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19 Oct 2018 at 12:00am
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced on Friday, Oct. 19 that it renewed an exemption for CRST Expedited that allows the Cedar Rapids, Iowa-based trucking company to have student drivers run team with a commercial driver?s license holder.

19 Oct 2018 at 12:00am
Even though the Environmental Protection Agency moved its proposal to repeal emissions requirements for glider vehicles to its ?long-term actions? list, it doesn?t mean the agency has given up on the measure.

19 Oct 2018 at 12:00am
If a Massachusetts driver hired by a Missouri-based carrier is killed in a crash that occurred in Oklahoma, in which state does the impending lawsuit take place? That question was the center of a recent district court opinion in a lawsuit involving New Prime and the estate of a trucker killed during driver training.

19 Oct 2018 at 12:00am
Beginning Nov. 19, truckers driving on provincial highways in British Columbia will need to reevaluate their trucks? weight and size for larger loads. The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure recently announced new travel restrictions during inclement weather.

19 Oct 2018 at 12:00am
Traffic congestion on U.S. highways added nearly $74.5 billion in operational costs to the trucking industry in 2016, according to a report released by the American Transportation Research Institute.

19 Oct 2018 at 12:00am
In honor of Veterans Day, TravelCenters of America, operators of the TA and Petro Stopping Centers brands, and Mobil Delvac have teamed up to offer truckers a chance to give back to those who sacrificed while serving in the armed forces. For every oil change, $5 will be donated to Folds of Honor.

19 Oct 2018 at 12:00am
The tire company Goodyear is asking the public?s help to find the next batch of truckers who are worthy of its annual Highway Hero Award, which recognizes truckers who risk their own safety for the public good. Goodyear is accepting nominations through Nov. 29.

19 Oct 2018 at 12:00am
As if the parade of truck drivers at the listening sessions, more than 5,000 comments on proposed changes to the hours- of-service regs weren?t a hint, a flurry of recent HOS exemption requests makes it pretty clear that almost no one is happy with the regulations.

19 Oct 2018 at 12:00am
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration wants to know the potential impact that would be created if marijuana was no longer internationally classified as a Schedule I drug. The FDA published a notice to the Federal Register on Oct. 10, asking the public to comment on potential scheduling changes to marijuana and several other controlled substances.

19 Oct 2018 at 12:00am
Volvo Trucks North America is recalling more than 3,000 VNL trucks for an issue related to a potential fuel line burst. This is the same defect that led Paccar, Daimler Trucks North America and Navistar to recall more than 80,000 trucks.



20 Oct 2018 at 11:00am

(Photo: Shutterstock)

Whether you call it a driver shortage or a driver squeeze, it?s no secret that the trucking industry is struggling to attract and keep qualified drivers. Spireon hosted a webinar in collaboration with FreightWaves earlier this week to explore how the DRIVE-Safe Act could affect the driver shortage if it becomes law.

The American Trucking Associations estimated that there are roughly 500,000 over-the-road for-hire truckload drivers. The ATA also estimated that segment of the industry is currently over 50,000 drivers short, and that number is projected to balloon as high as 175,00 by 2026.

?We?re really talking about around 10 percent of that segment of the industry. It?s a significant number. It is greater than just a couple percentage points in the most affected part of the industry,? Scopelitis Transportation Consulting President David Osiecki said. ?There are certainly a lot of market factors. There are regulatory and legislative and policy factors. There are broad economic factors that could influence whether this trend forecast holds, but the ATA predicts [the driver shortage] will get worse and significantly worse.?

Osiecki pointed to several underlying factors for the driver shortage, including competition both inside and outside the industry, workplace demographics and driver qualifications and requirements, like age minimums.

?Age is certainly a limiting factor in our industry because we don?t get the young kids coming out of high school who choose not to go to college, don?t want to go to college, can?t go to college,? he said. ?We lose them, and we don?t get them back until they may decide the career choice they?ve picked is really not for them. Our population is aging, and we?re not backfilling with the younger folks, in part because we can?t, given the age limitations.?

