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Logistics Intelligence Brief
Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Trucking

Analyst: Carriers Feeling Effects of Higher Operating Costs

Transport Topics Noel Fletcher November 21, 2022

“There’s a new floor in what it costs to run heavy vehicles,” said Dean Croke, principal analyst at DAT Freight and Analytics, discussing how the long-term financial effects of the pandemic have changed the transportation business during a Nov. 16 presentation titled, “Market Outlook 2023: The Economy and Freight,” during the Accelerate! Conference and Expo hosted by Women In Trucking Association.

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Trucking M&A Activity Heads Toward Year-End Boost

Transport Topics Connor D. Wolf November 21, 2022

The trucking and logistics industries could be headed for another year-end boost in merger and acquisition activity.
“We’ve still got a couple months left in this calendar year, and we’re hoping to get another couple deals potentially done,” said Jonathan Britva, principal at Republic Partners. “We have surpassed our high-water mark in terms of volume of transactions this year. We’ve surpassed the volume of deals we’ve ever done in a year already.”

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Five Flashiest Fleets combine bright ideas with tributes and honor

CCJ November 21, 2022

Fleets spend years poring over the science of a truck spec. An axle ratio, aero package – even a change in engine oil viscosity – can lead to big money savings and efficiency gains, but all the general public sees is the cab and trailer. A 10 mpg spec may be a boon for the bottom-line, but to passers by, that aspect of trucking is a giant "meh."
Trucks and trailers are 70-feet of blank canvas with unlimited possibilities for showcasing a company’s heritage, its values and its strengths, and they are a carrier’s most visible – and most mobile – means of marketing. It's an opportunity to tell a story to thousands of people every day.
Since 1978, CCJ has recognized excellence in fleet graphics design and execution among carriers willing to invest in their own imagination.

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Industry

Diesel Sheds 8¢ to $5.233 a Gallon

Transport Topics November 21, 2022

• A gallon of diesel still costs $1.509 more than it did at this time in 2021.
• The price of trucking’s main fuel went down in eight of the 10 regions in EIA’s survey and up in two. The largest decrease was 10.4 cents in the Gulf Coast region; the biggest gain was 3.7 cents in the Rocky Mountain Region.
• Gasoline, meanwhile, fell 11.4 cents to $3.648 a gallon. That's 25.3 cents more than it cost at this time a year ago.

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Delays, inflation are top concerns this holiday season

DC Velocity November 21, 2022

With more than 2,000 responses, the survey found that 46% of managers are most concerned about supply chain delays this holiday, while 35% list inflation as their main concern—more than double the number who said so last year, according to DHL. To offset rising costs, 60% of respondents said their biggest priority this year is raising the prices of their products or services. What’s more, 78% said they have already increased their product pricing due to inflation—and by quite a bit: 17% have increased their pricing by more than 20%; 22% have increased their pricing by 11%-20%; and 39% said they have increased their pricing by 1%-10%.
Link: DHL 2022 Holiday Survey

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UP to lift demurrage caps at seven inland terminals

The Journal Of Commerce Ari Ashe November 21, 2022

Subscription-Based

Union Pacific Railroad (UP) will remove the caps on demurrage fees at seven inland terminals effective Nov. 28, the result of fewer containers piling up in Southern California amid a sharp decline in port volumes, the western US railroad told JOC.com.
The caps on rail demurrage — essentially storage fees — will be lifted in Council Bluffs (Iowa), Dallas, Denver, Houston, Memphis, Salt Lake City, and St. Louis. The caps were put in place because shippers were incurring penalties of more than $10,000 on containers that were rendered inaccessible because they were buried deep in stacks.
“Union Pacific maintained a 14-day storage cap at several intermodal terminals in 2022, as we and our customers worked together to address supply chain challenges,” UP said in a statement to JOC.com. “We are seeing a reduction in backlogs at the West Coast ports and inland terminals and anticipate this will continue. Given the more fluid activity, we are lifting the caps and encouraging shippers to move their containers in a timely manner.”

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Government/Safety/Sustainability

Tolling is Getting Creative… and Costly for Trucking

Truckinginfo.com David Cullen November 21, 2022

While the Rhode Island scheme has not gone off smoothly, that’s no reason to think that some other state or jurisdiction won’t try the same tactic. It’s the same with a newer threat to tax fairness: congestion pricing. These schemes already exist in some major overseas cities. More narrowly, we’re referring to “cordon pricing” that applies to anyone driving within or into a congested area. This is what New York City aims to roll out across a higher-toll zone that would lay over a huge portion of Manhattan.

