Commerce Express Weekly Road Map:

January 31st, 2023

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

Commerce Express Blog

Upcoming Supply Chain Conferences in 2023-01

A supply chain conference at its worst may headline a one-hit wonder 2000’s band as a performer.

However, supply chain conference at its best can be a hub for exchanging innovative ideas. From fleet routing optimization to automating procurement processes, thousands of like-minded stakeholders can network with each other over tomorrow’s industry advancements.

Read More Here

White modern bonnet popular professional big rig semi truck with dry van semi trailer going on the wet dangerous slippery icy winter road with snow on the trees on the sides of the divided highway

Trucking Update

Toll Increases Occur in Northeast States, Impacting Trucking Companies

In Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York, toll increases have been increasing this year, which has impacted (and frustrated) trucking companies.  

New fees for trucks at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, vary from $57-69 for three axles, $76-92 for four axles, $96-115 for five axles, and $114-138 for six axles. This is due to automatic inflation-based adjustments that led to $1 increases in auto tolls at tunnels and bridges, per Transport Topics.

More Truckers Pushing for a Single Appointment System Throughout Ports of LA/LB 

Truckers in Southern California say dealing with different appointment systems at marine terminals throughout the ports of LA/LB is decreasing their productivity.  

Last Tuesday, two trucking associations (HTA and CTA) sent a letter to the directors at the ports detailing their insights on how creating a pilot program for single, interoperable, complex wide appointment system for drayage and other trucks, has benefits.  

They continued to say that the movement of freight into and out of the ports would run smoother, with lower costs and more productivity through the 12 container terminals at the port complex. 

The leaders for those associations say as of now, trucking companies have to navigate through as many as 7 different reservation systems to operate at the ports of LA/LB. 

Port of New York/New Jersey is Offering More Data in an Effort to Address Empty Container Returns

A marine terminal, APM Terminals, at the Port of NY/NJ is addressing a main issue in the industry, empty container returns, but offering more data to local truckers.  

While APM’s Elizabeth, New Jersey facility will be adding more detail to its appointment dashboard this month. As the JOC details, truckers won’t be faced with a “dry run” to the terminal by making an appointment for an empty return, and then be told by the gates that the specific container type is not being accepted due to lack of space. 

Did You Know: BNSF Set to Spend Nearly $4 Billion in 2023 for Infrastructure Updates and Projects

The majority of the $4 billion (around $2.85 billion) will go toward existing infrastructure that will help the carrier avoid unscheduled service outages.  

Additionally, some funding will go toward the railroad’s planned intermodal hub in California – which will help process containers from the ports of LA/LB. 

Palm Springs, California, USA - January 23, 2021: Union Pacific Freight train passing Palm Springs Amtrak Station (PSN).
Rail Update

Union Pacific Lifts Embargo in the Midwest

The embargo that Union Pacific issued throughout the Midwest has been lifted. 

As you may remember, starting back at the end of December the embargo first took place, then got extended during Mid-January. But, after receiving some pushback, Union Pacific has since canceled the embargo.

The STB Denies Class I Railroads’ Request to Delay Arbitration Program 

Back on December 19th the Surface Transportation Board released a final decision on a voluntary arbitration program for small rate disputes – and would go in effect 30 days after the decision was published in the Federal Register, per Freightwaves.

The railroads had until February 23rd to inform the board on if they will opt into the program or not.  

However, a recent request from the Class I railroads to pause the implementation of the program was rejected by the board at a 5-0 vote.  

The reason for the rejection STB said is in the Class I railroads appeal, they did not produce a merits-based argument for why the board or court should change the date when the program becomes effective.  

Total U.S. Rail Traffic for the Week Ending January 21st, 2022 

Total U.S. weekly rail traffic was 467,485 carloads and intermodal units – which is down 2.1 percent compared to the same time last week, data from the AAR shows 

To break it down a bit, for the week ending January 21st carloads totaled 230,545 – which is up 3.3 percent compared to the same time last year. Additionally, U.S. weekly intermodal volume was 236,940 containers and trailers – which is down 6.7 percent compared to last year, per data.

Non-metallic minerals, coal and motor vehicles and parts continue to post increases compared to the same time last year. While chemicals, grain and forest products have seen decreases compared to the same time last year.

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