If you are a regular reader of our blog, then you are comfortable with terms like EDI, EC, Logistics, Supply Chain and Technology. Let’s dig a little bit deeper and discuss HUBS and SPOKES.

A HUB is just one type of EDI customer. Hubs are characterized by high volume, lots of partners, high availability and high accuracy. The concept of the “Hub” is simple. These are the companies who reach out to their trading partners and request those partners to trade electronically. Let’s characterize the three types of EDI customers:

(1) Hubs

(2) Spokes (low turnover of trading partners but higher technical requirements)

(3) Ecommerce Service Providers (ECSB) (a “hybrid” with high turnover rate, deal with all implementation guides, and amount to a “Hub of Spokes”).

What is wrong with the current approach to EDI implementation? We need a new concept. Everybody wants to be a “Hub” not a “Spoke”, because that is where the money is made. That is also why new EDI implementations have stagnated. Our answer is to turn “Spokes” into “Hubs”. Currently, the “Hub” realizes benefits; the “Spoke” does not. Why can’t a Spoke become a Hub and trade electronically with lower-tier suppliers and with their own customers? Only because traditionally they have thought it was too complicated.

A generation ago, we had about 1,000 Hubs. This number has not grown! But the number of Spokes has grown astronomically. It is time for bigger Spokes to take advantage of newer technologies and become Hubs

For answers to this question, plan to attend this presentation:

Future of EDI The Next 20,000 Hubs

Todd Gould, CEO, Loren Data

The EDI relationship has frequently been characterized as a Hub & Spoke model, and we have seen major companies (often referred to as 800lb gorillas) dictating EDI to their vendors and suppliers. The future growth of EDI depends on the additional midmarket enterprises entering the market as the new Hubs. Learning from what worked and did not work in the past, along with leveraging the substantial EDI ecosystem will be instrumental in the success of the next growth phase in this market. Together we will explore the Technology Adoption Life-Cycle in a new perspective of how it applies to EDI, what it is to be a Hub, the challenges of being a Spoke, and a roadmap to the exciting explosive growth phase just ahead.

Where and when?

New England Electronic Commerce Users’ Group

Annual 2 Day Conference & Educational Session

Wednesday & Thursday May 11-12, 2016

A Key Speaker

EDI and The Next 20,000 Hubs

Todd Gould

CEO, Loren Data Group

The New England Electronic Commerce Users’ Group (NEECOM), formerly the New England EDI Users’ Group (NEEDI), is a nonprofit organization established in 1990. Members are large and small organizations in a variety of industries. which include manufacturers, distributors, retailers, hospitals, insurance companies, motor carriers, universities, banks and government agencies. The common thread is an interest in EC/EDI and related technologies.

Meeting Registration

All registrations & memberships must be performed online using the website

All questions about registration should be addressed to Ira Keltz (617) 724-1832

Space Is Limited! Please Respond Before May 9, 2016.

So why do we have a donkey for the featured image ? Because I like donkeys.

Actually a Donkey is like a SPOKE. Give it “good grass” and it is happy. Never realizes if it became a HUB it could be sitting across the street in a 5-Star hotel enjoying a first class lunch !


The Clinton Campaign’s New Strategy: ‘Forget the Base, Disqualify Sanders’

ou MUST see what CNN reported last night. It’s very disturbing, and you need to know about it right now.

“The Clinton campaign has been watching these Wisconsin results come in, and the delegate race of course is tight there, but the reality is they’re running out of patience. So they’re going to begin deploying a new strategy, it’s going to be called disqualify him, defeat him and then they can unify the party later.”

Disqualify him, defeat him, and unify the party later.

One more time. This is the Clinton campaign’s strategy going forward: Disqualify Bernie, defeat our movement, and pick up the pieces later.

We have to get ready for the Clinton campaign’s attacks. We’re on the path to the nomination, and now they’re going to try to block it with super PACs, billionaires, and everything else they’ve got.

