COVID-19 Resource Center: Odyssey is carefully monitoring the COVID-19 situation and is following guidance and all precautionary measures from health authorities and local governments. Our top priority is to protect our people, operations and customers from any adverse impacts. We would like to assure you that business continuity plans and contingency measures are in place to minimize all possible business disruptions. Our global supply chain is designed to mitigate risks in order to meet customer commitments and obligations. We will continue to monitor the impacts and provide you with updates as they are available. Tweets by OdysseyLogistic ODYSSEY DAILY UPDATE: 4/3/20 A federal appeals court has denied an effort to temporarily lift a lower court’s preliminary injunction blocking California from enforcing a state law that restricts how motor carriers classify independent operators. The earlier ruling blocked the state from enforcing California Assembly Bill 5, which was set to take effect January 1. The ruling ties back to a lawsuit filed by the California Trucking Association that challenges AB5, and now paves the way for the appeals court to hear oral arguments as soon as early July. TT News: Appeals Court Denies Teamsters Motion in California Trucking Association Lawsuit While trucking has numerous apps and other digital platforms at its disposal, the COVID-19 pandemic has increased the demand for trucks and is introducing new ways for the industry to move freight more efficiently. Several app providers have launched tools to assist carriers with traffic updates, electronic logs and document uploads. TT News: How Trucking Apps Support Drivers in Coronavirus Pandemic In a statement on April 2, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health of Canada, and Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Transportation of Canada championed the trucking industry and its drivers and also took proactive stance of installing portable washrooms at 32 truck inspection stations so truck drivers have a place to stop and rest safely. CTA: Government of Ontario Leads the Way Regarding Truck Driver Access to Restrooms Commercial activity for semi-trucks, service vehicles and other equipment has fallen precipitously as a result of the actions taken by federal and state governments to slow the spread of COVID-19. The hardest-hit regions in the United States have been New York and New Jersey. Commercial vehicle trips in these states have fallen 40% from baseline. Most areas of the country are trending at above 80% of normal business activity but continue to slide as more states enact shelter-in-place rules. CCJ Digital: Analysis of fleet telematics data reveals drop-off in vehicle activity Odyssey saw impacts in March – that are continuing into April – to expected pick-up and delivery dates for loads coming out of the port of Long Beach. Port terminals are operating on reduced schedules and are not open on all days or shifts. This is impacting drayage providers’ ability to schedule appointments as well as the date freight will be ready for pick-up after the vessel arrives. We expect to see this continue into the remainder of April as terminals await import volume to ramp back up. Once this occurs, port congestion will likely become a factor in timely pickups, which will create downstream impact to the network. JOC: California ports try to balance flow, COVID-19 safety After building for several weeks, national averages for van and reefer rates crested and then settled down at levels that are more in line with seasonal expectations, said DAT Solutions, operator of the DAT load board network. Given how unsettled business conditions are right now, it’s unclear whether the trend will turn into a sharp downward rate correction, a holding pattern, or a return to the upward trajectory of recent weeks. Overdrive: Truckload rates crested the wave last week, as owner-ops ride up-and-down market 4/2/20 According to a recent survey by Commercial Carrier Journal, carriers with up to 99 power units were hit the hardest by the freight decline that resulted from COVID-19, with 47% seeing losses in freight levels. Fleets with 100 trucks or more are faring better, with 27% seeing a drop in freight and 51% seeing an increase. Among the carriers with less than 100 units, 24% reported an increase in freight. CCJ Digital: What a long strange eight weeks it’s been: Topsy-turvy 2020 quickly alters carrier sentiments FedEx and UPS suspended their respective service guarantees last week, citing expected delays and disruptions related to the global coronavirus response. FedEx suspended its global Money Back Guarantee as of March 24 for all FedEx Express, FedEx Ground, FedEx Freight and FedEx Office. UPS suspended its service guarantee indefinitely for U.S. originating shipments March 24 and all other originations March 26. Supply Chain Dive: UPS, FedEx suspend service guarantees citing coronavirus impact The most recent $2 trillion relief act will be welcome aid for fleets struggling to make payroll and other monthly obligations like debt payments or rent. Companies with fewer than 500 employees can take short-term loans from lenders that are required