Commerce Express Weekly Road Map:

October 3rd, 2023

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

Domestic Market Updates:

Trucking –

Recent Developments: 

  • UAW strike will spread to an additional 7,000 workers at a Ford plant in Chicago and a General Motors assembly factory in Michigan.
    • Jeep maker Stellantis is not a part of these third round of strikes
    • This strike continues to remain everchanging
  • Used Class 8 truck sales increased by 4.65% in August (to 22,500 from 21,500)
    • The first year-over-year increase since November, per ACT Research.
  • The national average price of diesel has increased just slightly, up 0.7 cents, making the total $4.593 per gallon. 
  • Fall harvest season is approaching which has the most impact on the Midwest, Great Lakes, Mountain West and Northeast areas.
  • The SACP 3.0 Chassis Pool is now open 
  • In Columbus, OH – chassis deficits are still prevalent, but wait times are improving.

Rail –

Recent Developments:

  • A government shut down has been averted, as funding has been extended to Mid-November
  • In Cleveland, OH – challenges are being faced at NS and CSX due to containers being grounded.
    • Additionally wait times, delays and fees may occur for customers.
  • STB extends the comment period for the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding reciprocal switching.
    • The comment period deadline is now November 7th, 2023.
  • Rail transit times are continuing to preform above five-year averages, railroads continue to look for more ways to get containers on their networks.

Reach out to our team if you have any questions

Trucking Update


DOT Says Truck Parking Projects Remain ‘High’ on Their Agenda

Back on September 13th, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced more than $80 million in grants that are available for highway safety programs, which can include parking projects.

“You’re going to continue to see proposals that include truck parking get favorable consideration when they’re coming in for our grant programs, at least those grant programs where it’s eligible,” Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said during a House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee hearing.

Mack Trucks Reach New Five-Year Contract Agreement with UAW

Avoiding a potential production shutdown, Mack Trucks and UAW have reached a new five-year tentative contract agreement.

The contract will benefit 3,900 workers throughout plants in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Florida. Additionally, terms in this tentative agreement will provide workers with significant wage increases and “first-class” benefits.

UAW strikes are continuing with two more strikes at Ford’s assembly plant in Chicago and GM’s in Lansing, Michigan – impacting 7,000 workers.

Commerce Blog

Trucking Rates Trend Upward Despite Low Demand-01

Shippers are not out of the woods yet as upward pressure on rates is expected to be applied through 2024.

Despite capacity softening considerably since the pandemic-era freight boom, other market factors are levying higher operating costs for transportation providers, the likes of which could be passed onto their shipper-customers to varying degrees.

Read more here 

Rail Update

NS and Florida East Coast Railway Expands Domestic Intermodal Interline Services

Effective Monday this week, Florida East Coast Railway and Norfolk Southern has expanded their domestic intermodal services.

This new service has two parts:

  • NS will include FEC’s intermodal terminals in Fort Pierce and Fort Lauderdale into NS’ service network
  • NS and FEC will also use a steel wheel interchange to FEC at Jacksonville, expanding customers’ access to markets in Chicago; Cincinnati; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; St. Louis and Kansas City, Missouri, Memphis Tennessee; and Lathrop and Southern California, per an NS news release.

“Together, we’re providing simple, effective, and sustainable services for our customers and helping them grow as a result,” NS Chief Marketing Officer, Ed Elkins had to say about the announcement.

Georgia Ports Authority Adds Inland Rail Connectivity

After seeing a 6 percent increase in August of containers handled from the same time last year, the GPA has announced they will be adding a new inland rail service, in partnership with CSX – per a news release.

Details below:

  • A 7-day a week rail departures between the Mason Mega Rail Terminal at the Port of Savannah and CSX’s CCX rail yard in Rocky Mount, NC.
  • The ‘Carolina Connector’ direct rail service will offer customers three-day transit time from vessel discharge to cargo availability, per the GPA press release.

Union Pacific Increases Their Cross-Border Intermodal Transit Times

Union Pacific is cutting more than 24 hours of transit time on a part of their recently launched cross-border intermodal service.

These transit improvements directly compete with truck and benefit intermodal customers shipping automotive parts, food, FAK, home appliances and temperature-controlled products.

Total Weekly Rail Traffic for the Week Ending September 23rd, 2023

  • Total U.S. weekly rail traffic was 493,323 carloads and intermodal units – up 2.8 percent compared to the same time last year, per data from the AAR.
  • S. weekly intermodal volume was 258,419 containers and trailers – up 1.2 percent.
  • Metallic ores and metals, motor vehicles and parts, and chemicals all posted increases. While coal, grain, and forest products all posted decreases.
  • North American rail volume for the first 38 weeks of this year was 24,663,751 carloads and intermodal units was down 3.9 compared to the same time last year.

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