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Monday, May 11, 2020
Logistics Intelligence Brief
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Trucking

Tender rejections climb for first time since March

Freight Waves Seth Holm May 9, 2020

On the positive side, nine of the 15 major freight markets FreightWaves tracks were positive on a week-over-week basis. This ratio is a significant improvement from recent weeks. The markets with the largest gains in OTVI.USA were Savannah, Georgia (17.02%), Houston (6.42%) and Los Angeles (6.04%). The markets with the largest declines were Seattle (-10.65%), Memphis (-9.30%) and Laredo, Texas (-8.73%).

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Industry

JOC Research Note: Intermodal savings evaporate in April

The Journal of Commerce Ari Ashe May 8, 2020

US intermodal rail savings in April fell to their lowest in more than a year, reversing what was a strong discount in the first quarter, according to JOC’s proprietary Intermodal Savings Index (ISI). The initial snapshot of April’s intermodal pricing is the first reading of how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the value rail brings to a shipper when compared with over-the-road truckload.

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North American rail volumes could dip in the double digits

Freight Waves Joanna Marsh May 10, 2020

In 2020, North American rail volumes could fall roughly 15% or more compared to a year ago. This projection, amidst others for deep declines in coal traffic and a shaky environment for intermodal volumes, was divulged in a report from Moody’s Investor Service, a credit ratings firm.

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Refiners Are Making More Diesel Than Farmers and Truckers Need

Bloomberg Jeffrey Bair et al. May 8, 2020

Reblending Jet Fuel Part of the buildup has come from refiners turning jet fuel, which is chemically similar, into diesel as planes sit parked at airports across the country. Production of jet fuel was the lowest since the government began publishing weekly data in 1990, while distillate output increased to the highest since January. “The jet demand disruption was just so severe, and everyone started blending jet into diesel, it caused the diesel yield from refineries to be really at record levels,” Gary K. Simmons, chief commercial officer of Valero Energy Corp., said on an earnings call. “Even despite the lower refinery utilization, we’ve seen diesel production outpacing demand.”

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Further COVID-19 U.S-bound import declines are expected, notes Port Tracker report

Logistics Management Jeff Berman May 8, 2020

NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold observed in the report that even though Chinese factories are back online and United States-based stores that were previously closed and now are reopening, current volume levels remain well below what is traditionally considered normal. “Shoppers will come back and there is still a need for essential items, but the economic recovery will be gradual and retailers will adjust the amount of merchandise they import to meet demand,” noted Gold.

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Postal Service posts $4.5 billion net loss for quarter preceding Covid-19

DC Velocity Ben Ames May 8, 2020

The post office’s terrible finances will likely set up a showdown with a Trump Administration that has long pressed the agency to hike its parcel delivery rates for packages shipped by amazon.com inc. and other e-commerce businesses. Postmaster General Megan Brennan has resisted those calls for years, saying its rates were designed to maximize volume for parcels—already its most profitable sector. But Brennan is set to retire on June 15, to be replaced by Louis DeJoy, a supply chain operations executive who spent his career in the private sector at New Breed Logistics and XPO Logistics Inc.

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Technology/Innovation

Autonomous box trucks expand to middle mile

Fleet Owner John Hitch May 8, 2020

Walmart has been an early adopter, using the self-driving trucks to move goods between two Bentonville, Ark., stores since 2019. The technology has also tested on public roads in California and Canada. According to Gatik, which means “progressive” in Sanskrit, the deployments “mark the first ever revenue-generating deployment of an AV fueled hub-and-spoke delivery model in North America.

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Workforce

Parcel Carriers Expanded Payrolls as Homebound Consumers Shopped Online

The Wall Street Journal Jennifer Smith May 8, 2020

Courier and messenger companies that deliver to homes and businesses added 1,800 jobs in April, according to seasonally adjusted preliminary employment figures the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released Friday. It was the only industry in the transportation and warehousing sector where payrolls expanded in a month when coronavirus lockdowns cost the economy a record 20.5 million jobs.

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Recession wipes out 88,000 trucking jobs: BLS

The Journal of Commerce William Cassidy May 8, 2020

How quickly those 88,000 workers — drivers, dockworkers, and other employees — can be rehired will affect the ability of shippers to restart and reconnect supply chains suspended during the economic shutdown sparked by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

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Trucking Sheds 88,300 Jobs in April

Transport Topics Dan Ronan May 8, 2020

“It was ugly. The trucking industry lost 88,300 jobs, and we lost more jobs in one month than we did in all of 2008,” he said. Costello said the trucking industry is slowing, especially in the tanker sector, and those companies that service the nation’s ports, moving imports and exports.

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