ATA Truck Tonnage Index Increased 0.4% in December

American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index rose 0.4% in December after decreasing 2.5% in November. In December, the index equaled 115.2 (2015=100) versus 114.8 in November. “Despite the small gain in December, for-hire truck tonnage clearly decelerated during the final quarter in 2022,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “In fact, tonnage outperformed some other key metrics that drive truck freight, like housing starts and factory output during the final month of the year. This is probably because contract truckload freight is still outperforming the spot market and less-than-truckload freight after underperforming both of those sectors in 2021.” For all of 2022, tonnage was up 3.4%, which was the best annual gain since 2018.
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Container ports get a break as pandemic surge ends (chainstoreage.com)

Import patterns appear to be returning to normal pre-pandemic levels amid a slowdown in cargo. With a pandemic-driven surge finally over, monthly import cargo volume at the nation’s major container ports has fallen below the 2 million TEU mark and should remain there through most of this spring, according to the Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates. “After nearly three years of COVID-19’s impact on global trade and consumer demand, import patterns appear to be returning to what was normal prior to 2020,” Hackett Associates founder Ben Hackett said. “Nonetheless, as inflation eases and consumer spending returns, we project that growth will slowly return going into the second half of the year.”
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FedEx Corp. Reports Second Quarter Results

Second quarter results were constrained by continued demand weakness, particularly at FedEx Express. FedEx Express operating income declined 64% year-over-year due to lower global volumes, partially offset by an 8% package yield increase. FedEx Express implemented previously planned and incremental cost reduction actions during the quarter to mitigate the impact of volume declines, including structural air network changes and the temporary parking of aircraft. FedEx Ground operating income increased 24% year-over-year, due primarily to a 13% yield increase and cost reduction actions. These factors were partially offset by increased purchased transportation rates, lower package volume, and higher other operating expenses. FedEx Freight operating income increased 32% year-over-year, driven by an 18% yield increase. This was partially offset by higher salaries and employee benefits and decreased shipments. Second quarter fiscal 2022 net income included a pre-tax, noncash MTM net loss of $260 million ($195 million, net of tax, or $0.73 per diluted share) related to the termination of a TNT Express European pension plan and a curtailment charge related to the U.S. FedEx Freight pension plan.
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ATA Truck Tonnage Index Decreased 2.5% in November

American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index decreased 2.5% in November after slipping 1.2% in October. In November, the index equaled 114.7 (2015=100) versus 117.6 in October. “For-hire truck tonnage saw the largest single monthly decrease in November since the start of the pandemic and a total drop of 3.7% in October and November,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “The decreases match anecdotal reports of a soft fall freight season as well as a slowing goods-economy generally. Housing-related freight is particularly weak.”
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ATA Truck Tonnage Index Slipped 2.3% in October

American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index decreased 2.3% in October after rising 0.8% in September. In October, the index equaled 116.3 (2015=100) versus 119.1 in September. "For-hire truck tonnage saw the largest single monthly decrease in October since the start of the pandemic,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “The decrease fits with the anecdotal reports of a muted fall freight season. It also coincides with a slowing economy. Housing is a weak spot in freight in addition to a slowing in personal consumption of goods. While factory related freight is holding up better than other areas, it is also decelerating.” Compared with October 2021, the SA index increased 2.8%, which was the fourteenth straight year-over-year gain, but the smallest gain since April. In September, the index was up 5.7% from a year earlier. Year-to-date through October, compared with the same period in 2021, tonnage was up 3.9%.
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Another rail union OKs deal, raising hope of averting strike (chicagotribune.com)

Another one of the 12 railroad unions narrowly approved its deal with the major freight railroads Saturday, offering some hope that the contract dispute might be resolved without a strike even though two other unions rejected their agreements last month. Now that 52% of International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers members who voted approved their deal, seven railroad unions have ratified contracts that include 24% raises and $5,000 in bonuses, but all 12 have to approve contracts to prevent a strike.
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Chance of railroad strike high after rejection (chicagotribune.com)