by the new federal law to be forgiven — if the money is used to pay employees or maintain other monthly payments over the next eight weeks. While this assistance will help maintain overall capacity in the freight market, long term impact to the industry remains unclear. CCJ Digital: Coronavirus acts offer aid and stimulus for fleets, drivers and owner-operators The US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Monday denied an appeal by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters to stay a federal district court’s preliminary injunction issued in January that prohibits enforcement of the AB5 worker classification bill as it applies to trucking. JOC: Court keeps trucking out of AB5 enforcement, for now The FMCSA issued a statement about state and local shelter-in-place orders and related restrictions. The Agency reiterated that movement of freight was deemed essential by DHS and to continue to allow free movement of these services. FMCSA: Statement on State and Local Shelter in Place The FMCSA issued a three-month waiver that will allow truck drivers with commercial learner permits to operate during the COVID-19 emergency without a commercial licensed driver in the front seat of the cab, provided the CDL driver is in the truck. The waiver also requires that the driver with the learner permit has evidence that he or she has passed the CDL driving skills test. FMCSA: Three-Month Waiver in Response to the COVID-19 Emergency – For States and CLP Holders Operating Commercial Motor Vehicles TT News: FMCSA Issues COVID-19 Waiver for Truck Drivers With Learner Permits The FMCSA issued “reasonable flexibility” guidance for motor carriers and drivers to follow for drug and alcohol testing during the COVID-19 emergency. Carriers still are generally being asked to ensure that drivers pass a drug test before getting behind the wheel, but some exceptions are being made under extenuating circumstances. The new guidance is effective through June 30, 2020. FMCSA: COVID-19 Drug & Alcohol Testing Guidance TT News: FMCSA Issues Guidance for Drug Testing During Emergency The Canada Border Service Agency (CBSA) said on Tuesday that 88,290 truck drivers entered Canada from its land border crossings with the U.S. from March 23 to 29. During the same week in 2019, 115,239 truckers entered Canada. To what extent the 24% drop in truck drivers reflects a sustained decline remains an open question. The CBSA said the number of crossings on Sunday, March 29, represented a smaller drop of 16% compared to Sunday, March 31, 2019. The agency also said it is working to “provide assurances that commercial traffic is not impeded.” While some provinces have put in place checkpoints that affect civilian travel, movement of freight continues unimpeded as truckers are essential to ongoing operation of the Canadian supply chain. FeightWaves: US-Canada trucker border crossings plunge CTA: COVID-19 Daily Bulletins Government of Canada: Statement from John Ossowski, President of the Canada Border Services Agency The Institute for Supply Management said its index, based on a survey of manufacturing companies across the country, fell to 49.1 in March from 50.1 in February. The below-50 print represents contraction, though the decline in activity wasn’t as bad as economists feared. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expected a reading of 44.5 for March. ISM: March 2020 Manufacturing ISM- Report On Business Barron’s: There’s More Pain Ahead for Already-Beleaguered Factories China’s manufacturing rebounded in March as authorities relaxed anti-disease controls and allowed factories to reopen. However, it is important to situate the latest numbers within context. The latest data is based on survey responses and shows relative numbers, not absolute ones, that reflect the direction—not the magnitude—of business activity. Moreover, the March rebounds are from very depressed bases in February when all of China was effectively shut down. AP News: China’s manufacturing rebounds as virus controls ease Barron’s: China’s Latest Numbers Aren’t as Good as They Look Trading Economics: China Manufacturing PMI 4/1/20 Staring down an implosion in some parts of Canada’s freight market, trucking executives cautiously praised an aggressive move by the federal government to offer a wage subsidy of up to 75% for small and medium-size businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. BNN Bloomberg: Feds to cover up to 75% of small business salaries: Trudeau FreightWaves: Canadian freight ‘falling off a cliff’; can 75% wage subsidy help? Union Pacific initiated a cross-departmental pandemic planning team. The team is charged with executing a business continuity plan for prevention of further outbreaks of COVID-19. The company deployed nurses across its 23-state system to screen employees. A core team of health and safety professionals are on hand to respond to infectious disease outbreaks, including COVID-19. Union Pacific: Health and Safety Measures While truckload rates are continuing to climb, especially in particular pockets of the country with supply-demand imbalances, the most recent decrease in load-to-truck ratios are a signal that rate