Bernie’s running this campaign a different way. We don’t have a super PAC. We’re not launching any negative attacks.

We’re bringing together millions of people in a political revolution that has won seven of the last eight contests and breaks records at every turn. The political establishment hates what we’re doing, and now it’s clear the Clinton campaign is going to do everything in its power to stop us.

We can’t let up now.

By Bernie Sanders, Reader Supported News

07 April 16


This comes from Bernie Sanders campaign manager, Jeff Weaver.

Short-line tax credit would be permanent under BRACE Act

The American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA) endorsed the introduction last week of legislation in Congress that would make permanent the short line track maintenance tax credit.

The Building Rail Access for Customers and the Economy Act (BRACE) was introduced Feb. 26 by U.S. Sens. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) in the Senate as S.B. 2595, and by U.S. Reps. Lynn Jenkins (R-Kan.) and Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) in the House as H.B. 4626.

The tax credit provides short line and regional railroads a 50 cent tax credit for each dollar the railroad spends on track rehabilitation and maintenance up to $3,500 per mile of track owned or leased by the railroad. In December 2015, Congress passed the fifth short-term extension of the credit, extending it through 2016.

Since it was originally enacted in 2004, the tax credit has been used by short-line and regional railroads to maximize capital investment in critical infrastructure, said ASLRRA President Linda Darr, in a press release.

“By making 45G permanent, the BRACE Act will provide the certainty small
businesses need to plan and complete important rehabilitation projects,” Darr said. “This long term investment strategy is the ‘brace’ that allows short line railroads to provide the industries they serve a safer and more competitive mode of transportation.”

Connecticut DOT unveils website for Walk Bridge replacement project

The Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) has launched a new website for its Walk Bridge program, which calls for replacing a 120-year-old rail bridge over the Norwalk River.

The new website features project information, including meeting notices and construction updates. Although the replacement of the Walk Bridge isn’t scheduled to begin until mid-2018, the department is planning to complete three advance construction projects beforehand, CTDOT officials said in a press release.

The site provides information on these construction projects, as well.

The four-track Walk Bridge carries MTA Metro-North Railroad‘s New Haven line trains over the Norwalk River. It swings open and closed to accommodate commercial and recreational marine traffic on the river. When it fails to close properly, it can cause major disruptions to rail service in the Northeast Corridor, CTDOT officials said.

CTDOT has been meeting with local officials and key stakeholders throughout the past year to gather input and will continue to do as the project advances.

In late spring, construction is scheduled to begin on a series of related projects that are necessary before the bridge is replaced.

Those projects include:
• repairing fenders around the piers that protect the Walk Bridge and boats from damage in the event of a collision;
• adding track sidings, signal work and electrification to the southern end of Metro-North’s Danbury Branch; and
• constructing a new four-track interlocking to allow for two-track Metro-North operations during reconstruction.

The new Walk Bridge is in the preliminary design stage.

The Walk Bridge is used by Metro-North, Amtrak, CSX and Providence and Worcester Railroad. About 200 trains and 125,000 passengers cross the bridge each day. Ridership is projected to double by 2065, CTDOT officials said.

Bernie Sanders: If You Ignore What You Hear on Corporate Media

As I sat and watched John King at the CNN big board last night showing us how Bernie would fall short if he won 55-45 in the rest of states, I was disgusted. If John King instead showed what would happen if Sanders won 57-43 (which he did in Wisconsin) in the rest of the states you would have seen Bernie’s line pass Hillary’s. The other networks were no better, MSNBC was showing the delegate count with the super delegates, Chris Matthews was calling the race all but over as he bashed Sanders’ spending on things that would benefit the people.

Bernie Sanders had just soundly defeated Hillary Clinton in Wisconsin, for his 7th victory in the last 8 races. Bernie will get over 70% in the next contest this Saturday in Wyoming. The media couldn’t bring themselves to just report Sanders’ success – they had to tell us why it wasn’t real. It has been this way the whole election. There is always a “but” after any praise of Bernie. So it wasn’t a surprise that while speaking on the cable news networks to his supporters in Wyoming Sanders told people to ignore what they hear on corporate media.