The major freight railroads appear unwilling to give track maintenance workers much more than they received in the initial contract they rejected last week, increasing the chances of a strike. The railroads took the unusual step of issuing a statement late Wednesday rejecting the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes Division union’s latest request to add paid sick time on top of the 24% raises and $5,000 in bonuses they received in the first five-year deal. Union Pacific CEO Lance Fritz said Thursday that he thinks the main reason the BMWED rejected its initial contract last week was that the details of improved expense reimbursement in the deal were still being negotiated at Union Pacific while workers were voting. So it wasn’t clear exactly what those workers would receive for their travel expenses when they go on the road to repair tracks. Six of the 12 railroad unions that represent 115,000 workers nationwide have approved their tentative agreements with the railroads so far, but all of them have to ratify their contracts to avoid a strike.
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ATA Truck Tonnage Index Rose 0.5% in September

American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index increased 0.5% in September after rising 2.1% in August. In September, the index equaled 118.8 (2015=100) versus 118.2 in August. “The latest gain put tonnage at the highest level since August 2019 and the third highest level on record,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “This is another example of how the contract freight market remains strong despite weakness in the spot market this year. During the third quarter, tonnage increased 0.5% over the second quarter while increasing 5.6% over the same period in 2021. That was the largest quarterly year-over-year increase since the second quarter of 2018.” Compared with September 2021, the SA index increased 5.5%, which was the thirteenth straight year-over-year gain. In August, the index was up 6.7% from a year earlier. Year-to-date through September, compared with the same period in 2021, tonnage was up 4%.
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ATA Cheers USDOT Commitment to Expanding Truck Parking Capacity Nationwide

The American Trucking Associations thanked the U.S. Department of Transportation for its commitment to expanding the nation’s truck parking capacity. In a letter to ATA President and CEO Chris Spear, U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg pledged the Administration’s support for increasing the availability of safe parking options for America’s professional truck drivers through its Trucking Action Plan, grant funding under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and increased coordination with state departments of transportation and the trucking industry.
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ATA Truck Tonnage Index Increased 2.8% in August

American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index rose 2.8% in August after decreasing 1.5% in July. In August, the index equaled 119 (2015=100) versus 115.8 in July. “Tonnage snapped back in August after a weaker than expected July,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “With the economy in transition to slower growth and changing consumer patterns, we may see more volatility in the months ahead. But the good news is that we continue to witness areas of freight growth in consumer spending and manufacturing, which is helping to offset the weakness in new home construction.”
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ATA Truck Tonnage Index Decreased 1.1% in July

American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index fell 1.1% in July after rising 0.5% in June. In July, the index equaled 116.2 (2015=100) versus 117.5 in June. “Tonnage declined sequentially in July for only the second time during the last twelve months. Despite the dip from June, tonnage remains at elevated levels and increased significantly from a year earlier,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “While tonnage is much stronger than a year ago, the monthly gains have moderated as the year has gone on. The combination of softer consumption of goods, home construction falling and slower manufacturing activity are the main reasons.” June’s increase was revised down from our July 19 press release. Compared with July 2021, the SA index increased 5.1%, which was the eleventh straight year-over-year gain. In June, the index was up 5.6% from a year earlier. Year-to-date, compared with the same period in 2021, tonnage was up 3.4%.
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ATA Truck Tonnage Index Increased 2.7% in June

American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index increased 2.7% in June after rising 0.3% in May. In June, the index equaled 120.1 (2015=100) versus 116.9 in May. “June’s jump tells me a couple of things: first, the transition in the freight market from spot back to contract continues. ATA’s tonnage index is dominated by contract freight, so while the spot market has slowed as freight softens, contract carriers are backfilling those losses with loads from shippers reducing spot market exposure," said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. "Essentially, the market is transitioning back to pre-pandemic shares of contract versus spot market. “Second, and perhaps equally important, while economic growth is expected to be soft overall in the second quarter, the goods-economy wasn’t as bad as feared," he said. May’s increase was revised down from our June 21 press release.
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FedEx Presents “Deliver Today, Innovate for Tomorrow” Strategy

