freight broker software
April 29, 2024

New Colors for Old Yellow Terminals

Akshitha Ramachandran

The demise of the nearly century-old Yellow Corp. dominated headlines last summer. Now former Yellow terminals are being rebranded and reopened by former competitors that bought them at auction.

“Our first three acquired facilities have launched on schedule, following our landmark investment in our network,” XPO CEO Mario Harik said in a news release. “With a deeper presence in strategic markets, we are introducing new premium services and expanding our existing offerings, such as our cross-border service with Mexico.”

In other industry developments we’re watching, state and federal regulations are relaxed for truck drivers responding to the Francis Scott Key Bridge disaster; proposed changes to relax commercial driver’s license (CDL) testing requirements are debated; imports at U.S. container ports are forecast to spring up; and experts weigh in on the current freight market.

🚃XPO, Roadrunner Open Former Yellow Terminals

Less-than-truckload carriers XPO and Roadrunner have opened terminals they acquired from now-defunct Yellow Corp.

XPO reportedly bid $870 million for 26 owned service centers and two leased terminals. It has opened three of those terminals in Nashville, Tennessee; Grand Junction, Colorado; and Nogales, Arizona.

FreightWaves said XPO acquired about 2,900 terminal doors in the Yellow bankruptcy auction. All the acquired terminals are expected to open within about a year and a half following upgrades, repairs, and XPO rebranding.

Transport Topics reported that Roadrunner has extensively renovated a former Yellow terminal in Atlanta and has begun operating it as a cross-docking facility with 75 doors, on-site mechanical shop, and parking for more than 300 trailers. The Atlanta facility was the only Yellow terminal that Roadrunner acquired through the auction.

🌉Trucker Rules Relaxed in Response to Bridge Disaster

Maryland, Virginia, and Maryland have waived International Registration Plan and International Fuel Tax Association requirements for truck drivers hauling freight to or from a seaport following the devastating Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse on March 26.

In addition, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has extended truckers’ maximum driving time by two hours and relaxed electronic logging device (ELD) rules for drivers providing direct assistance to the disaster response, according to Supply Chain Dive. FMCSA’s emergency declaration will remain in effect until May 8.

🚚Proposed CDL Testing Changes Draw Debate

Supporters and opponents are speaking out in response to an FMCSA proposal to loosen CDL testing requirements.

A FreightWaves article said the rule, if approved, would allow those with a commercial learner’s permit (CLP) who have passed the CDL skills test to operate a truck without having a CDL holder in the cab; allow CDL applicants to take skills tests in states they don’t live in; and eliminate the requirement that a CDL applicant wait at least two weeks after obtaining a CLP to take the skills test.

In favor of the changes, Danny Bradford, chairman of the Commercial Vehicle Training Association, said delays related to wait-time and test-location rules “put jobs on hold for 258,744 drivers and resulted in over $1 billion in lost wages for these drivers.’”

Opponent Todd Spencer, president and CEO of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, said, “Given the minimum nature of current entry-level driver training (ELDT) standards, inexperienced drivers will face countless conditions, scenarios, and other challenges they had absolutely no training for during their first months and even years on the road. Eliminating [the CDL holder/passenger seat requirement] ignores the fact that well-trained, more experienced drivers have better safety records and can pass their knowledge along to less seasoned drivers.”

📈Spring U.S. Port Import Surge Forecast

A new Global Port Tracker report predicts imports at U.S. container ports in May will top 2 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) for the first time since October 2023.

SupplyChainBrain said that “even as Houthi rebel attacks on ships in the Red Sea and drought conditions at the Panama Canal have limited traffic through the critical shipping channels, U.S. imports have continued to increase.”

The report, released by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates, “details how carriers have successfully adjusted to challenges in the Red Sea and at the Panama Canal by rerouting shipments, adding vessels, and increasing vessel speeds to account for longer voyages,” SupplyChainBrain said.

🔀Expert Panel Discusses Intersection of Technology and Freight

Forward-thinking freight brokers, owner-operators, and logistics professionals are using technology to build resilience during times of market volatility. An Axle-hosted webinar, “Leveraging Technology to Grow Business & Reduce Risk in Today’s Freight Market,” addresses just that.

Industry experts making sense of the current state of the freight market during the webinar are Axle co-founder and CEO Dhruv Gupta, Highway CCO Michael Caney, and TrueNorth CEO Jin Stedge.

💡Axle Shines Bright at TIA Conference

Axle’s team made great connections at the Transportation Intermediaries Association’s 2024 Capital Ideas Conference in Phoenix in April. Here are our big takeaways:

  • Transportation industry stakeholders are excited about and see a lot of promise in AI to support workflows and other functions for freight brokers. The TIA has released a white paper on “5 Ways Logistics Leaders Can Harness AI Successfully.”
  • Fraud remains a top concern in the industry. The TIA warned Congress about rampant fraud in trucking earlier this year.
  • Q1 brought a significant downturn in the freight market, but there is optimism for a turnaround in Q2.

🚨Arm Your Business With Beacon

The bankruptcy of Yellow was a glaring reminder that the trucking industry is a tough business. To thrive — or even survive — freight-related companies need to arm themselves with the best tools.

Axle’s Beacon software automates workflows with AI to help freight brokers increase capacity by 30% to 40%, reduce errors, and bolster customer relationships. Beacon plugs directly into customers’ email inboxes and transportation management systems for integrated quoting, real-time tracking and visibility, seamless appointment scheduling, smart replies, and more.

Book a Beacon demo today.

Written by
Akshitha Ramachandran

The future of transportation is built with Axle