By Holly Decker, Account Executive – COSCO Shipping PNW

March is Women’s history month and on March 8, International Women’s day I found myself at a social event to revel in the many accomplishments of women across the globe. Afterwards my mind wanders to profiling the women in the room – none of whom were in transportation.  They say the top is a lonely place for the female worker, but in transportation it rings especially true. On the tail end of Women’s History month, it seemed appropriate to share some stats on women in our sector so we can begin to write a new history.

The amount of data on women in transportation fields is limited so it’s hard to get a good grasp of what’s going on out there but I can tell you, the majority of times I walk into a room, I don’t see too many folks that resemble my gender identity. In 2007, the Transportation Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) and National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) conducted a benchmark scoping report on gender diversity in State DOT’s and transit agencies. What they found was that women, regardless of professional service category, were routinely underutilized. I could note some statistics about race here, but sticking with gender, I’ll note that the only occupation category where all women, regardless of ethnicity were not underutilized was administrative support.

A 2012 study by Women in Transportation (WIT) discovered that while women make up 47% of the US workforce, in the transportation related sector women make up less than 13% of the workforce, and only 17.4% of those women are manager level or higher. One might hypothesize that the transportation gender gap is a tandem trajectory of sector advancement and institutionalized gender roles – there’s fewer women in the business because women didn’t used to work! Maybe we have a lot of office ladies rather than female Execs because education and mentorship has only been male to male by (de)fault of history. I’d say we’re a little late for that argument but regardless, in 2015, a poll conducted by SCM World revealed that amongst global universities offering supply chain courses, women accounted for 37% of students but only 5% of top level supply chain positions are held by women.

Just last year the Peterson Institute for International Economics in partnership with Ernst and Young confirms what we’ve known for some time now, that there is a correlation between women in leadership positions and company profitability. Typically defined “female” traits are highly beneficial to business, particularly, I’d argue, when it comes to working in supply chain where collaborative skills being especially important. The ability to effectively negotiate and work with multiple stakeholders—whether internally or externally, and multitasking against timelines—is key to effective and efficient supply chain management. Most people agree that men and women work in different ways and bring different strengths and perspectives to the table meaning, gender diversity brings better business decisions and solutions to customers. If the industry is not actively hiring, nurturing and promoting women, it’s falling short of its potential.

So, what do we do about it? How do we rewrite history? It’s more complicated than simply hiring more females. First, we have to recognize the value diversity brings to businesses (see above paragraph on diversity=profitability), prioritize it as a value, and live it. Second, we have to recognize that for women in the workforce, many at one point or another face a critical junction: choosing between family and full-time employment. Women who work in and outside the home have different needs than other employees. HR consultants can play an enormous role in helping companies navigate work/life balance strategies that help to support the values business want to uphold. Third, it’s important that businesses identify talent and retention strategies to get over diversity hurdles.  Beth Ford, Group Executive VP and COO at Land O’Lakes, places responsibility of a company to promote more opportunities for women “senior leaders have a critical role to play: they must sponsor high potential women, which means actively working to position them effectively; understanding the challenge presented; and being direct in counseling about the importance of mobility and flexibility on their career trajectory.”

Finally, the responsibility of lessening gender disparity in the transportation sector falls not only to male advocates and businesses, but to the women in this business as well. Ladies, we need to network, convene, collaborate, promote, and support one another to inspire more women to be a part of this dynamic and challenging sector. We need to see more women in transportation for the benefit of our companies, employers, and community.

There are a few organizations in the Puget Sound that convene women in the transportation sector: WTS Puget Sound, WISTA – PNW Chapter, WIT. Do you know of more? Please send me an email at hdecker@cosco-usa.com.

Sources:

 

 

 

Dray Drivers Smartphone App

Get wait times on your smartphone for Seattle and Tacoma terminals.  The app is free to download from the Google Play and Apple Stores.  Users remain anonymous as there is no need to register.  Search for DrayQ in the Google Play and Apple App stores.

Got Mo? By Linda Sasser

Momentum … a leader’s best friend.

There is no better feeling than having the big Mo behind you! It’s hard to get started, but once you have it, it’s hard to shut down. When we have momentum, we’re excited, confident and productive individually and as a team. Positive momentum gives you confidence.
In fact, wise leaders with momentum have a unique humble, yet confident strut in their walk. Ha! I say “wise leaders” because they know to stay humble and to honor the power of momentum because when it goes away, (and it will if it’s not fed) it’s hard work getting it back.

