Today's Pickup: Federal Reserve reports moderate growth, commodity prices surge

  (Photo: Shutterstock)

(Photo: Shutterstock)

Good day,

Most reports from the first quarter are coming in with positive results. Trucking companies like Werner  are reporting 2% decreases in operating ratios. The growth the economy is experiencing is good news overall, but that does not mean it is all smooth sailing for all involved. FreightWaves Ibrahim Bayaan reported yesterday on the Federal Reserve's Beige Book and how it highlighted some of the challenges reported around the country. Driver shortages and capacity concerns were still a hot item. As your economics teacher taught when demand outweighs the supply the price increases. Shippers who are already struggling to keep up with rising transportation costs, fresh off the recent bid cycles, may need to prepare for more increases if capacity does not loosen. 

Did you know?

The price per metric ton of aluminum has increased 28.2% on the London Metals Exchange since April 4th.

Quotable:

“Applying advanced analytics can actually give the small carriers just as many community based opportunities as large carriers”

-Tim Leonard - CTO of TMW systems

In other news:

Trucker says he's packing a gun for the first time in 26 years after recent incident of road rage

A 26 year veteran of the road has his truck shot by disgruntled motorist. (Live Trucking)

Virgin America's brand will disappear on April 24

Alaska Air is removing many public facing interfaces for the Virgin America brand after merger. (Forbes)

Secret State Transportation Board meetings excluded own members

The Georgia state transportation board held two meetings without any public notice and left out some of the current members. (AJC)

Three Maersk companies hit by new sanctions against Russia

Maersk Line and two of the liner company's subsidiaries have been working with a major Russian aluminum producer that has now been hit by new sanctions from the US. (shippingwatch)

Union Pacific to invest $9.7 million in Wisconsin network

Union Pacific is reinvesting in some of its older infrastructure in need of repair. (Railway Track and Structures)

Final Thoughts:

Yesterday, FreightWaves writer John Paul Hampstead reported various commodity prices were increasing over political concerns, oil being one of the main topics. Most trucking companies pass the cost of fuel off onto the customer, but there is an exhaustive effect over time as fuel continues to rise. Transportation costs will have to eventually be passed along to the consumer if costs stay elevated long enough. The inflationary effect is a healthy one if managed effectively and without too much acceleration. 

Hammer down everyone!

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Brian Straight

Brian Straight has covered the U.S. trucking and transportation community for more than 10 years, winning numerous regional and national editorial awards, including a Jesse. H. Neal Award. Prior to working on FreightWaves, Brian spent 10 years at industry trade magazine Fleet Owner, and prior to that managed daily newspaper editorial operations.