Insights - February 2016 - (Page 5)

IANA's Chair Discusses Association's 2016 Priorities As Katie Farmer begins programs that facilitate her second year as the IANA shipment visibility and chairman, she sees interfluidity, enable business modal growth opportunitransactions and improve ties among the economic driver productivity. challenges of 2016 and The congestion that evolving long-term trends. we saw at the ports on In a January interview both coasts in early 2015 with Intermodal Insights, illustrated just how interBNSF Railway Co.'s group connected intermodal is. Farmer vice president for consumer The industry responded with products shared her views on IANA increased contingency planning - are priorities, industry collaboration and we out of the woods? What is the potengrowing intermodal's future customers tial for disruptions in 2016? and workforce. There are no major longshore Congratulations on your re-election worker agreements expiring in 2016, as chairman for the 2016 year. Last year so the ports should be able to remain began with the slowdown on the West focused on continuing to work to Coast and ended on stronger footing, decongest their operations. Ports and including legislation that was favorable terminal operators are addressing to the industry (FAST Act, PTC extension, congestion by building larger, more etc.). What do you and the IANA Board modern facilities as well as making view as the priorities for the coming operational changes such as extending year? terminal gate hours. I am looking forward to serving my The trend to keep an eye on in the second term as chairman with such coming years for international cargo an active and creative Board. This year, will be the growing use of mega ships we will remain focused on the issues by our ocean carrier partners. The use impacting the intermodal industry. of vessels capable of handling as much Our priorities for the coming year will as 18,000 20-foot equivalent containers include: will continue and the intermodal industry will need to keep working with the * Remaining focused on driver issues ports and its carrier partners to provide that can improve productivity and direct access to the nation's biggest and quality of life and ultimately ensure fastest-growing markets. adequate driver supply for the intermodal industry. The Board has Despite the dramatic drop in fuel formed a subcommittee to engage pricing of the past year, consumers in these issues, which are also being have not opened up their wallets, and tackled at the task force level, in this has impacted intermodal volumes. IANA's standing committees. What is your outlook for consumer * * Continuing to position IANA as a thought leader through promotion of the benefits of intermodal and the value we bring to our customers and the transportation industry. Another Board subcommittee is working on a resource center for intermodal stakeholders and various educational tools that will be made available to the industry this year. Expanding IANA's Intermodal Information Services through new spending? Where do you see intermodal growth coming from in the next 12 - 18 months? I expect we will see continued, but mixed growth in consumer spending heading into 2016. We will see growth in intermodal, particularly on the domestic front with much of that growth consisting of freight that used to move solely by truck, while other sectors will be challenged. The U.S. manufacturing sector, a key driver of railroad volumes, is feeling the adverse effects of the strong dollar and lower commodity prices. On the flip side, consumer spending has the potential to get a lift from lower fuel prices, as well as the declining unemployment rate. The challenge for 2016 for the intermodal industry will be to continue to find growth opportunities and to make investments in the face of the current softer economic climate. Investments will need to continue to be made to position the industry to handle our customer's long term growth requirements. An example is the recent capital expenditures that BNSF made in its Northern Corridor route totaling approximately $3.5 billion. This will allow BNSF to offer expedited domestic intermodal service to and from Chicago and St. Paul, Minn. to the Pacific Northwest and to and from Seattle, in response to customers' shipping needs. The increasing population in the U.S. will continue to drive demand. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that the total U.S. population will increase by more than 98 million between 2014 and 2060. The U.S. moves 63 tons of freight per person each year. Adding 98 million more people would mean an additional 6.2 billion tons of freight every year that needs to move via the most reliable, cost effective and efficient means. This continued population growth means that intermodal will continue to be a viable and growing transportation solution in 2016 and beyond. In the future we also need to ensure we have the ability to effectively and efficiently build additional U.S. supply chain infrastructure. That will ensure our nation's competitiveness and enable the American workforce to compete for jobs in this global marketplace. A crucial component to achieving continued success in optimizing our overall supply chain includes reforming our processes for permitting projects. Currently, the process takes too long, costs too much-including litigation-and could yield better results if it were improved. The permitting process delays that our customers and our industry are facing impact not only February 2016 | Intermodal Insights 5

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Insights - February 2016

Insights - February 2016
FMCSA Proposes Fitness Revisions
IANA Announces Expanded Sponsorship Package
IANA’s Chair Discusses Association’s 2016 Priorities
Container Weight Verification a 2016 Reality
Freight Reports
Sustainability News
Caution Urged on California Driver Reclassification
Port News
In Brief
People in the News
Welcome New Members
Intermodal Calendar

Insights - February 2016

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