Surface

The Journal of Commerce’s surface transport news and analysis focuses on landside transport movement — from railroad news to trucking news — including full load trucking, less-than-truckload (LTL), refrigerated (or reefer) trucking, flatbed and domestic and international intermodal rail, and how it connects with seaports, inland rail hubs, distribution centers and transloading operations. Reporting on the surface transport sector covers the movement of domestic shipments within the United States and international cargoes transported via domestic equipment including trailers and 53-foot containers. 

The latest Surface News & Analysis

DHL to invest $551 million to expand presence in Latin America

Teri Errico Griffis, Associate Editor |
DHL will spend hundreds of millions of dollars in the region over the next five years as the company targets customers looking to globalize their business and diversify sourcing.
Supply chainSurfaceTrucking NewsIndustrial Real Estate News

Wholesale weakness slowing US inventory destocking, freight demand

William B. Cassidy, Senior Editor |
US businesses may have passed the inventory peak, but data shows stockpiles remain high, and a weak wholesale retail market is depressing imports and surface freight shipments.
SurfaceContainer Shipping NewsTrucking NewsRail NewsSupply chain

Visibility product launches show cargo market open to new options

Eric Johnson, Senior Technology Editor |
Three new visibility products — from a hardware provider, a forwarder and a data provider — are evidence of a diverse cargo visibility market that is expanding options for shippers.
Logistics Technology NewsContainer Shipping NewsSurfaceAir CargoSupply chain

Creditors give Yellow more time for potential talks with Teamsters

William B. Cassidy, Senior Editor |
Yellow’s lenders, including the US government, gave the company short-term waivers for certain loan conditions, extending its “runway” for winning Teamster support for a restructuring plan.
SurfaceTrucking NewsLTL

Volume boost, construction snarls Jacksonville’s Blount Island drayage traffic

Ari Ashe, Senior Editor, and Teri Errico Griffis, Associate Editor |
The problems flared in recent weeks after Ocean Network Express shifted a vessel service out of Jacksonville’s other primary container terminal, Dames Point, causing a volume imbalance between the two terminals.
North American portsContainer linesPort NewsPort infrastructureSurfaceTrucking News

US trucking companies adds jobs, but employees work fewer hours

William B. Cassidy, Senior Editor |
For-hire trucking companies have been expanding their workforce since February, but a soft freight market is cutting into weekly hours worked by drivers and dockworkers, BLS data shows.
SurfaceTrucking NewsTrucking labor

Knight-Swift commits to LTL expansion amid soft truckload demand

William B. Cassidy, Senior Editor |
The largest US truckload operator will continue to add terminals to its LTL network as it absorbs truckload carrier U.S. Xpress.
SurfaceTrucking NewsTruckloadLTL

UPS, Teamsters break off contract talks

William B. Cassidy, Senior Editor |
UPS and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters are battling on the brink of a potential strike, with both sides claiming the other has walked away from the negotiating table.
SurfaceTrucking NewsTrucking laborSupply chain

Teamster workers ratify ABF contract, UPS deal draws closer

William B. Cassidy, Senior Editor |
The ABF-Teamsters contract is the first of three major negotiations the union is conducting this summer to make it past the finish line, with UPS and TForce Freight talks still ongoing.
SurfaceTrucking NewsLTLTrucking labor

Yellow asks Biden to help bring Teamsters ‘to the table’ 

William B. Cassidy, Senior Editor |
In a letter Thursday, less-than-truckload provider Yellow asked President Biden to intervene personally in its dispute with the Teamsters and break an impasse it claims threatens 22,000 union jobs. 
SurfaceTrucking NewsLTLTrucking labor

Threats of an LTL shutdown, UPS strike loom for US shippers

William B. Cassidy, Senior Editor |
Time is ticking away for less-than-truckload carrier Yellow, which is suing the Teamsters while its cash reserves shrink, and UPS, which got a new deadline for contract talks from the Teamsters.
SurfaceTrucking NewsLTL

Trudeau’s resolve in spotlight with Western Canadian ports on brink of strike

Mark Szakonyi, Executive Editor |
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is generally viewed within the Canadian shipping industry as having acted too slowly — and weakly — when containerized supply chains were significantly disrupted over the last three years, notes Journal of Commerce Executive Editor Mark Szakonyi.
Longshore laborTrans-PacificNorth American portsRail News

