What We're Reading: BDP Trendwatch Week 37

U.K. races to fix ‘critical gaps’ in Brexit border plan 

Boris Johnson’s officials are urgently working to avert a major border crisis when the U.K. leaves the European Union’s trade regime, amid warnings vital government IT systems may not be ready in time. 

According to a leaked document, ministers are asking hauliers and other industry groups for help to avoid chaos at the border when the Brexit transition period expires at the end of the year. 

But with just four months to go, the government’s preparations still have “critical gaps” while some parts of the blueprint are “unmanageable,” the document said. 

Source: Supply Chain Brain


Intermodal leads rail volume recovery as retailers restock 

August was the best month for intermodal volumes on U.S. railroads since October 2018, according to the Association of American Railroads. U.S. railroads originated more than 1.1 million intermodal containers, representing 3% growth year over year (YoY). Carload volume in August declined 15% YoY at 898,227. Both indicators dropped from July to August, but the intermodal growth compared to August last year has engendered optimism from industry stakeholders. 

Source: Supply Chain Dive


Container volumes shipped to the U.S. surge after coronavirus downturn 

Container imports are flowing back into the U.S. after a six-month hiatus, with U.S. retailers knocked back by pandemic-driven lockdowns now stocking up before the holiday season. 

The demand is filling up container ships across the Pacific and operators are restoring cargo-vessel sailings that were cut by as much as a third at the height of the pandemic closures from March to June. 

Source: The Wall Street Journal


U.S. may allow 18-year-olds to drive big trucks on long hauls 

An 18-year-old can’t buy a beer in most U.S. states, but pretty soon he or she may be able to drive a commercial truck across state lines — and that has safety advocates alarmed. 

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is considering a pilot program to test lowering the age limit for interstate commercial drivers from 21 to 18, the agency announced Friday. 

Lowering the age requirement is backed by the trucking industry, which is struggling to fill seats in commercial vehicles as a shortage of truck drivers is forecast to double in the next decade, according to the American Trucking Associations. Safety groups have raised concerns about the idea of lowering the age of drivers who often must travel long-hauls in heavy vehicles with large loads. 

Source: Supply Chain Brain


United Air plans India, Africa flights to diversify route map 

United Airlines Holdings Inc. will add new nonstop flights to Africa and India to serve customers visiting friends and relatives, as the carrier revamps an international network beset by weak business traffic. 

Destinations such as Lagos, Nigeria, and Bangalore, India, will focus on large diasporas living in the U.S. and will give United greater network diversity, said Patrick Quayle, vice president of international network and alliances. Traffic from trips to see friends and family has withstood the coronavirus pandemic better than other segments, particularly corporate travel, he said. 

Source: AJOT


Port of LA launches dashboard to break down forecasted volume for incoming cargo 

The tool will be rolled out to partners in a soft launch this week through video meetings "to make sure we have all the data that's necessary," Seroka told commissioners. 

The goal is to have more parts of the supply chain using data from the port, and to make it more accessible by releasing aggregate-level details. The port said no proprietary information would be shared through the dashboard. 

Source: Supply Chain Dive