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Tuesday, September 15, 2020
Logistics Intelligence Brief
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Trucking

FedEx to hike tariff rates, surcharges in January

Freight Waves Mark Solomon September 14, 2020

The increases will apply to shipments tendered to the Memphis, Tennessee-based company’s FedEx Express air and international unit, the FedEx Ground and Home Delivery units, and its FedEx Freight less-than-truckload (LTL) operation. FedEx Freight’s increases will range between 4.9% and 5.9% on shipments between the U.S. and Canada, Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Separately, the company will increase the “accessorial fees” on nearly 40 services, effective Jan. 4. FedEx’s accessorial charges, which are add-on fees separate from basic pickup and delivery service, have been increasing in number and cost over the years. UPS Inc. (NYSE:UPS), FedEx’s chief rival, has a similar history. Link:  FedEx Press Release Shipping Rates to Increase for FedEx Express, FedEx Ground and FedEx Freight Services

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FedEx will hike shipping rates as retailers see e-commerce costs climb higher

DC Velocity Ben Ames September 14, 2020

According to the company, its FedEx Express, FedEx Ground, and FedEx Freight divisions will all institute a price increase of 4.9% for most services and regions. In addition, the company will roll out increased surcharges on January 18 for activities such as additional handling, “high cost service areas,” and “international out-of-delivery-areas.” FedEx also plans to add late fees for unpaid invoices and for fuel surcharges.

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U.S. Xpress celebrates its drivers, elects former FedEx Freight CEO to board of directors

Fleet Owner September 14, 2020

“We are truly honored to welcome Mike to our board,” said U.S. Xpress president and CEO Eric Fuller. “His more than four decades in top leadership roles with the world’s largest logistics company along with his specialized focus and deep involvement in the trucking industry brings a wealth of valuable insight to our board.”

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Shippers/3PLs

48% of frequent online shoppers show interest in Walmart’s new membership program

Digital Commerce 360 Don Davis September 14, 2020

Walmart Inc. can expect a warm response to its new Walmart+ membership program from consumers who shop online frequently. Overall, 41.1% of the 604 online shoppers surveyed by Digital Commerce 360 said they were very (14.9%) or somewhat (26.2%) likely to join Walmart+. But the interest is higher among avid web shoppers: 47.7% of consumers who shop online at least once a week said they are very (19.2%) or somewhat (28.5%) likely to sign up for Walmart+.

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Industry

National Average Price of Diesel Sheds 1.3¢ in Second Consecutive Decline

Transport Topics Dan Ronan September 14, 2020

The national average price of diesel dropped 1.3 cents a gallon to $2.422, the Energy Information Administration reported Sept. 14. Diesel costs 56.5 cents a gallon less than it did a year ago after the second straight weekly drop. The average price for trucking’s main fuel fell in all 10 regions in EIA’s survey. The national average price of a gallon of gasoline, meanwhile, fell 2.8 cents a gallon to $2.183.

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August Trailer Orders Jump Almost 50%

Truckinginfo.com September 14, 2020

According to FTR, preliminary U.S. trailer orders for August increased 49% since July to 28,700 units, the biggest jump since October 2019. Orders were also 174% higher than August 2019, with trailer orders totaling 191,000 units for the last 12 months. “August’s hearty order total was a welcome and needed surprise,” said Don Ake, FTR vice president of commercial vehicles. “The volume was much higher than expected and an indication that the industry is making a surprisingly quick recovery from the pandemic.”

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BNSF veteran Farmer named new CEO

The Journal of Commerce Ari Ashe September 14, 2020

Kathryn Farmer, a 28-year veteran of BNSF Railway who came up through the intermodal ranks, will become CEO of the western railroad effective Jan. 1, 2021. She will replace Carl Ice, who has held the job since 2014, the company announced Monday. Farmer will become the first female CEO of a North American Class I railroad after spending the last two years as executive vice-president of operations. Matt Igoe, BNSF's vice-president of transportation, will take over Farmer's role as executive vice-president of operations. Related:   The Wall Street Journal Berkshire Hathaway’s BNSF Railway Names Kathryn Farmer as CEO

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Not Even a $23 Billion Buyout Is Rich Enough for a Railroad Anymore

Bloomberg Brook Sutherland September 14, 2020

Railroads have only gotten more expensive as they boosted their profitability by minimizing the labor, capital, and cars needed to operate. Buffett offered about 18 times BNSF’s expected 2010 earnings per share, Bloomberg News calculated at the time; Blackstone and GIP were offering more than 25 times Kansas City Southern’s estimated 2021 profits on the same measure.