So, how do we build and sustain the three stages of momentum?

1. Starting Mo
It only takes one person to spark the power of momentum — one person with a positive attitude. One person who brings excitement to the team. One person who is willing to go the extra mile. You don’t have to be the department leader or the most charismatic person on the team.
Your one “must-have” leader trait to getting Mo started is BELIEF. Belief in what you’re doing, belief in whom you are grooming and leading, and belief in the future. Your belief will be contagious. Others will borrow it until they can muster up their own.

2. Moving Mo
Keeping the momentum going is the tricky part, because it’s tempting to get a little lazy in your efforts to keep building Mo after it’s rolling. We can get complacent as to how things are going, so we start to relax and become overly confident. We think, “My work here is done; now I can relax and go play.” Not so! Beware of that thinking.

Your one “must-have” leader trait to moving Mo is MOTIVATION. Motivating others to step up and lead, motivating the team with recognition and celebrations, and motivating by being “with” your team. Many leaders start to separate themselves into an authoritative position of leadership; looking down on their kingdom. Ouch, what a momentum killer! And smile, good gosh almighty, smile with your people!

3. Keeping Mo Alive
Don’t drift away from the key elements that make you successful. If you want momentum to be part of your culture, then stay focused on the behaviors and values that will multiply your momentum. Success can make a leader drift. Their attention is preoccupied by something else and motion starts to slide backwards.

Your one “must-have” leader trait to keeping Mo alive is INTUITION. Intuition to the conditions, intuition to ebb and flow as changes arise, and intuition to balance the old basics with new opportunities.

Mo is one of those things that is hard to put into words, but you know it when you see it. What does the Big Mo look like inside your organization? What stage are you in, and what kind of leader do you need to be?

About the Author:
Linda Sasser is the CEO of Impacting Leaders, a firm focused on helping companies with their leadership development and organizational effectiveness needs. Linda has over 25 years’ experience in developing businesses, leading teams, and directing sales programs, which include stewarding the John Maxwell corporate leadership development brand; leading efforts to achieve $2 billion in sales while serving as the vice president of sales and marketing at Express Employment Professionals; and owning and operating five Express Employment Professionals staffing franchises. Connect with Linda and Impacting Leaders on their website at www.impactingleaders.com, on Linda’s leadership blog at www.tablegroup.com, on Facebook at facebook.com/ILHappyHour or on Twitter at twitter.com/impactingleadrs.

I was out for a quick afternoon snack and stopped by a local Jack In The Box. I looked over the items and pulled up to the microphone to place my order. I was greeted, “Welcome to the world’s best Jack In The Box. How may I help you?”

burgerI laughed at the greeting. Had I somehow stumbled on what was indeed the best Jack In The Box restaurant in the world? Or had I stopped in at a fast-food restaurant, which thought of itself as the embodiment of the world’s best Jack In The Box? Or, had I (which was most likely) simply chanced upon a very sarcastic employee? Over the microphone and speaker communications system, you would think that sarcasm would be easy to detect, and yet I was coming up with zero indicators. I would have to wait for a face-to-face meeting to decide on the intent of the greeting.

I pulled up to the service window. A friendly face took my money, gave out my order, and wished me a good day. There was no sarcasm. There was only efficiency and a genuine friendliness. Her name was Carmen.

As I drove away I promised myself to send an email to corporate headquarters of Jack In The Box. I did, and received a standard reply thanking me for my comments, which they promised to pass along to the restaurant. I never heard any more. I’ve gone to other Jack In The Box restaurants, and they’ve presented no claim of being the best in the world, so I’m left with the feeling that perhaps this was the best in the world.

It’s not often that I visit this particular restau- rant, but I have several times since the initial incident. One time I got the same clerk and was charmed again by her delivery. At other times I was greeted by friendly people, but without the belief that this was indeed the World’s Best Jack In The Box. I stopped by recently and was charmed by another clerk. He didn’t use the same phrasing, but from his voice there was an element of belief.

