Wednesday, July 2, 2014
Monday, June 9, 2014
Secretary Hitt said when the Department of Commerce recruits industry to the state, the top three subjects of conversation are: 1) inventory; 2) workforce; and 3) logistics. He also said that economists predict South Carolina’s TDL cluster will grow by 4% in 2014. He expects that infrastructure will continue to be an asset in recruiting companies to South Carolina. The crowd enjoyed a brief break before hearing from Alan Torres, General Manager of Nuclear Construction for SCE&G, on logistical challenges in the construction of the new Jenkinsville nuclear facility. His presentation illustrated how a component weighing 605,000 pounds was shipped from North Korea to the Port of Charleston then hauled by a truck over highways, under power lines and through small towns. South Carolina Ports President & CEO Jim Newsome was next up.
After Mr. Newsome’s presentation, lunch was served and a panel was convened to discuss different perspectives on infrastructure needs. Each of the participants identified the most important infrastructure issue for their industry cluster. Jack Shuler, President of the South Carolina Agribusiness Council, said the priority concern for agribusiness in the state is the condition of roads and bridges in rural South Carolina. Rob Roberson, Logistics Manager for Nucor, said the priority concern for the recycling cluster is the productivity of the trucking industry.
Dr. David Neyens, Assistant Professor of Industrial Engineering at Clemson took to the state to discuss scoring the economic development impact of transportation infrastructure projects. He is working very closely with the Department of Transportation (DOT) and handed a survey to the crowd asking them to rank economic development indicators in terms of importance. His team will be making recommendations to the DOT on which indicators to use when prioritizing projects.
Next up was Deputy Secretary for Intermodal & Freight Programs, Doug Frate. He emphasized the importance of events like the TDL Summit and continuing collaboration of state agencies like the Department of Commerce and the DOT with groups like the TDL Council. He announced that the DOT’s 25-year multimodal transportation plan will be ready for publication by this summer. Deputy Secretary Frate also emphasized that South Carolina’s highway system is the 4th largest state-maintained highway system in the nation. He informed the crowd the cost per mile of maintaining the state’s roads - to preserve $20K; to rehabilitate $125K; to reconstruct $200K – and the implications of these costs on prioritizing improvement projects.
The next to last speakers were Alfred Hass, Department Manager of Material and Transportation Control and Delivery Assurance for BMW, and Brian Gwin, Industrial Development Manager for Norfolk Southern. The duo discussed the long-term partnership of their respective companies and the effects BMW’s expansion will have on transportation and logistics. BMW’s South Carolina facility is now the second largest value exporter in the world for the company. Norfolk Southern is now the originator for more finished vehicles than any other rail company in North America.
Last to go was the energetic Lexington County native Lou Kennedy, President & CEO of Nephron Pharmaceuticals Corporation. She spoke about the construction of the new facility in Lexington County and explained how temperature regulation is extremely important for pharmaceuticals. SCANA, located next door to Nephron in the Saxe Gotha Industrial Park, was a key partner in designing and implementing contingency power in case of an outage. She also spoke about Nephron’s partnership with CSX Rail and the construction of a rail spur on-site to bring all resin deliveries directly to Nephron. Kennedy held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on June 4th opening the facility that was finished one year ahead of the expected completion date.
Monday, April 7, 2014
Monday, March 3, 2014
In 2013, South Carolina’s TDL industry saw several important milestones. The inland port in Greer opened in October, expanding the economic ties between the Upstate and the Lowcountry and increasing the state’s competitiveness as a leader in moving freight. The SC Department of Transportation has continued to make strides in the development of the 25-year multimodal plan that will provide the roadmap for moving freight throughout the state and guide future infrastructure projects. Many TDL-related businesses have announced new business or expansion in the Palmetto State. We’re on the right track.
But what’s on the horizon? The widening of the Panama Canal, expected to be completed in 2015, is putting pressure on East Coast ports - Charleston included - to dredge harbors in order to accommodate post-Panamax ships around the clock. Tourists and residents alike bemoan driving on I-26, I-95, or I-85, especially during peak hours. Logistics analysts are always trying to shave off a few hours of transit time. TDL supports practically our entire economy; naturally, TDL needs constant investment and fine-tuning to maintain vibrancy and have the ability to grow and compete.
The TDL Council is a collaborative effort between public and private sector leaders to boost South Carolina’s economy, create jobs, and attract investment that will position the state as a national and global leader in the TDL industry. One way the Council seeks to bring South Carolina to the forefront of the TDL industry is by hosting the TDL Summit each year. In the spirit of partnership and collaboration, the Summit provides a forum for public leaders to provide their perspective on the industry, private industry leaders to share best practices, educational partners to share new innovations and projects, and attendees to learn, network and celebrate the industry’s successes. The 4th Annual TDL Summit will be held in Columbia on February 12.
The TDL Council has put together an exciting program and speaker line-up for the 2014 TDL Summit, with presentations that touch on all areas of freight transport, logistics, and distribution. The day will be opened by Governor Nikki Haley, and we’ll hear updates from Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt, and Ports Authority CEO Jim Newsome later in the day. A panel of South Carolina cluster leaders will offer their perspectives of freight infrastructure needs, and SCE&G will cover the logistics behind construction at V.C. Summer. Nephron’s Lou Kennedy, former Port of New Orleans President & CEO Ron Brinson, Senator Paul Campbell, and Clemson’s Dr. Scott Mason will round out the program, each offering their own unique perspective on a certain aspect of the industry. A networking reception will follow the event.
As we celebrate TDL successes we must also stay focused on working collaboratively to identify solutions that will help us reach our multimodal transportation goals. Decision-makers from the business sector, elected officials, government agencies, higher education partners, community advocates and interested citizens must come together to put the vision of the TDL Council into action.
We look forward to thought-provoking dialogue, knowledge exchange, and insights into revolutionary innovations at the TDL Summit on April 24th. Please join us for this exciting event. For more information, click here.
Friday, December 16, 2011
The rankings are based on such factors as job growth, growth in wages and salaries, and growth in gross domestic product in high tech industries. Arbitrary, but interesting. You can see the complete list of 200 cities at http://bestcities.milkeninstitute.org/bestcities2011.taf?rankyear=2011&type=rank200
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
The two day session ended with a review of Harvard’s US Competitiveness project. This project will be detailed in a series of articles in the March issue of the Harvard Business Review. The project surveyed some 10,000 graduates of the Harvard Business School. There were also 12 faculty members who addressed specific issues. The conclusions of the study were pretty grim.
Since 1980, America has experienced:
• Globalization of competition
• Countries with effective economic strategies
• Shortened time horizons
• Intense pressure on the middle class in terms of job loss and stagnation of wages
• Significant percentage in the upper .5% (5 % in 1977 to 18% in 2006)
• The cost of two wars
As a consequence, there have been unsustainable benefits that were primarily, but not exclusively, directed to the middle class:
o Badly thought out housing policy
o Retirement benefits
o Health care (Medicare and Medicaid)
o Cheap products from China, who is not competing on a level playing field
The problems are the result of choice, but not unstoppable forces. However, the federal government can’t seem to make even no brainer decisions.
Michael Porter said “Just do the math on the budget. We are a few years away from a real catastrophe.”
More on this subject in future blogs.