Logistics Industry News In 2 Minutes: Q1 2019

Only have a few minutes to gain insight into the latest news? Our quick logistics update is perfect for you. 

 

OPTIMISM SURROUNDS TALK OF INFRASTRUCTION ACTION

Momentum and support are building for an infrastructure bill to finally pass. President Trump addressed the need in his State of the Union speech and lobbyists and lawmakers are eager to support this initiative. According to Logistics Management, The U.S. freight system moves 55 million tons of goods daily, worth more than $49 billion and is expected to grow nearly 42 percent by 2040. We can’t delay investing in our infrastructure any more and hopefully this momentum leads to real action.

 

MANUFACTURING IN AMERICA IS GROWING

Manufacturers created a record-breaking 284,000 jobs in 2018, the biggest job growth in the industry since 1997! This growth trend in U.S. manufacturing is encouraging and will hopefully continue in 2019 as well.

 

IMPORTS AND EXPORTS ARE SLOWING

Imports of all goods and services dropped 2.9%, while exports declined 0.6% in November of 2018, according to Transport Topics. This was more than was forecast and was a five-month low. Tariffs are weighing on businesses and affecting pricing as well.

 

TOP RISKS IN 2019 COULD AFFECT SUPPLY CHAIN

The Global Risk Report published by the World Economic Forum identifies trends shaping the global economy. Their recent publication indicated the top 5 risks are extreme weather events, failure of climate-change mitigation and adaptation, natural disasters, data fraud or theft, and cyber-attacks. Supply chains could use this report’s information when assessing and planning for risks that could affect them. 

 

 

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What you need to know about the FMCSA’s proposed HOS regulation…

Read our summary of the 4 areas that are being proposed, how it could affect you, and the TIA’s response.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) published an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. Their proposal covers four key areas: short-haul exemption, adverse driving conditions, mandatory 30-minute rest break, and the split sleeper berth rules. The agency says, “The introduction of electronic logging devices for drivers of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) have prompted numerous requests from Congress and the public for FMCSA to consider revising certain HOS provisions.”

 

The four specific areas under consideration for revision are:

  • Expanding the current 100 air-mile “short-haul” exemption from 12 hours on-duty to 14 hours on-duty, in order to be consistent with the rules for long-haul truck drivers

  • Extending the current 14-hour on-duty limitation by up to two hours when a truck driver encounters adverse driving conditions

  • Revising the current mandatory 30-minute break for truck drivers after 8-hours of continuous driving

  • Reinstating the option for splitting up the required 10-hour off-duty rest break for drivers operating trucks that are equipped with a sleeper-berth compartment

 

What does this mean?

The goal of the proposal is to alleviate unnecessary burdens placed on drivers. Many organizations and drivers support these changes and believe the increased flexibility will help with driver shortage issues. Allowing drivers more flexibility to do their job well and avoid driver fatigue will enable carriers to attract the additional drivers our industry desperately needs. More drivers means more capacity and better rates. Hopefully we will have some clarity by mid-2019 on the proposal’s viability and implementation. Until then, drivers continue to report reduced driving hours due to the current regulations which means we will continue to experience tight capacity issues.

The TIA has responded with support to this proposal of revising the split sleeper berth rule and the short haul HOS rule. The TIA said, “This gives the agency the chance to reexamine the impact of the HOS regulations and what regulations could be improved. Combine this with the amount of real-time data being collected from the motor carriers ELDs, the agency has more than enough data to update the regulatory changes that would benefit the motor carrier industry.”

 

Trek will continue to monitor industry changes in order to best serve our customers and our carrier partners. Call us to talk about your freight needs.

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>> READ the full FMCSA proposal document

 

>> READ the 5,000 responses to the proposal

 

>> READ the TIA’s response

Broker or Load Board?

Truckers can grow their business by putting others to work for them.

All carriers want to book profitable loads and have a good network of connections. If you don’t have a lot of direct shipper contacts, you may think your only option is combing through the load boards. However, you never want to put all your eggs in one basket.

Some people are suspicious of brokers and prefer to peruse load boards for jobs. Using load boards can be helpful if you are just getting started and need some revenue, contacts, and experience. There are a LOT of load boards out there and not all of them are quality ones. Usually, it takes sorting through multiple load boards to find the best loads at the best prices. This can often take hours of searching and phone calls.