The corporate media has failed to report where the country is politically. It is either on purpose or they just don’t get it. The reality is right in front of them in their exit polls, so my guess is they are purposely getting it wrong and trying to spin the country back to where they are comfortable. So let’s look at what the exit polls in Wisconsin tell us.

Only one candidate excited the voters. That was Bernie Sanders. Nearly 60 of Wisconsin voters in the Democratic Primary percent said Sanders inspires them more about the future of the country. At least 7 in 10 Democratic primary voters in Wisconsin said they are excited or optimistic about what either candidate would do in office, but they’re more likely to be excited about Sanders. About a third say they’re excited about what he would do, while about half as many say that about Clinton. Voters in the Democratic Primary expressed comfort with Clinton but not excitement.

It is the same on the Republican side: More voters are excited about Donald Trump, and only 14% were excited about Ted Cruz, even though he won the state by a large margin. More Republican voters were scared of a Cruz or Trump presidency than were comfortable with either becoming the Commander in Chief.

Nine in 10 voters on the Democratic side see Sanders as trustworthy, while only 6 in 10 say the same about Hillary Clinton.

Three quarters of Democratic voters say they are worried about the direction of the U.S. economy. Over a third said the economy and jobs are the most important issues facing the country, and 3 in 10 consider income inequality to be their top concern.

The survey was conducted for the Associated Press and the television networks by Edison Research.

So it is clear that voters in Wisconsin voted for Bernie Sanders and against Donald Trump. The exit polls showed very little real support for Ted Cruz; his vote was a protest against Trump.

New York

Bernie Sanders will win easily in Wyoming on Saturday, before the race heads to New York, where it will be all out war. The Clinton campaign will be going for the knockout on what they think is her home turf. They are already attacking Bernie on guns, claiming that criminals are going to Vermont to buy guns. They ignore the fact that most guns in New York City are bought upstate. Gun laws are less restrictive in the rest of New York State, a policy that Hillary Clinton supported in 2008 when she was the senator from New York.

CNN reported tonight that the Clinton campaign said they would get tougher on Sanders and they are ready to put him away. That will be easier said than done. While Hillary Clinton has called New York home since she moved there to run for the Senate, Bernie Sanders was born and raised in New York. Just last week he had 18,000 people at a rally in the Bronx. Next week he will hold a rally in Washington Square Park on the day before the newly agreed upon debate in Brooklyn’s Navy Yard.

Clinton will turn up the heat in that debate, as will Sanders. We already have Sanders starting to raise the issue of Clinton’s support for the Panama free trade agreement. Sanders gave a speech in 2011 in which he said the agreement would protect offshore banking practices that allow the wealthy to avoid taxes. The Panama Papers scandal is another example of Bernie Sanders being right, warning us years before a major scandal or event takes place. Clinton pushed through the Panama Free Trade Deal at the same time that Sanders vocally opposed it, warning that it would limit the government’s ability to clamp down on illegal activity.

New York will be a must-win for Sanders if he is going to catch Clinton in pledged delegates. It will not be the end for Sanders or his political revolution, which is revealing a major shift to the left in this country. In 2008, 46% of Wisconsin Democratic primary voters called themselves liberal, 40% moderate, and 14% conservative. In 2016, 61% said they were liberal, 27% moderate, and 5% conservative.

The country is shifting politically, and Sanders’ political revolution has momentum that will translate beyond 2016. If Hillary wins the nomination she will be the last corporate Democrat to lead the party. Progressives are poised to take control of the party.

Scott Galindez, Reader Supported News

Con Ed battles MTA over Second Avenue Subway funding

Con Edison, KeySpan and Brooklyn Union Gas are balking at state and MTA pressure to pony up millions of dollars for work on the Second Avenue Subway.

