Today’s Pickup: ships becoming increasingly electrified, US retail is rising

Image: Shutterstock

Good day,

From November 12-13, 2018, FreightWaves will present MarketWaves18 in Grapevine, Texas. MarketWaves18 will focus on the market and economic outlooks going into 2019 and beyond.

In an industry that is quickly becoming more digitized, MarketWaves18 will showcase technologies and services that use quantitative data to project and monitor the freight markets. It’s the perfect venue for pricing, operational, financial, sales and marketing, and anyone that is focused on the impact of the freight markets on their business now, and in the future.  

For dynamic discussions on the future of consumer demographics, retail spending, freight brokerage, final mile delivery, and much more, register for MarketWaves18 today.

Did you know?

The U.S. saw the percentage of those who feel that autonomous will not be safe drop from 74% to 47%. Similarly, South Korea saw it drop from 81% to 54%; Germany from 72% to 45%; and France from 65% to 37%.


“The electrification of ships is building momentum. From 2010 we have delivered battery systems representing about 15 MWh in total. However now the potential deployment of our patent pending SAVe Energy in 2019 alone is 10-18 MWh.”

—Andreas Seth, Rolls-Royce, EVP Electrical, Automation and Control – Commercial Marine

In other news:

US retail sales rose in July

US retail spending saw in increase in the month of July, particularly at grocery, clothing, and online stores. Compared to data from July 2017, sales were up by 6.4%. (Wall Street Journal)

Chinese oil importers shun U.S. crude despite tariff reversal

Despite the reversal of the Chinese tariffs on crude oil from the US, “not a single tanker has loaded crude oil from the United States bound for China since the start of August.” June and July 2018 saw an export of 300,000 China-bound barrels of crude oil per day. (Reuters)

Electrification of ships building momentum as RR unveils new battery system

Rolls Royce rolls out SAVe Energy in partnership with Color Line, Norled and the Norwegian Coastal Administration (NCA) Shipping Company. The lithium-based energy storage system can be used in peak shaving, spinning reserve and battery-powered vessels, according to World Maritime News. (World Maritime News)

Sam’s Club to retrofit closed store into e-commerce fulfillment center

Sam’s Club continues to turn closed stores across the country into fulfillment centers. The first quarter of 2018 saw a boost in online sales for the retailer as the company pursues the “omni-channel shopping experience” and next-day shipping. (Supply Chain Dive)

Target vet John Bauer returns to help transform global supply chain

In a bid to revolutionize its supply chain, Target has hired John Bauer as its SVP of global inventory management. This hiring follows a late-July announcement that Gemma Kubat will join the Target team as their SVP of engineering and supply chain innovation. (Progressive Grocer)

Final Thoughts:

As FreightWaves’ John Paul Hampstead reported yesterday, Chicago’s rate of tender rejections (OTRI.CHI) has climbed, diverging from the rest of the country.

Turndowns out of Chicago have climbed 11.65% in the past month to 24.15% of all tendered shipments, while in the same period, the national average fell from about 21% to 17.31%. 

Crucially, the accelerated rate of Chicago tender rejections does not appear to be related to the overall volume of tendered shipments in that market (OTVI.CHI), which has experienced some volatility, but is still down -1.7% since July 17. So the explanation does not appear to be that a sudden surge of shipments exceeding capacity drove up the turndown rate. Furthermore, the inbound tender rejection for Chicago (ITRI.CHI) continues to fall, meaning that trucks are more and more willing to enter that market. That fits with our picture of Chicago’s relative tightness, but also means that there should be plenty of trucking capacity to move flat volumes in that market.

We have seen indications in SONAR data that other regional markets may be pulling capacity out of Chicago. Volumes out of Milwaukee have surged since August 2 more than 13%, and Philadelphia outbound shipments have increased 10% since July 27. 

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.