Tag Archives: transportation trends

Trending Transportation Updates: May 2020

There were many new transportation updates in the shipping industry last month. Check out some of the top stories and transportation updates in May 2020!

Trending Transportation Updates: May 2020

FMCSA presents the final HOS rule update

Over the recent months, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration had updated the HOS rules several times before publishing its final version on May 14. The main purpose of the update is to increase flexibility for truck drivers. To finalize the rules, FMCSA reviewed more than 8,000 comments online and during offline meetings. Here are some key outtakes from the update:

  • The final rule requires having a break after 8 non-stop driving hours, provides more flexibility for the 30-minute break. Now, the break can be completed by any status mark, whether it’s on duty, not driving, off duty, or berth.
  • The drivers are now allowed to adjust their sleeper berth exception by choosing how to split it: 8/2 or 7/3 hours of driving and rest respectively. None of these periods count against the driver’s 14-hour driving window.
  • The maximum driving hours for short-haul exceptions can now be extended from 12 to 14 hours, and the distance limit can be increased from 100 air miles to 150.

Read more about the final HOS rule update here.

April truck tonnage down 11.3%, the largest year-over-year drop since 2009

According to the report by the American Trucking Association, the truck tonnage volumes are down by 11.3% in April, showing the biggest year-by-year decline since 2009. The tonnage is calculated on surveys of ATA members. Obviously, such a substantial decline is caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Bob Costello, ATA Chief Economist, commented: “April’s monthly decline was the largest in 26 years when there was a labor strike in April 1994. Considering that April factory output and retail sales plummeted, the large drop in truck freight is not surprising.” Read more here.

Meat supply chains disrupted by the coronavirus

The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted almost every industry, and the meat industry in the U.S. appeared to be one of the hardest hit in recent times. Due to the outbreak of the virus, numerous meat processing plants had to close across the U.S. and Canada. The sequence of closings was caused by 940 workers testing positive for the COVID-19 in just one Cargill beef plant in Alberta, Canada. Since the factory is a major meat exporter in the U.S., the whole meat supply chain and distribution was halted. Combined with a 40% spike in demand for meat products across the consumers in April, this leaves farmers and distributors in a challenging situation. Generally, more than 10,000 cases were reported across the industry workers. Read more here.

Trending Transportation Updates: February 2020

There were many new and exciting transportation updates in the shipping industry last month. Check out some of the top stories and transportation updates in February 2020!

Transportation Updates: February 2020

FMCSA present Tech Celerate, a new safety program

FMCSA has recently announced the rollout of the newest program, Tech Celerate 2020, that aims to accelerate governmental and private sector institutions and projects to increase trucking safety. The program will bring together the influential players of tech and safety industries to implement and develop advanced driving assistance systems. The initiative is believed to ease the integration of new technology into trucking and increase driver safety. To read more, click here.

More than 8,000 violations detected through Alcohol and Drug Clearinghouse

Since the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse rolled out on January 6th, more than 8,000 substance abuse violations were uncovered through the system. The new FMCSA initiative is an online database where drivers’ substance violations abuse history can be seen and tracked. So far, Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse has more than 650,000 drivers registered. To read more, click here.

U.S. DOT gives $1 million investment grant to infrastructure projects

The U.S. Department of Transportation announced a $1 million grant for highway infrastructure projects, including projects related to building bridges, highways, rails, and improving intermodal connectivity. Transportation agencies can apply as they meet DOT requirements, such as safety impact, environmental sustainability, innovation advancement, and economic vitality. To read more, click here.

Coronavirus disrupts supply chains

As the newly discovered coronavirus keeps spreading around the world, it has a drastic impact on the global economy and supply chains. Chinese exports have already fallen around 3 times, and the Chinese economy is seemingly coming to a recess. Considering the drop in stock costs and companies shutting down facilities in the most infected areas, Asia will likely experience the intense disruption. Globally, Europe and the U.S. are limiting import freight and preparing for the wave of virus disruption. To read more, click here.

2020 Logistics Outlook: 3 Trends That Will Make an Impact

The start of the new decade marks many significant shifts in the logistics and transportation industry. The past few years in the logistics and transportation industry brought the most contradictory and fast-growing trends to the spotlight. Digital revolution, industry automation, self-driven trucks, robotic devices, blockchain-enabled supply chains, and many more topics have brought heated discussions in the industry. Whether these shifts will take 10 or 50 years, the process has already started. 2020 logistics outlook forecasts some big and fresh trends in the logistics and transportation industry.

2020 Logistics Outlook: What Is Trending?

Supply chain transformations

Many experts believe that there are transformations to come. For example, supply chains are shifting from linear, end-to-end models to circular (especially complex ones). The circular model makes it easier to manage returns, recycling, restocking, and other live processes in the supply chains in a better and more efficient way. Since companies are becoming more conscious in terms of brand responsibility, the trend of a more versatile and multi-angled supply chain will remain hot in the upcoming years.


With all the noise around sustainability, going green will become even more essential for companies in the coming year. Eco-initiatives are driving many other trends like alternative energy and automation, which makes it one of the most visible and promising tendencies in logistics in 2020. Companies will firstly be focused on optimization powered by technology. Using advanced AI-based software will enable businesses to develop the route with fewer emissions. Other smart solutions include automated vehicles and devices to enhance last-mile delivery.

Hyper automation

Apart from self-driving trucks and other innovations that many industry players are afraid of or hesitant about, automation is way more versatile and approachable. Altogether, these processes can be combined under the hyper automation phenomenon. This includes all the automating processes like analysis, data gathering, forecasting, measuring and monitoring. Ultimately, hyper automation implies everything from functional software, equipment, robotics, vehicles, tracking tools, and any other assets that can reduce the necessity of human intervention.

Apart from relatively fresh trends, there will be an increased demand for better tracking and tracing capabilities to deliver more visibility into supply chains. Generally, more integrated networks will be appearing in the industry to better connect carriers, shippers, and others involved in operations. With a forecasted boom in logistics startups and logistics-focused technology, there is a lot to expect from the new software and tech solutions.

Experts also emphasize on small and medium businesses going global and getting more access to huge supply chains. Since SMEs produce a very significant rate in GDP and account for 95 percent of all companies, their growing presence on the market will positively impact the industry and the economy in general.