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Logistics Intelligence Brief
Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Trucking

Truck Tonnage in August Surges 7.4% Year-Over-Year

Transport Topic Dan Ronan September 20, 2022

“Tonnage snapped back in August after a weaker than expected July,” Costello said. “With the economy in transition to slower growth and changing consumer patterns, we may see more volatility in the months ahead. But the good news is that we continue to witness areas of freight growth in consumer spending and manufacturing, which is helping to offset the weakness in new home construction.”
The August increase is the 12th consecutive year-over-year gain, and Costello pointed out that the index in July also was up 4.7% from a year earlier. For the first eight months, the index is up 3.9% when measured against 2021 results.

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Industry

New Supply Chain Stability Index shows supply chain stress has more than doubled

Supply Chain Management Review September 20, 2022

“Crisis mode has become the new normal,” said ASCM CEO Abe Eshkenazi, CSCP, CPA, CAE. “What we’re seeing is that ongoing market volatility continues to impair supply chain performance. Which is why there is a need to not only improve service, cost and inventory, but to stabilize it. And when it comes to creating resilient supply chains, one thing we do know — and have confirmed with the index — is that talent makes the difference. If we’re going to solve this, we need the right people.”
Link: KPMG Association For Supply Management Seeking Supply Chain Stability In An Era Of Volatility

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Last mile carrier plans to launch franchise delivery model in 50 markets

Supply Chain Dive Max Garland September 20, 2022

• The Frontdoor Collective (FDC) plans to launch in about 50 markets by 2023 as it aims to demonstrate the growth potential of its franchise delivery model, a company executive said in an interview Thursday.
• The e-commerce-focused last mile delivery provider currently serves the Pittsburgh, Boston, Philadelphia and Houston markets, said Rick Hernandez, senior vice president of sales and business development. It plans to expand to Southern California and Arizona in about two weeks.
• The FDC relies on franchisees to make deliveries, unlike FedEx Ground and Amazon, which use contracted service providers. “We’re not creating this antagonistic relationship between management and labor — we’re aligning the incentives,” Hernandez said.

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Diesel dips below $5 a gallon

Fleet Owner Scott Keith September 20, 2022

The U.S. average for diesel fuel slid below the $5-per-gallon mark for the week of Sept. 19, marking the continuation of almost three months of declines, except for an anomalous surge three weeks ago, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).
Trucking’s main fuel was down 6.9 cents nationwide for the week of Sept. 19 to $4.964 per gallon, its first trip below the $5 mark since Aug. 22 and the week before the weekly average spiked 20.6 cents.

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Shippers/3PLs

The future of retail operations

DC Velocity September 20, 2022

In 2019, American Eagle Outfitters (AEO) was running out of a capacity. Faced with three options, build a new distribution center, set up an Edge network (an open, shared network and collaborative platform), or do both, the retailer chose to develop a network that would bring their products closer to customers, reduce their reliance on national carriers, and diversify its labor poll. "Our vision was to build a supply chain model for the future, one that decentralizes our logistics operations and creates a shared supply chain network," explained Shekar Natarajan, chief supply chain officer at AEO, during an educational session at CSCMP's EDGE Conference.
To start, the company focused on developing three key capabilities: Edge fulfillment, middle-mile optimization, and inventory service. AEO acquired Quiet Logistics and all its fulfillment centers, expanding the companies operations from two full-service distribution centers to 9 locations of various sizes throughout the U.S. This acquisition, in turn, increased the company's capacity of fulfillment and opened access to a larger carrier network.

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Workforce

High schools aim to teach next generation of truck drivers

Transport Dive Heather Larson September 20, 2022

More high schools are exploring truck driving programs as the industry looks to recruit and train the next generation of drivers.
Patterson High School in Patterson, California, is one of the first non-vocational high schools to offer a truck driving program. The course, an elective for seniors, is offered in partnership with Morning Star Trucking to provide students with behind-the-wheel training and potential employment opportunities.
Sixty other high schools across the nation have shown an interest in starting their own programs, said Dave Dein, who heads the trucking program at Patterson.

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Government/Safety/Sustainability

Challenges of Charging Commercial Trucks

Truckinginfo.com David Cullen September 20, 2022

Gearing up to drive onto the electric highway to a future of cleaner, quieter and more efficient trucking operations? Beyond selecting and spec’ing electric trucks, the way forward to widescale EV adoption must include planning and installing fleet-specific charging infrastructure. Experts recommend fleets not take a piecemeal approach to this, but instead, aim to devise an integrated strategy that will enable jointly launching electric trucks and charging infrastructure.

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Electric-Car Demand Pushes Lithium Prices to Records

The Wall Street Journal Joe Wallace And Hardika Singh September 21, 2022

Subscription-Based

Surging prices for lithium are intensifying a race between auto makers to lock up supplies and raising concerns that a shortage of the battery metal could slow the adoption of electric vehicles.
Lithium carbonate prices in China, the benchmark in the fast-growing market, stand at about $71,000 a metric ton, according to price-assessment firm Benchmark Mineral Intelligence. That is almost four times as high as a year ago and just below the record set this March in yuan terms.

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Cummins’ Jennifer Rumsey Showcases Fuel Cell, Engine Innovations

Transport Topics Joe Howard September 20, 2022

She added, “There is no single solution or path to zero that will work for all of the applications we power when you consider the different customer duty cycles, operating environments and locations. That’s why we have developed a company with the broadest combination of zero-emissions technologies, dedicated to the commercial vehicle industry.”

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White House supply chain strategy shifts beyond 24/7 port operations

Supply Chain Dive Sarah Zimmerman September 20, 2022

Before the end of his term, Lyons hopes to scale the Freight Logistics Optimization Works initiative, which collects information from major stakeholders across the supply chain to provide more visibility into pressure points. The initiaitve anonymizes and aggregates data, providing “macroeconomic indices” to give a sense of capacity and help predict congestion before it occurs.
“We must improve transparency across a fairly opaque industry,” Lyons said in his keynote address. “Transparency then leads to accountability and accountability leads to progress.”

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