reductions are likely in the next few weeks. DAT: Truckload rates rise again, but not for much longer The Department of Homeland Security is delaying its Real ID requirement until October 1, 2021. Homeland Security: Acting Secretary Chad Wolf Statement on the REAL ID Enforcement Deadline ODYSSEY COMMENTARY: Odyssey has not observed disruptions to railroad operations around the country. All major rail carriers have taken steps to bring their business continuity plans in line with CDC and WHO best practices. Majority of embargoes observed around the country are customer-driven and pertain to industry shutdowns to comply with state and local restrictions. Further, all railroad operators have requested that customers advise of any expected reduction to business. Odyssey is closely tracking an additional metric beginning week of 3/30 – Decline Percentage (Declinations) Additionally, Odyssey made available regional views in the Project Insight COVID-19 Impact Dashboard, which allows clients and the Odyssey team to quickly see how various parts of the country are affected by the epidemic. 3/31/20 Peak domestic freight volumes are likely behind us. For two straight days, the outbound tender volume index has declined a total of 3%. However, the truckload volume is still well above any other time in the index’s history and has risen 3% on a week-over-week basis. FreightWaves: Volumes still robust but may have peaked The legal landscape is shifting rapidly with emergency declarations, regulatory suspensions and shelter-in-place orders. With these changes comes an additional level of uncertainty that pertains to rules that govern worker classification (employees versus independent contractors). As employers, carriers have a legal duty to maintain a safe and hazard-free workplace. To keep appropriate separation between employee-specific policies and general directives for business interactions, some carriers are issuing policies either as universal standards or separately with employees and with other contractors and vendor parties. For contractors, this sometimes comes as a contract addendum. It could also come in the form of standards for keeping and maintaining equipment and personal hygiene. CCJ Digital: COVID-19 springs driver misclassification traps for carriers — here’s how to avoid them With demand in US consumer markets declining due to COVID-19, a potentially major backup of loaded containers throughout the US port system may be starting to take shape. The early signs are manifested by some of the largest ports along the US East Coast now scouring available land to boost temporary storage capacity on or off terminal grounds. The scarcity of space at terminals is leading to concern about diversions in the event that certain ports are temporarily closed, as Houston briefly was on March 18 due to one of its workers testing positive for COVID-19. JOC: Pile up of non-essential cargo at US ports raises alarms Three more refrigerated containers carrying COVID-19 test kits left the Virginia International Gateway (VIG) on Saturday as the Port of Virginia’s critical cargo initiative quickly ramps up. The port moved its first container of test kits last week. The critical cargo initiative identifies import cargo needed in the effort to fight the coronavirus and allocates equipment and personnel required to get the container moving to its destination as fast as possible. The cargo includes personal protective equipment (PPE) for the medical industry, coronavirus test kits, hand sanitizer and raw materials going into PPE production. FreightWaves: More coronavirus test kits depart Virginia International Gateway Social distancing and quarantines are causing cargo buyers to cancel bookings in Europe and the U.S., which is in turn prompting container lines to “blank” (cancel) scheduled sailings, starting with those from Asia to Europe. According to Alan Murphy, CEO and founder of Copenhagen-based Sea-Intelligence, “Within the past week, the number of blank sailings announced following the pandemic spread increased from two to 45 on main deep-sea trades.” He believes the effect of the pandemic on buyers in Europe and the U.S. will have even greater consequences for container-shipping schedules than the lockdown of Wuhan, China, in February. FreightWaves: More cargo chaos looms as carriers slash ocean services The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a waiver intended to avert a potential fuel shortage this summer. It provides additional flexibility to the marketplace to transition from winter-grade to summer-grade blends. “Due to the steep fall-off in gasoline demand as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, gasoline storage capacity is limited and more time is needed to transition the distribution system in order to come into compliance for the summer driving season,” said a March 27 EPA announcement. TT News: EPA Issues Waiver to Avert Potential Summer Fuel Shortage EPA: Steps to Protect the Availability of Gasoline during COVID-19 Pandemic ODYSSEY COMMENTARY: As industry participants take steps to protect employees during this uncertain time, Odyssey is seeing some consignors/consignees are refusing to sign delivery