Commerce Express Weekly Road Map:

November 21st, 2023 

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

Trucking –

  • As of November 20th, the national average price of diesel is $4.209 per gallon, dropping 8.5 cents from the week prior, per data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
  • UAW has ratified their new contracts with Ford and Stellantis, along with General Motors
    • These new contracts run until April 2028.
  • Georgia is extending fuel tax suspension through November 29th.
    • This is an effort to provide tax relief for drivers throughout the Thanksgiving holiday period.
  • Interstate 10 freeway in downtown Los Angeles has now fully REOPENED.
    • This comes after the freeway was shut down on November 11th, due to a fire.

Rail –

Cross-Border –

  • Cargo volumes from Vancouver or Prince Rupert that are U.S. bound, have seen a decline.
    • Some argue this was due to the dockworker strike over the summer.
  • Canada is implementing a new online database to decrease risks from transporting dangerous goods within the country. 
    • By next year, registration is required for people and companies importing, offering transport, handling/transporting dangerous goods, to get a more precise picture of what’s happening. 

Cargo Theft Trends Continue in the Third Quarter

Cargo theft in the third quarter of this year saw an increase of 59 percent year-over-year, per a CargoNet report.

In the report, CargoNet recorded 692 instances of thefts throughout the U.S. and Canada, which totaled $3.1 million that was stolen in the third quarter of this year.

A large reason for this increase is due to ongoing shipment misdirection actions. Which is a strategic way people use stolen motor carrier and logistics broker identities to obtain freight and misdirect it from the intended receiver so they can then steal it – the report details.

California, Texas, Florida, Georgia, and Illinois were the most common states for these cargo thefts.

Load Board Fraud is on the Rise, Be Aware and on the Lookout

Load boards (also known as freight boards, or freight load boards), are defined as online marketplaces where truck owner-operators, shippers, and freight brokers can post and find loads to keep freight moving.

Recently, Freightwaves reported that some sophisticated hackers are looking at brokers and carriers using DAT, sending them fake phishing emails that resemble and impersonate DAT, and asking for their DAT login information.

The likely scenario for what is happening here, is the fake DAT website will steal those usernames and passwords from those that respond to that fake email. Then, those operating the fake site will be able to log in on the real DAT site and post or win loads.

In a statement to Freightwaves, DAT said that they are aware of the situation and appreciate the awareness that’s being had around it, saying, “fighting fraud is a community effort.”

Commerce Blog

Thanksgiving Where Can Truck Drivers Enjoy a Feast-01

This Thanksgiving, many Americans will reflect on the blessings they have in their lives. Most will be grateful for friends and family, some will exude pure grace for their football team winning on Thursday, while a few will celebrate that their politically inclined conversationalist relatives had their flights delayed.

Above all, the annual holiday is a time where most folks can celebrate with loved ones over a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. However, not everyone is able to partake.

For America’s professional truck drivers, the holiday has an ironic twist—a time of year when their duties are especially called upon.

Read more here 

STB Chairman Oberman Will Not Look for Second-Term Reappointment

Surface Transportation Board Chairman Marty Oberman will not look for reappointment after his first term expires on December 31st, 2023. However, Oberman does plan to stay on for ‘several months’ after this term ends.

In a news release from the STB, Oberman will continue to serve several months into next year, which is within his one-year holdover period. He was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on January 2nd, 2019, to serve a five year term.

Total Weekly Rail Traffic for the Week Ending November 11th, 2023

  • For the week ending November 11th, total U.S. weekly rail traffic was 497,348 carloads and intermodal units – which is an increase of 3.4 percent compared to the same time last year, per the AAR.
  • U.S. weekly intermodal volume was 263,603 containers and trailers – up 4.4 percent compared to last year.
  • Coal, motor vehicles and parts, and metallic ores and metals all saw increases. While non-metallic minerals, farm products (excluding grain and food), and chemicals all saw decreases.
  • Total North American rail volume for the first 45 weeks of this year was 29,526,956 carloads and intermodal units, down 3.2 percent from last year.

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