Quick Transport Solutions Inc.

19 Aug 2019 at 5:17am

Pictured: Wally Morris of Depot Systems; Photo: supplied by WiseTech Global

Ohio-based container yard/terminal management software system Depot Systems has been bought by Sydney, Australia-based WiseTech Global (ASX: WTC) for an undisclosed sum, it was announced today.

Commenting on the reasons for the acquisition, the CEO and founder of WiseTech Global, Richard White, said: ?Depot Systems is highly regarded as the U.S. leader in container yard management software with innovative products and significant container yard experience. Empty container yards are a vital but often overlooked part of the international supply chain and landside logistics, thus Depot Systems is a valuable addition to build further opportunities for our technology solutions.

?Bringing Depot Systems into the group provides important synergies with our container optimisation solutions business Containerchain, which we acquired in April this year and brings large scale in container yard customers in the US. Together, this gives us better coverage and visibility into the container yard sector to solve the broader landside logistics issues.?

Founded in 1998, Depot Systems provides container yard/terminal management software in the U.S. Among other services, Depot Systems helps with container yard management, container maintenance and repair estimating. It helps manage container bookings, releases and manifests, container lifting and mounting, gate EDI, as well as repair and equipment status. 

It has more than 200 predominantly US?based depots and terminals as customers, including Container Maintenance Corp, Trac Intermodal, ContainerPort Group and XPO Logistics. It averages over 500,000 gate movements per month.

Wally Morris, the managing director of Depot Systems (pictured above), will continue to lead the business. Depot Systems will continue to provide its services to US customers, and ?potentially? to businesses around the world that use WiseTech?s ?CargoWise? supply-chain software.

WiseTech Global was founded in October 1994 to develop, sell and implement software that helps logisticians to move and store goods around the world. Its software is used in freight forwarding, customs clearance, warehousing, liner and agency, truck and rail management, all the main modes (air, sea, road, rail) of freight, container pack and unpack and in other areas. WiseTech?s customers include 12,000 of the world?s logistics companies across 130 countries.

The company floated on the Australian Stock Exchange in April 2016 at A$3.35 a share. At the time of writing, the company?s share price was A$26.72 (US$18.14).

In the 2018 annual report, WiseTech said that it handled more than 54 billion data transactions a year. In the five financial years of 2014 to 2018, the company recorded a 41 percent compound annual growth rate. In the last financial year, WiseTech reported A$221.6 million (US$150.44 million) of revenues; earnings before interest taxation depreciation and amortization of A$78.0 million (US$52.95 million) and net profits after tax A$40.8 million (US$27.70 million). WiseTech is due to release its next full year financial results in a few days. 

Further details of the Depot Systems acquisition have been sought by FreightWaves.

18 Aug 2019 at 7:29pm

Maple Leaf Motoring is a weekly rundown of developments in the world of Canadian transportation. This week: pulp mill?s closure could string trucking, Saskatchewan highways get an  infusion, Transplace appoints head for Canada, and transport associations visit Central Bank.

Trucking companies could go out of business if a pulp mill in Nova Scotia shuts down next year. 

Northern Pulp could cease operations in 2020 if its owner, Paper Excellence Group, cannot secure the provincial government?s approval on a new site to handle its liquid waste. The plant receives 120 trucks of wood chips and sends 50 trucks of finished pulp per day, according to a report commissioned by the union Unifor, which represents plant employees.  

?It?s going to hurt,? said Jean-Marc Picard, executive director of the Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association, which represents carriers in the region. ?It could lead to closures unless these carriers are able to diversify. But they are hauling very specific products with very specific fleets.? 

The Unifor report, released in August, estimates that plant spends more than C$50 million per year connected to the inbound and outbound transportation. But the domino effect would likely extend further, with the plant?s overall economic impact reaching over C$600 million per year. It also would affect the port of Halifax, which receives those 50 daily trucks of finished pulp. 

Paper Excellence must shut down its existing waste treatment facility by January 2020, because it borders on the land of the Pictou Landing First Nations. The company has proposed to treat its effluent onsite and then transport it via pipeline. 

Northern Pulp is also seeking an extension of the deadline to close the treatment facility.  

Saskatchewan highways getting C$75 million investment 

Saskatchewan highways will get more than C$75 million in provincial and federal investment. 

The funds will cover the repaving about 136 miles of 12 highways and the building of four sets of passing lanes on Highway 4. 

?These highway improvements in Saskatchewan will keep motorists safe, shorten travel times and improve access of our products to world markets, bolstering economic growth and the prosperity of the middle class and all those working hard to join it,? Federal Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale, who also represents a Saskatchewan district in parliament. 

The Canadian government has announced millions of dollars in funding this summer ahead of October?s federal election, including investments for trucking at the Port of Montreal.

