As Bob Dylan famously sang - the times they are a-changing.
It's cliché to say that - but now more than ever it is true.
Earlier this week, I moderated a panel at KYTC's Freight Advisory Committee Meeting. The panelists were asked about anticipated growth in their marketplace and changes in freight movement so KYTC could plan for those anticipated changes.
One of the panelists, Jeff Wafford of UPS, made a comment that stuck with me. Mobile shopping is growing - and is expected to grow over the future. In fact - he stated he bet that someone in the audience probably bought something online using their phone during the meeting.
And he's right - we all purchase differently than we used to because the technology is available for us to do it. We use our phones, tablets, and services like Amazon Prime to get what we want or need when we want it - no matter where we are or what we're doing.
According to another article I read this week - this isn't the only technology that will impact how we shop. Companies - from traditional retailers and trucking companies to Amazon - are researching how they can use autonomous vehicles to deliver goods efficiently and affordably.
All these changes in technology are happening now - and we, as the providers, designers, and contractors are charged with building, maintaining, and operating a transportation infrastructure that serves this new type of user.
And in Kentucky - we can't risk not trying to accommodate this change in technology.
With corporations like Amazon, eBay, Wayfair, UPS, DHL, Toyota and FedEx - who are already in the state and corporations like Braidy Industries, who is investing billions in East Kentucky, we have to be ready to meet their infrastructure needs so they can move freight - whether it is on a traditional rail car or in an autonomous truck.
And that's why this week we've several held modal committee meetings. We're preparing for our annual Washington DC Fly-In where we'll meet with the Kentucky delegation and representatives of the US DOT. KBT members know that building, maintaining, and improving our infrastructure is important today - and that not maintaining, building, and improving our infrastructure has negative long-term consequences to serve the corporations and people here today as well as those who we hope will be here in the future. Our members are developing policy statements to provide to the Kentucky delegation that explains why adequately funding all modes of transportation is important in Kentucky.
If you couldn't join us at the Highway, Transit, or Air Committee this week - please know that we missed your input and we hope you can join us when we meet in the future. Because - again - the times are changing - and we don't want to be left behind.