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Wednesday, December 23, 2020
Logistics Intelligence Brief
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YRC Freight Driver George Brown Achieves Five Million-Mile Safety Milestone

YRC Press Release December 22, 2020

After nearly 43 years of driving for YRC Freight, George Brown has reached the elite milestone of logging over five million driving miles without a single preventable accident. Based in Memphis, Tenn., he drives an average of 160,000 miles each year. For the past six years, Brown has been driving from Memphis to Houston three times a week. Each one-way trip is approximately 580 miles long, and this is Brown’s favorite route he has driven. “We look to drivers like George as outstanding examples of how we can operate with excellence every day,” said CEO Darren Hawkins. “We congratulate George on this remarkable accomplishment and thank him for his continued commitment to keeping our highways safe.” Though highways have grown busier during his driving career spanning four decades, Brown continues to enjoy and speak highly of his profession. Brown’s decades of driving have granted him a wealth of experience, and his most important advice for fellow drivers is to use the Smith System, an industry-accepted driver safety training based around five key pillars. “I’ve stood by the Smith System my entire career, and these five rules are what have kept me and others safe on the road: Aim High in Steering, Get the Big Picture, Keep Your Eyes Moving, Leave Yourself an Out and Make Sure They See You,” said Brown. “You must drive for yourself as well as everybody else. You have no control over other drivers – you can only control your own actions.” “We are all immensely proud of George and his safety achievement,” said Tamara Jalving, Vice President, Safety. “His safety record represents our focus every day at YRC Worldwide: working together to identify and control exposure, championing safety in all we do.”

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FedEx, UPS go different roads on new parcel surcharges

Freight Waves Mark Solomon December 22, 2020

For decades, an immutable law of business has been that whenever FedEx Corp. (NYSE:FDX) changed its pricing or related terms and conditions, rival UPS Inc. (NYSE:UPS) would soon follow suit. Or vice versa. However, a few changes to peak-season delivery surcharges that the two carriers announced within a week of each other signal that the long-held duopoly bond continues to fray. There are still similarities: Both carriers will reduce their levies to $3 per package to cover the “additional handling” of shipments that are difficult to manage. UPS will reduce its per-package charge on oversize shipments to $31.45 per piece from $50, not far from FedEx’s revised charge to $30 from $52.50. The effective date of the new UPS levies is Jan. 17, just one day before the revised FedEx surcharges kick in. All the revised charges will stay in effect until further notice, both carriers have said. But there are differences. For example, UPS, which disclosed its surcharges in a website post yesterday, will maintain its U.S. ground residential surcharge but cut it to 30 cents per piece from surcharge tiers of $1 to $3 per package that expire Jan. 16. FedEx’s residential delivery surcharges, which ranged from $1 to $5 a parcel and were imposed Nov. 2, will disappear entirely on Jan. 17.

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UPS to reinstate pre-holiday peak surcharges mid-January

Supply Chain Dive Emma Cosgrove December 22, 2020

As UPS and FedEx are in the middle of a massive vaccine distribution operation, the carriers are getting affairs in order for their core business come the new year. This time, UPS' surcharges are based on flat volume, rather than relative volume surge as they were in May, meaning it's possible more shippers may be subject to surcharges come January. And shippers should view "until further notice" to mean "forever," at least for planning purposes, according to Matt Hertz, co-founder of e-commerce consultancy Second Marathon. FedEx made a similar announcement last week, extending surcharges beyond January, but the surcharges and the services they cover are slightly different. UPS is reverting to the surcharge rate it put in place at the end of May. FedEx has chosen a rate lower than the one currently in place to cover holiday volume, but it's more than double the rate FedEx charged on SmartPost volume in May. UPS, however, will extend the open-ended surcharges to its Ground Residential service whereas FedEx has not — yet.

