Biden announces plans for port, border-crossing improvements to help supply chain

Ccj Logo White Headshot

Trucking news and briefs for Thursday, Nov. 11, 2021:

Biden announces plans to improve supply chain issues

President Joe Biden on Tuesday laid out how the recently passed infrastructure bill will help the current supply chain crisis through port improvements, along with freight system improvements, including a truck parking assessment.

In a fact sheet published Tuesday by the White House, the Biden administration announced some immediate actions it is taking, along with some near-term actions to help alleviate the supply chain issues.

One of the immediate actions is to alleviate congestion at Georgia’s Port of Savannah, which will include funding the Georgia Port Authority’s pop-up container yards project. This project allows the GPA to reallocate more than $8 million to convert existing inland facilities into five pop-up container yards in Georgia and North Carolina. Under the plan, the Port of Savannah will transfer containers via truck and rail further inland so that they can be closer to their final destination, which will make available valuable real estate closer to the port, the White House says. The effort will free up more dock space and speed goods flow in and out of the port, which leads the nation in containerized agricultural exports.

The U.S. Department of Transportation is also going to allow port authorities across the country to redirect project cost savings toward tackling supply chain challenges.

Also potentially affecting the trucking industry is the prioritization of key ports of entry for modernization and expansion within the next 90 days. The plan will identify $3.4 billion in investments to upgrade obsolete inspection facilities and allow more efficient trade through the country’s northern and southern borders.

Additionally, the DOT will develop and issue revised guidance on State Freight Plans that incorporates best worldwide freight planning practices. The White House says the infrastructure bill strengthens the freight plans that states are currently required to produce to include supply chain cargo flows, an inventory of commercial ports, the impacts of e-commerce on freight infrastructure, and an assessment of truck parking facilities. These improved plans, the White House adds, will help states direct resources to their greatest areas of need.

Navistar launches new technician apprenticeship program

Navistar on Wednesday announced the implementation of its International Truck and IC Bus Uptime Academy, a 12-month technician apprenticeship program that offers paid, hands-on training in a real-world setting.

The new program presents a unique approach to technician training from a 90-day dealership rotation to on-the-job class assignments. Students work with multiple vehicle types, including electric and fuel cell technologies. On top of 3,200 hours of on-the-job training, students receive 800 hours of classroom time and lab work, a journeyman toolbox, laptop and Navistar mentor.

“With the technician shortage at an all-time high, this is the perfect opportunity for future potential technicians to get their feet wet and experience working for the country’s largest commercial vehicle service network,” said Ana Salcido, manager, Technician Recruitment, Navistar. “Uptime Academy offers the benefit of working closely with new technologies, sending technicians into the industry prepared for what is to come.”

Trucking insurance company Truck Insurance Mart acquired 

Insurance brokerage Relation Insurance Services has acquired the assets of Kansas-based Truck Insurance Mart (TIM).

A provider of insurance solutions to trucking companies, small fleets, contract haulers and owner operators throughout the country, TIM helps clients in all aspects of risk management from its headquarters in Edwardsville, Kansas, with a satellite location in Galva, Kansas.

“We are proud to welcome the entire Truck team to Relation and are excited about growing our Central Region footprint with them,” said Tim Hall, executive vice president and head of mergers and acquisitions for Relation. “Truck brings expertise in the transportation industry, and we look forward to serving their customers and growing our presence throughout the country. Truck is built on culture and client trust, and they represent ideal partners for Relation.”