Craig Watson, Transplace’s new Managing Director for Canada. Photo: Transplace

Transplace appoints managing director for Canada

Transplace has hired Craig Watson, a veteran transportation and logistics executive, to lead its growing Canadian operations. 

The U.S.-based transportation management company announced Watson?s appointment as managing director on August 12. Watson most recently worked at DB Schenker.

?Transplace continues to invest in its Canadian operations in order to  provide our customers with a complete North American solution,? Bob Daymon, senior vice president, said in a statement. ?Adding an experienced supply chain leader like Craig will allow our Canadian operations team to leverage strong local leadership to drive the intra-Canada and cross-border shipping needs of our customer base.

Watson will work out of Transplace?s Oakville offices, near Toronto. The company expects to handle C$500 million in Canadian or Canadian-bound freight this year. 

Transportation associations industry highlight needs in Bank of Canada meeting

Nine transportation associations with the Governor of the Bank of Canada, Stephen Poloz, on August 15, to discuss an array of industry issues including labor shortages and infrastructure needs. 

?All associations agree there are many common areas where federal public policy shifts can greatly benefit blue-collar industries like transportation. Today was a wonderful opportunity for our industry and others to highlight how we can make Canada more competitive by addressing the many common opportunities across multiple sectors,? Canadian Trucking Alliance president Stephen Laskowski said in a statement.

18 Aug 2019 at 1:00pm

Borderlands is a weekly rundown of developments in the world of United States-Mexico cross-border trucking and trade. This week: Mexico?s transport industry grows; AIT Worldwide expands Mexico operations; Nuevo Laredo sees more border crossings; and Mexico freight forwarders unveil new maritime index.

Mexico?s freight transport industry continues to grow despite theft and fuel crises 

In the first four months of 2019, the number of freight transportation companies in Mexico increased 4.7 percent compared to the same period in 2018, according to recent data from Mexico?s Ministry of Communications and Transportation (SCT).

Mexico?s SCT registered a total of 154,306 cargo permits from January through April 2019, compared to 147,335 permits during the same period last year.

The permits included trucking companies with one to five trucks; companies with six to 30 trucks; medium-sized companies with 31 to 100 trucks; and firms with more than 100 trucks.

The SCT reported that the fastest growing trucking segment was medium-sized trucking firms (31 to 100 trucks), which grew by 7.4 percent compared to the same period in 2018. There are currently 3,256 medium-sized trucking firms in Mexico.

The second-fastest growing segment was carriers with more than 100 trucks. The SCT registered 1,066 carriers with more than 100 trucks for the first four months of 2019, a 7.2 percent increase compared to the same time last year.

While the freight transport industry continues to grow in Mexico, cargo theft and fuel shortages continue to be a problem, officials said.

?One of the main problems facing this industry is the constant theft suffered by units and the cargo they carry,? said Julián Gaxiola, general manager of GM Transport. ?Land freight transport moves goods through the country and we are dependent on it up to 90 percent.?

Fuel theft, which had been rampant throughout Mexico in the early part of 2019, has decreased, but it continues to occur. 

In January 2019, Mexican media reported that up to 800 fuel trucks were stolen every day. Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador recently said in a speech that number the number of fuel trucks stolen has decreased to 40 a day. 

AIT Worldwide Logistics opening new office at Mexico City Airport

AIT Worldwide Logistics recently announced the company is expanding with the opening of a new location at Mexico City International Airport.

According to a company release, the new AIT-Mexico City office will provide an array of logistics products, including trans-border expertise, warehousing, customs brokerage and IMMEX services, with a focus on air freight ? particularly in the automotive, food logistics, technology and life sciences sectors.

“We’re eager to expand our reach and strengthen our service offerings with this newest location,” said Vaughn Moore, AIT president and chief executive officer. “Mexico City is a major hub and a key city for our growing international network. This office will play a significant role in broadening our scope of solutions between Mexico and the United States, as well as Asia and Europe.?

The new location will be AIT Worldwide Logistics? fifth office in Mexico. The company also has offices in Guadalajara, Hermosillo and Monterrey.

AIT Worldwide Logistics recently acquired Los Angeles-based freight forwarder Unitrans International Corporation. The company acquired food logistics forwarder WorldFresh Express and ConneXion World Cargo in October 2018 and December 2018.

Nearly 1 million freight trucks have already crossed into the U.S. through Nuevo Laredo

During the first half of this year, customs operations in Nuevo Laredo increased more than 2 percent with the crossing of almost one million freight trucks into the United States. 

From January to June 2019, there were 968,797 trucks crossing through Nuevo Laredo into the United States, compared to the first six months of 2018 (949,637), according to the Nuevo Laredo Economic Development Commission.

The trucks were mostly traveling north from Mexico, exporting goods into the U.S., officials said.

Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, is the sister city of Laredo, directly across the U.S.-Mexico border. Combined, the two cities have a population of 633,000 people.

The increase represents 19,160 more trucks so far in 2019. The data was revealed during the third meeting of the Customs Facilitation Committee 2019 at Laredo?s International World Trade Bridge.

Ricardo Díaz de la Serna, Customs Administrator in Nuevo Laredo, said ?it is expected to exceed the 2018 numbers, which were 1.9 million trucks that passed through last year.?

Eternity Mexico creates new index to track freight rates on maritime shipping 

International freight forwarding firm Eternity Mexico recently launched its new EAX Index, which is an index of international maritime freight for containerized cargo based on one of the most important maritime routes for Mexico ? the Asia to Mexico route. 

The EAX will be a monthly data set allowing companies to know the average cost of a sea shipment.

?The business sector can make a better decision by quoting its imports. The digital tool will make costs more competitive in the sector, as it provides transparency and certainty of cost management in the sea freight market of Asia,? Eternity Mexico said in a release. 

?The new EAX reflects the short-term, Freight All Kind (FAK), spot tariffs and related surcharges submitted by carriers of sea freight from Asian ports to Mexican ports (Manzanillo – Lazaro Cardenas) contemplating the various variables that impact the Asian freight market,? the company said.

Eternity México, which is based in Mexico City, is part of Hong Kong-based Eternity Group, a global freight forwarder founded in 1989. The Eternity Group operates 15 offices in China and Panama, as well as Central and South America.

18 Aug 2019 at 11:00am

Ransomware attacks in the U.S. are on the rise and transportation and logistics companies have become targets of hackers, who typically infiltrate their computer systems through phishing email attachments.

One recent target of a ransomware attack was A. Duie Pyle, a large less-than-truckload carrier based in West Chester, Pennsylvania. 

Peter Latta, chief executive of A. Duie Pyle, said his company?s ransomware nightmare started around 5:30 a.m. on June 15 after dockworkers started reporting that the company’s computer systems were going down. 

He said workers followed normal protocol and sent an email to the company?s information technology help desk with no response, followed by calls to the terminal and regional managers, and finally to its chief information officer.

Latta said the company?s CIO and system engineers quickly realized the company was a target of a ransomware attack.

?The first thing they [hackers] took out were our phone servers and our email servers, so they cut off communication, much like when you kill the radioman in combat to cut the squad off from the platoon,? Latta told FreightWaves.

The company refused to pay the ransom. 

Instead, Latta said his company took the approach that ?we were going to be very open and honest with our customers.? 

?Extortion is the oldest crime in the world,? he said. ?They used to threaten to burn your business down if you don?t pay them. Here, they lock you out of your house and don?t give you the keys back until you pay them.?

“The FBI told us that nobody is immune from a ransomware attack,” Latta said. ?It?s not a matter of if, it?s a matter of when.? 

The U.S. leads the world with the highest number of malware attacks with 47 percent, followed by Indonesia with 9 percent and Brazil with 8 percent, according to a recent report by Malwarebyte, a cybersecurity firm. 

In the first quarter of 2019, ransomware attacks are up 195 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2018, the company said. 

All it takes is one employee to unknowingly click on a link in a phishing email in order for the malware to begin infiltrating a company?s network, according to Fleet CyWatch, an American Trucking Associations? Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC) and Transportation Security Council (TSC) supported program. 

Fleet CyWatch assists ?eet members in reporting information about trucking related internet crimes and cyber-attacks, and shares information to ?eets about cyber threats that may impact their operations, the company said on its website.

In A. Duie Pyle?s case, systems engineers found that the Trojan virus was ?dropped in? to its computer system on April 19, nearly two months before it triggered the ransomware attack that locked out users.

Within days of the ransomware attack, Latta said the company was back online with little disruption to its customer service network.

A. Duie Pyle had to rebuild all of its applications, including its document systems, to invoice customers, Latta said.

?Customers continued to support us even when our service wasn?t quite spot on, but it was pretty close,? he said. ?We have fully climbed out of this.?

18 Aug 2019 at 12:31am

Chart of the Week: Outbound Tender Volume Index ? Elizabeth, NJ, Los Angeles, CA (SONAR: OTVI.EWR, OTVI.LAX)

The trade war with China has had significant impact on economic activity over the past 18 months, forcing many companies to re-evaluate their supply chains. An unintended side effect of the conflict is the change of domestic freight patterns, as volumes that once entered the country through Los Angeles are now starting to hit the eastern seaboard. Freight volumes are averaging almost 5% lower out of L.A. after the May 10 tariffs went into place compared to the previous four months, while truckload volumes out of the Elizabeth, New Jersey market ,the home of the Ports of New York and New Jersey, have increased almost 27% according to FreightWaves Outbound Tender Volume Indices.