I think what I experienced was a moment in time when this was indeed the World’s Best Jack In The Box . . . and perhaps it still is each time Carmen is present. I don’t know that my accolades were ever passed along, but in a world of customer service complaints I hope that she received my complimentary comments. Encouragement is sometimes everything for front-line service workers.

There is a glimmer of hope that Carmen had a hand in training and passed along her enthusiasm and her passion to her fellow workers that she somehow worked for The World’s Best Jack In The Box, and they do, too.

I think we should all have the belief that we work with the best people and provide the best service and best products in the best organization for the best industry in the world, and we should share those beliefs and feelings with our fellow employees . . . as well as our clients.

 

A customer service article by Don Doman

First it was Y2K, then SOLAS, now it is Zika. China is requiring fumigation of all containers coming from the USA. This became effective on 5 August with not much fanfare or direction. The good thing is if customers ship but do not fumigate, China will do it for them at a cost. There are other questions so hopefully the following will answer most of them. If you have any questions, let me know and I will try to get you answers.

Regards,

Gary Gieser
MacMillan-Piper

 

Foreign Commercial Service: ZIKA Chinese Fumigation Requirement Q&A

QUESTIONS:
1. Has AQSIQ provided an effective implementation date to CIQ port locations?

Effective as of August 5, 2016

2. What is the status of cargo that departed the U.S. before the August 5 implementation date?

Cargo that departed the U.S. BEFORE this date is exempt from the fumigation requirement. Requirement applies to anything that departed Aug. 5 or after.

3. Is there a need for each container to be fumigated or is there an alternative? E.g. South Korea methodology where the entire vessel must produce a certificate; an individual shipper does not bear the burden for each container.

There are alternatives. It was noted that if the entire vessel was fumigated (before/after being loaded), that would be acceptable. In addition, integrated pest management measures are also deemed acceptable – for example, if a factory uses physical means such as an “air wall” to control insects as long as they follow WHO guidelines (FAS/APHIS can better elaborate on this). In regards to the latter, the certificate should record these measures in an appropriate fashion.

4. How does container fumigation take place.

It was reported that the best means was to fumigate the container BEFORE the products are loaded. It is hoped that this would limit the impact on products that would be altered or ruined by direct treatment.

5. If fumigation must take place at the port of entry, what is the estimated cost per container?

Exact cost will relate to the particularities of the cargo and local/provincial government department at port. As a rough guide, a 20 foot container should cost approximately 200 RMB ($30) and a 40 ft. container 400RMB ($60). Shippers should weigh this cost against that of conducting the fumigation in the U.S.

6. What if CIQ mandates that an entire ship be fumigated?

That would depend on a variety factors. The U.S. attendees were left with a strong impression that this would be an extremely rare occurrence.

7. Is there guidance as to by whom and how the fumigation process would work at each major port of entry?

This would be carried out by a third party at a given port. Particulars depend on the port but these third party fumigators should be readily available; CIQ will be able to provide guidance.

8. Is there recourse of a shipping company believes its fumigation certificate has been unfairly rejected?

Yes, a website address will be circulated where complaints can be lodged. Designated staff will respond within 72 hours.

9. What is the applicability of this requirement to pulp exports? Given the amount of processing that pulp undergoes (high temperatures and chemicals).

Any cargo/products that through their normal processing would be deemed to be fumigated in a WHO acceptable fashion would not need an additional fumigation certificate. Proof of this should be kept on hand.

10. Will there be a special commodity exemption for products that can be altered or ruined by direct fumigation (such as kaolin clay – HS code is 2507.00.0000)?

NO – see question 3. The only exception is the 15C or lower temperature. Again note that the fumigation does not have to be directly sprayed on the given product/cargo.

11. How will transshipments through Hong Kong or a third country be treated?

No Different – if it originates in the U.S. a certificate would have to be produced.

12. Is an “official government stamp” needed on the fumigation certificate?

NO

13. How are they going to enforce the temperature exception?

Ensure that the temperature setting on the refrigerated container is set at 15C degrees or lower. Likewise, ensure relevant supporting paperwork notes the intended cargo temperature.

14. Is the fumigation is a requirement to load on origin, to discharge on port of destination or to remove the container for the port.

Ideally, load on origin and ensure a proper certificate is in hand. As noted earlier, fumigation could also take place upon destination but the time needed to complete the process in a given Chinese port is not known.

