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Friday, April 30, 2021

Logistics Intelligence Brief

Trucking

Schneider raises 2021 outlook; finding capacity, equipment challenging

Freight Waves Todd Maiden April 29, 2021

On a Thursday call with analysts, management from Schneider National (NYSE: SNDR) said they expect the current strong freight fundamentals to carry through the rest of 2021. Elevated consumer spending, incremental federal stimulus and the need to replenish depleted inventories were some of the catalysts supporting the outlook. Schneider wants to grow TL volumes and revenue. It plans on adding a couple hundred trucks in the dedicated segment in 2021 and increasing the truck count by roughly 100 units in the over-the-road fleet. However, the new OTR fleet growth plan is 500 units lower than management’s expectation at the beginning of the year. Difficulties recruiting and retaining drivers have increased as the year has progressed.

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Werner Enterprises Reports Strong Q1 Results

Transport Topics Connor D. Wolf April 29, 2021

“Werner achieved record first-quarter operating income and earnings per share through superior operational execution,” Werner CEO Derek Leathers said in a statement. “Our experienced and talented team delivered outstanding safety and customer service performance, despite the significant challenges of a disruptive winter and a difficult driver market.” Werner credited the increase in revenue to higher pricing in truckload logistics and intermodal resulting in overall growth in logistics revenues. The company also highlighted that it expanded margins due to significantly higher revenues per total mile, strong safety performance, cost management and improved gains on sales of trucks and trailers.

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Shippers/3PLs

Amazon’s 1-day shipping in US still has work to do, CFO says

Freight Waves Mark Solomon April 29, 2021

Amazon spent more than $17.1 billion on shipping in the quarter, a 57% year-over-year gain. Olsavsky said the company will continue to spend heavily through 2021 to refine its delivery network, with a focus on providing more granular information about package status. As for Amazon’s delivery expense structure, “we think our costs are competitive with our external options,” he said. In a statement accompanying its quarterly results, Amazon said it is equipping delivery vehicles with camera safety technology and artificial intelligence to identify risky driving behaviors through the capture of real-time data. In a 2020 pilot covering more than 2 million miles of routes, the technology helped reduce crashes by 48% and stop sign violations by 20%, Amazon said. Incidents of drivers not clicking their seatbelts declined by 60%, while incidents of distracted driving decreased 45%, it said.

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Amazon insources logistics with a growing network of delivery stations

Supply Chain Dive Matt LeonardApril 29, 2021

The massive growth in Amazon's delivery network — at its delivery stations, in particular — is expected to continue in the coming years. The delivery stations connect sortation centers to the company's fleet of last-mile Amazon-branded vans, which are operated by independent contractors. Amazon is expected to grow its network of delivery stations to 506 locations in 2021, according to a forecast by MWPVL, a consulting company that tracks the growth of Amazon's operation. "We believe [there] could well be over 1,500 of these delivery stations before the dust settles," Marc Wulfraat, the president and founder of MWPVL, said Monday. It's a build-out that Wulfraat said could take between three and five years.

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Industry

First quarter intermodal volumes show ongoing gains, reports IANA

Logistics Management Jeff Berman April 29, 2021

“On the other hand, domestic containers were the one segment that did not gain from weak year-over-year comparisons,” she said. “Adjusting for that, their performance was relatively strong in the first quarter.” In the report, IANA described the outlook for intermodal growth over the balance of 2021 to be “robust,” driven by weak comparisons and an improving economic outlook. Looking at the different equipment segments it forecasted the following: total volumes are expected to be up 6.3% in 2021, following a 2.0% decline in 2020; domestic container loads are pegged to increase between 5%-6%; trailer moves are expected to increase between 2%-3%; and ISO volumes are forecasted to see an 8% increased, paced by solid import growth

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Rally in Transportation Stocks Nears 122-Year-Old Record Streak (Subscription Based)

The Wall Street Journal Sebastian Pellejero April 29, 2021

Shares of airlines, railroads and trucking companies are rolling to their longest streak of weekly gains in more than a century, fueled by investors’ optimism that a resurgence in economic growth will boost profits at transportation companies. The Dow Jones Transportation Average added 0.8% Thursday and remained on track to advance for a 13th consecutive week. That would be the index’s longest streak of weekly gains since it rose for 15 consecutive weeks ended in January 1899. The rally underscores investors’ expectations that the rebounding economy will lift the performance of companies carrying goods and raw materials, such as Norfolk Southern Corp. and Expeditors International of Washington Inc. The transportation average has gained more than 23% this year to record levels, beating the Dow Jones Industrial Average’s 11% climb to its own recent highs.

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Workforce

Amazon Raising Pay for Hundreds of Thousands of Workers (Subscription Based)

The Wall Street Journal Sebastian Herrera April 29, 2021

The company said Wednesday that more than 500,000 of its employees would see pay increases of between 50 cents and $3 an hour. Amazon, which offers a starting wage of $15 an hour and employs roughly 950,000 people in the U.S., said the raises represented an investment of more than $1 billion. The pay increase covers a variety of workers and schedules, but averaged over the total number of employees Amazon said would be affected, it would amount to about $40 a week per worker. Amazon said its starting wage is still $15 an hour. The company declined to say what the average raise will be for workers and said that depends on factors such as how long an employee has been at the company.

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Government/Safety/Sustainability

Connecticut Republicans Attack Governor’s Truck-Tax Plan

Connecticut Post/Transport Topics Ken Dixon April 29, 2021

Joe Sculley, who as president of the Motor Transport Association of Connecticut represents the state’s haulers, said the TCI could “crush” small business in the state by raising prices. “It’s just a money grab,” he said, adding that the truck mileage tax has failed in 20 states. He stressed that with no auditing in the rule, out-of-state-based companies would not pay it. He called for the state to use its emergency reserves of more than $3 billion and federal pandemic relief of $2.7 billion to fund the state’s transportation infrastructure needs. Additional money may come from the federal government to Connecticut under President Joe Biden’s proposed infrastructure program.

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