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Tuesday, September 29, 2020
Logistics Intelligence Brief
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Trucking

More US truck drivers shifting to short-haul jobs

The Journal of Commerce William B. Cassidy September 28, 2020

In unadjusted raw numbers, local trucking employment climbed by 15,700 jobs to 229,100, while long-distance trucking employment, covering truckload and less-than-truckload (LTL), climbed by 8,700 jobs, the BLS data indicate. The seasonally adjusted numbers were slightly lower. It could mean fewer drivers available for long-haul runs from ports inland or from manufacturing sites to distribution centers and retail stores. It could lead more long-haul carriers to raise or change pay as they battle with short-haul jobs some drivers may find more attractive.

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Schneider ups driver pay, US Xpress predicts 15% wage boosts to battle shortage

Transport Dive Jim Stinson September 28, 2020

Truck drivers are in a drivers' market, as evidenced by Schneider's move. It will pay new team drivers up to 61 cents per mile, according to the company. Schneider said it was motivated to make the change because "the coronavirus pandemic has changed how many shippers think about their supply chains, and many shippers who rely on time-sensitive service or have high-value freight now realize the importance of having professional, safe team drivers." One reason for the urgency is the low inventory levels that have shippers demanding more freight. On top of that, many drivers laid off when COVID-19 caused parts of the economy to shut down have been harder to attract back than expected, said Todd Tranausky, FTR vice president of rail and intermodal. "As the economy slowly recovers, freight volumes will rise and drivers will become an increasingly precious commodity," the U.S. Xpress report reads. "In recent months, the industry has seen significant increases in driver turnover, which is exacerbated by lower CDL school enrollment and the recently launched Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse."

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Shippers/3PLs

Amazon sets October Prime Day dates after months-long delay

Retail Dive Ben Unglesbee September 28, 2020

Other major retailers, including Target and Walmart, have signaled that they plan to launch holiday-themed discounts earlier this year as the industry tries to navigate the season defined by COVID-19. Walmart's own data shows that 87% of its customers plan to seek out deals before Black Friday this year. The retailer has said it plans to launch discounts earlier, but has not released details yet.

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Industry

New report from Armstrong & Associates provides deep overview of U.S. e-commerce logistics market

Logistics Management Jeff Berman September 28, 2020

What’s more, the report noted that the gains in e-commerce sales continue to push U.S. e-commerce logistics costs, with a 19.9% CAGR through the end of this year and e-commerce logistics costs representing 9.9% of total U.S. retail costs. When asked if it was reasonable to expect e-commerce logistics growth to remain intact current levels even after there is eventually a COVID-19 vaccine, Evan Armstrong, president of Armstrong & Associates said it is likely. “The pandemic has forced e-commerce on to many consumers who have rarely or never shopped via the Internet previously and expanded the use of current digital shoppers,” he said in an interview. “This new way of life has made consumers more comfortable in making digital purchases, and we think this trend will continue.  For 2020, we expect U.S. 3PL E-Commerce Revenues to expand 23% with or without a vaccine.”

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Gartner: 51% of supply chain pros expect to increase circular economy focus

Supply Chain Dive A.B. Brown September 28, 2020

Fifty-one percent of supply chain professionals expect their focus on "circular economy strategies" to increase over the next two years, according to a Gartner survey of 528 supply chain professionals across the high-tech, industrial and food & beverage industries, conducted in May and June. Growth in supply chain sustainability strategies are propelled by two main factors — products as a service model gaining traction, due to consumers wary of making large purchases, and the potential for circular economic strategies to enhance the security of raw materials by utilizing end-of-life products — Gartner’s Opportunity After Crisis Survey found.  

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Diesel Falls 1¢ to $2.394 in Fourth Consecutive Decline

Transport Topics Connor D. Wolf September 28, 2020

A gallon of trucking’s main fuel stands at $2.394 a gallon. Diesel costs 67.2 cents a gallon less than it did a year ago.

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Government/Safety

Drivers on many days might be able to skip 30-minute break under new HOS regs

CCJ James Jaillet September 28, 2020

At the very least, drivers will be able to fulfill the 30-minute break requirement in a much more utilitarian way within their daily work schedules than current regulations allow. “It will have the widest impact right away,” said Daren Hansen, a fleet compliance advisor with J.J. Keller, of the coming HOS overhaul. “Today, most truck drivers have to take the break.” After the new regs take effect, “a lot of drivers will not end up needing to take a break. And even with the change, they can remain on-duty. Most drivers are not going to go eight hours straight without stopping and doing anything other than driving.”  

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Rep. Bob Latta Introduces Self-Driving Vehicle Legislation

Transport Topics Eugene Mulero September 28, 2020

House Republican policymakers aim to update the country’s rules pertaining to self-driving vehicles as the current session of Congress comes to a close. The introduction of the Safely Ensuring Lives Future Deployment and Research in Vehicle Evolution, or SELF DRIVE, Act, by Rep. Bob Latta (R-Ohio), aims to enhance the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s overview of autonomous vehicles. Doing so would potentially ensure the technology’s efficient development, testing and deployment, the measure’s proponents argue.  

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EPA Raises Legal Questions About California’s Plan to Ban New Gas-Powered Cars Starting in 2035

The Wall Street Journal Andrew Restuccia September 28, 2020

In a letter to Mr. Newsom on Monday, EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said a statewide shift to electric vehicles would strain California’s electric grid. “California’s record of rolling blackouts—unprecedented in size and scope—coupled with recent requests to neighboring states for power begs the question of how you expect to run an electric car fleet that will come with significant increases in electricity demand, when you can’t even keep the lights on today,” Mr. Wheeler wrote in the letter.

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