This year’s punishing winter in California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains resulted in more snow than can be measured
The traditional snow-measuring device is a 16′ tube which is forced into the snow pack to determine its depth. This year, 16′ is not even close to measuring the snow pack.
We are at historic levels not seen in thirty years. All this snow has made for difficult transportation this winter, but if you are looking for the silver lining, at least California’s drought is over.
California’s roads are dilapidated. There is no arguing that point. But, they did not get that way because the citizens are not taxed enough. Quite the contrary. Californians pay some of the highest fuel taxes in the country. Lawmakers, however, routinely rob funds (collected through taxes and fees) that are earmarked for roads in favor of sending the money to the general fund. Who knows what happens to it then, but we can guarantee it is not spent on roads and infrastructure.
Well, California’s elected officials are at it again. Governor Jerry Brown announced a plan to generate $5B per year by increasing the fuel tax by $0.12 per gallon, initiating a $100 annual fee on electric vehicles, increase vehicle registration fees and creating “new taxes.”
The plan supposedly has oversight to ensure the money is spent on transportation and not diverted to other priorities. Excuse the skepticism, but we have heard that before.
Normally, the Black Rock Desert is a dry, dusty, desolate place. This winter’s wet weather has covered the desert in a lake of water. Don’t worry. It should be dried out in time for this year’s festival for which tickets went on sale last week and were sold out in a manner of minutes.
Three trucks demonstrated the feasibility of automated platooning in Southern California last month. The trucks made a 12 mile loop from the Port of Los Angeles’ headquarters, up freeway 110 to the Sepulveda Blvd exit and back to the port’s offices.
Take a look at the video above. Pretty cool stuff.
As you are likely familiar, ocean carriers are in the midst of changing their alliance partners, which will result in changes to vessel rotations, ports of call, transit times, terminal preferences, etc.
As these alliances morph and come into focus, we expect hiccups in the land side operations as well. System integration between ocean carriers and new terminal operators could lead to data integrity and timeliness issues. Terminal calls and cut offs could be a moving target.
Please check and recheck container statuses, pick up and return locations and booking information. All signs point to it being unsettled for some time.
The Southern California Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) has two container fee proposals submitted, one for $35 per TEU and another for $100 per TEU, to be clear, that is $200 per 40′ container. The proposed fee could generate as much as $1.1B per year and would be used to help fund the move towards zero emission cargo handling equipment and trucks. SCAQMD has plans to implement the fee effective July 1, 2018.
It seems folks are doing everything they can to drive business out of the state. Meanwhile, ports on the east and gulf coasts, with their appreciation of the economic benefits that ports generate, are more than happy to pick up the slack.
Frankly, we’re tired of hearing, “What’s $100 to a container full of TVs?” Well, it means a more expensive TV to consumers. Furthermore, folks forget California is an export force as well. Agricultural exporters compete on a global market. This fee could make them uncompetitive, and they cannot just pull up stakes and move to another state.
This proposed fee will have a far-reaching and long-lasting negative effect on the state’s economy…but hey, what’s a 100 bucks on a load of TVs, right?
Maersk and IBM recently announced they are teaming up on blockchain technology, which made us wonder…what the heck is blockchain? We found a definition that seemed to make sense.
The information held on a blockchain exists as a shared, and continually updated/reconciled, database. The blockchain database is not stored in any single location. The records are truly public and easily verifiable. No centralized version of this information exists for a hacker to corrupt. Hosted by millions of computers simultaneously, its data is accessible to anyone on the internet.