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Logistics Intelligence Brief
Monday, October 25, 2021

Trucking

Cowen Inc. and AFS Logistics LLC issue new Freight Index, with a forward-looking view

Logistics Management Jeff Berman October 22, 2021

“Freight is a rapidly changing industry and the ability to track its performance has become a critical component of the investment process for our clients,” said Jason Seidl Cowen’s Senior Analyst for Airfreight & Surface Transportation, in a statement. “There is strong demand for tools to accurately monitor and predict sector trends. The Cowen/AFS Freight Index is designed to fill that void. Using applied machine learning, data science and the annual transportation spend at AFS since 2018 to give a strong picture of the overall market, the Freight Index currently forecasts, among other things, that we should see the TL rate market reach a new high in the fourth quarter of 2021, with LTL rates expected to grow at an even larger clip.”

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Workforce

Driver Shortage Again Tops ATRI Top Industry Issues List

Transport Topics Dan Ronan October 24, 2021

According to the ATRI report, concerns over the driver shortage garnered more than four times as many first-place votes as the No. 2 issue, driver retention. Ranking third was driver compensation, followed by lawsuit abuse reform in fourth and the lack of available truck parking in fifth. The shortage of diesel technicians made the list for the first time, landing in 10th place.

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Government/Safety/Sustainability

FMCSA’s Joshi discusses recruiting, supply chain challenges, more in meetings with Midwest trucking groups

CCJ October 25, 2021

“Truck drivers are essential professionals who have been working on the front lines of this pandemic," Joshi said. "It’s hard to overstate the critical nature of trucking to the wellbeing of our nation. Truck driving is a vital segment of the supply chain, and our focus is on continually enhancing workplace practices while improving efficiencies including decreasing driver detention time while ensuring the highest level of safety possible for every roadway traveler.”

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Shippers/3PLs

Amazon launches in-store pickup, local delivery option for businesses

Supply Chain Dive Kaarin Vembar October 22, 2021

Amazon is expanding the scope of its omnichannel services. This time it's helping ease a friction point that is becoming increasingly tense heading into the 2021 holiday season — delivery.
Local Selling is an additional sign of Amazon broadening its capacity when it comes to supply chain and logistics, similarly to what Walmart is constructing through selling its omnichannel capabilities to other businesses.
Amazon has been on a logistics-related expansion spree as it works to internally control its supply chain. The company spent $35 billion in capital expenditures in 2020, dwarfing Walmart's $10 billion. Amazon has directed much of its investments to establishing a footprint close to consumers. Now, 63% of the U.S. population lives within an hour drive of Amazon's fulfillment and redistribution centers.

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Industry

Charging Infrastructure Key Factor for Electric Truck Deployments

Transport Topics Seth Clevenger October 24, 2021

“When you’re looking at that charging station, you’re really just seeing the tip of the iceberg,” he said. “That’s the visible part. That’s the part that you’re going to interact with. But there’s a lot below the surface that is involved in infrastructure.”
Other components of the charging ecosystem include the facility’s electrical infrastructure, the utility service infrastructure and other energy resources such as backup generators or solar power, he said.
Plus, as fleets explore deploying electric trucks, they will need to understand their current and future electricity demand, select charging equipment that fits their operations and ensure that their vehicles and charging systems are compatible.

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