“The FedEx team and its unparalleled network have been connecting the world and creating opportunities since our founding,” Subramaniam said. “As we enter the next phase of FedEx, we will unlock value from this foundation to deliver outstanding returns to all of our stakeholders. Our strategy is focused on driving yields, expanding margins, and elevating returns through profitable growth and capital efficiency. We have tremendous momentum and a committed leadership team focused on delivering today, while innovating for tomorrow.” The FedEx executive leadership team will discuss its strategy and detailed plans to Deliver Today, Innovate for Tomorrow during today’s investors day. The plans will guide the company’s short- and long-term priorities to maximize value for customers, stockholders, and team members. The leadership team will also outline how FedEx is Innovating for Tomorrow by: *Enabling intelligent supply chains by leveraging its technology, data, and digital capabilities *Leading through its continued commitment to sustainability *Reinventing work and empowering people
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ATA Truck Tonnage Index Rose 0.5% in May

American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index increased 0.5% in May after falling 1.4% in April. In May, the index equaled 117.1 (2015=100) versus 116.5 in April. “The transition in the freight market continued in May with the index hitting the second highest level since the pandemic started. Specifically on the market transition, ATA’s tonnage index is dominated by contract freight. The traditional spot market has slowed as freight softens, but these contract carriers are backfilling any losses in freight with loads from shippers that is reducing spot market exposure,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “Essentially the market is transitioning back to pre-pandemic shares of contract versus spot market. “Overall, economic indicators that are important to trucking slowed in May, including retail sales, housing starts, and manufacturing output,” he said. Compared with May 2021, the SA index increased 3.7%, which was the ninth straight year-over-year gain and the largest since April 2021. In April, the index was up 2.5% from a year earlier. In 2022, year-to-date and compared with same period in 2021, tonnage was up 2.7%.
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Self-Driving Trucks to Deliver Georgia-Pacific Consumer Products in Dallas area

Georgia-Pacific has agreed to partner with self-driving vehicle startup Gatik and KBX Logistics, the transportation arm for Koch Industries, to deliver its consumer products to more than 30 Sam’s Club locations in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. The collaboration involves moving Georgia-Pacific shipments from point to point on predefined short-haul routes using an autonomous vehicle fleet with 26-foot boxes. The trucks will deliver goods 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and are expected to travel up to three hundred miles daily. “We are looking forward to testing this transformational technology to deliver Georgia-Pacific brands like Quilted Northern® bath tissue and Dixie® products to Sam’s Clubs,” said Hayes Shimp, vice president of sales for Georgia-Pacific. “Once proven, we believe autonomous deliveries will enable us to remove cost and complexity from the supply chain to better serve our partner, Sam’s Club, and their members.” The operation involves Class 6 vehicles, which are significantly smaller than the Class 8 trucks that currently manage the deliveries. “Our partnership with Georgia-Pacific and KBX Logistics is poised to transform regional distribution architecture that has traditionally relied on class 8 platforms,” said Gautam Narang, CEO, and co-founder, of Gatik.
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Workers want raises. Shippers want robots. The supply chain hinges on reaching a deal (latimes.com)

The immediate future of the global supply chain rests on a bargaining table in San Francisco, where the union representing all West Coast dockworkers is hashing out a new contract with the assembled bosses of maritime shipping. The current contract, which covers the International Longshore and Warehouse Union’s more than 22,000 workers at the 29 ports dotting the Pacific coast of the U.S., is set to expire July 1. At stake is the continuing flow of goods into the country, after two years of disruptions to the supply chain from pandemic lockdowns, material shortages, soaring fuel prices and the occasional giant ship getting stuck in the Suez Canal. Forty percent of all U.S. maritime imports pass through the West Coast ports, with more than 30% of all containerized imports arriving at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, which together make up the nation’s largest port complex.
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Diesel: It’s in the price of everything.

