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Dr. Tulio Sulbaran, the Director of the USM Center for Logistics, Trade and Transportation will be speaking to the 2013 IEDC Leadership Summit in Orlando January 28, 2013 on the impact of the Panama Canal Expansion. He will be part of the concurrent session on Fostering New Prospects in the International Marketplace. There is extensive debate over whether the expansion of the Panama Canal in 2015 will be a "game changer" for the U.S. distribution system. One perspective is that the lengthening, widening and deepening of the locks to accommodate much larger ships will substantially impact the U.S. supply chain and its efficiencies. Cargos, once destined for West Coast ports and land bridged across the country to East Coast markets, will be rerouted by sea to East and Gulf coast ports.  The question is "what ports will gain this new demand?" The other perspective is that cargo routing is ultimately a function of shippers' supply chain optimization, not of ocean carriers economics. Therefore, the Canal expansion will not provide any benefits to shippers that are not already available today, so there will be no unfulfilled demand for East or Gulf Coast ports to fulfill.


As the 1990s trend of privatizing economic development organizations remerges, the book by  Ray Fisman and Tim Sullivan The Org: The Underlying Logic of the Office could provide useful insights. Fisman and Sullivan argue that there is a good rule of thumb to determine when a private organization will outperform the public sector. If the task is clear-cut and it's possible to define concrete goals and reward those who meet them, the private sector will probably do better. However, if the objectives are complex and diffuse, making it difficult to align market with social goals without undermining some other desirable outcome, the profit motive will likely create problems. In these cases, privatization is probably not the best solution. Thus, communities should consider if their economic development objectives are clear-cut and can be aligned with rewards before privatizing economic development efforts.


USM is part of the National Center for Freight and Infrastructure Research and Education (CFIRE) consortium, which is sponsoring a Freight Workforce Summit on February 5-6, 2013 in Memphis, Tennessee. This event is hosted by the Intermodal Freight Transportation Institute (IFTI) at the University of Memphis. The Freight Workforce Summit provides an opportunity for private industry, public sector and academic institutions to discuss the growing workforce challenges facing this industry.   There are a number of workforce issues for the industry including the transportation industry 1) has a fairly low public image, consisting of low public esteem, low wages, undesirable benefit packages, and limited advancement opportunities, 2) faces an inadequate pipeline of young and/or new workers, and 3) has high costs for training for both new and incumbent workers. These and other issues will be addressed at the summit. The Freight Workforce Summit is held in conjunction with a national student symposium on freight.  The two programs will be integrated to provide industry with opportunities to interact with some of the best transportation students from across the nation at both the undergraduate and graduate level.  Each Freight Workforce Summit participant will be provided a book of resumes of students who are participating in the student symposium.  The agenda provides plenty of time for the two groups to interact which will hopefully lead to future job opportunities.


National Center for Freight and Infrastructure Research and Education (CFIRE)
Freight Workforce Summit on February 5-6, 2013 in Memphis, Tennessee  
Center for Logistics, Trade, and Transportation (CLTT) Industry Summit on Friday March 1, 2013 in Long Beach, Mississippi 

Student Economic Development Association (SEDA)/ Economic Development Alumni Association Spring Baseball Tailgate March 9th, 2:00 pm game against Louisiana-Lafayette.
Register Now! 
True South Basic Economic Development Course on September 23-26, 2013 in Hattiesburg, Mississippi
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Trent Lott National Center | Master of Science in Economic Development