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Industry Insights

Port of Long Beach will study automation’s impact on city Chris Dupin

The Long Beach City Council has directed the city’s harbor department to conduct a study on the economic impact of port automation on the city.

The council voted 8-0 to order the study at its Aug. 20 meeting. It’s the latest in a series of studies and legislation proposals having to do with automation in the wake of a failed effort by the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) to prevent APM Terminals from installing robotic equipment at its terminal at Pier 400 in the neighboring Port of Los Angeles.

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Over-capacity and the freight recession of 2019 (with video) ( Article by FreightWaves Kevin Hill)

A new FreightWaves Intel Group whitepaper reports that 2018 was a tale of two markets. The first half was characterized as, not one of, the best bull market many in the industry had witnessed since deregulation in the early 1980s. Trucking and logistics executives thought a new normal was emerging as trucking capacity trailed far behind a surge in load volumes.

This euphoria did not last long, however. The perfect storm of dual hurricanes, electronic logging device mandates, and an economic boost created by corporate tax cuts, created an increase in load volumes and a constraint on capacity that lasted less than a year. In a five-month span from June to October 2018, tender rejection rates (OTRI.USA) halved from a high of 25.6 percent to 12.8 percent in early October. Tender rejection rates continued to fall following the holiday season and were under 6 percent at the end of June 2019.

While there is not a universally accepted definition for a freight recession, FreightWaves believes any definition should include some combination of multi-quarter consecutive drops in tender load volumes, tender rejections, spot rates and market sentiment.


Source: FreightWaves SONAR, Q3 2019 Carrier Outlook Survey
Based on the declines described in the table above, it is clear that the first half of 2019 the freight market has been in a freight recession. Carrier Outlook: Over-capacity and the Freight Recession of 2019 is now available to FreightWaves SONAR subscribers on the SONAR platform. The research goes into detail about the freight recession and what is ahead.

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Higher freight rates expected in 2019-20

Rail freight rates for moving western Canadian grain to market will be going up in the 2019-20 crop year. | File photo

In a determination dated April 30, the Canadian Transportation Agency announced that the Volume-Related Composite Price Index (VRCPI) will be increasing at Canadian National Railway and Canadian Pacific Railway beginning Aug. 1.

The VRCPI is used to determine how much Canada’s major railway companies can charge for moving grain on federally regulated railway routes under the maximum revenue entitlement program.

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J.B. Hunt launches new drop trailer program 360box

J.B. Hunt launches new drop trailer program 360box
John Paul Hampstead, Associate Editor John Paul Hampstead, Associate Editor  3 hours ago

J.B. Hunt (NASDAQ: JBHT) announced the launch of a drop trailer program called J.B. Hunt 360box that will give small carriers using the app access to drop and hook freight. This summer, 500 trailers will be made available for shippers to reserve, and carriers can bid on moving those trailers through J.B. Hunt’s carrier app.

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Uber Freight’s on-demand logistics to be available inside SAP’s Logistics Business Network under ne

Building a small business is difficult if you don’t have access to the same powerful tools that larger competitors do. Uber Freight, with its growing suite of tools, has been trying to empower small fleets and owner-operators to allow them to compete on an even playing field.

This morning, Uber Freight announced a partnership with SAP SE (NYSE: SAP) that will integrate Uber Freight into the into SAP Logistics Business Network, letting supply chain participants from both companies access transportation rates from Uber’s digitally activated carrier network and gain real-time quotes and guaranteed freight capacity, greatly simplifying load management and execution.

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Freight brokers call market bottom, look for spring tightening

For freight brokers, the story in the first quarter of 2019 was one of relatively normal freight volumes, loose capacity and margins that widened even as brokers bid aggressively on contract freight and undercut asset-based carriers.

Take J.B. Hunt’s (NASDAQ: JBHT) brokerage, Integrated Capacity Solutions (ICS), as an example. Hunt reported first quarter earnings on April 15. ICS posted volume growth of 15 percent year-over-year in the first quarter, but revenue per load dropped 11.5 percent to $1,041. In other words, ICS grew its volumes by cutting prices by double-digits. Still – and this is why market conditions were so favorable for brokerages this past quarter – ICS was able to widen its gross margins from 14.4 percent in the first quarter of 2018 to 16.5 percent in the first quarter of 2019.

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