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SPACELIFT: 13 December 2020
Vol 76, No. 6
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USTRANSCOM, Space Force, and the Irresistible Rise of True Rapid Mobility By David A. Martin
CHINA’S ONE ROAD, ONE BELT GRAND STRATEGY: 17 Founded on the Weaponization of the Global Supply Chain By LTC Gerard M. Acosta, USA
NDTA-USTRANSCOM FALL MEETING WRAP-UP By Sharon Lo
DEPARTMENTS PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT | Irv Varkonyi........................................................10 PRESIDENT’S CORNER | VADM William A. Brown, USN (Ret.)......................................11 CHAIRMAN’S CIRCLE.......................................................................................28 HONOR ROLL..................................................................................................29 INDEX OF ADVERTISERS.................................................................................... 30
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Defense Transportation Journal (ISSN 0011-7625) is published bimonthly by the National Defense Transportation Association (NDTA), a non-profit research and educational organization; 50 South Pickett Street, Suite 220, Alexandria, VA 22304-7296, 703-751-5011. Copyright by NDTA. Periodicals postage paid at Alexandria, Virginia, and at additional mailing offices. SUBSCRIPTION RATES: One year (six issues) $40. Two years, $60. Three years, $75. To foreign post offices, $45. Single copies, $6 plus postage. The DTJ is free to members. For details on membership, visit www.ndtahq.com. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: Defense Transportation Journal 50 South Pickett Street, Suite 220 Alexandria, VA 22304-7296
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From the author: It has been a privilege and an honor to author the DTJ’s Professional Development column for over a decade. The column has explored opportunities for NDTA members and friends to enhance their personal career development. Each of us is responsible for the direction of our careers. Each of us with experience in our field is responsible to help guide, direct, and coach our younger, less experienced colleagues. I hope this column has contributed to achieving these goals. This will be my final column. The memories as an NDTA volunteer and Educational Coordinator will last a lifetime. Thank you.
EDITORIAL OBJECTIVES The editorial objectives of the Defense Transportation Journal are to advance knowledge and science in defense logistics and transportation and the partnership between the commercial transportation industry and the government transporter. DTJ stimulates thought and effort in the areas of defense transportation, logistics, and distribution by providing readers with: • News and information about defense logistics and transportation issues • New theories or techniques • Information on research programs • Creative views and syntheses of new concepts • Articles in subject areas that have significant current impact on thought and practice in defense logistics and transportation • Reports on NDTA Chapters EDITORIAL POLICY The Defense Transportation Journal is designed as a forum for current research, opinion, and identification of trends in defense transportation and logistics. The opinions expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily of the Editors, the Editorial Review Board, or NDTA. EDITORIAL CONTENT Archives are available to members on www.ndtahq.com. Sharon Lo, Managing Editor, DTJ NDTA 50 South Pickett Street, Suite 220 Alexandria, VA 22304-7296 703-751-5011 • F 703-823-8761 email@example.com
| Defense Transportation Journal | DECEMBER 2020
s we prepare for the virtual Travel Academy in conjunction with the GovTravels Symposium, 23-25 February 2021, we also reflect on the success of the first virtual Transportation Academy at the NDTA-USTRANSCOM Fall Meeting. The event was virtual as health and safety conditions did not allow for an in-person event. The decision was made to hold Transportation Academy with the same breadth and scope as we had planned for St. Louis. Nearly 80 classes were held in a variety of topic tracks attended by government and industry, representing logistics, transportation, supply chain, technology, and leadership expertise. Attendee evaluations were equal to and often better than previous in-person academies and validated the format’s success. HIGHLIGHTS OF TRANSPORTATION ACADEMY:
How COVID-19 accelerated the adoption of drones into on-demand delivery – “Very good presentation! It is remarkably interesting to see the types of technology that are being developed and how [they] will add convenience to our lives… Most interesting and practical session so far.”
Operationalizing Integrity – “The real-life Tylenol and Equifax examples along with the VADM Mewbourne’s personal student test experience made the session relatable for everyone. The VADM Mewbourne’s delivery and tone were superb… I enjoyed the examples of integrity and the levels of when personnel may change their rationalization of subjects. I appreciate the expressed viewpoints and learned much about the ‘minds’ of personnel in conjunction with integrity. Very enlightening.” Partnerships in Cybersecurity – “Appreciated the layout of the framework at multiple levels. Their perspective is unique as a sourcing of professionals in our industry. Their insights are relevant to our future capabilities.” Instructors availed themselves of training opportunities beforehand to learn how to offer virtual classes. While some instructors had previously offered webinars, many did not have the experience in these settings. Our instructors practiced using the technology and were successful in executing their classes. All sessions were recorded and available to Fall Meeting registrants for 90 days after the event. See Prof. Devel. pg. 30
PRESIDENT’S CORNER Reflections on 2020 and Virtual Engagement VADM William A. Brown, USN (Ret.) NDTA President & CEO
eason’s greetings everyone. Thank you for contributing to national resilience by fighting through the COVID-19 pandemic. Undoubtedly, 2020 has been one hell of a pivot year for the country. We have observed government organizations, companies, and individuals acting to protect people while continuing to provide service and mission support. The country remains indebted to frontline workers in medical, household retail, and logistics. The vaccine needs to be distributed globally. Many of you are working to accomplish this critical task via the pharmaceutical distribution network overseen
by Operation Warp Speed. Thankfully, there seem to be multiple vaccination options that will soon be approved for our use. People have suffered around the world and are counting on logisticians to deliver. Thanks to all of you who have kept working, loading, unloading, and delivering to increase our capacity to deal with this crisis. As I write, just following the Thanksgiving holiday, cases are rising again. Please continue to stay safe and take precautions during all operations. As a new administration takes the helm, we need to maintain course and accelerate speed in many areas related to
our logistics capabilities, infrastructure, systems, and innovation. While much has been accomplished under the National Defense Strategy (NDS) of 2017, to strategically reorient military planning, we must do more to achieve national resilience. We must continue to study our most crucial supply chains and learn how to safeguard them through secure sourcing. Great power competition throughout the entire spectrum of conflict will not suddenly abate. Likewise, operating in contested environments is to be expected. As a new NDS is developed, there are existential realities with which we will have to contend. It is likely the US will once again embrace strategic alliances and partnerships. In doing so, we must not forget the importance and the contribution of industry partners in our efforts to pivot towards national resilience. See President’s Corner pg. 30
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| Defense Transportation Journal | DECEMBER 2020
Starship first test vehicle photo courtesy SpaceX Flickr Photostream.
Spacelift USTRANSCOM, Space Force, and the Irresistible Rise of True Rapid Mobility By David A. Martin, Logistics Readiness Officer, Headquarters Air Force Materiel Command
t the 2020 NDTA-USTRANSCOM Fall Meeting, GEN Steve Lyons announced that USTRANSCOM and SpaceX would begin to study reusable rockets for military logistics. The gravity of this announcement is difficult to overstate. A fourth mode of transportation is entering the market to compete with ground, sealift, and airlift. Terrestrial Spacelift uses cost-effective, reusable rockets to move personnel and freight across the globe via orbital launch. For example, a terrestrial Spacelift launch from Washington, DC, to Beijing should take approximately 28 minutes to reach its destination. With only a 30-minute warning, massive enemy forces could arrive on almost any doorstep in the world. This application is not merely theoretical; the technology is already in use as Falcon 9 rockets launch and recover with cargo dozens of times a year. Now, with China, Russia, India, the European Union (EU), and others developing far larger reusable rockets, Spacelift economics are poised to reshape the defense logistics industry within the next three years. THE ECONOMICS OF SPACE
Although the Space Shuttle demonstrated that reusable rockets could launch and land cargo to and from space as early as the 1980s, the economics were still beyond all but the largest national and multinational budgets. These costs prohibited logistics through space until 2015 when the Falcon 9 brought launch costs down from $1.6 bil-
lion to $62 million per launch. Now, dozens of US companies have begun to enter this market and are likely to bring costs under $3 million per launch. The two frontrunners in the US market are on-schedule to launch high-capacity versions of their rockets by 2021 (Blue Origin) and 2022 (SpaceX), with commercial flights no later than 2023. Starship, by SpaceX, demonstrates how quickly this technology is becoming econom-
At the promised rate of production and flight by 2024, there may be hundreds of Starships in operation, making thousands of flights per year—and this represents only one company’s contribution to this newest logistics modality.