One option being considered to recruit younger drivers and address the industry?s aging workforce is the DRIVE-Safe Act, which is currently being considered in both the House and the Senate.

If approved, the DRIVE-Safe Act would allow drivers between the ages of 18 and 20 with CDLs to operate in interstate commerce under some restrictions. It would require drivers to complete a two-part apprenticeship. Employers would decide if drivers pass each portion of the apprenticeship based on performance in required skill sets, according to the webinar.

Part one: 120-hour probationary period, with at least 80 driving hours. Performance benchmarks include:

  • Interstate, city, rural, two-way and evening driving

  • Safety awareness

  • Speed and space management

  • Lane control

  • Mirror scanning

  • Turning

  • Logging and hours-of service compliance

  • Part two: 280-hour probationary period, with at least 160 hours of driving time. Performance benchmarks include:

  • Backing and maneuvering

  • Pre-trips

  • Fueling

  • Weighing loads and sliding tandems

  • Coupling/uncoupling

  • Turning

  • Trip planning

  • Under the DRIVE-Safe Act, young drivers will also be subject to a certain set of restrictions on the vehicles they can operate and the commodities they can haul.

    Additional restrictions include:

  • Driver must be accompanied by an ?experienced driver? during both probationary periods

  • No hazmat

  • Automatic and automatic manual transmissions

  • Active braking system

  • Forward-facing camera

  • Speed governed at 65 mph or less

  • The DRIVE-Safe Act was introduced to the House in March, where it enjoyed bipartisan support and currently has 74 co-sponsors. It was introduced to the Senate in August, and currently only has five republican co-sponsors.

    If the act makes its way through Congress, it will still need to receive the president?s stamp of approval before becoming law.

    Osiecki noted that there have been discussions about involving adults under 21 in the industry in the past, and those have not historically been successful. This puts a lot of pressure on the DRIVE-Safe Act to prove it provides a safe way to bring young drivers into the fold.

    ?It?s got a pretty tough road ahead. There are simply not many legislative days left in 2018. Both the House and Senate are out now, and they?re not coming back until after the November election. When they do, they?ll have a relatively short few weeks to address lots of issues, including important issues like keeping the federal government open,? he said. ?It?s not likely to happen in 2018. In my opinion, it also has a slim chance of passage in 2019, but it certainly could. The chance for passage of the DRIVE-Safe Act gets even slimmer in a scenario where one or both of the houses of Congress flips, and you know the issue there is, a lot of democrats have a lot of these highway safety groups as their constituency, and I just think that they would listen to some of the pushback they?re going to get.?

    The FAST Act, which passed in 2015, requires the Department of Transportation to conduct pilot programs on feasibility, benefits and safety impacts of allowing certain drivers under 21 to operate in interstate commerce. Those drivers, however, must meet very specific criteria, and complete date for the pilot programs is projected to be about five years out.

    Drivers participating in that pilot program must be between the ages of 18 and 20, a member or former member of the armed forces and be qualified in a military occupational specialty to operate a CMV or similar vehicle. The program is aiming for 200 participants.

    ?That?s a pretty narrow band of people. The question is, will they be able to find 200 people that fit and are willing to participate in this pilot program?? Osiecki said. ?The program is scheduled to begin in January 2019. It runs for about a year, then there will be an interim report to Congress mid-2020. They would continue data collection beyond that, and they would issue a final report in 2023. So really, the point here is that if anyone is expecting a younger driver pilot program that is administratively handled by DOT to provide relief in this area anytime soon, I think that?s probably not the place to be.?

    The webinar also addressed other issues, including new standards coming to the industry over the next couple years and how to enforce performance standards.

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    19 Oct 2018 at 9:39pm

    Europe?s largest port becomes the third in the region to start testing distributed ledger technology.

    The Port of Rotterdam says it will conduct a month-long trial of blockchain aimed at container logistics.

    The Port of Rotterdam Authority, which operates the largest port in Europe, says the blockchain pilot project will include Netherlands-based bank ABM Amro (Euronext: ABN.A) and the enterprise technology arm of Korea?s Samsung (LSE: SMSN).

