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Wednesday, July 22, 2020
Logistics Intelligence Brief
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Trucking

June Tonnage Dips 1.3% Year-Over-Year

Transport Topics Dan Ronan July 21, 2020

Truck tonnage in June declined 1.3% when compared with year-ago levels, but on a monthly basis surged 8.7% above May, American Trucking Associations reported July 21. The ATA For-Hire Truck Tonnage seasonally adjusted index registered 115.3 last month compared with 116.8 a year ago. Year-to-date, tonnage is down 2.4% compared with the first half of 2019, ATA said. “Not surprisingly, as more states lifted restrictions in June, truck tonnage was robust,” ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello said in a statement, noting that while the sequential gain over May was the best monthly improvement since January 2013, it was not enough to return tonnage to pre-pandemic levels. “But it is close,” he said. Looking ahead, Costello said, “I am hearing good anecdotal freight reports for July, but I am concerned that freight could slow as more states reinstate restrictions due to increasing coronavirus cases.”

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Industry

ACT: June orders show start of freight, production revival

Transport Dive Jim Stinson July 21, 2020

Class 8 orders for June indicate a revival in production and freight, ACT Research said in its monthly report on OEM sales. ACT reported 16,010 net orders in June, up 139.3% from 6,690 units in May. Orders for Class 5-7 trucks also had their best sequential monthly movement since just after the Great Recession ended in September 2009, ACT said. The overall commercial vehicle market is returning to normal, according to the report. Part of the surge is just the base of comparison, a time when many OEMs idled for several weeks during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Steve Tam, ACT VP and analyst. Triple-digit percentile point leaps are not likely a trend because orders rebounded from what is likely to be a low point in recent history.

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CCJ Daily Dispatch, July 21: Fuel prices flatten following big drop-off in early 2020

CCJ July 21, 2020

During the most recent week ending July 20, the national average price fell by a half-cent to bring the average price for a gallon of on-highway diesel to $2.433, which is up from the 2020 low of $2.386 that was seen during the week ending June 1. Prices increased in all regions during the most recent week except in the West Coast less California region, which saw a three-tenths of a cent increase. The largest decrease was seen in New England, where fuel prices fell by 2.4 cents. The nation’s most expensive fuel can be found in California at $3.248 per gallon, followed by the Central Atlantic region at $2.699 per gallon. The cheapest diesel is in the Gulf Coast region at $2.198 per gallon, followed by the Midwest region at $2.309 per gallon.

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Smarthop targets small truckload carrier standardization

The Journal of Commerce Eric Johnson July 21, 2020

Small carriers wanting to tap into shipper demand via truck brokers have typically struggled with two intertwined elements: a lack of funds to invest in back office technology and a lack of access to freight beyond fragmented load boards. The rise of app-based brokers and technologies that empower incumbent brokers has helped corral those carriers to a certain extent, but a Miami-based startup on Tuesday landed a funding round to organize the US small carrier base even further. Smarthop, which received $4.5 million in seed funding from a group of venture capital firms, wants to aggregate capacity from small fleets and independent owner-operators so that they collectively work with brokers as a large truckload provider would.

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2020 YTD Class 8 Natural Gas Truck Sales Drop 22% Through May

Truckinginfo.com July 21, 2020

According to ACT Research, both U.S. and Canadian Class 8 natural gas truck retail sales for the first five months of 2020 dropped 22% year-to-date over 2019, as published in its quarterly report, Alternative Fuels Quarterly. The report, which provides insight, analysis, and trends about alternative fuel/power adoption for the U.S. heavy- and medium-duty commercial vehicle markets, details adoption considerations such as fuel prices, fuel/charging infrastructure development, equipment prices/products/technological developments, and regulatory changes. Natural gas truck sales data and a forecast for new natural gas adoption are also included.

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Government/Safety

FMCSA announces virtual 2020 Truck Safety Summit

Fleet Owner Catharine Conway July 21, 2020

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced that its public meeting, “The FMCSA 2020 Trucking Safety Summit,” will be held virtually through GoToWebinar on August 5 from 9:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m. EDT to discuss how to improve safe operation of property-carrying commercial motor vehicles on the road. The virtual sessions will provide motor carriers, drivers, safety technology developers and users, safety advocacy groups and more — as well as members of the public – an opportunity to share their ideas on improving trucking safety.

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Emptier Roads Not Resulting in Increase in Safety, Data Says

Transport Topics Eleanor Lamb July21, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has rendered U.S. roadways emptier and more lethal, according to preliminary data from the National Safety Council. NSC, which focuses on eliminating the leading causes of preventable injuries and deaths, released estimates indicating that motor vehicle fatality rates rose in May, despite quarantines. Preliminary data for May shows a 23.5% jump in the fatality rate per miles driven compared with figures from the previous year. The group released the estimates July 21 during a webinar focused on roadway safety during the pandemic. The mileage death rate per 100 million vehicle miles driven was 1.47 in May, an increase from 1.19 recorded in May 2019. Even though the fatality rate jumped, the number of miles driven in May dropped 25.5% compared with levels from the previous year.

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Breaking down clearinghouse misconceptions

Fleet Owner Cristin Commendatore July 21, 2020

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse is fully operational, and mandatory use is in effect for all commercial truck fleets and owner-operators who require a commercial driver’s license (CDL). On July 13, FMCSA released its latest Clearinghouse Monthly Summary Report, covering data reported through June 2020. The report includes information on the number of registrations, queries conducted, violations reported, and drivers in the return-to-duty (RTD) process. As of July 1, 122,190 employers and 38,719 owner-operators registered in the clearinghouse. For June, drug and alcohol violations reported in the clearinghouse totaled 25,761, with 25,168 drug violations and 593 alcohol violations. The clearinghouse contains records of violations of drug and alcohol prohibitions, including positive drug or alcohol test results and test refusals. When a CDL holder completes the RTD process and follow-up testing plan, this information is also recorded in the clearinghouse.

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