On July 1, 2020, a new trade agreement between the United States, Mexico, and Canada will replace the 25-year-old North American Trade Agreement (NAFTA). On January 29, 2020, President Donald Trump signed the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), a bipartisan agreement that has been ratified by Mexico and Canada. Each country has its own name for it:
Hours of Service (HOS) Regulations have been lauded by some as pivotal to roadway safety and loathed by others who feel they are heavy-handed. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) operates under the authority of the United States Department of Transportation (US DOT). The current hours of service regulations have been in effect since 2012 and are now being eased in some areas to give commercial drivers a little more flexibility in how they use their on-duty hours and off-duty hours. The proposed changes are expected to become the new law of the land in September of this year (just in time for the 4th quarter economic rebound everyone is hoping for).
Non-essential businesses are resuming operations in at least 24 states in May. While the argument remains on whether it is too soon or not, it is none too soon for the trucking industry. April saw historic lows in the Load-to-Truck ratio and with restaurants nationwide not operating fully, or at all, as produce season isn’t bringing the boon many hoped. However, there is opportunity for a small uptick in May, the only question remaining is if some predictive models are correct, does reopening non-essential businesses too early just make things worse further down the road. Even with some economies beginning to reopen, second quarter predictions are still down by double digits with most hoping for a rebound by the end of the 3rd quarter and expecting it by the end of the year. The biggest factor in rebounding the economy is consumer confidence and a vaccine cannot come quickly enough to instill that level of confidence.
As the coronavirus continues to spread across the country, disinfectants are flying off the shelves and hand-washing remains the most touted method of prevention, but how do we clean our mail? Should we even be cleaning it? Well, rest easy: Preliminary testing suggests that you can't contract COVID-19 from mail or packages. Even if the interior contents had trace amounts of the virus, they are likely to have died by the time a package reaches you.
The updates below reflect new information received within the past few days and over the weekend regarding some specific carriers and industry information. Load-to-truck ratios in March tell an interesting story as well – have we already witnessed the spot-market peak?