Tag Archives: transportation updates

Trending Transportation Updates: June 2020

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

Trending Transportation Updates: June 2020

May Truck Tonnage Drops 9.6% Year-Over-Year

According to the ATA report, the May truck tonnage index dropped 9.6% compared to the previous years. This is the largest year-over-year drop in a decade. However, it is an improvement from the April sequential result of a 10.4% fall. Bob Costello, the chief economist in ATA, isn’t too worried: “While tonnage fell in May, even though other economic indicators like retail sales and housing starts rose, I’m not overly concerned”. Read more here.

FMCSA extends HOS emergency once again

With President Trump issuing the national emergency declaration in response to coronavirus, FMCSA has reformed HOS rules to align with the current industry conditions. Last month, a HOS emergency was extended until June 14 but was extended for one more month with an estimated expiration date on July 14. “This extension addresses national emergency conditions that create a need for immediate transportation of essential supplies and provides necessary relief from the FMCSR’s (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations) for motor carriers and drivers,” said FMCSA. Read more here.

The first electric truck sales mandate approved in California

In a long-awaited vote, California Air Resources Board (CARB) approved an electric truck mandate that will require medium- and heavy-duty truck manufacturers to sell a growing percentage of electric vehicles starting in 2024. This is the first rule of its kind in the world. The mandate is called the Advanced Clean Truck rule. According to the new rule, by 2035, about 75% of Class 8 big rigs sold will need to be zero-emission. “Fundamentally, the point of this regulation is not to simply require things, it is to push the market more quickly, transitioning away from fossil fuels as fast and effectively as we can,” – said Andy Schwarz, one of the Tesla executives. Read more here.

Earthquakes shake the Southern states

On June 24, the Southern California area was rattled by a 5.8 magnitude earthquake. The epicenter of an earthquake was in Cartoga, Owens Valley region. Earlier this month, a much stronger 7.4 magnitude quake hit Southern Mexico, causing at least 6 fatalities and material damage. It is yet unknown if the wave of earthquakes will continue in the region, but some seismologists expect more rattles. Read more here.

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: April 2020

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

Trending Transportation Updates: April 2020

Economy to reopen due to President Trump state-issued guidelines

On April 16, President Trump announced that lockdown measures will be loosening for businesses. The reopening of the U.S. economy will take place on a patchwork basis, meaning that each state governor will define the pace and timeline to take off restrictions. Governors can start getting the state’s economy back to normal on May 1, or earlier. Read more about the reopening plan here.

Oil prices go negative for the first time in history

Monday, April 21, was probably the worst day the oil market has ever seen. For the first time in history, oil prices went below $0 for barrel and kept falling negative. Such a crash is explained by a huge discrepancy between supply and demand. Due to reduced flights and road traffic, the demand for fuel and other oil products had drastically lowered, causing the market to collapse. Read more about oil prices fall-off here.

Truckload linehaul rates fall 9.2% last month

According to the Cass Freight Index, shipment volumes went down 9.2% since March, becoming the most substantial drop since the financial crisis in 2008. “This ends any chance of 2020 seeing year over year growth in domestic U.S. shipments and freight costs. This has quickly gone from a China production concern to a U.S. (and global) consumer spending problem. No business, no jobs, and no income for many leads to much less freight moving around,” David Ross, Stifel Financial equity research analyst, says. Read more about truckload rates here.

FMCSA expands emergency response further

As a response to the COVID-19 situation, FMCSA has issued an emergency declaration for all states, temporary relieving motor carriers, and drivers from Parts 390 through 399 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR). The declaration was first released on March 13 and now was extended till May 15. According to an update that went into effect on April 8, drivers are not allowed to operate while fatigued or impaired and must continue to comply with state regulations regarding traffic violations and speeding. Read more about emergency response extension here.

Trending Transportation Updates: March 2020

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

Trending Transportation Updates: March 2020

Senate approves $2 trillion stimulus bill

To avoid the complete breakdown of the economy, the US Senate and the White House have struck a deal on a $2 trillion stimulus package. After several days of negotiations, Congress has finally reached a risky and one of the most expensive decisions in the financial history of the US. According to legislation, an aid package will cover payments for individuals, families, and cover loans for distressed businesses. Read more here.

