Slow and steady wins freight race execs

Dec 11, 2007 | 01:08 PM |

Multimodal was a key term being used by company executives at AMM's Moving Metals Conference in Atlanta.

The ability to change the way product is moved—by truck, rail or barge—is a key benefit in doing business today, with supply shortages and rising costs for most transportation methods.

James R. McCarville, executive director of the Port of Pittsburgh Commission, said that if shippers are troubled by all the global changes in the transportation industry, moving materials by old-fashioned barge might be the best way to go. "The energy prices being up is a favorable indication for barges," he said. "We think they're more competitive."

The only drawback is that the federal government has not been investing in the nation's inland waterways. But McCarville sees it changing in that investments in lock and dam projects no longer can be considered local pork-barrel spending. "There's an appreciation of how the whole economy relies on this cheap transportation," he said.....

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