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Logistics Intelligence Brief
Wednesday, November 30, 2022


Dry Van Report: Truckload demand is still higher than this time last year

DAT.com Dean Croke November 29, 2022

Truckload demand remains strong despite the headline-grabbing talks of a freight recession. All reputable and representative truckload demand indicators point to volumes being up year-over-year, not down. If you have significant exposure to retail freight, volumes are certainly lower than in previous years, but that’s just one segment of the truckload industry. According to the most recent Cass Shipments Index, year-over-year, shipments for October were up 2.9% from 2021, 3.7% from 2020, 6.3% from 2019, and even 2018, the latter being an excellent year for truckload carriers. The ATA Truck Tonnage Index reported freight volume up 5.5% in September and 2.3% y/y in October.
According to Prof. Jason Miller and Yemisi Bolumole at Michigan State University, their trucking ton-mile index (TTMI) for the end of the third quarter showed activity up 0.3% m/m and 4.2% y/y. Miller said, “The robust year-over-year growth was driven by manufacturing output and inflation-adjusted wholesale trade gains.

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Cyber Monday Sales on Track to Break Record Despite Inflation

Bloomberg/Transport Topics Spencer Soper November 29, 2022

U.S. shoppers spent $11.3 billion on Cyber Monday, a robust showing that suggests steep discounts attracted inflation-stung shoppers.
Spending increased 5.8% from a year ago, making it the biggest online shopping day ever, according to Adobe Inc., which compiles the data. Adobe adjusted its online spending forecast for November and December slightly upward based on higher-than-expected spending through Cyber Monday.
Related: TechCrunch Cyber Monday online sales hit a record $11.3B, driven by demand, not just inflation, says Adobe

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Rail shippers confident Congress will avert strike

The Journal Of Commerce Ari Ashe November 29, 2022


A collection of trade groups representing railroads and their shipper customers expressed confidence Tuesday that Congress will pass legislation to avert a crippling rail strike before Dec. 9, urging bipartisan support on Capitol Hill to codify into law the tentative agreement reached in September.
While uncertainty still exists, the likelihood of a strike halting rail traffic across the US during the holiday season has diminished significantly after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Monday evening that the House of Representatives is drafting a bill to prevent a strike.
Related: Transport Topics Government Poised to Intervene in Freight Rail Fight

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Inside Biden’s decision to halt a rail strike

Politico Ben White November 29, 2022

President Joe Biden knew he would be risking a backlash from his labor allies if he stepped in to head off a holiday-season rail strike.
But the dangers a strike would pose to the U.S. economy and Americans’ health and safety proved too great as months of talks barreled toward a Dec. 9 deadline with no resolution in sight, White House aides said Tuesday after Biden asked Congress to impose a settlement that left many union supporters angered.
Related: The Hill Here’s what you need to know about the rail strike Congress is trying to stop

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Did the pandemic really kill just-in-time? Experts weigh in.

Supply Chain Dive Sarah Zimmerman November 29, 2022

Just-in-time supply chains took a lot of heat during the pandemic after empty shelves laid bare the pitfalls of ordering as little inventory as possible in the name of efficiency.
But, with retailers now struggling with inventory glut and overstocked warehouses, could the lean operating model be making a comeback?
Experts are mixed: While some believe that just-in-time has no place in the supply chains of the future, others say a modified version of the strategy will still be necessary to maintain resilience while keeping costs down.
Supply Chain Dive reached out to three experts in supply chain management to ask: Did the pandemic kill just-in-time? Here are their responses, which may be edited for length and clarity.

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Should supply chain planning shift from resiliency into antifragility?

Supply Chain Management Review Janet Suleski November 29, 2022

The events of recent years have brought into question whether companies should create truly antifragile supply chains that could face a stressor such as a pandemic and emerge not untouched, but still intact, and even stronger than before the pandemic.
Antifragility is a concept developed and explored by Nassim Nicholas Taleb in his book, Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder. He defines antifragility as different from the currently popular resiliency philosophy. “Antifragility is beyond resilience or robustness. The resilient resists shocks and stays the same; the antifragile gets better.”

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Amazon launches cloud-based software for supply chain visibility

DC Velocity Ben Ames November 29, 2022

Mega-retailer Amazon.com today launched a cloud-based application for logistics companies that it says can help users to improve supply chain visibility, mitigate supply chain risks, and lower costs.
The “AWS Supply Chain” product is a unit of the firm’s Amazon Web Services arm, which—along with competitors like Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud—rents computer server space to companies that operate cloud-based software products.
Related: The Wall Street Journal Amazon Launches Supply-Chain Software Service
Link: Amazon Press Center AWS Announces AWS Supply Chain

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Supply chain cyberattacks to ramp up in 2023

DC Velocity November 29, 2022

From malware to ransomware and everything in between, hackers are everywhere these days, putting businesses, consumers, and governments at ever-increasing risk of cyberattack. Supply chains top the list of prime targets heading into 2023, according to a list of seven cybersecurity trends to watch from encryption technology company NordLocker, released this week.
“Cybersecurity never stops evolving because digital technologies are increasingly overtaking each part of our lives, in turn increasing the scope cybersecurity tools should cover,” NordLocker’s Chief Technology Officer Tomas Smalakys said in a press release. “This ever-changing nature of the cybersecurity field makes each week, month, and year different from those that have passed, making it extremely important to stay two steps ahead of emerging threats.”
Related: Fleet Owner Cybersecurity: 'White hats' offer tips to help execs head off hackers

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Trucking Stakeholders Express Concerns Over Electronic Identifiers

Transport Topics Eric Miller November 29, 2022

A proposal by federal regulators to require unique electronic identifiers on large trucks wasn’t well received by many of the nation’s motor carriers and independent truckers.
In fact, the large majority of the more than 2,000 comments sampled on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s website were clearly either vehemently opposed to the idea, or took a wait-and-see position.

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Biden backs shift to zero-emissions truck sales at COP27

Transport Dive Colin Campbell November 29, 2022

The Biden administration has joined an international commitment to support the shift of all new medium- and heavy-duty vehicle sales to zero-emission vehicles by 2040, according to a news release.
The U.S. signed onto the non-binding memorandum of understanding at COP27 in Copenhagen, Denmark on Nov. 17. The agreement also includes an interim target of converting 30% of medium- and heavy-duty vehicle sales to zero emissions by 2030.

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Why America Doesn’t Have Enough EV Charging Stations

The Wall Street Journal Jennifer Hiller November 29, 2022


Utility companies and gas stations are at war with each other over who will own and operate EV chargers. Rural states say some charging stations could operate at a loss for a decade or more. New companies that provide charging gear and services are contending with the equipment’s spotty reliability.
The network’s build-out has a chicken-or-egg quality: EV advocates say many drivers will only be comfortable purchasing vehicles if rapid charging is as easy as using a pump at a gas station. Yet businesses interested in offering charging say they can’t make money until more EVs are on the road.
There are more than 145,000 places to refuel a gas-powered vehicle. So far, the U.S. has 11,600 points where any EV can charge quickly, according to the research group Atlas Public Policy.
Related: The Wall Street Journal Biden Administration Pressed by Allied Nations to Revise EV Subsidy Program

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