The utility companies are already asking for rate hikes they believe are crucial to maintain an aging infrastructure — and they have no interest in shouldering the $375 million the MTA says is needed to move underground lines as it continues to build the long-awaited subway, Crain’s New York reported.

“Our customers’ bills should be funding energy-related programs and infrastructure projects, not MTA work,” a Con Ed spokesman said.

A representative for National Grid — the parent company of Brooklyn Union Gas and KeySpan — said paying for the MTA’s work would lead to more rate hikes.

“The impact would cause bills to rise to fund nonutility work and take money away from energy projects,” the rep said.

But Albany insisted that utilities have always kicked in for the greater good.

“Utilities typically bear the cost of relocation work for other public construction projects in New York City,” a spokesman for the state Division of the Budget said. “Why should the MTA’s projects be treated any differently?”

The 8.5-mile-long stretch of subway is planned to run from 125th Street in Harlem to Hanover Square in lower Manhattan.

The MTA hopes to open the line by the end of this year.

JOSHUA REDMAN TRIO at Jazz à Vienne 2007

Jazz You Too

It had been a while since the last time I listened to Antonio Sanchez playing some drums, so I started my search always confirming that the video I wanted to post, hadn’t been published on the blog before. I always do this, I want to avoid repetition, and Antonio Sanchez has been posted for quite a few times around here, he is one of my favourite drummers!

The choice was easy. I could even find a video posted by the Antonio Sanchez You Tube channel, the trio in the video performs at the Jazz À Vienne Festival in 2007 – it’s the Joshua Redman Trio with Reuben Rogers on bass and Antonio on drums which I confess I don’t remember having seen/listened together before.

The musicians excel in their performance ( as usual) but something else happens making this video even more special.

As this blog is SPOILER free, you’ll…

View original post 40 more words

Comets on the Cusp

The Utica Comets fired 52 shots on goal, including a franchise-high 21 in the first period, on en route to a 4-2 win over the Binghamton Senators at the Utica Memorial Auditorium on Wednesday night. With the win, the Comets can clinch their second consecutive playoff berth with a Syracuse Crunch regulation loss to the Albany Devils on Friday night, or a regulation or overtime win verses the St. John’s IceCaps on Saturday night.

Brandon Marino (1-0-1), Kellen Jones (1-0-1), Alex Friesen (1-0-1), and Alexandre Grenier (1-0-1) recorded the Utica goals on the night, while Richard Bachman made 21 saves in net to secure his 16th win of the season. The Comets 21 first period shots on goal tied the all-time franchise mark for shots in a period. That previous mark was hit twice before, once in the third period on Mar. 21, 2014 vs. Adirondack, a 4-3 loss, and again in the third period on Jan. 30, 2015 vs. Toronto in a 3-2 loss.

While the Comets peppered the Senators’ net with 21 shots, the Bachman only had to stave off five enemy shots in the first period. Despite the lop-sided shot totals, the game remained scoreless after the initial 20 minutes.

The team’s appeared to have saved all their goal-scoring efforts for the second period as they combined for five goals.

Marino connected for the first goal of the night midway through the second period. As the Senators were poised for a breakout, Ronalds Kenins stepped up and intercepted the breakout pass. Marino, on the opposite of Kenins, broke hard to the net. Kenins danced around a defender as Marino was cross-checked by a Senators’ defender into their goaltender Matt O’Connor. Kenins cut across the top of the crease and ricocheted a shot off of Marino and in.

2:57 later Kellen Jones extended the Comets lead to 2-0 with a Bobby Orr-esque tally. Michael Zalewski cut across the top of the circles, drew a defender to him, and slipped a pass to Jones as he darted from the near-side corner. As he was being tripped up by O’Connor, Jones managed to wrap the puck around the goaltender with both of his skates above his head.

Three minutes after the Comets grabbed a 2-0 lead, Alex Friesen made it a 3-0 lead after he picked off a Senators pass and slipped a shot between O’Connor’s legs on a breakaway.

