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Today’s pickup: DAT rates show a decline for the second consecutive week

  Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock

Good day,

The latest DAT report shows a second week of rates pulling back. The spot van rates number was down 5 cts to $2.11. It was $2.45 as recently as two weeks ago. Spot flatbed rates remain healthy at $2.79, down just one cent from the prior week. Spot reefer rates have declined to $2.65 from $2.77 two weeks ago. The load-to-truck ratio is also down for all three of those categories. Compared to a year ago, on a monthly basis for June, vans are up 29%, flatbeds are up 31% and reefers are up  27%.

Did you know?

 A search of “trucking” on CharityNavigator.org pulls up more than 250 such organizations that are dedicated to helping the trucking family. In a story from FreightWaves CashFlow Corner, we identified some of the biggest as St. Christopher Truckers Development and Relief Fund; Meals for 18 Wheels; TruckersFinalMile.org; Trucker Charity; and Operation Roger.

 Quotable:

“The driver recruiting market is increasingly difficult. Several ongoing market factors persist including a declining number of, and increased competition for, driver training school graduates, an historically low national unemployment rate, aging truck driver demographics and increased truck safety regulations including the regulation changes for electronic logging devices.”

 –Werner Enterprises in its second quarter earnings report. However, the company said its retention rate was the best in 20 years.

In other news:

Remember that money we sent to you?

Tesla requests suppliers send back some of their earlier payments as it tries to push lower-cost vehicle (WSJ)

Not enough truck drivers and now, not enough pilots

American Airlines warns of a looming pilot shortage (Washington Examiner)

Blockchain adoption by a freight forwarder       

Swiss company signs on to the CargoX platform (The Loadstar)

Trump administration may end California’s special clean air status

A long-time federal waiver is under threat (Bloomberg)

When you knock down 10 in bowling, it’s considered a strike

Dump truck takes out 15 telephone poles (CDLLife)

 Final Thoughts

When new truck-only tolls were implemented in Rhode Island earlier this month, officials projected that about 300 trucks per day would avoid the tolls by taking alternate routes. The number is astonishingly smaller: four. It’s why Rhode Island’s truck tolls have made about $27,000 more than expected, according to the state. According to this news story, the data is somewhat preliminary, accounting for only two tolls, with numerous more to follow. But in the first month alone at those two stops, almost 189,000 trucks were tolled, and the estimate was 177,000 trucks. The funds are to go for road repairs. It could be that the cost-benefit of avoiding tolls weighs those savings against an already pressed time limitation enhanced by ELDs, offset in part by rising freight rates. And the conclusion? Stay on the interstate and pay the toll. Let’s just get there faster.

 Hammer down everyone!

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John Kingston

John has an almost 40-year career covering commodities, most of the time at S&P Global Platts. He created the Dated Brent benchmark, now the world’s most important crude oil marker. He was Director of Oil, Director of News, the editor in chief of Platts Oilgram News and the “talking head” for Platts on numerous media outlets, including CNBC, Fox Business and Canada’s BNN. He covered metals before joining Platts and then spent a year running Platts’ metals business as well. He was awarded the International Association of Energy Economics Award for Excellence in Written Journalism in 2015. In 2010, he won two Corporate Achievement Awards from McGraw-Hill, an extremely rare accomplishment, one for steering coverage of the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster and the other for the launch of a public affairs television show, Platts Energy Week.
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