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Walmart is attempting to solve one of the biggest pain-points of online shopping

CNN Jordan Valinsky December 21, 2020

Walmart is attempting to solve one of the biggest pain-points of online shopping — the dreaded return — with a new service. The retailer announced Monday that it will pick up items shipped and sold by Walmart.com from customers' homes through a new partnership with FedEx (FDX). Walmart said the "incredibly convenient" option is free and will remain in place beyond the busy holiday shopping season. To use the new service, called "Carrier Pickup by FedEx," customers have the initiate return process on Walmart's website or app, schedule a date for pickup and print a label. Then it will be picked up by a FedEx employee.

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Holidays and health concerns continue to drive online sales in December

Digital Commerce 360 Katie Evans December 22, 2020

Retailers with curbside pickup particularly benefitted, Salesforce adds. Digital sales Dec. 1–Dec. 14 grew 52% year over year for U.S. retailers that offered curbside, drive-thru and in-store pickup options. Retailers offering these options are experiencing the most significant sales spikes over the weekends as U.S. shoppers pick up their orders when they likely have the most free time, Salesforce says.

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AscendTMS loops in DAT pricing data

The Journal Of Commerce Eric Johnson December 22, 2020

Transportation management software provider AscendTMS said Tuesday it has embedded a predictive pricing tool from DAT Solutions to allow users of its system to benchmark their rates against a forward-looking average. The integration sees AscendTMS, which provides low-cost and free versions of its transportation management system (TMS) to carriers, freight brokers, and shippers, get access to DAT’s RateView product, which provides historical and three-day average predictive pricing data on 65,000 truckload lanes. AscendTMS is owned by Tampa-based InMotion Global. For domestic freight shippers using AscendTMS, the benchmark allows them to see how their contract or spot rates compare at any given moment to DAT’s predictive rate on that lane. For carriers, the tool allows them to price their capacity more effectively in real time.

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U.S. Postal Service Struggles to Keep Up With Christmas Deliveries

The Wall Street Journal Suzanne Kapner And Paul Ziobro December 22, 2020

The Postal Service is being taxed as UPS and FedEx limit the volume of packages they accept into their systems. ShipMatrix estimated that about six million extra packages a day were being added to the Postal Service because of the restrictions imposed by the large private carriers. Truckers are waiting up to 48 hours outside some Postal Service facilities to drop off packages, Postal Service employees said on a conference call Monday. A Postal Service spokesman said record shipping volume combined with employee shortages due to Covid-19 illnesses or exposures is causing the delays and that employees worked throughout the weekend to move packages. “We are accepting all volume that is presented to us, which is adding to our challenges,” he said. A FedEx spokeswoman said the carrier is executing seven-day delivery and implementing contingencies for weather. A UPS spokesman said because it is operating a faster ground delivery network, some orders can still be placed using that option.

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Federal stimulus bill set to boost transportation interests with payroll, maintenance funding

DC Velocity Ben Ames December 22, 2020

“By passing this legislation, Congress is taking an important step toward addressing the public health crisis and providing much-needed support to transportation workers and systems across the country that are on the frontlines of this pandemic,” U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR), the chair of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, said in a release. “But make no mistake, the bill is not a panacea, and Congress must do more to respond to the needs of families and communities that are hurting amid this public health and economic crisis, including stimulus measures like those that could put millions of people back to work rebuilding our Nation’s infrastructure. I look forward to working with the Biden-Harris administration in the new year to do just that.” Other logistics highlights of the bill include: $15 billion in payroll support funding earmarked for aviation employees $10 billion for state and local transportation departments for maintenance, operations, and personnel costs. $2 billion for airports to retain personnel and continue operations continued unemployment benefits and assistance to rail workers the Aircraft Certification, Safety, and Accountability Act, bipartisan legislation to strengthen the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) aircraft certification process in the wake of the Boeing 737 MAX tragedies. the Water Resources Development Act of 2020, including some $3 billion annually from the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund for operations and maintenance of the country’s ports.

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16 lingering questions fleets have about the FMCSA’s final HOS rule

The FMCSA released its final HOS rule in May. Fleets had until the end of September to get acquainted with the four major changes, before the rule was officially implemented. At the agency's third HOS Q&A webinar Thursday, fleets had questions about all four areas of change. Though the changes can be boiled down to one or two sentences, some aspects and scenarios are complex, and the minutiae could be the difference between compliance and a violation.

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