When the price of diesel goes up, the cost of everything else follows. Peak travel season is upon us and gasoline prices continue to soar. Americans are rightfully concerned as the cost of filling up their tank keeps going up at the pump. And while most may not pay as much thought to the price of diesel, the reality is that number weighs even heavier on their pocketbooks. Virtually every good you can think of travels by truck before it’s in your reach. And today’s trucks, by and large, run on diesel. The price of diesel is baked into the price of everything else, gasoline included. Right now, motor carriers are getting slammed by nightmarish surges in the price of diesel. It’s especially hard on smaller fleets, which don’t operate at a scale to negotiate rates down or lock prices into a contract. These small businesses account for 97% of trucking companies in the U.S., running 20 trucks or fewer.
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ATA Truck Tonnage Index Fell 2% in April

American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index decreased 2% in April after rising 1.8% in March. In April, the index equaled 115.8 (2015=100) versus 118.2 in March. “After eight straight gains totaling 6.9%, for-hire tonnage finally slid back in April. Despite being the largest sequential drop since August 2020, the index was still above where it started in 2022 and a year earlier,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “It is important to note that ATA’s for-hire tonnage data is dominated by contract freight with minimal amounts of spot market loads. The spot market has softened more than for-hire contract freight, as the market transitions back to pre-pandemic shares of contract versus spot market," Costello said.
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ATA Truck Tonnage Index Jumped 2.4% in March

American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index increased 2.4% in March after rising 0.7% in February. In March, the index equaled 118.8 (2015=100) versus 116.1 in February. “It is important to note that ATA’s for-hire tonnage data is dominated by contract freight with minimal amounts of spot market loads,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “And clearly contract freight was solid in March, witnessing the largest sequential gain since May 2020. March was also the eighth straight month-to-month improvement, with a total increase of 7.4% over that period. “During the first quarter, the index rose 2.4% from the final quarter of 2021 and increased 2.6% from a year earlier. While there might be some recent softness in the spot market, for-hire contract freight tonnage remains solid and is only limited by lack of capacity—both drivers and equipment—at contract fleets.”
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ATA Touts Trucking Apprenticeships at White House

American Trucking Associations joined an event at the White House highlighting new public-private initiatives designed to grow the trucking industry’s workforce and bolster the U.S. supply chain. Nine professional truck drivers and nearly two dozen CEOs from ATA-member companies were in attendance. ATA President and CEO Chris Spear issued the following statement prior to the event: “Investing in our workforce never stops. It’s a constant. Our industry needs an additional 80,000 commercial truck drivers if we’re to meet consumer demand. We welcome the support of all elected officials as we recruit and train more talent into this critical industry. Recognizing our dedication to training and safety, the Departments of Labor and Transportation have worked quickly and efficiently in approving ATA as a registered apprenticeship sponsor. This long-sought designation provides our member companies valuable new tools and resources to help recruit and train the next generation of trucking talent."
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Washington Sets its Sights on Ocean Shipping

A silver lining in the global economy's post-pandemic supply-chain challenges has been policymakers' heightened attention to long-term issues hampering our domestic freight transportation networks. While shuttered Asian factories, chip shortages and other emerging chokepoints are newer problems particular to COVID-19 shutdowns, they’ve shed light on broader, systemic issues that have long impacted American trucking companies and their ability to keep the supply chain turning. Many of those issues emanate from our maritime ports, where abusive business practices by a cartel of foreign-owned ocean shipping companies have fleeced American trucking companies and U.S. consumers to the tune of billions of dollars. Fortunately, both Congress and the Biden Administration are aligned on the goal of increasing marketplace fairness in our ports and eliminating anti-competitive behavior that's enabled ocean carriers to reap record profits at the expense of truckers and consumers.
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ATA Truck Tonnage Index Unchanged in February