ical. Starship is a sleek, hulking spacecraft based on the Falcon-9 and slated to carry up to 150 short tons of cargo per launch. Using materials like stainless steel instead of expensive carbon-fiber, SpaceX aims to produce each Starship vehicle for only $5 million. Even at $50 million per Starship, the cost will be far less per vehicle than an aircraft with similar cargo capacity like the Boeing 737MAX. To achieve this price-point, SpaceX is building a megafactory to produce these massive ships at a rate of one new vehicle every 72 hours. This ambitious production rate
is approximated already by preproduction prototypes, which are manufactured, tested, and reiterated in only weeks. Once the final Starships begin to exit the megafactory, they should fly their 150-ton capacity three times per day, per vehicle. At the promised rate of production and flight by 2024, there may be hundreds of Starships in operation, making thousands of flights per year—and this represents only one company’s contribution to this newest logistics modality. There are hundreds of small launch companies entering the market. Blue Origin, Amazon’s sister company, has developed and demonstrated reusable rocket technology with its New Shepard vehicle. Now, their New Glenn platform offers at least 25 consecutive launches of 45 tons at a time. New Glenn will have more capacity per launch than two C-130 aircraft on the market by 2021. Smaller companies, such as Astra, are promising thousands of annual launches with their launch schedules. Once larger reusable rockets enter the market next year, the price-per-launch will be comparable to airlift. Projected costs for a two-way return flight might cost only $1.5M million per launch, including fuel. Comparing this to the 24-hour operating costs of a comparable commercial airliner at $670K, Spacelift can buy 10x faster transportation speeds for roughly 2.5x the price. Compared to military airlift, a reusable rocket can deliver more cargo than the Air Force’s largest aircraft—the venerable C-5 (140 tons) or almost two C-17s (85 www.ndtahq.com |
tons)—at speeds that eclipse the SR-71. If USTRANSCOM and SpaceX do not find a way forward, peer nations certainly will. PEERS COMPETITION IN SPACELIFT
China has made rapid strides to accelerate and perhaps overtake the US in reusable rocketry. In September, China successfully tested its first reusable space vehicle. Now, their Long March 9 rocket system is poised to offer a 140-ton capacity reusable rocket as early as 2021. The Russian LAROS RN-2, Angara-A5M, and the newly announced Amur-SPG will enter operations by 2026. The EU’s most successful rocket company, ArianeGroup, is working on its reusable rocket vehicle modeled after SpaceX. Even smaller space industries are joining in the race for Spacelift. Japan’s JAXA and Mitsubishi are working together, and India has already demonstrated a reusable rocket with their RLV-TD. With established technology at economical costs being developed worldwide, the question is not if this will revolutionize the defense logistics industry, but by how much? REVOLUTIONIZING MILITARY READINESS
Like the airplane, the steam engine, or the cannon, Spacelift aligns the technology, economy, and conceptual frameworks that constitute what historians call a Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA). The use cases for rapid logistics via space are extensive. These include decisive strategic advantages in conventional warfare, unconventional warfare, and support operations. Conventional warfare is the most apparent use-case for terrestrial Spacelift. A nation using a squadron of only 12 Starshiplike vehicles could move 700 personnel and 750 tons of cargo at a time. This translates into two battalions of Army mechanized infantry or one standard battalion of Marines being able to “drop” onto any suitable point on the globe within an hour. In the Pacific, places like Guam, Wake, Taiwan, or South China Sea islands could be threatened by mass and surprise, with global implications. The first nation to utilize multiple squadrons could achieve decisive effects. In a pro14
| Defense Transportation Journal | DECEMBER 2020
tracted war, the US might detect a launch of 100 Spacelift vehicles, but there could be no comprehensive denial of landings across 3.5 million square miles of the US. Landings could be as far-reaching as Washington, DC, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) in Colora-
do, Montana, Alaska, or Wake Island in the Pacific Ocean. If Spacelift vehicles included anti-air batteries, they could become deeply intractable wherever they land. In conventional warfare, Spacelift provides the threat and opportunity for hundreds of little Normandys with Pearl Harbor-like results. Spacelift is equally compelling when applied to unconventional warfare scenarios. The US could effectively respond to any Benghazi-like scenario by posturing a rapid response team in the CONUS [Continental United States]. Like Global Strike, one or two response teams in the US could respond with forces to almost any upheaval at any embassy or Forward Operating Base (FOB) worldwide with mass and security until airlift can arrive. As we saw in Libya and Somalia, crash recovery behind enemy lines would be a far faster prospect with a Spacelift-inserted security team. Even without airdrop mechanisms from Spacelift vehicles, a $5 million vehicle is a small price to insert a team behind enemy lines. Agile
Combat Support—rapid basing of small forces—could enable forces to open airfields and deposit forces overnight via Contingency Response Wings (CRW) or their Space Force equivalent. Irregular warfare would take a different shape with Spacelift making the most rapid mobility possible. The final use-cases are the support functions that are the most immediately feasible with Spacelift assets operating between two-way Main Operating Bases (MOBs). Aeromedical Evacuation could be significantly simplified with one-hour evacuations from Bagram to Walter Reed Medical Center. Spacelift would dramatically decrease the chain of medical staff and standby aircraft that currently populates en route locations to stabilize patients. This same logistics efficiency could produce point-of-need delivery of sensitive medical resupply for blood and pharmaceuticals, especially as smaller Spacelift vessels enter routine use. Even in non-medical use-cases, the rapid delivery of mission-capable parts to stranded aircraft and ships would significantly improve mission-capable rates, as delivery speeds alone can make outsized impacts on mission-capable rates. The ability to cut shipment speeds of critical repair parts by 24 hours for broken ships and aircraft will save the government millions and increase mission readiness. The routine use of Spacelift, even when not actively used for combat operations in conventional warfare, unconventional warfare, and support missions—to say nothing of humanitarian response—are highly varied and strategically compelling today. ENGAGING THE DEFENSE TRANSPORTATION INDUSTRY
General Lyons described how “very very rapidly” SpaceX was progressing with this technology. With USTRANSCOM’s new partnership with SpaceX and the recent AFWERX “Global Space Transport and Delivery Challenge,” the defense transportation industry is beginning to engage with this revolutionary new transportation mode. As Spacelift comes online globally, defense logistics agencies must proactively develop this cross-section between space and logistics technology to
prepare for these vehicles’ imminent deployment. Dedicating intellectual and manpower resources in 2020 can prevent US forces across the joint enterprise from being caught off-guard as peer nations begin to build-up this strategic technology. USTRANSCOM, the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), Air Force Materiel Command (AFMC), and the US Space Force should target completion of three major objectives by 2021: 1. Establish which Space Force Field Command will provide Spacelift logistics to USTRANSCOM 2. Organize training and develop support technologies that will best adapt Spacelift to the warfighter 3. Develop and outline the theories and doctrines of Spacelift and its use in the joint domain Establish a Space Force Field Command to provide Spacelift to USTRANSCOM
Each transportation mode currently has a service component that provides commercial and military lift in their domain to the functional combatant command of USTRANSCOM. For sealift, Military Sealift
Command (MSC) slowly and economically offers bulk cargo transportation. For ground transportation, the Army’s Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command (SDDC) provides strategic rail, road, pipeline, and port transportation. Finally, the Air Force’s Air Mobility Command (AMC) administers the air domain, formerly the most rapid global mobility option. A component for space assets must be established that understands, develops, and administers Spacelift assets to support USTRANSCOM. A fourth Field Command within Space Force is the natural place for this component. It could be called Extratheater Spacelift Command (ESC), or any number of alternatives, to describe the unique new role of space in intertheater, intratheater, and now extratheater transportation. Whatever it is called, establishing this command as early as 2021 would allow the organizational structure to develop alongside our commercial technology partners. This would enable USTRANSCOM to support the Spacelift component by providing demand signals of the fastest priority cargo, contracting expertise, and more to establish the new transportation paradigm.
