Although it was temporarily lost in the move of our NATSO offices, we have found our crystal ball and are now prepared to share our predictions for 2014. The following are just a few subjects that you can expect to read about in next year’s Biz Brief articles.
Expect to read how your peers are using technology in new ways to improve productivity, better serve their customers and dig deeper into the data surrounding their businesses. Table top tablets, social media and new point of sale technologies will all be subjects of our conversations. Additionally, our customers will also find significant changes in their worlds as a result of technology, whether it be telematics or platooning.
Biz Brief will report on lots of talk but little action in the area of federal transportation funding. A myriad of ideas and options will be discussed, but the subject remains too much of a hot potato for many legislators, particularly in an election year. On the other hand, we will report to you about many tax changes on the state and local level.
We predict that many states will attempt to utilize tolling as a financial vehicle for funding their transportation woes. We also forecast that many reports will continue to surface questioning the viability of tolls. Look for public-private partnerships to be a larger solution to states’ financial needs. We also predict that we will report on NATSO’s successful battle to preserve the ban on tolling on US interstates.
With the planned completion of the Panama Canal expansion and greater cargo freight moving to east coast ports, traffic pattern shifts are sure to be experienced. Other shifts involve both big box and internet retailers moving closer to their customers with smaller distribution centers more centrally located in key population centers. Biz Brief will keep you apprised of these continued freight corridor moves.
While the economic outlook is somewhat foggy, our crystal ball is “crystal clear” when it comes to predicting that the gasoline and diesel markets will continue to contract. Fuel mileage efficiencies and technology improvements guarantee that car and truck use of motor fuels will decline in 2014.
Biz Brief believes that we will see numerous additional articles focusing on the steps that fleets are taking to help improve the health prospects of their key asset, the driver. At the same time, we suspect that we will be reporting on the plans that our members will be hatching to also improve the driver’s quality of life. A customer base that possesses significant health risks and an average life expectancy of 61 years provides many opportunities for assistance.
We can lose our crystal ball and still manage to predict these assured happenings in 2014. The industry’s chains will continue to acquire and open new travel center facilities throughout the country. Likewise, we will continue to report on NATSO members’ exemplary philanthropic efforts as they provide much needed help to local communities and national initiatives. Biz Brief is going out on a limb to also predict a continued growth in US oil production, reducing the nation’s dependence on foreign oil.
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