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

The latest Surface News & Analysis

US truckload carriers look to fill revenue gaps as rates fall

William B. Cassidy, Senior Editor | Apr 17, 2023, 5:43 PM EDT

With contract rates down as much as 16 percent in March, producer price index data indicates truckload carriers are making more use of accessorial charges.

Container glut hurt J. B. Hunt, other intermodal providers in Q1

Ari Ashe, Senior Editor | Apr 17, 2023, 4:47 PM EDT

Intermodal providers began idling thousands of domestic containers when demand fell sharply in the first quarter, causing an equipment glut across the US.
North-American railIntermodal providers

Hapag-Lloyd files FMC complaint against CSX over rail demurrage fees

Eric Johnson, Senior Technology Editor | Apr 14, 2023, 12:13 PM EDT

Growing tension among shippers, ocean carriers, and logistics service providers over free time fees has ratcheted up with Hapag-Lloyd accusing subcontractor CSX of profiting from rail demurrage.
Transport, trade and regulationContainer shippingContainer linesRailNorth-American rail

Shipper-paid spot US truckload rates still dropping

William B. Cassidy, Senior Editor | Apr 13, 2023, 11:28 AM EDT

The market bottom remains untouched as the all-inclusive average spot rate paid by US truckload shippers fell again in March, declining in lockstep with other truckload pricing measures.

JOC Rankings: US trucking sector keeps breaking revenue records

William B. Cassidy, Senior Editor | Apr 12, 2023, 9:02 AM EDT

The 50 largest US trucking companies maintained a two-year double-digit growth streak and may add to that in 2023, despite a slower US economy.

Truckers entering US freight market keeping capacity abundant: DAT

William B. Cassidy, Senior Editor | Apr 11, 2023, 3:51 PM EDT

The number of for-hire trucking firms entering the US market is nearly as large as the number leaving on a monthly basis, which is helping to keep capacity loose despite the departures.

CPKC may spur growth in Mexican intermodal market: analyst

Larry Gross, president and founder, Gross Transportation Consulting; and JOC analyst | Apr 11, 2023, 12:35 PM EDT

Data shows there is significant room for growth in the Mexican intermodal market, something the joining of Canadian Pacific Railway and Kansas City Southern could help spur, writes analyst Larry Gross.
North-American railSurfaceIntermodal providers

US trucking market still seeking bottom, but a bounce is expected

William B. Cassidy, Senior Editor | Apr 10, 2023, 9:00 AM EDT

There is still room for spot rates to fall, but rates and freight demand are likely to turn later in the second half, analysts say. 

US trucking firms adding jobs ahead of expected freight demand

William B. Cassidy, Senior Editor | Apr 7, 2023, 4:02 PM EDT

In preparation for produce season and retail sales, for-hire trucking companies are adding to their payrolls for the first time since October, although warehousing employment is still declining.

Savannah to open Gate 4 at Garden City Terminal on Sundays: GPA

Teri Errico Griffis | Apr 7, 2023, 9:00 AM EDT

The move comes less than two months after GPA said it would stop offering evening truck hours at Savannah as volumes moving through the port have slowed significantly in recent months.
Marine terminalsNorth American portsTrucking

‘One FedEx’ seeks better balance between air, rail, trucking

William B. Cassidy, Senior Editor | Apr 5, 2023, 4:52 PM EDT

To reduce costs, FedEx’s system-wide network overhaul will create a stronger North American “ground-air” trucking network, including FedEx Freight, and increase its use of US intermodal rail, the company says.
SurfaceTruckingLTLIntermodal providersSupply Chain

Intermodal service improving, but UP lags competition: survey

Ari Ashe, Senior Editor | Apr 5, 2023, 9:08 AM EDT

While domestic intermodal service was better in the first quarter than the fourth quarter of 2022, Union Pacific grappled with weather challenges that caused it to fall behind its competitors in the eyes of shippers and intermodal marketing companies.
North-American rail

US regulators digging deeper into truck driver detention data

William B. Cassidy, Senior Editor | Apr 4, 2023, 11:51 AM EDT

As it studies truck driver detention, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration hopes data from electronic logging devices may help pinpoint solutions for drivers, carriers, and shippers.

NY-NJ gets rail grant as port seeks to grow intermodal franchise

Michael Angell, Associate Editor | Apr 3, 2023, 4:59 PM EDT

The Port of New York and New Jersey aims to complete a project in the next two years designed to speed the movement of intermodal trains as other ports along the East Coast jockey for discretionary cargo.
North American portsContainer shippingIntermodal providersNorth-American rail

Dispute over restructuring between Yellow, Teamsters gets more strident

William B. Cassidy, Senior Editor | Mar 31, 2023, 3:09 PM EDT

Yellow calls Teamster complaints about its restructuring plans baseless and inaccurate, and urges “serious discussion” as accusations escalate.

