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Monday, June 29, 2020
Logistics Intelligence Brief
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Trucking

Trucking executives hope for a Nike Swoosh recovery

Freight Waves Brian Straight June 29, 2020

A quick uptick in the economy could lead to renewed labor concerns for the trucking industry, creating a double-edged sword as the nation looks to return to some semblance of economic normalcy. A more gradual improvement would be the preference of two top trucking executives who participated in the opening general session of the Truckload Carriers Association’s (TCA) Virtual Safety & Security Meeting, held last Tuesday through Thursday. Speaking during the session, sponsored by the Allied Committee for the Trucking Industry (Act 1), Dennis Dellinger, president and CEO of Cargo Transporters, said he hoped for a more gradual recovery rather than a sharp uptick.

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Shippers/3PLs

Retail ‘winners’ have clear eye on supply chain woes: survey

The Journal of Commerce Eric Johnson June 26, 2020

Freight transportation a sizable problem Sixty-one percent of all respondents said freight transportation inefficiencies were a “moderate to large” problem. Interestingly, 36 percent of winners and only 14 percent of laggards cited this as an issue, suggesting that high-performing companies have a more acute sense of their freight transportation shortfalls than their lower-performing peers, the study authors noted. Fifty-seven percent of all respondents said a lack of visibility into inventory was either “somewhat of a problem” or a “big problem,” while 68 percent said a lack of timely information on global disruptions being pushed to their transportation systems was problematic to some degree.

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Nike increases digital fulfillment capacity 3x due to pandemic

Supply Chain Dive Matt Leonard June 26, 2020

Nike adjusted its inventory buying plans and canceled roughly 30% (on a unit basis) of pre-pandemic factory purchase orders for the fall and holiday seasons, the company's CFO Matt Friend said on its fourth-quarter earnings call Thursday. The company also shifted more inventory to serve e-commerce markets and tripled its digital fulfillment capacity across its North American and European, Middle Eastern and African markets, Friend said.

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Industry

Study: LTL Carriers Cover More Miles Between Breakdowns Than Truckload Fleets

Transport Topics Michael Freeze June 26, 2020

LTL carriers on average traveled 55,407 miles between breakdowns, while truckload fleets covered 14,991 miles between incidents, according to first-quarter data collected by the TMC/FleetNet America Vertical Roadside Breakdown Benchmarking Program, a cooperative effort between American Trucking Associations’ Technology & Maintenance Council and maintenance data provider FleetNet America. The results were presented June 24 as part of TMC’s Vehicle Electrical/Electronic Architecture and Fleet Benchmarking Conference, which TMC Executive Director Robert Braswell said was the first virtual conference in the council’s history.

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AAR reports annual U.S. carload and intermodal declines for week ending June 20

Logistics Management June 26, 2020

Intermodal containers and trailers—at 255,455—were down 4.4% annually, trailing the week ending June 13, at 250,854, and the week ending June 6 at 240,671.

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Amazon to Acquire Self-Driving Startup Zoox

The Wall Street Journal Tim Higgins and Matt Grossman June 26, 2020

The Wall Street Journal reported in May that the Seattle-based e-commerce giant was in advanced talks to buy Zoox, at a price lower than the $3.2 billion valuation Zoox had achieved in a previous fundraising round. Zoox was founded in 2014 and grew quickly amid expanding interest in autonomous vehicles and ride hailing but has more recently struggled to raise funding.

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Technology/Innovation

Researchers target truckload data security threats

Fleet Owner Cristina Commendatore

Cybersecurity vulnerabilities, which can be exploited remotely and in large numbers, are an existing threat in heavy-duty commercial vehicles, according to a National Motor Freight Traffic Association (NMFTA) white paper on heavy vehicle cybersecurity. And given the potential for large-scale exploitation of heavy vehicle cyber vulnerabilities, the consequences for trucking companies could be catastrophic. Jeremy Daily, an associate professor of systems engineering at Colorado State University (CSU), has been working with student researchers at the university via a program called the Student CyberTruck Experience, which originated through takeaways from an NMFTA meeting on heavy vehicle cybersecurity. The goal of CSU’s program is to fill a talent pipeline and create a next-generation workforce that could work on trucks and cybersecurity at the same time, explained Daily.

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Government/Safety

Are you ready? CVSA’s Safe Driver Week set for July 12-18

Freight Waves Clarissa Hawes June 27, 2020

“It’s essential that this enforcement initiative, which focuses on identifying and deterring unsafe driving behaviors, such as speeding, go on as scheduled,” said CVSA President Sgt. John Samis of the Delaware State Police. “As passenger vehicle drivers are limiting their travel to necessary trips and many commercial motor vehicle drivers are busy transporting vital goods to stores, it’s more important than ever to monitor our roadways for safe transport.”

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Plaintiffs’ attorneys: ATRI nuclear verdict report needs reality check

Freight Waves John Gallagher June 26, 2020

Negligent trucking companies – not nuclear verdicts – are to blame for putting trucking companies out of business, a plaintiff’s attorney group has warned. That message from the 700-member Academy of Truck Accident Attorneys (ATAA) was in response to research released this week by the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) in which ATRI underscored “foundational changes” are needed in a trial system that has gotten off track in assessing an increase in the number of such multi-million dollar verdicts. ATAA pushed back against that premise. “Good companies with good drivers rarely kill families, maim motorists, and destroy lives. When they do, they admit fault and settle,” asserted ATAA co-founder Michael Leizerman in a statement.

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How Fleets Can Address Nuclear Verdicts and High Insurance Costs

Truckinginfo.com Deborah Lockridge June 26, 2020

Turn to Technology Mikolay strongly recommended using in-cab cameras, which he called game-changers. “If you’re using them correctly, they are absolutely a way to avoid losses to begin with – and when you have one to know exactly how to adjudicate the claim.” “Nowadays if you don’t have a plan to, or if you haven't been, testing cameras, then you are being left in the dust,” and that’s something insurance carriers look at when determining rates. “The best motor carriers are seeing that the cameras are an ally," Mikolay said. "Yeah, you’re going to have a driver that gripes about the camera here and there, but those are almost always guys who gripe about everything.”

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Workforce

Drivers Use Apps, Social Media to Stay Connected With Family, Friends

Transport Topics Mindy Long June 22, 2020

“Most drivers don’t go to a job and say, ‘Send me to a place where I’m going to have a difficult time staying connected,’” said Jeremy Reymer, president of DriverReach, a driver recruiting company. Remaining connected has taken on even greater importance as current events have added to the isolation drivers can feel while on the road. “Not only are drivers being exposed to the COVID-19 virus on a daily basis as they eat, fuel, deliver and shower away from home, they worry about exposing their families if and when they do get home,” said Ellen Voie, president of Women in Trucking Association. “Now, add protests in major cities to the mix, and a driver’s physical safety is even more vulnerable. Their families need to be reassured that their loved one — a driver — is safe.”

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