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Logistics Intelligence Brief
Monday, September 19, 2022

Trucking

National Trucker Appreciation week: America’s truck drivers are celebrated for essential work

Fox News Angelica Stabile September 16, 2022

Yellow Trucking senior vice president of trucker relations Bryan Reifsnyder shared on "Fox & Friends" on Friday that his company is celebrating its workers with cookouts, sit-down conversations and more.
"We had our customers tell us what they appreciated most about our drivers," he said.
Pennsylvania trucker Esther Parsons joined the conversation, mentioning that she left her previous job to become a truck driver while putting her kids through college.
"It’s been great," she said.
"I’ve had a great experience and I wouldn’t change it for the world."
Ohio trucker Russ Simpson pointed out how easily a person is able to join the industry.
While there are 3.6 million drivers on America’s roads, Simpson said the industry still "needs more."
"We’re in a situation right now where we don’t have enough drivers," he said.
"I want to say thank you to all those drivers out there for what you do."

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Yellow President Appointed To LTL Industry Technology Board

CCJ September 19, 2022

Yellow Corporation President and Chief Operating Officer Darrel Harris has been appointed to the board of directors for SMC³, a provider of LTL transportation pricing data and technology.
“We are thrilled to have Darrel join our board of directors,” said SMC³ President and CEO Andrew Slusher. “Beyond his extensive less-than-truckload expertise that will assist us in continuing to evolve our technology solutions, Darrel has a passion for talent development and creating strategies and plans that will deliver unrivaled technology solutions and educational events that move the industry forward.”
Link: SMC³ Appoints Trucking Industry Leader Darrel Harris to Board of Directors

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Transport Topics Podcasts: RoadSigns With Yellow’s Tamara Jalving

RoadSigns/Transport Topics September 15, 2022

80,000 drivers. Trucking companies say they need that many drivers this year to keep up with demand. But, despite increases in pay and recruitment budgets, these companies are worried that 80,000 is an impossible goal. So, what else can you do? In this episode, Tamara Jalving, VP of safety and talent acquisition at Yellow, helps us see solutions through fleet eyes, while Connor Wolf, TT's resident expert, gives us the broader industry view.

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Industry

POLA and POLB turn in solid August volumes

Logistics Management September 16, 2022

Total August POLA volume—at an estimated 806,000 TEU (Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units)—was of 15% compared to August 2021. Imports—at an estimated 404,000 TEU—were down 17%, and exports—at an estimated 100,000 TEU—were down 1%. Empty containers—at an estimated 301,000 TEU—fell 18%.
“Some goods that usually arrive in August the for the fall and winter season shipped earlier to make sure they reached their destination in time,” Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka said at a news briefing this week. “Additionally, inflationary concerns and elevated inventory levels have made some retailers and e-commerce sellers more cautious. We’ve been able to nearly eliminate the backlog of ships waiting to enter the port by 90% compared to earlier this year. We’ve got capacity on our terminals and the ability to handle cargo coming in more efficiently than last holiday season.”

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U.S. rail carload and intermodal volumes are down, for week ending September 10, reports AAR

Logistics Management September 16, 2022

Intermodal containers and trailers—at 240,877—decreased 1.7% annually, trailing the weeks ending August 27 and September 3, at 268,941 and 271,656, respectively.
Through the first 36 weeks of 2022, U.S. rail carloads—at 8,314,0906—are up 0.2% compared to the same period a year ago, and intermodal units—at 9,489,127—are down 5.1%.

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A deal to avert a rail strike is on track, but it won’t fix U.S. supply chain issues

NPR Scott Neuman September 16, 2022

"Unfortunately, I just don't see anything in the next year or two that's going to lessen the number of disruptions," says Lisa Anderson, a supply chain expert and president of California-based LMA Consulting Group.
Jason Furman, a Harvard professor who headed the Council of Economic Advisers under President Barack Obama, says there's room for optimism, but "we're not out of the woods yet."
"[The] ports have mostly cleared themselves out. Trucking has mostly resolved itself. The cost of international shipping is way down. So there are definitely a lot of things that have gotten better," he says.
But in other key areas, there are still several fairly serious wrinkles, such as high fuel and food prices and a shortage of microchips for vehicles that aren't likely to be resolved anytime soon, Furman says.

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A data-sharing approach for greater supply chain visibility

Brookings Institution Eleftherios Iakovou And Chelsea C. White III September 14, 2022

A confluence of supply chain disruptions
U.S. supply chains are a collection of decentralized systems, each with its own objectives, decision rules, and levels of visibility. Challenges regarding data quality, availability, interoperability, and immediacy increase when attempting to coordinate and manage multiple supply chains and their multi-modal logistics infrastructure. Data are rarely shared across supply chains and only occasionally shared across firms in the supply chain and logistics industry. Furthermore, interoperability is a major hurdle as shippers, carriers, and end customers employ different technologies and tools for collecting data—the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach use different software platforms, for example. Before the pandemic there was little effort or need to build resilience and agility into primarily lean supply chains or into the supply chain infrastructure. Today, the lines of authority and responsibility for the national supply chain are neither clear nor well understood.

