Hurricane Ian prompts Regional Emergency Declaration covering eight states

Trucking news and briefs for Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022:

FMCSA issues emergency declaration for Hurricane Ian relief efforts in eight states

To help the recovery efforts in areas affected by Hurricane Ian, which made landfall Wednesday afternoon along Florida’s west coast and caused catastrophic flooding and other damage, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has issued a Regional Emergency Declaration that covers eight states.

The declaration waives the maximum driving time hours-of-service regulations (49 Code of Federal Regulations 395.3) for truck drivers providing emergency relief in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.

Carriers providing direct assistance supporting emergency relief efforts transporting supplies, goods, equipment and fuel into the affected states can operate under the declaration.

Direct assistance does not include transportation related to long-term rehabilitation of damaged physical infrastructure or routine commercial deliveries, FMCSA noted, including mixed loads with a nominal quantity of qualifying emergency relief added to obtain the benefits of this emergency declaration, after the initial threat to life and property has passed.

FMCSA’s declaration is effective through Oct. 28, or until the end of the emergency, whichever is earlier.

[Related: Groups, owner-ops: COVID hours waiver should open door for more flexibility]

DAT partners with ACT Research to enhance market reports, forecasts

DAT Freight & Analytics and ACT Research have entered into an agreement that will enhance the service offerings of both organizations.

The companies will work together to develop market reports and forecasts based on DAT RateView, a database of truckload pricing data, and ACT’s economic analysis and commercial vehicle data. Currently, ACT incorporates DAT data into its quarterly freight rate and volume forecast report, which was 98.7% accurate in its Q2 2022 forecast report, the company said.

Said Tim Denoyer, Vice President and Sr. Analyst at ACT Research: “Joining forces to harness the power of DAT’s dearly valued RateView data, with our strategic forecasting services, will enhance our offerings to the industry.”

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With more than 500 million loads posted each year, DAT iQ provides details about spot and contract rates through a database of $137 billion in annual market transactions. 

“ACT Research provides a critical service to the industry,” said Ken Adamo, DAT's Chief of Analytics. “We’re excited about how our collaboration will enhance their spot and contract rate forecasting to benefit shippers, carriers, brokers and all stakeholders alike.”

ACT utilizes proprietary Class 8 equipment population and driver analysis, with award-winning economic forecasting, to predict DAT rates over a two- to three-year window. “We add value by applying our expertise in freight volume and capacity dynamics to predict where rates are headed in the future,” added Denoyer. 

Spot freight sag decelerates a bit in most recent weeks

DAT's long-term Truckload Volume Index report illustrated overall freight-market pricing declines through the most recent month, August, for which data has been tabulated in full. Spot rates continued their extended slide through August despite stronger load volumes, DAT said. 

The national average rate to move dry and refrigerated freight on the spot market fell for the seventh consecutive month. The van rate fell 11 cents to $2.52 per mile in August, while the reefer rate was down 10 cents to $2.89. Flatbed lost more than both, tumbling 24 cents to $3.05, 40 cents below the all-time high set in March. That all happened against a backdrop of volume increases for the index for all three segments in August.  

“While spot rates declined and overall load-posting activity was down slightly compared to July, an increase in the number of actual loads moved and a decline in fuel prices were encouraging signs to cap off a sluggish summer,” said Ken Adamo, DAT Chief of Analytics. 

Contract van and reefer rates also declined for August, though the van contract average was 59 cents higher than the average spot rate for the month, and reefer still held 51 cents above spot, flatbed 60 cents. 

More recently, deceleration of sagging pricing has been on offer thus far through the month in September, according to the latest snapshot available via DAT's Trendlines hub

These averages are current for September's spot freight mix for the three pictured trailer types through September 25, 2022.These averages are current for September's spot freight mix for the three pictured trailer types through September 25, 2022.

[Related: Freight disruption likely for Florida as HOS waivers issued in advance of Ian's landfall]

New Love’s opens in Iowa

Love’s Travel Stops this week opened a new location in Le Mars, Iowa, off Highway 75.

The new location offers 68 truck parking spaces, an Arby’s opening Oct. 3, six diesel bays, five showers and more.

The store is the company’s 10th location in Iowa.

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