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Logistics Intelligence Brief
Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Trucking

Leading LTLs cutting headcount, terminals as retail demand slackens

Logistics Management John D. Schulz November 15, 2022

Yellow, which controls about 10% of the LTL market, is selling a handful of its 290 terminals as part of its long-term strategy to implement a network efficiency plan that formerly consisted of long-haul Yellow Freight and regional carriers Holland, New Penn and Reddaway. As a result, it expects to close or sell approximately 28 terminals, officials said.
Now, Yellow reports as a single carrier. The combination of long-haul and regional freight networks in the West already has been completed, optimizing more than 4,600 ZIP code pairs and affecting 89 terminals. Similar combinations in the Central States and Eastern coverage areas are expected to be completed by early 2023.
“Throughout 2022, we have consistently kept our focus on improving the quality and profitability of the freight moving through our network and that continues to be our plan as we execute the final steps in the transformation to One Yellow,” Yellow CEO Darren Hawkins said on a recent conference call with analysts.
“We went into the transition with a straightforward set of goals that would define success,” Hawkins added. “First, we stood the terminals up to begin operating as a super regional network.”

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When will the spot market bottom out? Soon, survey says

Freight Waves Joe Antoshak November 15, 2022

If your business thrives when spot rates are high, there is both good and bad news. The bad news is that those rates haven’t found a floor yet. The good news is that they likely will in the next three to six months, and then start climbing again in the second half of 2023.
At least that’s the most widely shared opinion of the nearly 400 carriers and brokers/3PLs that FreightWaves Research surveyed last week. Asked when spot rates would hit rock bottom in the current cycle, 44.05% answered Q1 2023, and an additional 25.57% said Q2 2023. Just 13.42% thought the trough would come in Q3 or later.

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Industry

Imports Into Southern California’s Ports Plunged 26% in October

The Wall Street Journal Paul Berger November 15, 2022

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Imports into the nation’s busiest container port complex in Southern California are plummeting as U.S. trade sputters and retailers and manufacturers shift their supply chains amid increasingly contentious West Coast port labor negotiations.
Importers have said they are avoiding West Coast ports because previous contract talks have turned contentious and led to cargo slowdowns. Over the past few months, several West Coast ports have experienced sporadic work disruptions, although port officials say overall container movements remain steady.
The declines are a contrast to East Coast ports that continue to see strong cargo volumes. Loaded imports at the Port of New York and New Jersey rose 12% year over year in September.

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Ports post mixed results for October

DC Velocity November 15, 2022

Cargo volume remained strong on the East Coast in October, but fell in the West, marking the continuation of a shift that began earlier this year.
The South Carolina Ports Authority handled a record number of containers last month, marking the third busiest month in the port’s history. Total volume was up 9% year-over-year, with the port handling 256,879 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), officials said Tuesday. Imports rose 13% year-over-year, reflecting strong consumer demand.
It was a different story on the West Coast, where this week officials at the Port of Los Angeles reported a 25% decline in monthly cargo volume for October, handling 678,429 TEUs. The port has processed more than 8.5 million TEUs during the first 10 months of 2022, about 6% down from last year’s record pace. The decline reflects cargo owners’ efforts to bring in products earlier this year, as well as a shift away from the West Coast due to ongoing labor negotiations, according to Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka.

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Shippers/3PLs

Target Earnings, Sales Sapped as Consumers Pull Back

The Wall Street Journal Sarah Nassauer November16, 2022

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Target executives said that sales and profit trends worsened in October and November with guests’ shopping behaviors increasingly affected by inflation, rising interest rates and economic uncertainty.
“Clearly it’s an environment where consumers have been stressed,” said Target Chief Executive Brian Cornell on a call with reporters. “We know they are spending more dollars on food and beverage and household essentials, and as they are shopping for discretionary categories they are looking for promotions.”

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Government/Safety/Sustainability

Inspectors Place 13.3% of CMVs Out of Service During Brake Safety Week

Transport Topics Eric Miller November 15, 2022

Commercial motor vehicle inspectors in North America conducted 38,117 inspections Aug. 21-27 during Brake Safety Week, placing 13.3% of vehicles out of service for brake-related violations.
Inspectors in the United States, Canada and Mexico also identified and documented 6,305 brake hose/tube chafing violations, a common brake-related violation that was the focus of this year’s special brake safety enforcement effort, according to an announcement Nov. 15 by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance.
Link: Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance 2022 Brake Safety Week Results

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Blue lights, late shifts ‘kills’ fleet workers. Here’s how to fight back.

CCJ Digital Alex Lockie November 11, 2022

The NSF estimates that more than 37 million passenger car drivers will drive drowsy at least once this year, that they'll kill an estimated 6,400 people this year and that across the board. Drivers seem to brush it off with more than six in 10 admitting to driving when they're fighting to keep their eyes open.
Professional drivers, of course, have a bit more structure and regulation around their driving habits than a passenger driver, but NSF Vice President Dr. Joe Dzierzewski said that truck drivers are actually at increased risk of being involved in a drowsy driving accident.
"Research shows upwards of 15% of all big rig crashes have fatigue or sleepiness as a cause, and there's a lot to be done in terms of driver awareness," said Dzierzewski.

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FMCSA issues guidance on definition of ‘broker’

Land Line Tyson Fisher November 15, 2022

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is issuing interim guidance regarding the agency’s interpretation of the definitions of “broker” and “bona fide agents.”
According to the interim guidance, FMCSA clarified only one area of the definition of a broker: the relevance of an entity’s handling of funds in a transaction between shippers and motor carriers.
“After consideration of the stakeholder comments and the important role of financial responsibility in broker regulation, FMCSA wishes to clarify that handling money exchanged between shippers and motor carriers is a factor that strongly suggests the need for broker authority, but it is not an absolute requirement for one to be considered a broker,” the agency states.
Link: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Definitions of Broker and Bona Fide Agents

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Workforce

Hutcheson Cites History of Commitment to Gender Equality

Transport Topics Noel Fletcher November 15, 2022

Hutcheson reiterated her commitment to promote diversity in transportation careers, noting that early in her own career she often was the only woman in a room. Today, she cited statistics that indicate that while women account for 57% of the entire U.S. workforce, they hold just 24% of all transportation careers and about 8% of truck driving jobs. To spur some growth, she pointed to the recent formation at FMCSA of the Women of Trucking Advisory Board, chartered with reviewing and reporting on policies providing education, training and mentoring to increase the number of women in the trucking industry.

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Economy

U.S. Supplier Price Increases Eased in October, Taking Pressure Off Inflation

The Wall Street Journal Gwynn Guilford November 15, 2022

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U.S. supplier price increases slowed in October for the second straight month, adding to signs that inflation pressures could be abating.
The producer-price index, which generally reflects supply conditions in the economy, climbed 8% in October compared with the same month a year ago, the Labor Department said Tuesday. Though prices continued to rise rapidly, the pace marked an easing from September’s revised 8.4% increase, and was down sharply from the 11.7% increase in March, the highest since records began in 2010.
Link: U.S. Bureau Of Labor Statistics Producer Price Indexes

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