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Logistics Intelligence Brief
Friday, September 10, 2021

Trucking

Yellow Corporation Provides Quarter-To-Date Operating Data for Third Quarter 2021

Yellow Press Release September 9, 2021

“We continue executing our yield strategy to ensure the optimum level of freight is flowing through the network,” said Darren Hawkins, Chief Executive Officer. “Our plan is to grow the business and we are confident that our transformation to One Yellow positions us for long-term tonnage growth. Extraordinarily tight LTL capacity with ongoing high demand matched by limits in the U.S. labor pool reinforces our near- term strategy of focusing on yield at this point in the freight transportation cycle.”

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Workforce

UPS to hire more than 100K seasonal workers for peak

Freight Waves Mark Solomon September 9, 2021

UPS said it is hiring for full- and part-time positions for drivers, driver helpers, package handlers and personal vehicle drivers. The latter is expected to become an increasingly important part of UPS’ peak delivery landscape, as well as an increasingly contentious issue with the many thousands of UPS drivers represented by the Teamsters union concerned about work being siphoned to nonunion drivers with their own vehicles. About 340,000 UPS employees are represented by the Teamsters, accounting for about one-quarter of the Teamsters’ membership of 1.4 million.
UPS said it will offer “competitive wages” to attract workers whose services may be in strong demand this holiday given the expected surge in delivery volumes. Activity will begin to climb next month and stay strong through January, UPS said.
In what may be a sign that UPS feels the need to be more aggressive, it said that most applicants will have an offer in hand within 30 minutes of applying. In years past, it took about two weeks for a seasonal applicant to receive a job offer. The company is leveraging its digital tools to dramatically reduce the response times, according to a UPS spokesman.

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Carriers Stepping Up Outreach to Recruit Driver Candidates

Transport Topics Connor D. Wolf September 9, 2021

American Trucking Associations projects the trucking industry will need to hire roughly 1.1 million new drivers over the next decade, or an average of nearly 110,000 per year, to keep pace with retirements and growing freight transportation needs.
HireRight, a provider of background screening and workforce solutions, in August released its 2021 U.S. Transportation Spotlight Report. It found that 52% of transportation professionals had planned to increase spending on job advertisements this year. Plus, 86% of respondents ranked finding qualified talent as a top concern.
“In the past, carriers typically worked individually with multiple service providers and media partners to generate drivers leads,” Priscilla Peters, vice president of marketing and training at Conversion Interactive Agency, told TT. “It involved lots of time, lots of phone calls and lots of unconnected data and analytics.”

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Amazon Dangles Free Bachelor’s Degrees as New Perk in Fight for U.S. Workers

The Wall Street Journal Chip Cutter September 9, 2021

Subscription-Based

Amazon said Thursday that it will cover the cost of tuition and books for staff pursuing bachelor’s degrees at various universities nationwide. Hourly employees will be eligible for the new perk after 90 days on the job. It didn’t identify the schools.
“Career progression is the new minimum wage,” said Ardine Williams, a vice president of workforce development at Amazon, who notes employer-funded training can help people prepare for a career that interests them. “Most adult learners don’t have the luxury of quitting their jobs and going to school full-time.”

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Industry

Diesel Exhaust Fluid Sensor Failures Sideline Thousands of Trucks

Transport Topics Eric Miller September 9, 2021

Ongoing shortages of replacement parts for failed diesel exhaust fluid quality sensors are believed to be causing thousands of trucks nationwide to be disabled and parked.
The sensors, which measure the quality and level of diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) in the tank, normally retail for roughly $300. But due to global computer chip shortages causing a backlog the part is being offered for sale — in some cases on digital retail sites such as eBay — for as much as $7,000, according to some industry technicians.
“It’s part of the global chip shortage,” Paul Enos, CEO of the Nevada Trucking Association, told Transport Topics. “We’re seeing trucks parked throughout the country. Just here in Nevada, 300 trucks are parked waiting for quality level sensors.”
Enos said there is a fail-safe that’s built into the selective catalytic reduction system of 2010 and newer trucks. “If it senses too much [nitrogen oxide] it will derate the engine,” he said.

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Government/Safety/Sustainability

Distraction, Fatigue Continue to Challenge Drivers, Study Says

Transport Topics Eric Miller September 9, 2021

The study noted that past research of crash databases has indicated that driver distraction is a primary contributing factor in approximately 25% to 30% of crashes. However, because of the research method used in the new study, Virginia Tech Transportation Institute researchers said, “It is commonly believed that the actual percentage of distraction-related crashes may be substantially higher.”
“Naturalistic data collection and reduction has become the gold-standard method for investigating driver distraction as it allows researchers to see what a driver is doing just prior to a safety-critical event in real-world settings,” the study said.
Among major findings:
Low rates of texting by drivers may indicate that information campaigns, local and national legislation changes, and individual carrier policies have had a positive impact on safe behavioral changes.
The longer a driver’s eyes were off the forward roadway — for more than 2 seconds — the greater the risk of being involved in a crash or near-crash.
The first 10 driving hours can be grouped into three parts: low significant critical event rate the first hour, moderate significant critical event rate the second hour and high significant critical event rate the third through 10th hours.

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Biden Boosts Vaccine Requirements for Large Employers, Federal Workers to Combat Covid-19

The Wall Street Journal Stephanie Armour And Sabrina Siddiqui September 9, 2021

Subscription-Based

All employers with 100 or more employees would have to require that their workers be vaccinated or undergo at least weekly Covid-19 testing under a new plan announced by President Biden to curb the spread of the pandemic.
The Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration in the coming weeks plans to issue an emergency temporary standard implementing the new requirement, which will cover 80 million private-sector workers. Businesses that don’t comply can face fines of up to $14,000 per violation.
The new mandates will cover about 100 million workers, or two-thirds of all workers in the U.S., administration officials said.

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Biden vaccine mandate may worsen low driver retention rates

Freight Waves John Gallagher September 9, 2021

The American Trucking Associations pointed out that the mandate will not be felt immediately.
“The [Department of Labor’s] Occupational Safety and Health Administration will need some time to develop its emergency rule for businesses with over 100 employees,” ATA commented in response to the plan.
“It is also worth noting that OSHA emergency rules do not have a great track record when courts review them, so they will need to carefully consider costs and benefits. As part of that process, ATA will ensure that OSHA and the White House understand the implications of the rule to our supply chain, each ATA member and all our employees.”

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