Last year was a record breaking year for the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles in terms of loaded inbound TEUs or twenty foot equivalent units, which is a container size used for measuring volumes in the maritime shipping space. There were almost 9 million loaded inbound TEUs in 2018 between the two ports, 4.5% higher that 2017.

Meanwhile, the port of New York and New Jersey had an 8.2% increase in loaded TEUs in 2018, their biggest year-over-year percentage increase since 2009-10 during the recession recovery period.

Loaded inbound container volumes have been increasing to the Port of New York and New Jersey. (Image: SONAR – IMPTEU.USLAX, IMPTEU.USNYC)

Through July, the combined loaded container volumes for the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach were down 2.7% versus the same period in 2018. Through June, as July has not been released yet, loaded inbound container volumes were up 5% to the Port of New York and New Jersey.

Sourcing shifts to southern Asia

Tariffs get all the attention due to the quantitative dollar amounts being available, but the real threat is in the potential supply disruption resulting from an unstable economic environment overseas. This uncertainty has led to many companies looking to other countries for production.

Countries such as Vietnam and Malaysia to the south are the top targets for many companies looking to escape trade war fallout. Electronics companies like Samsung and Intel already have factories in Vietnam. Nike and Adidas also make a lot of their footwear in southern Asia where the cost of labor is relatively cheap. Vietnam’s economy reportedly grew by 8.2% in 2018. So why does the manufacturing shifting to Southeast Asia effect the freight patterns in the U.S?

The Port of Shanghai, where many of the exports bound for the U.S. originate, is roughly 5,700 nautical miles (nm) from the Port of Los Angeles and 10,500 nm from the port of New York and New Jersey through the Panama Canal.

The Port of Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam is roughly 7,200 nm from L.A., but the shortest distance to the east coast of the U.S. is through the Suez Canal, not the Panama Canal. It is roughly 10,800 nm from Ho Chi Minh to New York through the Suez and 11,800 through the Panama Canal.

The distance increase is more significant for shipping to the U.S. West Coast versus the East Coast. Container ships are designed to run around 16-25 knots on average depending on size and conditions. Assuming they run about 20 knots for comparison purposes, the shipping time to the East Coast from Vietnam increases by about half of a day, from 22 days to 22.5 days. The time to the U.S. West Coast increases by over 3 days from 11.9 to 15 days, making the East Coast ports more attractive than they were from Shanghai in terms of time on the water.

The volumes have not been isolated to the Northeastern ports. The nation’s third largest port, Savannah, has had an 8% higher inbound loaded inbound container volumes year-to-date with outbound truckload volumes averaging 38% higher since May 10. The Norfolk and Charleston ports are up 6.5% and 5.5% respectively with outbound truckload volumes 20% to 40% higher year-over-year.

About the Chart of the Week

The FreightWaves Chart of the Week is a chart selection from SONAR that provides an interesting data point to describe the state of the freight markets. A chart is chosen from thousands of potential charts on SONAR to help participants visualize the freight market in real-time. Each week a Market Expert will post a chart, along with commentary live on the front-page. After that, the Chart of the Week will be archived on FreightWaves.com for future reference.

SONAR aggregates data from hundreds of sources, presenting the data in charts and maps and providing commentary on what freight market experts want to know about the industry in real time.

The FreightWaves data science and product teams are releasing new data sets each week and enhancing the client experience.

To request a SONAR demo click here.

17 Aug 2019 at 11:00am

A weekly look at what occurred in the oil markets of the U.S. and the world this past week and what’s ahead.

Markets in just the past few days have sent a strong signal that moving crude oil by rail may be past a point of no return.

When crude oil by rail began roughly 10 years ago, it was somewhat stunning. Moving crude oil by rail had faded from the industry years ago, though ironically, the control that John D. Rockefeller and Standard Oil had over the rail shipment of petroleum in the late 19th and early 20th century was a major national issue.

But pipelines, far cheaper and more efficient, displaced rail cars. Rail came back on the scene beginning around 2010 driven by several factors, all of them inter-related ? U.S. oil production began to surge, particularly out of the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota, and oil couldn?t get out of the Bakken through the region?s limited pipeline capacity so rail terminals were quickly built. The  parade of rail cars moved down to Cushing, Oklahoma ? delivery point, and also where the CME crude contract began. 

The economics worked because the oil sitting in North Dakota had limited options. Even though rail is far more expensive than moving oil on a pipeline, you can?t benefit from it if you can?t get any space on the line. As long as the wellhead cost in North Dakota, plus the cost of rail was less than price it could be sold at in Cushing ? price that is on-screen at any given moment, since it is the price of the CME crude contract ? the economics worked. And they did.