Cargo owners push for greater FMC regulation over rail storage fees

Teri Errico Griffis | Mar 31, 2023, 1:48 PM EDT

NSAC says it supports reasonable detention and demurrage practices, but wants to correct “abuse” of the system by regulating that rail operators directly invoice ocean carriers for storage, not importers.
Transport, trade and regulationContainer shippingContainer linesNorth-American rail

Forwarders raked in record revenues in 2022 despite H2 demand collapse

Eric Johnson, Senior Technology Editor | Mar 31, 2023, 9:00 AM EDT

Historic highs in global freight volumes and rates in the first half of last year helped insulate third-party logistics providers (3PLs) from a market collapse in the second half.
ForwardingContainer shippingTruck brokersAir cargo forwarding

Record profit for DB Schenker lifts parent group into black

Greg Knowler, Senior Editor Europe | Mar 30, 2023, 1:53 PM EDT

Despite being prepared for divestiture, the performance of global forwarder DB Schenker is the only reason Deutsche Bahn group is profitable at present.
ForwardingAsia-EuropeInternational railIntermodal providers

Targets for Europe’s modal shift not feasible: rail freight sector

Greg Knowler, Senior Editor Europe | Mar 30, 2023, 10:01 AM EDT

Far greater ambition will be required by European Commission policy makers if targets to double the market share of rail freight by 2050 are to be achieved, according to rail freight operators.
SurfaceTruckingInternational rail

Teamsters taking more hardline approach toward LTL trucking employers

William B. Cassidy, Senior Editor | Mar 29, 2023, 5:09 PM EDT

The Teamsters union promises a tougher approach in contract talks with ABF Freight and TForce Freight, and is opposing major network changes proposed by Yellow, its largest freight employer.

Canadian National to boost transloading with new Calgary facility

Ari Ashe, Senior Editor | Mar 29, 2023, 2:12 PM EDT

The project is the latest in a series of steps to address the imbalance between domestic and international intermodal volumes in Canada.
North-American rail

US outlook for second-half rebound of Asia imports darkens

Mark Szakonyi, Executive Editor | Mar 29, 2023, 11:37 AM EDT

US big-box retailers are receiving fewer imports while inventories remain elevated and US consumer confidence teeters, boding poorly for a significant second-half rebound in Asia container imports, writes JOC Executive Mark Szakonyi.
Trans-PacificContainer shippingContainer linesForwardingMarine terminalsNorth American portsTrucking

German strikes over pay dispute cripple transportation network

Greg Knowler, Senior Editor Europe | Mar 27, 2023, 11:36 AM EDT

German unions demanding inflation-busting wage increases walked off the job Monday, bringing the country’s transport system to a halt.
SurfaceForwardingRailInternational railAirportsAir cargo forwardingTransport, trade and regulation

UP shippers facing delays on key Chicago-LA corridor

Ari Ashe, Senior Editor | Mar 24, 2023, 9:56 AM EDT

Intermodal providers say they are struggling to bring 53-foot containers into UP’s terminals in Chicago and nearby Joliet, causing delays of several days to move cargo to the West Coast.
Intermodal providersNorth-American rail

Knight-Swift to buy truckload carrier U.S. Xpress for $808 million 

William B. Cassidy, Senior Editor | Mar 21, 2023, 12:54 PM EDT

Knight-Swift, the largest US truckload provider, will substantially expand its reach and scalability for shippers with the purchase of U.S. Xpress, the country’s ninth-largest truckload carrier.

FedEx Freight cuts costs but improves profit as US LTL volumes shrink

William B. Cassidy, Senior Editor | Mar 20, 2023, 4:58 PM EDT

With ‘every dollar under scrutiny,’ FedEx Freight is squeezing its trucking division, gaining financial improvements that better position the carrier for the next economic rebound. 

