Commerce Express Weekly Road Map:

April 18th, 2023

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

Commerce Express Blog

Can Drones Solve the Final Mile Problem-01

Last but not least. These words best describe the importance of final mile shipping. It’s the last leg of a shipment, but it’s typically the most expensive and inefficient for retailers.

Whether it’s multiple stops with low drop sizes or heavy traffic, there’s a lot of room for delivery delays and blunders.

Thanks to a booming ecommerce market as well, final mile operations have been strained further. Consumers now expect fast and even free delivery with their orders. Anything short of an on-time delivery could mean a negative review or bad press.

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

Clean Trucks Act Passes in Maryland – with Certain Conditions

The Clean Trucks Act of 2023 has been passed in Maryland, but many view it as a fairer law compared to the CTA in California. 

When it officially becomes law – on June 1st – it will increase by model-year 2027 zero-emission heavy-duty vehicles (that have a gross vehicle weight rating equal to or greater than 14,001 pounds), and a medium-duty vehicles (8,501 pounds to 14,000 pounds), per Transport Topics.  

Officials in the trucking industry understand that zero-emission vehicle trucks are coming but emphasized that Maryland made the smart decision not to just adopt the Clean Trucks Act without consulting with those in the trucking industry. 

Additionally, the Maryland DOE must conduct a thorough needs assessment with insight from a variety of state agencies. You can read here on some of the assessment examination key factors. 

The Maryland DOT then must provide its assessment findings to the General Assembly by December 1st, 2024.  

Helpful Tips for the Upcoming International RoadCheck

A significant focus for this year’s Roadcheck will be on brake systems.  

Here are some helpful reminders as we approach Roadcheck 2023 May 16th through the 18th 

    • Every day, check for damaged or loose-hanging air chambers, pushrods, or slack adjusters 
    • Perform a 90-100 PSI brake application  
    • Inspect drum brake linings and air disc brake rotors 
    • Check for moisture in the air system to prevent contamination 

Pre and post-trip, as well as regular inspections can go a long way in preventing obvious violations during Roadcheck. 

Read More Roadcheck Tips Here.

Did You Know: Early Data Shows a Slight Rise in Crash Rates Among New to the Industry Carriers

For those carriers who have entered the industry in 2018 or later, some preliminary data by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration shows a slight rise in crashes that involve large trucks for those companies.  

Back in 2018, the FMCSA data found that new carriers were involved in around 1.3 percent of all crashes that involve a large bus or truck. In 2021, that crash rate for those new carriers increased to around 3.5 percent.  

The FMCSA says they plan to do further analysis of this data.

White Rock, Greater Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada - July 25, 2021: A freight train riding through the city by the beach during a colorful summer evening.
Rail Update

Kansas City Southern and Canadian Pacific Have Officially Merged 

Just over two years ago in March, CP first declared – publicly – its interest in merging with KCS. Now, as of last Friday, the first day of the Canadian Pacific Kansas City (CPKC) merger began.  

This network will go across both coasts of Canada, traverse through the U.S. Midwest and reach several points in Mexico, Freightwaves reports. Canadian Pacific also said the network allows single-line service to shippers.  

Additionally, this CPKC network will have about 20,000 miles of rail. Plus, CP plans to spend over $275 million in improving rail safety and capacity along the core north-south CPKC main line between the U.S. Upper Midwest and Louisiana.  

Port of Long Beach New Pier B On-Dock Rail Support Facility 

This project will have a new on-dock facility, which will help ease congestion and reduce air emissions by moving port traffic from trucks to rail cars.   

This on-dock rail support facility includes a variety of components including, a realignment of major roads, utility relocation and a new locomotive facility.  

Recently, per Railway Age, the Board of Harbor Commissioners at the Port of LB unanimously voted to extend HDR’s contract to 2027; HDR helps provide environmental and preliminary design services to this program.  

Weekly Rail Traffic for the Week Ending April 8th, 2023 

  • Total U.S. weekly rail traffic was 451,336 carloads and intermodal units – which is down 11.2 percent compared to the same time last year.  
  • Total U.S. weekly intermodal volume remains down 17 percent compared to the same time last year.  
  • Motor vehicles and parts, petroleum and petroleum products, and metallic ores and metals all saw increases compared to last year at this time. While grain, coal, and chemicals all posted decreases.  
  • Total combined U.S. rail traffic for the first 14 weeks of this year was 6,468,391 carloads and intermodal units — a decrease of 5.8 percent compared to last year.  
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