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Logistics Intelligence Brief
Thursday, July 29, 2021

Workforce

Carriers Must Look Beyond Pay to Attract Drivers, Data Shows

Transport Topics Connor D. Wolf July 28, 2021

“Company benefits, I think, is a big one, being more than just a number,” Hardy, who heads a course at Wayne Community College in Goldsboro, N.C., told Transport Topics. “I think the first thing that grabs their attention, obviously, is pay. Then they’ll start looking at longevity, the benefits that the companies have and so on and so forth.” Hardy asked his students before being interviewed what would make them stay with a company other than pay. He said they responded with benefits, insurance and treating the drivers well. He noted pay might be the first thing drivers notice, but it won’t necessarily be what makes them pick or stay with a carrier. “I think as far as No. 1, respect for the drivers,” Hardy said. “From a company standpoint, I’m going to make sure I do things right. Making sure my trucks are clean so people get to see good clean-looking equipment, make sure I’ve got a good maintenance program.”

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Equipment, Compensation Remain Top Driver Concerns

Truckinginfo.com July 28, 2021

Equipment continues to be the top issue for professional truck drivers for the sixth consecutive quarter, according to PDA data gathered from drivers during their first 180 days of employment. As in the two previous quarters, the two most mentioned concerns by drivers were equipment (34%) and compensation issues (24%). Issues with compensation dropped in second quarter 2021 from 25% in first quarter 2021. “For the sixth quarter in a row, equipment and compensation issues continue to be the top driver issue,” said Scott Dismuke, PDA’s director of operations, in a press release. “The fact that these two issues are at the top is not an anomaly. As we have examined the data, drivers that experience equipment issues, also experience compensation issues weeks later as a result of being in the shop.” Link: PDA Driver Survey Results

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Government/Safety/Sustainability

ATA, Freight Stakeholders Push Back on US Senate’s PRO Act

Transport Topics Eugene Mulero July 28, 2021

Freight stakeholders are voicing opposition to a bill currently being debated in the U.S. Senate that aims to make changes to federal classification for workers. American Trucking Associations and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are among those countering provisions in the Protecting the Right to Organize, or PRO, Act, which — among other things — would revise the federal definitions of an employee, supervisor and employer. “The government should respect and support the Americans who choose to become owner-operators in the trucking industry. Conversely, the government should not force those Americans out of business by insisting on the authoritarian view that employee status is better for them,” said Edwin Gilroy, ATA’s senior vice president of legislative affairs, in a letter to the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee. He emphasized the bill has the potential to jeopardize the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of owner-operators in the trucking industry, destabilizing supply chains and irreparably harming the national economy. The bill would define a company as the employer in cases where a franchisor is determined to be exerting substantial management in the workplace. The legislation also would expand efforts linked to collective bargaining in the workplace. In the evenly divided Senate, the legislation currently is short of the requisite votes for approval. The U.S. House of Representatives approved a version of the bill earlier this year.

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New $1.2 trillion infrastructure deal pleases truckers; human infrastructure ahead

Logistics Management John Schulz July 28, 2021

The deal calls for roughly $1 trillion in infrastructure spending. More than half is “new” money, including some $40 billion in spending to fix bridges, $39 billion to mass transit, $55 billion for water infrastructure. The other $500 billion or so is for renewal of the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act) that expires Sept. 30. Trucking interests and other business groups hailed the compromise as an example of Washington finally able to “get things done.” “It’s refreshing to see Congress do its job and address national problems facing businesses and families. Americans, and the hardworking men and women who carry this economy on trucks, have waited long enough for Washington to act on our decaying infrastructure,” American Trucking Associations President and CEO Chris Spear said in a statement.

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Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal Advances in Senate (Subscription Based)

The Wall Street Journal Andrew Duehren And Kristina Peterson July 28, 2021

The infrastructure agreement is expected to include $110 billion for improvements to roads and bridges and $39 billion in new funding to modernize public transit and replace thousands of buses with zero-emission vehicles, according to Senate and White House summaries. The legislation will also allot $66 billion for passenger and freight rail systems, including Amtrak, as well as $7.5 billion to build a national network of electric vehicle charging stations. The bill will target $17 billion toward ports, $25 billion for airport improvements, as well as roughly $50 billion to better equip communities to withstand extreme weather events and cyberattacks, according to the summaries. A $65 billion expansion of broadband Internet access, $55 billion for clean drinking water and a $73 billion investment in clean energy transmission are also expected to be included. Much of the rest of the funding in the bill will go toward authorizing existing infrastructure programs.

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Industry

Global recovery drives air cargo volume to four-year high (Subscription Based)

The Journal Of Commerce Greg Knowler July 28, 2021

“Air cargo is doing brisk business as the global economy continues its recovery from the COVID-19 crisis,” Willie Walsh, director-general of IATA, said in a statement Wednesday. “Importantly, the strong first-half performance looks set to continue.” Total volume grew 8 percent in the first six months of 2021 compared with the same period in pre-pandemic 2019, an even more remarkable achievement considering that half the capacity on major trades is unavailable in the bellies of grounded passenger aircraft. Underwriting the demand are the fast-recovering economies of the US, Europe, and Asia, combined with the supply chain disruptions that IATA described as being “highly supportive for air cargo.” The IHS Markit Purchasing Managers’ Indices, leading indicators of air cargo demand, show that in the US, Europe, and China, business confidence is growing, manufacturing output and new orders are increasing rapidly, and an expected shift in consumer spending from goods to services has yet to materialize. This has caused the US inventory-to-sales ratio to fall to a record low, and IATA noted that quickly replenishing stock typically requires the use of air cargo. IHS Markit is the parent company of JOC.com.

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