Here’s an overview of 6 popular transportation and supply chain news stories from March:
- Research Brief: Inbound Freight Management. Inbound transportation consumes more than 40% of an average organization’s annual freight budget. New research indicates the biggest challenge managing inbound freight moves is controlling costs. More than half of shippers agree that to improve inbound freight, they need to acquire the best rate per shipment. Learn more by downloading the Research Brief.
- Rail and Intermodal Volumes Down. Rail carloads were down 12.8% and intermodal volumes were down 10.3% the week ending March 12. For the first 10 weeks of 2016, total carload and intermodal volumes are down. With rising rail costs, is rail still a viable option for shippers?
- Signs Crude Oil Prices Might Have Bottomed Out. Prices have risen to more than $40 a barrel, up more than 40% earlier this year. The IEA said the production of oil (outside OPEC) will decline by 750,000 barrels a day this year. Oil prices have recovered 50% from the 12-year lows reached in January.
- ELDs Expected to Tighten Capacity. When the ELD mandate becomes mandatory, shippers might have a difficult time finding truck capacity, experts say. Why? Because fleets who can’t afford the investment of ELDs will leave the industry. Shippers should start establishing relationships with carriers in order to become a preferred shipper.
- 8.6% Gain in Truck Tonnage (February). With weak January freight volumes, February truck tonnage jumped 8.6%, posting an all-time record. The year-over-year gain was the largest in more than 2 years and marked the largest sequential gain in more than 3 years.
- FMCSA Redefines High-Risk Carrier. The FMCSA has redefined high-risk motor carrier. Under the new definition, non-passenger carriers are high risk if they’re above the 90th percentile for one month and haven’t received an onsite investigation in the previous 12 months, or if they have two or more of the following Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Category scores that are associated with crash risk: Unsafe Driving, Crash Indicator, HOS Compliance and Vehicle Maintenance. The agency overhauled its carrier ranking to enable safety investigators to take more immediate action against carriers with the highest crash risk.