Transportation, Distribution & Logistics

Recession squeezes local logistics industryRestricted Content

July 21, 2008
Peter Schnitzler
State economic development leaders remain bullish on Indiana's future as a logistics hub even as two local players have been forced into bankruptcy and others struggle with high fuel prices.
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FUNNY BUSINESS: You'll know really bad drivers when you see them

July 21, 2008
Mike Redmond
A reader recently forwarded an e-mail ranking the worst American drivers by city, along with the suggestion "Make fun of this." While I usually don't respond to such directives, this case was different, seeing as how it came from my mother. You know how it is. Anyway, here we go-a column about the worst drivers in America, as ranked by a well-known insurance company and recommended by Mom. The Top 10 "Where-Did-These-People-Get-Their-Licenses?" cities are: Columbia, S.C.; St. Louis, Mo.; Greensboro,...
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More manufacturing? Maybe Butler did it: University's accelerator helps plants boost businessRestricted Content

June 16, 2008
Scott Olson
Ten years ago, Bob McAfee bought SaniServ, an 80-year-old Mooresville institution that pioneered the making of softserve ice cream machines for restaurants. Despite the manufacturer's longevity, a handful of competitors-one of them much larger and two roughly the same size-had cut into market share, causing SaniServ's annual revenue to stall at about $10 million. Determined to improve upon the figure, but unsure how to go about it, McAfee turned to the Butler Business Accelerator. The 2-year-old consultancy on the Butler...
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VOICES FROM THE INDUSTRY: Logistics still driving central Indiana industrial marketRestricted Content

June 16, 2008
J. Jeffrey
For the past 10-plus years, central Indiana has benefitted from growth in the distribution/logistics industry with hundreds of new jobs and millions of square feet of new facilities. We've seen massive facilities go up one right after another, often topping the square footage of our tallest downtown skyscrapers. In the past eight years alone, the square footage of central Indiana distribution centers has more than doubled from 20 million square feet to 51 million square feet. And we're not just...
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VOICES FROM THE INDUSTRY: There are Six Sigma options; Here's a look at six of themRestricted Content

June 16, 2008
Dave Berry
While many manufacturing companies are implementing Six Sigma for continuous process improvement, it may not be the most practical solution for every company. Smaller manufacturers can benefit from applying many of the tools found in the Six Sigma methodology, but on a more manageable scale for daily process improvement. While far from a complete list, the following six practical tools may be used by smaller companies who are motivated to continually streamline production and improve productivity: Key performance indicators Most...
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Flagship rises over post-GM town: Incubator has helped preserve automotive talent base, foster diverse businessesRestricted Content

June 16, 2008
Chris O\'malley
ANDERSON - Along Interstate 69, in a new industrial building with side-windows covered in paper to foil prying eyes, Altair Nanotechnologies is perfecting a ceramic oxide battery with three times the power of a conventional lithium battery. Up the road, Comfort Motion Technologies has written software to make a car's power seat jiggle ever so subtly, to keep one's back, butt and thighs comfortable on long drives. And everybody is keeping an eye on Pete Bitar, whose green laser device...
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Purdue joins Conexus on manufacturing, logistics effort: University, advocacy group predict evolving industryRestricted Content

June 16, 2008
Scott Olson
An advocacy group formed a year ago to boost the visibility and growth of the state's advanced manufacturing and logistics industries has received a major lift from Purdue University. Conexus Indiana and Purdue earlier this month announced the formation of a partnership in which the university will lend its academic and research talents to the organization. The key goals include linking manufacturers with new suppliers, exploring emerging markets and supporting startups launched from university or privatesector research. "Conexus is very...
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Bankrupt ATA may sue ex-partner FedExRestricted Content

June 9, 2008
Greg Andrews
ATA Airlines Inc. largely blames FedEx Corp. for knocking it out of business this spring. Now, the bankrupt airline is preparing to fight back by suing the Memphis cargo giant, charging it wrongfully canceled a military-charter contract that generated hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue for ATA.
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IPIC's BioWorksU virtual effort wins acclaim:Restricted Content

