Ports and terminals are the critical arteries of the U.S. economy. In 2012, more than $17 trillion dollars of goods traveled via truck, rail, water, air and other transportation modes, and this number is forecast to grow to $39 trillion by 2040. Many of these goods travel through American ports and terminals. 

Those seeking to disrupt commerce know how critical ports and terminals are to the economy, be they terrorists, thieves or disgruntled employees. 

Collisions are an unfortunate part of the trucking business, and busier highways have led to a substantial increase in the number of injury accidents involving large trucks, with the Federal Highway Administration documenting a 9 percent jump in such accidents between 2011 and 2012. 

Though passenger vehicle drivers usually are at fault in accidents involving large trucks, it is the vehicle driver who typically initiates litigation against the truck driver and his or her company. Attorneys representing vehicle drivers monitor your every single action, policy and procedure following an accident in an effort to portray you and your employer as irresponsible parties who put profits ahead of safety.

For the past six years, the Panama Canal Authority has been hard at work on an expansion project expected to double capacity and create a new lane of shipping traffic. The roughly $5.3 billion project will prepare the canal for today’s larger container ships by creating new locks and channels to those locks, as well as widening and deepening existing channels. 

The Panamanian government has been optimistic about the project’s economic impact. During a speech announcing the project in 2006, then-President Martin Torrijos likened the canal to a natural resource like petroleum, and said that this project would allow Panama to better utilize that resource. An improved Panama Canal, Torrijos said at the time, would transform Panama into an economic force to be reckoned with. 

To maintain successful operations, on any given day fleet managers must juggle a wide range of priorities from fuel costs, to driver safety, to regulatory compliance. Managing all of these moving pieces in silos quickly becomes overwhelming and costly. The trick to successful fleet management and efficiency is to implement one system that integrates, secures and controls all important assets at the same time, and the most effective fleet management comes from proactive and remote monitoring and control across the entire fleet. 

With ever-rising prices, fuel is a particularly complicated and substantial cost that fleet managers must carefully monitor. Specifically, a long-haul combination truck idles an average of 1,800 hours per year (or 150 hours per month) – an annual fuel cost of approximately $8,600. It costs an extra one-tenth of a gallon for every mile per hour a truck drives over 55 mph. Not to mention maintenance costs rise 30 percent when speed increases from 50 to 60 mph. This means fleet managers have to be able to consistently control driver speed and truck idling in order to impact fuel cost alone.

Distribution centers are big in every sense of the word, and getting bigger. Developers, retailers and investors are intensely focused on big-box distribution buildings, which encompass 250,000 to more than 500,000 square feet of floor space and have ceiling clear heights of 36 to 40 feet.

That’s big from every perspective, not least of which is user demand. Since 2009, the big-box sector has consistently outperformed the rest of the industrial real estate sector, as large retailers have moved quickly to secure the best space and lock in low long-term rates. Now, as several years of a slow construction pace have thinned out large blocks of space, the big-box market is seeing fast-rising rents and heightened investor demand.

As fuel prices continue to increase, businesses that deliver products and services to homes and offices must figure out ways to reduce their transportation costs, or risk declining profits. Many companies are deploying new technologies that allow them to compare alternative routing and scenarios, achieve scheduling precision in times of congestion and balance customer goals with costs. But to get the most out of any of these fuel-reducing solutions, companies must first understand how their fleet is operating and then identify areas that need improvement.

Today, transportation and logistics companies are prone to a variety of security risks and challenges as they work to make business operations streamlined and integrated in this increasingly connected world. These challenges can range from managing fuel costs and their drivers – including the speed at which these drivers travel – to complying with regulatory standards. However, one of the greatest challenges in the field that companies face is combating cargo theft. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the costliest.

Normally, airline contact centers have focused on operational excellence or improvement areas which affect the efficiency of operations – focusing on metrics such as improving utilization, reducing AHT (without compromising CSAT), reducing ASA, hold times, etc. But with newer tools available in the marketplace, airline contact centers can now use sophisticated technology that helps in improving effectiveness – providing a single, unified view of the customer across multiple channels, leveraging speech and text analytics and integrating multiple channels of communication for the customer care agent.

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