    The project?s goal is ?a complete, paperless integration of physical, administrative and financial streams within international distribution chains,? the Port of Rotterdam said in a statement. It said transporting a container can involve up to 28 parties which have to trade paper documentation to move a container.

    ?Currently payments, administration and the physical transportation of containers still take place entirely via separate circuits,? said Paul Smits, the Port of Rotterdam Authority?s chief financial officer. ?This results in inefficiency as many parties are involved and everything is organised via paper documentation.?

    BlockLab, a local start-up funded by the Port and the City of Rotterdam, will be developing the project.

    Daphne de Kluis, the chief executive of ABN Amro?s commercial banking, says the project aims to integrate workflow management, track and trace, digitization of paper documentation such as waybills and the financing of handled freight or services.

    ?This will make the logistics chain more transparent and efficient, and millions of euros can be saved in the long term,? she said.

    The pilot involves the transport of a container from a factory in Asia to a location in the Netherlands. In the first instance, the pilot will be implemented by the three parties, but the cooperative network will then become open for other parties to join. The pilot starts in January next year, and the results will be announced in February 2019.

    The trial project is one of several launched to test blockchain. Last year, the Port of Antwerp started a project with Belgium?s NxtPort. The Port of Antwerp also plans to collaborate with Abu Dhabi?s Maqta Gateway on blockchain solutions for ports. Associated British Ports plans to also test blockchain technology developed by Marine Transport International.

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    19 Oct 2018 at 9:05pm

    As Tropical Storm Tara began to fall apart Tuesday night near the central Pacific coast of Mexico, meteorologists at the National Hurricane Center (NHC) were watching another area of concern not too far away.

    Potential track of Tropical Storm Vicente, as of 5 p.m. EDT on Friday, October 19, 2018. (Source: NOAA)

    Not named at the time, Tropical Depression 23-E began as a cluster of thunderstorms becoming better organized over northern portions of Central America earlier this week. The system then moved into Pacific Ocean and, as of 5 p.m. EDT Friday, became Tropical Storm Vicente as its sustained winds reached 40 mph. It?s the 20th named storm of the eastern Pacific season and is currently centered about 105 Miles southwest of Puerto San Jose on the west coast of Guatemala. The storm?s rain could could threaten lives and the economy of the region.

    Vicente has the potential to dump a lot of rain on cash crops in parts of El Salvador and Guatemala this weekend, including one of the most important ones - coffee. The International Coffee Organization (ICO) ranks them both in the top 20 coffee-producing nations in the world (Guatemala is 9, El Salvador is 19). According to this report, Guatemala exported $330 million dollars worth of coffee to the U.S. in 2017, led only by Colombia, Brazil, and Vietnam. Coffee production accounts for around 35 percent of combined GDP for the two countries, and the industry employs hundreds of thousands of people.

    Click to learn more

    Other important crops in the two countries include sugar, bananas, white corn, sorghum, rice, edible beans, cotton, and hemp. Agricultural land (percentage of total land area) in El Salvador was reported at 77.3 percent in 2014, according to the World Bank collection of development indicators, and 35.4 percent in Guatemala.

    While coffee plants need rain, too much at once can ruin crops. Depending on soil condition and terrain, heavy rainfall can cause erosion, depletion of nutrients, or waterlogged roots which can become diseased and rot. Even with enough drainage and available food, prolonged torrential rains can also lead to mold and fungus - coffee leaf rust in particular. The rains from Vicente will likely douse two of the biggest coffee-producing regions - the Apaneca-Ilamatepec Mountain Range in southwest El Salvador, and the Antigua region of Guatemala.

    The latest forecast calls for five to 10 inches of rain with local amounts of up to 15 inches across portions of El Salvador and southern Guatemala this weekend. Besides the possibility of agricultural losses, heavy rainfall could produce life-threatening flash flooding and landslides within mountainous terrain. Next week, Vicente could remain at tropical storm strength as it heads toward some of the same areas of Mexico that got drenched by Tropical Storm Tara earlier this week. Three to six inches could fall with local amounts of up to 10 inches near the Pacific coast of southeastern Mexico.

