Commerce Express Weekly Road Map:

January 24th, 2023

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

Commerce Express Blog

Keeping it Rail Real-Time Visibility for Freight Rail-01

Tracking technologies provide shippers real-time status of their cargo while in transit. Whether it’s air, ocean, truck, or rail, these technologies are becoming the new standard for oversight of shipping.

However, among all transport modes, rail provides the least of these capabilities. While individual railcars can be tracked, there’s no real-time visibility over any of its vast railway network or its trains.

Read More Here

Red truck transport with container on winter road

Trucking Update

New York Extends Length of CDL Permits 

New York is extending the length for its commercial learner permits from six months to a year, in an effort to help counterbalance a shortage of commercial drivers.  

Before this new extension, applicants were allowed to issue a commercial learner permit that would be valid for 180 days – with an option to renew it for 180 days. As of December 27th, 2022, CLPs are valid for one year – Transport Topics reports. Furthermore, applicants who were issued a six-month document with an expiration date on or before June 26th, 2022, are given the option to renew their permit for 180 days.  

With extending the CDL permits for a year, it will make it easier and less costly for those who would have to renew, in order to get back on the road.  

FMCSA Declares Regional Emergency in Eight States  

A regional emergency for eight states (Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah and Wyoming) was issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration in regards to the transportation of gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel – per Trucker News.

Specifically, this will exempt motor carriers and drivers who provide direct assistance in supporting emergency relief efforts transporting gas, diesel, or jet fuel into the impacted states from regulations that revolve around maximum driving time.  

The emergency declaration is due to the unanticipated shutdown of a refinery in Colorado, severe winter weather, and high demand of necessary gas/diesel/jet fuel.  

New Slate of Emission Limits for Trucks in California

Truck manufacturers and motor carriers are preparing for a new slate of stricter emissions limits on nitrogen oxide and greenhouse gases, along with sales mandates for zero-emission trucks in California.  

The Environmental Protection Agency announced on December 20th a final rule for smog-forming NOx emissions from heavy-duty diesel trucks.  

“Phase 3” of the Clean Trucks Plan will revolve around greenhouse gas standards for heavy-duty vehicles that will begin with the model year 2027 and increase as soon as model year 2030 – per Transport Topics.

FAQ: Diesel Update

The national average price for diesel has climbed 8 cents, to $4.604/gallon – data from the EIA shows. 

In the last 9 out of 10 weeks, the average price for a gallon of diesel dropped – the only increase in that time frame was a 4.6 cent gain that occurred three weeks ago.  

Additionally, a gallon of diesel now costs 82.4 cents more than it did at this time last year.

Red long freight train on railway passing through autumn valley with mountain at Morant's Curve, Calgary, Canada
Rail Update

Calls on Regulators to Halt Union Pacific Embargoes Continue

Members of Congress that represent districts in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa are asking the Surface Transportation Board to halt the Union Pacific weather-related embargoes in their respective states.  

On January 13th, a letter from eight members of Congress in districts around those states, was addressed to STB Chairman and asked the STB to “exercise its statutory oversight authority” and conduct a forum that would involve UP and it’s impacted rail shippers, to result in UP lifting their embargoes.  

As you may remember, back on December 29th, UP placed a temporary embargo on operations in those states due to the severe weather and extreme cold. The embargo was set to last around 14 days, however, per Freightwaves as of January 11th, that embargo was going to continue for another 14 days (or so) because of the severe weather and cold.  

Total U.S. Rail Traffic for the Week Ending January 14th, 2022 

Total U.S. weekly rail traffic was 486,000 carloads and intermodal units, which is down 1.7 percent compared to the same time last year – data from the Association of American Railroads shows.  

Carloads for the week ending on January 14th totaled 244,171 – up 4.2 percent compared to the same time last year. While intermodal volume totaled 241,829 containers and trailers – down 7 percent compared to the same time last year.  

For the first two weeks of this year, total cumulative volume was 457,133 carloads (up nearly 3 percent) and 445,356 intermodal units (down 9.2 percent) from the same time last year. A total combined traffic of carloads and intermodal units for the first two weeks of this year, compared to last year, was a decrease of 3.5 percent, data shows.

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