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Grid not prepared for electric truck ‘avalanche’

Fleet Owner Kevin Jones November 21, 2022

A new study of the coming EV charging requirements made the rounds in the automotive media, with headlines typically pointing to the report’s most eye-popping (and easily understandable) analogy: The charging capacity required to supply a large passenger vehicle travel center/truck stop site will be “roughly equivalent to the electric load of a small town.”
Of course, that's just one truck stop. Clusters of truck-intensive operations could blow a fuse—a really big fuse, as we'll discuss below.
The white paper, The Electric Highways Study, is meant to be a blueprint for the strategic buildout of fast-charging sites along highway corridors to meet an upcoming surge in demand from the electrification of passenger vehicles and commercial trucks.
Link: National Grid Report Summary Sheet  Electric Highways: Accelerating and Optimizing Fast-Charging Deployment for Carbon-Free Transportation

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ATRI leader warns about legal system pitfalls regarding crashes

Transport Dive David Taube November 21, 2022

Juries could be missing what the evidence says in crashes, so companies should take note of how facts are playing out in the courtroom, according to Dan Murray, senior vice president of the American Transportation Research Institute.
Although each crash has its own circumstances, research over the years has shown that car drivers are mainly to blame for crashes compared to truck drivers, Murray said last week at the Women In Trucking Association’s 2022 Accelerate! Conference & Expo in Dallas.

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Workforce

Country Moves One Step Closer to Rail Strike in December

Transport Topics Dan Ronan November 21, 2022

And that’s what could happen now with Congress intervening. If there were to be a strike, under the Railway Labor Act (which covers railroad and airline employees) — contracts never expire, but become amendable. There is a long process of negotiating, bringing in mediators and having cooling-off periods. If no agreement is eventually reached, the workers have the right to go on strike, but Congress has the authority to impose a settlement on the parties. Several members of Congress have said a strike would be devastating to the nation’s economy and they want lawmakers to step in and end the labor dispute.
Railroad employees are some of the highest paid workers in the transportation industry and while they would receive substantial increases in this contract, that is not the main issue that is holding up a settlement. It’s work rule issues — including scheduling for sick time — the amount of time the workers can be called back into work. The workers also say they’re frustrated with the deep job cuts in the industry that pushed them to reject these contracts because they don’t resolve workers’ key quality-of-life concerns.
Related: CCJ Rail strike back on the table, this time for December

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Top unions split on tentative agreement with US rails

The Journal Of Commerce Ari Ashe November 21, 2022

Subscription-Based

The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) ratified the agreement brokered in September with the help of the Biden administration, but it was rejected by members of the International Association of Sheet Metal Workers Air, Rail, and Transportation (SMART-TD). Four rail unions have now turned down the deal, while eight have approved it.
If any union walks off the job, however, others are unlikely to cross the picket lines.
“Today, the BLET joined the majority of our unions in approving the largest wage increases in nearly five decades and also paved a path toward greater scheduling predictability for its members,” Association of American Railroads CEO Ian Jefferies said in a statement Monday. “Let’s be clear, if the remaining unions do not accept an agreement, Congress should be prepared to act.”

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The Global Population Is Aging. Is Your Business Prepared?

HBR.org Jennifer D. Sciubba November 18, 2022

Subscription-Based

For instance, many older workers who are not yet ready to retire have begun demonstrating increasing interest in semi-retirement. In a recent survey of working Baby Boomers, the vast majority said they’d like to pursue some form of semi-retirement, with 79% expressing interest in a flexible work schedule, 66% in transitioning to a consulting role, and 59% in working reduced hours. But just one in five said their employer offered any of these semi-retirement options, suggesting substantial opportunity for employers to differentiate themselves in the competition for talent by offering non-traditional career paths.

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‘Stretched to its limits’: Survey finds last-mile driver workforce is pushing boundaries

Freight Waves Brian Straight November 22, 2022

More packages, more responsibility and a continued push to deliver faster and faster is not deterring drivers from a career in package delivery.
A survey of over 1,200 last-mile delivery drivers in 11 countries by Scandit and released on Tuesday found that while 67% of drivers have changed jobs in the last two years (including 42% in the last year), 88% would recommend their current employers to another driver. This comes even as 50% said staffing shortages have increased in the past five years, and 71% cited increased pressure as delivery volumes have increased in the last five years.
On average, a package is delivered every six-and-one-half minutes in the surveyed countries. In the U.S., delivery drivers make an average of nine stops per hour.
Link: SCANDIT Driver Views From The Last Mile (Register To Receive The Report)

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