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    19 Oct 2018 at 7:23pm

    Railroad sees more appliance and brown paper freight moving off road transportation to rail.

    Kansas City Southern (NYSE: KSU) pulled in its 2018 guidance as the railroad deals with a backlog of carloads at its northern Mexico terminals.

    KCS reported third quarter revenue up 6% year-on-year to $699 million against volume growth of 4%. The growth stemmed largely from carloads going into Mexico with cross-border volume rising 20% and revenue growing 18% to $210 million.

    Reported net income of $170 million was up 35% from a year ago. Excluding one-time effects of last year?s Hurricane Harvey, KCS?s adjusted earnings per share came in at $1.57, in-line with consensus expectations.

    But performance measures deteriorated in the quarter with terminal dwell reaching a two-year high of 26.8 hours and train velocity hitting a two-year low of 25.9 miles per hour.

    Adjusted operating ratio was 63.4%, a 100 basis points improvement over last year.

    Speaking of the results, chief executive Patrick Ottensmeyer said ?it?s hard to feel bad about our performance: it was record revenue for the quarter, an operating ratio improvement of one percent over last year, and earnings per share growth of 16% year over year.?

    ?But our performance did not meet our own expectations and the expectations that we articulated earlier in the year,? he added. The company now expects low single-digit volume growth for the year, down from an earlier guidance of 3% to 4% growth.


    KCS says the service deterioration stemmed largely from congestion at two cross-border switching facilities, Monterrey and Sanchez. The congestion led to weekly cars online in Mexico rising as high as 32,000 in September, up from about 26,000 through the first half of 2018.

    KCS chief operating officer Jeff Songer said Monterrey is a ?high volume terminal with significant local daily switching demand.? KCS plans to deploy 30 additional locomotives and additional crew to reduce congestion.

    Ottensmeyer says the congestion reflects the strong growth in KCS?s cross-border business. He was overall more positive on U.S.-Mexico trade now that the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement lifted uncertainty from the business.

    ?The new USMCA still has some work to do, but It looks like a good agreement,? Ottensmeyer said.

    Ottensmeyer says KCS is looking at implementing some elements of the precision scheduled railroading model that ?can be helpful to getting us through the congestion issues we are experiencing now.?

    With its largest intermodal partner Union Pacific (NYSE: UNP) moving to a precision scheduled railroading model, Ottensmeyer says KSC will ?cooperate and follow their lead in changes in operating philosophy.?

    Click to learn more

    Chemical and petroleum freight stood out for growth during the quarter with revenue up 17% to $160.6 million. Growth was strong thanks to the impact of Hurricane Harvey last year. But gasoline imports into Mexico, part of the country?s energy reforms, saw carload and revenue growth more than double from year earlier levels.

    Industrial and consumer products saw flat results for the year. The business has benefited from forest products, brown paper and appliance freight moving to railcar and away from trucking. KCS expects more paper and appliance business to move to rail thanks to tight trucking capacity.

    But metals freight saw shorter length-of-haul and lower volumes. Energy freight revenue declined 2% to $73.2 million as lower coal volumes due to a power plant outage and changes in frac sand sourcing offset rising volumes of crude-by-rail out of Canada.

    Intermodal saw 8% revenue growth to $100 million against 7% carload growth thanks to ongoing truck conversion. Chief innovation officer Brian Hancock says U.S. domestic and cross-border intermodal saw ?solid performance? thanks to truck conversions. But volumes out of the Lazaro Cardenas container terminal were down 9% due to competitive pressure from Mexico?s trucking capacity. But Hancock says containers might shift back to KCS thanks to the August start of hours of service regulations in Mexico.

    ?We are seeing early positive trends during peak season as additional truck regulations are implemented in Mexico,? Hancock said. KCS has also started a volume-based pricing strategy to bring containers back to rail.

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    19 Oct 2018 at 6:00pm

    Subscribe for free: Apple Podcasts l Google Play l Stitcher l Spotify 

    Episode Summary:

    Chad and JP crack open a feel-good-go-to in Bell's Two-Hearted, and a first time try of Birhimgham brewery's TrimLine IPA. This week they cover the technology headlines and earning reports of the week. Then, the dynamic freight duo spends 5-Good Minutes with William Kerr of Edge Logistics.