Organize and train to systems that will best adapt Spacelift to the warfighter
Beyond organizational structures, today’s cadre of aerospace logistics professionals must work together to understand and build-out the supplies, equipment, personnel, and support functions of Spacelift. Supply concerns for Spacelift will first include the staging of Petroleums, Oils, and Lubrication for the new vehicles. Fuel stations will be needed at every two-way destination. This is manageable today, as a known blend of methane and oxidizer is being used by SpaceX to achieve affordable and carbon-neutral rocket fuel. However, other companies may develop different fuels. Without common standards, as we see with Jet-A1 on aircraft, a complex library of fuels might emerge to support Spacelift, making readiness prohibitively expensive. The DLA’s J3 should develop Spacelift fuel standards, identify suppliers, and localized testing with contracted companies that could support predetermined supply points for storage, pipeline, and sealifted fuel resupply concepts. Spacelift will also require staging and landing support equipment. For routine
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use, landing pads will need to be constructFinally, systems for commercial support ed and may require specialized ground and use of civilian space vehicles must be response vehicles and “restacking” equipestablished, as it will likely take years bement for return flights. An agency to defore the Space Force acquires a fleet of its velop and purchase this equipment must own Spacelift assets. Sealift has MSC and be considered, likely as an element of Space the Merchant Marine, a fleet of commerForce. Finally, if cargo cannot be made cial ships with its own academy of civil“roll-on/roll-off,” the speed advantages ian specialists. AMC has the Civil Reserve of Spacelift could be diminished. ThereAir Fleet (CRAF) commercial carrier profore, as the 463L pallet standardized airlift gram, allowing the Air Force to contract transportation, similar intermodality of or commandeer commercial airliners in a containers and pallets must be researched major war. USTRANSCOM and Space and developed with these new vehicles. Force must establish critical contracts with Personnel supporting Spacelift must have SpaceX, Blue Origin, Astra, or any other logistics expertise, a function for the Space viable service provider before the need beForce that is still retained exclusively by the comes urgent. Air Force. A minimally operational ESC within Space Force will require load specialDevelop and test the theory and doctrine of Spacelift and its use in ists, refuelers, spacecraft maintainers, softthe joint domain ware specialists, and administrative staff. Space Force should consider assembling an The final action that should be taken ininitial cadre of senior logisticians in these volves the dedication of intellectual reareas to advise specialist development for sources to the development and test of space logisticians. With deliberate organiSpacelift theory and doctrine. This article zation and forethought on the appropriate has used terms like terrestrial Spacelift, training, tactics, techniques, and proceExtratheater Spacelift Command (ESC), dures, Spacelift can begin without relearnspace maintainers, and more to describe Cornerstone_DTJ Quarter Page_Production.pdf 1 3/11/20 while 5:03 PM ing all of the hard-won lessons from airlift. new technologies, USTRANSCOM
has used cargo-through-space in other instances. These may not be the right terms or constructs for this technology, and the terms themselves are being assembled by “airminded” logisticians, not “spaceminded” ones. New ideas require new approaches uninhibited by current paradigms, and many unanswered questions must be explored through doctrinal think-tanks. How will the cyber domain threaten or enhance Spacelift? Will weather limit operations? Can austere landings occur soon? If not, what does airdrop look like from a space vehicle? Can roll-off antiair batteries be emplaced on these vehicles? And are we ready for them? There are greater undiscovered strategies and efficiencies to be uncovered by dialogue and exploration of Spacelift as a concept, but the technology is already here. USTRANSCOM, US Space Force, DLA, AFMC, and the logistics community at large have an opportunity to establish the theories, doctrines, and agencies for transportation through the space domain. A revolution in transportation logistics is underway whether we are ready or not; we should consider this our 30-minute warning. DTJ
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China’s One Road, One Belt Grand Strategy Founded on the Weaponization of the Global Supply Chain
By LTC Gerard M. Acosta, USA, Graduate Student, Global Supply Chain Management Concentration, The Dwight D. Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy, National Defense University
he 2050 international economic outlook pictures a contested global commerce future environment. Many financial pundits forecast China as the global leader, with the United States having lost its economic prowess, competing for second place with a rising India. Our basic laws of economics and globalization will be challenged as we transverse through an age of innovation with constant new discoveries in global connectivity, energy, and quantum physics. Since its acceptance into the World Trade Organization, China has enacted its 2050 grand strategy founded on the Belt Road Initiative (BRI) and exploiting the use of smart power to gain global economic dominance. The BRI, which is designed to allow China to surpass the US as the global economic power and establish Chinese world hegemony, is predicated on the weaponization of the global supply chain. China’s unconventional commercial tactics and pursuit of influencing the global market’s lines of distribution postures China to gain global economic dominance. CHINA’S 2050 VISION: EXPAND ITS ECONOMIC & DIPLOMATIC BELT ROAD INITIATIVE
China’s 2050 Vision is based on implementing its complex BRI strategy to acquire the necessary resources to mitigate
“Factors in the art of warfare are: First, calculations; second, quantities; third, logistics; fourth, the balance of power; and fifth, the possibility of victory is based on the balance of power.” — Sun Tzu its nation’s vulnerable risks, including the shortage of employment, energy, and food. The BRI strategy is a smart power means to establish basic agreements, strategic agreements, or comprehensive strategic agreements with over 137 countries based on their level of strategic contribution to the BRI’s strategic objective ends1. China has vowed to invest over $1 trillion in transportation, energy, space development, and global communications improvements with participating BRI countries to improve their economic prosperity and support China’s global influence2. China’s BRI goal is to establish over 35 economic corridors to include the following strategic distribution lanes, which will impact the future transport of commercial goods3: • The 21st Century economic belt road represents a commercial trading route from China through the Middle East and Europe • Suez Canal Economic Zone in Egypt • European Union Trans-European transport networks
• Transoceanic fiber optic cable • Addis Ababa-Djibouti economic corridor to include the development of industrial parks in three countries supporting this economic corridor • New international land-sea trade corridor of the China-Singapore Demonstration Initiative on Strategic Connectivity • New Euroasian land bridge • European-Caucasus-Asia international and Trans-Caspian transport corridor Following a 1+2+3 economic strategy framework, China seeks to invest in energy cooperation, cultural exchange, space exploration, human capital, and technology exchange among its BRI participating countries4. In its first step toward weaponizing the global supply chain, China’s Asian National Bank and its Export/Import Bank have proved instrumental in developing an innovative financing system to aid countries with a high debt-to-GDP [Gross Domestic Product] ratio. These participating countries would not otherwise be competitive to receive international financial institutions’ assistance to meet their economic needs. With a predatory mindset, the Asian National Bank negotiates with its BRI nations to offer low bearing interests and zero-cash payment loans in exchange for the use of these countries’ natural resources and unlimited access to key transportation nodes www.ndtahq.com |
as collateral to secure the loan5. In theory, these developing countries have an opportunity to invest in their infrastructure and key economic policies, and with garnered GDP revenue, can defray the cost of the loan. If the country defaults on its interest payments to the loan, China gains power to negotiate the terms of the loan to either exercise its rights to the country’s collateral natural resources or the ability to administratively control its key transportation nodes. In return, China gains numerous global competitive advantages. First, it gains the ability to export its workforce to support each of the BRI project developments increasing its national workforce human capital index. Second, it secures much needed natural resources to support its manufacturing industry complex. Third, China’s global companies gain the potential to receive concessions in their export goods processing costs. Finally, China’s BRI provides the opportunity to develop its global commercial market and gain control of the global retail market. With China’s BRI strategy expansion, China is gradually gaining influence to control the transport and processing of commercial goods along global lines of distribution. China’s lease of Sri Lanka’s Port Hambantota could serve as an example of Chi-
manage the port activities8. China eventually wrote off the Sri Lanka debt and now controls a principal economic port in the Pacific theatre. China’s aggressive financial tactic to gain control of Port Hambantota demonstrates its smart power capabilities to obtain a competitive commercial advantage in the global market and distribution. China’s investment in significant global points of transportation nodes, including ports, canals, rail systems, and storage, has established the foundation to control global commercial lines of distribution, a key strategic tactic to gain control of the global market. China’s investment in important mining regions, oil exploration, and global communications will disrupt US commercial industries’ ability to gain the resources necessary to maintain its manufacturing production vitality. Although today’s strong commercial relationship between US-Sino industries serve as a market opportunity for the US economy, this relationship will change as soon as Chinese manufacturing production and exports become comparable with US commercial outputs. As China grows economically, it may institute national fiscal policies to include quantitative easing, foreign corporate tax incentives, and trade incentives to suppress US foreign partnerships with global companies and le-
China is gaining a more favorable position in the global commercial market through its diplomatic and economic investments to suppress US commerce and promote its own economic growth.
