Today’s Pickup: Trump still not sure he’ll sign bipartisan deal as Congress races to pass it

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Good day,

Congress was up against a tight deadline to pass a bipartisan agreement to avert another partial government shutdown. President Trump said Tuesday that he is not happy with the deal, and has not ruled out vetoing the legislation. The Democratic-controlled U.S. House of Representatives could vote as soon as tonight, a senior aide said, despite not yet having produced a written copy of the agreement reached by congressional negotiators on Monday night. The accord must also be passed by the Republican-controlled Senate and signed by Trump by the midnight Friday expiration of a stopgap measure that ended the longest federal shutdown in U.S. history. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday he hopes the president will sign it, that the measure is a step in the right direction, and he is ready to put the package to a vote.

Did you know?

California and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) have both filed petitions with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit challenging the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) December announcement pre-empting the state’s meal and rest break rules for interstate truck drivers.


“There’s technology today that will let you know when your pizza is ready, why can’t we know when the product is actually ready to be loaded from the dock? We do a lot with appointment scheduling, and while we may put appointments on the schedule, it doesn’t mean that the product is ready at that time. I think it comes down to finding different ways to communicate with everyone throughout the supply chain.” 

—Tom Curee, Kingsgate Logistics VP of strategic development

 In other news:

Amazon, GM in talks to invest in electric pickup truck maker Rivian Inc and General Motors Co are in talks to invest in Rivian Automotive LLC in a deal that would value the U.S. electric pickup truck manufacturer at between $1 billion and $2 billion (Reuters)

Autonomous testing is like autonomous driving: The AI needs human assistance

The different levels used describe autonomous vehicles and extent of human assistance required can be used to describe autonomous technology testing. (ZDnet)

Thai steelmakers warn of job cuts as Chinese imports flood market

Local industry calls on government to stem influx (Nikkei Asian Review)

Growing pains: how Oregon wound up with way more pot than it can smoke

The state’s glut of marijuana – over 1m lb of unsold pot – is in many ways the result of an industry still finding its feet. (The Guardian)

Investors are pouring money into Latin America’s logistics and shipping businesses

New technology companies are poised to transform the shipping and freight industry across Latin America. (TechCrunch)

Final thoughts:

Spring is always an uncertain time of year for freight movement because no one really knows when volumes will return in earnest. Weather patterns play a big role driving seasonal movements such as agricultural freight. The Atlanta to Philadelphia rate had a range from $1.61 to $3.58 last year, a difference of $1.96. In 2017 the range was $1.43 to $2.92, a difference of $1.48. With all the technology entering the space, the industry is becoming increasingly transparent, this does not mean it will become less volatile as a result. 

Hammer down everyone!

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Chad Prevost

Chad is radio host and broadcast media specialist for FreightWaves.

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