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Reducing supply chain disruption gets special attention

Supply Chain Management Review September 15, 2022

The “Supply Continuity - A Visual Spotlight” study, based on research conducted by Forrester Consulting and commissioned by Ivalua. The study was conducted in March 2022, of 462 procurement decision makers at companies with 1,000 or more employees in North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific.
Survey results highlight key challenges that remain for organizations to ensure supply continuity. For instance, 30% of respondents say they suffer from an inability to effectively assess the overall risk across suppliers. In addition, 26% agree their organizations lack adequate systems for defining and triggering a response to supply chain disruption. Furthermore, a quarter have an inability to effectively assess the risk of individual suppliers.
The study also found that suppliers will be vital for successfully ensuring supply continuity. Almost seven-in-ten (68%) of organizations view suppliers as a source of differentiation, while 66% now collaborate with suppliers to increase supply chain resilience.
Just over half (51%) of organizations plan to collaborate with more suppliers in the future. This is the number one planned change in supplier strategy for the next two years based on the survey results.
Link: Forrester Ensuring Supply Continuity During Turbulent Times

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Shippers/3PLs

Why the rise of 4PLs is important to you

Supply Chain Management Review Matthew Becket September 16, 2022

Strategic agreements with third-party logistics providers, or 3PLs, have become fairly common across the supply chain. However, as organizations face increasingly complex logistics environments and look for ways to address risk and drive efficiency, a concept that should be considered is 4PL.
While many are familiar with the concept of 3PL, 4PL, or fourth-party logistics provider, is a lesser-known term today. As shippers are actively seeking out 4PL service providers to form closer, more integrated and longer-term, value-driven partnerships, it’s critical for supply chain and logistics leaders to understand this newer concept and how it might provide value to their organization.

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Home-Goods Retailers Jolted by Slowdown in Housing Market

The Wall Street Journal Harriet Torry and Jennifer Maloney September 18, 2022

Subscription-Based

Falling home sales are rippling through the economy, providing a window into how rising interest rates can cool spending, hiring and growth.
When people buy new homes, they typically buy a lot to go inside, including furniture, curtains, lighting fixtures and appliances.
Such spending has slowed or fallen this year as many home buyers moved to the sidelines in the face of climbing interest rates and a shortage of homes to buy, according to government data and businesses.
Sales declined in August from a year before by a seasonally adjusted 1.6% at furniture and home-furnishing stores, and by 5.7% at electronics and appliance stores, according to the Commerce Department.

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Medline spends $500M to shore up inventory

Supply Chain Dive Meagan Ruggles September 17, 2022

• Medline spent $500 million by the end of Q2 to boost its inventory as part of its efforts to improve supply chain resiliency, the company announced last week.
• The additional spending raised the medical supplies manufacturer and distributor’s on-hand inventory to more than $4 billion. The company said that upping inventory will help to ensure products are available for timely delivery to healthcare providers.
• The inventory action comes after Medline spent three years executing a $1.5 billion plan to improve its infrastructure and strengthen its supply chain.

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Government/Safety/Sustainability

Fleets Prepare for AB 5 Enforcement as Legal Battles Continue

Transport Topics Mindy Long September 16, 2022

Chris Shimoda, senior vice president of government affairs for California Trucking Association, said the state treated Aug. 29 as the date enforcement can begin on AB 5.
“One hopes there is a de facto soft enforcement for a period of time, but it is coming,” Blubaugh said. “You don’t want to find yourselves in the crosshairs when that happens.”
Enforcement action could come from the government or attorneys who take up the case.

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How to select anti-distracted driving technologies

Fleet Owner Scott Keith September 16, 2022

With so many options in an ever-expanding market, fleets can be overwhelmed by all the distracted-driving technology options for commercial vehicles. Each solution operates at a different speed, and those fractions of a second could make a difference.
“If you’re not paying attention, and you look away at 55 miles an hour, you’ll effectively go a football field in three seconds," said Mike Yonka, director of loss control at Sentry Insurance’s transportation division and a former professional truck driver. Even if a collision is not avoided entirely, having a quick-acting solution, such as an automatic braking system, can lessen the severity of a crash and save money on repairs.
Samsara is testing another solution to protect the privacy of good drivers and allow managers to focus more on only the drivers that need more training. In-cab nudges are a way for management to give leeway to good drivers who make mistakes.
For example, a driver on a long haul drifts out of the lane. The driver will receive an in-cab nudge—an alert that allows the driver to self-coach without necessarily having an event recorded and uploaded to management. An administrator can configure the nudges to alert managers only after a predetermined number of events. This allows the driver to self-coach and saves managers time by freeing them to focus on only their highest-risk drivers.

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Intermodal Industry Is Working to Increase Sustainability

Transport Topics Mindy Long September 16, 2022

Orange EV displayed its 2022 all-electric terminal truck, e-Triever, which operates at low speeds and is designed to move trailers. CEO Wayne Mathisen said the company is also redesigning its technology and expects to release a port truck, able to meet the high hauling capacity, in the second half of next year.
“It is a natural extension of what we do but it is a whole new design project,” Mathisen said. “Ports have an expectation of eliminating emissions.”

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Electric Vehicles Took Off. Car Makers Weren’t Ready

The Wall Street Journal Mike Colias September 18, 2022

Subscription-Based

Long-term, a big challenge will be batteries, say analysts who predict that shortages of battery raw ingredients could curtail auto makers’ production plans as early as mid-decade. In this sense, too, the rest of the industry is chasing Tesla, which has spent more than a decade developing a battery supply chain and jointly operates a factory with partner Panasonic Holdings Corp.
Much of the battery-cell production and processing of key minerals is done in China and elsewhere in Asia. While provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act aim to shift more of that activity to the U.S., it will likely heighten the competition for supplies, car executives and analysts say.

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