Commerce Express Weekly Road Map:

February 20th, 2024 

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

Trucking –

  • FMC upholds ruling regarding chassis dispute with ocean carriers.
  • New Jersey has increased the minimum requirement in which commercial trucks must carry for insurance coverage – the amount has been raised to $1.5 million.
  • Winter weather remains a risk consideration throughout this time of year.
  • Six outbound truck lanes are currently under construction and expected to open this month at the SSA Jacksonville Container Terminal.
  • International Roadcheck this year is from May 14-16th. Inspection focuses are on tractor protection systems, alcohol and drug possession.


Rail –

  • NTSB plans to release their findings on the East Palestine, Ohio train derailment, later this summer during their final boarding meeting related to the incident.


Cross-border –


  • Federal officials are being brought in to help assist with negotiations between dockworkers and the Port of Montreal.
    • Strikes/lockouts cannot occur until the Canada Industrial Relations Board rules it’s “essential.” This board is seeking more information – by mid-February – from all parties involved.

Members of AMOTAC Launched Nationwide Strike Last Thursday

Members of the Mexican Alliance of Carrier Organizations launched a nationwide strike last Thursday, in an effort to protest improving the safety and security for truckers on Mexico’s highways.

Local media reported at least nine highways were impacted by the protests, per Reuters. The leader of AMOTAC said more strikes may be called if the government does not meet their demands.

The AMOTAC has been meeting with government officials to come to an agreement on the improvement of security for truckers, but according to some reports, those talks were stopped by AMOTAC last Wednesday. The Mexico government says they are “still open to dialogue.”

ATRI Releases Annual Top Truck Bottleneck List

The American Transportation Research Institute has released their 2024 top truck bottleneck list. This year, Texas is taking home the top prize, for highest number of bottlenecks for truckers, with thirteen. Georgia was second with nine, while California came in third with eight.

Interstate 45 at Interstate 69 and U.S. Route 59 (West) in Houston ranked number four of most congested roadway for truckers. The cities of Austin, Dallas, and Fort Worth were also included in the top 100.

Interstate 95 at State Route 4 in Fort Lee, New Jersey is the number one ranked freight bottleneck spot, for the sixth year in a row, per the report.

Commerce Blog

Retail Sales Dip in January Following Strong Holiday Season-01

U.S. retailers enjoyed a traditional period of accelerated consumer spending during the holiday season, a usual and well-welcomed boost. For most retailers, these closing months of the year anchor their overall success in annual sales. However, with the calendar since flipped to 2024, the first month has revealed to be relatively underwhelming.

Read more 

Former Rail Workers in Mexico Block and Protest at U.S. – Mexico Border

Last Wednesday, former rail workers in Mexico blocked and held protests along U.S. – Mexico border crossings in Arizona and Texas.

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection sent an email to those in the trade industry that, “there is a protest by retired railroad workers taking place on the Mexico side of the World Trade Bridge that is currently impeding all north and south bound commercial truck traffic.”

The reason for these actions by the retired rail workers is to seek benefits, back pay and more communication from the government, per Freightwaves.

Back in 1996 the privatization process of its state-run railroad began. During this process, some workers opted for retirement, while others (roughly 16,700 per Freightwaves) were reassigned or laid off. Several of these retired or laid-off workers say they have not received benefits or severance from the privatization.

Total Weekly Rail Traffic for the Week Ending February 10th, 2024

  • Total U.S. weekly rail traffic was 484,840 carloads and intermodal units – up 4.5 percent from the same period last year, per AAR data.
  • U.S. weekly intermodal volume was at 264,478 containers and trailers – an increase of 11.1 percent from last year at this time.
  • Chemicals, grain, and motor vehicles/parts all posted increases. While coal, non-metallic minerals and miscellaneous carloads all saw decreases.
  • In the first six weeks of this year, North American rail volume was 3,775,396 carloads and intermodal units – down 0.8 percent from last year.
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