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JOC Guide to Trucking, August 2018

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8 The Journal of Commerce | August 2018 www.joc.com Cover Story 2018 JOC Guide to Trucking for Amazon," Jindel said. "The driver behind all this is 'free shipping.' I would bet with anyone in the coun- try, even Mr. Bezos, that if it wasn't for 'free shipping,' e-commerce would not have grown the way it has." Shifting consumer purchasing patterns and expectations are reshap- ing the transportation landscape that evolved post-deregulation in the 1980s and 1990s. "Last-mile logistics" didn't trip off tongues in 2005 the drivers in 2017, US Labor Depart- ment data show. One of the most obvious changes in the past decade-and-a-half is the ascent of e-commerce. US retail e-commerce sales reached nearly $71 billion in 2004. By last year, that figure had ballooned to $453 billion. That's transforming supply chain and transportation strategies. "Everyone has a letter A in their boardroom to focus on: That stands way it does today. LTL carriers weren't concerned with home delivery. "Of the big trends we've seen since 2004, 2005, the first is [that] the whole world's been trained to order just in time; I place an order, and you ship it to me tomorrow," said Ben Cubitt, senior vice presi- dent of supply chain and transporta- tion at third-party logistics company Transplace. "Second, we've seen this market evolve where you could just ask anything of your carriers," he said. "A retail customer could wait until the last minute to accept orders and ask for trucks. Those two trends have accelerated to the point where they're difficult to sustain." Time to shed bad habits Those who refuse to learn from the past, it is said, are doomed to repeat it. "Collaboration" and "carri- er-friendly" were catchphrases then, as "driver-friendly" and "shipper-of- choice" are now. They weren't heard as much during the 2008-2009 reces- sion, or the 2015-2017 "soft patch." "They say history repeats itself, and in some ways it does, but in oth- ers it does not," Jindel said. "Those who think the market will turn again as it did after 2005 will be sorry to miss this opportunity to fix their operations, to get rid of inefficiencies, to correct bad shipping habits." Among those bad shipping hab- its, he includes the delay or outright abuse of drivers, but also outdated or outmoded practices, including sending typed or handwritten bills of lading to carriers by fax. In some corners of trucking, the 1980s are still us with, let alone the 2000s. "Carriers are realizing they've let bad shipping practices continue," tolerating them during lean times to ensure they had enough freight, Jindel said. There's no time like the present to start shedding bad habits. Shippers that don't are likely to see rates climb even higher. "A lot of people are still looking for a truck today, not for next week, next month or six months out," said Ed Burns, president of Burns Logis- tics Solutions, a logistics sales agency for carriers. "There are still delays at docks, dwell time with trailers. All that has to go away." By its nature, trucking is a 5,000 7,000 9,000 11,000 13,000 15,000 17,000 19,000 Jan- 17 Feb-17 Mar-17 Apr-17 May- 17 Jun- 17 Jul-17 Aug- 17 Sep- 17 Oct-17 Nov- 17 Dec- 17 Jan- 18 Feb-18 Mar-18 Apr-18 May- 18 Monthly US truck registrations start 2018 above last year's levels Source: IHS Markit © 2018 IHS Markit US Class 7 and 8 tractor registrations $1.25 $1.35 $1.45 $1.55 $1.65 $1.75 $1.85 $1.95 $2.05 $2.15 $2.25 Jan- 17 Feb-17 Mar-17 Apr-17 May- 17 Jun- 17 Jul-17 Aug- 17 Sep- 17 Oct-17 Nov- 17 Dec- 17 Jan- 18 Feb-18 Mar-18 Apr-18 May- 18 Jun- 18 Jul-18 US trucking spot rates hit new high Source: DAT © 2018 IHS Markit Weekly spot truckload rates per mile excluding fuel surcharges 1,748,140 The number of US tractor-trailer drivers in 2017.

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