Check out last month’s new transportation updates in the shipping industry.
New Vaccine Rules Take Effect at Canadian Border
As of January 15th, COVID-19 vaccine requirements have made it tougher to cross the border from the U.S. into Canada. Moving forward, to enter Canada, one must show proof of vaccination, including all essential workers, such as truck drivers.
However, according to the Canadian Ministry of Transport and Ministry of Public Safety, these new requirements do not pertain to “Canadian citizens, persons registered as Indians under the Indian Act, and permanent Canada residents.” But as a result, if a truck driver in one of these categories does not wish to be fully vaccinated, additional requirements will be made to enter Canada. As an example, according to the leaders of the Canadian Trucking Alliance, unvaccinated truck drivers returning home will have to quarantine for 14 days (about two weeks).
With Freight levels remaining strong in the U.S., American Trucking Association Chief Economist Bob Costello fears these rules will affect Canada. “They will turn down freight going into Canada because they don’t have enough [vaccinated drivers], or at least some of the freight. And they will pivot to domestic freight because there is no longer a vaccine mandate domestically,” Costello said. “There is plenty of domestic freight to haul.”
These new requirements are an act of safety to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and increase the vaccinated population.
Read more about the new vaccine rule in Canada here.
Port of Long Beach Moves Record Cargo Despite Logjams
During the Pandemic, many U.S. citizens stayed in, which unavoidably caused a surge in imports. Despite the supply chain build-up, worker, and truck shortages, during the Pandemic, the Port of Long Beach moved record cargo volumes in 2021.
In 2021, the Port of Long Beach moved 9.38 million units last year, almost 16 percent more than the previous year in 2020.
Executive Director Mario Cordero stated that he looks “forward to enhancing productivity in 2022 by advancing our move toward 24/7 terminal operations, deploying data-sharing technologies for our industry partners, and continuing our infrastructure improvements.”
Read more about the Port of Long Beach’s record moving cargo here.
Truck Tonnage in December Increases 1.4% Year-Over-Year
According to American Trucking Associations (ATA), Truck tonnage in December increased by 1.4 percent compared to December of 202, which is the fourth consecutive year-over-year gain.
ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello said, “December’s gain was the fifth straight, totaling 4.4 percent of the cumulative monthly gains.”
These tonnage gains correlate to a strong holiday shopping season. Despite the challenges from inflation, the National Retail Federation said retail sales (including online) increased during November and December overall by 14.1 percent, which was $886.7 billion (about $2,700 per person in the U.S.), topping all expectations the group had.
DAT released the Truckload Volume Index for December, reflecting substantial freight volumes with an increase of 18 percent year-over-year. It also shared that the national average spot rate for vans was three dollars per mile, 54 cents higher than last year.
“While it’s not unusual to see a decline in the number of loads moved from November to December, spot market volume was historically strong last month,” DAT Chief of Analytics Ken Adamo said in a statement. “Truckers experienced unparalleled demand during the holiday season.” As a result, they expect to see a substantial increase in the year to come.
Read more about truck tonnage for December here.
Washington Lawmakers Propose Parking, Restroom Bills
In the current 60-day legislative session, Washington Lawmakers are under consideration to provide more parking for commercial truck drivers and increase access to restrooms.
According to Representative Dan Griffey, this new House Bill 1657 is under heavy consideration due to the critical needs of our truck drivers, who have a vital role in the supply chain. In addition, this will help provide safer overnight parking for commercial trucks closer to ports through tax incentives associated with real estate.
House Bill 1657 is due to a web survey conducted by the Washington State Joint Transportation Committee (JTC), which found truck drivers needed more parking for the following reasons:
- 10-hour breaks
- Logistical staging
- In and around urban areas
- Mountain passes
- Near state borders, especially with Oregon
“ATA believes that access to safe and available truck parking — and other facilities — is critical to the ability of truck drivers to do their jobs,” said Darrin Roth, ATA vice president of highway policy. “We support efforts that would increase the amount of parking available to drivers and those that would open up more hygiene facilities to drivers.”
Read more about the proposed parking bill here.
Diesel Surges Again, Up 6.8¢ to $3.725
According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), the national average price for diesel increases for the second time in 2022 to $3.725 a gallon, which is 6.8 cents from last week. In addition, the diesel per gallon average is up to $1.029 from last year, and it does not look like it will decrease anytime soon.
The EIA reported diesel increase over the ten regions, but the Midwest experienced the steepest growth of 8.1 cents to $3.603 a gallon. The Gulf Coast Region was next, with diesel rising by 7.9 cents, making it $3.463 per gallon.
“I think everybody is raising their expectations now,” Tom Kloza, founder and global head of energy analysis for Oil Price Information, told Transport Topics. “We’ve seen pretty strong markets. Some so many people are bullish now, and by people, I mean participants in the market for crude oil and even for gasoline, and this is a very low-demand period for gasoline.”
Read more about the increase in diesel prices here.