Today’s Pickup: Freight Alley’s newest addition; PwC’s predictions

Carrefour’s logo. (Image: Shutterstock)

Good day,

FreightWaves’ Vishnu Rajamanickam reported that the Arctic region around Finland and Norway has been a subject of much deliberation into creating a pan-European rail network that could bring the northern wilderness closer towards accommodating industries. At the epicenter of this project is Kirkenes of Norway, an Arctic Ocean port situated at one of the northernmost points of the hemisphere.

Earlier this March, the Finnish Ministry of Transport and Communications had zeroed in on a route between Rovaniemi in Finland to Kirkenes. The railway line once completed could lead to a closer link between the northern, Arctic, and continental Europe – driving in an industrial scene that could flourish at its wake. The estimated cost of the construction has been pegged at $3.3 billion, including $1 billion from the Norwegian government for extending the line into its borders.   

However, all is not well with the railroad project, as the planned route crisscrosses through reindeer habitats and coincides with the existence of the Sámi tribe – a reindeer herding community that calls the Arctic Circle its home. The ministry did understand this predicament and had scoured the region for different possible courses before finalizing the Rovaniemi-Kirkenes route.

Did you know?

According to FreightWaves’ Zach Strickland, at the end of September, the Outbound Tender Volume Index was at 10105 (anything above 10,000 means that the trucking volumes have increased above their March 1, 2018 number). As of Friday, October 5th, the index was sitting at 9434, a 6% drop from the end of the third quarter.


The missing piece of the puzzle is currently the automated comparison of freight and available vehicles. In a fully automated supply chain, a product on an Industry 4.0 production line would already be produced with the digital information to book the transport for its own delivery shortly before its completion.

—Dr. Gerhard Nowak, Partner at Strategy & Germany.

In other news:

Chickens and eggs: Retailer Carrefour adopts blockchain to track fresh produce

Carrefour (NYSE: CRRFY) is the latest retailer to join IBM’s Food Trust. By 2022, Carrefour hope to be able to trace 300 products, but will start by tracking tomatoes, chickens, and eggs. (Reuters)

Spanish trucking, logistics firm builds North American hub in Chattanooga

Grupo Sesé snags its spot in Freight Alley by choosing Chattanooga for its North American hub. “We have the advantages of being part of a global company, but we’re still fairly small and able to adapt to consumer and market needs here in North America,” said Jim Thibault, Sesé’s chief technology and innovation officer. “This is a huge industry with a lot of players and we see real opportunities for growth.” (Chattanooga Times Free Press)

Airbus set to name new chief executive

Amid a record-breaking year for Airbus (NYSE: EADSY), the company is set to name the previous head of its plane making unit, Guilluame Faury, as its next CEO. (Wall Street Journal)

US Customs determined to tighten scrutiny of e-commerce imports

The US Customs and Border Protection agency will increase its monitoring of e-commerce imports, particularly checking for illegal substances and counterfeit goods. (The LoadStar)

Digitization and autonomous driving to halve logistics costs by 2030, finds PwC study

PwC’s 2018 Global Truck Survey predicts that trucking logistics costs will fall by 47 percent by 2030, delivery lead times will fall by 40 percent and trucks will be in use on the road for 78 percent of the time, rather than the current industry average in Europe of 29 percent. (Supply Chain 24/7)

Final thoughts:

Truck drivers have long suspected that the city of Washington D.C. is stealing their hours and keeping them off the road. They now have proof: Washington D.C. and the metropolitan section of the city around Alexandria, Virginia is the least efficient area in the country in terms of efficiency on driver’s hours of service (HOS).

Using SONAR’s proprietary HOS11 data-set, we were able to list out the least efficient and most efficient cities in the country. Least efficient refers to the number of hours in a driver’s allocated 11 that are dedicated to driving.

A driver in the Washington D.C. market should only expect to get about 4.9 hours a day towards driving, less than half of the permitted 11. Augusta, ME; Joliet, IL; Elizabeth, NJ; Duluth, MN rounded out the top five.

Hammer down, everyone!  

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Maria Baker, Staff Writer

Maria is a staff writer who has covered everything from the environment to sign-on bonuses and women in the industry. She is a recent graduate of Sewanee: The University of the South, where she majored in English literature and minored in environmental studies. Maria loves writing about freight almost as much as she loves Emily Dickinson and the self-imposed challenge of finding the best iced mocha in Chattanooga.