CP-KCS could benefit from rising tide of cross-border freight from Mexico

William B. Cassidy, Senior Editor | Mar 16, 2023, 4:43 PM EDT

The combined railroad has an opportunity to divert more than 64,000 truck shipments to intermodal rail, according to S&P Global, but that’s only the crest of a wave of US imports from Mexico. 
SurfaceTruckingRailInternational railIntermodal providers

Shipwell arms ‘underserved’ smaller shippers with automated bidding tool

Eric Johnson, Senior Technology Editor | Mar 16, 2023, 6:00 AM EDT

Shippers that often use spreadsheets and small transportation teams to bid and execute freight shipments are the target of a new software tool from technology provider Shipwell.
Logistics technologyTruckingTruckloadLTLTruck brokers

US truckload rates drop sharply in February, but not LTL pricing: PPIs

William B. Cassidy, Senior Editor | Mar 15, 2023, 4:13 PM EDT

Trucking is a tale of two sectors in early 2023, with truckload carriers making more significant contract rate concessions than less-than-truckload companies, according to the US producer price index.

US regulators approve CP-KCS merger to form first US-Canada-Mexico rail

Ari Ashe, Senior Editor | Mar 15, 2023, 2:31 PM EDT

In approving the $31 billion merger, the Surface Transportation Board rejected arguments from the FMC and competing railroads that the deal would harm US ports and shippers.
North-American railNorth American portsSurfaceTransport, trade and regulation

US trucking, warehousing firms shed jobs, but still have more than a year ago

William B. Cassidy, Senior Editor | Mar 14, 2023, 12:35 PM EDT

Most of the transportation job losses reported for February were due to seasonal cuts rather than economic contraction, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Supply ChainSurfaceTruckingLast mile

US chassis market nearing ‘equilibrium’ after disruptive shortages

Ari Ashe, Senior Editor | Mar 13, 2023, 1:37 PM EDT

Chassis providers believe the equipment shortages that bogged down inland supply chains in 2021 and 2022 will soon no longer be an issue for shippers, allowing the industry to return to a more typical supply/demand balance.
Container shippingTruckingIntermodal providers

Intermodal share data point to opportunities: analyst

Larry Gross, president and founder, Gross Transportation Consulting; and JOC analyst | Mar 13, 2023, 11:05 AM EDT

It stands to reason that the more miles one spends on low-cost rail, the better the comparative economics versus truck should be, but that’s not what happens in the real world, writes analyst Larry Gross.
SurfaceTruckingIntermodal providersNorth-American rail

OCEMA appeals chassis ruling to FMC commissioners

Ari Ashe, Senior Editor | Mar 10, 2023, 3:49 PM EST

The Ocean Carrier Equipment Management Association says the FMC’s chief administrative judge erred in issuing a summary judgement against the group because key facts are still in dispute.
Transport, trade and regulationContainer linesNorth American portsTrucking

Drayage tech provider PortPro targeting shippers with new tracking tools

Eric Johnson, Senior Technology Editor | Mar 10, 2023, 2:05 PM EST

Drayage software vendor PortPro is attempting to narrow the gap between the tools that port truckers and their shipper customers use with a new container milestone tracking product it has launched.
Logistics technologyNorth American portsDrayageTrucking

New NS Norfolk-Memphis service aims to grab East Coast cargo shift

Ari Ashe, Senior Editor | Mar 9, 2023, 3:40 PM EST

Norfolk Southern and the Port of Virginia are not only targeting importers using trans-Atlantic services from Europe and Asia, but also exporters moving goods through Memphis, such as the cotton industry.
North American portsTrans-PacificTrans-AtlanticNorth-American rail

Shippers committed to digital investments in logistics: S&P Global

Eric Johnson, Senior Technology Editor | Mar 9, 2023, 12:53 PM EST

Shippers are showing “healthy adoption” of a wide variety of digital transformation projects, according to new research from S&P Global Market Intelligence.
Logistics technologyContainer shippingPortsTruckingSupply Chain

Southern California volume declines cause truck, rail rates to plunge

Ari Ashe, Senior Editor | Mar 8, 2023, 12:23 PM EST

Trucking and intermodal providers are offering discounts to secure freight in Southern California, where volumes are declining as imports from Asia fall.
SurfaceTrans-PacificNorth American portsTruckingIntermodal providers

Maersk shifts detention billing to consignees ahead of FMC regulation

Eric Johnson, Senior Technology Editor | Mar 8, 2023, 9:50 AM EST

The move by the carrier comes as the FMC is in the midst of a rulemaking process around detention and demurrage billing mandated by the passage of the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2022 last June.
DrayageContainer shippingContainer linesNorth American portsTruckingTransport, trade and regulation

Trucker group opposes Biden’s labor secretary pick over AB5 support

Teri Errico Griffis | Mar 7, 2023, 12:34 PM EST

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association says Julie Su’s support of AB5 while California’s labor secretary showed a lack of understanding of the owner-operator trucking model.