The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach in Southern California handled 898,287 loaded container imports in March, a record for the month and a 97.1% increase from March 2020, and they have also reduced a ship logjam by roughly 50% from a peak of approximately 40 vessels waiting to dock in February, according to port officials. However, load times onto trains leaving Los Angeles remain an issue, lasting 11 days compared to the normal average of two days.
India's government has ruled that mandatory FASTag payments do not violate an individual's right to free movement, stating that FASTag was implemented to ensure seamless traffic movement. Incentives have been given to drivers, FASTag implementation has been timely and vehicles unable to have a tag fitted can still travel along highways, the government added.
The Southern Beltway is scheduled to open to traffic in October, connecting Pittsburgh International Airport to Interstate 79. Once open, drivers will be able to pay via E-ZPass or toll-by-plate, with rates to be determined this summer.
Toll Road Investors Partnership LP II and Shirley Contracting will begin a project to reconfigure an exit ramp on Virginia's Leesburg Bypass. The project, which will also add a third westbound lane between the Dulles Greenway and South King Street interchange, should be completed by May 2022.
A coalition of transportation, engineering and construction companies and groups supported a national vehicle-miles-traveled program in a recent letter to Senate and House committee leaders who are working on transportation legislation. The coalition's stated goal is to "replace all current motor fuel taxes and fees" with a new fee, noting that federal and state fleets offer "an ideal testbed" for a vehicle-miles-traveled program.
The increasing production of electric and autonomous vehicles is also ramping up demand for rare earth minerals, most of which are extracted and processed in other countries, such as China and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The US is working on creating reliable supply chains and is exploring how to increase domestic production.
FedEx, UPS, the US Postal Service and regional carriers delivered 82% of North American parcels on time in March compared to 85% in the same month last year, the first time the shippers have neared pre-COVID levels since the onset of the pandemic, according to a Convey analysis. Meanwhile, on-time delivery for FedEx's SmartPost/Economy packages fell from 86% to 66% year-over-year for March.
Polly Trottenberg, former New York City transportation commissioner, has been confirmed by the US Senate to serve as deputy transportation secretary. She will serve under Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and help implement the Biden administration's ambitious $2.25 trillion infrastructure plan.
To handle increased freight demand, trucking companies are purchasing more vehicles, hosting employment events and offering higher wages, with Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings increasing pay for recently certified drivers by at least 40%. Driver supply may not match freight needs until early 2022, according to ACT Research President and Senior Analyst Kenny Vieth.
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