Some creative types then did a little more math and figured that you could take oil out of Cushing and send it via rail to the Gulf Coast. The Cushing price would be WTI-based, and it would be sold at a price tied to the world benchmark price of Brent. That WTI/Brent spread around its peak (or its nadir, depending upon your perspective) between 2011 and 2013 was well in excess of $20 per barrel and for a short time got as wide as $27.

This helped American consumers not one single bit. Because the U.S. imports and exports both gasoline and diesel, sales of those and other products are all consummated at levels tied somehow to world prices. That means that they all link back to Brent. 

Refiners in the Midwest with access to crude at Cushing, depressed because of the glut there, could buy crude at WTI levels and sell products at Brent levels. For those companies, it was about as close to minting money as possible.

But bit-by-bit, the spread was chipped away. The reversal of the Seaway Pipeline in 2012 was an important initial step. Seaway had been set up to send crude from the Gulf Coast to Cushing. But the reversal allowed oil to start being drained directly by pipeline to the Gulf. That narrowed the Brent/WTI spread almost immediately.

You can see on the chart below a dip during that year in the amount of crude moved by rail, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), right about the time Seaway reversed.

Crude-by-rail rebounded after that, as the Seaway reversal alone wasn?t enough to balance Brent and WTI, given the continuing surge in U.S. production. And while there was more pipeline capacity from Cushing to the Gulf, rail was needed to move Bakken crude oil to the East and West coasts. 

Still, as the chart below shows, crude oil by rail movements peaked in late 2014 and have been trending downward ever since. But it?s still at a reasonably healthy level. 

There is a change afoot that is more secular and does not appear to be part of the normal swing of markets. There is a flood of pipeline capacity coming online through the rest of this year and into 2020. The EIA has catalogued it in one downloadable spreadsheet.  

There were developments just in the past few days. EPIC Midstream began shipping crude on a pipeline from the Permian Basin to the U.S. Gulf Coast. This comes hot on the heels of another new Permian-Gulf pipeline launched by Plains All American called Cactus II. 

Next year, some big pipelines are going to open up. The Wink-to-Webster pipeline serving the Permian is going to open at a whopping 1 million barrels per day (b/d), an enormous size. The Seahorse line is to take 800,000 b/d, also a big line, from Cushing to Louisiana. And as the EIA database shows, those aren?t the only ones.

Even though these lines have been planned for some time, the market is starting to take notice. Between January 1 and June 30, the Brent/WTI spread averaged $8.69. From July 1 through August 16, it was $6.09. For August so far, it is $4.83. And for the last two days of trading, it was less than $4.00.

Firm data on the cost of moving crude oil by rail is somewhat less than transparent. A general consensus seems to be that a $10 difference exists between moving crude via rail rather than pipeline. It is clearly more complicated than that; if it was a simple $10, none would have moved earlier this year when the spread was at $8. But can any of it move at a spread less than $4?

The complexity also comes in the fact that most crude by rail doesn?t go from the Permian or Bakken to the Gulf Coast. The biggest movements are from PADD 2, which includes the Bakken and Cushing, moving crude to the East Coast ? 4.6 million barrels in May ? or to the West Coast, 6.3 million barrels that month, according to EIA data.

Still, the crude oil that could otherwise service those areas, all of it imported by ship, is generally priced on Brent or some derivative of Brent. That means that the Brent/WTI spread still matters to those markets as well, even though there are no pipelines in those areas, existing or planned. But that doesn?t mean the new pipelines don?t matter to those areas. The new projects in the mid-continent are narrowing the Brent/WTI spread and that should have some impact on regions that are not on the Midwest/Gulf Coast pipeline grid.

But it?s clear that crude-by-rail out of the Permian to the Gulf Coast is a dying business due to pipeline growth. You might not know it to look at the data. In May, the EIA recorded 2.1 million barrels of crude by rail that stayed within the regional area known as PADD 3, which includes both the Permian and the Gulf Coast. That would be overwhelmingly moving Permian barrels to the Gulf Coast. The record amount was in April 2013, when it reached 4.2 million barrels. But a year ago, that figure was 191,000 barrels. 

Don?t let that surge fool you. The steel going into the ground is going to all but put an end to this traffic and the Brent/WTI spread will enforce it by making rail movement mostly uneconomical within the Permian-Gulf corridor. As the PFL Railcar Report recently noted, ?Crude by rail in the Permian is all but over for the near-term as new U.S. pipelines are poised to start a price war for shale shippers.?

17 Aug 2019 at 1:00am

Pictured: a woman looks out of a truck window. Photo by Adam Jones adamjones.freeservers.com

Australia?s road transport industry has a long way to go in ensuring gender equity it would seem. New research has found that female employees in this key Australian sector experience misogyny, bullying and discrimination. They?re also paid less than men and are under-promoted too. In other Down Under Trucking news: mistake is no defence to trucking crime; supermarket boosts safety after loading dock death; logistics giant snaps up drayage business; and CTI Logistics expects a small profit.

