FedEx accused of improperly handling hazardous material
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has accused FedEx of ‘failing to properly document hazardous materials shipments’ in August 2010, after it carried several shipments of hazardous cargo across the US.
Failure to inform pilots
The FAA claim that FedEx ‘improperly accepted’ the shipments, which were carried between August 2nd and August 12th 2010, in addition to accusing the carrier of failing to give pilots accurate and legible written information regarding hazardous material shipments on a total of 19 flights. Paperwork on several dozen shipments failed to properly describe the nature or amount of material being shipped, according to the regulators.
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In addition to this, FedEx allegedly ‘failed to document’ hazardous materials training and testing for three of its staff who accepted the shipments.
The violations occurred across the US, according to the FAA, who discovered the errors during an inspection of FedEx in Los Angeles. Speaking to Post & Parcel, FedEx has conceded there were “limited documentation and shipping label errors” at the time, but insisted that at no time were the public or staff at risk.
Michael P Huerta, the acting FAA administrator, said: “To ensure the safe transport of hazardous materials aboard aircraft, operators must follow appropriate rules and procedures, and provide proper training.”
FedEx, which has not responded to the accusations, has 30 days to respond to the FAA.
Elon Musk's Boring Co. planning wider tunnels for freight
Elon Musk’s drilling outfit The Boring Company could be shifting its focus towards subterranean freight and logistics solutions, according to reports.
A Boring Co. pitch deck seen and shared by Bloomberg depicts plans to construct wider tunnels designed to accommodate shipping containers.
Founded by Tesla CEO Musk in 2016, the company initially stated its mission was to offer safer, faster point-to-point transport for people, particularly in cities plagued by traffic congestion. It also planned longer tunnels to ferry passengers between popular destinations across the US.
The Boring Co. completed its first commercial project earlier this year in April. The 1.7m tunnel system is designed to move professionals between convention centres in Las Vegas using Tesla EVs. It says the Las Vegas Convention Centre Loop can cut travel time between venues from 45 minutes to just two.
Boring Co.'s new freight tunnels
The Boring Co.'s new tunnel designs would allow freight to be transported on purpose built platforms, labelled as “battery-powered freight carriers”. The document shows that, though the containers could technically fit within its current 12-foot tunnels, wider tunnels would be more efficient. Designs for a new tunnel, 21 feet in diameter, show that they can comfortably accommodate two containers side-by-side, with a one-foot gap between them.
The Boring Co.’s new drilling machine, dubbed Prufrock, can tunnel at a rate of one mile per week, which is six times faster than its previous machine, and is designed to ‘porpoise’ - mimicking the marine animal by ‘diving’ below ground and reemerging once the tunnel is complete.
Tesla’s supply chain woes
Tesla is facing its own supply chain and logistic issues. The EV manufacturer has raised the price of its vehicles, with CEO Musk confirming the incremental hike was a result of “major supply chain pressure”. Musk replied to a disgruntled Twitter user, confused as to why prices were rising while features were being removed from the cars, saying the “raw materials especially” were a big issue.
Car manufacturing continues to be one of the industries hit hardest by a global shortage in semiconductor chips. While China’s chip manufacturing levels hit an all-time high in May, and the US is proposing a 25% tax credit for chip manufacturers, demand still outstrips supply. Automakers including Volkswagen and Audi have again said they expect reduced vehicle output in the next quarter due to a lack of semiconductors, with more factory downtime likely.
Top Image credit: The Boring Company / @boringcompany