May 17, 2020

Details emerge from Nevada Amtrak crash

Supply Chain
Supply Chain Problems
Amtrak Crash
Train Cra
Freddie Pierce
2 min
Multiple reports show John Davis Trucking had several maintenance violations before Nevada Amtrak train crash
Six people were killed on Sunday when a big-rig truck struck an Amtrak passenger train at 11:25 a.m. on Friday at a crossing 70 miles east of Reno, Nev...

Six people were killed on Sunday when a big-rig truck struck an Amtrak passenger train at 11:25 a.m. on Friday at a crossing 70 miles east of Reno, Nev.

Details are starting to emerge from the tragedy. Among those are numerous reports that the truck involved in the crash was part of John Davis Trucking, a company that had been cited for 17 maintenance violations in the last two years.

Four of the 17 violations stemmed from braking problems while two other citations were for worn tires.

The driver apparently hit his brakes 320 feet from the site of the collision, which killed the truck’s driver and five passengers on the Amtrak California Zephyr train.

Two other truck drivers, who were part of the three-truck convoy, witnessed the crash, as the semitrailer reportedly skidded helplessly for over 100 yards before smashing through the crossing gates into the train.

Twenty people in all were taken to local hospitals for treatment.


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Adding to rising scrutiny, the National Transportation Safety Board on Sunday said that John Davis Trucking company had been involved in 19 random roadside inspections since 2010.

The random inspections led to seven violations and a truck being taken out of service. Authorities found tires on one company big-rig so bald that they deemed the rig “an imminent hazard to public safety” in a January inspection.

"The NTSB plans to visit the company this week," National Transportation Safety Board member Earl Weener said. "At that time, we will be reviewing not only company records but the driver's records."

Federal records show that the Nevada Department of Public Safety had cited John Davis Trucking for two crashes over the last two years.

While details from the Amtrak crash are still pouring out of news outlets across the country, trucking companies should take heed of the public fallout from John Davis Trucking. Keeping big-rigs and trailers tuned to the best possible condition is the best defense to such transgressions, and can help save lives.

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Jun 8, 2021

DHL Claim Multi-Sector Collaboration Key to Fighting COVID

3 min
Global logistics leader DHL’s new white paper highlights what supply chain professionals have learned one year into the pandemic

Since January, global logistics leader DHL has distributed more than 200 million doses of the COVID vaccine to 120+ countries around the globe. While the US and UK recently rolled out immunisation plans to most citizens, countries with less developed infrastructure still desperately need more doses. In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which currently has one of the highest per-capita immunisation rates, the government set up storage facilities to cover domestic and international demand. But storage, as we’ve learned, is little help if you can’t transport the goods.


This is where logistics leaders such as DHL make their impact. The company built over 50 new partnerships, bilateral and multilateral, to collaborate with pharmaceutical and private sector firms. With more than 350 DHL centres pressed into service, the group operated 9,000+ flights to ship the vaccine where it needed to go. 


Public-Private Partnerships

With new pandemic knowledge, DHL just released its “Revisiting Pandemic Resilience” white paper, which examined the role of logistics and supply chain companies in handling COVID-19. As Thomas Ellman, Head of Clinical Trials Logistics at DHL, said: “The past one year has highlighted the importance of logistics and supply chain management to manage the pandemic, ensure business continuity and protect public health. It has also shown us that together we are stronger”. 


Multisector partnerships, DHL said, enabled rapid, effective vaccine distribution. While international scientists developed a vaccine in record time—five times faster than any other vaccine in history—manufacturers ramped up production and logistics teams rolled out distribution three times faster than expected. When commercial routes faced backups, logistics operators worked with military officers to transport vaccines via helicopters and boats. 


In the UAE, the public-private HOPE Consortium distributed billions of COVID-19 doses to its civilians as well as other countries in need by partnering with commercial organisations such as DHL. For the first time, apropo for an unprecedented pandemic, logistics companies made strong connections with public health and government.


“While the race against the virus continues, leveraging the power of such collaborations and data analytics will be key”, said Katja Busch, Chief Commercial Officer DHL and Head of DHL Customer Solutions & Innovation. “We need to remain prepared for high patient and vaccine volumes, maintain logistics infrastructure and capacity, while planning for seasonal fluctuations by providing a stable and well-equipped platform for the years to come”. 


How Do We Sustain Immunisation? 

By the end of 2021, experts estimate that we need approximately 10 billion doses of vaccines—many of which will be shipped to areas of the world, such as India, South Africa, and Brazil, that lack significant infrastructure. This is perhaps the greatest divide between countries that have rolled out successful immunisation programmes and those that have not. As Busch noted, “the UAE’s significant investments in creating robust air, sea, and land infrastructure facilitated logistics and vaccine distribution, helping us keep supply chains resilient”. 


Neither is the novel coronavirus a one-time affair. If predictions hold, COVID will be similar to seasonal colds or the flu: here to stay. When fall comes around each year, governments will need to vaccinate the world as quickly as possible to ensure long-term immunisation against the virus. This time, logistics companies must be better prepared. 

Yet global immunisation, year after year, is no small order. To keep reinfection rates low and slow the spread of COVID, governments will likely need 7-9 billion annual doses of the vaccine to meet that mark. And if DHL’s white paper is any judge of success, multi-sector supply chain partnerships will set the gold standard.

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