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Transportation Nation

New Highway Won't Turn Dulles Airport Into Major Cargo Player: Study

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

WAMU

Building a ten-mile parkway in Northern Virginia won't turn Dulles International Airport into the premier air cargo hub on the East Coast, according to a study by the George Mason University Center for Regional Analysis.

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WNYC News

PA Takes Stock of Damage at Ports

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The region’s cargo port system may have been up and running six days after Sandy struck, but the storm's unprecedented storm surge left its mark and is prompting a review of past assumptions about its vulnerabilities to another Sandy-like event.

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New Jersey News

Federal Grant Could Help Region's Cargo Industry

Friday, June 22, 2012

Global Container Terminals USA in Jersey City, N.J., has secured an $11.4 million federal grant to buy two new cranes. Federal officials said the money will reduce truck traffic and diesel emissions in the state, as well as create jobs in the region.

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Transportation Nation

Can Bikes Replace Trucks to Deliver Goods in Cities? European Entreprenuers Believe So

Friday, May 04, 2012

Proponents of cargo bikes were out in force this week, trying to sell transportation ministers from from dozens of countries on the idea that cargo bikes are not only capable of moving goods around cities, in many cases they're preferable to trucks.

Randy Rzewnicki is working with the European Cyclist Federation on their CycleLogistics project. Funded by the European Union,  the nine-country, multi-year project is promoting moving goods by cycle. "There's a whole lot of things that can be moved by bikes, " he said. "Our estimates, from the research that we've done, is that 50% of all light goods in cities could be moved by bicycle."

CycleLogistics researches and tests cargo bikes, connects with transport companies, runs a "shop by bike" program,  gives cities cargo bikes to critique and test themselves, and aims to be a "best practices" warehouse for people and companies looking to make the switch from four wheels to two (or, in some cases, three).

"CycleLogistics has been a niche market,"  Rznewnicki said, "but it's starting to mature now. And some of the signs that we're seeing are companies like TNT, UPS, DHL, FedEx, which have active cycle delivery projects." He said TNT is working to create a mobile depot in Brussels that is serviced by cargo cycles.

Outspoken, a UK company, is also using the mobile hub idea -- only theirs is a giant cargo delivery bike. "They're using some of their big bikes, (ones) that can carry 250 kilos, as a kind of a mobile depot," said Rzewnicki. "Because that bike isn't going to go door-to-door." But the smaller bikes can.

And they go to places that motorized vehicles can't.  Outspoken Delivery is based in Cambridge -- a place where, according to Gary Armstrong, the company's business development manager, "lorries and vans aren't allowed in the city center between 10am and 5pm. "Few motorized delivery services can wrap up business before 10am.

"So we do the last mile for them," he said. Outspoken recently delivered 17,000 magazines to 430 locations in two days by bike. Last year, he says, Outspoken couriers cycled 54,000 miles around Cambridge.

Scottish bike designer Nick Lobnitz got the idea for his Paper Bicycle company when he took a long look at the trailers the Royal Mail was using. "I thought 'that's rubbish! I can do better than that!" He started by making what he says is a low-maintenance bike with a lower center of gravity. Then he added a trailer. "It's a car boot for a bike," he said, adding that he had taken his with him on the plane from the UK to Leipzig then biked from the Leipzig airport to the conference center.

The bike trailer that Nick Lobnitz checked as luggage (photo by Kate Hinds)

The bike looks somewhat imposing -- but a test drive dispelled any worries about maneuverability. How does it feel so light? "It's clever heavy," he said. "It feels exactly the same as riding a normal bicycle except you'll be slower uphill and faster downhill."  His bikes and trailers are in use in public bike share systems, food delivery services. He said even the gardens and groundskeepers in London's Hampstead Heath park use his bikes to transport supplies around.

(photo by Kate Hinds)

Lobnitz says he's not getting rich quickly; last year, for example, he turned about a thousand dollar profit. "The easy way to make a small fortune in the bike industry is to start with a large fortune," he said. "But I'm happy. It's nice to make things people appreciate."

Nick Lobnitz, Randy Rzewnicki, and Gary Armstrong want you to know you can deliver almost anything by bicycle. (Photo by Kate Hinds)

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WQXR News

United Nations Pushes For More Cargo Security

Monday, November 29, 2010

The U.N. agency overseeing aviation is pushing for more cargo security to counter al-Qaida's new mail-bomb strategy, but is not calling for 100 percent screening of packages.

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The Takeaway

Laying tracks to the future of cargo shipping

Monday, April 20, 2009

Last week, President Obama announced an ambitious goal to build a high-speed passenger rail line in ten regions across the country. But even if President Obama’s plans for passenger rail materialize, it won’t necessarily help the entire rail system. America's freight, the cargo that moves goods across the country by rail, is in big trouble. To look at the state of the rails, The Takeaway talks with Rick Karr, a correspondent for Blueprint America. His report on the nation’s ailing freight-rail system will air on The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer tonight.

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