Growing Inventory at Comparable Stores

J.C. Penney Co. Inc., which blamed unseasonable weather for anemic sales last quarter, aims to reduce inventory, which rose 2.6% on a same-store basis (WSJ)

Europe Proposes CO2 Emissions Standards for Commercial Trucks

The European Union aims to reduce CO2 emissions by 30% in just 12 years through the federation’s first proposed CO2 emissions standards. (Truckinginfo)

Final Thoughts:

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has mentioned that the Trump administration would not be imposing tariffs on Chinese products as yet, which seems to be a good sign of progress on the talks happening between the two nations on trade issues. 

This would be a relief to investors across the world, who have been bracing themselves for a fallout which now looks quite uncertain. The U.S. dollar, buoyed by the rise in oil prices and a thriving U.S. economy has been performing well against the Euro, moving up to a five-month high last week. With the trade war being averted, concerns should ease and the growth of the dollar must continue over the following weeks.

Hammer down everyone!

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