June 9, 2008
Scott Olson
A new Web site developed locally and designed to attract youngsters to careers in the life sciences sector now shares something in common with the wildly popular Club Penguin site. The Indianapolis Private Industry Council, with assistance from locally based Creative Street Media Group, created BioWorksU.com. And while more educational and likely more appealing to a larger age group than Club Penguin, the two were among recent Webby Awards finalists. Called the "Oscars of the Internet" by The New York...
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Rising fuel costs may mean comeback for freight trainsRestricted Content

June 9, 2008
Chris O'Malley
Spiking diesel fuel prices have deflated trucking stocks and made road kill out of many a small motor carrier. It's sweet irony for anyone who's worn a pinstriped cotton cap to work. The rising price of diesel is poised to invigorate a mode of transportation that trucks nearly annihilated--the 40 freight railroads crisscrossing the state.
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: Sky-high gas prices are revving up the political rhetoricRestricted Content

June 2, 2008
Mike Hicks
From all the noise surrounding gasoline prices, you'd think nobody actually benefited from the high prices. But, of course, some folks do benefit. Let's figure out who they might be. Obviously, consumers don't benefit. The average car owner in the United States pays about $80 more per month with gas at $4 per gallon than he did back when it was $2.25. Not good news, of course, but hardly the end of the world. Folks who provide goods and services...
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Commentary: Putting rush hour on ICERestricted Content

May 26, 2008
Chris Katterjohn
Last week, after spending $71.83 to fill up my car, I said to myself, "Tomorrow, I'm taking the bus." So I did. It wasn't my first time on the new IndyGo commuter bus from Carmel; it was my fourth in the last five weeks. On that particular day, I was fed up. It was the first time that gassing up cost me more than $70, and it made an impression. I guess that's what it's going to take for all...
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VIEWPOINT: Expect disruptions at midfield terminalRestricted Content

May 26, 2008
Tom Henderson
What frequent travelers dislike is disruption, and that's in your future if you travel through Indianapolis International Airport. If you're a frequent traveler like me, you'll need to be patient and learn some new tricks. Due to open late this fall, the terminal is a huge shift, with its own entrance off Interstate 70. Don't go to the old terminal and look for a route to the new one, because there isn't a convenient one. The airport parking lots you've...
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Move over 'Super 70'-this one is really big: Department of Transportation hoping for summer launch of study to add truck lanes to 800 miles of I-70Restricted Content

May 26, 2008
Chris O\'malley
Imagine driving the car down an interstate highway devoid of tractor trailers. It could dramatically improve traffic flow and safety, but it would sever supply chains and bring manufacturing to a halt-to say nothing of the state's logistics industry. But how about putting those trucks in their own lanes, separated from cars and light trucks? What seemed merely a fanciful concept for Interstate 70 when highway planners tossed it out about a year ago is gaining momentum. The Indiana Department...
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Test run of commuter rail could be relatively cheapRestricted Content

May 19, 2008
Chris O'Malley
Planners and politicians spent the better part of a decade and untold millions of dollars studying a mass transit system between downtown and the suburbs. They have little to show for it except mounds of reports and an estimate of $690 million, but the boys in bib overalls at the Indiana Transportation Museum think they can get it done for much less.
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Commentary: Making the segue to SegwaysRestricted Content

May 12, 2008
Chris Katterjohn
Have you seen Margot Eccles or Brian Payne cruising downtown sidewalks on their Segways? It's quite the sight, and a still-novel one considering Eccles and Payne are the only two people I know who have the two-wheelers and use them regularly in the central business district, save the security people at Circle Centre mall. I went to a meeting Eccles attended on the 29th floor of One American Square and her Segway was parked in the corner of the conference...
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VOICES FROM THE INDUSTRY: Despite some perceptions, future for IT workers brightRestricted Content

