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Today’s pickup: the lessons from Marketwaves18; Old Dominion gets an honor

Photo: truckstockimages

Good day,

We’re back from the exhilarating days of Marketwaves18. It would fill a lot of space to discuss everything we’ve seen and heard—and we’ve written plenty of stories on it that you can see on FreightWaves—but here are a few quick takeaways. First, there is a tremendous amount of technological development going in to shake up old ways of doing business. What’s notable is how many companies that presented during Demo Day had some sort of load-matching technology. It will be interesting to see who breaks out of the pack to perform a task that on the surface seems pretty basic: find buyer, find seller, buyer meets seller, they do a deal. Second, J.B. Hunt (NASDAQ: JBHT) is an old-line company that was one of the four Best in Show presenters, up there with VC-funded companies staffed by young tech geeks; that sort of transformation for a legacy company is astounding. A presumed target of disruption becomes a disruptor itself. Third, the tremendous turnout is a micro-fraction of the total size of the industry and it can be easy to forget at an event that even if everybody in a 1,000-plus meeting agrees on the need for change, there are hundreds of thousands of skeptics out there who will need to be convinced. But they also risk getting left behind, so it is possible the Fear of Missing Out will become a key factor as the industry moves to adopt new systems.

Did you know?

The Port of Los Angeles processed more than 952,500 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) last month, a 27.2 percent surge over October 2017 totals. The prior monthly record was set last November with 924,225 TEUs.


“By executing a futures position, you are not doing it to gamble. You are managing risk and trying to control it.”

–J. Scott Susich of DTN, at the first-ever training course for FreightWaves/Nodal Exchange/DTN freight futures contract

In other news:

Old Dominion is one of the best companies in the world to work for

It’s (NASDAQ: ODFL) the only trucking company on the Forbes list (Forbes)

More parking wars, this time hand-to-hand

Man arrested after an attack on a sleeping trucker (The Villages News)

China’s “Uber for trucks” is struggling

Manbang group has some big backers but no coherent plan (WSJ)

As OPEC prepares to meet next month, Russia is satisfied

Cooperation from Moscow on cuts is key, but Putin says he’s happy with price (Platts)

If you’re a vet, you can get free training for your CDL

Grant allows Iowa community college to offer the program (KCRG)

Final Thoughts

Jeff Denham lost his bid to be re-elected to the House of Representatives from  his California district. It took a week to sort through the votes but Thursday, it become obvious he was on the way out. With a seat on the transportation committee, a subcommittee chair and as the author of the Denham amendment, he was viewed as one of the key go-to persons in the Congress on trucking issues. The Denham amendment would have prohibited states like California from laying new rest regulations on top of existing federal rules. The Denham amendment, tacked on to the FAA authorization bill, was cut from the final legislation. But with an American Trucking Associations petition to have a federal ruling that does what the Denham amendment tried to do, and with FMCSA administrator Raymond Martinez clearly expressing disapproval of state laws that try to supersede federal regulations, what Jeff Denham tried to do is not dead, even if his title as a member of the House is disappearing at the end of the year.

Hammer down everyone!

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John Kingston

John has an almost 40-year career covering commodities, most of the time at S&P Global Platts. He created the Dated Brent benchmark, now the world’s most important crude oil marker. He was Director of Oil, Director of News, the editor in chief of Platts Oilgram News and the “talking head” for Platts on numerous media outlets, including CNBC, Fox Business and Canada’s BNN. He covered metals before joining Platts and then spent a year running Platts’ metals business as well. He was awarded the International Association of Energy Economics Award for Excellence in Written Journalism in 2015. In 2010, he won two Corporate Achievement Awards from McGraw-Hill, an extremely rare accomplishment, one for steering coverage of the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster and the other for the launch of a public affairs television show, Platts Energy Week.