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Today’s Pickup: “The last thing I need is more data. I need more information,” trucking exec tells vendors

The Eleonora Maersk, the largest container ship to visit the Port of Los Angeles ( Photo: POLA )

Information about that data is more needed; box moves strong at Port of Los Angeles, but peak season in rearview mirror.

Good day,

“There has never been a better time to be in (the trucking) space,” said Lidia Yan, Chief Executive of NEXT Trucking, an online marketplace for finding carriers. She made the comments at the Piper Jaffray Technology-Enabled Fleets Symposium, which highlighted the many new technologies making inroads in transportation and logistics. Indeed, the number of data points available to trucking has never been higher, along with the number of start-ups selling ways to access that data. But fleet managers may be at a tipping point in the number of apps and software platforms they have to juggle. Matt Aller, vice president of operations at waste management firm Stericycle (Nasdaq: SRCL) says the real issue going forward is uniting those disparate technology solutions in an easy-to-consume way that delivers actionable intelligence. “The last thing I need is more data,” Aller said. “I need more information. We don’t need 33 different dashboards.”

Did you know?

The Port of Los Angeles is on track to meet or exceed last year’s totals of 9.3 million twenty foot equivalent (teu) in containers. The largest U.S. port says a cumulative total of 8.5 million teus have crossed its docks year-to-date, with the 9 million mark within spitting distance. But the pull forward from tariff fears is definitely easing as monthly volumes of 832,331 teus were down 10% from a year ago.

Quotable:

“If we are going to be counting on warehouse jobs to reduce unemployment, to get people into the workforce, we need to make sure we get them there with decent wages and conditions that are safe.”

Newark, NJ Mayor Ras Baraka at a press conference this week decrying conditions for warehouse workers.

In other news:

Flexport looks to Chicago for expansion plans

Digital freight forwarder cites city’s other logistics businesses for the move. (Crain’s Chicago Business)

Private equity firms eyeing Long Beach Container Terminal

Blackstone Group, KKR and Macquarie among those interested. (Bloomberg)

Half of truckers in Atlanta spend an hour looking for parking

Federal agencies will assess where drivers can park as roadsides, empty lots fill up. (TTNews.com)

Ports not the place to find innovation

Consultants cite high capital costs for automation, but see good payback. (McKinsey)

China’s economy shows signs of buckling

Measure of industrial output falls to two year low on slower auto, housing. (trucknews.com)

Final Thoughts

Today marks the wrap-up of the United Nation’s 24th global conference on climate change in Poland. The same conference two years ago produced the Paris Agreement, the first global treaty aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions. With little to no progress seen on meeting the goals of the earlier pledge, observers are not optimistic that the latest conference will produce any significant breakthroughs. Instead, it is coming down to companies to stanch their carbon output on their own. Fashion designers and retailers, including one of the largest U.S. shippers, Target (NYSE: TGT), are the latest to make the pledge for climate action, saying they will have zero carbon emissions by 2050. Fulfilling those pledges comes down to the logistics professionals, who will face daunting years ahead as they sift through alternative fuels coming down the pike. Keshav Sondhi, director of fleet engineering at PepsiCo (NYSE: PEP),  says the food and beverage giant has pledged to reduce carbon emissions 20% by 2030. But the actual reduction target is coming in larger as the baseline for the reduction is 2015. “That might seem like not much, but that goal is an absolute goal. What that means is that I and my team have to offset close to 50% of greenhouse gases over the next twelve year,” Sondhi said at Piper Jaffray’s fleet technology conference.

Hammer down everyone!

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Michael Angell, Bulk and Intermodal Editor

Michael Angell covers maritime, intermodal and related topics for FreightWaves. His interest in transportation stretches back several generations. One great-grandfather was a dray horseman along the New York waterfront and another was a railway engineer in Texas. More recently, Michael has written about the shipping industry for TradeWinds, energy markets for Oil Price Information Service, and general business topics for FactSet Mergerstat and Investor's Business Daily. When he is not stuck in the office, he enjoys tours of ports, terminals, and railyards.
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