May 3 Industry News Graphic

May Industry News Update

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 May.

FHWA Launches Nationwide Initiative on Highway Automation

The Federal Highway Administration will be hosting a series of meetings throughout the remainder of 2018 to discuss highway automation. FHWA’s National Dialogue on Highway Automation initiative will involve a series of meetings in which participants can share information about autonomous vehicles.

Information gathered from meetings with representatives of original equipment manufacturers, technology suppliers, transportation network companies, and others will shape national research initiatives and policy.

Read more about the Highway Automation initiative, click here.

Diesel Leaps 6.8 Cents to $3.239 a Gallon; California Nears $4

The U.S. average retail price of diesel jumped 6.8 cents to $3.239 a gallon. This is the either straight week that trucking’s main fuel has increased in price. Diesel now costs 69.5 cents per gallon than it did one year ago.

The national average for regular gasoline also rose in all regions of the country, coming in at 50.4 cents higher than last year.

Read more about the increase here.

House Committee Clears Bill with ELD Waiver for Livestock Haulers, Dismissal of State-Mandated Drive Breaks

The House Appropriations Committee approved a 2019 Department of Transportation funding bill that would give livestock haulers until October 2019 to adopt an electronic logging device (ELD). This bill would also block states from enforcing their own meal and rest break laws for interstate truck drivers.

The bill will now move to the full House for consideration. Read more here.

Freight Railroads Get Boost from Tight Trucking Markets

The country is currently facing a historically tight trucking market and freight railroads are capitalizing on this as companies move more shipments from highways to rails. With spot-market trucking prices up as much as 30 percent year-over-year, shippers are looking to save on costs with less time-sensitive shipments and are turning to intermodal services. Rising fuel prices have also made intermodal shipping more attractive to many companies.

Read more about how intermodal shipping is seeing an increase here.

Produce Shipments Keep Pressure on Spot Truckload Rates

Spot market loads fell 1.2% and truck posts were down 3.2% during the last full week of May. Overall, freight activity varied from region to region. Produce harvests in the Sun Belt added to capacity pressure but the decline in freight volumes in the Northern states has offset southern gains.

The two opposing trends keep the national average rates mostly unchanged. Read more here.

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