American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index was unchanged in February after increasing 0.4% in January. In February, the index equaled 115.3 (2015=100) the same as January. “February was the first month that the index didn’t increase since July,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “Despite a string of gains, the index is still off 1.8% from March 2020. The index is also off 4.2% from the all-time high in August 2019. It is important to note that ATA’s data is dominated by contract freight, not spot market. “Demand for trucking freight services remains strong, but for-hire contract carriers are capacity constrained due to the driver and equipment markets. The spot market has been surging as these carriers can’t haul all of the freight they are asked to move,” he said. “So the fact that the tonnage index hasn’t fully recovered is a supply problem, not a lack of demand. Other ATA data shows that for-hire carriers are operating around 7% fewer trucks, both company and independent contractor equipment, than prior to the pandemic.”
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Canadian Pacific and TCRC-T&E reach agreement to enter into binding arbitration and return to work Tuesday

Canadian Pacific Railway Limited announced that it has reached agreement with the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC) – Train and Engine Negotiating Committee to enter into binding arbitration. “CP is pleased to have reached agreement with the TCRC Negotiating Committee to enter into binding arbitration and end this work stoppage,” said CP President and CEO Keith Creel. “This agreement enables us to return to work effective noon Tuesday local time to resume our essential services for our customers and the North American supply chain.”
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ATA Truck Tonnage Index Increased 0.6% in January

American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index rose 0.6% in January after increasing 0.9% in December. In January, the index equaled 115.5 (2015=100) compared with 114.9 in December. ATA recently revised the seasonally adjusted index back five years as part of its annual revision. “January’s gain was the sixth straight totaling 4.4%,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “The index, which is dominated by contract freight with only small amounts of spot market truck freight, is off 3.9% from the all-time high in August 2019 and only 1.5% below March 2020 when the pandemic hit. In January, truck tonnage was helped by rising retail sales and factory output. While housing starts fell last month, which is another important driver of truck tonnage, it remained at high levels.”
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ATA Truck Tonnage Index Increased 1% in December

American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index increased 1% in December after rising 0.5% in November. In December, the index equaled 114.7 (2015=100) compared with 113.5 in November. “December’s gain was the fifth straight totaling 4.4%,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “In December, tonnage reached the highest level since March, but it was still 2.7% below the pre-pandemic high. This is likely due to the fact ATA’s data is dominated by contract freight. Contractor truckload carriers operated fewer trucks in 2021 compared with 2020 and it is difficult to haul significantly more tonnage with fewer trucks. But overall, we have seen a nice trend up that is reflective of a still growing goods-economy.” November’s reading was revised down from our December 21 press release.
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ATA Truck Tonnage Index Increased 1.3% in November

American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index increased 1.3% in November after rising 0.4% in October. In November, the index equaled 114.5 (2015=100) compared with 113 in October. “November’s gain was the fourth straight, totaling 4.3%, and the tonnage level was the highest since April,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “The recent streak is very good, but it should be noted that from April through July the index fell a total of 4.6%, so we are not quite back to where we were last spring. "With that said, the index saw the largest gain from a year earlier since May. In November, strong factory output and housing starts helped push the index higher," he said.
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ATA Truck Tonnage Index Increased 0.4% in October

American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index increased 0.4% in October after rising 2.2% in September. In October, the index equaled 113 (2015=100) compared with 112.6 in September. “October’s gain was the third straight totaling 2.9%,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “The combination of solid retail sales, inventory rebuilding, and generally higher factory output offset some areas of softer freight growth, like home construction, in October. “Economic growth remains on solid footing, which is good for truck freight volumes going forward. The largest problem for the industry isn’t the amount of demand, but making sure we have adequate supply. It is good to see that fleets were able to haul more tonnage in recent months in the face of constrained supply,” he said. September’s reading was revised down slightly to 2.2% from our October 19 press release.
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Truck driver shortage hits all-time high — could double by 2030 (chainstoreage.com)