    Episode Notes:

    Chad and JP crack open a feel-good-go-to in Bell's Two-Hearted, and a first time try of Birhimgham brewery's TrimLine IPA. This week they cover the technology headlines and earning reports of the week. First, the technology:

    What?s past is prologue: Vapor setting the stage for a whole new internet

    Uncovering the electric scooter rage in U.S. metropolitans

    Metals are jostling for position to be a part of the next wave of battery technology for electric vehicles

    Moody?s suggests that autonomous vehicle startups have inherent disadvantages

    IBM announces blockchain-based food safety network widely available across industry

    Food supply chains need an economic incentive to adopt blockchain

    Then, the dynamic freight duo spends 5-Good Minutes with William Kerr of Edge Logistics.

    And finally the earnings reports.

    J.B. Hunt's earnings beat estimates thanks to better brokerage, truckload businesses

    Trump's tariffs are wrecking Wabash National's earnings

    CSX boasts better third-quarter results as it aims at 'winning back share from trucks'

    How brokerages navigate Q4 volatility

    About the show:

    What the Truck?!? is FreightWaves' irreverent podcast breaking down the biggest stories in transportation and logistics. Join FreightWaves writers John Paul Hampstead and Chad Prevost on Friday afternoons as we discuss all things freight.



    19 Oct 2018 at 5:15pm

    Several companies within the freight world have been honored this week by leading financial publications, showing once again that the trucking industry remains an important force in the global economy.

    XPO Logistics (NYSE: XPO) was named to the Fortune Future 50 list of U.S. public companies. KeepTruckin and Transfix were both honored by Forbes as two of its 25 companies (across all sectors) most likely to achieve unicorn status with a billion-dollar valuation.

    The Fortune Future 50 ranks companies with the best prospects for long-term growth, the publication said. Fortune uses 17 different considerations in its methodology, including strategy, structure, technology and people as well as the company?s board composition and environmental/social standards.

    The Fortune list also includes companies like Netflix, Salesforce, Nvidia, Alibaba, Amazon and PayPal.

    ?We?re honored to be selected as a Fortune Future 50 company ? it speaks to our ability to achieve phenomenal long-term growth. The criteria that Fortune set for this list include many vital attributes, such as clarity of vision, agility and investments in technology. These are core strengths of XPO,? said Bradley Jacobs, CEO.

    Click to learn more

    Fortune said this of XPO: ?In August, XPO said it had its eye on a dozen other companies and is prepared to spend up to $8 billion. But XPO also has opportunities for organic growth. In April, it launched XPO Direct, which ­allows retailers to rent space from XPO in areas where the stores don?t have warehouses. This enables retailers to better fulfill the e-commerce promises they?ve made in their efforts to fend off Amazon. It?s a move that could eventually make XPO an Amazon competitor.?

    Several automotive companies made the list, including Tesla and BYD. BYD started with rechargeable batteries for smartphone makers, but the China-based company has since grown and is now offering electric trucks out of a California facility. It is the world?s largest seller of electric vehicles, Fortune said.

    Warren Buffett?s Berkshire Hathaway holds a 8.25% stake in the company.

    KeepTruckin and Transfix were both named to the Forbes list. Forbes asked 200 venture capitalists to nominate companies they thought were most likely to achieve unicorn status. The field was cut to 100 and then to 25, with voters looking at revenue, funding and their most recent valuation.

    KeepTruckin has raised $80 million in equity and has estimated 2018 revenue of $50 million, Forbes said. Backed by lead investors GV, Index Ventures, IVP and Scale Venture Partners, the company is helping transform the trucking industry.

    ?San Francisco-based KeepTruckin?s big idea: bring truckers and small trucking firms into the digital age, allowing them to log their hours and comply with regulations about the hours they drive on their phones. As the company has expanded, it has added sensors and video to its electronic-logging device that helps truckers drive more safely and efficiently,? the Forbes writeup notes.

