Trending Transportation Updates: February 2017

Posted by PLS Logistics February 28, 2017 at 9:29 AM

  1. “Trucking Futures Exchange” Could Launch This Summer: DAT Solutions and Transvix have teamed up to create a futures exchange that will allow trucking companies, 3PL’s, and shippers to better combat spot market rate uncertainty. The Exchange would use a similar process to the New York Mercantile Exchange and the Chicago Board of Trade. Futures contracts will be bought and sold on commodities like fuel, oil, or grain. (Read more: The Interrelated Issues Facing the Trucking Industry)
  2. Diesel Inches Up 0.7 cents to $2.572 a Gallon: The stronger bite of OPEC production cuts lifted the price of crude to nearly $54 a barrel, analysts said. This is diesel’s second increase after four consecutive weeks of declines. Diesel now costs 58.9 cents more than it was a year ago, when the price was $1.983 a gallon, DOE said.
  3. UPS Moves Closer to Octocopter Drone Deliveries: On February 21, UPS launched an unmanned aerial vehicle from the roof of a UPS truck in Florida. The drone successfully dropped off a package at a home nearby, and then returned to the truck after it moved 2,000 feet from the launch location. UPS hopes the drone implementation will cut costs and ease delivery in complicated places, such as rural areas that have a large distance between stops. However, Mark Wallace, UPS Senior Vice President of Global Engineering and Sustainability, assures customers that the drones will not replace the brown-clad service providers we know and love. (Read more: 5 Common Problems Vendors Have with Routing Guides)
    1. UPS Moves Closer to Octocopter Drone Deliveries: On February 21, UPS launched an unmanned aerial vehicle from the roof of a UPS truck in Florida. The drone successfully dropped off a package at a home nearby, and then returned to the truck after it moved 2,000 feet from the launch location. UPS hopes the drone implementation will cut costs and ease delivery in complicated places, such as rural areas that have a large distance between stops. However, Mark Wallace, UPS Senior Vice President of Global Engineering and Sustainability, assures customers that the drones will not replace the brown-clad service providers we know and love.

Read Next: 6 Trending Transportation Updates: January 2017

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6 Trending Transportation Updates: January 2017

Posted by PLS Logistics January 31, 2017 at 9:30 AM

  1. US Manufacturing Expect Rising Profit in 2017. Manufacturing has expanded at the fastest pace in 2 years, and US manufacturing firms expect to see revenues accelerate 4.6% next year. (Blog: Manufacturing Productivity Generates Focus on Transportation)
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5 Trending Transportation Updates: December 2016

Posted by PLS Logistics December 30, 2016 at 9:00 AM

  1. Amazon Innovation: Grocery Stores. Amazon’s first big venture into brick-and-mortal is revolutionary: a grocery store with no cashiers or checkout lines. In the new store, shoppers will scan their Amazon Go app, and the technology will keep track of what you are picking up and add them to your virtual shopping cart. (Read: Omnichannel Takes on Food Industry & Gains Consumer Support)

  2. Elaine Chao to Lead Department of Transportation. President-elect Trump has chosen Chao, who has had experience in the White House under President George W. Bush, for Secretary of Transportation. Chao said that given the nation’s need to improve infrastructure, it’s important to find ways to expedite the process of making repairs and building new constructions and decreasing regulatory burdens.

  3. Post-Election Hope for Alaska Mines, Toll Supporters and Consumer Confidence. Miners expect the EPA to announce in Q1 that it will let the application process for a copper and gold mine in Alaska to proceed. The EPA has been blocking the mine project for nearly 3 years. (Source)
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7 Trending Transportation Updates: November 2016

Posted by PLS Logistics November 29, 2016 at 8:45 AM

  • Little Change in Economy, but Rate Increase Coming. Next year, the US economy won’t change much, growth expected to be about 2%. FTR predicts more of the same, but when you factor in low expectations, 2017 will feel like a good year. Shipping prices are expected to increase in 2017 and continue into 2018. FedEx, UPS and several LTL carriers have announced a series of rate increases effective in 2017.
  • Self-Created Holiday has Vigorous Delivery Window. Singles Day is the largest shopping day in the world, 4x bigger than Black Friday. Alibaba was expected to generate $20 billion in total transaction value. Last year, Alibaba did $9.3 billion in revenue on Singles Day, shipping 278 million orders in 24 hours. The same-day delivery window requires a new way of thinking about transportation and logistics. China struggles with delivery, mostly because of an underinvestment in infrastructure and inefficient regulation. So, Alibaba has pledged to invest billions of dollars in order to link third-parties to deliver shipments. (Source)

  • Busiest Thanksgiving Since 2007. 7 million Americans were expected to travel at least 50 miles for the Thanksgiving holiday, that’s 1 million more people compared to last year. This represents a 1.9% increase over 2015, and the most Thanksgiving travelers since 2007. AAA credits the increase of travel to inexpensive fuel (the second-lowest in a decade for the holiday travel period), rising wages and increased consumer confidence. (Source)

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Will America’s Next President Secure Infrastructure Spend?

