Commerce Express Weekly Road Map: September 27th, 2022

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

Commerce Express Blog

Picture this. You are in the market for another car. Whatever model. Whatever make. Whatever color. It doesn’t matter.

Assuming you have aligned your finances for it, you would likely prefer a new car. They come with the best technology, features, and fuel economy. While they are more expensive than a used car, it makes sense at the end of the day. After all, it’s an investment for years to come.

Read More Here

Trucking Update

  • On Wednesday last week, the U.S. District Court in Rhode Island ruled that tolls levied primarily on out-of-state tractor-trailers violate the U.S. constitution by discriminating against interstate commerce, the Journal of Commerce reports. Within 48 hours of that ruling, Rhode Island had to stop collecting the tolls. Now, the District Court ruling could be challenged, but for the time being, it has cut some of the costs of moving freight in the Northeast commercial corridor between Boston and New York. This ruling could also impact other states who are considering similar programs.
  • The confirmation of Robin Hutcheson as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration nominee is official. The official confirmation happened on September 22nd and received a unanimous consent vote by the Senate, Transport Topics notes. Some of her main objectives – if confirmed – would be to help realize safety initiatives, assist with alleviating supply chain bottlenecks, and find different ways to facilitate technological advancement in the trucking industry.  
  • A federal district court judge ruled that the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), can be allowed to intervene in a renewed AB5 legal battle in California. This comes after the state of California asked a court to keep OOIDA out of the next step in the lawsuit over the AB5 independent contractor law, Freightwaves reports.
  • The FMCSA is considering electronic IDs for all commercial motor vehicles. Interestingly enough, back in November 2015, the FMCSA ordered a rulemaking, but the rule was never issued. The current proposed rulemaking was published in the Federal Register last Friday and the public will have 60 days to comment, reports say.

Hurricane Watch in the Florida Gulf Coast:

Hurricane Ian is set to hit the Florida Gulf Coast sometime this week, as early as September 28th 

Tampa Bay and Fort Myers are the two areas that face the highest risk, but the majority of Florida is expected to see heavy rainfall and flooding.   

Florida Governor DeSantis declared a statewide emergency and waived hours-of-service rules for trucks that provide emergency services or supplies, or transport emergency equipment, supplies or personnel.  

If you would like to stay updated on this situation, you can follow us on our LinkedIn and Facebook pages below.  


Rail Update
  • Service has improved this third quarter for the Norfolk Southern Jacksonville area. Specifically, at their domestic intermodal terminal in Jacksonville, Florida, NS has repaired two cranes that caught on fire and hired a third-party contractor to help run the terminal, which helped NS produce better service, the Journal of Commerce reports. NS expects service in Jacksonville to continue to improve in the coming months and into Spring 2023, as they are set to add three new cranes and complete construction on 130 additional parking spots which will store containers on chassis. 
  • Some experts are suggesting that peak season in Southern California is much quieter this year than it has been the last two years. For instance, Union Pacific Railroad is dropping their domestic intermodal rates out of that area, which was different from the last two years of relatively high surcharges, the Journal of Commerce reports. Other railroads such as CSX Transportation and Norfolk Southern have also lowered spot intermodal rates within the last six weeks that address the fairly competitive truck market.  
  • This week on September 28th through the 30th, the Surface Transportation Board and Canadian Pacific and Kansas City Southern will be discussing the proposed merger between the two. You can read more about the hearing in the STB’s official notice here.
  • For the week ending on September 17th, 2022, total U.S. weekly rail traffic was 490,654 carloads and intermodal units – which is down nearly 3 percent compared to the same time last year, data from the Association of American Railroads show. Additionally, coal, nonmetallic minerals, and motor vehicles and parts continue to post increases compared to the same time last year. While metallic ores and metals, miscellaneous carloads, and forest products post decreases compared to the same time last year.  
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