Monthly Supply Chain Review: October 2015

Transportation has been a key word in October supply chain news. Whether it’s tried-and-true methods such as rail, which are undergoing massive transition, or emerging and disruptive technologies such as drones, supply chain success relies on effective movement.

In the wake of a fatal 2008 California train accident, the National Transportation Safety Board placed new safety requirements onto outdated rail systems. While the new technology will decrease fatalities and related costs, rail companies will be hard pressed to meet the end-of-year deadline. Will the government extend deadlines, or will rail systems shut down?

Low fuel costs this fall have propelled Southwest Airlines into higher earnings this month. This is good news, as the company also has launched programs to attract and maintain more business travelers.  In Europe, Volvo has also benefited from decreased fuel costs.

The US Department of Transportation and the FAA have begun crowd-sourcing ideas for drone regulation. While it seems likely that registration will be required for certain levels of drone, it’s equally likely that drone usage both private and commercial will expand rapidly and require more detailed laws surrounding safety and privacy.


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