Survey reveals women?s participation and experiences in transport

About 26.4 percent of all transport workers in Australia are women and 47.1 percent are working in the road transport sector, says a new survey carried out by fleet software management company, Teletrac Navman. Female transport workers overwhelmingly work in the road transport sector – 47.1 percent worked in this sector. About 35.1 work in rail and a small percentage worked in the bus industry. Other transport modes were not addressed.

There?s a wide range of ages through the transport workforce, the survey found, with 26.9 percent between 26-35 years of age; 29.9 percent aged between 36 and 45 years of age; and 25.9 percent aged between 46-55 years of age.

However, digging into the data reveals that the road transport industry, and the transport sector generally, still has a way to go to achieve anything like gender parity. There is a gender-pay gap with a $21,923 difference in average total remuneration, which is a 19.5 percent pay gap in the transport sectors. The mean average salary for a female employee in transport is A$62,400 but the pay range varies from A$56,000 to A$80,000 per year.

Meanwhile, about 44.5 of female transport employees in Australia work in administration. Only 6.5 percent of driver positions are held by women and only 13.2 percent of engineering jobs are held by women. As there is such an under-representation of women in the more highly skilled and paid jobs, that explains in part why there is gender pay gap. However it then begs the question of why there aren?t more female engineers, operations staff and drivers.

Women also experience discrimination in transport, the survey found.

?Feeling undervalued and experiencing misogyny, bullying and discrimination are common concerns for women working in transport. Female employees also say men with less experience are often promoted above them, while they stay in lower-paying positions. There?s also a 19.5 percent gender pay gap in transport with a A$21,923 difference in average total remuneration. Meanwhile, 72.1 percent of women say that they have faced, or believe they will face, discrimination in transport,? according to the report.

Meanwhile, about half of all transport business have a gender equality strategy, whereas 58 percent of wholesale businesses, 57.4 percent of retail businesses and 57.1 percent of agricultural businesses have an equality strategy.

Trucker finds that mistake is no defence to a criminal charge

A truck driver has lost his appeal in the Supreme Court of the state of South Australia against a criminal charge that he had worked for longer than was allowed by law.

He was charged with working for more than 12 hours in a 24-hour period in breach of s250(1) of the Heavy Vehicle National Law. A solo driver of a heavy vehicle commits a criminal offence under that law if he or she works more than maximum work time allowed.

Working more than 13.5 hours is defined in law as being a ?critical risk breach? and carries the potential for the highest level of fine. Currently, that?s A$16,510 (US$11,207).

It is not specifically stated what, exactly, the driver, referred to only as ?Mr. Ballantyne,? was arguing for his grounds of appeal. The judges only noted that the prosecution had not made a mistake. But, from the language used by the judge, it appears that Ballantyne was arguing that the prosecution had made a mistake in deciding what time periods to count as being at work and what to count as the 24-hour period in which work was done.

?In short, I find that the prosecution was here justified in selecting the end of the particular major rest break as being the start of a relevant 24-hour period, and that the appellant recorded 13 and three quarter hours during that particular 24-hour period. In the circumstances of this case that is sufficient to prove the charged offence,? Judge Peek said.

The judge went on to make some interesting comments and expressed sympathy for the trucker.

?I will say that I consider that the appellant did not intentionally transgress? I accept that he thought that, on what he considered to be the appropriate approach to the 24-hour period calculation, he had not exceeded the 12-hour limit.

?I should add that the [trucker argues] that the Act itself is very long, complex and hard for ordinary people to read or understand; and also that the examples given in the log books issued to truck drivers are not as clear as they might be. I must say that he does have something of a point here,? Judge Peek said.

The judge added that log books could be made more user friendly and could state ?loudly and clearly? that there can be two overlapping 24-hour periods running at the same time following the end of a major rest break.

?The trap for the driver in such circumstances is that when he commences the new 24-hour period following the major rest break he may? appreciate fully that for some hours the old period may also still be running? [and it] may result in his quota for the old 24-hour period being exceeded,? the judge said.

However, Judge Peek concluded that, regardless of the problems with the Act and log books, there was no reason in law to grant the trucker?s appeal.

Supermarket chain boosts loading dock safety after death

A major supermarket chain in Australia, Woolworths, has committed almost A$1.8 million to loading dock safety after a man was run over and crushed by a prime mover.

An unidentified 47-year old man had fallen asleep in the loading dock area at Hibiscus Shopping Center at Leanyer, a suburb in the Northern Territory city of Darwin. Tragically, the driver of a prime mover leaving the loading dock did not see the sleeping man and ran over him.

Woolworths was charged under section 32 of the Work Health and Safety Act and the Work Health and Safety Regulations for failure to comply with health and safety duties.

