Today’s Pickup: national weather issues abound heading into Thanksgiving

  (Photo: Shutterstock)

(Photo: Shutterstock)

Good day,

According to our senior meteorologist, Nick Austin, poor air quality will be a problem from southern Oregon to eastern Washington state, including Spokane. This isn’t directly due to the California fires, but rather high pressure and virtually no wind creating a temperature inversion. This is when it’s cooler at the ground and warmer aloft, opposite of what usually happens. Pollutants get trapped under the inversion, creating haze and making the air unhealthy to breathe. Drivers should take their breaks indoors until rain clears the air later this week. Snow and patchy ice will slow down drivers in the Midwest and Northeast regions through mid-week. This will mostly affect routes through Michigan and much of New England. Deadheading or hauling light loads on Thanksgiving day could be difficult in the Midwest, Northeast, and Mountain Prairie regions. It’ll become windy across Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and the Texas Panhandle, as well as New England. Gusts could be as strong as 30 to 40 mph. Driving will be difficult in the northeast as well because due to wind on Thanksgiving, especially for deadheading or hauling light loads. Visibility will be limited at times due to blowing snow. Also, the unusually cold weather will cause delays from fuel gelling in untreated diesel, as well as rough starts for batteries with low Cold Cranking Amps (CCA) values. Fleet managers will need to plan ahead and make sure their drivers are prepared. Other cities in the deep freeze include, but are not limited to Albany, Baltimore, Buffalo, Pittsburgh, and Washington, D.C.

Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving! 

Did you know?

People may talk about oil prices as being near $50-$60, but the price of Western Canada Select, the benchmark crude for the Canadian oil sands, has been under $14 at times recently. It is being pushed below the industry WTI benchmark by the weak market in general and specifically a growing lack of takeaway capacity from Alberta, where it is produced and processed.

Quotable:

"With the rotating strikes, resulting backlogs, and the massive Black Friday and Cyber Monday volumes that will arrive within days, we are trying everything we can to work together with the union – urgently – to deliver the holidays to Canadians.” 

—Jessica McDonald, chair of the board of directors and interim president and CEO of Canada Post

In other news:

Nissan and Renault wrestle with the fallout from Carlos Ghosn’s arrest. (New York Times)

Insiders bought the last crash. Will they buy this one? (Bloomberg)

Chevron granted waiver from U.S. biofuel laws at Utah plant. (Reuters)

The human costs of Black Friday, explained by a former Amazon warehouse manager. (Vox)

Whitehall backs move to bring distributed ledger technology to UK ports. (The Loadstar)

Final thoughts:

As we approach Thanksgiving there is a natural sense of urgency for shippers to fill distribution centers in order to get the stores supplied with enough inventory to allow for easy replenishment during the heavy shopping period around Black Friday. This is not only necessary for Thanksgiving week, but also the subsequent weeks as inventory drops rapidly. Inventory management during this time is crucial as vacations will limit availability of trucks for a period when demand for ad hoc equipment is high. 

Hammer down everyone!