A shortage of truck drivers is a big part of the country’s supply chain problems. The trucking industry is short 80,000 drivers, an all-time high for the industry, according to the American Trucking Associations. The shortage, which existed pre-pandemic but has grown worse since then, comes at a critical time in the retail supply chain cycle, with U.S. ports backlogged just before the start of the holiday shopping season. Truck drivers move 71% of the US economy's goods,. “Since we last released an estimate of the shortage, there has been tremendous pressure on the driver pool,” said Bob Costello, chief economist, ATA. “Increased demand for freight, pandemic-related challenges from early retirements, closed driving schools and DMVs, and other pressures are really pushing up demand for drives and subsequently the shortage." The outlook for the next few years doesn’t offer much hope. Based on driver demographic trends, including gender and age, as well as expected freight growth the shortage could surpass 160,000 in 2030.
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ATA Truck Tonnage Index Increased 2.4% in September

American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index increased 2.4% in September after rising 0.3% in August. In September, the index equaled 112.9 (2015=100) compared with 110.2 in August. “September’s sequential gain was the largest in 2021,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “It is good that tonnage rose in September, but it is important to note that this is happening because each truck is hauling more, not from an increase in the amount of equipment operated as contract carriers in the for-hire truckload market continue to shrink from the lack of new trucks and drivers. “The drivers of truck freight, including retail, construction, and manufacturing, plus a surge in imports, are helping keep demand high for trucking services,” he said.
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ATA Truck Tonnage Index Rose 0.5% in August

American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index increased 0.5% in August after falling 1.1% in July. In August, the index equaled 110.3 (2015=100) compared with 109.8 in July. “August’s monthly gain, while small, was the first since March,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “It is important to remember that ATA’s tonnage data is dominated by for-hire contract freight, with a very limited amount of spot market freight. I continue to believe that tonnage has not recovered to pre-pandemic levels for two main reasons - broader supply chain issues, like semiconductor shortages, as well as industry specific difficulties, including the driver shortage and lack of equipment. “Despite some supply chain issues, demand remains strong for trucking services generally. Truckload carriers are operating fewer trucks than a year earlier, which makes it difficult to increase freight volumes significantly,” he said.
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ATA, Trucking Industry Kick Off 2021 National Truck Driver Appreciation Week

American Trucking Associations and the entire trucking industry began a weeklong celebration of the 3.6 million professional truck drivers who deliver America’s freight safely and securely every day. ”This week is a time to remind the public of the debt of gratitude owed to these unsung heroes,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “At a time when confidence in our national institutions sits at a low, and crises of leadership have seemingly become the norm, I’m pressed to find a group of Americans more deserving of our appreciation and respect.” National Truck Driver Appreciation Week, September 12-18, provides the trucking industry an opportunity to formally recognize the efforts of professional truck drivers. State trucking associations, industry suppliers, law enforcement, and motor carriers of all sizes from coast to coast are set to host appreciation events for the men and women who safely deliver 72.5% of the country's total freight tonnage.
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ATA Truck Tonnage Index Decreased 1.2% in July

American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index decreased 1.2% in July after falling 2% in June. In July, the index equaled 109.8 (2015=100) compared with 111.1 in June. “Softness in tonnage over the last few months is due more to supply constraints, rather than a big drop in freight volumes,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “Not only are there broader supply chain issues, like semiconductors, holding tonnage back, but there are also industry specific difficulties, including the driver shortage and lack of equipment. For-hire truckload carriers are operating fewer trucks than a year earlier. It is difficult to haul significantly more freight with fewer trucks and drivers. “In addition to these supply issues, retail sales and housing starts, both large drivers of truck freight, retreated in July, although both rose on a year-over-year basis,” he said. June’s reading was revised down to -2% from our July 20 press release. Compared with July 2020, the SA index fell 2.9%, which was the first year-over-year drop since March. In June, the index was flat from a year earlier. Year-to-date, compared with the same seven months in 2020, tonnage is down 0.2%.
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UPS Rate Change Information