CPKC inks deal with Hapag-Lloyd to boost Mexico intermodal play

Ari Ashe, Senior Editor |
The railroad said the partnership with the ocean carrier is designed to attract cargo owners who may want to avoid Southern California or are looking for a shorter transit for freight destined for the US Gulf Coast.
North-American rail

End of freight ‘recession’ drawing nearer, but no strong rebound seen: SMC3

William B. Cassidy, Senior Editor |
US inventory levels are still high, depressing demand for trucking services and keeping a rebound in check, analysts said at the SMC3 Connections conference.
Supply chainTruckloadLTLTransport, Trade, and Regulation News

CPKC-CSX ink deal to provide second rail speedway on Gulf Coast

Ari Ashe, Senior Editor |
The link would offer an alternative to the Meridian Speedway that pre-merger Kansas City Southern and Norfolk Southern Railway have partnered on since 2006.
Rail NewsIntermodal providersNorth-American rail

Intermodal providers slash rates for low-volume shippers to boost business

Ari Ashe, Senior Editor |
Union Pacific and BNSF partner COFC Logistics are cutting contractual rates on low-volume shippers through the end of the year in a bid to spur demand in a weakened domestic intermodal market.
North-American rail

Nuvocargo rides Mexico-US freight surge to land fresh investment

Eric Johnson, Senior Technology Editor |
Nuvocargo will use the new funding to expand its service footprint to all major over-the-road border crossings between the US and Mexico.
ForwardingTruck brokersLogistics Technology News

Yellow sues Teamsters for $137 million, citing ‘breach of contract’

William B. Cassidy, Senior Editor |
The largest unionized trucking employer in the US is taking its restructuring fight with the Teamsters to court, claiming union leadership is agitating for its demise.
SurfaceTrucking NewsLTL

CPKC, Americold team up on temperature-controlled intermodal warehouses

Ari Ashe, Senior Editor |
Canadian Pacific Kansas City is continuing to invest in temperature-controlled intermodal as part of its Mexico-to-US offerings via a new partnership with warehouse provider Americold Logistics.
North-American rail

Roadrunner adds new LTL lanes, expanding cross-country reach

William B. Cassidy, Senior Editor |
Freight demand is supporting a buildout of Roadrunner’s direct LTL network after cutbacks in 2022, with new lanes connecting shippers with Las Vegas and the Port of Virginia.
SurfaceTrucking NewsLTL

FedEx Freight trims trucking network as LTL shipments drop 18%

William B. Cassidy, Senior Editor |
The largest US trucking company will close 29 terminals to better match its footprint with lower freight demand as it prepares for a “reset.”
SurfaceTrucking NewsLTL

UPS Teamsters authorize strike as contract talks enter final weeks

JOC Team |
The International Brotherhood of Teamsters and UPS say they’ve made progress on non-economic issues, but there’s still heavy lifting ahead for the largest labor pact in the US private sector.
SurfaceTrucking NewsTrucking laborSupply chain

Teamsters-ABF pact would boost LTL wages, limit driverless technology

William B. Cassidy, Senior Editor |
Leaders within the International Brotherhood of Teamsters have endorsed a tentative contract reached with ABF that would set a high bar for other unionized carriers in the largely non-union less-than-truckload sector.
SurfaceTrucking NewsLTLTrucking labor

Resilient US trucking revenues could slow capacity adjustments: analyst

Jason Miller, associate professor of logistics at Michigan State University, and JOC analyst |
Despite a sharp decline in rates amid slowing demand and higher costs, total revenue for truck transportation companies remains elevated, and that could keep capacity in the market longer, writes Professor Jason Miller.
Trucking News

Teamsters asks Yellow workers for contract talk ‘priorities’

William B. Cassidy, Senior Editor |
Despite disagreement over Yellow’s restructuring plans, the Teamsters union is taking a first step toward opening contract talks by surveying 22,000 union members online.
SurfaceTrucking NewsLTLTrucking labor

Inefficiency, cost holding back UK domestic rail freight: shippers

Greg Knowler, Senior Editor Europe |
While demand for domestic rail freight in the UK grows, the network’s ability to handle the more complex smaller shipments has been criticized by cargo owners.
Rail NewsInternational railIntermodal providers

