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Supply chain panelists: It’s high time for infrastructure investment

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Supply chain panelists called for more infrastructure investment at a Global Supply Chain Summit May 22, the Journal of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials reported.

 

At the 6th annual Global Supply Chain Summit hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on May 22, a variety of speakers stressed the need for better transportation infrastructure and funding in order to improve U.S. supply chain operations and make the U.S. more competitive economically, the Journal stated.

 

Darrell Wilson, assistant vice president for government relations at Norfolk Southern, highlighted the road blocks project permitting and other issues are causing while

David Blaisdell, vice president of P3 and financial services for global construction firm Bechtel Corp., said, in Germany and Canada it takes no more than two years for project approval but it can’t be done in less than four years in U.S., according to the Journal.

 

Blaisdell also stressed the need for a “bolder, more visionary pipeline” of transportation projects – and that he’s seeing more of them coming from states and municipalities now. “We’re seeing a focus on ‘high value’ projects versus lowest cost projects in terms of roads, rail, bridges, and some airports,” he said. “We’re seeing a lot of new passenger rail upgrades in certain areas and new terminals at airports around the country.”

 

Belinda Constant, Mayor of the City of Gretna, Louisiana, said not enough is being done when it comes to surface transportation needs in the U.S.

 

“The bottom line is we don’t want to be at a point 10 years from now where we didn’t do what we needed to do,” she said, adding that “It’s about the money. We all need the money for rail, port, and waterway improvements, etc., and we need to get Washington to do it in a holistic way. The public expects an answer. The time is now to do that. I’m an elected official so I feel I can say that.”

 

Thomas Donohue, president and CEO for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, suggested that such “struggling” needs to end if the U.S. is to retain its “competitive edge” in the global market.

 

“Infrastructure links businesses and is the backbone of the global supply chain. If it is in bad shape, like it is in our country, the supply chain suffers,” he said, in the Journal.

 

“We need to take better steps here at home if we want to stay competitive in the global economy. We need more investment in our infrastructure. It’s time to invest in a 21st century infrastructure system to support and grow a 21st century economy; no more kicking the can down the

road … .”

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The Nation

New information on events leading to Celadon’s bankruptcy likely to anger former employees

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Bankrupt celadon receives partial approval to pay employee wages
Celadon officials knew of intent to file bankruptcy earlier than claimed. (The Trucker file photo)

While news of the Celadon bankruptcy that shocked the trucking industry broke nearly two months ago, newly unsealed documents provide insight into factors leading the carrier’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing. In this instance, the documents show that TA Dispatch (TAD) of Ensley, Alabama, filed a $6.2 million lawsuit against the carrier six days before Celadon officials announced the company sought a U.S. bankruptcy court’s protection. The documents also suggest Celadon had a minimum of 11 days to inform employees of the company’s pending closure.

TAD’s lawsuit is based on a breach of contract on the part of Celadon. The contract stated that the two companies would partner, allowing Celadon to access TAD’s logistics platform in a revenue-sharing agreement that would assist both companies in better serving customers.

While Celadon and TAD shared billing duties and transferred funds under procedures stated in the revenue sharing section of the contract, in mid-November, Celadon was unable to make its payment of $4.4 million due to its partner. TAD claimed that in a late November meeting, a Celadon executive told them the carrier was insolvent. In fact, Celadon requested a loan from TAD in order to keep operations afloat.

When demand for payment sent to Celadon on November 27 went unmet, TAD officials stated Celadon responded that further inquiries would be referred to its bankruptcy attorneys. In addition, Celadon cut off TAD’s access to its IT services, a move that severely interrupted TAD’s operations. Later, Celadon restored access.

The timeline of events in late November provides some insight into a potential reason for Celadon’s bankruptcy. But former employees will be much more interested in the dates TAD notes in its lawsuit.

Celadon caught many employees off-guard on December 8, when it sent a midnight message to drivers announcing it had ceased operations. Shortly thereafter, the Celadon’s fuel card company deactivated cards and left drivers stranded across the U.S.

The timeline of events offers evidence to support a former employee’s lawsuit claiming Celadon had violated the WARN Act, requiring large employers to provide notice of at least 60 days before implementing layoffs. The timeline as reportedly recorded in the documents suggests Celadon had a minimum of 11 days during which company officials knew of its intent to cease operations — 11 days employees could have spent searching for new jobs and to prevent them from being unemployed during the holiday season.

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The Nation

Old Dominion Freight Line celebrates MLB Spring Training with nationwide fan events

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Old dominion freight line celebrates mlb spring training with nationwide fan events
Old Dominion will partner with eight teams for spring training celebrations this year, including the Chicago White Sox, New York Mets, Atlanta Braves, Kansas City Royals, Cleveland Indians, Los Angeles Angels, Milwaukee Brewers and Philadelphia Phillies. (Courtesy: Old Dominion Freight Line)

THOMASVILLE, N.C. — Old Dominion Freight Line, the Official Freight Carrier of Major League Baseball, will drive the annual spring training sendoff tradition with MLB clubs across the country.