Woolworths offered a court-enforceable undertaking to the local health and safety regulator, NT WorkSafe, which has been accepted.

Woolworths offered to provide:

  • capital upgrades to back-docks of all its Northern Territory stores to enhance traffic control
  • video messaging for all staff to be used as part of their key risk program
  • refresher training for all Northern Territory managers on legal compliance
  • installation of defibrillators at all Northern Territory stores
  • deliver free industry seminars on lessons learned and Woolworths? health and safety practices
  • develop and publish a retail dock safety guide
  • fund research into continuous control monitoring through the use of digital technology in relation to dock areas and pedestrians
  • donation of 17 defibrillators to the community to a local ambulance group.

Woolworths committed A$1.69 million to workers and the workplace; A$57,000 to industry and A$51,500 to the community.

Acting Executive Director NT WorkSafe, Melissa Garde said, ?being struck by a vehicle or other mobile plant like forklifts, is a major hazard in workplaces across the country. Shopping centres have a high level of vehicle and pedestrian traffic, and the Hibiscus Shopping Centre loading dock was routinely used as a short-cut. All retailers should look at their traffic management arrangements to ensure a similar incident doesn?t occur at their workplace.?

Logistics giant Qube acquires 98.4 percent of Chalmers

Integrated Australian port and logistics giant Qube (ASX:QUB) announced that shareholders representing 98.4 percent of takeover target Chalmers (ASX: CHR) had approved the purchase.

As previously reported, the directors of Chalmers had recommended that shareholders accept Qube?s offer which was said to represent ?a substantial and attractive premium.?

Chalmers? shareholders were offered a choice of either 2.31 fully paid ordinary shares in Qube (the ?scrip? offer) for each Chalmers share held or A$6.50 cash for each Chalmers share (the ?cash? offer).

Given the scale of the acceptance, Qube is now exercising its rights to compulsorily acquire the remaining shares. The few remaining shareholders are able to choose between either the scrip or the cash offer. Chalmers shareholders who do not reply will automatically be given Qube shares as compensation.

Chalmers offers drayage services in Melbourne and Brisbane, 24 hours a day Monday through Friday. It owns more than 100 vehicles. It also runs container parks and biosecurity facilities. Chalmers incurred a small loss of about A$300,000 last year.

CTI Logistics issues small profit guidance

CTI Logistics (ASX: CLX), which operates a fleet of about 750 trucks and which officers courier services, parcels, warehousing, taxi trucks, fleet management, line haul and freight forwarding among many other services, has announced that it will likely make a small profit before tax of about A$4 million for the year ended June 30. EBITDA for the year is expected to be A$14.9 million on revenues of A$211.9 million.

?The results for the second half to 30 June 2019 have produced a marginal profit and are significantly below that of the prior corresponding period. The results have been impacted by the state of the economy, particularly in Western Australia, with significant reductions in activity and increase margin pressure across a wide range of clients,? the company said in a statement.

17 Aug 2019 at 12:24am

As consumers begin filling their online shopping carts with holiday items, UPS is gearing up for another busy peak season and announced on Friday, August 16th that no surcharges will be added to residential deliveries this holiday season. 

UPS Chairman and CEO David Abney said, ?We delivered a record-setting 2018 peak season in terms of both on-time delivery performance and operations execution. We will build on the lessons learned last year and leverage our new efficient air and ground capacity to make the 2019 peak season another success for customers, investors and other stakeholders.?

However, in the 2018 peak season, UPS applied surcharges between $0.28 and $0.99 on residential packages, while competitor FedEx did not. Due to the ease of online shopping during peak season, UPS delivered between 700 and 800 million packages, which caused a tangible workload increase for the carrier. So it?s clear why UPS added the surcharge in 2017. 

One way UPS may be compensating for this move in 2019 is by maintaining surcharges for packages that are either too large, unusually shaped or require special handling. Matthew White at iDrive Logistics said, ?This shift largely targets packages that are either unattractive from a UPS cost basis or shouldn?t be in the network (over-maximum).? While FedEx has not commented on its surcharges for 2019 peak season, UPS seems to be taking notes from FedEx?s tactic from 2018

Eliminating the residential fee reveals UPS? comfort level and ability to better engineer its network. In the last year, UPS added 20 new 747-8 and 767 aircraft and updated its automation, processing and delivery facilities as part of a capital investment plan.

With confidence in its future and financial intelligence, UPS seems to have navigated around the surcharges for the benefit of the average consumer, and from the consumer?s perspective, the news comes as an early holiday-shopping boon.

16 Aug 2019 at 9:59pm

U.S. Customs and Border Protection systems at airports nationwide encountered an unexpected outage Friday afternoon, leaving passengers waiting in extremely long lines, according to multiple news outlets.

