News and analysis of surface transportation including rail, trucking, intermodal, less-than-truckload, full truckload, drayage, transload

The latest Surface News & Analysis

No US freight rebound until 2024: analysts 

William B. Cassidy, Senior Editor | Aug 11, 2023, 2:07 PM EDT

The current freight downturn could continue until mid-2024, thanks to lower manufacturing output, high levels of employment and excess capacity, experts told the Journal of Commerce Thursday.

Omni Logistics purchase to expand Forward Air’s LTL, global reach

William B. Cassidy, Senior Editor | Aug 10, 2023, 2:33 PM EDT

The merger of third-party logistics provider Omni and expedited less-than-truckload (LTL) carrier Forward Air will create a more multimodal LTL network focused on high-value freight.
LTLTruckingSupply Chain

Convoy promises on-time truckload deliveries with new guaranteed product

Eric Johnson, Senior Technology Editor | Aug 10, 2023, 10:55 AM EDT

Targeting industrial and retail shippers that need expensive expedited services to meet stringent on-time metrics, freight broker Convoy is offering a product that guarantees shipments will be delivered within a predetermined 30-minute window.
Truck brokersTruckingTruckloadLogistics technology

LTL carrier Yellow reports $70m H1 loss after shutting down

William B. Cassidy, Senior Editor | Aug 9, 2023, 3:35 PM EDT

Yellow lost money in its last six months as shippers moved freight elsewhere and non-operating expenses, including debt payments and interest, consumed shrinking operating profits.
SurfaceTruckingLTLTrucking labor

US trucking hiring slowing amid soft freight demand

William B. Cassidy, Senior Editor | Aug 8, 2023, 11:22 AM EDT

The US economy is improving, but the gains in recent months haven’t translated into additional freight, nor an additional surge in trucking employment.
Trucking laborTruckingTruckloadLTL

Market share holds key to recovery for US intermodal, truckload: analyst

Larry Gross, president and founder, Gross Transportation Consulting; and JOC analyst | Aug 7, 2023, 10:40 AM EDT

Regardless of where demand for intermodal and truckload freight transport moves over the coming months, the industry holds the key to its destiny in its own hands, writes analyst Larry Gross. 
Intermodal providersSurfaceTruckingRailNorth-American rail

Yellow seeks orderly ‘wind down’ amid bankruptcy filing

William B. Cassidy, Senior Editor | Aug 7, 2023, 10:21 AM EDT

The third-largest US less-than-truckload (LTL) carrier said Sunday it plans to use debtor-in-possession financing to support the sale of assets, while CEO Darren Hawkins blamed the Teamsters union for its collapse.
LTLTruckloadTrucking labor

XPO plans to add capacity as LTL freight volumes surge

William B. Cassidy, Senior Editor | Aug 4, 2023, 2:13 PM EDT

Shipment volume at the third-largest LTL carrier in the US jumped nearly 9% in July from a year ago and 3.2% from June as shippers moved freight away from rival carrier Yellow.

Truckload carriers driving through lengthy freight market ‘bottom’

William B. Cassidy, Senior Editor | Aug 4, 2023, 10:20 AM EDT

US truckload carrier executives say they don’t see any signs that freight demand will pick back up until the end of 2023.

US LTL carriers expanding revenue, profitability despite ongoing consolidation

William B. Cassidy, Senior Editor | Aug 3, 2023, 9:55 AM EDT

The number of large US less-than-truckload carriers is shrinking, but the remaining operators are more profitable, have higher revenues and play a bigger role in customer’s supply chains.

Yellow, lenders talk bankruptcy financing as stock price surges

William B. Cassidy, Senior Editor | Aug 3, 2023, 9:31 AM EDT

Hedging and short selling made Yellow a “meme stock” early this week, but experts say rumors of a comeback are as wildly misplaced as investors’ cash.

Schneider goes deeper into dedicated trucking with M&M acquisition

William B. Cassidy, Senior Editor | Aug 2, 2023, 1:59 PM EDT

Schneider's acquisition of M&M Transport underscores the ongoing popularity of dedicated transportation among shippers and carriers, even in an era of excess truckload capacity. 