15. What is the status of breakbulk goods (i.e., not in containers, but loaded directly into holds of ships):

All vessels would be subject to fumigation. Again note that both chemical and physical eradication measures in line with WHO standards will be acceptable.

16. Will each port have authority to enforce differently?

NO, enforcement should be standardized across all (air and sea) ports. The CIQ’s basic risk management system will be employed (reportedly with no specific tweaks to target potential Zika threats from the U.S.). If a container is pulled for inspection as part of routine risk management, it will not be pulled a second time for mosquito inspection.

17. Are all shipments from the US subject? Or can this be limited to Zika effective regions?

All shipments from the U.S. are subject for the time being. Consultations will continue to determine if a regionalization approach could be implemented.

18. What is the impact of this regulation on airlines and airline cargo?

The regulation DOES APPLY to both cargo and passenger flights. In regards to cargo, the plane should be fumigated prior to cargo loading and certificate produced. For passenger airlines, the plane should be fumigated before passengers board. “empty spray cans” (with acceptable WHO anti-mosquito agent contents) would be accepted as proof of fumigation.

19. What is the timeline for the United States’ presence on the list? The initial announcement states that the countries are subject to scrutiny for one year – does that mean U.S.-origin goods will be screened until August 2017, or from the initial announcement, March 2017?

Goods are subject to this requirement until March 2017. This date may be extended or shortened depending on the Zika situation in the U.S.

By scholarship award winner Elena Carter

“Americans travel more than 2 trillion miles annually. But conditions on the system are deteriorating, as the need for transportation improvements far outpaces the amount of state and federal funding available” states Carolyn Kelly, the associate director for communication at the research group The Road Information Project (Suhay).  As a student of the University of Arizona who commutes to campus daily by bike, my relationship with the local Tucson roads is up close and personal as I can see the surface transportation system deteriorating right below my own handlebars.  I often maneuver through large potholes the size of craters as I make my way to school, and have even crashed off of my bike a few times when I have pedaled into one.  Even from inside a car, one can see the need for transportation improvements by simply driving around in Washington State.  The recent collapse of the I-5 bridge over the Skagit River highlighted that more than 1,960 of Washington’s bridges are considered “structurally deficient or functionally obsolete,” while the bridge that collapsed wasn’t even close to being the lowest rated (“A Look Back”).  As an American citizen, one can easily see the imperative need to improve surface transportation across the country to improve not only safety, but also trade efficiency and economic productivity.  Overall, the FAST Act is a step in the right direction with the long term funding to help move forward critical transportation projects.  However, like most acts, the FAST Act is not perfect and could have included more provisions for freight movement as well as benefit from a greater focus on technological innovation and advancement.

It is obvious to see that the FAST Act will physically improve our nation’s transportation system with the allocation of $305 billion in highway and transit spending.  Since it’s the first act in over ten years to provide long-term funding for surface transportation, state governments can now create new highways and transit lines for building a “21st century transportation system” (“The Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act”).  This will provide increased safety to all road users, alleviate congestion for both cargo and people, and will keep the economy strong by increasing trade efficiency and creating local jobs that cannot be outsourced.

Although freight travels across the country by various different means, the FAST Act allocates ninety percent of the funds to highway freight projects.  The funding is greatly needed, however, it would be more efficient it went to other freight options such as ports, hubs and railroads.  There are measures in place in the FAST Act to improve ports and railroads; however, a greater allocation for these forms of surface transportation would be extremely beneficial to all.  While there is $10 billion allocated for passenger rail, funding to improve rail freight would create a well-functioning, multimodal transportation system that doesn’t rely on highways exclusively (Davis).

As technology advances, as transportation improves, and as times continue to change, our nation’s transportation system will evolve.  The new $60 million allocated for the advanced technology deployment fund is one step in the right direction that will change the various modes of surface transportation (Wienzner).  From horses and carriages, to automobiles, the world has come a long way with the development of new forms of transportation.  What will be in store for the future?  The FAST Act includes a few new provisions that could help self-driving cars get onto the road.  With the increased funding for research, the potential of autonomous vehicles entering the mainstream transportation system will surely change the way our system operates (Wienzner).  Still, there could be more emphasis on furthering technological advancements, though every little bit helps.