 

Could you be making better use of your time and be booked more regularly if you partner with a trustworthy broker?

Just as there are many load boards, there are many freight broker and 3PL options out there. You will want to be careful to avoid brokers who withhold shipper payments from drivers for weeks or months, or lack knowledge specific to your business.

There are plenty of reputable brokers who want to work with dependable carriers and can be a valuable asset. At the end of the day, if the broker is offering you the rate per mile that you want and a load and you like, take it and let the broker do the searching, negotiating, and back office work for you.


Brokers can typically help by...

  • Learning your specialty/preferences to get you the loads you want.

  • Handling the tedious negotiations.

  • Arranging loads with decent reload opportunity.

  • Preventing long wait times at either end, or if unavoidable, give you an honest head's up.

  • Providing you with greater detail about each load, avoiding surprises.

  • Paying you quicker than going direct with the shipper.


Find an honest, reliable broker to partner with to expand your opportunities. Contact us now to find out how we can help your business.

 

Partner with Trek for a dependable, experienced process.

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Logistics Industry News In 2 Minutes

Only have a few minutes to gain insight into the latest news? Our quick logistics update is perfect for you.

Hurricane Michael causes widespread damage

There is extensive damage in the Florida Panhandle and into Georgia from the Category 4 hurricane. Tallahassee’s Twitter feed stated, “The damage to our infrastructure is the most widespread and severe we’ve ever experienced.” The reports on the Gulf Coast area are that the roads are impassable, and communications are down. The storm has now been downgraded to a tropical storm as it moves through the Carolinas.[1] Availability and pricing will undoubtedly be affected for the foreseeable future until FEMA efforts to stabilize the area is complete.

DOT issues emergency relief for Carolinas

The U.S. Department of Transportation has announced $14 million in emergency relief funds to help rebuild roads and bridges damaged by Hurricane Florence throughout North Carolina.[2]The ‘quick release’ payment helps the NCDOT to pay for emergency traffic operations and emergency contracts to repair damaged roadways. An additional $8 million was allocated to South Carolina.

Even busier holiday season due to tariffs?

With President Trump’s announcement of additional tariffs on $200 billion of imports from China, some shippers could move up shipments to get ahead of the increase. On Jan. 1, the tariffs will rise to 25% from the Sept. 24 level of 10%.[3]While not all shipments will be able to be moved ahead of schedule, many companies will evaluate whether they can benefit from getting in front of the Jan. 1 increase. This could also impact capacity at warehouse space through spring.

Industry statistics to note

  • Overall U.S. industrial production rose 1.1% last month and manufacturing output grew at a faster pace. (WSJ)

  • Canadian manufacturing sales fell in January on a sharp decline in motor vehicle production. (WSJ)

  • 69.1% - Share of U.S.-Mexico freight flows by value carried by trucks in 2017, a decline of 1.9 percentage points from the year before, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

Intermodal continues to experience growth

Joni Casey, executive director of the Intermodal Association of North America, said intermodal volumes were at 12.6 million loads through August, up about 7% year-to-date over last year.[4]Capacity issues are influencing this uptick in intermodal loads as trucks become more difficult to find drivers to operate them. The economic growth we are experiencing also has increased the need for intermodal solutions.

Driver Wellness Programs Keep on Trucking

According to a recent survey of carriers conducted by Inbound Logistics, 48% of carriers have a driver wellness program with 15% more saying they plan on starting one in 2018.[5]There is a huge benefit to the driver who fluctuates between sitting for a long time and doing intense physical labor. The programs help the drivers to live a healthier lifestyle which impacts their ability to be healthier, happier, and more productive.

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[1]https://www.npr.org/2018/10/11/656419831/after-hurricane-michael-carved-through-florida-panhandle-recovery-work-begins

[2]https://www.transportation.gov/briefing-room/dot5418

[3]https://www.ttnews.com/articles/tariffs-could-spur-early-imports-higher-inventories

[4]https://www.ttnews.com/articles/intermodal-3pl-outlook-remains-strong

[5]http://www.inboundlogistics.com/cms/article/driver-wellness-programs-the-right-thing-to-do/?news=1