FedEx pushes Trump, U.S. Senate to embrace forward-looking infrastructure [VIDEO]

FedEx has emerged as a vocal, and at times controversial, advocate for global business in recent months. This time around, the company is holding the Trump administration to its promises to improve infrastructure.

In his testimony before the U.S. Senate on Tuesday, FedEx Freight CEO Michael L. Ducker lobbied for a modern infrastructure network, to ensure a “thriving U.S. economy.”

FedEx trucking, Ducker said, provides the network density and interconnectivity that makes the integrator’s airfreight business so successful. Whereas normal freight forwarding can take up to a week for door-to-door deliveries, FedEx and its integrator competition regularly cut those times in half. In this context, Ducker underscored, “the critical importance of the freight transportation system in today’s cost- and time-driven economy, particularly in this era of explosive e-commerce growth and increasing digital connectivity.”FedEx

Speaking before the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety and Security, Ducker said that, “Collaboration and sustained commitment to modernization will be vital to ensuring a reliable transportation system for American consumers, businesses and the growing e-commerce marketplace.”

The FedEx model relies on intermodal transportation services, which allow goods to move in the most efficient way, “providing transport services that vary as to speed, price and mode.” For those efficiencies to be realized, Ducker told the subcommittee, the government must meet its infrastructure obligations. Without that freedom of movement, inefficiencies are built into the model.

Ducker focused on e-commerce, and the trend towards “American consumers’ expectation of fast and efficient delivery of consumer products.” He explained that supply chains are moving from an inventory-based “manufacture-to-supply” model to a “manufacture-to-order” model.

This trend is blurring the lines between last-mile delivery and warehousing, with delivery vehicles moving goods along U.S. roads that have not yet been ordered, and rather are predictively loaded. Amazon.com is a pioneer in this. This model is groundbreaking in terms of convenience, but it places increased wear on infrastructure, and makes the road system even more critical to economic activity.

“New technological advancements are changing the way we look and think about our transportation needs,” Ducker said. He stressed that these technological advancements must be factored into forward-looking infrastructure planning. Such plans, he said, must take into account autonomous vehicles.

“The time is now to modernize our country’s transportation infrastructure,” Ducker concluded. He explained that, with freight volumes and roadway congestion increasing, federal and state policies must support long-term transportation funding and innovation. “Collaboration and sustained commitment to modernization will be vital to ensuring a reliable transportation system for American consumers, businesses and the growing e-commerce marketplace.”

In the video below, Ducker makes the case for increased infrastructure spending:

Those interested in learning more about airfreight in 2017, should join us at Cargo Facts Asia in Shanghai, 25 – 26 April.  To register, or for more information, go to CargoFactsAsia.com

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