Commerce Express Weekly Road Map: August 23rd, 2022

Keeping you informed on the latest news/insights in our industry.

 Commerce Express Blog

The land of 10,000 lakes is extending for another month an order that permits more driving hours to transport fuel. Minnesota’s Governor Tim Walz cites concerns with fuel terminals all across the state reporting shortages, or even outages, of product. For terminals with available supply, increased demand has bombarded them and has led to drivers braving long wait times to take on loads.

Read More Here 

Trucking Update

  • Brake Safety Week has officially started and will take place all throughout North America. For this year the area of emphasis is on brake hose/tube chafing violations, data from those violations will be collected by inspectors and submitted to the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, CDL life reports 
  • Used truck prices are decreasing at auctions and dealerships – except for newer equipment with less than 400,000 miles on the odometer, Freightwaves says. Something else to note is U.S. trailer orders in July this year have soared compared to 2021. However, they have slumped a little bit compared to earlier months this year.  
  • New York gasoline inventories are not doing so great as suppliers are resorting to U.S. vessels – which expensive – in order to move fuel into the region and put to rest any potential for shortages, Transport Topics reports. While prices at the pump continue to fall, supply is also shrinking. With harvest season fast approaching, diesel is in high demand as distributors try to stock up for the upcoming season.  
  • Last Friday the National Truck Driving and Step Van Driving Championships crowned Roland Bolduc, their Grand Champion! As Trucker News reports, Bolduc competed in the sleeper berth which included 408 drivers during the event in Indianapolis. Drivers that compete in this event are some of the best of the best and must be accident-free for at least one year prior to the competition. You can read more about the prestigious event here.  

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Rail Update
  • Last Thursday, BNSF announced they will be ending embargo – an official ban on trade or other commercial activity – on specific westbound shipments on September 4th, Supply Chain Dive reports. The embargo was on food, diesel and other commodities that originally began near the end of June, in an effort to help deal with congestion. Then in July, BNSF put out a plan to slowly loosen restrictions into August. Now, they say because of the temporary permit embargo, BNSF was able to clear a significant amount of backlogs and the network is more efficient.  
  • Last week, the Presidential Emergency Board (PEB) put together a report that lists recommendations on how the freight railroads and unions can work towards a new labor agreement. However, the head of the nation’s largest railroad union say the contract deal does not do enough to address concerns about working conditions, though it does suggest 24% in raises – Transport Topics reports. The other 11 unions involved have yet to comment. Something to keep in mind is both sides have 30 days to negotiate a contract. If that does not happen, federal law would allow a strike or lockout to happen – however, if that were to happen most likely Congress would get involved and impose terms to avert a strike.  
  • Fall harvest season is fast approaching and the Surface Transportation Board (STB) is looking for details from the Class I railroads on how they expect to meet rail demand during this harvest season. Rail service has been a hot topic this year as board has asked the Class I railroads to submit weekly reports detailing their headcount levels for train and engine crews and data documenting service, Freightwaves reports.  
  • For the week ending August 13th, 2022, total U.S. weekly rail traffic was at 502,775 carloads and intermodal units, just down slightly from the same time last year at 0.3 percent – data from the Association of American Railroads shows. Coal, grain and nonmetallic minerals continue to see increases, while metallic ores and metals, miscellaneous carloads and petroleum and petroleum products remain down nearly 2 percent compared to the same time last year.  
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