Commerce Express Weekly Road Map:

March 7th, 2023

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

Commerce Express Blog

Trucks Are Not Included in New EV Charging Rule-01

A final rule is out for minimum standards of electric vehicle chargers. However, EV commercial trucks and their respective charging infrastructure remain absolved of this recent verdict.

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the federal agency tasked with the ruling, refrained from extending the rule onto EV truck charging as it may “pre-empt the pace of the technological innovation”.

Read More Here

A heavy flow of 18-wheelers peppered with cars and SUVs roll down a Tennessee interstate highway.  Heat rising from the pavement gives a shimmering effect to vehicles and background in the distance.

Trucking Update

CVSA’s International Roadcheck 2023 is set for May 16th-18th

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance has announced the dates for their yearly international roadcheck: May 16th-18th. This year’s focus will be on anti-lock braking systems (ABS) and cargo securement, per an announcement from the CVSA.  

Inspectors throughout the U.S., Canada, and Mexico will conduct various examinations of commercial vehicles and their drivers at weight/inspection stations and designated inspection areas throughout the roadways.  

Something to note – vehicles that are found to have violated ABS are not eligible to be placed out of service.   

Additionally, after this year’s Roadcheck, data will be gathered and then shared later in the year.  

Updates on the Advanced Clean Fleets Regulation Looming in California

Essentially there was no news, after a recent hearing took place, in regards to the Advanced Clean Fleets regulation that’s set to go into effect near the end of this year.  

Basically, the California clean fleets regulation is still in place but some provisions for older vehicles have been modified.  

More leeway will be allowed in compliance with the rule in the future, if vehicles can’t be delivered in a timely fashion or if recharging capabilities aren’t able to be provided in certain areas of the larger port system served by the drayage sector.  

One provision would be no internal combustion engine trucks can be registered in the state’s system after January 1st, 2024 – only zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) will be allowed, per Freightwaves.

In February Class 8 Orders in North America Rise 

Initial data shows Class 8 orders in February are on the rise throughout North America, for the first time since last September, when numbers were record breaking.  

According to FleetOwner, used Class 8 retail volumes increased 12 percent month-over-month in January.  

While average mileage of that used equipment increased 8 percent month-over-month, with the average price down 7 percent and age up 1 percent.  

Longer term, average price and volumes were lower, with age and miles higher compared to the same period in 2022. 

In The News: Canada is prioritizing federal funding to train and recruit new truckers

The Canadian government recently announced $46 million in funding to help train and find jobs for up to 2,600 new truckers and other relevant industry workers.  

This project will include training and wage subsidies to help support the recruitment, instruction and onboarding of up to 1,400 new truck drivers and 1,200 workers for other in-demand occupations in the commercial trucking industry, a news release detailed.

Thoreau, New Mexico, United States - May 24, 2015: Two engines of a BNSF freight train on straight track in the desert in front of rock formations.
Rail Update

All Seven Class I Railroads Have Joined a Federal Close Call Reporting Program 

This close call reporting program – which is voluntary – was established by the Federal Railroad Administration and all seven Class I railroads have agreed to join.  

After the February 3rd Ohio derailment of a NS train, federal officials renewed their calls for the railroads to participate in the program. Additionally, the Transportation Trade Department of the AFL-CIO also urged federal officials to press the railroads to participate in the program, per Freightwaves.

This program, would warrant workers to anonymously share situations in which there might be operational hazards.  

It should also be noted that the railroads do have their own programs which allow workers to confidentially provide feedback on safety issues via reporting hotlines.  

Norfolk Southern Has Developed A Safety Plan Addressing the NTSB Preliminary Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board has been investigating into the early February Ohio derailment of an NS train, specifically they are looking into the role that overheated bearings may have played in the train derailment.   

Something else to note – this past Saturday evening, another train derailment occurred in Ohio involving a NS train. But officials stressed that it was NOT carrying toxic materials and does NOT pose a threat to the community.  

Norfolk Southern’s plan includes six points that are aimed at addressing wayside detectors – including hot bearing detectors or hot box detectors – and NS’s safety culture. You can read more about the safety plan, here.

Total U.S. Rail Traffic for the Week Ending February 25th, 2023

Total U.S. weekly rail traffic was 459,233 carloads and intermodal units, which is down nearly 6 percent (5.9 to be exact), compared to the same time last year – per data from the Association of American Railroads. 

Non-metallic minerals, petroleum and petroleum products, and farm products (excluding grain and food) all posted increases compared to the same week last year. While coal, chemicals, and grain all posted decreases.  

Taking a look on the cross-border side of things…  

Railroads in Mexico reported 24,792 carloads – up 16.2 percent compared to the same time last year – and intermodal units were reported at 16,021 – down 0.7 percent, per data.

Railroads in Canada reported 75,994 carloads – up 7.9 percent compared to the same time last year – and intermodal units were reported at 59,210 – down 3.6 percent. 

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