receipts or bills of lading to maintain social distancing guidelines and minimize their risk of exposure to the virus. As a response to this development, some carriers are creating alternative process guidelines and, in some cases, issuing No Contact pickup and delivery agreements to be signed by the shippers/receivers. Overall, demand for transportation is unevenly impacted by various industries. While demand for automotive has declined, the upward pressure in others – water treatment chemicals, food services – creating regional imbalances with resultant impact to key metrics tracked by Odyssey. Odyssey is closely tracking an additional metric beginning week of 3/30 – Decline Percentage (Declinations). Additionally, Odyssey made available regional views in the Project Insight COVID-19 Impact Dashboard, which allows clients and the Odyssey team to quickly see how various parts of the country are affected by the epidemic. 3/30/20 Though pockets of the trucking industry are currently benefitting from the spot market load rush to restock retailers and grocers, steep declines in freight demand loom. Second quarter of the year may be in for a particularly steep decline in freight demand as the effects of the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak and the corresponding economic slowdown affect nearly all sectors of the economy. CCJ Digital: ‘There’s no getting around this’: Spot market surge masks freight economy’s dire outlook Overdrive: ‘Haves and have-nots’: While many truckers rush to handle spot boom, coronavirus begins to freeze most freight sectors The CDC published statements clarifying operation of freight carriers and workers in and around the greater NYC area. Specifically, the CDC stated, “Truck drivers and other workers who obtain or deliver needed supplies who live in the greater New York area may continue to work both within and outside of the greater New York area but should stay at home and practice social distancing according to instructions of state and local officials when they are not working.” CDC: Self-Quarantine Guidance for Greater New York City Transportation and Delivery Workers On March 27, President Trump signed into law what has been called Phase 3 of a stimulus package to revitalize the US economy in the face of widespread economic slump amid COVID-19 concerns. The latest $2.2 trillion brings to $6.2 trillion the total amount of economic stimulus to US consumers and businesses. Congress.gov: 116th Congress Whitehouse.gov: Remarks by President Trump at Signing of H.R.748, The CARES Act The Port of Los Angeles is operating at about 80% as factories in China slowly come back online, and the US economy struggles amid the COVID-19 pandemic. TT News: Port of L.A. Operating at 80% Because of Coronavirus As truck drivers crisscross the country hauling goods vital to the fight against the coronavirus, they find themselves at the center of another fast-spreading outbreak: nationwide gratitude. It’s showing up along the roads, on TV, in emails and social media, and even at the White House. TT News: Showers of Praise Greet Busy Truckers The International Monetary Fund developed a country tracker showing economic policy actions undertaken various nations in response to COVID-19 epidemic. The International Air Transport Association compiled a list of measures published by governments around the world pertaining to movement of people and related restrictions on entry/exit. International Monetary Fund: Policy Responses to Covid-19 IATA: Government Measures Related to Coronavirus (COVID-19) ODYSSEY COMMENTARY: Odyssey continues to monitor planning productivity by focusing on the number of date changes to shipments. We continue to monitor the below network KPIs, with particular attention to the percentage of declinations and cost per mile for truckload. Odyssey is in ongoing communication with carriers to ensure we are in possession of the latest business continuity plans. We are proactively researching updates on embargoes and service advisories and including these in the Project Insight COVID-19 Impact Dashboard. Finally, we would like to remind our clients that it is critical to update our planning teams on any changes to shipping hours and requirements as we continue to ensure shipments are covered and delivered. 3/27/20 Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) will postpone its annual International Roadcheck inspection blitz as a result of current COVID-19 pandemic. CVSA: News TT News: CVSA Postpones Roadcheck Due to Coronavirus Crisis CCJ Digital: Roadcheck postponed as coronavirus pandemic continues Frequently Asked Questions Related to the FMCSA Emergency Declaration Part 2 were made available on the Agency’s website. The document addresses various questions that came as a result of its initial emergency declaration. FMCSA: Frequently Asked Questions Related to the FMCSA Emergency Declaration Part 2 Following similar action in the US, Canadian government officials approved an exemption to allow hours-of-service relief to truck drivers who are engaged in coronavirus-related relief assistance efforts. TT News: Canada Issues HOS Exemption for Coronavirus Relief Business groups representing