Radio Recap: independent contractors, rails, futures, and data

FreightWaves Radio’s fifth national show was broadcast on Saturday, March 23 on SiriusXM’s Road Dog Channel 146. Unlike other industry-specific radio shows that often have particular messaging or lobbying aims, FreightWaves Radio is an independent, data-driven look at what’s really going on in the freight world, and the episode proved just that. Hosts Chad Prevost and John Kingston kicked things off from both the SiriusXM studios in Rockefeller Center in downtown Manhattan, and from Chattanooga, Tennessee’s Freight Alley studio.

Quotable from Greg Feary, partner and transportation attorney at Scopelitis:

“The controversy really is a jurisdictional one…the threats of the case is that the California Borello test – it’s a multi-factor, independent contractor test – cannot be applied properly in California without invading the federal law, and the federal law preempts this type of independent contractor test and the application of that test in California.”

Quotable from Todd Tranausky, VP for rail and intermodal at FTR:

“Railroads started out really well in January. The weather really didn’t hit until February, and when it did, it hit with a vengeance. We certainly saw that in terms of slower train speeds, higher cycle times for a lot of shippers. It definitely impacted, and has continued to impact, rail operations out there, particularly a lot of western carriers who now, they just got done with the snow and now they’re dealing with flooding issues across much of their network. So it’s just been one thing after another.”

Quotable from Addison Armstrong, executive director for freight futures at FreightWaves:

“Over a two-year period, FreightWaves and our partners did a lot of number crunching and studying of what are the most liquid lanes in the country and how they correlate to pricing both regionally and nationally. So, what we came up with are seven distinct lanes, and three regional indexes, and a national index. Starting from the west you have a pair of lanes, Seattle to Los Angeles, Los Angeles to Seattle, and those two lanes can be traded individually or if you traded them together that would comprise what we’re calling the western index. Similarly, there’s a lane pair from L.A. to Dallas, Dallas to L.A. Again, you can trade them individually or as an index, and that would be the southern index. Then in the east and the south there’s a triangle that’s Atlanta to Philadelphia, Philadelphia to Chicago, Chicago to Atlanta. Similarly, those comprise the east index. When you take those three indexes together, we come up with what is a national index that will allow hedging on a more macro level.”

Quotable from Kevin Hill, CEO of CarrierLists:

“We started CarrierLists about two-and-half or three years ago as a frustrated freight broker, living off the load boards and not being able to see the capacity out there that you need to have if the load boards aren’t working and if you have some recurring lanes. So, we started calling trucking companies –  usually fleets between five and 100 trucks – and getting what kind of preferred lanes they like to run, whether it’s regional or coast to coast, what kind of commodities they like to haul, what kind of trailers they use, as well as updated information and compiled a database, and we market to brokers and shippers.”

The FreightWaves Radio show will keep on coming live to you each and every week from 3:00-5:00 p.m. EDT on SiriusXM’s Road Dog Channel 146. The March 30 episode will focus on all things tech, as well as celebrating the launch of Trucking Freight Futures, and the Co.Lab tech innovation collaboration. If you can’t tune in then, the show is also replayed on Saturday from 9:00-11:00 p.m. EDT and then again on Sunday from 7:00-9:00 p.m. EDT. Also, the show is available for two weeks via SiriusXM’s on-demand feature. Join the discussion on all things freight and see how so much connects to transport and the movement of goods.

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Chad Prevost

Chad is radio host and broadcast media specialist for FreightWaves.

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