na’s strategy to gain commercial influence in all significant points of global distribution and concerns over China’s increased influence in the global transportation domain. To support its BRI strategy, China provided $4.8 billion in infrastructure development loans to Sri Lanka to include $1.3 billion for the modernization of the Port Hambantota6. The loan’s conditions revolved around a two percent interest rate and the mandate that China’s Communications Construction Company would perform the construction7. After paying over $300 million in interest, Sri Lanka defaulted on the loan and negotiated with China to lease Port Hambantota to China for 99 years, with the stipulation that China’s Merchants Port Holdings would 18
| Defense Transportation Journal | DECEMBER 2020
gitimize Chinese companies to lead in the global market9. China is gaining a more favorable position in the global commercial market through its diplomatic and economic investments to suppress US commerce and promote its own economic growth. China’s BRI investment poses a threat to one of the National Defense Strategy’s objectives for protecting and fomenting American prosperity10. China’s economic expansion could deter US commercial interests, freedom of navigation, and American prosperity in the event of increased economic or military conflict with China. China’s BRI expansion serves as a direct commercial threat to the US industrial complex. As China continues to grow its national manufacturing production and strives to become
a global innovator, Chinese goods will be in direct competition with US goods. China’s ability to influence the global distribution channels—ports, canals, and rail infrastructure—provides Chinese companies with the ability to saturate foreign retail markets. Through its BRI strategy and weaponizing its diplomatic lines of effort, China has gained the ability to disrupt the processing of US goods in vital global ports and transportation nodes11. China’s business expansion strategy has provided it a competitive advantage in increased global retail and commercial markets. CHINA: GAINING DOMINANCE OF THE GLOBAL SUPPLY CHAIN
China has deliberately financed key continental transportation infrastructure development projects, including the Suez Canal in Egypt, Panama Canal, Gwadar Sea Port in Pakistan, Port of Trinidad and Tobago, and coastal ports along the African continent, to facilitate the transport of exports and imports to and from China. Unique to the BRI strategy is China’s decision to invest in and influence global navigational and distribution “choke-points,” including the Malaccan strait in the Indian Ocean, Gulf of Hormuz in the Middle East, Suez Canal, Panama Canal, and Straight of Bab el-Maneb on the east coast of Africa12. On the global scale, China’s investment in the expansion of the Panama Canal, shipping lanes in Venezuelan ports, and critical inland transportation systems in South America demonstrate its ability to influence global commercial supply chain entry/exit points in the world’s continental markets. China’s control of the key global transport nodes allows China to weaponize the supply chain to gain a competitive commercial advantage in the global market. A mature BRI strategy in 2050 will provide China with a competitive advantage in the processing of vessels in the world’s major canals, processing of goods at the major ports of entry, and the prioritization of the ground transport of goods in key countries’ economic zones. China’s ability to leverage port economics within BRI participating ports provides it with a commercial advantage in the global market. As China’s industrialization and GDP grow, its exports will start leveling with US exports in the commercial market. Many of the international ports, which have not been re-designed in years to meet today’s shipping and trading demands, will have to prioritize the processing of the commer-
cial goods. International port authority managers will face decisions on prioritizing the processing of US versus Chinese cargo given the escalating number of containers and goods at the ports. To the detriment of US industry, China, which will have innate administrative relationships with these port authority management offices due to their BRI investments, will influence the ports’ goods processing for Chinese goods13. Chinese goods will have a competitive advantage over US exports’ processing times at the ports, which will lead to a commercial marketing and supply chain advantage for Chinese business in the host country14. Chinese companies will have the port of entry processing advantage to distribute Chinese goods into the foreign retail market, hence gaining foreign consumer confidence. BRI participating countries’ foreign consumers’ confidence towards Chinese goods will be achieved at the expense of a slower US industry global supply chain. The Chinese high-volume exchange of vital goods with BRI participating partners will deter US economic lines of communication into the continental markets, such as Africa, South America, and the Middle East. Increased port processing times for US goods at BRI participating ports and shipping distribution channels will lead to higher inventory levels at key global transient points, which will lead to US industry financial loss. The US financial loss and decreasing global sales will eventually create a downward spiral in US exports and manufacturing, affecting US GDP. Another aspect of China’s BRI strategy and its pursuit to weaponize the global supply chain is China’s investment in the global minerals market. China’s mining exploration, gas pipeline, and energy development ventures in South America, Central America, Africa, and the Middle East demonstrate its deliberate plan to control the exploration, production, and transport of the world’s critical minerals. China’s use of smart power through diplomatic and economic means has resulted in building an economic corridor from Latin America to China using Venezuela as the South American continent entry point. China’s ability to influence the South American mineral distribution channel is a competitive advantage in future military-industrial production. The ability to process unexplored silver, copper, and specialized metals will provide them with a competitive industrial advantage in future years. China’s free trade agreements
with BRI participating countries in Latin America and Africa, as well as subsequent science mineral exploration has positioned its industrial base to compete against US industrial market production capacity in the next decade through this ability to influence the mineral supply chain. CHINA: WEAPONIZES THE GLOBAL SUPPLY CHAIN
In the overall strategy to interconnect its global supply chain, as evident in its self-port evaluation, China seeks specific characteristics to evaluate the feasibility of an infrastructure site to support its BRI concept. China’s strategy to interconnect all the major ports, under strong Chinese influence through economic investments, demonstrates its pursuit to weaponize the supply chain to gain a competitive advantage in the world market. China’s evaluation criteria for selection of its ports include the GDP output in port cities, output value of tertiary industries in port cities, import and export volume of foreign trade in port cities, port logistics supply capacity (number of 10,000-ton berths), port logistics operations scale (volume of container handled, cargo throughput of foreign trade and volume of freight handled), and annual growth rates of port cargo and container throughput15. China’s deliberate port evaluative criteria led to the pursuit of its BRI participant countries to achieve its BRI strategy. China’s financial investment in the Suez Canal, and ports along the African continental coast, the Strait of Hormuz, and the South American coastlines demonstrate China’s deliberate strategy to interconnect its global and economic corridors. As China employs its BRI strategy, it gains numerous economic and military advantages to include using its government-subsidized Chinese companies to manage the country’s transportation infrastructure, energy development, and port authority construction projects. China’s future global supply chain is to e-connect Chinese factories, seaports, financial institutions, and digital feeds into the consumer market or point-ofsale to provide Chinese manufacturing with a dominant economic advantage against the US and world industry. Among its key BRI advantages, China gains the ability to earn subsea cable digging rights and later install its Huawei digital network16. With the undersea digital structure, China gains the potential to develop a globalized central IT system, which can control the digital supply chain distribution of door-to-door goods
from Chinese factories to BRI participants’ consumer markets. With a singular globalized central IT system and administrative access to BRI participant ports’ traffic systems data, China can formulate global supply chain real-time data to produce near-perfect manufacturing inventory, a disruptive technology in the global consumer market. China is consolidating the numerous transportation and supply functions previously managed by several global companies into a singular distribution of commercial goods. By providing administrative management assistance to the ports authority, China has achieved tremendous influence on significant global transient points and the ability to disrupt US or other competitors’ commercial supply chains. Of grave concern to US industry and the global market is China’s demonstrated use of port economics in its BRI participant ports to provide a commercial processing advantage for China’s industrial goods over its economic competitors17. The most threatening aspect of China’s port commercial expansion is its ability to leverage cyber-surveillance to include drones to monitor operations, facialrecognition technologies to control access to container yards, and cyber-espionage against foreign goods18. China’s ability to influence port authority’s operational management and communication systems to affect any significant step in port processing tasks below could stand to expedite Chinese goods or delay US goods19: 1. Ticket booking and collection 2. Check-in 3. Entering the terminal gateway 4. Customs clearance 5. Waiting at the loading site 6. Boarding the ship 7. Freight transportation 8. Disembarkation 9. Transportation to the storage site 10. Custom clearance 11. Exiting the terminal Few scientific studies determining the financial ratio of economic loss due to on-set port disruptions in international ports exist. The National Cooperative Freight Research Program has endorsed the use of the InputOutput modeling to access the social and economic loss for on-set port disruptions for commercial goods processing in US ports20. There exist on-set port disruptions financial coefficients to assess the economic loss due to the result of a terrorist act, workforce strike, and natural disaster in a US www.ndtahq.com |
port, given the relative volume of processed containers per port21. For this article’s purposes, the US I-O port coefficients are used to determine the economic loss of disrupted US goods processed in Chinese administrative ports participating in BRI. The US export industry could anticipate losing over $0-100,000 for an ordinary two-day disruption. The economic loss would be attributed to the opportunity cost for the sale of the merchant goods, expected delays due to the unscheduled ground transportation after the output, and the cost of standing inventory. RECOMMENDATIONS TO COUNTER CHINESE RISKS TO US STRATEGY
