Commerce Express Weekly Road Map:

February 14th, 2023

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

Commerce Express Blog

Trucking and Yoga It’s a Match-01

Mother Trucking Yoga, the brainchild of two business minds at a rural Wisconsin business mixer, looks to bring shanti for America’s knights of the road and their strenuous lifestyle.

Truck drivers find themselves sitting behind the wheel for hours on end. In addition to the sedentary nature of the job, breaks can be far and few. Other than an occasional pitstop to stretch the legs, the time crunch to move loads usually costs drivers their overall health, mobility, and well-being while on the job.

Read More Here

Long haul bright red big rig semi truck with extended cab transporting cargo in dry van semi trailer driving on truck stop parking lot with direction of movement arrow and row of another semi trucks

Trucking Update

Single Appointment System Concept at San Container Terminals Sees Support from the Port of LB 

A couple weeks back, we mentioned how more truckers are pushing for a single appointment system throughout the ports of LA/LB, to help improve productivity.  

Some of the truckers argue that a single interoperable system would lower costs and increase efficiency for drayage providers and container terminals.  

Now, the Port of Long Beach says they support the concept.  

Though, “how we get from the concept to an on-the-ground solution will require the engagement and support of all the parties involved,” Deputy Executive Director of Administration and Operations at the 12 San Pedro Bay container terminals, Noel Hacegaba details.

But Hacegaba acknowledged that it would make more sense for the drayage community to be able to book appointments throughout the 12 different terminals in a more efficient and smooth fashion.  

The FHWA Starting a New Program to Lower Truck Emissions at Ports

The Federal Highway Administration will be opening up their 2022-2023 fiscal grant applications for their new program, Reduction of Truck Emissions at Port Facilities program.  

The FHWA announced that $160 million will be available in funds that will test, evaluate and deploy projects that will reduce port-related emissions from trucks that are waiting at ports.  

Additionally, this program is under the Bipartisan Infrastructure law, which had the DOT and the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Agency work to put together this program. 

FAQ: What Highways in the U.S. Are The Top Truck Bottlenecks for This Year?

The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) analyzed more than 300 locations on national highways using a database of truck GPS data.  

Here are the top five truck bottlenecks for this year:  

1. Fort Lee, NJ – I-95 at SR 4 

2. Chicago, IL – 1-294 at I-290/I-88 

3. Houston, TX – I-45 at I-69/U.S. 59 

4. Atlanta, GA – I-285 at I-85 (North) 

5. Atlanta, GA – I-20 at I-285 (West)

Read more about the top ten truck bottlenecks for the year here. Additionally, if you are curious on what the top bottlenecks looked like in 2020, you can take a read here.

Cajon Pass, CA, USA - February 26, 2021: image showing a BNSF train traveling through the Mojave Desert. BNSF Railway is one of the largest freight railroad networks in North America.
Rail Update

Update on the NS Train Derailment in Ohio 

As we mentioned last week, a Norfolk Southern train that was hauling vinyl chloride and a variety of other freight, derailed in East Palestine, Ohio on Friday, February 3rd 

This derailment caused a huge fire which forced some evacuations. The cause of the accident is currently under investigation – per Railway Age.

Additionally, service is slowly being restored. In a service update notice last Thursday, NS reports that mainline 2 of all cars has been cleared and the line is ready for service. NS is still working on restoring service on mainline 1.  

This derailment has prompted some rail unions to urge the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) to increase its oversight on the freight railroads’ safety operations.

CSX Come to Terms With Four Unions on Sick Leave

The sick leave agreements with four unions include the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way – Employees Division (BMWED), the Brotherhood of Railway Carmen (BRC), the International Association of Machinists (IAM), and the National Conference of Fireman and Oilers (NCFO). 

Within the agreement, four paid sick days on an annual basis are provided, as well as the ability to take three paid personal leave days per year for sick time off. And, as Freightwaves reports, if employees have unused paid sick leave, they are able to contribute that to their 401K accounts, or receive pay for their unused sick leave each year.  

These sick leave agreements are effective Wednesday. 

As you may remember, sick leave was a main topic throughout the negotiation process last year, between both the railroads and the unions. 

Total U.S. Rail Traffic for the Week Ending February 4th, 2023

Total U.S. weekly rail traffic was 449,586 carloads and intermodal units – down nearly 2 percent (1.9, to be exact), compared to the same timeframe last year.  

Furthermore, data from the Association of American Railroads shows total carloads for that particular week in February were at 216,700 – down 0.9 percent (compared to the same week last year). While U.S. weekly intermodal volume was at 232,886 containers and trailers – down 2.9 percent.   

Motor vehicles and parts, petroleum and petroleum products, and non-metallic minerals all posted increases compared to the same time last year. Coal, grain, and chemicals all posted decreases compared to the same time last year.  

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