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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. 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.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%.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.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.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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