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Friday, May 15, 2020
Logistics Intelligence Brief
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Shippers/3PLs

Coronavirus Lockdowns Trigger Record Spending Drops on Shopping, Eating Out

The Wall Street Journal Harriet Torry May 15, 2020

U.S. retail sales, a measure of purchases at stores, gasoline stations, restaurants, bars and online, likely dropped by more than 12% in April from a month earlier, according to economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal. That would eclipse an 8.7% drop in March sales, which was the steepest month-over-month decline in records dating to 1992. Consumer spending is the main driver of the U.S. economy, accounting for more than two-thirds of economic output, and retail sales account for about a quarter of all consumer spending. In March, when widespread closures started midway through the month, spending on clothing, electronics, sporting goods, furniture and motor vehicles all fell by double digits.

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64% of manufacturers say reshoring is likely following pandemic: survey

Supply Chain Dive Matt Leonard May 14, 2020

As disruptions from the coronavirus pandemic continue to unfold, 64% of companies across the manufacturing and industrial sectors "are likely to bring manufacturing production and sourcing back to North America," to avoid similar difficulties in the future, according to a Thomas survey in April of 878 North American manufacturing and industrial sector professionals.

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Industry

Trailer orders drop more than 90% in April, hit 30-year low

CCJ May 14, 2020

“Fleets remain in a severe wait-and-see posture until they can evaluate the damage done to the freight markets from the pandemic,” said Don Ake, FTR vice president of commercial vehicles. “Since the recovery from the economic crisis is highly dependent on the status of the health crisis, there is a huge amount of uncertainty in the trailer market.”

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Technology/Innovation

The State of the Self-Driving Car Race 2020

Bloomberg May 15, 2020

Several of the groups developing self-driving technology set their sights on 2021 for initial deployment, according to a recent report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance—and that was before the Covid-19 pandemic sidelined engineers. To date, the only platform taking passengers in fully driverless vehicles is Waymo, a Google spinoff. It is the sector’s presumed front-runner.

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Government/Safety

Highway Regulators Shift Work Rules for Truck Drivers

The Wall Street Journal Jennifer Smith May 14, 2020

Highway safety regulators are changing work rules that limit truck drivers’ time behind the wheel, shifts they said would give drivers more flexibility without increasing overall daily driving time. The new regulations, which come as truck drivers face tough operating conditions amid the coronavirus pandemic, would save trucking companies an estimated nearly $274 million annually over 10 years, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration said Thursday. The modifications are aimed at settling years of debates between safety advocates, trucking companies and drivers over regulations intended to reduce accidents caused by highway fatigue. The rules limit most commercial truck drivers to 11 hours of driving time in a 14-hour workday, with certain prescribed rest breaks.

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FMCSA Publishes Final HOS Rule, Granting Flexibility to Drivers

Transport Topics Eleanor Lamb May 14, 2020

Specifically, the final rule will allow more flexibility for the 30-minute rest break rule by requiring a break after eight hours of consecutive driving and allowing the break to be satisfied by a driver using “on-duty, not driving” status, rather than “off-duty” status. The rule also will modify the split sleeper berth exception to allow drivers to divide their required 10 hours off duty into two periods: an 8/2 split or a 7/3 split. Neither period would count against the driver’s 14-hour driving window. Related:        FleetOwner FMCSA issues long-awaited final HOS rule                         Truckinginfo.com Hours-of-Service Final Rule Adds Flexibility to Truck Drivers' Workdays

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HOS changes to benefit drayage, short-haul truckers

The Journal of Commerce William B. Cassidy May 14, 2020

The real opportunity may be for drivers and companies dedicated to working within that short-haul exemption radius, and that opportunity is likely to grow as more business gravitates to e-commerce delivery networks that are getting progressively shorter, and faster. Amazon has forced compression of the next-to-final mile, and that is a trend unlikely to slow. The highest-volume trucking lanes in the US are already shorter than 100 miles, starting with the lane connecting the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach with Ontario, California and markets such as Dallas and Fort Worth. Out of the top 25 US trucking lanes by volume, 24 are less than 500 miles in length, according to JOC.com analyses.

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HOS reform gives truckers time, shippers capacity

The Journal of Commerce William Cassidy May 14, 2020

A final truck driver hours-of-service (HOS) rule released Thursday will give drivers and motor carriers much-wanted flexibility in how they manage driver hours, but may limit their ability to raise prices in the future by giving shippers an extra helping of truck capacity. More flexibility and efficiency in truck utilization creates capacity that supports shipper pricing power. After two years of research, proposals, and comments, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) made tweaks, rather than major changes, to the regulations governing how much time truck drivers may work behind the wheel or on docks each day and week. It has been struggling to refine those rules since Congress ordered a rewrite in the mid-1990s.

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Operation Safe Driver Week focuses on speeding

Fleet Owner May 14, 2020

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) 2020 Operation Safe Driver Week will go on as scheduled, July 12-18. During this week-long traffic enforcement safety initiative, law enforcement personnel throughout North America will be looking for drivers who are engaging in unsafe driving behaviors on our roadways. Identified drivers will be pulled over by law enforcement and may be issued a warning or citation.

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