The company will deliver clubs’ equipment to warmer locations as the teams start spring training. Before the trucks hit the road, teams will celebrate the unofficial start of the 2020 baseball season with fans, coaches, current players, alumni and team mascots.

“spring training sendoffs are a player- and fan-cherished ritual. It’s our pleasure to be a part of these special events and ensure the teams’ equipment arrives safely and on-time,” said Dick Podiak, vice president of marketing and communication for Old Dominion Freight Line. “We are delighted to ring in the 2020 season as a corporate sponsor for 12 MLB clubs and as our fourth year as the Official Freight Carrier of Major League Baseball.”

This year, Old Dominion will partner with eight teams for the spring training celebrations, including the Chicago White Sox, New York Mets, Atlanta Braves, Kansas City Royals, Cleveland Indians, Los Angeles Angels, Milwaukee Brewers and Philadelphia Phillies.

The festivities will begin with the Chicago White Sox 28th annual event, SoxFest, on Jan. 24-25. With the help of the White Sox mascot, Southpaw, Old Dominion will move the team’s equipment to the new SoxFest location, McCormick Place. Fans will have the chance to collect autographs and take photos with former and current stars of the Chicago White Sox.

On Jan. 25, the New York Mets will host the inaugural FanFest event at Citi Field. The sendoff will take place at noon in the player’s lot, where one trailer will be packed with more than 10,000 items, including 600 baseball caps, four pitching machines, 10 cases of chewing gum and 1,000 pounds of weight equipment for the team, and depart for First Data Field in Port St. Lucie, Florida.

Thousands of Braves fans are expected to attend ChopFest at Truist Park in Atlanta, Georgia on Jan. 25, where Old Dominion will celebrate with the team before their departure. The event will include interactive areas with players and coaches, pictures with team mascot, BLOOPER, a Braves history chalk walk, free autographs for kids and more.

Following the Kansas City Royals FanFest activities in downtown Kansas City, the team will move from Kauffman Stadium to Spring Training in Surprise, Arizona on Jan. 30. The team will pack up two 28-foot trailers and begin the 1,280-mile journey to Surprise Stadium.

The Los Angeles Angels are gearing up for an exclusive celebration on Feb. 4 where Old Dominion will load commemorative trailers with exercise equipment, consumable products for the clubhouse, and other Spring Training essentials, before hitting the road to Tempe, Arizona.

To wrap up the sendoffs, on Feb. 7, the Philadelphia Phillies will host a community event at Citizen Bank Park to celebrate “Truck Day.” With the help of the Phillies’ mascot, the Phillie Phanatic, Old Dominion will move a variety of items, including 10,000 12 oz. sports drink cups, 2,400 baseballs, six bicycles, one Phanatic hot dog launcher and more into two 28-foot trailers. The Phillie Phanatic — alongside rally-towel waving fans and local sports mascots — will escort the custom-wrapped trailers out of Citizen Bank Park to begin the journey to Clearwater, Florida. The Old Dominion tandem trailers will cruise through eight states, traveling 1,058 miles until it reaches their destination at Spectrum Field.

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The Nation

Daimler executive honored for supporting National Guard and Reserve employees

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Daimler trucks north america executive honored for supporting national guard and reserve employees
Jeffrey Thompson, right, director of aftermarket supply chain planning, receives the Employer Support for the Guard & Reserve Patriot Award from Bruce Thompson. (Courtesy: Daimler Trucks North America)

Portland, Ore. — Daimler Trucks North America is saluting an executive for receiving national recognition for his support of National Guard and Reserve employees.

Jeffrey Thompson, director of aftermarket supply chain planning, received the Employer Support for the Guard & Reserve Patriot Award last week at DTNA headquarters in Portland, Oregon. Thompson served as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy for over three years.

The Patriot Award, which is administered by the U.S. Department of Defense, is given to supervisors who have supported employees in the National Guard and Reserve through such measures as flexible schedules, time off prior to and after deployment, caring for families and granting leaves of absence, if needed.

Shawn Meredith, manager of the continuous improvement project team in Fort Mill, South Carolina, nominated Thompson for the award. Meredith is also a battalion executive officer and commander in the U.S. Army Reserve. In his nomination, Meredith praised Thompson for supporting him while he completed his military education and during a September 2018 mobilization of reservists for hurricane relief support.

“Because of his decisions, I was able to achieve both my Army and DTNA missions for those years. Without his trust and empowerment for me to get the job done, one of my two careers would have suffered,” Meredith wrote.

“I’m honored to receive the Patriot Award,” Thompson said. “I believe it’s my duty and privilege to support those who serve our country in the Guard and Reserve. These dedicated men and women deserve employer support.”

Thompson began his career at DTNA in 2003 and has held positions in parts sales support, parts specialty sales, fleet parts sales, business excellence and distribution development with the elite support team.

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