Conflicting market messages alongside a fascinatingly relentless march toward a complete overhaul of the automotive industry makes it very hard to provide simple explanations of the industry. It's important to get this right and understand what is now a complex industry that is better described as about "mobility" - and not your grandfather's car producing industry.
GLDPartners Leads TIACA/Multimodal Strategy Discussion: Are Inland Ports in North America Overhyped or Are They the Next Big Thing?
GLDPartners Ports and Terminals Practice Leader Brendan Dugan led a strategic visioning session this week on the topic of inland ports at the TIACA/Multimodal meeting in Toronto this week. Entitled “Are Inland Ports in North America Overhyped or Are They the Next Big Thing?”, Brendan oversaw an in-depth conversation with experts representing the rail, investor/developer, logistics terminal operator, seaport perspective
Funding has been put in-place and the site secured to build a global hub for a large-scale automotive technology testing and development complex in California. The California AutoTech Testing and Development Center (CATDC) is a 700-acre project that is being developed in Merced County which is located near to and directly to the east of Silicon Valley. The purpose-built testbed project is being planned, designed and engineered to be an important asset for developing many of the new technologies and applications that are shaping the future of human mobility. The CATDC is open currently and will complete an major expansion in mid-2019.
The story below by Paul Eisenstein describes the impacts to automakers about the much-reviewed changes being discussed and negotiated for NAFTA. The current view in protectionist circles about trade agreements generally are classic debates that are framed by too many as one about winners and losers. The temptation to do that is alluring but the interlocking issues and short-term and long-term results require far more complex analytics. As is the case with most complicated things, the debate is generally confused by ignoring basic facts and quite different assumptions and priorities.
It is obvious and becoming more obvious that too much facility or geographic concentration exposes global supply chains to massive risk - the kind of risk that simply cannot be ignored any longer. Surely, there are some technological and cost efficiency challenges to break-up some production hubs - but there are also huge insurance benefits to assure continuous and uninterrupted production for global market products. Combined with evolving trade agreement dynamics, there may be great opportunity for anew production investment in other areas including in Latin America North America and Europe, especially at and around well-connected logistics hubs.
In an article published on August 6th, William Cassidy from the JOC wrote an article: ELD Surprise: Costing Supply Chain Time, Not US Truckers, where he outlined some of the impacts from the newly enforced Electronic Logging Data (ELD) requirements that have been put on the trucking industry in the US. While to some this may be a reference to some arcane trucking regulation, these regulations create some fundamental changes to the internal logistics system of the largest economy in the world. For inland markets that are situated in locations that are just beyond the HoS limits for a one-day dray to the nearest load-center seaport like Albuquerque, Salt Lake City or Indianapolis, this will have important implications to competitiveness for international shipments. For international supply chains that rely on inbound or outbound cargo movements, they are faced with higher shipping trucking expenses. These dynamics may suggest that with proper intermodal access, alternatives via rail may even be more attractive.
GLDPartners will be in Toronto in October to participate at the Multimodal Americas/TIACA conference to lead two expert conference sessions that will explore the latest market trends and investment opportunities around inland ports and air cargo.
GLDPartners is pleased to announce that Bob Gollnik has joined our team as a Senior Project Manager. Bob will work on complex transportation, supply chain and infrastructure development advisory and delivery projects. Bob will advise businesses and public agencies on strategic transportation planning and policy, implementation and operations issues. One of Bob’s primary roles will be the development of the Mid-California International Trade District which is a $3B quadrimodal investment complex on a 2000 acre property.
It's interesting to watch in various settings around the world how unfolding automotive technologies are undergoing testing and market roll-out. In the two articles below, two electric road tests are explained, one in Europe and one in North America. These tests involve support for advanced propulsion technology, specifically electric drive technologies. In the Sweden example, government has created a test environment for a short-span electric roadway near Stockholm’s Arlanda Airport. The test links the Airport to a nearby logistics site. In the other example, Siemans and a major California electric utility company have joined to develop an electric roadway to test a heavy truck route at the largest seaport in North America, the Port of Los Angeles.
There is obviously a lot written these days about the future of transportation and the technology that will reshape human mobility. Much of the coverage in the popular press relates to two areas: 1) how the interaction between cars and people will change, with the use of technology requiring less and less human input, and 2) the corporate bets that are being made by companies that are creating shared mobility services - where a confluence of factors suggest that in the future, people may not actually own a vehicle, but rather access a vehicle through a shared service arrangement. The other key transportation and technology dynamic that is unfolding in front of our eyes is actually quite fundamental to the national and global economy. Increased automation of cargo logistics is creating new efficiencies at the seaport, rail yard, airport and over the road. It is a fascinating time right now in global logistics, there is a convergence of important occurring now technological advancements that are going to restructure the movement of goods from original point, to distribution/logistics hub, to end customer.