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

The latest Surface News & Analysis

US trucking companies adds jobs, but employees work fewer hours

William B. Cassidy, Senior Editor | Jul 7, 2023, 4:42 PM EDT

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.
SurfaceTruckingTrucking labor

Knight-Swift commits to LTL expansion amid soft truckload demand

William B. Cassidy, Senior Editor | Jul 7, 2023, 9:52 AM EDT

The largest US truckload operator will continue to add terminals to its LTL network as it absorbs truckload carrier U.S. Xpress.

UPS, Teamsters break off contract talks

William B. Cassidy, Senior Editor | Jul 5, 2023, 11:39 AM EDT

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.
SurfaceTruckingTrucking laborSupply Chain

Teamster workers ratify ABF contract, UPS deal draws closer

William B. Cassidy, Senior Editor | Jul 3, 2023, 12:26 PM EDT

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.
SurfaceTruckingLTLTrucking labor

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

William B. Cassidy, Senior Editor | Jun 30, 2023, 11:53 AM EDT

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. 
SurfaceTruckingLTLTrucking labor

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

William B. Cassidy, Senior Editor | Jun 29, 2023, 4:16 PM EDT

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.

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

Mark Szakonyi, Executive Editor | Jun 29, 2023, 3:25 PM EDT

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

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

Ari Ashe, Senior Editor | Jun 29, 2023, 1:44 PM EDT

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 | Jun 28, 2023, 2:50 PM EDT

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

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

Ari Ashe, Senior Editor | Jun 28, 2023, 11:44 AM EDT

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.
RailIntermodal providersNorth-American rail

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

Ari Ashe, Senior Editor | Jun 27, 2023, 1:41 PM EDT

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 | Jun 27, 2023, 12:25 PM EDT

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

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

William B. Cassidy, Senior Editor | Jun 27, 2023, 11:11 AM EDT

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.

CPKC, Americold team up on temperature-controlled intermodal warehouses

Ari Ashe, Senior Editor | Jun 22, 2023, 11:01 AM EDT

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 | Jun 21, 2023, 4:38 PM EDT

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.

FedEx Freight trims trucking network as LTL shipments drop 18%

William B. Cassidy, Senior Editor | Jun 21, 2023, 2:23 PM EDT

The largest US trucking company will close 29 terminals to better match its footprint with lower freight demand as it prepares for a “reset.”

UPS Teamsters authorize strike as contract talks enter final weeks

JOC Team | Jun 16, 2023, 4:14 PM EDT

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.
SurfaceTruckingTrucking laborSupply Chain

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

William B. Cassidy, Senior Editor | Jun 16, 2023, 3:19 PM EDT

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.
SurfaceTruckingLTLTrucking labor

Resilient US trucking revenues could slow capacity adjustments: analyst

Jason Miller, associate professor of logistics at Michigan State University, and JOC analyst | Jun 16, 2023, 10:33 AM EDT

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.

Teamsters asks Yellow workers for contract talk ‘priorities’

William B. Cassidy, Senior Editor | Jun 15, 2023, 12:43 PM EDT

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.
SurfaceTruckingLTLTrucking labor

Inefficiency, cost holding back UK domestic rail freight: shippers

Greg Knowler, Senior Editor Europe | Jun 15, 2023, 9:20 AM EDT

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.
RailInternational railIntermodal providers

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

William B. Cassidy, Senior Editor | Jun 14, 2023, 12:38 PM EDT

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. 
SurfaceTruckingTrucking labor

Temperature-controlled intermodal provider Tiger Cool closes: source

Ari Ashe, Senior Editor | Jun 14, 2023, 11:08 AM EDT

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 | Jun 14, 2023, 9:51 AM EDT

Flexible transactional pricing is helping ArcBest LTL subsidiary ABF Freight increase shipment volumes and attract new shippers despite reduced demand from core customers. 

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

Michael Angell, Associate Editor | Jun 13, 2023, 4:35 PM EDT

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 | Jun 9, 2023, 10:27 AM EDT

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.

Standoff between Yellow, Teamsters puts LTL shippers on alert

William B. Cassidy, Senior Editor | Jun 8, 2023, 3:06 PM EDT

Yellow claims its ability to “continue as a going concern” is being impaired by Teamster opposition to its restructuring.

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

Teri Errico Griffis | Jun 8, 2023, 10:19 AM EDT

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 regulationContainer shippingContainer linesSurfaceRailNorth-American rail

US truckload spot rates likely nearing bottom: analysts

Ari Ashe, Senior Editor | Jun 7, 2023, 2:52 PM EDT

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.

US importers still destocking, and delaying restocking in uncertain economy

William B. Cassidy, Senior Editor | Jun 7, 2023, 10:52 AM EDT

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 shippingNorth American portsTruckingIndustrial real estate

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

Teri Errico Griffis | Jun 6, 2023, 10:10 AM EDT

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.
SurfaceTruckingTruckloadSupply Chain

ILWU Canada threatens strike at Vancouver, Prince Rupert

Journal of Commerce staff | Jun 5, 2023, 5:39 PM EDT

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 shippingTrans-PacificPortsNorth American portsNorth-American rail

ATA urges Congress to reject Su as Labor chief

Teri Errico Griffis | Jun 2, 2023, 4:35 PM EDT

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 regulationSurfaceTrucking

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

Teri Errico Griffis | Jun 2, 2023, 1:30 PM EDT

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 regulationContainer shippingContainer linesSurfaceTrucking

Norfolk Southern eases free time, demurrage restrictions on ocean boxes

Ari Ashe, Senior Editor | May 31, 2023, 2:29 PM EDT

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.
RailNorth American portsIntermodal providersNorth-American rail

Large US truckload carriers reined in capacity in Q1: Journal of Commerce index 

William B. Cassidy, Senior Editor | May 31, 2023, 12:07 PM EDT

An index based on truck counts at large truckload carriers dropped nearly 5% in the first quarter from late 2022 as those carriers adjusted to a softer market and lower contract and spot rates.

New UP intermodal service from Houston to provide West Coast reach

Michael Angell, Associate Editor | May 30, 2023, 5:02 PM EDT

Union Pacific’s launch of direct intermodal service from Houston comes two weeks after competitor BNSF announced it would begin a new service from the port’s Barbours Cut marine terminal.
North-American railContainer shippingNorth American portsIntermodal providers

CPKC adds new reefer containers to Mexico-US service

Ari Ashe, Senior Editor | May 30, 2023, 1:06 PM EDT

Weeks after starting a new daily train between central Mexico and Chicago, CPKC is introducing 1,000 temperature-controlled containers to the service in a bid to court freight from reefer shippers.
North-American rail

US truckload market ‘bouncing’ along pricing bottom: analysts

William B. Cassidy, Senior Editor | May 30, 2023, 11:16 AM EDT

The long drop in truckload spot market rates has eased, revealing a soft bottom for pricing, but more demand is needed to fuel any upswing benefiting truckers, observers say.

Shippers hold onto intermodal boxes amid warehouse reshuffling: survey

Ari Ashe, Senior Editor | May 25, 2023, 3:49 PM EDT

As shippers scramble to shed unwanted inventory, more than 80% responding to a Journal of Commerce survey reported that they’ve kept 53-foot domestic containers for too long, incurring detention fees.
Intermodal providersNorth-American rail