Today’s pickup: Picking over NEMF’s carcass; struggling to meet last-mile customer expectations

 Image Facebook/NEMF
Image Facebook/NEMF

Good day,

About $400 million in less-than-truckload business has gone elsewhere since regional carrier New England Motor Freight (NEMF) said Feb. 11 it would file for bankruptcy protection and subsequently go out of business. Speculation is that New Penn, the Northeast regional unit of YRC Worldwide, Inc. and Old Dominion Freight Line Inc. took a good chunk of the spoils. One that hasn’t, at least as of yet, is Saia, Inc., even though the carrier entered the Northeast market 2 years ago, about the time NEMF’s fortunes began declining. Saia is currently focused on the Northeast inter-regional LTL market rather than the smaller intra-regional–200 miles or less–segment. That would eliminate it from much of what was NEMF’s typical length-of-haul.

Did you know?

89% of supply chain executives in retailing are not confident they can balance final-mile customer expectations with rising transportation costs, according to a survey by Eye for Transport and Convey.


“How lazy can people be? If you don’t vote, you can’t bitch.”

–An anonymous poster on referring to the fact that some have complained about provisions in the UPS Inc.-Teamsters labor contract, yet only 44 percent of 209,000 UPS Teamsters even bothered to vote on a pact that determines their livelihoods for the next 5 years.

In other news:

Testing hydrogen as fuel source for trucks in Alberta

An industry-led $15 million project will test the ability of hydrogen to fuel Alberta’s heavy-duty freight transportation sector, a first step in exploring a potential made-in-Alberta hydrogen economy. (JWN Energy)

Son of Spruce Goose? Perhaps

Market applications exist for large-scale “ground effect” transportation technology capable of carrying containers internationally on both overnight transportation service as well as extended-distance trans-oceanic service where air freight is too costly and conventional ship transportation is too slow. (Maritime Executive)

In the U.K., cutting carbon emissions from transport remains elusive

Greenhouse gas levels are still a problem for U.K. transport, and a long-term solution may be more difficult than simply switching from fossil fuels to electric power. (BusinessGreen)

For retailers, peak-season logistics challenges have become year-round ones

The holidays are long over, bit for many retailers, logistics issues never take a holiday. (TotalRetail)

Delivering reefer, stat

Need your pot right away, like in an hour? In Canada, there’s a logistics company for that.

(Streetwise Reports)

Final Thoughts:

What began a decade ago as a luncheon for about 50 people and mushroomed into an one-of-a-kind annual event drawing about 1,500 attendees, The Georgia Logistics Summit is coming full circle. It will eschew its traditional early spring pow-wow in Atlanta for a series of smaller “Summit” events be held across Georgia. The first of these was held last Thursday in Cartersville, about 55 miles northwest of Atlanta. Matt Markham, director of the Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics, a state organization that runs the Summit, said the idea is to bring the logistics message to other parts of the state where a sizable number of projects are underway.

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Mark Solomon

Formerly the Executive Editor at DC Velocity, Mark Solomon joined FreightWaves as Managing Editor of Freight Markets. Solomon began his journalistic career in 1982 at Traffic World magazine, ran his own public relations firm (Media Based Solutions) from 1994 to 2008, and has been at DC Velocity since then. Over the course of his career, Solomon has covered nearly the whole gamut of the transportation and logistics industry, including trucking, railroads, maritime, 3PLs, and regulatory issues. Solomon witnessed and narrated the rise of Amazon and XPO Logistics and the shift of the U.S. Postal Service from a mail-focused service to parcel, as well as the exponential, e-commerce-driven growth of warehouse square footage and omnichannel fulfillment.

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