The Friday Report: April 5th, 2019

Quick wrap up of a few hot topic newsworthy stories in the supply chain logistics industry

U.S. Southern Border Slows Down Crossings

On March 28th, Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) officials announced that the organization would reassign significant labor resources to deal with “the dramatic increase in illegal crossings that continue to occur along the Southwest border”.    An increase of up to 750 CBP officers were allocated from points of entry along the Southwest border to provide support with the care and custody of migrants.  The announcement reflected that the shifting of staff and resources would have a detrimental effect on all Southwest border points of entry, due to lane closures and increased wait time for both commercial shipments and travelers.

The impact was immediate.  In El Paso, residents with business in Cuidad Juarez remained on the Mexican side of the border so as not to experience delays.  El Paso businesses were noticeably empty.  Additional port closures are on the horizon.  The automotive industry is most at risk due to the supply chain slowdown.

FDOT Considers Changing Hours of Service Rules

Recently, the Department of Transportation transmitted a Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) to the White House Office of Management and Budget for review regarding changes to the hours of service regulation in the trucking industry.  Currently truck drivers are legally mandated to drive no more than 11 hours in a 14-hour period, regardless of inclement weather, rush hour traffic, port gridlock and other factors.  Frustrated by the lack of flexibility in the current regulations, comments on the Advanced NPRM regarding hours of service exceeded 5,200.

Concerns about companies pushing truck drivers to drive for excessive periods of time often reaching 18 hours a day lead to the hours of service rule.  Many in the transportation and logistics industry have been advocating for more flexibility in the HOS rules.  Until the details of the NPRM are posted on the Federal Register, the decision will not be known to the public and there is no definitive timeline for the decision.

Amazon Web Services and Volkswagen Group Partner to Create the Volkswagen Industrial Cloud

A multi-year global agreement between Volkswagen Group (VW) and Amazon Web Services (AWS) has been secured to develop the Volkswagen Industrial Cloud, a “cloud-based digital production platform” for use in streamlining VW’s manufacturing and logistics processes.  Key to this effort are VW’s plans to use AWS’ machine learning, Internet of Things, analytics and computing assembly to enhance plant assembly efficiency, vehicle quality and production flexibility using data from 122 VW manufacturing plants.

Using an industrial IoT platform that will extend from sensors on the factory floor through to analytics, dashboards, and applications used by executives in the boardroom, the effort will be instrumental in improving manufacturing and logistics processes.

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