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Logistics Intelligence Brief
Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Trucking

Yellow optimizes Western US terminals to become ‘super regional carrier’

Transport Dive David Taube September 19, 2022

Yellow is nearing completion of the first phase of its network reconfiguration to optimize terminals in the Western U.S. CEO Darren D. Hawkins said during a Sept. 8 conference presentation that the carrier planned to finish the optimization of 89 YRC Freight and Reddaway terminals “in a little more than a week from now.”
The optimization will eliminate overlapping routes in the western U.S., part of a national plan to reduce costs and bring the carrier’s brands under one name.
The company plans to finish the remaining two optimization phases this year, ushering in a One Yellow plan to operate as a “super-regional carrier in 2023,” Hawkins said.
Yellow’s route optimization is part of the carrier’s bid to consolidate its four LTL brands — YRC Freight, Reddaway, New Penn and Holland — along with Yellow Logistics. The company has already consolidated its sales teams and technology platform as part of the unification plan.
“Once optimization is complete, efficiencies are gained through improved asset utilization and lower overall miles,” the company noted in a Q3 investor presentation.

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‘Seasonality,’ signs of normalcy, return to rollicking trucking market

Logistics Management John D. Schulz September 19, 2022

“The unbridled chaos we’ve been dealing with for almost three years is moderating,” Schneider CEO and President Mark Rourke told LM. The Green Bay, Wis.-based carrier operates the fifth-largest truckload operation and is a huge intermodal operator in North America.
Trucking analysts agreed. “The truckload market is easing back to normal levels of growth,” Avery Vise, vice president of trucking for Indianapolis-based truck research firm FTR, told LM. “I expect spot rates to keep declining. Contract rates will start easing after the fourth quarter. We don’t see a lot of risk.”

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Industry

Big Ocean Shipping Lines Turn to Planes as Supply-Chain Snarls Deepen

The Wall Street Journal Costas Paris and Benjamin Katz September 19, 2022

Subscription-Based

Auto-parts suppliers, clothing manufacturers and tech companies, which all typically rely on sea freight to move their goods, had started to switch to air, concerned that the Covid-related snarls at ports would disrupt just-in-time supply chains or cause them to miss deadlines for the launch of new products or the start of new fashion seasons.
“You can’t rely only on ships anymore,” said Abbie Durkin, the owner of Palmer & Purchase, a women’s clothing and accessories boutique with three stores in New York. “I’m flying in our entire winter collection to make sure it arrives before Christmas.”

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Shippers/3PLs

Continued supply chain challenges strain 3PL, shipper relationships

Fleet Owner Josh Fisher September 19, 2022

Supply chain challenges are still straining third-party logistics and shipper relationships—a problem that industry stakeholders fear could extend into next year, according to an annual 3PL study released today. Both shippers and 3PLs expect more from technology as human talent gets harder to find and consumers and businesses rely more on physical and data-driven supply chains.
While fewer shippers are finding 3PL relationships successful than in years past, most shippers told researchers they still find value in outsourcing logistics, according to 27th Third-Party Logistics Study. NTT Data Services, Penske Logistics, and supply chain professor and researcher C. John Langley developed the report. The findings are being unveiled this week at the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals’ EDGE conference in Nashville, Tennessee.

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Workforce

ATA’s Women in Motion initiative to focus on recruiting drivers, advocating for safer parking

CCJ Ashley Coker September 19, 2022

WIM is ATA’s new initiative that launched in July to accelerate the rise of women throughout the industry – not just drivers – and help eliminate roadblocks that stand in their way. Working with coalition partners, policymakers and business leaders, WIM aims to create a more secure work environment for women truckers by advocating on issues like safer truck parking and greater diversity. The initiative offers career support and professional development opportunities for women in the industry in addition to promoting trucking careers to women across the country.

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Port Labor Talks Stall as Worker Disruptions Grow

The Wall Street Journal Paul Berger September 19, 2022

Subscription-Based

West Coast port labor talks are stalled as dockworker disputes hit the region’s big trade gateways, according to shipping industry officials who fear the negotiations could take months to resolve.
Some maritime executives had hoped the talks, which began in mid-May, would conclude in the early fall. Now they worry the negotiations could continue through the end of 2022 or into 2023, extending uncertainty that has triggered shifts in trade flows and complicated planning in supply chains.
“What you are starting to hear is people are losing faith,” said one shipping industry official.

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Government/Safety/Sustainability

Truck safety lobby pressures DOT on crash prevention

Freight Waves John Gallagher September 19, 2022

Truck safety advocates are calling on the Biden administration to act faster to prevent deaths resulting from large truck crashes, following new data compiled from federal sources.
The one-page report, released by the Truck Safety Coalition, ranks the 12 states with the highest fatality rates and overall deaths, based on statistics from the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Wyoming and South Dakota recorded the highest fatality rates by population, and Texas and California had the highest deaths overall, based on 2020 data, the latest available (see table). Earlier this year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported a “crisis” level 13% jump in large truck fatalities.
Link: The Truck Safety Coalition Worst Fatal Truck Crash States and Members of Congress and Truck Safety Coalition Call for Lifesaving CMV Safety Advances Following Release of Deadliest Truck Crash States Report

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Traffic Deaths Decline for First Time Since 2020

Bloomberg/Transport Topics Keith Lang September 19, 2022

Traffic fatalities on U.S. roads declined in the second quarter, halting an almost two-year rise even as Americans are driving more.
Some 10,590 people died in car crashes from April through June, down 4.9% from the same period in 2021, according to estimates released Sept. 19 by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Fatalities had been increasing since the third quarter of 2020.
Link: NHTSA Early Estimates Show Overall Increase in Roadway Deaths in First Half of 2022, Second Quarter 2022 Projects First Decline Since 2020

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9 Keys to Drawing a Roadmap to Zero Fleet Emissions

Truckinginfo.com Deborah Lockridge September 19, 2022

In 2020, Walmart set a goal to achieve zero emissions across its global operations by 2040, including electrifying and zeroing out emissions from all its vehicles. But “transforming our transportation fleet is not as simple as flipping a switch,” says Fernando Cortes, Walmart senior vice president of transportation.
That’s why the company is “layering solutions,” evaluating renewable natural gas, hydrogen, and electric solutions in its yard trucks, refrigerated trailers, day-cab trucks and medium-duty delivery trucks.
“Becoming a zero-emissions company won’t be as simple as adopting electric alternatives,” Cortes says. “For some vehicle classes, the solution might look like a hydrogen-fueled yard truck moving an electric refrigerated trailer, which eventually gets transported by a natural gas-powered truck.”
Such a multi-layered approach to emissions reduction offers fleets of all types and sizes direction on developing a roadmap appropriate for their particular operations.

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FMCSA Considering Changes to ELD Rules

Truckinginfo.com September 19, 2022

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is asking for comments on how to improve its mandatory electronic logging device regulations, which potentially could result in the first substantial changes to the ELD rules since their implementation.
In an advance notice of proposed rulemaking, FMCSA said it wants to improve the clarity of the current regulations and address concerns about the technical specifications raised by industry stakeholders.
There are five areas where the agency is considering changes:
• Applicability to pre-2000 engines.
• Addressing ELD malfunctions.
• The process for removing ELD products from FMCSA’s list of registered devices.
• Technical specifications.
• ELD certification.

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