Posted by PLS Logistics November 1, 2016 at 9:50 AM

A long-term funding plan to modernize America’s infrastructure has been extensively talked about in political circles. This election, it’s not different.

A recent CBS article says that Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton agree on this topic; that roads, bridges, airports and other US structural assets are in bad condition. Both Trump and Clinton argue that the country’s rundown roads, bridges and airports need rebuilding. And, both candidates say infrastructure programs will create new jobs.

Clinton’s idea is a five-year plan that calls for about $300 billion in direct spending on roads and bridges and another $25 billion for an infrastructure bank. She plans to pay for the plan from corporate tax reform, including a chance for companies to banish overseas profits. Trump wants to spend $1 trillion on a variety of infrastructure projects over 10 years, if elected. According to Yahoo Finance, $167 billion of the $1 trillion investment would be equity investment, while the rest would be raised by private partners.

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5 Trending Transportation Updates: October 2016

Posted by PLS Logistics October 31, 2016 at 8:45 AM

  1. Uber’s Plan for Long-Haul Trucking. Uber Technologies acquired Otto, a self-driving truck startup. The goal is for Otto-branded trucks and trucks equipped with Otto technology to begin hauling freight next year. The Uber-Otto freight move model includes technologies like navigation, mapping and tracking. Uber is aiming to establish itself as a freight hauler and technology partner for the $700 billion-a-year trucking industry. On October 20, Uber reached a landmark milestone by completing the first ever commercial cargo run for a self-driving truck.

  2. Robots to Replace 1.7 Million Truck Drivers. About a dozen states have created laws that allow self-driving vehicles to be tested. According to the LA Times, trucking will likely be the first type of driving to be fully automated; long-haul drivers spend most of their time on the highway, which is the easiest type of road to navigate without human intervention. There are 1.7 million truckers in America, and another 1.7 million drivers of taxis, buses and delivery vehicles.
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Reviewing 2016’s Intermodal Predictions & Anticipating 2017

Posted by PLS Logistics October 11, 2016 at 10:05 AM

Intermodal transportation is a hybrid system that relies on an interchangeable relationship among truck, rail and barge. Intermodal transport is a reliable mode, providing standardized transit schedules, low costs and easy access to equipment.

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5 Trending Transportation Updates: September 2016

Posted by PLS Logistics September 29, 2016 at 10:30 AM

  • LTL Rates Increase Despite Freight Conditions. Freight companies announced rate increases despite the uncertain freight market. UPS said that the rate increases will support ongoing expansion and capability enhancements. LTL rates are primed for an overall 1.5% increase in 2016, and another 2% increase in 2017. (Read: Transportation Outlook: What if there’s Another Recession?)
  • Fleets Not Increasing Wages. Driver pay increases during Q2 sank to the lowest level in 7 years. The average increase was less than a half-cent per mile, the smallest change since the second half of 2009. National driver pay trends fell flat, but many fleets believe market conditions will improve in the next 12 months. (Source: Transport Topics) Find out the real story behind freight rates and driver pay here

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Trending Transportation News: July 2016

Posted by PLS Logistics July 28, 2016 at 12:30 PM

  • FedEx Delivers to Cuba. FedEx became the first American freight carrier with rights to deliver freight to Cuba. FedEx says they will begin service on January 15, 2017. Their rights extend to July 15, 2018.
  • Amazon Tests Drone Delivery in U.K. Amazon has partnered with the British government to test drone parcel delivery technology. The tests, supervised by the Civil Aviation Authority, will test the drone’s ability to maneuver with multiple other drones in the air and out of sight of operators.
  • Speed Limiter Proposal Expected Before Fall. After over a decade of pursuing a heavy-truck speed limiter rule, the FMCSA and NHTSA say that the proposal will be completed this year. Some industry insiders disagree, and a frustrated Congress may put a deadline on the proposal.
  • Best Practices Program Introduced. A newly formed APICS Certified in Logistics, Transportation, and Distribution (CTLD) credential program aims to set the global standard for best practices. Logistics has one of the fastest growing job creation rates, making the program a necessity.
  • CSA Scores on the Horizon. The temporarily suspended CSA scores, currently under review by the FMCSA, have shown signs of an early comeback. There are many obstacles for the highly controversial scores to return to public view, but many believe it will happen sooner rather than later.

 

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CSA Scores to Make Early Comeback?

Posted by PLS Logistics July 21, 2016 at 8:00 AM

In 2015, the FAST Act required FMCSA to remove CSA (Compliance, Safety and Accountability) information from public view. It also mandated that FMCSA repair the CSA program so that scores can be used as a consistent, reliable safety measure.

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