Today’s Pickup: Herodotus and the Polar vortex; rethinking zero tolerance cannabis policy

 Ice on Lake Michigan ( Satellite Image: National Weather Service )
Ice on Lake Michigan ( Satellite Image: National Weather Service )

Good day,

The historic freeze gripping much of the country is an opportune time to revisit the origin of the famous albeit unofficial motto of the U.S. Postal Service: “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night…” Credit goes to book 8, paragraph 98 of The Persian Wars by the Greek historian Herodotus. During the wars between the Greeks and Persians (500-449 B.C.), the Persians ran a system of mounted postal couriers. Apparently these couriers were very good at their jobs. Then again, they never had to deal with Jayden, the Polar vortex-created storm that has disrupted mail and package delivery around the country.

Did you know?

Speaking of Greece, construction of the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline, is nearly complete, a project manager announced yesterday. The pipeline connects Turkey, Greece, Albania and Italy, and is designed to transfer natural gas from Azerbaijan to the countries of the EU.

Greek Reporter


“Execution must improve.”

— Bob Swan, Intel’s new CEO, on the company’s failure to ship new generations of chips (The Verge)

In other news:

Supermarkets are the post-Brexit canary in the coal mine

Food retailers warn that supermarkets and food outlets will be the first to feel the impact of Britain leaving the European Union. (NYT)

Why did UPS holiday returns peak early?

Because consumers are learning not to wait until the last minute, says David Sobie, co-founder and CEO of Happy Returns. (SupplyChainDive)

Four women named to the American Trucking Association’s 2019-20 road team

They represent the largest contingent of women ever selected to the team of industry ambassadors. (TransportTopics)

Freight transport between Russia and former Soviet Republic up by 8%

Volumes between Russia and Kyrgyzstan increased by 2.4 million tons in 2018. (RussianRailways)

Final thoughts:

Is it time to shake up the U.S. DOT’s zero tolerance marijuana policy? Absolutely, said Paul Enos, CEO of the Nevada Trucking Association. “I don’t want people who are stoned driving,” Enos assured The Pickup. But policy isn’t keeping up with the times — i.e. legalization.  Federal regulations state that drivers of commercial vehicles can’t consume pot, even in states where it is legal.  Failing a single drug test is grounds for termination. Says Enos: “We need as a nation to focus on testing for impairment instead of the idea that: ‘We found this in your system so you’re gone.’”

Hammer down everyone!

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Linda Baker, Staff Writer

Linda Baker is a FreightWaves staff reporter based in Portland, Oregon. Her beat includes early-stage VC, freight-tech, mobility and West Coast emissions regulations.