Finally, times are changing so we must not focus solely on highway improvement, however much it is currently demanded.  As one critic of the act writes, “it uses tomorrow’s dollars to pay for yesterday’s ideas and represents a missed opportunity to do something much better” (Davis).  This may be true, and the FAST Act may not be perfect, but any kind of funding to improve our nation’s surface transportation will greatly benefit the safety and efficiency of transportation in our country.

 

Works Cited

“A Look Back: I-5 Bridge Collapses over the Skagit River.” KING5. TEGNA, 23 May 2014. Web. 29 Mar. 2016.

Davis, Stephen Lee. “T4America.” Transportation For America. 2 Dec. 2015. Web. 30 Mar. 2016.

Suhay, Lisa. “Getting Filled in on the Art of Dealing with Potholes.” The Christian Science Monitor. Mar 21 2016. ProQuest. Web. 29 Mar. 2016.

“The Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act or “FAST Act”” Department of Transportation. U.S. Department of Transportation, 24 Feb. 2016. Web. 30 Mar. 2016.

Wienzner, Jen. “Obama Gives Bikes and Autonomous Cars a Boost.” Fortune Obama Gives Bikes and Autonomous Cars a Boost Comments. Fortune, 07 Dec. 2015. Web. 30 Mar. 2016.

By scholarship award winner Madeline Miller

“Americans across the country take 35 million trips on transportation each day equating to 10.8 billion trips annually.” The transportation system is a vital part of our national way of life, and we rely on transportation for almost all aspects of our life. The FAST legislation passed early in December of 2015 by President Barack Obama is a five-year bill of transportation infrastructure. The bill will invest $61 billion towards the nation’s public transportation system, and it authorizes more than $300 billion towards surface transportation infrastructure. FAST stands for “Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act”, and while it promises billions towards bettering our American transportation networks and systems, it leaves a lot unsaid and ignored. While the FAST legislation has several positive effects, I think that there are far more negative ones that are dominant. It both positively and negatively affects individual modes of transportation, and the transportation industry as a whole.

There are several positive aspects of the FAST act that can affect not only individual modes of transportation, but the industry as a whole as well. The bill is a nod to the transportation industry, considering it is the first long-term transportation bill that has been passed in 10 years. According to the American Public Transportation Association, the bill is supported by the industry as they “applaud both chambers of Congress for their bipartisan votes to pass the bill”. Not only does it increase previous funding by $10 billion dollars, it preserves the TOD (Transit-Oriented Development Grants) program that helps communities make the best use of land around the transit lines and stops, and locates jobs and housing near transit stations, which in turn will boost ridership. This positively affects not only the transit system, but it will better communities, as well. The bill also mentions authorization for passenger rail, which previously has been unmentioned before in legislation. This positively affects the passenger rail system by making it a larger option in the future for the public. The new bill also increases funding for projects in the metro area and on highways, this affects the bus system, trains and freight / freeway travel. The bill also lowers TIFIA (Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act) loan minimums for projects from $50 million to $10 million which makes it much more accessible for smaller projects to get funding. The FAST legislation has a broadened audience and it has made it so state DOT’s and MPO’s (Metropolitan Planning Organization) have to take into consideration all users of roadways when considering new projects. So, that means sidewalk users will see action from this bill. It affects a wide range of people on all spectrums of the transportation system.

In contrast, there are many negative issues in the FAST act that I believe impact the transportation system much more greatly than the positive ones. The first issue is that 90% of the funding is designated for freight/highway programs, which really is only affecting one of the many areas of the transportation network and one mode of transportation. It ignores air transport, the shipping and port industry, and largely the railway system, as well. This is a hastily-generalized solution for a problem that varies based on the area. Also, there aren’t any new ways of measuring the performance of the bill. Unlike the previous bill MAP-21, which was taking steps towards this action, FAST stops it altogether. This means there is no way to see how it affects the local residents and job opportunities. Another similar issue is that there is no way to see how the money is really being spent, and there is no accountability for how selective public agencies are with the projects that they choose. While funding for safer sidewalk travel like biking and walking was included, it was only included to an extent. The budget for the Transportation Alternatives program is capped at $850 million. Large metropolitan areas are also allowed to re-designate the money to other projects if they choose to do so, this is called “flexing”. This bill also loses American trust over time because it really doesn’t benefit smaller communities (with populations less than 200,000) because the DOT gets to decide how to spend the money, which ignores small town transportation and road problems. America is built on the backs of small towns, and to let them down and ignore the projects that they need is to lose the trust of a hardworking population. Finally, the FAST legislation is very last- minute and poorly funded. The bill was voted on hours before the funding expired, and 1/3 of the bill is paid for upfront by tax revenue. Which, as a result, digs the country further into the debt hole and loses even more American trust.