May 12, 2008
Jim Jay
In mid-March, Bill Gates traveled to Washington to carry an unpopular message to Congress: Raise the limits on visas for foreignborn tech workers, or Microsoft and other high-tech companies will be forced to move more jobs overseas in search of a skilled work force. Gates' testimony to the House Committee on Science & Technology wasn't groundbreaking-the shortage of tech workers is well-documented. But it begs an obvious question: Why have computer science enrollments at U.S. colleges and universities fallen by...
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: A healthy economy makes an uninteresting campaignRestricted Content

May 5, 2008
Mike Hicks
In this curious primary season, Indiana finds itself the brief center of attention as Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama invest time and treasure in the crossroads of America. The strongest focus in both their campaigns is my favorite subject-the economy. Both candidates bemoan the poor Hoosier economy, its job losses and income inequality. This would be a superb campaign approach for both candidates, except that their claims are wholly, totally and embarrassingly devoid of facts. Indiana's economy is doing...
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Airport contractor accused of faulty work in New YorkRestricted Content

May 5, 2008
Chris O'Malley
An Indianapolis firm helping oversee construction of the city's $1.2 billion midfield terminal is facing accusations from Southwest Airlines that it failed to ensure the quality of a $12.4 million concrete apron at Long Island MacArthur Airport.
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: Recession speculation is wrong way to use brainpowerRestricted Content

April 28, 2008
Mike Hicks
With all the media warnings on the state of the U.S. economy, it is hard to get a good idea what a recession is and what it might mean for Hoosiers. The formal definition of a recession is two consecutive quarters of negative economic growth. We haven't had even one quarter where real growth dipped below zero, and the weakerthan-usual employment data of the first three months this year won't be enough to pull the economy into a recession. The...
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VOICES FROM THE INDUSTRY: Intermodal is key to Indiana's future crossroads identityRestricted Content

April 28, 2008
Brian Zurawski
Earlier this year, the Wall Street Journal ran a front-page story about rail's resurgence as a means for moving goods across the country. The story described the federal dollars being spent to fuel this railroad recovery, as well as the private sector investments being made and the economic benefits waiting for cities that get involved. The story included a map with thick, colored lines representing the key rail systems connecting the Midwest to the coasts. It took only a quick...
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Company seeing big growth in family entertainment: Firm supplies parties with oddball acts from acrobats to mimes to ventriloquistsRestricted Content

April 21, 2008
Jennifer Whitson
When Kathy Fitzgerald has a group of 85 day-camp kids to entertain, she needs someone who can hold their attention-easier said than done considering they range in age from 6 to 13, not counting the 12 young adults who work as camp counselors. If an act bombs, the result can be chaos. That's why Fitzgerald, assistant park manager for Broad Ripple Park, has locally based FamilyTime Entertainment Inc. on her speed dial. FamilyTime can deliver a fully produced magic show,...
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FUNNY BUSINESS: Wing and a prayer: Surviving today's air travel

April 21, 2008
Mike Redmond
One of the great struggles of the day-Airlines vs. Human Beings-has taken some interesting turns lately, but the score remains the same as it has been for years: The human beings are not winning. Consider these touchdowns, so to speak, just from the last couple of weeks: A piece of a wing detaches itself from a US Airways jet and smacks into several of the plane's windows before falling to the ground somewhere in Maryland. "May I have your attention,...
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VIEWPOINT: Lest we forget, 'solid and stable' is goodRestricted Content

April 21, 2008
Tim Kern
"I moved to Indiana on purpose," I've been telling people since the move from Florida last August. The Indianapolis area attracted me and my business for a number of reasons-reasons which, I'm more convinced each day, Hoosiers take for granted. Someone might want to consider the good that's right in front of our collective noses: Unlike Florida, whence I emigrated, people here know who can get things done, where businesses are, and whose reputation is good. A state full of...
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Under Grueninger, Ambassadair division chartering growthRestricted Content

April 21, 2008
Chris O'Malley
Michael Grueninger, president of Grueninger Travel Group, has learned since his company bought Ambassadair in 2005 from now-defunct ATA Airlines that many travelers once enamored with dirt-cheap fares they can book online want something more than low price. They are willing to pay for service.
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