Teamsters, UPS agree on heat safety measures as contract talks continue 

William B. Cassidy, Senior Editor |
Air conditioning, heat shields and air intake vents are coming to UPS package cars as the Teamsters and their largest employer move closer to a tentative five-year labor agreement. 
SurfaceTrucking NewsTrucking labor

Temperature-controlled intermodal provider Tiger Cool closes: source

Ari Ashe, Senior Editor |
Tiger Cool Express was an innovator in the intermodal industry, one of the first to fully embrace containerized reefer intermodal when it began ramping up operations in late 2013.
Intermodal providers

Dynamic pricing helps LTL trucker boost volume in soft market

William B. Cassidy, Senior Editor |
Flexible transactional pricing is helping ArcBest LTL subsidiary ABF Freight increase shipment volumes and attract new shippers despite reduced demand from core customers. 
SurfaceTrucking NewsLTL

Norfolk Southern gets $5 million grant to improve Detroit intermodal ramp

Michael Angell, Associate Editor |
Norfolk Southern is a step closer to consolidating its Michigan intermodal business at one site after receiving a grant from the state for improvements at the Livernois yard.
North-American railIntermodal providers

US LTL trucking companies improving yield, profitability despite headwinds

William B. Cassidy, Senior Editor |
Data from analysts and carriers shows less-than-truckload providers are staying disciplined when it comes to pricing despite a freight recession and softer US economy.
SurfaceTrucking NewsLTL

Standoff between Yellow, Teamsters puts LTL shippers on alert

William B. Cassidy, Senior Editor |
Yellow claims its ability to “continue as a going concern” is being impaired by Teamster opposition to its restructuring.
SurfaceTrucking NewsLTL

CSX looks to dismiss Hapag-Lloyd complaint amid FMC oversight question

Teri Errico Griffis |
While the FMC has jurisdiction over ocean carriers, it cannot regulate railroads simply because of their association with container lines, CSX said in a motion to disentangle itself from a demurrage complaint.
Transport, Trade, and Regulation NewsContainer Shipping NewsContainer linesSurfaceRail NewsNorth-American rail

US truckload spot rates likely nearing bottom: analysts

Ari Ashe, Senior Editor |
Trucking analysts believe the downward pressure on rates has ended — or is close to ending, but an upward surge isn’t necessarily on the horizon, either.
Truckload

US importers still destocking, and delaying restocking in uncertain economy

William B. Cassidy, Senior Editor |
US consumers are still spending, but at a slower rate, and that’s pushing major restocking of goods further toward the back half of 2023, analysts and retailers say.
Supply chainContainer Shipping NewsNorth American portsTrucking NewsIndustrial Real Estate News

C.H. Robinson taps Ford executive Bozeman as new CEO

Teri Errico Griffis |
The appointment of a new CEO for the US’s largest logistics provider comes six months after the dismissal of ex-CEO Bob Biesterfeld, who was let go amid slowing freight demand, rate declines and investor unrest.
SurfaceTrucking NewsTruckloadSupply chain

ILWU Canada threatens strike at Vancouver, Prince Rupert

Journal of Commerce staff |
ILWU Canada rank-and-file will vote later this week on whether to issue a 72-hour strike notice, raising the unprecedented prospect of disruption on Canada’s West Coast amid job actions by labor along the US West Coast.
Longshore laborContainer Shipping NewsTrans-PacificPort NewsNorth American portsNorth-American rail

ATA urges Congress to reject Su as Labor chief

Teri Errico Griffis |
The American Trucking Associations said Julie Su’s track record of supporting California’s A.B. 5 law and a lack of support for the trucking industry has failed to reassure them she would be a successful Secretary of Labor.
Transport, Trade, and Regulation NewsSurfaceTrucking News

FMC ‘improperly’ applied incentive principle in detention decision: Evergreen

Teri Errico Griffis |
Container carrier Evergreen argues the FMC ignored “critical facts” when applying the incentive rule in a December case and, in doing so, inadvertently set a precedent that detention cannot be charged on a holiday weekend.
Transport, Trade, and Regulation NewsContainer Shipping NewsContainer linesSurfaceTrucking News

Norfolk Southern eases free time, demurrage restrictions on ocean boxes

Ari Ashe, Senior Editor |
The railroad is reducing demurrage fees and restoring additional free time that was eliminated in the past two years as international intermodal volumes have fallen sharply from East Coast ports.
Rail NewsNorth American portsIntermodal providersNorth-American rail