Commerce Express Weekly Road Map:

February 7th, 2023

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

Commerce Express Blog

The Great Egg Smuggle of 2023-01

With U.S. egg prices erring on the side of exuberant, intrepid Americans are sticking it to the man and buying eggs south of the border in Mexico.

While we commend their frugality, the act is illegal.

Read More Here

Horizontal shot of heavy traffic on the interstate highway.

Trucking Update

Iowa Governor Extends Overweight Limits for Agricultural Transportation 

Extended through February 19th, Governor Reynolds issued a proclamation for weight limits and the transportation of grain, fertilizer and manure.  

As Transport Topics notes, this order allows vehicles transporting corn, soybeans, hay, straw, silage, stover, fertilizer (dry, liquid and gas) and manure (dry and liquid) to be overweight (not exceeding 90,000 pounds gross weight) without needing a permit for agricultural truck traffic.  

This order applies to any loads transported on all highways except the interstate system in Iowa. 

Additionally, commercial vehicles operating under the order cannot exceed either the state’s maximum axle weight limit by more than 12.5 percent, nor the legal maximum axle weight limit of 20,000 pounds. Vehicles also much comply with posted limits on roads and bridges.  

Class 8 Orders in 2023 See a Slower Start

Preliminary North American Class 8 net orders fell once again last month.  

FTR Transportation Intelligence reports 21,600 units were ordered in January – a 25 percent drop compared to December. While ACT Research reports 18,400 units were ordered in January – FleetOwner details.  

Though some aren’t not too surprised about this as OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) are continuing to work through a backlog of orders.  

The FMCSA has Revoked ELD One From the Registered List 

Recently the FMCSA removed ELD One from the registered list as it does not meet the agency’s minimum requirements. 

Now, motor carriers and drivers have 60 days (by April 1st), to replace the revoked device with a compliant ELD, FleetOwner details 

Until drivers replace that non-compliant device with a registered one, they must use paper logs or logging software instead.  

Truck Transportation Industry Saw More Workers in 2022 than Previously Estimated 

Data released from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the majority of last year, a lot more people were working in the truck transportation industry than originally reported on a seasonally adjusted basis.  

The BLS continues to say that number is expected to continue to rise in the month of January.  

Did You Know: Import/Export Market Trends for Trucking and Rail

Ports in Savannah, Houston, and Oakland are seeing increased congestion, vessels accumulating, and multiple vessels at anchor. 

Congestion at Canadian ports and rail ramps. Yard utilization at Vancouver remains high, mainly due to ongoing congestion in Toronto and Montreal. 

Dallas, Chicago, and Memphis continue to see excessive rail dwell times and congestion greater than 14 days.  

Freight Train
Rail Update

Record Grain Movements in January for Canadian Pacific Railway 

In the month of January alone, CP recorded a record 2.29 million tons of Canadian grain and grain products in January. This total in January is more than double what was shipped in January last year.  

And, as CP details, this is especially significant because of the variety of challenges throughout Vancouver, British Columbia such as heavy rain, holiday closures and periods of extreme winter operating conditions which slows grain vessel loading.  

So far throughout the 2022-2023 crop year, CP has reported moving more than 15 million metric tons (MMT) of Canadian grain and grain products – which is up over 45 percent from the same time during the 2021-2022 crop year.  

A Norfolk Southern Train Derails and Catches Fire in Ohio

On late Friday in eastern Ohio, a Norfolk Southern train detailed and caught fire.  

NS confirmed in a statement that they “are aware of the derailment in East Palestine and are coordinating closely with local first responders while mobilizing our own teams. We will share more details as they become available.”  

As of now, it is not known what the train was carrying at the time of the accident. 

Some evacuations have been issued to anyone within a mile of the train crossing James Street, per the East Palestine Mayor. Everyone else is cautioned to stay at home and stay off the roads until the fire is cleared.  

Total U.S. Rail Traffic for the Week Ending January 28th, 2023

Total U.S. weekly rail traffic was 473,650 carloads and intermodal units – down nearly 4 percent (3.9) compared to the same time last year, data from the AAR shows.  

Total carloads for the week were at 236,018 – which is down just slightly at 0.1 percent compared to the same time last year. While U.S. weekly intermodal volume was 237,632 containers and trailers – down 7.4 percent compared to the same time last year, per the AAR data.

Non-metallic minerals, petroleum and petroleum products, and motor vehicles and parts all saw increases compared to the same time last year. Chemicals, forest products, and coal all saw decreases from the same time last year.  

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