Commerce Express Weekly Road Map:
December 6th, 2022
Keeping you informed on the latest news/insights in our industry.
Commerce Express Blog
The theme for trucking—and pretty much all sectors in logistics or transportation—has been the same for the last couple of years. This theme being the high demand for these industries to move our nation’s freight volumes.
With great volumes comes the propensity for stifling congestion and related bottlenecks. Whether you look at trucking, rail, ocean, or barge. Every mode has had its woes at one point or another.
Legislation was introduced to expand truck parking throughout the U.S
The bipartisan Senate bill – The Truck Parking Safety Improvement Act – which was introduced on December 1st, and is also companion legislation in a House bill that was introduced in 2021, would create more than $750 million in grants over four years, FleetOwner reports.
Commercial truck parking shortages have been a continuous nationwide issue. This legislation provides the needed funds to help improve the problem and increase the truck parking capacity.
When drivers cannot find safe and legal parking, they are left with choosing to either park in unsafe or illegal locations or violate federal hours-of-service rules that they regulate throughout their daily drive time and have to spend that time searching for safer and legal options.
Missouri extends their statewide drought emergency and over width hauling permits through March 1st
With drought conditions predicted to not improve this winter, on November 28th, Missouri Governor Mike Parson issued Executive Order 22-07 to extend the alert.
This extension comes after the Missouri DOT extended the special over width hauling permit for hay at no cost, in an effort to help farmers and ranchers with the drought continuing, Transport Topics reports.
Both permits were set to expire on the first of December.
Extending the executive order was important to continue to support the mitigation efforts as the state navigates the challenges on the Missouri river that’s impacting barge traffic.
Recap of CVSA’s Safe Driver Week
The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) recently announced their results from the 2022 Operation Safe Driver Week, which took place from July 10th-16th in Canada, and the U.S.
More than 35,000 commercial motor vehicles and passenger vehicles were pulled over by officers and 26,164 were issued warnings and citations that were engaging in unsafe driving behaviors from speeding to distracted driving, the CVSA reports.
Specifically in the U.S. commercial motor vehicle drivers received 4,742 warnings and 3,104 citations. With speeding/driving too fast for conditions as the top violation.
In Canada, commercial motor vehicle drivers received 112 warnings and 276 citations. With speeding/driving too fast for conditions as the top violation as well – data shows.
The goal of Safe Driver Week is to improve driving behaviors of all drivers and prevent the number of crashes on the roadways from increasing.
FAQ: Tips for Helping Drivers Navigate Work Zones
- Maintain a good distance between lanes
- Use different/alternative routes when possible
- Using truck-only lanes through the work zone
- Avoid using short or no acceleration lane entrance ramps
- Using outreach information about work zones and work zone challenges at truck stops, rest areas and inform dispatchers
- Activate emergency flashers whenever stopped or slowed at work zones
President Biden signs a bill which prevented a legal freight rail strike
In an effort to hinder a potential legal rail strike that loomed in the near future, President Biden signed into law an agreement that ended that potential opportunity.
The rail workers will receive everything that was bargained for in the tentative agreement. Unfortunately, they will not receive one of their main asks, more paid sick leave.
Currently, the rail workers receive three weeks of vacation and 14 days of paid-time-off. But they were asking for an additional seven days of paid days of sick leave.
The Senate had an opportunity to include seven days of paid sick leave in the legislation before it reached President Biden’s desk, but it fell short – 52-43, with needing sixty votes required to pass – Freightwaves reports.
The twelve rail unions have been in these labor contract negotiations since January 2020.
Louisiana DOT will fund a new transload facility at Port NOLA
The Louisiana DOT is awarding the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad (NOPB) a $1.5 million grant to construct a transloading park, around 11 miles from the port’s container terminal – the Journal of Commerce reports.
This facility will provide drayage carriers another way to access Interstate-10 and intrastate highways.
Construction for this facility is set to begin the summer of 2023 – no completion date is currently available.
Total U.S. Rail Traffic for the Week Ending November 26th, 2022
Total U.S. weekly rail traffic was 413,305 carloads and intermodal units, down a little over 4 percent compared to the same time last year – the Association of American Railroads reports.
Additionally, data shows Canadian railroads reported 84,179 carloads for the week – up 25.8 percent from the same time last year. Plus, 63,444 intermodal units – up 37.8 percent compared to the same time last year.
Mexican railroads reported 20,055 carloads for the week – down 8 percent compared to the same time last year. Plus, 13,681 intermodal units – down 9 percent compared to the same time last year.