manufacturers, distributors and the supply chain of products called for consistent definition of “critical infrastructure” from the Department of Homeland Security. A uniform definition would prevent state and local government actions from threatening the supply of critical products The Hill: Business groups call for consistent definition of ‘critical infrastructure’ for coronavirus response Owner-operators are seeing strong freight volumes now but should prepare for a “freight cliff,” according to Todd Amen, CEO and president of American Truck Business Services (ATBS). FreightWave: ATBS CEO: Owner-operators should prepare for a ‘freight cliff’ FreightWave: End of the great surge? A key volume indicator has turned downward The Los Angeles and Long Beach Container Terminals have adjusted their hours in order to follow the CDC guidelines recommending daily cleaning and disinfecting of frequently-touched surfaces and objects. FreightWave: LA, Long Beach terminals adjust hours to disinfect between shifts The Coronavirus poses dispatch and coverage concerns to the Transportation Industry. While drivers are already generally socially isolated, spending large amounts of solitary time in their trucks, they are nonetheless exposed to numerous shippers and receivers as well as others within the transportation community. There may be impact to capacity should drivers begin to take time off from hauling freight on concerns of contracting the virus. Supply Chain Dive: Moody’s: Transport faces ‘high exposure’ to COVID-19 disruption Business Insider: America’s 1.8 million truck drivers can’t work from home and often lack health insurance — and that may stymie the fight against coronavirus NJ.com: Coronavirus brings apprehension for the truckers who keep the supply chains running Truckers Report: Truckers More Vulnerable To Coronavirus Than Most Despite a speedy return to operations following economic slowdown as a result of the COVID-19 epidemic, Chinese exports decline by anywhere from 20 to 45 percent year-over-year as the rest of the world’s economies are taking unprecedented shutdown measures. FreightWave: Today’s Pickup: China opens factories as the world closes them Intercontinental shipping has seen one of the largest downturns in volume on record. Some consultants are projecting that the total volume in March-May will fall 17.8% year-on-year on the Asia-Europe route, 15% on the trans-Pacific (U.S. West Coast) route and 13% on the trans-Pacific (U.S. East Coast) route. FreightWave: Ocean container volumes are about to fall off a cliff ODYSSEY COMMENTARY: Odyssey is seeing varying levels of capacity availability. While some areas are experiencing tightening in capacity, pockets of stability remain. Increasingly, carriers are remaining in contact with drivers throughout the day to ensure that they are healthy. 3/26/20 CN Rail Communication: Canada Rail worked with government authorities in both Provinces and made the case that rail and the supply chains we are part of are essential. Transportation and logistics companies are now specifically listed as essential to the continued functioning of both provinces and are exempt from the mandatory closures at midnight tonight. CN Rail The Postal Service, FedEx, UPS and Amazon have all announced measures to protect their employees and customers amid the coronavirus threat. They range from basic precautions, such as encouraging employees to wash their hands and regularly disinfecting workplaces and equipment, to additional steps like limiting some shipments and eliminating signature requirements for some deliveries. TT News: Postal Service, UPS, FedEx and Amazon Look to Protect Customers, Employees The coronavirus trial awaiting fleets: Managing instances of drivers reporting symptoms on the road. CCJ Digital: The coronavirus trial awaiting fleets: Managing instances of drivers reporting symptoms on the road The average price for a gallon of on-highway diesel across the U.S. fell to $2.659 per gallon this week, the lowest national average since the week ending Aug. 28, 2017. CCJ Digital: Daily dispatch, March 25: Diesel prices fall to lowest point since August 2017 The Government of India took a drastic move late on March 24 to implement strict social distancing, effectively putting the entire country on shelter-in-place order. While the economic impact to the country and internal trade in general remains unclear, the decision will have far-reaching implications to the global supply chains. The order for shelter-in-place will remain for 21 days. Government of India Increasingly, attention is turning to freight drivers as personnel on the front line, ensuring that deliveries are completed, particularly in parts of the country where health risks are highest. Trucker News: Trucker appreciation concert streams live Wednesday FreightWave: Logistics professionals are the Always Responders and a “thin gold line” ODYSSEY COMMENTARY: Odyssey is beginning to see reduced capacity in the market for loads shipping between the United States and Canada. Carriers are requesting more lead time and, in some cases, longer transits in order to complete these cross-border moves. Due to the everchanging business