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Logistics Intelligence Brief
Tuesday, March 7, 2023


Global Supply Chains Back to Normal After Rocky Three Years, NY Fed Says

Bloomberg Brendan Murray March 6, 2023


Global supply chains have returned to normal, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York said, almost three years after Covid-19 was declared a pandemic.
Actually, supply pressures around the world fell below normal. The February reading in the NY Fed’s Global Supply Chain Pressure Index was -0.26, reaching negative territory for the first time since August 2019.
The gauge brings together 27 variables that take the temperature of everything from cross-border transportation costs to country-level manufacturing data in the euro area, China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, the UK and the US.
Link: Federal Reserve Bank Of New York Global Supply Chain Pressure Index

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Diesel Dips 1.2¢ to $4.282 a Gallon

Transport Topics March 6, 2023

• Diesel’s average price has fallen for the past five weeks for a total of 34 cents.
• A gallon of trucking’s main fuel now costs 56.7 cents less than it did at this time in 2022. This week marks the one-week anniversary of the huge price surge for oil following Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Diesel increased a record 74.5 cents a gallon one year ago this week.
• Of the 10 regions in EIA’s weekly survey, only the Midwest showed an increase at 1.1 cents a gallon on average. New England reported the biggest decline at 8.9 cents.
Link: Energy Information Administration Gasoline and Diesel Fuel Update

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NMFTA rolls out all-digital system to process required user codes

Freight Waves Mark Solomon March 6, 2023

The National Motor Freight Association Inc. (NMFTA), the trade group representing less-than-truckload carrier interests, said Monday that, effective next month, carriers can use an all-digital system to apply or reapply for codes that are required to operate in the U.S. and across North American borders.
The all-digital upgrade, known as SCAC 2.0, will allow carriers and other stakeholders to manage their codes directly with little support from the NMFTA staff and to do so around the clock. The new system is expected to launch April 10.
SCAC, which stands for Standard Carrier Alpha Code, consists of four digits unique to every motor carrier. The codes are necessary should carriers want to do business with the U.S. government or if they want to operate across borders with Canada and Mexico. Many large shippers also require that their carrier partners possess SCACs as a condition of doing business with them.

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US startup eyes street turn tech expansion throughout North America

The Journal Of Commerce Eric Johnson March 6, 2023


Qualle CEO Tyler Sellers told the Journal of Commerce the plan is to broaden the company’s reach from Los Angeles, Long Beach, New York, Savannah, Houston, and Memphis to every US and Canadian port by the end of the year.
Matchbacks, also called street turns, occur when an empty import box is filled with an export shipment outside a port or off-dock facility. Street turns are seen as a way to better utilize drayage capacity, reduce traffic in container hubs, and cut down on emissions associated with the return of empty containers to ports.

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Knight-Swift CEO rejects push to allow truck drivers under 21

Freight Waves John Gallagher March 6, 2023

Allowing truck drivers 18-20 years old to drive interstate cargo — a plan strongly supported by the Biden administration and the American Trucking Associations and seen as a way to address a driver shortage — would be a drag on carrier economics and safety, according to Knight-Swift President and CEO David Jackson.
“The idea of bringing 18-year-old drivers in, I think is a horrific idea for a multitude of reasons,” Jackson told attendees at the Truckload Carriers Association here on Monday.
“But if you happen to believe that to oversupply the industry would be a great thing to do, and the impact that would be on the stability of pricing and the stability of wages for drivers … if you think that’s all a good thing, then I would say we’re grossly underestimating the unintended consequences to oversupply, and what that does to rates, and what that kind of a driver would do for safety.”

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FMCSA’s Hutcheson: Revised guidelines by summer for drug hair testing

Freight Waves John Gallagher March 6, 2023

A long awaited revamp of a proposal setting mandatory guidelines for using hair to test truck drivers for drugs will be available for public comment this summer, according to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrator Robin Hutcheson.
Hutcheson updated the trucking industry on the progress being made by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on the new guidelines at the Truckload Carriers Association annual meeting on Monday.
“We know that hair testing as part of drug testing is a big issue for you,” Hutcheson told a packed ballroom. “And you know that DOT [the U.S. Department of Transportation] must follow HHS mandatory guidelines for this. We are being proactive as much as we can on this issue. I met directly with HHS leadership and staff and can report back today that revised proposed guidance will be available for public viewing by summer of this year.”

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Norfolk Southern rolls out six-point plan focused on safety operations

Logistics Management March 6, 2023

"Reading the NTSB report makes it clear that meaningful safety improvements require a comprehensive industry effort that brings together railcar and tank car manufacturers, railcar owners and lessors, and the railroad companies," said Norfolk Southern President and CEO Alan H. Shaw in a statement. "We are eageNorfolk Southern Railway Train Derailment with Subsequent Hazardous Material Release and Firesr to help drive that effort and we are not waiting to take action."
Link: National Transportation Safety Board Norfolk Southern Railway Train Derailment with Subsequent Hazardous Material Release and Fires

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Kohl’s shrinks inventory position after ‘out of control’ levels in 2022

Supply Chain Dive Ben UnglesbeeMarch 6, 2023

• Kohl’s is revamping how it manages its inventory after net sales fell more than 7% in FY2022 and margins shrunk by nearly five percentage points.
• The discount department store chain is committed to shrinking its inventory plan by a percentage in the mid-single digits after the company “got out of control” with its purchasing in 2022, CEO Tom Kingsbury told analysts.
• With the reduction, Kingsbury added that Kohl’s would “operate so that we have plenty of room to chase receipts,” meaning the retailer will seek additional inventory as needed to meet customer demand.

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Costco ecommerce sales drop despite total sales increase

Digital Commerce 360 Abbas Haleem March 6, 2023

• Costco ecommerce sales decreased 9.6% year over year in the second fiscal quarter, and 6.8% year over year in the first half.
• Costco net sales for its second quarter increased to $54.24 billion, up 6.5% from $50.94 billion in the year-ago period.
• Executive members now comprise 45% of paid members and about 73% of sales worldwide.

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Immigrants help fill gaps in trucking workforce

MarketPlace Elizabeth Trovall March 6, 2023

The number of foreign-born truck drivers in the U.S. has more than doubled since 2000, as U.S.-born drivers retire and demand to move freight remains high. In diverse Houston, a major shipping corridor, the industry’s demographic shifts are especially pronounced.
Being a trucker can be tough. And like many trades, it doesn’t attract U.S.-born workers like it used to. The hours are long, and the median pay is around $48,000 a year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Houston-area truck driver Jorge Chavez said he’s seen many immigrants join the industry in his last 20 years in the business. He himself immigrated to the U.S. as a teen. Chavez is following in his mom’s footsteps — she was a trucker in El Salvador.

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