The US Government should exercise a whole of government approach to interlace the Department of Commerce (DOC), private industry, and international trade organizations to educate and monitor China’s weaponization of the global supply chain and port economics. The Department of State (DOS), Department of Transportation (DOT), DOC, and private industry play an instrumental role in monitoring potential export commercial disruptions. Subsequently, these agencies can pursue legal recourse through sanctions or negotiations to prevent intentional disruptions to US goods processing. Below are recommended actions from all economic and diplomatic interlocutors to monitor the access to global distribution lines of communication and US commerce fair trade practices to include: • The Departments of Defense (DOD), DOC, and DOT need to develop an operational link with the US regional trade councils, such as the US/Arab Trade League, to monitor any grandscare transport disruptions of US goods into foreign markets. • The US Combatant Commands need to establish an operational link and partnership into the National Security Council and DOS’s strategic port initiative to incorporate military instruments of powers into its overall counter-BRI strategy. • The DOD and DOT need to establish an operational link with major US global transport companies to evaluate any commercial goods transaction disruptions in BRI hosted ports. • The DOD should establish security cooperation efforts with India to support India’s anti-BRI strategy and foreign direct investment. The US should invest in securing strategic ports, which may 20
| Defense Transportation Journal | DECEMBER 2020
deter China’s BRI strategy and weaponization of the supply chain. • The DOC, Small Business Administration, and DOT need to establish an open-source education program open to the US market, explaining the importance of verifying its supply chain and measuring potential commercial disruptions in BRI participating countries. • The DOD and DOS need to monitor the Chinese subcontractor companies operating in the ports undergoing the BRI implementation. Specifically, the departments need to inform BRI host nations of the Chinese investor group POLI, Inc., a large state-owned enterprise under the supervision of the Government of China’s Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council. POLI is the parent of over 100 subsidiary companies supporting the Chinese militaryindustrial complex22. POLI, Inc. has links to illegal exports of assault rifles and arms material23. It serves as an example of China’s smart power capabilities in the BRI participating ports and the ability to extend military power projection through intelligence collection and cyber deterrence in key economic lines of distribution and navigation. The next century’s international global market will be defined by the ability to maximize the global supply chain to maintain a competitive advantage. As economically powerful countries mature their smart power strategies to control global lines of distribution and strategic materials production, the global commercial marketplace will be contested. Global companies will have to adjust their supply chain monitoring systems, international transportation negotiations, and build strategies to gain supply chain transportability efficiencies to maintain a competitive advantage in their industries. The future economic transportability competition will force the DOD, DOT, and DOC to establish smart power strategies to maintain US influence in the global transportation systems to preserve economic freedom of movement. The US Government and private industry will have to mobilize to combat an economic conflict. A conflict challenged by the age of innovation and predatory economics to deter power economies. The US will have to rely on its national will, fair practices, and human freedoms to ensure our global economic lines remain open and fruitful to
safeguard global prosperity against rising economic predatory strategies. DTJ The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the National Defense University, the Department of Defense, or the US Government. 1 Kent E. Calder, “Coping with Energy Insecurity: China’s response in global perspective”, Journal of East Asia, 2006, 23(3):46-66. 2 Liana M. Petranek, “Paving a Concrete Path to Globalization with China’s Belt and Road Initiative through the Middle East”, Arab Studies Quarterly, 2019, 1st QTR. University of Hawaii Press, United States. 3 Jonathan Fulton, “China’s Changing Role in the Middle East”, 2019, The Atlantic Council, https://www. atlanticcouncil.org/ 4 Mordechai Chaziza,“Comprehensive Strategic Partnership: A New Stage in China-Egypt Relations”, Middle East Review of International Affairs, 20(3),(Winter 016), https:// www.questia.com/library/p439882/middle-east-review-ofinternational-affairs-online 5 Ariel Cohen, “Will China Replace the US as the Middle East Hegemon?”, 2019, The Atlantic Council, https://www. atlanticcouncil.org/ 6 Elliot Wilson, “Sri Lanka Questions Reliance on China.”, Euromoney, 2019, 50 (597): 78–83. 7 iiee. 8 iiee. 9 Haisam Hassanein, “Egypt Takes Another Step Toward China”, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, 2019, https://www.washingtoninstitute.org/ 10 Department of Defense, Summary of the National Defense Strategy, 2018, https://dod.defense.gov/Portals/1/Documents/ pubs/2018-National-Defense-Strategy-Summary.pdf 11 Clarissa Dann & Hunter Xiong, “China’s Belt and Road Initiative: A Guide to Market Participation”. Deutsche Bank’s Belt and Road Initiative Office Editorial, 2019, https://www.db.com 12 Ancor Suárez-Alemána, Lourdes Trujilloa, and Kevin P.B. Cullinaneb, “Time at Ports in Short Sea Shipping: When Timing is Crucial”, Maritime Economics & Logistics, 16:399–417. DOI:10.1057/mel.2014 13 Ancor Suárez-Alemána, Lourdes Trujilloa, and Kevin P.B. Cullinaneb, “Time at Ports in Short Sea Shipping: When Timing is Crucial”, Maritime Economics & Logistics, 16:399–417. DOI:10.1057/mel.2014 14 Christopher O’dea, “Logistics with Chinese Characteristics: Beijing has Weaponized the Supply Chain”, The National Review, 2019, https://www.nationalreview.com 15 Chen Cheng, “Evaluation of Port Logistics Competitiveness in China along Belt and Road”, Journal of Coastal Research, SI (93), 1117-1124. 16 Christopher O’dea, “Logistics with Chinese Characteristics: Beijing has Weaponized the Supply Chain”, The National Review, 2019, https://www.nationalreview.com 17 Christopher O’dea, “Logistics with Chinese Characteristics: Beijing has Weaponized the Supply Chain”, The National Review, 2019, https://www.nationalreview.com 18 iiee 19 Ancor Suárez-Alemána, Lourdes Trujilloa, and Kevin P.B. Cullinaneb, “Time at ports in short sea shipping: When timing is crucial”, Maritime Economics & Logistics, 2015, 16: 399–417. DOI:10.1057/mel.2014 20 Thekdi, Shital A., and Joost R. Santos. 2016. “Supply Chain Vulnerability Analysis Using Scenario-Based Input-Output Modeling: Application to Port Operations.” Risk Analysis: An International Journal 36 (5): 1025–39. DOI:10.1111/risa.12473 21 iiee 22 POLI company profile can be found at http://www.cccme. org.cn/shop/cccme1800/introduction.aspx 23 Cain Nunes, “China’s POLY Group, the most critical company you have never heard of ”, Global Post, 2015: 2(3) 4-9, https://www.pri.org/stories/2013-02-25/chinas-polygroup-most-important-company-youve-never-heard
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| Defense Transportation Journal | DECEMBER 2020
Pandemic, Innovation and People Emerge as Key Topics at the 2020 Fall Meeting By Sharon Lo, Managing Editor, DTJ & The Source
he NDTA-USTRANSCOM Fall Meeting took place October 5-8, 2020. While this event has taken place for many years, 2020 marked the first virtual edition of the meeting. The decision to move to a virtual platform was made due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “Of course, we would prefer to be in St. Louis at the historic Hilton hotel, but we can do this, and we can still collaborate,” VADM William Brown, NDTA President & CEO, said of the decision. The event brought together more than 1,500 attendees from government, military, and industry to learn and collaborate. The theme for the meeting was Innovative and Disruptive…2020 Vision for the Future. While chosen before the pandemic, the theme turned out to be especially appropriate for this year. While 2020 and the pandemic brought immense challenges, NDTA Chairman John Dietrich remained optimistic about the meeting and industry’s relationship with its government and military partners. “As a member of industry, we look forward to this event every year because it’s an environment for healthy dialog with senior leaders—and importantly—future leaders. Likewise, industry comes to the Fall Meeting to showcase our commitment to the Department of Defense [DOD] as full
partners in peacetime and in time of conflict. Industry will always support you.” The Commander of USTRANSCOM, GEN Stephen Lyons, expressed a similar sentiment from the military perspective, “To say this has been a challenging year might be the understatement of the year. But I can say for sure this has demonstrated, I believe, our incredible resiliency to have this event despite the pandemic and to maintain such a close relationship— perhaps even an advanced and enhanced relationship—with our industry partners during these very, very challenging times.” He also emphasized the significance of the military-industry relationship to the Department of Defense, “It’s not lost on me, it’s not lost on the Chairman, or the Secretary of Defense how large a role that industry plays in our ability to project and sustain the Joint Force on a global scale.” The main session program kicked off with the roundtable, Innovations Achieved in Spite of the Obstacles, moderated by USTRANSCOM Senior Enlisted Leader CMSgt Jason France. Panel members included CMSgt Brian Kruzelnick, Command Chief Master Sergeant, Air Mobility Command (AMC); CSM Rocky Carr, Command Sergeant Major, Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command (SDDC); CMDCM Rick Dyksterhouse, Command Master Chief, Military
Sealift Command (MSC); and CMSgt Linda Thrasher, Senior Enlisted Leader Joint Transportation Reserve Unit, USTRANSCOM and Chief Enlisted Manager, 954th Reserve Support Squadron. The discussion focused on the importance of innovation, how it is influenced by organizational culture, and barriers to innovation. “When you look at competitive advantage over our adversaries, for the Army, it’s about moving large forces, large combat forces, to distant shores and being able to synchronize and integrate those forces to achieve a combat effect,” explained Carr. “So for us to do that, not only do we have to do it now, we have to do it and synchronize with the distant end. We have to do it with the speed of relevance, and so innovation allows us to do that.” To gain back its competitive edge, the US Military must be imaginative, creative, and have Service Members that are curious, have an innovative mindset, and a bias towards action to leverage innovations such as big data, artificial intelligence, and machine learning, said Kruzelnick. This would allow US forces to “operate smaller with smarter technology, to advance some new warfighting capabilities, and put that distance back between us, our partners, our allies, and our adversaries. And this way, we can project the Joint Force and ensure our strategic deterrence.”
