Chief of Freight for FedEx, Bill Logue, recently spoke to the National Industrial Transportation League in Huston, Texas, and made frightening predictions for the future of the world’s transportation infrastructure systems. According to Logue, the problems are across the board, including issues with roadways and bridges, airports, and seaports. The Federal Highway Administration predicts that traffic in the U.S. will double between the years 2020 and 2040, with most of the growth in urban areas, which are already struggling to keep up with traffic. Making ground transportation even worse are the new hours of service regulations for truckers, and other new regulations enacted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. These regulations are making it harder to manage a shortage of qualified truck drivers, while also raising operating costs, according to Logue.
He went on to discuss the difficulties in air transport, which include airport systems which have not been upgraded since the 1950’s, regulations that require as many as 30 separate documents for a single import of cargo, and inadequate runways to handle growing demand for passenger and cargo planes.
Logue also gave a grim report on U.S. seaports, which need infrastructure upgrades to manage cargo ship capacities. Soon, these ports will be handling even larger container ships, and there are already problems causing delays. Logue also spoke about the strict regulations for imports and exports, which make the process of checking ships into and out of these ports time-consuming and costly. Though the Senate passed the Water Resources Development Act of 2013, it specified no funding for the project, and is therefore worthless in terms of improving seaport infrastructure.
But the U.S. wasn’t the only concern for Logue. He also mentioned road, airport, and seaport infrastructure and regulations problems, which is making it increasingly difficult to make on time, low-cost deliveries to places in China, India, and Brazil.