FMCSA extends the rule-changing order

On March 13, FMCSA postponed Hours of Service regulations in all states and Washington D.C. The exemption was applicable for drivers who are directly providing essential supplies for the COVID-19 pandemic. The waiver got an expansion on March 18, and now also includes drivers who are hauling paper products, fuel, and items required for the manufacturing of essential materials. Read more here.

USPS will get $10 billion from a newly approved stimulus package

Global posting services, including the USPS, UPS, and FedEx, warned about the severe impact on shipment delivery as the coronavirus outbreak worsens. Despite hopes of getting as much as $25 billion, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) will get a $10 billion line of credit under the U.S. Senate’s $2.1 trillion coronavirus economic relief legislation approved on March 25. Read more here.

CVSA puts off International Roadcheck from May to an undetermined date

The CVSA International Roadcheck, that was to take place from May 5 – 7, is postponed to an undecided date. The annual testing procedure includes an advanced check of truck and equipment safety and drivers’ compliance with CVSA requirements. CVSA President John Samis commented: “With last year’s federal electronic logging device full-compliance mandate in the U.S., the Alliance decided that this year’s International Roadcheck would be the perfect opportunity to revisit all aspects of roadside inspection driver requirements.” 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.

Trending Transportation Updates: November 2019

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 November!

Transportation Updates: November 2019

Walmart Canada launches world’s largest blockchain application

The retail giant has recently announced its plan to set up a huge freight and payment network, powered by blockchain technology. Walmart Canada collaborated with DLT Labs to develop the application. The industry blockchain solution will process payments, store data, verify transactions, and track freight shipments. The final launch of a web portal that will also be available as the mobile application is planned on February 1, 2020. Read more here.

Amazon will open grocery stores without human cashiers

Amazon is extending its retail initiatives by preparing a network of supermarkets and grocery stores called Amazon Go. The retail mogul plans to make the stores cashiers and take out checkout lines. The project is currently being tested in the facility in the Seattle Capitol neighborhood. Amazon is also planning to sell the license after successfully launching the initiative. Read more here.

The consequences of a trade war could cost the U.S. economy $186 billion

The recent study on the implementation and impact of Trump’s import tariffs reveals the risks these changes can cost each state nationwide. Turns out, the two years of a trade war with China can threaten nearly 1.5 million US jobs and $186 billion of the country’s economic activity. Read more here.

UPS expects a record amount of returns during the holiday season

Every year the holiday season gets busier, and this year is expected to set the record for return goods, according to UPS estimates. Postal service expects returns to rise 26% up compared to last year, which will represent 1.9 million packages on January, 2. Before Christmas day, the carrier plans to handle 1.6 million returns per day. Read more here.

Trending Transportation Updates: October 2019

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 October!

Transportation Updates: October 2019

UPS prepares to handle record holiday sales

Online shopping gets serious, and UPS is preparing to handle the record sales period in the 2019 – 2020 shopping season. Postal service will additionally hire 100,000 seasonal workers and build automated facilities. UPS is also planning to add equipment to its fleets to handle more packages. According to the forecast, sales will grow 5 percent since the last year. The service plans to deliver 32 million packages a day and handle 400,000 packages per hour. Read more here.

DOT initiates an audit of FMCSA oversight on driver disqualifications

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Office of Inspector General has launched an audit of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s oversight of truck driver disqualifications. This audit is caused by a lethal commercial vehicle crash involving the driver. The crash resulted in an internal investigation by the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV). The purpose of the audit is to make sure driver licensing agencies are in compliance with commercial driver license regulations. Read more here.

ATA’s truck tonnage index increases 3.5% above September 2018

Truck tonnage grew 3.5% in September, matched with last years levels, according to American Trucking Associations’ For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index. In September, the index reached 117.6 and was 117.3 in August. “This was the first month in 2019 that we did not see a significant increase or decrease in tonnage,” stated Bob Costello, chief economist at ATA, referring to the steady rise of 0.2% over August. Read more here.

The U.S. and China settle the first-stage agreement

After the 18-month ongoing trade war, the U.S. and China finally reached an agreement on key points of trade arrangements. On October 11, President Donald Trump said he and Xi Jinping can sign the partial deal starting next month. President Trump also stated China will adjust intellectual property measures and concessions in terms of financial services and currency, as well as increase purchases of U.S. agricultural commodities. On the U.S. side, tariff delay is planned as soon as the agreement is finalized. Read more here.