Effective August 16, 2021, the Fuel Surcharge table for U.S. UPS Ground services will change. Details on these changes can be found here. The UPS Ground Fuel Surcharge will continue to be based on based on the National U.S. Average on Highway Diesel Fuel Price and adjusted weekly. Changes to U.S. UPS Ground Fuel Surcharge tables will also be reflected on our Fuel Surcharge webpage beginning August 12, 2021. details at: https://www.ups.com/us/en/shipping/surcharges/fuel-surcharges.page?
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Bipartisan bill would help modernize nation’s truck fleet by repealing 12% excise tax on new tractor-trailers (trucking.org)

The American Trucking Associations praised the introduction of the Modern, Clean, and Safe Trucks Act of 2021 by Senators Todd Young (R-Indiana) and Ben Cardin (D-Maryland). The bipartisan legislation would repeal the 12% federal excise tax on heavy-duty trucks, which currently adds approximately $22,000 to the cost of a new tractor-trailer. “The federal excise tax on heavy trucks is a relic from the First World War that’s now serving to keep cleaner, safer trucks off of our nation’s roads today,” said Chris Spear, president and CEO of American Trucking Associations. “By repealing this antiquated tax, Congress can deliver a win for the environment, highway safety, manufacturing jobs and supply-chain efficiency. We thank Senators Young and Cardin for their bipartisan leadership in advancing a common-sense solution to the benefit of American truckers and the motoring public.” Although technological advances have made the latest tractor-trailers cleaner and safer than ever before, the FET creates a disincentive for motor carriers to modernize their fleets by placing a punitive surcharge on investments in new equipment. As a result, the average age of a truck on the road today is nearly ten years old.
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ATA Truck Tonnage Index Decreased 1.5% in June

American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index decreased 1.5% in June after falling 1% in May. In June, the index equaled 111.6 (2015=100) compared with 113.3 in May. “Tonnage has definitely flattened out, on average, over the last six to nine months,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “The good news is that it remains slightly above 2020 levels. “Supply chain issues are likely putting some downward pressure on tonnage,” he said. “But it is also likely that tonnage isn’t growing as much as it could because of industry-specific supply constraints. This index is dominated by contract freight, and the for-hire truckload carriers have seen their tractor counts fall because they are having difficulty finding qualified drivers. It is difficult to move more tonnage with less equipment, which is why we are seeing strong volumes in the spot market as shippers scramble to get loads moved.”
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ATA Truck Tonnage Index Decreased 0.7% in May

American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index decreased 0.7% in May after falling 0.6% in April. In May, the index equaled 113.7 (2015=100) compared with 114.5 in April. “Tonnage, despite falling slightly over the last two months, remains well above the lows of last year,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “This is no small deal considering that truck tonnage fell significantly less than many other indicators during the depths of the pandemic in the spring of 2020. “One freight segment that is helping tonnage is gasoline as demand for travel, both commuting and vacation related, picks up,” he said. “I’m also expecting retail freight to remain robust as inventories are at historic lows. As retail stocks are rebuilt, it will boost freight. As has been the case for some time, trucking’s biggest challenges are not on the demand side, but on the supply side, including difficulty finding qualified drivers.”
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FedEx Announces New Surcharge Increases Starting in June (mytotalretail.com)

