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Monday, December 21, 2020
Logistics Intelligence Brief
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Trucking

FedEx embraces peak surcharges as part of growth strategy

The Journal Of Commerce Cathy Morrow Roberson December 18, 2020

FedEx is signaling to the market that peak surcharges will play a critical role in the company’s growth strategy for the foreseeable future as it works to build efficiencies in its operations and ensure the right package is in the right network and at the right cost to serve. "I believe peak surcharges for the holiday season are the ‘new normal’ for our industry,” Brie Carere, EVP, CMO, and CCO for FedEx said during the company’s Dec. 17 quarterly earnings call. “We believe surcharges will be a part of our pricing strategy moving forward for e-commerce. They are a necessary part.” That speaks to the current reality in which parcel demand outpaces capacity, allowing operators to use surcharges not just to raise revenue, but to shape cargo flows. E-commerce demand has exploded during the COVID-19 pandemic as consumers avoid in-person shopping, soaking up available last-mile delivery capacity.

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Shippers/3PLs

The Home Depot opens automated DC in greater Atlanta

DC Velocity December 18, 2020

The DC features: A zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell charging station—a sustainable and more efficient way to power material handling equipment. For carriers, an automated check in with camera and kiosk technology, creating expedited entry and exit to the yard and less time spent waiting in line for truck drivers. More than seven miles of mechanized lines and other automation technologies, allowing products to flow in and out of the facility in a matter of hours.

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Industry

Vaccine demand to stress but not soak up capacity, say transport executives

The Journal of Commerce William B. Cassidy December 18, 2020

“The vaccines are going to take priority over everything else,” John Janson, global logistics director for apparel shipper SanMar, said during a webinar Tuesday. “If you’re a next-day air shipper, that’s going to be a problem over the next several weeks and months.” It may not be as big a problem — or a problem at all — for US truck shippers, but even dry-van truckload shippers could see an impact. President of truckload carrier CFI Greg Orr noted that it is not just vaccines that must be delivered, but also all the supplies and products needed to vaccinate more than 300 million US citizens. “We recently shipped 30 odd truckloads of syringes across the US, to have them in place,” Orr said in an interview Friday. “And beyond syringes, there’s gauze and alcohol swabs and band-aids.” Those goods take up space, but get less attention than vaccines.

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U.S. rail carload and intermodal volumes are mixed for the week ending December 12, reports AAR

Logistics Management December 18, 2020

Intermodal containers and trailers—at 308,016—saw an 11.1% annual increase, topping the weeks ending December 5 and November 28, at 297,217 and 246,504, respectively.

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Government/Safety

Asked and Answered: FMCSA Experts Address HOS Questions

Transport Topics Eleanor Lamb December 18, 2020

The final rule changed the shorthaul exception available to certain drivers by lengthening the drivers’ maximum on-duty period from 12 to 14 hours and extending the distance limit within which the driver may operate from 100 air miles to 150. While operating under the shorthaul exception, drivers are not required to fill out a log with a graph grid or use an electronic logging device; they can use a time record instead. “You do have to have some sort of account of your time,” DeLorenzo said. “Managing that and thinking through that up front is pretty important.”

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Relief Extended for License Delays due to COVID Disruptions

Truckinginfo.com December 18, 2020

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has extended the waiver of commercial drivers’ licenses, learners permits, and medical certificate requirements that was set to expire on Dec. 31. This waiver becomes effective on Jan. 1, 2021 and expires on Feb. 28, 2021. States must individually authorize the extensions. The extension was needed because potential backlogs that still exist at some state driver’s license agencies across the country from shutdowns earlier in the year. On top of that, some areas have implemented new, stricter stay-at-home orders and other emergency measures in the face of major surges in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, which will likely cause further economic and logistical disruptions.

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Ohio tops list of most dangerous states to drive; Michigan is safest

Fleet Owner John Hitch December 18, 2020

The analysis was collected from an auto insurance database holding the application records of 2.5 million drivers across the nation and separately measured the amount of drivers with: a speeding ticket, at fault accident, and DUI violation. Insurify also tabulated how many drivers sampled held one or more of these driving incidents on their application. At the time of data analysis, 16.10% of Ohio drivers had one or more speeding tickets on their record, 13.37% had at least one at-fault accident, and 2.72% had one or more DUI violations. There were 30.35% who at least one of these on their records. Wisconsin was second highest, with 30.35% with at least one incident. Curiously, the state between the top two offenders, Michigan, was found to be the safest state. It had nearly a third fewer at-fault accidents than Ohio with 5.51% (and was best in the country). Overall, Michigan nearly halved Ohio’s amount of drivers with at one of these driving violations (16.44%).

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