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Friday, May 7, 2021

Logistics Intelligence Brief

Trucking

Trucking Growth Expected to Be Strong Amid Recovery, Expert Says

Transport Topics Connor D. Wolf May 6, 2021

Pointing to data from industry tracking firm FTR, Woodcock noted that dry van volume is currently running about 2% above the 2018 average, with continued strengthening expected this year. He said FTR is forecasting dry van volume for 2021 will exceed 2020 by about 10.2% and 2018 by 4.2%. “Pretty respectable growth,” Woodcock said. “That’s dry van on the whole.” He also pointed to an FTR forecast for demand by distance — specifically, loadings in excess of 150 miles that he called a “sweet spot” for intermodal. “They’re expecting those loads to be up about 9.5% this year versus last, and about 5.5% [above] 2018.” Woodcock noted. “Trailer volume is really bursting at the seams right now. Up 20% versus 2020, but in comparison to 2018, trailer volume is actually down 13%.”

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Industry

Intermodal savings hit records, but could be short lived (Subscription Based)

The Journal of Commerce Ari Ashe May 6, 2021

Intermodal service lags While shippers had access to significant savings, intermodal service was unreliable and inconsistent in the first quarter, with congestion for both domestic and international loads. With so many outbound loads, especially on the West Coast, inland rail terminals are running low on space. UP told investors on earnings calls that its trip-plan compliance percentage fell sequentially in the first quarter and short of its target of around 90 percent. Trip plan compliance measures how often a container or a trailer was loaded onto a train, taken to a destination, and offloaded on schedule. BNSF Railway (BNSF) told intermodal customers in a video posted online Apr. 15 that service “has not met your expectations or the expectations we place on ourselves.” This week, BNSF tightened restrictions on how many containers can be brought into its Los Angeles and Chicago terminals, a move J.B. Hunt Transportation Services called “a step back” in fluidity in a May 3 advisory.

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Some of the country’s largest suppliers see widespread summer fuel shortage unlikely amid tight tank driver supply and booming demand

CCJ Jason Cannon May 6, 2021

Steve Rush, past-chairman of the National Tank Truck Carriers association and CEO of Whartron, New Jersey-based lubricant base oil petroleum product hauler Carbon Express, said "the driver shortage is not perceived. It is real. Liquid bulk shipments are on average out two weeks right now with no immediate relief in sight." The age of tank drivers tends to skew on the higher end of industry's average age of 50, and "when COVID hit," Rush said, "the petroleum side of the trucking industry got really smacked hard because they had a lot of older drivers. And they're not coming back."

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Workforce

Ceva Offers $10K-$20K Sign-On Incentives

Truckinginfo.com May 6, 2021

Ceva Logistics is encouraging U.S. truck drivers to join its transport team by offering sign-on incentives of $10,000 for solo drivers and $20,000 for team drivers to further build the company’s nationwide ground transportation capabilities. The team truck sign-on incentive is $20,000 with a lump sum first settlement of $5,000 on first dispatch and the remainder paid quarterly during the first year. In the case of a solo driver, the package will be $10,000 with $3,000 paid on first dispatch and the remainder paid quarterly during the first year.

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Technology/Innovation

Walmart vet gets VC funding for perishable trucking platform (Subscription Based)

The Journal of Commerce Eric Johnson May 6, 2021

A startup that connects produce shippers directly with refrigerated (reefer) truckload carriers has raised a $10 million series A round of funding to grow its platform, which is designed to eliminate the need for brokers to serve as middlemen. Founded by Syed Aman, a former director of supply chain at Walmart, Hwy Haul gives farmers, distributors, wholesalers, and retailers access to instant quotes from the technology provider’s network of “thousands of pre-vetted [reefer] carriers.” The platform then gives shippers the ability to book capacity against those quotes and get associated load tracking, including humidity and temperature monitoring.

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Government/Safety/Sustainability

Stay alert and slow down through work zones

Freight Waves Jack Glenn May 6, 2021

Large trucks are involved in one-third of all fatal crashes in work zones, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The agency issued a press release last week detailing its findings, and urging drivers to stay alert, obey traffic signs and allow all vehicles extra space around them. “Around most parts of the country, there’s two seasons: winter and construction,” said Reliance Partners Director of Safety Brian Runnels. Traffic cones and warning signs are supposed to slow traffic to a crawl, reducing the risk of injuries amid adverse road conditions, but these “safety zones” are often the scenes of deadly accidents. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) reports that 842 people lost their lives nationwide in highway work zone crashes in 2019, the most recent year with data on record. The previous year’s total was 757, marking an 11.2% increase in fatalities and the largest percentage increase of deadly accidents in highway work zones this century.

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Industry discussion pinpoints ADAS adoption challenges

Fleet Owner Erica Schueller May 6, 2021

Perceived barriers to adoption The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Tech-Celerate Now program is a joint effort between numerous industry groups, including the American Trucking Associations (ATA), the ATA Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC), ATRI, and Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) Foundation. The Tech-Celerate Now program looks to research and educate the commercial vehicle industry on ADAS development, implementation, and impact.

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