Every month, we’ll be sharing some of the top stories in logistics and transportation right here in our blog. Here’s a look at some of the top industry stories making headlines in April.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has assigned severity weights ELD related violations that are being recorded on a driver’s or motor carrier’s safety profile score. The severity weights range from five points for not having an ELD to one point for failing to make annotations on the ELD when applicable. Carriers that received violations will start seeing them reflected in their HOS Compliance BASIC in early May. Read more about severity weights here.
The U.S. average retail price of diesel jumped 6.1 cents, which is the largest single increase of the year, bringing the cost to $3.104 a gallon as oil climbed past $68 a barrel. This was the fourth increase in diesel’s average price after six consecutive declines. The national average for regular gasoline also rose, coming in at 5.3 cents to $2.747 a gallon with the average 31.1 cents higher than it was a year ago. Read more about the increase here.
National spot rates jumped up in the first week of the quarter compared to March averages. Van and Reefer rates were up 9 cents compared to March and Flatbed was up 10 cents. This was also the first week which trucks could be placed out-of-service for not having an ELD installed. Truck posts were down, however not as dramatically as they were in December when the ELD mandate first went into effect. Read more about spot market rates here.
With diesel fuel prices and increasing competition with electronic vehicles, natural gas is gaining more traction as a fuel alternative. There are several new tools in the natural gas industry that could make this effort successful. The Class 8 market continues to take interest in natural gas as a transportation fuel in the U.S. with the retail sales of Class 8 natural gas trucks up 9% to date through the end of 2017. Read more here.
The week ending April 14, U.S. railroads reported 4.3 percent increase in traffic, logging 534,198 carloads and intermodal units compared with the same week last year. Intermodal volume outpaced growth in carload activity during the week, with railroads moving 276,075 containers and trailers, up 6.9 percent. Read more about intermodal volume here.
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