The Top 5 Stories in Freight
Here’s what’s happening this week:
- Brake Safety inspections net +1,100 OOS violations
- FMC to audit the nine largest container carriers for aggressive detention and demurrage rules
- Low inventory continues to fuel imports and put increased pressure on ports
- The ATA says 105K more truckers will be needed by 2023
- Cardboard box and pallet shortage is causing increased shipping struggles
The hottest stories in freight can be found here, in the Weekly Freight Report:
1. Brake Safety inspections net +1,100 OOS violations
Cass data saw continued year-over-year increases in June. The report’s shipment reading saw a 26.8% annual gain, The latest popup commercial motor vehicle inspection took 1,273 trucks across North America off the roads due to brake violations. During this one-day enforcement, the brake-related out-of-service rate was 12.6%. Additionally, there were 1,725 brake/hose tubing violations. The CVSA urges drivers of the importance of brake safety and these numbers clearly show need for improvement. Read up on the full report here.
2. FMC to audit the nine largest container carriers for aggressive detention and demurrage rules
It’s been an expensive year for shippers regardless of which mode they’re hauling freight. But for shippers using ocean liners- the detention and demurrage fees have become a red hot topic. Shippers claim ocean liners are abusing market power to overcharge. And now, the FMC plans to audit nine of the largest container carriers operating in the U.S. to find out for sure. And if it’s found that these claims have merit, the FMC “will take appropriate action” says the FMC Chairman. Read up on the investigation here.
3. Low inventory continues to fuel imports and put increased pressure on ports
It’s not a new narrative- demand for goods is thriving. The problem is, shippers are low on inventory. This cycle is keeping imports extremely high… and while we hoped it would slow down at some point, port authorities are saying this trend will “easily continue until 2022’s Chinese New Year”. Ports from all over North America are overflowing with imports- and now authorities are preparing for more of the unknown including unpredictable flows of merchandise and increased cases of the COVID variants. Keep up with this developing story here.
4. The ATA says 105K more truckers will be needed by 2023
Driver pay has been a hot topic- and for months carriers across North America have been raising wages in hopes of attracting talent in a market that desperately needs more drivers. But now, the ATA is saying the industry will need 105,000 additional drivers to keep up with demand by 2023. The problem they’re finding is drivers aren’t coming back- even with higher pay. The ATA is now thinking the issue might go beyond money. They’re suggesting that the driver shortage may be “tied in part to quality-of-life considerations.” In fact, the ATA has found a connection between route length and the ability for drivers to get home regularly and driver turnover. Read all about it here.
5. Cardboard box and pallet shortage is causing increased shipping struggles
The supply chain continues to be strapped thin for all components- and now, wooden pallets and cardboard boxes are becoming difficult to find. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported fiber box manufacturing climbed to 375.3 in June, up 33.3 points year over year. The index also shows wood container and pallet manufacturing is up 53.4 points year over year- both reaching record highs. Additionally, the cost of boxes and pallets keeps going up pallets are up 400% year over year due to increased lumber costs. It’s resulting in trucks patrolling the streets searching for any boxes and pallets they can find. Read up on the shortage here.
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