closures associated with COVID-19 Shelter-In-Place notices, effective Wednesday, March 25, FedEx is waiving return authorization requirements. FedEx will return to freight that cannot be delivered due to closures. Return charges will also be assessed for such instances. Odyssey anticipates that other LTL carriers will follow suit, and we continue to encourage our clients to ensure that the consignees are open for receiving. Finally, Odyssey would like to thank all our clients and carrier partners for ongoing work and support during this uncertain time. At a time when state and local authorities are putting in place measures for increased social distancing, logistics and supply chain employees – plant and warehouse personnel, drivers, forklift operators, among many more – are bravely marching to work daily to ensure that goods are moving throughout the US and the world. For that, all of us at Odyssey thank you! Daily Trends: 3/25/20 • On March 24, the FMCSA extended to June 30 validity of commercial driver licenses (CDLs) and commercial learner permits (CLPs) that were due for renewal on or after March 1, 2020. Further, the FMCSA will recognize CDLs and CLPs – or their equivalents – from Canada and Mexico where similar declarations are issued. • FMCSA: CDL Waiver • In a letter to the President, the Fraternal Order of Police reiterated the importance of commercial freight carriers to the US supply chain and urged that truck stops and rest areas remain open and operating. • Trucking Org: Fraternal Order of Police • Truck tonnage in February rose 2.6% when compared with year-ago levels, according to American Trucking Associations. • TT News: Tonnage Up 2.6% in February • Every coronavirus supply chain disruption is different. A food-processing company in Iowa that makes canned black and pinto beans grapples with an unprecedented surge in demand, forcing it to double production. Meanwhile, in Michigan, a tier 2 auto parts supplier prepares to shut down for six weeks because its major customers — and the Big 3 auto assembly plants — are experiencing an unprecedented drop in demand. • FreightWaves: Every coronavirus supply chain disruption is different • Urgent orders of retail goods continue to drive spot rates up for van and reefer equipment. Anxious shoppers buy as much as they can on each trip. Retailers, including e-commerce outlets, rely increasingly on spot market providers to re-stock shelves at a moment’s notice, while truckers report long wait times at pickup and delivery points. • DAT: Van and reefer rates rise sharply due to urgent re-stocking • Northwest Seaport Alliance (NWSA) focused on keeping commerce moving during pandemic. Terminals at the ports of Seattle and Tacoma, Washington, were operating normally Monday, had no confirmed cases of the coronavirus and, for the time being, had enough disinfecting supplies, according to NWSA Chief Executive Officer, John Wolfe. • American Shipper: NWSA focused on keeping commerce moving during pandemic ODYSSEY COMMENTARY: • Based on guidance from Department of Homeland Security and the FMCSA, commercial freight carriers continue to be deemed essential to the movement of essential goods around the US supply chain. • Odyssey continues to recommend that our clients – where deemed essential – proactively create a document that exhibits the essential nature of their business and issue the document to drivers at pickup. • Finally, Odyssey continues to recommend that clients call customers ahead of sending a transportation request, to determine that customers are open for receiving. This will aid in overall planning efficiency and reduce the probability of incurring additional charges if customers are closed. However, due to uncertainty and ever-changing local mandates, carriers will continue to call consignees and consignors to ensure that pickups and deliveries may be made. While we understand that this level of communication creates additional administrative pressures, the carriers’ goal is to ensure continuity of services to your business. ODYSSEY BLOGS: Odyssey Introduces Interactive Technology to Help Shippers Assess COVID-19 Risks 3/25/20 Over the last few weeks, the rapid spread of COVID-19 has forced nearly every industry to look for new solutions to minimize critical business disruptions. Global supply chains have not been immune to this challenge. In order to help customers manage the volatility of this global crisis, Odyssey Logistics & Technology has developed and released an interactive technology for its North America Managed Logistics (MLS) customers. The new technology provides visibility into shipments that overlay with geography profiles that present risk; including: COVID-19 hotspots and transportation embargoes. Launched on March 19, 2020 Odyssey customers get actionable data to assess their supply chain risks created by embargoed transportation hotspots—allowing them to act quickly and minimize the operational, economic and safety impacts of these service disruptions. “Understanding the fluidity of this event, our leadership team strategized the development of a data-driven tool for each of our clients that will provide real-time information specific to their