Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Transport, trade, and other such trivialities

I have found a new blog that has been really tweaking my interest.  If you have a chance, head over to Dearthagetransport and give the guy some attaboys.  Anyway, he got me thinking about transport and such, but instead of worrying about cars and the laziness in having to drive a couple of blocks to buy a cheeseburger, I want to talk about how we are going to deal with getting useful stuff from point A to point B.

Our system now is built on the extravagant use of fossil fuels.  There are some smart modalities.  River traffic on the Mississippi and the Columbia can move bulk freight for an astonishingly low price.

But instead, we now load things on long haul diesel trucks and spend absurd amounts of money on transportation of bulk products.  Air shipments are remarkably stupid.  An open admission that you are too lazy and stupid to plan.  We have gutted warehouses for the fallacy of just-in-time manufacturing, allowing global wage arbitrage and cheap oil to let MBA's fire support people and outsource the warehousing to China and India.

All this shit has to stop.  The cheap transport that allowed the MBA scum to chop jobs and lard their own pantry will bring this to a screeching halt.    You see, just in time delivery has always been a joke.  Oh, the "managers" with their MBA will use the idea as a means of telling stockholders to give them raises, but what it really means is that you rely on everyone else to do your job for you and then try to take an outsized portion of the total reward.

Long supply lines are unstable.  Making your primary subcomponents in other countries is unstable.  Relying on cheap transport is unstable.  Not having adequate inventory when the other three conditions are unmet is unstable.

If we wish to move forward, we must address long distance freight transport in a meaningful and sustainable way.  We must also address the necessary warehousing and inventory of items in a world where transportation becomes expensive and constrained.

And we probably won't be able to do it under the self-serving and arrogant fools that currently man the corporate and business boardrooms across America.

1 comment:

Mayberry said...

Yeah, this crap has got to end. But for it to end, so does the oppressive taxation and union thuggery that sent everything scurrying overseas. When the local parts store doesn't have a starter for a Chevy 350, the most prolific engine on the planet, in stock and ready to sell, there is something seriously wrong. When the grocery store runs out of freakin' tomato soup, something is REALLY wrong. Folks should have plenty of jobs building warehouses and railroads once the morons in DC are oustered...