Commerce Express Weekly Road Map:

June 4th, 2024 

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

Domestic Market Updates -

  • Diesel Update: As of June 3rd, the average price of diesel was $3.726 a gallon. Seeing a 3.2 cent decrease from last week, per the EIA.

  • Labor: So far there has been no contract agreement reached between the Canada rail union (TCRC) and their employers (CN and CPKC). CN has revised their offer to their employees, by dropping their hourly wage rate and scheduling proposal. Mediation efforts continue and no strike or worker lockout is planned, as of now, due to the ongoing CIRB investigation. This remains an ongoing situation…

  • Baltimore Bridge: The whole Port of Baltimore channel is expected to be completely open by June 10th, which is a little later than their original target date of late May. The date pushback is due to the continuation of removing debris from the Francis Scott Key Bridge, Transport Topics reports. It should be noted that larger vessels have been able to go through via a limited access channel earlier in May.

  • Labor: Border agents in Canada have enormously voted to authorize a strike against the Canadian government. Mediation efforts are scheduled for June 3rd, per the Customs and Immigration Union. Additionally, the group representing the agents (Public Service Alliance of Canada and the Customs and Immigration Union) say they could legally go on strike effective June 6th – if a 72-hour notice is authorized.

  • Elections: Over the weekend Mexico elected a new President, Claudia Sheinbaum, the first woman to be elected President in Mexico’s history.

  • Legal: Trucking Association of New York vehemently oppose the new potential congestion fee toll for those entering into Manhattan. As of now the toll is set to go into effect June 30th, per Freightwaves. More details here.

  • Congestion: At the Port of Charleston, some vessel congestion has been reported, largely due to the construction of a project at the Wando Welch Terminal as well as recovering from the fallout of the software issues that occurred at the port a couple weeks ago. 

Brake Safety Week Set For August 25th – 31st:

Another transportation blitz week is making its way… Brake Safety Week is set to take place from August 25th-31st.  

This blitz will focus on brake systems and components, those who are found in violation will be removed until the violation has been corrected.

Brake linings and pads will also be a focus and as such, if violations occur, those vehicles could be removed and impact the motor carrier’s safety rating, the CVSA states.

How can carriers prepare their truckers? Well, similar to Roadcheck week, carriers should educate/inspect their own truckers, make pre-trip inspections a regular occurrence, and have a clear line of communication with your team of truckers, management, and maintenance staff.

ATRI Releases Their 2024 Approved Research Priorities

The American Transportation Research Institute released their research priorities for this year, in an effort to address some of the industry’s biggest challenges.

Per ATRI’s press release, such projects include: 

  • Calculating the Cost of Truck Bottlenecks. Part of the research for this will include analysis on what congestion costs for various bottleneck locations from their “Top 100 Truck Bottlenecks” list.
  • Comprehending the Scope of Cargo Theft in the U.S. A continued challenge for a vast majority of industry stakeholders, part of this research will focus on looking at current data and working with motor carriers to better quantify the scale and frequency of cargo theft.
  • Impact of Nuclear Verdicts – Update. Four years ago, the ATRI released a study that focused on how often and the impact of nuclear verdicts on the trucking industry. Part of this research will including using more relevant data to show how verdicts have adapted since their original study in 2020, motor carrier insurance impacts, contributing factors to verdicts, etc.

Have questions? Reach out to our team today.

Commerce Blog

2024 Commerce blog Template

The Land of 10,000 Lakes is investing in several rail improvement projects to support the state’s economic development.

In a May 7 news release, the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) announced that it awarded a total of $9.6 million in funding to optimize freight rail service throughout the state. The sum of grant money will be divided in varying amounts to eleven unique rail projects.

The grants are provided through the Minnesota Rail Service Improvement program following approval from state legislators.

Read more 

St. Louis Region Continues to Invest in Freight Infrastructure

St. Louis an up and coming and important area for moving freight. Recently, they announced their 2025 Priority Projects list to help improve critical roads, bridges, rail infrastructure, and port and airport facilities through the region.

Of the total priority projects in the list, 5 of them have already been completed. The largest individual project on the Priority Projects list is for a new terminal at the St. Louis Lambert International Airport, according to the St. Louis Regional Freightway. This essentially will replace the current two terminals at the airport and make it into a new big one.

Per the St. Louis Regional Freightway, additional projects include: 

  • MidAmerica St. Louis Airport Distribution Improvements (IL). This will include a new two-mile rail spur from Norfolk Southern mainline that will enable freight rail access for industry on the eastern side of the airport. Projected cost: $45M.
  • I-255 / Fish Lake (Ramsey Rd.) Interchange (IL). This will have a new interchange that will allow for additional access to the Union Pacific Dupo Intermodal Yard. Projected cost: $27M.
  • I-55/I-70 Adding Lane Improvements From I-255 to I-270 (IL). This would extend six lanes beginning at I-255. Projected cost: $400M.

U.S. Rail Traffic From the Week Ending May 25th, 2024:

  • Weekly data shows U.S. rail traffic at 485,232 carloads and intermodal units – seeing a 1.2% increase from the same time last year, per AAR data.
  • Intermodal volume in the U.S. saw an 8.9 percent increase (267,488 containers and trailers) from the same period last year.
  • Commodities including petroleum and petroleum products, chemicals, and farm products (excluding grain and food). While coal, non-metallic minerals and metallic ores and metals all saw decrease when compared to last year.
  • For the first 21 weeks of this year, North American rail volume was up 2% (total of 13,821,331 carloads and intermodal units) from last year.

In Case You Missed It: [Webinar]: Managing Data Analytics in the Supply Chain

In the ANALYZE phase of our ENABLE Protocol, our customers gain the capacity to further look into their transportation systems. 

Listen to this webinar to get a better understanding and insights into leveraging data analytics to optimize your operations.

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