?CBP is experiencing a temporary outage with its processing systems at various air ports of entry & is taking immediate action to address the technology disruption,? CBP Tweeted. ?CBP officers continue to process international travelers using alternative procedures until systems are back online. CBP officers are working to process travelers as quickly as possible while maintaining the highest levels of security.?

By 6:30 p.m. Eastern time, CPB said that systems were back up and running and that operations were slowly returning to normal.

” The affected systems are coming back online and travelers are being processed. CBP will continue to monitor the incident. There is no indication the disruption was malicious in nature at this time,” it said on its Twitter account.

CBP added that no departing flights had been impacted, although lines were longer than normal across the nation and that travelers should continue to expect residual delays.

16 Aug 2019 at 9:00pm

Outbound tender volumes (OTVI.USA) finished this week up 3.02 percent year-over-year. This continues the gains the index has posted since July 24th, when 2019 tender load volumes surpassed those in 2018.  

OTVI began the week with a rocky start though, dropping 1.10 percent before recovering by Thursday to finish 63 basis points (bps) higher compared to the previous week. The index also almost dipped below its 60-day moving average, before recovering to finish above it by 2.20 percent. 

Dallas and Houston saw the largest drops in outbound volumes this week. Dallas was down 9.95 percent, while Houston dropped 8.44 percent. In contrast, Laredo experienced 4.55 percent higher outbound load volumes. 

The Midwest balanced out the weakness in Texas this week. Indianapolis, Indiana was up 5.87 percent while Chicago posted a 5.22 percent gain in tendered load volumes. In the Southeast, Atlanta had modest gains (up 2.79 percent) this week, while out west, Los Angeles outbound load volumes decreased slightly (down 1.9 percent). 

SONAR: OTVI.USA 2019 (Orange), OTVI.USA 2018 (Green), 60-Day Moving Average (Red)

?Load volumes for the remainder of 2019 really depend on policy decisions and the market?s reaction to them,? said Ibrahiim Bayaan, Chief Economist at FreightWaves. ?Within the last 30 days the U.S. announced 10 percent tariffs on Chinese imports and then rolled those back. This uncertainty will hinder business decisions. Another key data point we?re watching out for are trends in global economic growth. Most of the economic data out of China and Europe has been poor lately. If this trend continues it is likely to be a drag on the U.S. economy.?

Tender rejection rates remain at 2019 lows 

Gains in truckload volumes usually leads to increases in rejection rates as capacity tightens. This has not happened yet in 2019. Outbound rejection rates (OTRI.USA) finished the week where they began at 3.86 percent, which remains the lowest level over the past 12 months. 

19 Aug 2019 at 5:58am
July shipments, at 1,120,131, posted a 1.5% annual gain, and on a year-to-date basis, shipments through July?at 7,112,696 ??are up 0.1% compared to the same period in 2018.

16 Aug 2019 at 1:44pm
July shipments, at 1.171, were off 5.9% compared to a very strong July 2018 and down 0.8% compared to June. On the expenditures, side, the report noted that July came in at 2.861, which represented a 1.4% annual decline and a 2% decline compared to June.

16 Aug 2019 at 6:56am
Rail carloads, at 261,194, were off 3.9% annually, and intermodal units, at 271,996, slipped 4.6%.

16 Aug 2019 at 6:31am
For June, the most recent month for which data is available, the TCI was -0.82, an improvement over May?s -2.3 and April?s -1.18.

15 Aug 2019 at 6:48pm
This article provides a snapshot of the trucking freight futures market, starting with a summary of the basics about derivatives-futures and then diving into the specifics of trucking freight futures and their application for the key trucking market participants ? trucking carriers, shippers, 3PLs and opportunistic traders/investors.

15 Aug 2019 at 3:28pm
Commerce reported the July retail sales­­, at $523.5 billion, were up 0.7% over June and up 3.4% annually, and NRF reported that July retail sales increased 0.9% on a seasonally adjusted basis and 5.6% on an unadjusted annual basis.

15 Aug 2019 at 1:22pm
How will your shipping team win during peak season?

14 Aug 2019 at 5:25pm
In anticipation of the launching of ?Trucking Financial Markets 360°", Logistics Management, together with Lakefront Futures? Trucking & Derivatives Group, will be publishing a series of articles over the next five weeks on the ?A-Z? of trucking freight futures. This debut article provides an overview of the paradigm shift occurring in the trucking market and the increasing trucking rate volatility impacting trucking carriers, shippers, & 3PLs.

14 Aug 2019 at 4:04pm
A new look may be coming to motor carrier hours-of-service (HOS) rules, with the Department of Transportation?s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) today issuing a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) geared towards HOS changes, with an emphasis on increasing safety through updating existing commercial motor vehicle driver regulations.

14 Aug 2019 at 1:31pm
The trade war, in a sense, has become an extension of an ongoing ?quest? for shippers to truly be ready for anything.

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