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Logistics Intelligence Brief
Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Workforce

How Yellow plans to train 1,000 drivers by the end of 2022

Transport Dive Colin Campbell October 18, 2022

Preaching patience and building confidence
As a trainer, Frazer preaches the virtue of patience on the road above all else. It’s how he’s driven nearly 3 million accident-free miles.
Frazer often asks his students to repeat explanations back to him to ensure they’ve absorbed the information, and he won’t let them in the truck until they’ve completed a pre-trip check on the vehicle.
“Safety’s everything out here,” Frazer said. “We all want to come home to our families safely, and that starts before we even get into the truck.”
Watching drivers build confidence under his instruction is the most fulfilling part of the job for Frazer.
“When I see that light bulb come on in a student and teach them how to drive, it gives me a big sense of accomplishment,” he said. “It’s why I do it.”

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Turning wrenches and breaking barriers: Female diesel techs find challenges in entering ‘male-dominated industry’

CCJ Angel Coker October 18, 2022

According to The State of Diesel Technicians report, produced by Randall Reilly and sponsored by Shell Lubricant Solutions, the top three factors in job selection are pay and benefits, location and opportunities for advancement.
The report shows the majority (17%) of employees in this role earn between $50,000 and $60,000 annually, followed by 16% who earn $100,000 or more (all in the construction industry) and 15% who earn $60,000 to $70,000.
On the benefits side, the report says 69% have the option for an IRA or 401(k) retirement plan. In terms of insurance, 83% have access to health, and 72% and 64% have access to dental and vision, respectively. Only 58% are offered life/accident/death and dismemberment insurance, and 57% have paid sick leave options, while 78% have paid holiday leave.
The report does not specifically consider childcare or parental leave, but Johnson said, as a mother, it is important for companies to consider offering these types of benefits that mainly affect women if they want to attract women to the field.

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Trucking

Industrial rebound pushing up US truck tonnage

The Journal Of Commerce William B. Cassidy October 18, 2022

Subscription-Based

US industrial production and manufacturing rebounded on a sequential and year-over-year basis in September, creating more truck freight and tonnage — and muddying recession forecasts.
Total industrial production rose 0.4 percent from August and 5.3 percent year over year last month, according to data released Tuesday by the US Federal Reserve System (FRED). Manufacturing output also increased 0.4 percent sequentially and rose 4.8 percent from September 2021.
Tonnage stronger than expected
The increase in industrial production contributed directly to the 0.5 percent month-to-month increase in the American Trucking Associations (ATA) seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index for September, also released Tuesday. Year over year, the ATA index was up 5.5 percent.

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September Tonnage Rises 5.5% Year-Over-Year

Transport Topics Connor D. Wolf October 18, 2022

Truck tonnage in September increased 5.5% when measured against the same month a year ago, and on a sequential basis it rose 0.5% from August, according to American Trucking Associations.
September’s index of 118.8 compared with 118.2 in August. (It equaled 100 in 2015.)
The federation’s For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index is dominated by contract freight as opposed to spot market freight.
ATA released the index Oct. 18, and said the latest gain put tonnage at the highest level since August 2019 and the third-highest level on record.
“This is another example of how the contract freight market remains strong despite weakness in the spot market this year,” said Bob Costello, chief economist for the federation.
“During the third quarter, tonnage increased 0.5% over the second quarter while increasing 5.6% over the same period in 2021. That was the largest quarterly year-over-year increase since the second quarter of 2018,” Costello added.

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J.B. Hunt rides growth in intermodal, dedicated to Q3 beat

Freight Waves Todd Maiden October 18, 2022

“During the quarter, we continued to experience growth in demand for intermodal services, but volume was negatively impacted by rail velocity challenges, customer detention of equipment and overall supply chain uncertainties facing our customers,” the report read. “As the quarter progressed, rail velocity and service levels improved notably to the best levels experienced since early 2021.”
Dedicated revenue jumped 35% y/y to $894 million as the company grew revenue-producing truck counts in the segment by 18% y/y and revenue per truck per week by 14% y/y. Even with the new account and equipment additions, the dedicated operating ratio backed up just 30 bps y/y to 88.5%.

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Industry

Mississippi River Drought Closes Portion of Waterway Again

Bloomberg/Transport Topics Michael Hirtzer And Diego Lasarte October 18, 2022

Drought has again closed a portion of the Mississippi River — and this time shrunk a part of the major U.S. waterway in Memphis, Tenn., to its lowest level ever.
Waters in Memphis fell to a reading of negative 10.79 feet late Oct. 17, narrowly lower than the previous low of negative 10.70 set in 1988, according to National Weather Service data. Part of the river near Hickman, Ky., was shut for dredging after barges grounded, leaving 59 vessels with more than 700 barges waiting to pass, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

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IANA data points to declining September intermodal volumes

Logistics Management Jeff Berman October 18, 2022

Total September volume—at 1,468,650 units—was off 2.0% annually. Trailers—at 66,393—saw the largest decline, falling 28.6% annually, ahead of August’s 25.6% decline. Domestic containers—at 652,635—fell 1.9%, and all domestic equipment, which is comprised of trailers and domestic containers, slipped 5.1%, to 719,028. ISO, or international containers, were the lone segment to see an annual gain, rising 1.2%, to 749,622.

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Supply chain snarls finally show signs of easing

Market Place Matt Levin October 18, 2022

Let’s start with the positives: It’s now far cheaper to ship a container full of plush dolls or engine parts from China to Los Angeles than it might have been just a year ago.
“In 2021, a typical price was $20,000 to ship a container,” said Dale Rogers, a professor of logistics at Arizona State University. “And that really wasn’t sustainable, and now we’re at about $5,000 a container.”

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Shippers/3PLs

Chewy.com’s Make-or-Break Logistics Dilemma (Podcast 30m)

HBR.org October 18, 2022

Subscription-Based

In late 2013, Ryan Cohen, cofounder and then-CEO of online pet products retailer Chewy.com, was facing a decision that could determine his company’s future. Should he stay with a third-party logistics provider (3PL) for all of Chewy.com’s e-commerce fulfillment or take that function in house?
Cohen was convinced that achieving scale would be essential to making the business work and he worried that the company’s current 3PL may not be able to scale with Chewy.com’s projected growth or maintain the company’s performance standards for service quality and fulfillment. But neither he nor his cofounders had any experience managing logistics, and the company’s board members were pressuring him to leave order fulfillment to the 3PL. They worried that any changes could destabilize the existing 3PL relationship and endanger the viability of the fast-growing business.

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Government/Safety/Sustainability

Truckers weigh in on Labor Department proposal

Land Line Mark Schremmer October 19, 2022

“As we continue to examine every line of the Department of Labor’s proposal, we appreciate that the rule stresses a classification decision should be based on all the circumstances in each specific case,” Spencer said. “However, we have concerns with provisions that could ignore specific aspects of the trucking industry and wrongfully deny owner-operators the chance to continue working as independent contractors. We will continue to review the proposal and provide clear feedback to the department on how to address these concerns and ensure the continuation of the owner-operator model within the trucking industry. Small-business truckers and professional drivers are the backbone of the trucking industry, and failing to listen to them would make any rule unworkable.”

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