    Don?t miss MarketWaves 18. Register today

    KeepTruckin was founded by Ryan Johns, Obaid Khan, and Shoaib Makani, who serves as CEO.

    Transfix, founded by CEO Drew McElroy and Johnathan Salama, has raised $78 million in equity to date with estimated 2018 revenue of $100 million, according to Forbes. Lead investors include Canvas Ventures and New Enterprise Associates.

    ?Transfix uses technology like machine learning to help match carriers with freight, still largely an old-school business done by phone or email. Transfix?s online service saves time and cuts down waste by routing trucks more efficiently so they, for example, don?t drive empty to their next pickups,? Forbes wrote.

    ?Since we founded Transfix five years ago, we have had a singular goal: to leverage cutting-edge technology to make the lives of truck drivers better and to make our customer?s supply chains more efficient,? wrote McElroy in a LinkedIn posting recognizing the honor.

     

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    19 Oct 2018 at 5:08pm


    19 Oct 2018 at 3:05pm

    Washington, DC / USA - October 4, 2018: long-haul truckers have parked their rigs on the National Mall to protest what they believe is over-regulation of their industry by the federal government. (Image: Shutterstock)

    The FMCSA has initiated the HOS change process. The comment period for this round ended on October 10. The agency is considering four possible areas of change: (1) the mandatory 30-minute rest break; (2) the split sleeper berth provision; (3) the short-haul operations exemption; and (4) the adverse driving conditions exception. 

    In an effort to give our subscriber base input on the hot topic, we conducted a survey during the FMCSA open comment period. The FreightWaves Research Institute profiles industry issues for our subscribers, as well as gives companies a forum to discuss and disseminate ideas of their own. With an emphasis on research and education, the Research Institute creates a platform for deeper dives into industry issues. The Research Institute also functions as an amplifier for organizations through awards, surveys, education, and training opportunities.

    Our survey created a slightly more expanded set of provisions than what FMCSA is considering: (1) allow rest breaks to stop the 14-hour clock; (2) drop the 30-minute rest break requirement; (3) expand total service of hours to 15 hours with 12 hours of driving, still keep a 30-minute break; (4) allow teams to split their 10-hour break into a 5/5 combination versus 8/2; (5) expand the 100 air-mile radius to 150 miles; and (6) Other.

    The results strongly indicate that drivers want the practical solution of allowing rest breaks to simply stop the 14-hour clock. This was our strongest response. 68% indicated this was the most important to them. In second place, coming in at 52%, drivers want the 30-minute required rest break done away with completely. Nearly half also wanted a broad expansion of hours-of-service to 15 hours with 12 hours of driving, but still keeping a 30-minute break. The ?Other? category of desired changes were filled in as split-sleeper for drivers, getting rid of the 14-hour clock altogether, and also, interestingly, ?no changes at all.?

    ?There?s lots of activity here,? observes Steve Osiecki, president of Scopelitis Transportation Consulting firm (STC). ?They seem to be serious about moving forward on this. HOS has become a political football. Each administration seems to come up with their own set of rules. This administration will try and take the ball across the goal line soon.? 

    For a complete look at the breakdown of our results, check out our infographic here.

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    19 Oct 2018 at 2:29pm

    Photo: Shutterstock

    Good day,

    As the IMO2020 sulfur cap regulation looms large over the maritime industry, the U.S. government is looking to ease the pressure of the rollout, fearing drastic implications on its economy. The regulation will mean a strict enforcement of sulfur emissions to less than 0.5%, which currently stands at 3.5%. This would lead to container lines spending millions more in building new ships to suit the low-sulfur fuel, or installing scrubbers in their existing ships, which is by no means a bargain.

    Such a situation would lead to a surge in demand for low-sulfur fuels, causing seismic changes in the prices of crude oil. The U.S. government is focusing on damage-control, and as the changes coincide with an election year, a lot more might be at stake for the Trump government. A spokesperson from the White House said that the government was not seeking to withdraw from the IMO agreement, but would try looking into ways the rules could be phased out, rather than delaying the inevitable.

    Did you know?