The NDTA-USTRANSCOM Fall Meeting will be back in St. Louis in 2021. Stay tuned to NDTAHQ.com for details. NDTA-USTRANSCOM Fall Meeting summary material is intended to provide an overview of presentations and should by no means be considered verbatim. This information does not necessarily represent the official position of the US government or any of its entities, NDTA or any of its corporate members. We regret any errors or omissions. For more information regarding the meeting please visit NDTA’s website at www.ndtahq.com. www.ndtahq.com |
| Defense Transportation Journal | DECEMBER 2020
Creativity proved critical to DOD’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Fall Meeting’s first keynote speaker, The Honorable Jordan Gillis, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Sustainment. “The department sought new ways of applying existing authorities and capabilities to meet both internal requirements and support the efforts of our interagency and international partners,” he said. “We adjusted approval authorities, we developed some new policies, created new working relationships within the department to bridge gaps, and leverage expertise to solve unique challenges.” “We can and must use the lessons learned from this disruption caused by a pandemic as we look toward future operations and emerging threats,” said Gillis. “Whether it’s a future outbreak or a conflict with a near-peer or peer competitors, we should expect to see disruptions to all elements of our operation from the domestic transportation network to deployment modes and nodes to our information technology networks to tactical distribution—all will be contested and challenged.” Another theme that quickly emerged during the Fall Meeting besides innovation was the importance of the enterprise’s human component. The meeting’s second keynote speaker, Bob Chapman, provided an inspiring speech on this subject. Chapman is the CEO of the Chapman & Company Leadership Institute, Chairman and CEO of Barry Wehmiller, a global supplier of manufacturing technology and services, and author of the book Everybody Matters: The Extraordinary Power of Caring for Your People Like Family. The journey to truly human leadership focuses on people, purpose, and performance. “The first responsibility of a leader is the people in your span of care, around a purpose that inspires them, and you have to create value. You cannot be good to your family. You cannot be good to the people in your care unless you’re creating value,” he said, adding that value gives legitimacy to move forward. Chapman recognized the way his employees were treated at work affected their health. It had a profound effect on who they end up becoming in life and how they go home and treat their families. “The way we lead those people in your care, the way we treat them, the way we send them home each day, has a profound impact on the way they treat their families and their own self-confidence,” said Chapman.
“Parenting and leadership are identical. Parenting is the stewardship of these precious lives that come into our families through birth, second marriage, adoption. What is leadership? The stewardship of these precious lives, these people who walk onto our bases, into our offices, into our buildings around the world, who simply want to know that who they are and what they do matters,” said Chapman. “So just be the leader you would want to follow. Be the leader you would want your son or daughter to have that would validate their worth and allow them to be who they’re intended to be.”
because you’re kind of already there—is a tighter mission focus from companies.” A keynote speech by the USTRANSCOM Commander GEN Lyons took the idea of innovation to new heights as he revealed a new collaboration with Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX) and Exploration Architecture Corporation (XArc) to explore rapid transportation through space. “Think about moving the equivalent of a C-17 payload anywhere on the globe in less than an hour,” said Lyons. “Think about that speed associated with the movement of transportation of cargo and people. There is a lot of
Caplice called the COVID-19 pandemic a pivot point for the advancement of “technology. Companies he spoke to had advanced their digitalization by three to five years what otherwise would have occurred. [The pandemic’s] a forcing mechanism to change behavior to meet the promise of technology, and that’s kind of the theme that I’m seeing over and over again.
The second roundtable, led by USTRANSCOM Deputy Commander VADM Dee Mewbourne, returned the focus to innovations. It featured panelists Dr. Chris Caplice, Executive Director, MIT’s Center for Transportation & Logistics; Dr. George Friedman, Founder and Chairman, Geopolitical Futures; and Tom Shull, Director, and CEO, Army & Air Force Exchange Service. The roundtable theme was Adapting Logistics for the 21st Century – Technological Advancements, Evolving Requirements, COVID-19 Disruptors. Mewbourne reflected on how logistics has evolved and how the enterprise has progressed by thinking differently and having disruptive thoughts. Caplice called the COVID-19 pandemic a pivot point for the advancement of technology. Companies he spoke to had advanced their digitalization by three to five years what otherwise would have occurred. “[The pandemic’s] a forcing mechanism to change behavior to meet the promise of technology, and that’s kind of the theme that I’m seeing over and over again,” said Caplice. “So, the first big behavioral change is the rapid advancement of digitalization, the acceptance of digitalization, and the idea of pushing paper out of the processes as much as possible. The second thing that I’ve seen—and this might not apply directly to the military
potential here, and I’m really excited about the team that’s working with SpaceX on an opportunity, even perhaps, as early as 21, to be conducting a proof of principle.” Lyons’ speech also described missions performed by the USTRANSCOM and its component commands over the course of the pandemic. This included DEFENDER-Europe 20, the largest deployment of forces to Europe in the past 25 years. But while exercises had to be modified or scaled back, USTRANSCOM’s global mission continued. “At the end of the day, we never had to stop flying our planes or sailing our ships,” said Lyons. Throughout his comments on the pandemic and other subjects, Lyons attributed much of USTRANSCOM’s mission success to its remarkable workforce, component commands, and the partnerships it has within DOD, with other government organizations, and commercial industry. “I could not be more proud of the Airmen, the Soldiers, Sailors and Marines, Coast Guardsmen, the civilians, and our industry partners that make up this power projection enterprise. I am just a proud teammate that stands amongst you.” A keynote speech by Rami Goldratt, CEO, Goldratt Group, about breaking inertia also brought together many of the meeting’s running themes. Inertia, in this www.ndtahq.com |
instance, is the force drive that brings you to continue and behave in the same way, even when there is a need to change. While many organizations recognize the need to change during a crisis, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, they fail to realize that breaking inertia when a company is doing well can lead to breakthroughs in performance. Breaking inertia is one of the prime responsibilities of a leader because they set the rules others in their organization follow. “Breaking inertia is important, and it’s obvious when the organization is under some crisis,” explained Goldratt. “But breaking inertia is important even when the organization is doing very well because maybe we’re doing very well, but we can do much better if
Senior Director, National Security Space Solutions SpaceX; Peter Garretson, AFPC Senior Fellow/Space Expert; and Charles Miller, Space Entrepreneur Co-Founder and CEO, Lynk. The panel emphasized that space innovations are not futuristic ideas; they are already here. They also explored the implications this has for communications and transportation. “Ultimately, what is happening in our world today is that we are experiencing a rush to the high ground of space and the reason there is a rush is because strategists and business leaders understand that there are trillion-dollar markets in space,” explained Kwast. “Space as a neural network of individual platforms can provide com-
Don’t wait for a crisis, take it as your responsibility as a leader—it’s your “responsibility, every one of us is a leader for a certain sub-system or the whole system—take it as your responsibility as a leader to break inertia, to challenge inertia. Don’t wait for the crisis. I think in today’s world, this is very relevant.
