Today’s Pickup: Canadian National invests in infrastructure; Fed raising rates; new truck purchases, all good signs

(Photo: Canadian National)

Good day,

Canadian National Railway announced yesterday it was planning to invest $320 million to expand and strengthen its Alberta rail infrastructure. This announcement is the 4th in the last 3 weeks involving an investment in its aging infrastructure. 

The Canadian Railway has been cited as a cause of bottlenecking commodity flows from the Canadian regions due to lack of available infrastructure in the past. FreightWaves reported in March the Surface Transportation Board had sent letters to all the railroads asking for an action plan on how they will handle the surge in freight traffic. 

The Canadian railway appears prepared to follow through on its promises to improve. 

Did you know?

Warehouse utilization is at 83.11% according to the Logistics Manager’s Index


“We acknowledge that livestock haulers are unique, in that they are delivering live cargo; however, they are not the only carriers who haul time sensitive commodities”

–Catherine Chase, president of the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety

In other news:

How batteries went from primitive power to global domination

The battery has evolved from powering toys and gadgets to being the primary power source for electric vehicles. Cost declines  due to technological improvements are making it possible. (Bloomberg)

U.S. Shale firms miss out on $70 oil after hedging at $55

Many top U.S. shale oil producers are missing out on the current elevated oil prices due to futures hedging.  (Reuters)

Ford-backed driverless-car startup argo AI lures talent form Uber, Apple

Equity stakes in a fast growing startup and a link to a big auto maker are helping recruit engineers and robotics researchers.  (WSJ)

Internet shopping a tsunami for global logistics

The internet boom will have a significant impact on global shipping over the next several years. (Air Cargo News)

Tesla cuts 9 percent of workforce in search for profit

The electric car maker is cutting several thousand jobs as it seeks to reduce costs and become profitable without sacrificing production. (Reuters) 

Final Thoughts:

With the Fed expected to raise rates today on reports of upticks in inflation, transportation companies can take this as a sign of continuing economic growth. Many trucking companies are betting on a strong economy moving into 2019 as the OEMs such as Daimler Trucks North America, the producer of the popular Freightliner truck, stating they “are effectively sold out for 2018” according to president and CEO Roger Nielsen. 

The purchase cycle for a truck takes 8-9 months until it is ready to hit the road so that means a lot of the larger carriers are betting on freight flows to continue their current pacing. 

Hammer down everyone!

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Zach Strickland, FW Market Expert & Market Analyst

Zach Strickland, the “Sultan of SONAR,” curates the weekly market update. Zach is also a one of FreightWaves’ Market Experts. With a degree in Finance, Strickland spent the early part of his career in banking before transitioning to transportation in various roles and segments, such as truckload and LTL. He has over 13 years of transportation experience, specializing in data, pricing, and analytics.