    Chinese consumers eat 123 billion pounds of pork annually in everything from dumplings to fiery mapo tofu. In a nation of 1.41 billion people, that works out to about 87 pounds a person this year, up around 30% since 1998, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

    Quotable:

    ?China?s policy makers are trying to figure out how to react to the U.S.?s trade agenda and are less confident about their standing in the global arena compared with the past cycles.?

    - Bin Shi, portfolio manager at Acadian Asset Management, on Chinese third quarter GDP growth dropping to 6.5%, its lowest since Q1 2009.

    In other news:

    Saudi Aramco Pulls The Trigger On $25 Billion Megaproject

    Saudi Aramco signed an agreement to invest in a 400,000-bpd refinery and associated petrochemical plants in eastern China as part of Saudi Arabia?s push to expand its downstream business and secure additional markets for its oil. (Oilprice)

    Amazon revisits some cities as HQ2 decision looms

    Company appears to be favoring an urban site; New York City, Newark, N.J., and Chicago received visits. (Wall Street Journal)

    Walmart's newest high-tech warehouse will automatically load pallets

    Walmart's new warehouse in Shafter, California, will be a tech-enabled fresh and frozen grocery facility that stores and retrieves items and loads pallets automatically. (Supply Chain Dive)

    International Maritime Organization rolls out ship and port toolkits to tackle maritime emissions

    The IMO said Thursday that it rolled out a new set of toolkits to assess and address emissions from ships as well as ports. (S&P Global)

    Roadrunner Transportation Systems receives notice from NYSE regarding share price continued listing standard

    The company has fallen below the NYSE?s continued listing standard related to price criteria for common stock, over a 30 consecutive trading day period. (Business Wire)

    Click to learn more

    Final Thoughts

    The Chinese stock market fell sharply yesterday, at the wake of Chinese GDP sauntered to 6.5% in Q3, a scenario last seen in the first quarter of 2009. The Shanghai Composite Index crashed by 3% on a single day, which marked its lowest point in nearly four years. But this has been a regular occurance in China, with stock markets having lost over $3 trillion in the last six months.

    One of the primary driving factors for this situation is the ongoing China-U.S. trade spat, which has hit export businesses heavily in the country. This accompanied with a weakening yuan and the rise of global fuel prices is causing the economic growth to melt. Last week, China saw an unprecedented crash in auto sales, as sales fell by 11.6% year-on-year with three months of successive fall. This apart, China is facing down tariffs on $200 billion of its U.S. exports, which would see a rise from 10% to 25% from 2019. This could wreak havoc on the local GDP and also cause a negative stir in the global economy.

    Hammer down, everyone!

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    19 Oct 2018 at 12:20pm

    Uber Inc. has floated out a new company called Powerloop, an affiliate to Uber Freight, which would rent out trailers to carriers and enable them to participate in a re-envisioned trailer pool model. FreightWaves caught up with Max Pike, strategy lead and Kofi Asante, product strategy at Powerloop to discuss the prospects of the new company and what it entails to the trucking ecosystem.

    ?We had looked across the industry and identified pain points, that made it clear that shippers were less effective when they were dependant on the driver to show up with the trailer in what is called the live load,? said Pike. ?A live load is when the driver shows up with the power unit and the trailer, and the shipper facility loads the empty trailer. The same thing happens on the receiver side, where they live unload the trailer. This is not very efficient for the shippers.?

    On the other end of the spectrum, the carriers also suffer from inefficiency woes, as they rack up many hours at the shipper?s facility, waiting for loading and unloading. This is especially true of smaller fleets and owner-operators, who do not have the wherewithal to buy more trailers, nor have the connections to secure partnerships with the big shipping brands that work with drop trailers and carriers supplying power-only capacity.

    Powerloop offers a solution to this predicament, but allowing carriers with power-only capacity registered in the Uber Freight application to rent trailers and connect them with shippers who are into the trailer pool model. This way, carriers irrespective of their size can haul more loads, thus lowering the barrier to entry for trailer-pool programs.

    ?We lease trailers from our third-party partner and then rent them out to carriers in our network,? said Asante. ?A carrier can rent trailers as needed to fulfill their load requirements.? In general, the number of trailers that a carrier can rent at one time is generally capped on the number of power units they have.