Binghamton, more accurately Jason Akeson, struck twice on the power play in the period’s waning minutes to break-up the shutout bid and claw the visiting team to within a goal.

In the third period the Comets slammed the door shut when Alexandre Grenier put the finishing touches on a perfect pass from T.J. Hensick that was threaded through two defenders legs. Taylor Fedun recorded the secondary assist on the power-play goal with 4:48 remaining.

The Comets improved to 36-24-7-4 with the win, and the Senators fell to 27-37-6-1.

The Comets hit the road, well air, for a pair of games against the St. John’s IceCaps on “the rock”. Saturday’s game is scheduled for a 6pm start, and Sunday’s game is a 2:30pm start in the Eastern time zone.

Back When Railway Express Agency Did It All

I have always been fascinated about Railway Express. They shipped things nobody else would even “touch with a ten-foot pole”

Found the following on the New Haven RR forum:

From the October 1955 consist book we get this little tidbit.

Railway Express Agency Service.

The Railway Express Agency, Inc., is authorized to handle their traffic in available baggage space in trains unless otherwise restricted.

Railway Express in Freight Service

HN 2 Harlem River-Stamford

HN 2 Harlem River-New Rochelle
HN 2-362 Harlem River-New HavenON 6 Danbury-Bridgeport

NX 8 Poughkeepsie-Hopewell

CF 1 Taunton-Fall River

FC 2 Fall River-Taunton

FC 2-LB 2 Fall River-Boston

Might the car(s) involved have been “baggage” cars, with or without messenger?

I would assume (dangerous lacking any evidence) that such a car (or cars) would be at the front of the train to facilitate loading/unloading under the head-end crew’s watchful eyes?  Also, at least in the case of the HN-2/362 entry, setting out and/or picking up a car at Stamford.

July 1, 1948 REA General Rules and Instructions.

So I don’t have an answer as to what types of cars they would be, or where they would be handled on the train. Although looking at the Arranged Freight Train Service books I have, they don’t call out REA traffic, so my assumption would be that they would be blocked in the appropriate classification (N. Rochelle, P. Chester, Stamford, S. Norwalk, Bridgeport, and Cedar Hill for HN-2 for example).

So looking through this, I had no idea that they shipped so many things. For example, there are a lot of rules for shipping animals, even horses. Although Rule 86 makes it clear that “Men, women or children must not be received for transportation at any price or under any circumstances.”

Shipments can be sent to non-agency locations, and they also shipped carloads, not just packages. They can be shipped directly to a consignee, which I think was primarily regarding shipments by truck, but it doesn’t specify that.

So at least in some cases, such as livestock, a shipment would be in something other than a baggage car. Carloads might be from one consignee to another (although can’t imagine why they would send it REA rather than just via the railroad), but I suspect that shipments like this would have to move via freight service for some, if not all of their trip.

I’m not sure these were regular movements, but they have to have the rules in place to handle them when they do occur.

Yes, REA handled animals and I think a wider variety than FedEx, UPS, and the USPS combined these days. Race horses in special horse cars (essentially nominally-70-foot baggage-express cars with collapsible stalls) are probably the best known but from this mid-1950s law case one gets the impression that the otherwise ‘normal’ working baggage-express car with an express messenger handled a wide variety of smaller critters on an everyday basis:

“Digestive relief”. Indeed. I like that term.

Someone in the Buffalo Terminal area likely got themselves a pure-bred Blue Tick Coon Hound at a bargain price some 60-plus years ago…

Honeybees and human remains (in caskets, of course) immediately come to mind.  Have seen both.

In the 1948 movie, The Miracle of the Bells, the body of Polish-born actress Olga Treskovna (Alida Valli) is delivered by train to her hometown.  The railroad station was Nanticoke, Pa., and the train was a PRR D-16 4-4-0 pulling a combine, or maybe a coach and combine.  The baggage section of the combine would, of course, have fallen under REA contract for the human remains cargo.

Always fascinating