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Friday
Jul202018

Amazon Transportation and Logistics Executive Shares View of the Future

Katie Thomson, a former Obama-administration U.S. Department of Transportation official who now serves as vice president and general counsel for Amazon's transportation and logistics operations, offered her perspective on some of the future transportation challenges and opportunities facing America during a speech at the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials 2018 Joint Policy Committee meeting in Spokane, Washington, on July 18.

"Safe and reliable transportation is the lifeblood of our nation; it is critical to our economic prosperity," she noted. "Well-planned transportation provides connections to our urban, suburban and rural communities. That includes passenger and freight rail, airplanes, roads, bicycles and pedestrian modes of transport."

The challenges facing the U.S. transportation, however, are coming from different angles and all at once, Thomson noted.

For example, she pointed to USDOT research conducted in 2017 that found commuters waste one week per year just sitting in traffic. She also highlighted a report by the American Transportation Research Institute that the cost of traffic congestion to commercial trucking operations tops $63 billion. Thomson also noted that traffic fatalities have sharply increased over the last several years, while the quality of U.S. transportation infrastructure continues to decline.

"We will need to invest over $1.2 trillion in our nation's infrastructure over the next decade just to catch up to where we should be," she emphasized.

Yet demands upon the transportation system will only increase as it is expected to be moving 70 million more people by 2045, with freight volumes increasing 40 percent and air traffic passenger volume going up 50 percent by that year as well, Thomson pointed out.

Read on…

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