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Trucking News

MFW Musing’s – October 15, 2021

Industry Insights / October 15, 2021
MFW makes the wheels of transportation FAR less squeaky
We do this by having an extremely high give a dang level, proactive communication, and shooting straight – even if the news isn’t great

Noteworthy news bullets we thought you’d enjoy

  • September manufacturing output remains on a growth track, reports ISM (source: Logistics Management)
    • It’s monthly PMI reading came in at 61.1 (a reading of 50 or higher indicates growth), increasing from August’s 59.9 reading.
  • September Services PMI reading points to growth, reports ISM (source: Logistics Management)
    • The September Services PMI reading is 1.7% above the 12-month average of 60.2, with 17 of the 18 service sectors seeing gains in September.
  • September Class 8 Orders Decline (source: Transport Topics)
    • North American Class 8 orders in September dropped 11.8% compared with a year earlier, ACT Research reported.
    • With freight activity, freight rates and carrier profits very strong, ACT President Kenny Vieth noted the order volume “could be construed as disappointing relative to the economic setup.”
  • Cass Freight Index – September numbers (source: Cass Transportation Systems)
    • The expenditures component of the Cass Freight Index measures the total amount spent on freight, which despite higher rates fell 2.5% from August to September due to lower volumes.
  •  Diesel Surges 10.9 cents to $3.586 a Gallon (Source: Transport Topics)
    • Fuel costs $1.91 more for a gallon than it did this time in 2020.
    • This is the highest average cost per gallon since it cost $3.605 in Dec. 1, 2014.
  • Walmart’s delivery service lands Home Depot as its first customer (source: Supply Chain Dive)
    • Home Depot will offer same-day and next-day delivery via Walmart GoLocal in select stores in Texas, New Mexico, and Northwest Arkansas in the coming weeks, with plans for further expansion by the end of the year.
    • Eligible Home Depot items for GoLocal delivery are smaller supplies that can fit easily in a car, like tools, fasteners and paint.
  • Retailers expand East Coast warehousing for West Coast relief (source: The Journal of Commerce)
    • As West Coast shipping bottlenecks persist, retailers see warehousing and distribution centers near East Coast ports as one way to wrest back control of their supply chain.
    • Retailers signed the same number of leases as traditional warehousing and logistics providers during the third quarter, a reaction to five years of ecommerce growth occurring in 18 months.
  • Biggest U.S. Retailers Charter Private Cargo Ships to Sail Around Port Delays (source: The Wall Street Journal)
    • Walmart, Home Depot, Costco, and Target are among the companies that are paying for their own chartered ships
    • The chartered ships can hold around 1,000 containers and are nearly twice as expensive as the cost of moving cargo on a typical 20,000-container vessel.
  • US truck spot rate hikes reaching further inland (source: The Journal of Commerce)
    • US spot truckload rates have hit a high plateau and are poised to climb even higher, propelled by high import volumes and strong manufacturing and consumer demand.
    • Rates are rising in key long-haul lanes as freight flows from coastal warehouses and storage facilities further inland to distribution centers in Chicago, Memphis, and other mid-US markets.
  • Supply chain disruption drags truck, trailer capacity into 2022 (source: The Journal of Commerce)
    • US truck and trailer orders may be soaring, but shippers shouldn’t expect those orders to translate into available capacity until well into 2022. Many new orders are for 2022 delivery, and with production schedules already backlogged, supply chain disruption still clouds when equipment might be delivered.
    • This means as long as the freight economy fueled by an expanding US economy stays strong, tight capacity and pressure on freight rates will continue months into 2022, as new capacity slowly enters the trucking market.
  • Little relief seen for US domestic shippers in 2022 (source: The Journal of Commerce)
    • Transportation capacity is expected to become more readily available next year but freight demand should remain high enough to keep pricing elevated.
    • Inventories haven’t been able to catch up to demand in 2021, and even as consumer demand starts to ease in 2022, freight transport will still remain in high demand due to the new inventory demands of ecommerce.
  • DHL Raising Rates for U.S. Shippers by 5.9% (source: The Wall Street Journal)
    • DHL is matching FedEx’s price increase for next year, siting general inflation and added infrastructure such as planes, trucks, and facilities as the drivers for the increase.
  • LaserShip is Buying Package Carrier OnTrac in a 1.3 Billion Deal (source: The Wall Street Journal)
    • Private Equity backed LaserShip, with a large east coast presence, has acquired west coast based OnTrac – a deal that combines the two largest regional parcel footprints.
    • The combined entity would have 100 sorting and delivery hubs in 30 states and D.C., getting LaserShip closer to joining FedEx and UPS as a coast to coast solution.