Research was the technology guru for the California Trade and
Goods Movement Study. Prime contractor was Barton-Aschman Associates,
Inc. This study supported the California Trade and Goods Movement
Steering Committee. This committee had representatives from California
state and local governments and agencies, as well as from transportation
industries, labor, industry associations, ports and airports.
Goods Movement Infotech Revolution
primary finding of our analyses of transportation technology
trends is that the infotech revolution is making major changes
in the way the freight carriers are doing business.
elements of this goods movement infotech revolution include:
infotech has helped to cut both costs per ton-mile and the percentage
of the GNP devoted to goods movement, which has fallen from 17%
in 1980 to only 12% today. Furthermore, while these costs have
fallen, both speed of delivery and ability to deliver freight
on time have improved.
the freight infotech revolution has only begun to unfold. For
example, one emerging trend is toward using EDI systems based
on the Internet. These may use gateways to the Internet such
as satellite and other mobile links. The advantages of these
EDI systems are that they provide a user-friendly way for shippers
and carriers to schedule, track and troubleshoot shipments of
goods in nearly real time. Soon even money transactions may become
routine over the Internet, using the concept of electronic cash,
known as Digicash, Cybercash, or ecash.
developments will likely encourage increased world trade while
accelerating the trends of decreasing shipping costs and improved
there are problems looming ahead of the freight infotech revolution.
example, some mobile communications systems used for managing
transportation systems are users of the 902 -- 928MHz bandwidth
allocation. But in some major urban areas competition with other
users such as cordless phones and hospital internal mobile communications
systems is high. As a result users may interfere with each other's
the Federal Communications Commission is seeking a solution to
this problem. It is currently evaluating allocating a new portion
of the radio frequency spectrum dedicated to ITS.
far more serious problem, however, is the security of data being
transmitted electronically. Management of the movements of goods
and money transactions such as ecash offers a tempting target
to industrial espionage, thieves and information warriors .
Internet is an especially insecure way to transmit data.
many shippers are moving their EDI systems on to the Internet
because it is an open system that is also easy to use. In addition,
it is attractive to small companies that can not afford the many
different proprietary EDI software packages in use by large companies.
concerns over the security problems of the Internet may be met
through the use of encryption to hide data in transit, through
firewalls to protect data stored on Internet host computers from
electronic break-ins, and many other computer and communications
communications and computer security is more than just a technological
barrier is the US International Trade in Arms Regulations (ITAR).
133 page document.)
problem is that under ITAR, any encryption technique good enough
to make data transmissions truly secure is forbidden for export.
Since so much of the demand for communications security is outside
the US, the effect of ITAR is to increasingly hand over the data
encryption market to non-US firms.
the largest barrier yet to communications and computer security
Communications and Tracking
Information Systems (GIS)
Transportation Systems (ITS)