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Rise and grind, hustle fam. It’s a bad month for a pilot who tried shrooms for the first time and a bad year for SEL Supply Chain Solutions. A three day strike halts shipping of goods from Canada to the U.S., and Norfolk Southern is using technology to scan moving trains for problems.
An Alaskan airline pilot, 44 year old Joseph D. Emerson, was off duty when he tried to cut fuel from the planes engines while the flight was heading to San Francisco, California from Washington state.
Awake for 40 hours and taking psychedelic mushrooms 48 hours before the incident on the plane, Emerson reached for the controls when another pilot grabbed his wrists and wrestled him for a few seconds in the cockpit until he confirmed he felt better.
The reports claim Emerson thought he was dreaming and believed pulling the handles of the fire control—which cuts fuel to the aircraft’s system—would make him wake up. While it’s unlikely that shrooms could affect him 48 hours later, health experts believe his sleep deprivation, lingering effects of the mushrooms, and depression he’s had after the loss of a friend, might have caused derealization. Which is known for causing psychotic-like behavior and making one feel detached from their surroundings.
Emerson has been charged 83 felony counts of attempted murder, 83 counts of reckless endangerment, and one count of endangering an aircraft. He pleaded not guilty to all state charges in Oregon on October 24.
Houston, Texas’ SEL Supply Chain Solutions (SELSCS) shuts down after 12 years of operation and 26 years in the transportation sector. Dennis Martin, CEO of SELSCS states that the year of 2023 started off with $700,000 loads of video poker machines being stolen in Las Vegas and “everything went downhill from there.”
Martin founded Smith Eagle Logistics but rebranded to SELSCS in March 2022. The company offered logistics services for refrigerated, dry van, and flatbed freight in the US and Mexico. Major clients included Home Depot, Kraft Heinz, and Mike's Hard Lemonade. Currently, Martin and his team are closing the company and collaborating with the bank to collect receivables and pay carriers.
“Every year in this business has been challenging but without a doubt this has been the most challenging year I’ve had with everything that we faced with double brokering fraud, stealing loads, stealing carriers’ identities…. I’ve had my rate confirmations falsified and sent out to carriers and then I get carriers calling me looking for money and I’m like, ‘Well, you didn’t haul one of my loads, you were defrauded.’” — Dennis Martin
As a result of the Northern Southern train derailment that happened in February 2023, the company now turns to automated inspection portals to regularly check moving trains for any problems.
One of the first portals, of the dozens to come, got installed in Leetonia, Ohio, and is less than 15 miles away from the February derailment. The portals are equipped with high-speed cameras that will capture and record hundreds of pictures of every passing locomotive and railcar. The 700 photos received at 60 mph will be analyzed instantaneously by Artificial Intelligence (AI) software the railroad developed.
There is controversy amongst the rail unions on whether or not AI should replace well-trained carmen for thorough inspections. Norfolk Southern plans to install a minimum of twelve of them in its 22-state East network by 2024. The Atlanta-based railroad did not disclose the investment amount for the technology developed in collaboration with Georgia Tech.
“It’s much harder for a person to inspect a moving car than a stationary one… The proposed system can ‘see’ the entirety of the passing vehicle and, through image processing, is probably able to find conditions not obvious to the human viewer along the track.” — David Clarke
Around 360 workers from Unifor, Canada's largest private-sector union, went on strike on October 22 in Ontario and Quebec. The crowds are protesting against the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corp over wages. As a result, 13 locks between Lake Erie and Montreal have been closed, causing ships to be stuck in the Great Lakes and preventing more ships from entering.
This has disrupted the export of grain and other goods from Canada and the United States to the rest of the world. The strike has been ongoing for three days as of October 24, but the Canadian government has ordered both sides to return to negotiations on October 27 with a federal mediator. U.S. officials are urging the Canadian government and the Seaway corporation to reach a settlement.
“We have grain that feeds the world that’s not moving. We have salt that goes on winter roads for safety that’s not moving. We have iron ore for steelmaking that’s not moving.” — Jason Card, Spokesman
This week we featured three woman from last month’s FreighFest: Hope White, Jessica King, and Bianca Calanche. All of which are highly successful and influential women who are tearing up the logistics industry! Each of their company’s dabble in Intermodal so they’ve got tons of experience and advice to prepare you for your unique journey. Don’t miss this weeks episode. Come get an inside look of what our FreightFest conference is like!
“Quality is not an act, it is a habit.“