Yellow collapse seen hitting smaller, mid-sized LTL shippers hardest

William B. Cassidy, Senior Editor | Aug 2, 2023, 1:38 PM EDT

The loss of the third-largest US less-than-truckload carrier is hitting a broad tranche of smaller, less-sophisticated shippers hard as they struggle with volatile rate hikes, logistics providers say.
SurfaceTruckingLTLTrucking labor

Hot summer turning up climate change heat on supply chains

Mark Szakonyi, Executive Editor | Aug 2, 2023, 12:47 PM EDT

Familiar reminders of the disruptions to supply chains caused by climate change, such as low water levels on the Rhine River and in the Panama Canal and wildfires in North America, are becoming more frequent and intense.
Supply ChainContainer shippingPort infrastructureRailNorth-American rail

Tough market conditions slow DHL’s H1 profitability

Greg Knowler, Senior Editor Europe | Aug 1, 2023, 10:16 AM EDT

A challenging operating environment pulled down revenue and earnings at DHL, but the Germany-based integrator remains in a highly profitable position ahead of an uncertain second half.
Air cargo forwardingContainer shippingLTLLast mile

TForce Freight employees ratify five-year contract with Teamsters

William B. Cassidy, Senior Editor | Jul 31, 2023, 12:46 PM EDT

US shippers gained some security in the LTL market as Teamsters at TForce approved a new contract with the LTL carrier.
SurfaceTruckingLTLTrucking labor

Yellow’s collapse already pushing LTL rates higher as capacity tightens

William B. Cassidy, Senior Editor | Jul 31, 2023, 11:09 AM EDT

The third-largest less-than-truckload provider in the US stopped operations Sunday, cutting into industrywide excess capacity and increasing pressure on pricing for LTL shipments. 

Non-union layoffs edge Yellow closer to collapse

William B. Cassidy, Senior Editor | Jul 28, 2023, 5:08 PM EDT

Word of layoffs among non-union staff at Yellow spread Friday, and shippers report less-than-truckload (LTL) pricing is already moving higher in anticipation of a shutdown of the third-largest US LTL carrier.
SurfaceTruckingLTLTrucking labor

Yellow looks to sell third-party logistics subsidiary as labor talks falter 

William B. Cassidy, Senior Editor | Jul 28, 2023, 10:55 AM EDT

In its latest attempt to avert a potential bankruptcy, unionized trucking company Yellow is trying to raise funds through the sale of Yellow Logistics.
SurfaceTruckingLTLTrucking labor

FMC’s Dye offers fixes for container flow problems through US ports

Teri Errico Griffis, Associate Editor | Jul 28, 2023, 9:00 AM EDT

The FMC commissioner wants to implement uniform empty return dates and define “container availability” as when the container is available for pick up, among other proposals.
Transport, trade and regulationContainer shippingMarine terminalsNorth American portsTruckingLogistics technology

Yellow survival depends on Teamsters, customers amid possible bankruptcy

William B. Cassidy, Senior Editor | Jul 27, 2023, 2:07 PM EDT

Yellow says its talks with the Teamsters union are “ongoing,” but the less-than-truckload carrier needs to keep customers to stay alive.

ODFL focusing on capacity, cost management in LTL downcycle 

William B. Cassidy, Senior Editor | Jul 26, 2023, 2:55 PM EDT

Freight volumes were down almost 12% in the second quarter at Old Dominion Freight Line, but the less-than-truckload carrier says it will continue to reinvest in capacity.

Union Pacific appoints Jim Vena as CEO amid focus on ‘improving service’

Teri Errico Griffis, Associate Editor | Jul 26, 2023, 2:22 PM EDT

After UP’s 2022 performance failed to meet the expectations of shareholders, an activist investor called for current CEO Lance Fritz to be replaced by Vena, who had previously served as the railroad’s chief operating officer.
North-American railSurfaceRail

Western Canada port backlog to take weeks to clear: Canadian National

Mark Szakonyi, Executive Editor | Jul 26, 2023, 12:00 PM EDT

CN said it will take up to eight weeks to clear the cargo backlog at the ports of Vancouver and Prince Rupert as the industry waits to see if ILWU Canada’s rank and file will accept terms of the tentative deal reached last week.
North-American railContainer shippingTrans-PacificNorth American portsIntermodal providers

LTL carrier TForce Freight moves closer to new contract with Teamsters

William B. Cassidy, Senior Editor | Jul 25, 2023, 1:09 PM EDT

Teamster local leaders endorsed a new five-year pact with LTL carrier TForce Freight, while the union eyes talks with Yellow.

