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Logistics Intelligence Brief
Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Trucking

US shippers still facing LTL rate pressure: Cowen/AFS study

The Journal Of Commerce William B. Cassidy January 17, 2023

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“Unlike truckload, LTL is expected to exhibit strength in the face of economic headwinds, supported by higher accessorial charges and GRIs (general rate increases), even as market conditions trend more favorably for shippers,” Tom Nightingale, CEO of AFS Logistics, said in a statement Tuesday.
US shippers can’t look to the truckload market for a map to lower LTL rates, AFS Logistics said. The two trucking sectors are following different routes when it comes to pricing in early 2023, with a variety of factors unique to LTL shipping eroding shipper pricing power.
The data collected for the Cowen/AFS Logistics index shows continued strength in LTL pricing, with rates heading higher, despite loosening LTL capacity and weakening macroeconomic trends. The cause is rising costs per shipment, including a 4.9 percent increase in accessorial charges per shipment.
Related: Logistics Management Cowen/AFS Freight Index lays out Q1 expectations for TL, LTL, and parcel
Link: Cowen/AFS Freight Q1:2023 Freight Index

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Bank of America bullish on TL stocks as ‘truck demand near floor’

Freight Waves Todd Maiden January 17, 2023

Bank of America said Tuesday it was more bullish on truckload stocks in 2023 as truck demand appears to have bottomed.
The report also pointed to higher operating costs for carriers, which will likely result in capacity exiting the industry and ultimately easing rate pressures.
“We believe these are early signals of a bottoming in freight demand, with a potential inflection in 2H23,” Hoexter continued. “Truckload demand may inflect positive in 2H23 aided by a low base, while capacity adds will slow as smaller operators face margin pressures on materially higher costs and lower rates.”

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Industry

Rail intermodal to ‘struggle’ in 2023, consulting firm says

Freight Waves Joanna Marsh January 17, 2023

Consulting firm FTR Transportation Intelligence expects rail intermodal to face a tough year in 2023 amid weaker demand, a competitive truck market and a shift in U.S. port activity away from the West Coast to East and Gulf ports that utilize shorter inland hauls.
All of the rail intermodal segments — domestic and international — “are going to struggle” in 2023, said Todd Tranausky, FTR vice president for rail and intermodal, during a webinar last week.
Growth could happen in the fourth quarter amid peak season,Tranausky said: “There is light at the end of the tunnel, but it’s just a little bit further out.”

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Diesel Drops 2.5¢ to $4.524 a Gallon

Transport Topics January 17, 2023

• The average price of diesel has fallen nine times in the past 10 weeks for a total of 83.3 cents since Nov. 7.
• A gallon of trucking’s main fuel still costs 79.9 cents more on average than it did at this time a year ago.
• Of the 10 regions in EIA’s weekly survey, the average price for a gallon of diesel decreased in eight and increased in two. The largest gain was 3.2 cents in the Rocky Mountain area; the biggest decline was 16.4 cents in the Central Atlantic.
Link: Energy Information Administration Gasoline and Diesel Fuel Update

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Government/Safety/Sustainability

NTSB Asks Federal, State Agencies to Focus on Reducing Impaired-Driving Crashes

Transport Topics Eric Miller January 17, 2023

The National Transportation Safety Board has forwarded a list of recommendations to state and national transportation agencies aimed at preventing alcohol and drug-related crashes.
The recommendations, made public Jan. 12, were the result of a new research report that examined the crash risk associated with alcohol, marijuana, and prescription, over-the-counter and other drugs — and the prevalence of their use among drivers.
NTSB researchers found alcohol remains the most-often detected drug in impaired driving incidents, and cannabis is the second most common. They also found that while alcohol is most often detected alone, cannabis was most often detected in combination with alcohol or other drugs.
Link: National Transportation Safety Board Report Finds Alcohol and Cannabis Are Primary Drugs Detected in Impaired Drivers

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Reading Trucking’s Regulatory Roadmap for 2023

Heavy Duty Trucking Deborah Lockridge January 17, 2023

Set to take effect in 2027, the long expected final rule on heavy-duty diesel engine NOx emissions (GHG/MPG) rules, released by EPA just before Christmas, is anathema to truck fleet operators and, of course, their truck and engine suppliers.
The NOx rule is just the first of three major actions being taken under EPA’s Clean Trucks Plan. By the end of March 2023, EPA intends to release the proposals for the remaining two steps in the Clean Trucks Plan:
Proposed “Phase 3” greenhouse gas (GHG) standards for heavy-duty vehicles beginning in Model Year 20227
Proposed “multipollutant” standards for light- and medium-duty vehicles beginning in Model Year 2027.

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