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Logistics Intelligence Brief
Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Trucking

‘Pricing discipline’ to temper US LTL rate relief in 2023

The Journal of Commerce William B. Cassidy January 10, 2023

Subscription-Based

A look ahead: The flattening of the LTL PPI early in the fourth quarter of 2022 is a sign that carriers will continue to practice the “pricing discipline” that helped LTL operators reap record-setting revenue gains during the pandemic. Many shippers would like to see LTL rates come down further, but how far pricing falls in 2023 will depend on consumer and industrial demand, both of which have been more resilient than expected.

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2023 Rate Outlook: Will shippers catch a break?

Logistics Management Brooks A. Bentz January 9. 2023

The LTL segment of the business is a very different animal, being not nearly as fragmented, with a few major players and high barriers to entry. “The LTL industry is relatively small, accounting for about 12% of the trucking market, with no new carriers entering the market since 1980,” say Satish Jindel of trucking analyst firm SJ Consulting. “It also has huge barriers to entry—think terminals and breakbulks, much manual labor. Rates are not likely to increase much, although costs may, when considering what happens with the cost of fuel.”
LTL carriers are likely to be able to continue pricing discipline, which will increase margins and allow for deployment of new and better technologies. There have been several false starts in shifting away from NMFC Class Rates to more accurate and fair parcel-like rates, based on shipment characteristics—weight and cube.

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Why Kia’s confusing new logo might actually be good for business (Yellow Reference)

Market Place Kai Ryssdal And Maria Hollenhorst January 9, 2023

Kai Ryssdal: That’s quite the dataset. All right, last thing, and I’ll let you go. Do you have an absolute favorite logo out there?
James Bowie: Wow, that’s, that’s a good one. Well, just for entertainment purposes, I really like the logo of Yellow, the trucking company. They have a fairly simple wordmark, saying their name “Yellow” and it’s inside of kind of a trapezoidal holding shape, but that shape is orange. And it’s just one of these kind of non sequiturs that always tickles me every time I see it.

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Time to wean the LTL industry off the NMFC model

The Journal Of Commerce Satish Jindel January 9, 2023

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‘Badly outdated’ NMFC model
For the LTL industry to achieve a meaningful shift to dimensional pricing, shippers need to be educated that NMFC does not account for changes in product characteristics, packing, and the manner in which the handling units are tendered during the time since that product was evaluated for classification. All such deviations result in less or more cubic capability utilization of a trailer. In addition, use of non-standard pallet sizes can lead to wasted cubic space in a trailer.

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Industry

U.S. Container Imports Tumbled Close to Prepandemic Levels in December

The Wall Street Journal Paul Page January 10, 2023

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American ports handled 1,929,032 inbound containers in December, measured in 20-foot equivalent units, or TEUs, down 1.3% from November, according to a report released Tuesday by Descartes Datamyne, a trade intelligence database owned by supply-chain software company Descartes Systems Group Inc. December marked the lowest level for seaborne imports since June 2020, just before a pandemic-driven rush to restock depleted inventories triggered a surge in imports.
Related: Logistics Management U.S.-bound imports are heading back to pre-pandemic numbers, reports Port Tracker

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Government/Safety/Sustainability

Deaths on U.S. roads fell slightly after record pandemic surge

Land Line Tyson Fisher January 10, 2023

Preliminary data reveals that traffic fatalities went down in the first nine months of 2022 when compared to the previous year.
According to the latest numbers from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 31,785 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes from January through September of 2022. That is a 0.2% drop compared with the first nine months of 2021.
The third quarter of 2022 also marks the second straight decline in traffic fatalities after seven consecutive quarters of year-to-year increases.
Link: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Estimates for First Nine Months of 2022 Suggest Roadway Fatalities Beginning to Level Off After Two Years of Dramatic Increases

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Biden climate blueprint promotes modal shift away from trucks

Freight Waves John Gallagher January 10, 2023

A formal strategy for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector prioritizes maritime and rail over trucking to more quickly get to net-zero emissions by 2050.
The U.S. National Blueprint for Transportation Decarbonization, released Tuesday by the Biden administration, is billed as a “first-of-its-kind” plan to cut GHG emissions in both passenger and freight transportation, building off funding incentives included in the 2021 infrastructure package and the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act.
The blueprint lays out three main strategies for attaining its goal: increasing user convenience, improving vehicle efficiency and transitioning to clean fuels and vehicles.

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Workforce

Truck Parking Is Top Issue for Drivers

Transport Topics Gregory Van Tighem January 10, 2023

With 313,000 truck parking spaces existing nationwide, according to a recent survey conducted by the Federal Highway Administration, American Trucking Associations and the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association estimate there is one parking spot for every 11 drivers.
Related: Transport Topics Research Aims to Alert Truck Drivers to Available Parking Spots

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Truck Driver Shortage Analysis

LinkedIn Dr. Jason Miller January 10, 2023

Implication: the monthly, national truck transportation employment data mask tremendous shifts in the location of trucking firms (and where their drivers are domiciled) since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. It will be interesting to see how this plot changes once 2022 data is finalized given the sharp rebound in shale oil drilling that has occurred, coupled with cooling warehousing and imports.

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Business

Impact of Geopolitical Tumult on Businesses to Continue in 2023, Say Risk Experts

The Wall Street Journal Richard Vanderford January 11, 2023

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Another survey, this time of more than 1,300 executives by consulting firm Protiviti Inc., also showed a dramatic jump in the last year in risk experts’ concerns about geopolitical shifts, global trade and a potential reshaping of globalization. The geopolitical risks weren’t necessarily top of mind for respondents to that survey—talent challenges, economic conditions and labor costs were the top three concerns—but they showed some of the largest jumps compared with what respondents said the previous year.

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