Archive for December, 2020

Top stories of 2020: Inside ocean shipping’s wild ride

A year ago, shipping experts unveiled their projections for 2020. Little did they know how short their forecasts’ shelf lives would be. Pre-COVID outlooks were practically worthless by February. The pandemic reshaped cargo demand across all shipping segments, but for two in particular: container shipping and tanker shipping. In both cases, COVID had a violent […]

Commentary: Let’s watch rail freight recovery differently

The statistical coverage of railway freight volume changes in Canada, Mexico and the United States is excellent. But after the extreme changes week over week due to the COVID-19 business impacts, maybe it is time to consider a different method. Here is why: Weekly reports issued by the Association of American Railroads (AAR) employ a […]

Analysts see little change in capacity from new CDL rule

Some analysts don’t believe an easing of instruction and testing rules for issuing commercial driver’s licenses will meaningfully change the current tight supply dynamic that exists in trucking. Federal regulators recently issued a final rule allowing a third-party skills instructor to administer both instruction and qualifying testing to the same driver applicant. Previously, both functions could not […]

Trucking companies may be faring too well for obtaining more PPP funds

Companies that received funding under the Paycheck Protection Program the first time around are going to get a second shot at more money. But it’s possible that trucking companies are just making too much money to get another bite at the apple. For companies that would be going in for PPP funding a second time […]

Short line tax credit could become permanent

The U.S. freight rail industry is hopeful that a temporary federal incentive that encourages short line railroads to make capital investments will become permanent. Within the $1.4 trillion fiscal year 2021 appropriations bill that Congress passed, there is a provision that would make permanent the short line tax credit. The credit, also known as the 45G tax […]

Forward Air cyberattack backing up shipments at key market: airports

The ransomware attack on Forward Air’s (NASDAQ: FRWD) operational and information technology systems more than a week ago has caused shipping delays for customers, especially those that use them to move loads to, from and between airports. Cargo is moving, but the information flow is hampered without the automated interfaces companies rely on, logistics professionals say. Freight forwarders […]

Container shipping 2021: Hangover or party on?

As 2020 draws to a close, the world’s container-shipping network is bursting at the seams. The Shanghai Containerized Freight Index jumped again last week, to another all-time high. There’s market chatter of all-in Asia-West Coast rates (including premiums) of over $8,000 per forty-foot equivalent unit (FEU) and Asia-East Coast rates of $10,000 per FEU. The […]

NTSB recommends better placement of buffer cars

The freight rail industry needs to reconsider where it places buffer cars and tank cars on trains carrying hazardous materials in order to better protect train crew members and reduce the severity of a potential accident, according to recommendations from the National Transportation Safety Board concerning two accidents in April 2019 and February 2020. NTSB’s safety recommendations […]

White Christmas coming for Northeast truckers (with forecast video)

For truckers dreaming of a white Christmas, the Northeast is the place to be. Accumulating snowfall is likely to favor interior locations, including eastern Great Lakes cities. It will be nice for drivers who make it home for the holiday, but not necessarily for those working through it. This system will not be as disruptive […]