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Logistics Intelligence Brief
Wednesday, July 19, 2023


June DAT Truckload Volume Index is mixed, across various segments

Logistics Management Jeff Berman July 18, 2023

The June edition of the DAT Truckload Volume Index (TVI), which was issued this week by DAT Freight & Analytics represented a mixed bag, of sorts, with spot rates remaining firm, and contract rates falling to a nearly two-year low.
DAT’s data highlighted the following takeaways for truckload volumes, load-to-truck ratios, and rates, for the month of June, including:
• the Van TVI was down 1% compared to May, to 230, and down 10% annually;
• the spot van rate rose $0.03, to $2.08 per mile, up for the first time in five months, with the spot reefer rate up $0.03, to $2.47 per mile, and the spot flatbed rate down $0.04, to $2.61 per mile;
• van line haul rates, at $1.65 per mile, rose $0.04 over May, with flatbed linehaul rates down $0.02, to $2.10 per mile, and reefer linehaul rates were up $0.05, to $2.01 per mile;

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June Truck Tonnage Ticks Down 0.8% on Annual Basis

Transport Topics Dan Ronan July 18, 2023

Truck tonnage in June slipped 0.8% when measured against the same month in 2022, the fourth consecutive year-over-year decline, according to American Trucking Associations' For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index released July 18.
However, on a month-to-month basis, the seasonally adjusted index rose 2.1% compared with May, ATA said. The index equaled 116.5 in June compared with 114.1 in May.
ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello said that despite the sequential gains, the freight market is still in a down cycle.

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LTL: A True Shipping Advantage

Multichannel Merchant Dustin Kreigh July 18, 2023

Less-than-truckload or LTL shipping has become increasingly popular in recent years, and for good reason. When shipping LTL freight, the shipper pays for the portion of a standard truck trailer their freight occupies, with the rest of the space shared by other companies. This provides many benefits to shippers and carriers, from cost to speed to environmental efficiency.
Increased Sustainability
• LTL shipping helps increase sustainability by reducing the environmental impact of transportation. Because LTL carriers consolidate multiple shipments in one trailer, the number of trucks on the road and the amount of fuel consumed is reduced.
• LTL carriers also use advanced routing and scheduling technology to optimize delivery routes, further reducing fuel consumption and emissions.

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Truckstop acquires freight matching platform to target ‘high-quality’ carriers

The Journal Of Commerce Eric Johnson July 18, 2023


Load board and truckload data provider Truckstop on Tuesday said it has acquired FreightFriend, a truckload procurement software vendor, for an undisclosed amount.
The deal gives Truckstop, one of the two primary US websites for brokers and truckload carriers to connect available loads with available capacity, a technology platform for freight matching and building routing guides for shippers and brokers.
Founded in 2019, FreightFriend essentially serves as a carrier relationship management platform for brokers, while also connecting shippers directly with asset carriers where there is no existing relationship. The company also enables automatic freight matching opportunities.

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Monthly retail sales from the US Commerce Department

Retail Dive Daphne Howland And Caroline Jansen July 18, 2023

Inflation’s cooldown is freeing up real money for consumers, and last month some retailers sold more discretionary goods as a result. Retail sales in June rose 4.9% year over year in the segments followed by Retail Dive, according to numbers released Tuesday by the U.S. Department of Commerce.
Consumer concern about inflation has hit its lowest point since Morning Consult began tracking last year, with 47% of Americans saying they’re very concerned about it, versus 64% a year ago. It helps that, while employment is leveling off, it “is by no means in a slump,” according to National Retail Federation Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz.
“The pace of spending is slower, but consumers are still in control of the direction of the economy thanks to the still-growing labor market and a comfortable cushion of savings,” he said in a statement.

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Amazon nears $13 billion in Prime Day sales

Digital Commerce James Risley July 18, 2023

• Amazon grew worldwide sales 6.7% to $12.9 billion during the two-day summer sale it created nearly a decade ago.
• In the U.S., ecommerce sales grew 6.1% during the same period.
• Other retailers didn’t see as big of a boost to traffic during Prime Day this year.

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Retailers’ Problems Get Real

The Wall Street Journal Justin Lahart July 18, 2023


For retailers themselves, though, slowing inflation, and outright deflation, is more of a mixed bag. Improved supply chains and falling commodity prices are reducing their buying prices, which is a plus, but some are likely sitting on inventory that they bought for more than they might have to pay now. Early in the pandemic, retailers got a margin boost as their inventory became more valuable.

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Prologis Boosts Outlook on Record Quarterly Earnings

The Wall Street Journal Will Feuer July 18, 2023


The logistics-property giant is building and buying warehouses even as interest rates rise and logistics demand falter
Prologis Chief Financial Officer Timothy Arndt said in an earnings conference call that customers have been more deliberate in leasing decisions but that the company expects the upturn in vacancy rates will provide only “a short-lived reprieve” in rising rental prices because construction starts have declined. “Starts in the second quarter were down approximately 40% across our U.S. markets and 50% in Europe. We see deliveries in 2024 falling short of demand, reducing vacancy over the course of next year,” he said.

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‘Nuclear’ Lawsuits Against Truckers Continue to Rise

Transport Topics Eric Miller July 18, 2023

A new study by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Legal Reform found that trucking in America is “under siege by litigation.”
“Verdicts in trucking accident cases accelerated in size starting in the 2000s but have skyrocketed over the last 10 years, despite a decreased rate of serious trucking crashes over that time frame,” the study said. “Moreover, with the inflation of verdicts and settlements, the search for deep pockets is expanding and the circle of potential defendants is widening.” A review of 154 trucking litigation verdicts and settlements from June 2020 to April 2023 revealed a statistical mean plaintiffs’ award of $27.5 million and a statistical median award of $759,875 for settlements.

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