HomeNewsAbout CTSWhy CTSThe ProcessFAQ'sTestimonialsCase HistoriesContact CarriersIndustry LinksContact
Logistics Intelligence Brief
Monday, May 15, 2023


Cross-border LTL Q&A with FreightPlus SVP

Freight Waves Todd Maiden May 12, 2023

FreightWaves: It seems like rail and full truckload have dominated the cross-border freight market. Why is LTL becoming more popular?
Garrett: It’s true that quite a bit of consolidation of freight happens at warehouses on either side of the borders, which is why historically full truckload has thrived more. This will continue on some level — however, the need for just-in-time and a more nimble supply chain will also grow and cross-border North American freight is no exception. LTL carriers — if proven to provide a similar service, priced well with low friction to the customer — will be used more often.
FreightWaves: What do the economics look like for carriers?
Garrett: Shipment complexity and a smaller pool of capable carriers presents an opportunity.
A lot of the larger U.S. national carriers actively pursue cross-border freight. It tends to operate well for them, and according to most pricing programs, the rates are quite aggressive for freight to certain Canadian provinces and places in Mexico.

Share This: Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn


Trucking’s Fountain of Youth: How to keep older assets on the road

Fleet Owner Gregg Wartgrow May 12, 2023

An August 2022 study published by the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) found the average trade cycle on a tractor-tractor has increased to 8.7 years.
“There appear to be a couple of reasons for this,” ATRI’s SVP Dan Murray said. “First, equipment costs have gone through the roof in the past couple of years. Secondly, supply chain issues have made trucks and many components not only really expensive but oftentimes quite rare.”
The high costs can still be preferable to current higher interest rates. These add to the ownership cost equation, particularly with smaller to mid-size fleets that typically don’t purchase new equipment with cash.

Share This: Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn


New Descartes report makes the case for the benefits of increased transportation IT spend

Logistics Management Jeff Berman May 12, 2023

Entitled the “7th Annual Transportation Management Benchmark Survey,” was based on feedback from 345 global transportation professionals to identify the strategies, tactics and technology-thinking of top-performing organizations. Descartes said freight brokers are the largest represented business type in the survey, at 24%, with nearly two-thirds of respondents, at 66%, working in the logistics community, and manufacturers, at 14%, leading the shipper group. And geographically, 71.1% of respondents said that they have a North American presence for operations, with Western Europe next at 39.6%.
Link: Descartes Global Transportation Management Benchmark Survey

Share This: Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn

As Pandemic-Era Investor Fervor Eases, Money Gets Tight for Logistics Startups

The Wall Street Journal Paul Berger May 12, 2023


Venture firms concluded more than 110 logistics deals in both 2021 and 2022, distributing funds totaling $2.1 billion annually, more than double the deal values in each of the previous three years, according to PitchBook Data. Many of the investments were focused on startups that brought new digital tools and automation to logistics operations, offering the potential to untangle snarled supply chains and get goods moving faster and more reliably to consumers.
So far this year, firms have concluded 21 logistics funding deals for a total $400 million, putting the sector on track to be closer to the annual investment levels of 2018 and 2019, before the Covid-19 pandemic sent consumer demand and interest in supply-chain technology surging.

Share This: Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn

2 Factors Will Determine How Much AI Transforms Our Economy

Kellogg Insight Benjamin Jones May 2023

How much AI will transform our economy, then, depends on the extent to which it can increase productivity in these unproductive and expensive parts of the economy, like healthcare, education, hospitality, transportation, or electricity. Autonomous vehicles or robots that could do household chores, for instance, could dramatically free up human labor, like advances in farming machinery did for farmers; similarly, using AI to make individual physicians or educators considerably more productive could also help to relieve these bottlenecks.

