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Logistics Intelligence Brief
Wednesday, March 15, 2023


With new trucks scarce, fleets alter course to address tractor needs

Fleet Owner Scott Achelpohl March 14, 2023

The COVID-19 and post-pandemic period in trucking has tested fleets in several ways but one significantly: equipment. During an extended period now, OEMs have been constrained, mostly because of a shabby supply chain and component and material shortages, from delivering tractors and to a lesser degree trailers.
Where this has been felt most is with freight haulers themselves, which have adopted a variety of strategies such as reducing their new-truck orders, canceling orders altogether, keeping their used equipment and ordering even more preowned gear, or even reducing the size of their operations to cope.
They’ve redefined the words “replacement cycle” in the last two to three years.

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Shopify execs say Deliverr is key in building fulfillment network distinct from Amazon

Supply Chain Dive Max Garland March 14, 2023

Building a fulfillment network that can serve both the needs of merchants and delivery expectations of consumers is an expensive and lengthy undertaking. But Shopify leaders say the purchase of Deliverr is accelerating progress in that area as it looks to provide services to merchants throughout the supply chain.
“With Deliverr, what they’re bringing is a network and fulfillment management software layer, which helps to predict demand and place inventory at a point that is closest to that demand,” Senior Manager of Investor Relations Ana Raman said at a separate conference last week. “And by doing that, we believe that we can decrease the time to which we can get a product to the end customer, and thereby reduce cost as well.”

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Hydrogen and trucking at CERAWeek: Huge opportunity, enormous costs

Freight Waves John Kingston March 13, 2023

After declaring hydrogen the “fuel of the future” in trucking, Healy made a comment that Divis echoed at the later panel: “The question is, when are we going to have the infrastructure to really deploy hydrogen.”
While the challenges of building hydrogen infrastructure may seem immense, they have the benefit of being front-loaded. Hoban said the initial costs to develop a hydrogen infrastructure for trucking are enormous but have enduring economies of scale.

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Senate CDL Bill Spotlights Veterans

Transport Topics Eugene Mulero March 14, 2023

Specifically, the bill would “ensure CDL schools that offer courses at new branches do not have to wait two years if the primary institutions has been approved by the VA and state approving agencies to receive GI benefits,” according to background accompanying the bill’s introduction. “By clarifying this two-year moratorium statute, the bill will allow veterans more accessibility to nearby CDL schools and lead to high paying careers in the industry.”

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Speed limiters, AEBs sought by Truck Safety Coalition

Land Line Mark Schremmer March 14, 2023

In a letter to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, the Truck Safety Coalition called for mandated speed limiters and automatic emergency brakes on all commercial motor vehicles.
“For years, the Department of Transportation has delayed and deferred critical regulatory actions bowing to the sustained opposition of special trucking interests that compromise the safety of all trucks including those transporting hazardous materials,” the Truck Safety Coalition wrote in the letter sent on Tuesday, March 14.
The letter was co-signed by such organizations as Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways, Parents Against Tired Truckers, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.
Link: Truck Safety Coalition Joint Letter Urging Secretary Buttigieg to Prioritize Truck Safety Measures

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Sunbelt Traffic Jams Are Frustrating Drivers and Threatening Growth

The Wall Street Journal Konrad Putzier March 14, 2023


The traffic tie-ups aggravated by the newcomers threaten to become a drag on economic growth. Miami residents lost 105 hours to traffic jams on average in 2022, according to Inrix, up 30% from 2019. Nashville’s lost hours over the same period rose 13% to 41. Other Sunbelt metropolitan areas with worsening delays include Las Vegas; Sarasota, Fla.; St. Petersburg, Fla.; and Savannah, Ga.
Changing travel patterns during the pandemic explain some of the gridlock. E-commerce deliveries are up, and construction sites proliferate in the faster-growing cities. As Americans spend more time working from home, they drive to stores or the gym during the day.
“If they don’t commute, they compensate by making other trips,” said Mr. Cervero.

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US trucking, warehousing firms shed jobs, but still have more than a year ago

The Journal Of Commerce William B. Cassidy March 14, 2023


“The biggest thing I'm thinking is driving the decline in trucking employment is sustained reduced output from chemical manufacturers excluding pharmaceuticals, paper products, and primary metals,” Jason Miller, associate professor of logistics at Michigan State University and a Journal of Commerce analyst, said Monday.
Paper product output has dropped by double digits from a year ago, Miller said, while chemicals and primary metals outputs are down by mid-single-digit percentages. “Those three sectors account for about 13 percent of all ton-miles for for-hire trucking,” Miller said.

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Driver recruitment woes have ‘abated somewhat,’ top TL executives say

Logistics Management John D. Schulz March 14, 2023

The year-over-year increase in driver costs at Werner has resulted in what Leathers said was truck drivers “continue to receive solid paychecks, make a very good living and have less disruption in their lives.”
Leathers said driver costs at Werner in the first quarter of 2022 were up 15%, second quarter up 15%, third quarter up 9%, fourth quarter, up 4%. Moving into 2023, Leathers said he expected those costs to remain in the low single digits.
Mark Rourke, president and CEO of Schneider, the nation’s fourth-largest truckload carrier, said “significant increases” in driver pay recently have eased the shortage somewhat. Schneider uses 12,000 company drivers and an additional 2,000 owner-operators.

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