Trending Transportation Updates: September 2019

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

Transportation updates in September 2019

Amazon to start a logistics business

The e-commerce mogul has announced it’s a plan to start a business in the logistics industry. Amazon wants to develop its own delivery fleet by renting aircrafts and launching an employee support program. The company is offering $10,000 to the workers so they can start their shipping business. “I think Amazon has stated that they’re now a competitor to the transport industry. FedEx has clearly viewed them as an increasing competitor following their recent moves,” – said Ken Hoexter, a research analyst at Bank of America. Read more here.

Holiday season begins: The U.S. ports admit record freight volumes

As the holiday season rolls out, the largest ports are seeing an increase in inbound freight since August. The Port of Oakland states a 3.1 percent increase for imports and 1 percent for export freight. The Port of Los Angeles Executive Director, Gene Seroka, commented, “The final monthsshipping port of 2018 ended with an extraordinary influx of imports to beat expected tariffs on China-origin goods. We don’t expect to see that kind of volume in the months ahead. We need a negotiated settlement of the U.S.-China trade war to restore global trade stability.” Read more here.

IMO 2020: Experts expect oil price volatility and an increase in freight costs


Effective January 1, 2020, the International Maritime Organization’s low-sulfur mandate will become valid. Logistics experts believe it can lead to significant disruptions in the industry, including freight cost increase and price volatility. “The industry is still in a financial tailspin since the financial crisis, but the technology is ready and mandates being enforced by each country will make this a reality,” said Jigar Shah, co-founder, and president of Generate Capital. Read more here.

Trending Transportation Updates: August 2019

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

China & U.S. trade war: President Trump raises tariffs

On August 23, President Trump responded to Beijing’s retaliation with raising tariffs for China. Now, taxes on $250 billion of imports will rise from 25 percent to 30 percent starting October 1. Also, effective September 1, the duties for $300 billion in Chinese imports will increase to 15 percent instead of 10 percent.  To read more about the tariffs, click here.

Truckers respond to the new HOS regulations

After the latest tweak in the hours-of-service rules, truckers are suggesting changes for more flexibility. Currently, truck drivers have a ten-hour period for rest with a suggested eight hours of rest and two hours of non-driving time. Also, they have a mandatory 30-minute break. In particular, many drivers wanted to split the 30-minute break into two smaller intervals, and be more flexible with the way they use their time off. To read more, click here.

Truck tonnage to increase by 25.6 percent by 2030

The new report by the American Trucking Association stated truck tonnage to increase by 25.6 percent over the next decade. Responsively, the revenue is expected to go 54 percent up and reach $1.6 trillion. Chris Spear, ATA President, spoke up on the importance of adjusting to market growth: “Freight Forecast clearly lays out why meeting challenges like infrastructure and workforce development are so critical to our industry’s success”. To read more, click here.

Truck wait times at border are increasing

Truck wait times at the United States – Mexico border are beginning to increase. Industry professionals say the longer wait times are a result of slow border inspection routines and truck drivers waiting to load and unload freight at docks and intermodal facilities. To read more about the border congestion, click here.

Trending Transportation Updates: July 2019

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

FMCSA Offers a New Rule on CDL Home State Requirement 

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration introduces a new rule that will allow truck drivers to get a commercial driver’s license (CDL) outside of their state of residence. The new proposal was created to reverse the current requirement to register in their birthplace state. This way, FMCSA tries to simplify the application procedure for drivers entering the market. Read more here

New ATA Report: Driver Shortage is Going to Increase Over the Next Decade

A new report by the American Trucking Association shed light on the current state of truck driver workforce market and highlighted forecasts of shortage growth over the next ten years. The study indicates the industry will need 1.1 million truck drivers hired throughout the next decade, which equals 25 percent of new hires. Read more here.  

eBay to Present New ‘Managed Delivery’ Service by 2020

The retail giant eBay announced its plan to launch a new delivery system for high-volume shippers. The main concept suggests that large sellers will be able to store, pack and deliver their products within the network of specifically located facilities and vendors. Managed Delivery is estimated to be live in 2020 and reduce delivery times all over the country. Read more here

Tensions sharpen in Strait of Hormuz: Two British Ships Seized 

Strait of Hormuz, an extremely important economical area between the Persian Gulf and Oman Gulf with $1.2 billion worth oil transported each day is in a tense situation. In particular, Iran is accused of seizing two British tankers and attacking a few more ships, as well as shutting down the U.S. drone. Read more here.