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FourKites gets granular with PO visibility product

The Journal of Commerce Eric Johnson September 14, 2020

Supermarket retailer Meijer has begun using a new product from freight visibility provider FourKites that will enable it to track items at the purchase order (PO) level rather than the shipment or carrier level. The PO visibility product, which Meijer helped Chicago-based FourKites develop, is designed to allow suppliers to more effectively communicate estimated times of arrival of products to downstream partners and for retailers to extract more granular shipment location information from their suppliers. “Customers are not necessarily interested in the paths of how [a product] got to them, or what a tracking number looks like, or what a purchase order number looks like,” Paul Thompson, inbound logistics director at Meijer, said last week in a presentation at FourKites’ user conference, where the deal was announced. “They just want to know where their product is.”

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Technology/Innovation

Tesla’s Musk miffed over fellow billionaire’s takedown of electric trucks

Freight Waves Linda Baker September 14, 2020

In the Gates blog post, “How do we move around in a zero-carbon world?” the tech pioneer and philanthropist expressed doubt about the potential for EVs as long-haul vehicles. “Batteries are big and heavy,” Gates wrote, and “even with big breakthroughs in battery technology, electric vehicles will probably never be a practical solution for things like 18-wheelers, cargo ships, and passenger jets.” “Electricity works when you need to cover short distances, but we need a different solution for heavy, long-haul vehicles.” Related:  Truckinginfo.com Nikola Hits Back at Hindenburg Report

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Government/Safety

Deadlines Come and Go for National Highway Laws

Transport Topics Eugene Mulero September 14, 2020

Nearly 100 transportation groups consisting of the dominant players in their sectors and industries recently presented House and Senate leaders with a plan. Essentially, in so many words, they proposed the approval of a yearlong extension of the FAST Act’s provisions, with emergency funding for departments of transportation and public transit agencies nationwide to the tune of $37 billion and $32 billion, respectively. And ensure the solvency of the Highway Trust Fund during the yearlong extension. The trust fund, which helps cover the costs of the nation’s highway and transit systems, depends on insufficient revenue from fuel taxes.

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FMCSA Extends COVID-19 Relief Exemption Through End of Year

Truckinginfo.com September 14, 2020

This extension continues the exemption granted from Parts 390 through 399 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, for direct emergency assistance for some supply chains. It is limited to the transportation of:

  • Livestock and livestock feed;
  • Medical supplies and equipment related to the testing, diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19;
  • Supplies and equipment necessary for community safety, sanitation, and prevention of community transmission of COVID-19 such as masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, soap and disinfectants; and
  • Food, paper products, and other groceries for emergency restocking of distribution centers or stores.
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Workforce

2020 National Truck Driver Appreciation Week Kicks Off

Transport Topics September 13, 2020

Fleets and others in the industry are rolling out the red carpet Sept. 13-19 to show truck drivers appreciation for all they do, which is vital in any year but has been magnified even more in 2020 due to the industry's response as essential workers to the coronavirus pandemic. Be sure to check out our Trucking's Frontline Heroes project, also released this week, which pays tribute to drivers and others who went above and beyond the call of duty to keep critical food supplies, products, medicines and medical equipment moving during the crisis. LinkATA’s National Truck Driver Appreciation Week Video

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Business

AmCham: 71% of businesses have no plans to leave China despite souring trade relations

Supply Chain Dive Matt Leonard September 14, 2020

U.S. businesses in China view the trade war between the two countries as a long-term situation, with nearly 27% of companies believing it will last indefinitely (up from almost 17% in 2019) and nearly 23% believing it will last another three to five years (up from about 13% in 2019), according to a survey published Wednesday by the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai and PwC.

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