Logistics Experts Talk About Technology’s Influence on Transportation
Safety and technology were the foci of the latest Fridays at Findlay, which featured a panel of regional logistics experts.
Speaking were Duke Acors, hub manager for CSX Intermodal Terminals Inc.; Chuck Bills, president and CEO for Ohio Logistics; Sherri Garner Brumbaugh, CEO and president of Garner Transportation Group Inc.; George McAfee, Ph.D., head of commercial development for Marathon Petroleum Corporation’s Marine Transportation Division; and Colonel Gregg Biddle, commander of the Mission Support Group, 180th Fighter Wing, Ohio Air National Guard.
Here are some of the questions asked and answers given:
What are your greatest logistical challenges?
- Bills – “Communications. Working with several operations. Connecting all the dots.”
- Garner Brumbaugh – “We have a terrible shortage of labor workforce with truck drivers.”
- McAfee – “We have got to maintain a strong safety culture to not only preserve the products, but the environment.”
What are some recent safety advancements in your industry?
- Garner Brumbaugh – “Electric logging devices, which are the black box of the trucking industry.”
- McAfee – “A greater emphasis on captains and pilots, and emergency preparedness (stemming from the Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989).”
- Acors – “Positive train control,” a technology that can stop trains without conductor control.
- Biddle – Considering transportation of materials separately or together, depending upon their volatility with each other and the air and land environment.
When looking into the future, what’ll be the greatest technology trend?
- Acors – Automation.
- McAfee – Better weather-prediction tools.
- Bills – Scanners and robotics that will remove the “human touch” factor.