To conclude, I believe that while the new FAST legislation may have charmed the transportation system upfront, in the long run there will be many downsides that will minimally affect the transportation industry as a whole. The legislation largely ignores many modes of transportation and gives most control over to the Federal DOT, which ignores smaller communities and loses trust of a key group of American people over time. In the end, negative aspects of the bill far outweigh the positive ones.

autonomous

Vehicles that drive themselves? What used to seem like science fiction is now becoming a reality.  Autonomous and self-driving cars so far have been thought of as useful for mapping, taxis and commuting, however, the technology has huge implications in the transportation industry.

Autonomous and self-driving cars are not the same.  Autonomous cars are vehicles that we are currently accustomed to.  They have a steering wheel, gas/brake pedals, gear shift, etc.  Some aspects of autonomy are already in the vehicles available today including self-parking, automated braking and adaptive cruise control.  Full autonomy would allow a driver to release the steering wheel and other vehicle inputs and allow the vehicle to take over like an advanced auto-pilot.

Self-Driving cars are the next iteration and fully automated.  The steering wheel, pedals, etc. are all gone. There are no redundant vehicle inputs.  The vehicle controls the driving experience through the same integration of radar, sensor and GPS systems developed in autonomous vehicles.  The destination would be given via a user interface, the route would be determined by live traffic congestion and suggested routes.

Google has been in the news quite often for their Self-Driving Car Project and rightfully so.  They have logged over 1.5 million autonomous car miles.  Their self-driving cars are currently out on public streets in California, Texas and Washington.  Google’s fleet of 23 retrofitted Lexus SUVs and 33 prototypes log 10,000 to 15,000 autonomous miles per week.

Automakers actually lead in autonomous car patent filings with Toyota being the global leader according to a recent report by Thomson Reuters.  Other companies leading the patent race are Denso, Bosch, Hyundai and General Motors.  Google isn’t even in the top 10 patent filers despite the public attention they received.

So, where is all of this headed?  How does this affect the transportation industry?  Imagine autonomous semi-trailer trucks. Long haul trucking could be made safer by utilizing this technology to guard against driver fatigue.  In fact, one of these trucks is already in existence and licensed in Nevada. These trucks can work together to follow each other at a distance a normal truck driver would feel unsafe in order to create a wind tunnel for maximum fuel efficiency.

Now, imagine self-driving semi-trailer trucks or a combination of self-driving and autonomous trucks. A future “truck driver” would monitor multiple trucks remotely from a console.  Actual truck drivers would only be used as truck pilots (similar to large ships) to navigate autonomous self-driving trucks into and out of difficult to navigate warehouse locations.  Field technicians would have territories for self-driving truck breakdowns and maintenance alerts.  Containers could be loaded onto semi-trailers in designated areas with self-driving trucks to pick up and deliver to a terminal all on its own.  An online system could be created and a queuing structure for these trucks similar to Lyft or Uber. The potential is mind boggling as our streets and highways become automated like a giant manufacturing plant.

This technology certainly comes with its caveats and questions though.  Cybersecurity, insurance requirements, liability, connectivity and terrorism just to name a few.  The systems on these vehicles would absolutely have to be secure.  Otherwise, the vehicles could be hacked and driven somewhere it’s not supposed to be; whether that’s to an erroneous unloading facility or straight through a building.  If a self-driving vehicle does have an at-fault accident, who is liable?  The technology manufacturer or the owner of the vehicle?

Full use of autonomous and self-driving technology may not happen for many years to the extent described here.  However, with truck driver shortages becoming ever more prevalent, this technology may be here sooner rather than later.  Does it even stop with trucks?  What are the implications of this technology as it applies to other modes of transportation such as forklifts, cranes, ships, trains or even airplanes?

 

Written by TCT Boardmember Daniel McCabe