we change something. And, maybe we’re doing very well, but around the corners, there are threats that if we’re not changing something fundamental when the time comes and we face these threats, it may be too late.” To break inertia without waiting for a crisis, Goldratt recommended that organizations set a high objective that seems impossible to achieve given current constraints, identify the conflict you must break with innovation to achieve the objective, and then take it as your responsibility as a leader to challenge inertia. “Don’t wait for a crisis, take it as your responsibility as a leader—it’s your responsibility, every one of us is a leader for a certain sub-system or the whole system—take it as your responsibility as a leader to break inertia, to challenge inertia. Don’t wait for the crisis. I think in today’s world, this is very relevant.” The Transportation Thru Space: A Look at Space Systems Logistics, Supply Chain Initiatives and Capabilities roundtable was moderated by Lt Gen (Ret.) Steve Kwast, President and Chief Global Officer, Genesis Systems, LLC. Panel participants included Dr. Greg Spanjers, Chief Scientist Air Force Strategic Development Planning & Experimentation (AF SDPE), WrightPatterson Air Force Base (Rocket Cargo Project Lead); Col (Ret.) Gary Henry, 26
| Defense Transportation Journal | DECEMBER 2020
munications, energy, transportation, manufacturing—all of the things that truly can transform the human race and uplift the prosperity of all people on planet earth— and we are at the cusp of that.” The final Fall Meeting keynote presentation by Dan Helfrich, CEO, Deloitte Consulting US, and Heather Reilly, Principal, and Defense, Security & Justice Sector Lead, Deloitte Consulting, examined workforce resiliency and how lessons learned through COVID-19 can help organizations conduct globally integrated logistics. Helfrich shared a summary of conversations he had with commercial executives across various industries and with government leaders during the COVID-19 crisis. “There’s a commonality across all those conversations. The first is how to quickly accelerate digital transformation and invest in the right technology. The second is what’s the future of work really look like—that encompasses, you know, both what kinds of people do I need, where are they going to work, how are they going to work, and is there something called a ‘return to normal’ once we navigate past this moment?” Reilly had heard similar themes in her conversations with leaders. She added that for her clients, “we really try to focus on I would say three things in a disrupted
environment. Foresight—so how can you do your best to predict the future? How can you get your teams disciplined to start thinking about what are the potential risks and issues that might happen? Second is agility—how do you make sure your workforce, your operations, are willing to stand up and able to meet the need of the time? And then, as you mentioned, resilience is another key part of it, and how do you withstand and recover from those disruptions over a long period of time?” “What’s become very clear to me is the magic of leading an organization successfully in this moment is to be human and to recognize that your team is human,” said Helfrich. “Therefore, the nuances and complexity of what people are going through outside of their professional lives is incredibly important to understand and have in the front of your mind as you make decisions, and so I’ve been very focused on combining anecdote with data.” In conjunction with the Fall Meeting, NDTA and USTRANCOM held Transportation Academy, which consisted of 78 educational classes. Courses covered ten separate topic tracks, including acquisition and finance; combatant commands and security cooperation; commercial logistics; Department of Defense transportation; innovation and analytics; information technology and cyber; leadership and professional development; legislation and policy; interactive workshops and training; as well as Surface Deployment and Distribution Command workshops. In addition, participants had the opportunity to attend a special NDTA Young Leaders Professional Development Session, as well as several meetings of the association’s committees and subcommittees. NDTA also held a virtual expo hall featuring exhibitors from the Defense Industrial Base, military, government, and academia. The expo hall offered the chance for truly interactive information sharing between attendees. The combination of events over the meeting’s four days provided valuable opportunities for all attendees to enhance their knowledge, professional development, and networks and share their expertise. The NDTA-USTRANSCOM Fall Meeting is a unique, trusted environment for the community it serves. The 2020 meeting proved that regardless of how or where the event occurs, its significance— and the strength of the partnership it represents—remains strong. DTJ
Thank You FALL MEETING Sponsors PLATINUM SPONSORS
BNSF Railway • LMI • Matson Port of Beaumont • Port of Port Arthur UPS • Wyndham Hotels & Resorts YRC Worldwide
Baggett Transportation Company Carlile Transportation Systems LLC Critical Infrastructure Resilience Institute – CIRI Freeman Holdings Group • Ryzhka International LLC U.S. Bank Freight Payment • US Ocean, LLC
Proceeds from the NDTA Sponsorship Program support the NDTA general operating fund. Participation in the NDTA Sponsorship Program does not imply support or endorsement by the Department of Defense or any other US government entity.
These corporations are a distinctive group of NDTA Members who, through their generous support of the Association, have dedicated themselves to supporting an expansion of NDTA programs to benefit our members and defense transportation preparedness.
AAR CORP. + PLUS Agility Defense & Government Services + PLUS AIT Worldwide Logistics, Inc. + PLUS American President Lines, LLC + PLUS American Roll-on Roll-off Carrier + PLUS Amtrak + PLUS Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings + PLUS Bennett + PLUS CGI + PLUS Chapman Freeborn Airchartering, Inc. + PLUS Construction Helicopters, Inc. (d/b/a CHI Aviation) + PLUS Crane Worldwide Logistics, LLC + PLUS Crowley + PLUS Deloitte + PLUS DHL Express + PLUS Enterprise Holdings + PLUS FedEx + PLUS Freeman Holdings Group + PLUS Goldratt Consulting North America LLC + PLUS Hapag-Lloyd USA, LLC + PLUS International Auto Logistics + PLUS Kalitta Air LLC + PLUS Landstar System, Inc. + PLUS Liberty Global Logistics-Liberty Maritime + PLUS Maersk Line, Limited + PLUS Matson + PLUS National Air Cargo, Inc. + PLUS Omni Air International, LLC + PLUS SAP Concur + PLUS Schuyler Line Navigation Company LLC + PLUS The Suddath Companies + PLUS TOTE + PLUS Tri-State + PLUS US Ocean, LLC + PLUS Waterman Logistics + PLUS Western Global Airlines + PLUS American Maritime Partnership Amerijet International, Inc. Ascent Global Logistics /USA Jet Airlines Berry Aviation, Inc. BNSF Railway Boeing Company Boyle Transportation, Inc. Bristol Associates 28
| Defense Transportation Journal | DECEMBER 2020
Choice Hotels International CSX Transportation CWTSatoTravel Echo Global Logistics, Inc. Global Logistics Providers KGL McKinsey & Company National Air Carrier Association Norfolk Southern Corporation
Sealift, Inc. Telesto Group LLC The Pasha Group The Port of Virginia Transportation Institute U.S. Bank Freight Payment Union Pacific Railroad UPS Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, Inc.
SUSTAINING MEMBERS AND REGIONAL PATRONS
ALL OF THESE FIRMS SUPPORT THE PURPOSES AND OBJECTIVES OF NDTA
SUSTAINING MEMBERS AAT Carriers, Inc. ABODA by RESIDE Accenture Federal Services Admiral Merchants Motor Freight, Inc. Agape Travel and Tours Air Transport International, Inc. Al-Hamd International Container Terminal AMAC Logistics LLC American Maritime Officers American Moving & Storage Association American Trucking Associations Ameriflight, LLC Anacostia Rail Holdings ArcBest Army & Air Force Exchange Service Arven Services, LLC Associated Global Systems Atlas World Group International ATS Specialized, Inc. Avis Budget Group Baggett Transportation Company BCD Travel Beltway Transportation Service Benchmarking Partners, Inc. Blue Star Charter & Tours, Inc. Bolloré Logistics BWH Hotel Group C.L. Services, Inc. CIT Signature Transportation Coachman Luxury Transport Coleman Worldwide Moving Cornerstone Systems, Inc. Council for Logistics Research Dash Point Distributing, LLC Delta Air Lines Duluth Travel, Inc. (DTI) El Sol Travel Inc. Ernst & Young Estes Forwarding Worldwide, LLC REGIONAL PATRONS ACME Truck Line, Inc. Agile Defense, Inc. Amyx Apex Logistics International Inc C5T Corporation CakeBoxx Technologies LLC CarrierDrive LLC Cartwright International Cavalier Logistics Chassis King, Inc. Columbia Helicopters, Inc.