FedEx will increase three peak surcharges on Express and Ground shipments beginning June 21, the carrier announced in an update Friday. Increased surcharges include Peak - Residential Delivery Charge for FedEx Express and FedEx Ground domestic; Peak Surcharges on U.S. Express Package Services, U.S. Ground Services and International Ground Services; and a Peak Surcharge on FedEx Ground Economy Package Service, all with effective dates of June 21, 2021, until further notice. Total Retail's Take: Shipping carriers continue to increase rates under the strain of large shipment volumes during the COVID-19 pandemic. The announcement from FedEx states that the impact of the virus continues to generate elevated volumes, high demand for capacity, and increased operating costs across its carrier network. The surcharge on residential shipping will have the biggest effect on e-commerce, which will see online retailers hit with a 100 percent increase from $0.30 to $0.60 per package. Trevor Outman, co-CEO at Shipware, noted that "this will have a direct impact on all direct-to-consumer e-commerce businesses; doubling their current residential surcharge costs."
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UPM Energy Beyond Spot energy optimisation service answers to the growing need for power flexibility

UPM Energy answers to the urgent need for power flexibility with a revolutionary energy optimisation and trading service, Beyond Spot, helping industrial businesses thrive in the energy market disruption. The service helps industrial companies solve the most common pain points of energy management: energy cost optimisation and risk management. At the same time, it answers the growing need for flexible power to balance the power grid due to the fast increase in the supply of renewable energy. The energy market is in the middle of disruption. Tightening climate goals push countries to shift towards renewable energy, which pushes the power prices down and shakes up the market dynamics. The increase in renewable energy creates dramatic fluctuations in energy supply, posing significant financial risks for large energy consumers and causing new challenges for electricity grids. In order to cope with the volatile renewable energy supply, investments in electricity grids are required, but part of the solution lies in more efficient use of flexible consumption assets through energy optimisation. Regulators and transmission system operators also aim for better balancing of supply and demand with the help of new regulation such as the fifteen-minute imbalance settlement coming in 2023 in the Nordics.
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ATA Truck Tonnage Index Decreased 0.3% in April

American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index decreased 0.3% in April after increasing 2.3% in March. In April, the index equaled 114.7 (2015=100) compared with 115.1 in March. “After a revised increase in March of 2.3%, the April index declined just slightly,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “The outlook is solid for tonnage going forward as the country approaches pre-pandemic levels of activity, with strong economic growth in key areas for trucking – including retail, home construction and even manufacturing. “Additionally, the index increased on a year-over-year basis for the first time since March 2020. Part of the reason for the gain was due to an easy comparison with when the index fell significantly in April 2020,” he said. “But I’m expecting increases, albeit smaller than April’s, on a year-over-year basis going forward. Trucking’s biggest challenges are not on the demand side, but on the supply side, including difficulty finding qualified drivers.”
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UPS Peak Surcharge Update 4-9-2021

UPS continues to provide essential service amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak to support the needs of our customers. Our goal is to ensure businesses and customers are able to meet their shipping needs while demand has increased for shipping services. One or more Peak Surcharges will apply to packages shipped during the specified Peak Periods for the origins, destinations, and service levels and in the amounts set forth below. Peak Surcharges apply in addition to all other applicable Charges. Peak Surcharges are subject to change and Peak Periods may be extended or otherwise changed. Shippers should continue to check ups.com/peaksurcharge for updates prior to tendering shipments. details at: https://www.ups.com/assets/resources/media/en_US/2021_UPS_Peak_Surcharges.pdf
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World’s first wooden satellite slated for launch – UPM partners with Finnish space companies Arctic Astronautics and Huld

UPM Plywood, Arctic Astronautics and Huld announce today a joint mission to launch the first ever wooden satellite, WISA WOODSATTM, into Earth’s orbit by the end of 2021. WISA Woodsat will go where no wood has gone before. With a mission to gather data on the behavior and durability of plywood over an extended period in the harsh temperatures, vacuum and radiation of space in order to assess the use of wood materials in space structures. WISA Woodsat is a nanosatellite designed and built by Arctic Astronautics, and it is based on the Kitsat educational satellite. The satellite measures roughly 10 x 10 x 10 cm and weighs one kilogram. A suite of on-board sensors, including two cameras will be used to monitor the specially coated WISA®-Birch plywood.
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