business, quickly identifying changes and trends as a result of the pandemic,” said Kevin M. Land, Vice President of Global Solutions. “This business application gives our clients the power to make critical service and cost decisions more effectively, in real-time and based on their actual transactional data.” Read the full article here Your Supply Chain During Covid-19: Preparing for Coronavirus Resilience 3/20/2020 As shippers worldwide rush to contain the immediate impacts of the Covid-19 outbreak, they should also be keeping an eye on the future and preparing for it now. As supply chains worldwide brace for the impacts of Covid-19, companies are dealing with both the immediate and future implications of this global coronavirus outbreak. Where temporary business shutdowns, truncated store hours, and homebound employees are some of the most obvious concerns in the U.S. right now, there are also long-term, global implications to consider when planning for the future. “U.S. shippers need to prepare for a trucking price shock at some point this year as the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) ripples from Chinese factories to US distribution centers and manufacturing plants,” JOC points out in Coronavirus blurs trucking’s 2020 vision. “Many shippers, carriers, and brokers expect the truckload market to shift in 2020, with capacity tightening and rates rebounding after plummeting last year from 2018’s unprecedented peaks,” JOC continues. “The questions have been how swiftly will this shift take place, when will it begin, and how high will prices rebound? The impact of the coronavirus on international and domestic supply chains brings a sharp focus to those questions.” Read the full article here Tracking the Coronavirus Outbreak 2/26/20 A roundup of the latest news on COVID-19 and its impact on the world’s supply chains and transportation networks. Hardly a day goes by that some new piece of information or fact comes out about the novel coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19). The virus continues to emerge in new settings and countries, with more than 79,000 cases now reported worldwide, with the majority of infections and deaths occurring in China, MarketWatch reports. Here at Odyssey, we continue to monitor the situation in China closely and are in daily contact with our partners for updates. Currently, the majority of factories are at 50% capacity with optimistic projections of returning to full capacity by mid-March. Even once all factories are in full production, we expect continued impacts on equipment, trucking, capacity, port space, and infrastructure. Read the full article here How is Covid-19 Impacting the World’s Supply Chains? 2/18/20 Here’s an overview of what we now know about the new coronavirus and its potential impacts on the world’s supply chains. Now officially known as “COVID-19” the new coronavirus is making daily headlines as countries around the world rush to address and/or contain the outbreak. Sitting at the epicenter is China, a country that became mired in the worldwide issue just as its citizens were preparing for the Lunar New Year. Read the full article here How Will Coronavirus Impact the World’s Logistics and Supply Chains? 2/3/20 Here’s the latest on the novel coronavirus outbreak in China, tips on how to protect yourself, and a look at how the virus could impact the world’s supply chains. As more companies shut down their operations in China; airlines halt flights in and out of the country; and individuals protect themselves from the novel coronavirus outbreak, the ripple effects are already being felt across global supply chains. As the U.S.’ third-largest trading partner (after Mexico and Canada)—with $516 billion in goods traded annually between the two countries—China and its citizens represent an important link in the world’s supply chains. Read the full article here INDUSTRY UPDATES: last updated 10:51am 04/02/2020 Odyssey Operations & Procurement Update Based on our past experiences through significant events we can relay the following: Carriers will likely embargo services to certain areas of the country based on the significance and risk of exposure to COVID-19, thereby limiting their service coverage. As Odyssey is informed regarding any service embargos, we will advise our clients immediately. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued a national emergency declaration to provide hours-of-service regulatory relief to commercial vehicle drivers transporting emergency relief in response to the nationwide coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. FMCSA’s declaration provides for regulatory relief for commercial motor vehicle operations providing direct assistance supporting emergency relief efforts intended to meet immediate needs for: Medical supplies and equipment related to the testing, diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19. Supplies and equipment, including masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, soap and disinfectants, necessary for healthcare worker, patient and community safety, sanitation, and prevention of COVID-19 spread in communities. Food for emergency restocking of stores. