Piper's Pipeline: June 27 - July 1, 2011

Piper's Pipeline: June 27 - July 1, 2011

by Don Piper
8. July 2011 10:12

Transportation infrastructure

    Downtown Miami from Port of Miami Bridge
  • Equipment to be used in construction of a tunnel has arrived in Miami. The tunnel is to provide a second entry from the port to I-395 and I-95 and to relieve traffic volume on the Port Bridge.
    • The boring machine arrived from Germany and weighs 2,500 tons. It cost $45 million and will be assembled over the next four months. Boring the terminal will take about 1 year and 6 months.
  • Englewood Flyover will be constructed in Chicago to separate passenger and freight rail traffic. At a cost of $133 million, the project will provide relief to one of the most congested, delay-resulting areas in the country. Passenger traffic consists of commuter and long-haul traffic. Construction is to begin this summer no projection given for completion date.

Production, Capacity and Trade

  • Free trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama are being urged by industry groups. Some $3 billion of agricultural exports is the reported value, plus other groups involved.
    • The Senate Finance Committee is to hold a "mock" markup session on Thursday. The mock markup is being held in view of the process that the fast track provisions amendments, are not allowed after the bill is submitted to the administration under the Trade Promotion Authority Act.
  • Industrial production in Japan increased 5.7% in May from April, the government reported. This after a record plunge in March. The ministry expects factory output to increase 5.2% in June and 0.5% in July.
  • Overcapacity in the maritime industry has reduced confidence to a 2-year low. The key word in the industry is reported to be "survival." The current slump is expected to persist for some time.

Legal news

  • Tennessee's Attorney General has issued an opinion that the bill that would force Amazon to pay state sales taxes. Amazon is building a distribution center in Tennessee but has stated that the forced collection of sales taxes would force them out of the state.
  • teamsters
  • The Teamsters union has filed a grievance against YRC Worldwide claiming that clerical duties including billing have been outsourced to overseas locations. Contrary to agreements signed by the two organizations, including wage and pension concessions, clerical work has been outsourced to India and the Philippines.
    • Quick resolution of the issue and compensation for affected union employees is the demand.
    • Billing by a majority of the terminals is now being done overseas. On a prior occasion, the Teamsters were successful in a grievance filed in the outsourcing of some of the work that followed the merger of YRC and Roadway.
  • A class-action lawsuit between Horizon Lines and Home Depot has been settled. The original amount was $52.25 million, and the settled amount was $20 million. A settlement was made with Wal-Mart announced in Feb. Work continues on other settlements.

Carriers

  • A 2009 GAO study found that over 1,000 truck and bus carriers had successfully established a company under a different name after being closed by the FMCSA for safety violations. The charges that closed them included suspended licenses and drug use.
  • Increasing broker bonds from $10,000 to $100,000 has produced complaints from brokers and a "let's do it" attitude from carriers. There is no record of the number of brokers that have disappeared owing thousands of dollars to carriers. Once the bonding company has reimbursed $10,000 to the carrier there is no more. A majority of carriers damaged are small carriers, some of them forced into bankruptcy.

Partnerships and compensation

  • Daimler AG says it has signed an agreement with Chinese partner BAIC. The new plant will produce gasoline engines for Mercedes-Benz cars and vans made in China stating in 2013. The agreement is expected to be expanded to include the GLK compact SUV followed by three new Mercedes-Benz models later.
  • Eight of the top ten highest-paying occupations in the Memphis area are in medicine. Obstetricians and gynecologists earn the highest salaries, an average of $234,480 in the Memphis area for 2010, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The second highest paid group is a group of physicians and surgeons, averaging $218,790 last year.

Images by miamism and cospics

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