Europcar Car & Truck Rental Eurpac Evanhoe & Associates, Inc. Excl Hospitality – Suburban Suites/ MainStay Suites Eyre Bus Service, Inc. FlightSafety International GeoDecisions Green Valley Transportation Corp. Hertz Corporation Hilton Worldwide Intermodal Association of North America (IANA) International Association of Movers International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA), AFL-CIO Interstate Moving | Relocation | Logistics Keystone Shipping Co. KROWN1 FZC Kuehne + Nagel, Inc. LMI Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association Marriott International Martin Logistics Incorporated MatchTruckers, Inc. Mayflower Transit McCollister’s Transportation Systems, Inc. Mercer Transportation Company mLINQS National Charter Bus National Motor Freight Traffic Association, Inc. National Van Lines, Inc. Northern Air Cargo, LLC Northern Neck Transfer Inc. Oakwood Worldwide Omega World Travel Omnitracs, LLC One Network Enterprises, Inc. ORBCOMM PD Systems, Inc. Perfect Logistics, LLC Pilot Freight Services
Dalko Resources, Inc. DGC International Enterprise Management Systems HLI Government Services JAS Forwarding John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences Kalitta Charters, LLC Lineage Logistics LMJ International Logistics, LLC Lynden, Inc. MacGregor USA, Inc. Move One Logistics
PODS Enterprises LLC Port of Beaumont Ports America Portus Preferred Systems Solutions, Inc. Prestera Trucking, Inc. Professional Drivers PTS Worldwide Radiant Global Logistics Radisson Hotel Group Ramar Transportation, Inc. Ryzhka International LLC Sabre SAIC Savi SeaCube Containers Seafarers International Union of NA, AGLIW SecureSystem US, Inc. SEKO Logistics Shiplify, LLC Sixt rent a car LLC Southwest Airlines St. Louis Union Station Hotel a Curio Hotel Collection by Hilton StarForce National Corporation Stevens Global Logistics, Inc. TMM, Inc. Transport Investments, Inc. Travelport Trusted Internet, LLC TSA Transportation LLC TTX Company Tucker Company Worldwide, Inc. United Airlines United Van Lines, Inc. Universal Logistics Holdings, Inc. US Premier Locations Wapack Labs Corporation Women In Trucking Association, Inc. YRC Worldwide
North Carolina State Ports Authority NovaVision Inc. Overdrive Logistics, Inc. Patriot Contract Services, LLC PITT OHIO Port Canaveral Port of Port Arthur Port of San Diego Priority Worldwide Seatac Marine Services TechGuard Security Trans Global Logistics Europe GmbH
UNIVERSITIES Critical Infrastructure Resilience Institute – University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign McKendree University
Cont’d from Prof. Devel. pg. 10
Cont’d from President’s Corner pg. 11
An especially useful asset of virtual training was the use of interactive polling. Instructors in some classes prepared questions which they would periodically load for viewing. Attendees responded to the polls, and results were shown in real-time. The interactive nature of virtual classes demonstrated several advantages: Collaboration and data sharing made available in the cloud for even greater connectivity; on-demand training opportunities based on real-time skill development, supporting just-in-time learning; the sharing of information and learning experiences through social media, supporting peer-to-peer learning and immediate feedback; and the ability to complete training on an individual basis, which allows workers to fit training in when it works for them.
Eyre Heavy Duty Fleet Services – Integrity & Respect www.eyrehd.com • 410-442-1330 ext 2
NDTA continues to engage across the logistics spectrum via virtual opportunities. While we operate from the headquarters offices, we know many companies and government offices remain virtual. Many are planning to stay virtual through mid-summer 2021. Business travel will likely take years to recover. I am keeping a famous United Airlines commercial in the back of my mind. It’s the one where the boss comes into the boardroom and tells everyone their company was just fired by a long-time customer because “he said he didn’t know us anymore.” The customer had come only to know them through the phone or fax machine. So, the boss handed out tickets to everyone and told them to see all their customers face-to-face. As we move forward, it will be interesting to see how businesses can return to normal. Has the pandemic fundamentally reoriented us to virtual? Did it just accelerate change, or have we already passed through a tipping point where virtual is the new norm? We hope not. Relationships are essential, and we must continue to find ways to meet with each other in person! That said, we have already decided with our co-sponsor, the Defense Travel Management Office (DTMO), that our annual GovTravels meeting in February will be virtual. Decisions regarding the Transportation Advisory Board, Surface Force Projection Conference, and 2021 Fall Meeting will be evaluated over the coming months. I have received a lot of feedback that the inability to hold inperson meetings creates interpersonal gaps. While I agree virtual meetings are not optimal, they are necessary to continue communicating. That’s why we cannot over-communicate during these times. Thank you for participating in so many cybernetic venues—these interactions are valuable. Regardless of the COVID-19 Pandemic, NDTA continues to foster education and the development of our Nation’s future logistics and transportation leaders! With that as our focus, each year the NDTA Foundation awards scholarships worth, on average, over $30,000 to NDTA members and their qualified dependents. We offer scholarships for college-bound high school students, currently attending university students, and distance learning students. For details on qualifications and how to apply, go to www. ndtahq.com/about-us/education/ or call us at 703-751-5011. Please give me a call or send a note to let me know your thoughts and how I might be able to help you. All the best for a safe holiday season and cheers to a successful New Year. Stay positive and help someone along the way. Remember our deployed service members and their families. And likewise, remember those who are working to keep our economy moving in the right direction. There are national security implications. DTJ
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DTJ INDEX OF ADVERTISERS
PLANNING FOR TRAVEL ACADEMY
The success and lessons learned from Transportation Academy will be reflected in our upcoming Travel Academy. It takes place on 23 and 24 February, close to a year since the COVID-19 pandemic began to spread globally. Through five topic tracks—Organizational Leadership, TMC Partner Programs, Technology, Travel Experience & Safety, and Travel Modernization—Travel Academy will offer insight into the impacts on government travel over the past year, from the perspective of technology, travel experiences, and future expectations. Please make it a priority to attend. DTJ
Our full-service transportation company offers convention/ airport services, group charters, fixed commuter routes, emergency transportation, corporate/employee shuttle, student travel, and much more. We have a robust fleet of luxury motorcoaches ranging from 28-56 passenger. We are members of members of ABA, MMA, IMG, NDTA, and an approved vendor of DOD. Eyre Bus Service – Excellence in Travel www.eyre.com • 410-442-1330 ext 1
Matt Eyre, President Brad Eyre, VP and Business Manager Gina Ricketts, Charter Sales Representative 410-442-7407 • email@example.com P.O. Box 239 • 13600 Triadelphia Road, Glenelg, MD 21737 Please give us a call or visit our websites for images and list of amenities for our motorcoaches, plus detailed services provided by our heavy duty techs. Don’t see it, ask us about it.
| Defense Transportation Journal | DECEMBER 2020
American President Lines, Ltd.............31 American Roll-on Roll-off Carrier..........8 Avis Budget Group..............................15 Bennett Motor Express, LLC................24 Cornerstone Systems..........................16 Crowley Logistics, Inc...........................4 Deloitte.................................................6 EY.......................................................27 EYRE...................................................30 FedEx Government Services................32
Landstar Transportation Logistics, Inc.....3 Liberty Global Logistics, LLC...............21 Maersk Line, Limited............................2 MatchTruckers....................................16 National Air Cargo.................................5 RYZHKA..............................................11 Sea Cube Containers............................7 SecureSystem U.S., Inc.......................12 Suddath..............................................22
American President Lines: Mission RedeďŹ ned American President Lines (APL) now exclusively serves the U.S. Military, U.S. Government, and Guam sectors. From transporting essential supplies for our troops to household goods of Service Members and their families as a long-standing partner for the U.S. Military, APL has proven to have the resources and know-how to be the mission critical link in your supply chains. American President Lines offers weekly U.S. Flag services linking North America to Asia, the Mediterranean, Africa, the Middle East and Guam. To learn more about how we can support you, visit www.apl.com.
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| Defense Transportation Journal | DECEMBER 2020
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The Defense Transportation Journal (DTJ) is the official publication of the National Defense Transportation Association (NDTA), a non-politi...
Published on Dec 16, 2020
The Defense Transportation Journal (DTJ) is the official publication of the National Defense Transportation Association (NDTA), a non-politi...