    One of the reasons for Powerloop branching out of Uber Inc. is to exclusively tackle the capacity crunch that has taken hold of the industry, particularly after the enforcement of the ELD mandate. ?There has been a limited amount of total available driver hours, and there has been an increased focus on the shipper and carrier side to have the entire freight system operate more efficiently,? said Pike.

    Click to learn more

    ?We wanted to understand how the drop trailer programs worked historically. What we found was that power-only or drop trailer operations had been managed by asset owning large carriers who had power units with trailers, and would drop these trailers at the shipper?s facility on a more dedicated basis.?

    The problem though was that drivers who are sent to pick up the trailers frequently drive back empty, thus ballooning up the transport costs for shippers. For instance, if a shipper is moving trailers from Dallas to Houston, they would also have to pay for the deadhead miles while the trailer returns to Dallas from Houston.

    ?We wanted to design a flexible and dynamic system where we could ensure that these trailers would be loaded in both directions. The carriers that participate in this program enjoy it - they pick up one of the pre-loaded trailers and move them from one facility to the other and there is another load there for them to bring back,? said Pike. ?They are moving around the network in round trips and spending all of their available hours in a day moving freight and getting paid.?

    While developing the Powerloop solution, the team tapped into the resources of Uber Freight, and interacted with a lot of traditional brokerage companies and captured their feedback, which was then integrated into the application - all in real time. ?In a typical drop freight scenario, a lot of the power-only loads are one-way. We have now made sure to be able to provide round trips for carriers. This is a big one, and there are a number of situations where our carriers are able to interface with our team daily, so we are able to make those changes quicker,? said Asante.

    Powerloop had an initial run done with Uber Freight drivers, and Pike explained that the feedback has been extremely positive. ?One carrier who has been working with us had initially been just an owner-operator, but he has since then moved everything over to this system of power-only loads, utilized the power loads trailer rentals, and has been able to actually buy a few more power units and move from being an owner-operator to a small fleet,? he said.

    Powerloop works with Fortune 500 companies, and has helped them gain flexibility for their shipping needs, especially during the supply crunch times. For the carriers, renting out trailers for loads would mean lesser empty miles, which incidentally also helps with reducing their carbon footprint. At the end of the day, the carriers can do what they do best - haul loads without having long detention times while maximizing efficiency behind the wheel.

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    19 Oct 2018 at 6:05pm
    Rail carloads, at 263,787, were up 0.4% compared to the same week a year ago and were below the week ending October 6 at 269,394 and the week ending September 29 at 272,306.

    19 Oct 2018 at 3:44pm
    Your customers? needs are dynamic and constantly changing; your transportation network should be in perfect tune.

    19 Oct 2018 at 10:08am
    Even though a ?new NAFTA? has been introduced, many specifics remain slim.

    19 Oct 2018 at 8:57am
    FedEx said that when the transaction is made official Manton will be a subsidiary of the its FedEx Trade Networks operating company.

    18 Oct 2018 at 6:15pm
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    18 Oct 2018 at 3:20pm
    Research issued by the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI), the research arm of the American Trucking Associations (ATA) in its most recent ?Cost of Congestion? analysis shows that congestion added roughly $74.5 billion in operational costs to the trucking industry in 2016, the most recent year for which data is available.

    18 Oct 2018 at 1:37pm
    Most executives understand a physical supply chain and realize the potential cost and time-to-market benefits of contracting with partners within this supply chain. But most executives are ill informed about the potential benefits that could be obtained by digitizing today?s complex supply chains.

    18 Oct 2018 at 1:28pm
    When two days is too long, on-demand networks step in to deliver orders in hours or even minutes. This is hot enough that four-year old startups are having to share the space with the likes of Target, WalMart, Home Depot and even Amazon. Ultimately, delighting customers is driving it all.

    18 Oct 2018 at 1:23pm
    SMC3 explained that volume pricing rates are leveraged by shippers and 3PLs when they need a spot quote for shipments that do not fit within traditional LTL or truckload parameters.

    17 Oct 2018 at 5:22am
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