Share This: Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn


Study Urges Excise Tax Repeal for Electric Trucking Takeoff

Transport Topics Keiron Greenhalgh May 12, 2023

Repeal of the federal excise tax (FET) on heavy-duty commercial vehicles should be a key tool in the United States’ push to reduce trucking’s greenhouse gas emissions through electrification, according to a study by a nonprofit that searches for solutions to environmental and energy problems.
The report by Resources for the Future lays out the options for speedier widespread electrification of trucking, and its findings back industry demands of recent months, including from American Trucking Associations.
Link: Resources For The Future Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicle Electrification: Challenges, Policy Solutions, and Open Research Questions

Share This: Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn

The New EV Gold-Rush: Automakers Scramble to Get Into Mining

The Wall Street Journal Mike Colias And Scott Patterson May 15, 2023


When General Motors began outlining plans in 2020 to fully switch to electric vehicles, it didn’t account for one critical factor: Many of the battery minerals needed to fulfill its plans were still in the ground.
“I remember seeing a report from our raw-materials team at the time saying, ‘There is plenty of lithium out there. There is plenty of nickel’,” said Sham Kunjur, an industrial engineer now in charge of securing the raw materials for GM’s batteries. “We will buy them from the open market.”
GM executives soon came to discover how off the mark those projections were, and now Mr. Kunjur’s 40-person team is scouring the globe for these minerals.
The auto industry’s shift to EVs has triggered a scramble to lock in supplies of lithium, nickel, graphite and other materials core to battery making, much of which are currently mined and processed outside the U.S. in places such as China and Australia.

Share This: Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn

Gov. Kim Reynolds signs law capping certain damages in trucking lawsuits

Iowa Capital Dispatch Robin Opsahl May 12, 2023

Gov. Kim Reynolds signed legislation Friday that enacts a $5 million limit on noneconomic damages a victim can recover in court cases against trucking companies whose employees cause accidents.
The liability limits in Senate File 228 apply to lawsuits against trucking companies whose employee caused injury, death, or other significant damages. Only the noneconomic damages — jury awards to compensate victims for costs such as pain and suffering — are affected by the cap.

Share This: Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn


Consumer Long-Term Inflation Expectations Hit 12-Year High

Transport Topics/Bloomberg Reade Pickert May 12, 2023

“While current incoming macroeconomic data show no sign of recession, consumers’ worries about the economy escalated in May alongside the proliferation of negative news about the economy, including the debt crisis standoff,” Joanne Hsu, director of the survey, said in a statement.
A necessary component of returning inflation to the Fed’s 2% target is keeping long-term inflation expectations anchored at a low level. While the pickup is concerning, Hsu noted that there were few signs consumers were buying in advance to avoid future price increases.
That suggests “the rise in long-run inflation expectations did not reflect the growing influence of inflationary psychology or increased risk of a wage-price spiral,” Hsu said.
Link: University Of Michigan Surveys Of Consumers

Share This: Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn

Companies’ drive for expanding margins threatens future freight demand

Freight Waves Zach Strickland May 13, 2023

One reason for the still rising CPI figures — what the Fed uses as a measure for inflation — is a lagging response by companies to pass along the increasing input costs in the early phases of the pandemic.
The PPI increased 20% throughout 2021, while the CPI only rose 6.7%. It is typical for companies to hold off on price increases and try to absorb as much of the cost as possible on the front end so as to not shock their customers into looking for replacements. This is why inflation is such a lagging indicator.
Goods demand has been eroding since 2021, something companies had trouble recognizing due to their difficulties sourcing materials. They were never able to count on receiving enough inventory.
There is optimism left, however. Zac Rogers, a contributor to the LMI, talked on this past week’s Freightonomics about how upstream participants in supply chains are more optimistic about demand later in the year as they expect the Fed to take a pause on rate hikes. This will open the door for a more stable investment environment. He states it is less about the rate and more about the expectation.

Share This: Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn

News Archive

© 2009-2023 Capital Transportation Services  |  7 Wall Street Suite 200  |  Windham, NH 03087

P: 888.276.6699