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Logistics Intelligence Brief
Tuesday, July 25, 2023


ATA’s American Trucking Trends 2023 provides detailed overview of 2022 market activity

Logistics Management Jeff Berman July 24, 2023

Perhaps the most notable finding in the report is that ATA found that the trucking industry moved 11.46 tons of freight in 2022, topping 2021’s 10.93 million tons and 2020’s pandemic-driven 10.23 tons. What’s more, trucking took in $940.8 billion, for all of 2022, representing 80.7% of the United States’ total freight bill. That percentage figure in in line with 2021’s 80.7% tally, while 2021 revenue came in at $875.5 billion.
In terms of labor, ATA reported that the trucking industry employed 8.4 million people in 2022, in “industry-related jobs,” which marks a 405,000-person uptick, with that figure also including 3.54 million professional truck drivers. What’s more, women accounted for 8.1% of drivers, which ATA said represents an all-time high, for the seventh straight year, and is up from 2021’s 7.9%, with 18.3% of drivers identifying as Black, 4% as Asian, and 23.3% as Hispanic or Latino.
Looking at fleets, the report once again made the case for how trucking remains what the ATA calls a “small business industry,” with 95.8% of fleets operating 10 or fewer trucks, and 97.7% operating 100 or fewer.

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DAT Trendlines Truckload Volumes/Spot Rates

DAT Freight And Analytics July 24, 2023

Weekly snapshot by the numbers chart: van volumes/spot rates

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NMFTA plans development of LTL industry API roadmap

CCJ Angel Coker July 24, 2023

The National Motor Freight Traffic Association’s common standard for electronic bill of lading (eBOL) application programming interface (API) went into effect Thursday. Now the organization’s Digital LTL Council is turning its focus to developing a complete API roadmap, creating downloadable APIs that will make it possible for shippers, carriers and 3PLs to perform every function – from quote to cash – within the LTL shipment data stream digitally.

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Intermodal declines continue in June, reports IANA

Logistics Management Jeff Berman July 24, 2023

Total June volume, at 1,429,179 units, saw a 7.1% annual decrease, faring better than May’s 8.8% annual decrease, as well as a 15.4% April decrease.
Domestic containers fell 2.2% annually, to 678,165. All domestic equipment, which is comprised of trailers and domestic containers, totaled 740,921, for a 3.6% annual decrease. ISO, or international, containers, dropped 10.7%, to 688,258.
On a year-to-date basis through June, total intermodal units, at 8,088,481 units, were off 9.6% annually. Domestic containers were down 6.0% annually, to 3,894,916, and trailers fell 24.8% annually, to 375,876. All domestic equipment totaled 4,270,792, for an 8.0% decline. ISO containers were off 11.2%, to 3,817,689.

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Hefty Jump of 9.9¢ Pushes Diesel Price to $3.905 a Gallon

Transport Topics July 24, 2023

• Diesel prices rose by the most on average since a 40.1-cent upswing March 14, 2022, to settle at $5.25 a gallon.
• On July 17, the average diesel price remained unchanged ($3.806) for the first time since April 26, 2021.
• A gallon of diesel on average costs $1.363 less than it did at this time in 2022.
• The average diesel price went up in all 10 regions in EIA’s weekly survey, from a high of 13.4 cents in the Gulf Coast to a low of 1.9 cents in New England.
Link: Energy Information Administration Gasoline and Diesel Fuel Update

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Gartner: Companies should create digital twins of their customers as well as themselves

DC Velocity July 2023

The analysis comes from a Gartner survey of 380 supply chain leaders conducted in January 2023, which found that while 60% are piloting or plan to implement a digital supply chain twin (DSCT), just 27% were also planning to incorporate a DToC as part of their digital strategy.
Gartner defines DToC as a dynamic, virtual representation of a customer that simulates and learns to emulate and anticipate behavior. A DToC can and should complement a broader DSCT, helping to shift from a cost-centric and reactive posture to one that is instead proactive and growth-oriented.

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Rural States, Groups Tell EPA of Emissions Proposal Concerns

Transport Topics Noel Fletcher July 24, 2023

The long distances and sparse revenue that define operations for some rural electric utilities were the crux of concerns expressed by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, which in its comments expressed “significant concern that EPA has failed to adequately account for the costs associated with serving the new load that will be created via light- and medium-duty vehicles.”
“On average, electric cooperatives serve eight customers per mile of line and collect annual revenue of approximately $19,000 per mile, while the other utility sectors average 32 customers and $79,000 in annual revenue per mile,” said NRECA Regulatory Affairs Director Stephanie Crawford in a letter to EPA.

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CARB-EMA: A Step in the Right Direction for Zero-Emission Trucking

Heavy Duty Trucking Jack Roberts July 24, 2023

My sense is that this agreement is a positive for the North American trucking industry. It establishes easier and more reasonable guidelines and timelines for moving toward zero emissions. At the same time, it gives truck and engine OEMs more flexibility in how they reach those goals. And those are all good things that I believe will help this transition along.
There is no question that the end-use side of this emissions dilemma still needs to be addressed in a meaningful way. And perhaps we’re just not quite at the right place in the process for that yet. But maybe this agreement is a first step toward eventually putting programs together that will help fleets remain profitable and keep our supply chains functioning when ZEVs are ready and available for mass deployment.

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Truckers Largely Oppose Side Underride Guard Proposed Rule

Transport Topics Eric Miller July 24, 2023

“ATA policy is that equipment requirements should be based on sound engineering and economic principles that enhance safety, take into account real-world operations and weigh potential unintended consequences,” the trade organization wrote. “Side underride guards are approximately 40 feet long [rear guards are only about 8 feet long] and would be subjected to a wide variety of crash scenarios, but only have limited testing data on one specific scenario. ATA believes that efforts to decrease and eliminate side underride crashes should be focused on preventing the crash from occurring in the first place.”

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Silence the new normal while driving?

CCJ Tom Quimby July 20, 2023

For those accustomed to handling personal and business calls on the road, this can be a tough change but ultimately you’re a safer driver when you can focus more on driving and less on talking.
I’m reminded of a CCJ Innovator story earlier this year on Walmart’s NTransit app which manages driver workflow so drivers can focus more on driving and not have to worry about making phone calls and texting to stay on track.
“Everything is very seamless and painless. It's very painless,” longtime Walmart driver Carol Nixon told me. “You don't have to do any phone calls. I mean, it's right there.”
“Researchers have consistently linked texting or otherwise manipulating a cellphone to increased risk,” IIHS reports on their website. “Some studies, but not all, have found that talking on a cellphone also increases crash risk.”

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Multi-state speeding enforcement campaign planned for this week

Land Line Ryan Witkowski July 24, 2023

Truckers in 11 states will want to keep a close eye on their speedometers this week, with a multi-state speed enforcement campaign planned for Wednesday.
Last week, the Iowa Department of Public Safety announced that law enforcement officers would be joining 10 other states for a speed awareness campaign on July 26. On that day, the department says officers will “be on heightened alert for speeding vehicles” with a goal of “raising awareness about the dangers of speeding and urging drivers to obey speed limits.”
In addition to Iowa, law enforcement agencies in Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio and Wisconsin will be joining the one-day speeding crackdown.
“Much like impaired driving, speeding is a selfish choice with deadly consequences for drivers, passengers, and pedestrians,” the department said in a statement. “Speeding reduces a driver’s ability to steer safely around another vehicle, a hazardous object, or an unexpected curve. Even the safest cars with the newest technologies are limited in how much they can help reduce the odds of a crash.

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