UPS, Teamsters reach deal on tentative five-year contract, averting possible strike

William B. Cassidy, Senior Editor | Jul 25, 2023, 1:01 PM EDT

A tentative agreement removes the threat of a disruptive strike that would have roiled supply chains, giving UPS Teamsters several weeks to vote on the new contract.
SurfaceTruckingTrucking laborSupply Chain

US LTL carriers plan expansion despite market uncertainty

William B. Cassidy, Senior Editor | Jul 24, 2023, 4:55 PM EDT

Several large LTL carriers, including XPO and Estes, are adding terminals as freight flows change and customers shift business among carriers as questions linger over Yellow’s future.

Knight-Swift expects small uptick in peak season freight volumes

Ari Ashe, Senior Editor | Jul 21, 2023, 1:55 PM EDT

The company expects a slight increase in truckload demand during the peak season amid uncertainty about the duration of the freight recession and the potential impact of Yellow's financial troubles.

Technology providers partner to improve breakbulk rail tracking

Eric Johnson, Senior Technology Editor | Jul 19, 2023, 1:24 PM EDT

The desire to improve rail and intermodal visibility for bulk and breakbulk customers has led transportation management software provider IntelliTrans to partner with hardware vendor Nexxiot.
Logistics technologyRailNorth-American railSupply Chain

J.B. Hunt says intermodal peak season outlook murky despite June momentum

Ari Ashe, Senior Editor | Jul 19, 2023, 1:06 PM EDT

That mismatch between container supply and demand has forced intermodal providers to stack boxes, with J.B. Hunt saying it parked about 18% of its container fleet in the first half of the year.
Intermodal providersNorth-American rail

Shippers consider options after Yellow misses payment to pension fund

Ari Ashe, Senior Editor | Jul 18, 2023, 4:17 PM EDT

The missed payment erases a measure of optimism that existed after creditors, including the US government, last week gave Yellow more time to resolve its restructuring dispute with the Teamsters in return for heightened financial oversight.
Trucking laborTrucking

DAT, Convoy settle dueling lawsuits once seen as marker for load board industry

Eric Johnson, Senior Technology Editor | Jul 18, 2023, 2:55 PM EDT

DAT and freight broker Convoy had challenged each other in federal court over business practices related to Convoy attempting to set up a rival load board.
TruckloadTruckingTruck brokersLogistics technology

Truckstop acquires freight matching platform to target ‘high-quality’ carriers

Eric Johnson, Senior Technology Editor | Jul 18, 2023, 2:22 PM EDT

Truckstop is building on its 2022 purchase of carrier monitoring provider RMIS with the acquisition of freight-matching technology provider FrieightFriend.
TruckloadTruckingTruck brokersLogistics technology

Anxious US shippers prepare for possible UPS strike, tighter LTL market 

William B. Cassidy, Senior Editor | Jul 14, 2023, 12:10 PM EDT

A Teamsters strike against UPS Aug. 1 and a shutdown of Yellow are not inevitable, but shippers are bracing for disruption and higher costs.
SurfaceTruckingLTLSupply Chain

Chassis repairs causing short-term shortages in Chicago

Ari Ashe, Senior Editor | Jul 13, 2023, 11:17 AM EDT

Truckers are having difficulty locating available chassis in Chicago because many units have been taken off the street to be serviced after heavy usage over the last two years.

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

Teri Errico Griffis, Associate Editor | Jul 13, 2023, 9:42 AM EDT

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 ChainSurfaceTruckingIndustrial real estate

Wholesale weakness slowing US inventory destocking, freight demand

William B. Cassidy, Senior Editor | Jul 12, 2023, 10:59 AM EDT

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 shippingTruckingRailSupply Chain

Visibility product launches show cargo market open to new options

Eric Johnson, Senior Technology Editor | Jul 11, 2023, 10:02 AM EDT

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 technologyContainer shippingSurfaceAir CargoSupply Chain

Creditors give Yellow more time for potential talks with Teamsters

William B. Cassidy, Senior Editor | Jul 10, 2023, 4:52 PM EDT

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.

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

Ari Ashe, Senior Editor, and Teri Errico Griffis, Associate Editor | Jul 10, 2023, 4:04 PM EDT

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 linesPortsPort infrastructureSurfaceTrucking