Commerce Express Weekly Road Map: January 18th, 2022
Keeping you informed on the latest news/insights in our industry.
Commerce Express Blog
Railroads are the most fuel efficient way to move freight over land and today, railroads continue to find ways to make their operations more modern to meet the challenges of the future, including ways to benefit the environment. According to the Association of American Railroads (AAR), moving freight by train instead of truck reduces greenhouse gas emissions by up to 75%.
- Refrigerated and reefer truckload capacity looks to be trending higher than usual, according to Freightwaves and the Reefer Outbound Tender Volume Index (ROTVI). The ROTVI has seen volume peaks in early 2021 and has been a rollercoaster ride until it reached a peak in November.
- The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), has been reminding truck drivers since November about mobile carriers terminating 3G technology, including ELDs, dash cams, and trailer tracking devices. If a provider no longer supports a 3G device, a malfunction code will be triggered on the driver’s ELD. The FMCSA, has also been encouraging drivers to make the switch as soon as possible to avoid potential ELD violations
- Canada is second behind China as a primary trading partner of the U.S., with Mexico shortly behind Canada. According to Freightwaves, Canada totaled $61.4 billion in trade with the U.S. during November and Mexico had $58.7 billion in two-way trade with the U.S. in November.
- U.S. will be closing Gulf of Mexico ports to Mexican fishing vessels starting February 7th. According to Freightwaves and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), this is due to the alleged illegal capture of red snapper in American water. Authorities in Mexico have told U.S. officials that they are trying to make efforts to improve and address the illegal fishing activities that are occurring in the Gulf Coast.
- On Sunday a winter storm took place in the Southeast that caused a road closure on Hwy 147& 15-501 northbound in North Carolina, due to a truck driver losing control of his vehicle on an icy overpass, according to Freightwaves. The road opened back up later that Sunday night. Along with icy conditions, the winter storm in the Southeast created 14-20 inches of snow and continued to move into the Northeast where winds became stronger, creating some tree damage and power outages in the area, according to Freightwaves. Additional snow is possible later this week for those regions and blizzard conditions are possible Tuesday in areas of the Upper Midwest.
- Some lanes of concern, according to Freightwaves
- Interstate 29 from the South Dakota-North Dakota border to the U.S.-Canada border
- Interstate 90 in South Dakota from Rapid City to Chamberlain
- Interstate 94 from the Montana-North Dakota border to Detroit Lakes, Minnesota
- Some lanes of concern, according to Freightwaves
How doable is improving freight rail sustainability?
There are certainly a range of steps that one can take to improve freight rail sustainability, but one of the bigger benefits is that moving freight by train instead of truck reduces greenhouse gas emissions by up to 75%.
I have a domestic shipment request that I would like to book with Commerce Express, how do I go about doing that?
We would love to get a booking started for you! Please email us some details of the shipment, (origin/destination, commodity, size/dimensions, etc.) and we would be more than happy to get this started for you.
- Members of two unions are considering going on strike at BNSF, starting February 1st, because of an attendance program they feel is overly restrictive as well as the discussions of precision scheduled railroading practices, according to Freightwaves. The unions feel like the policy as a points-based system that will penalize employees for “any time they take off work for practically any reason.” BNSF said told Freightwaves, that the policy update is up to par with practices across the transportation industry and “they understand that change can be an adjustment, but working together, we believe we can adapt to meet today’s competitive freight environment.”
- A new U.S. steel facility is coming to Arkansas with ground expected to be broken in the first-quarter of 2022, and hopefully will be fully operation in 2024, according to Railway Age. This new facility will provide many of the most advanced and sustainable steels in North America.
- U.S. intermodal had a record first half but a disappointing second half of 2021. According to Railway Age, U.S. Class I’s hauled 1,224,780 containers and trailers in December 2021, which was down from the same month in 2020 by 8.2%; 1,135,835 carloads which is up 3.1%. Coal, crushed stone sand and gravel, and chemicals all saw increases from December 2020. Grain, motor vehicles and parts, petroleum and petroleum products, all decreased from December 2020.
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