Archive for April, 2018

FTR: Freight demand remains strong in ‘unfavorable’ shipping environment

Regulatory pressures are rising, and the capacity required for a hot freight market was slow to increase in the first quarter, putting pressure on rates, according to FTR analysis. The February Shippers Conditions Index reading from FTR was unchanged from January at -11.1, reflecting an unfavorable environment for shippers.

U.S. Inflation Hit Federal Reserve’s 2% Target in March

Year-over-year inflation hit the Federal Reserve’s 2% target for the first time in over a year in March, a sign of strengthening U.S. inflation pressures that could encourage the Fed to continue lifting interest rates this year. (This article requires a subscription to the Wall Street Journal. To subscribe, please click on the above link.)

House Approves Rider to Thwart State Preemption of Trucker HOS Rules

An amendment written to resolve the issue of preemption by individual states of federal hours-of-service rules for truck drivers was passed on April 26 by a solidly bipartisan vote of 222-193 as part of the FAA Reauthorization Act currently being debated by the House of Representatives.

Rail Traffic for the Week Ending April 21, 2018

The Association of American Railroads (AAR) today reported U.S. rail traffic for the week ending April 21, 2018. For this week, total U.S. weekly rail traffic was 539,425 carloads and intermodal units, up 6.2 percent compared with the same week last year. Total carloads for the week ending April 21 were 264,552 carloads, up 3.5 […]

Truck tonnage down again in March as capacity constraints take hold

Truck tonnage declined for the second consecutive month in March, in a sign that the industry continues to cool after rapid growth at the end of 2017. The American Trucking Associations (ATA) reported that truck tonnage declined 1.1% in March from February’s levels, following an upwardly-revised 0.8% decline in the previous month.

Inflation Is No Match for Amazon, Walmart in the Grocery Aisle

Good luck raising prices — even if the economy is humming. Grocery chains have long awaited the right conditions to charge more for their products, and a broad view of the U.S. would suggest this is their moment: Unemployment is near historic lows, consumer confidence is high and inflation is inching upward. But companies are […]

U.S. Consumers More Confident in Economy

Americans’ spirits rose this month after dipping earlier this spring, suggesting they remain confident in the economy despite rising inflation and stock-market gyrations. (This article requires a subscription to the Wall Street Journal. To subscribe, please click on the above link.)

5 Innovations that Have Strengthened Railroads’ Muscle

Thirty-five years ago, the average freight train could safely haul 2,200 tons at once. That was a lot of cargo! Yet even though the basic structure of a train has remained the same, today a single freight train can carry even more — a whopping 3,600 tons, on average.

FMCSA Assigns CSA Severity Weights to ELD Violations

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has assigned severity weights to each of about a dozen electronic logging device-related violations that are being recorded on a driver’s or motor carrier’s safety profile score.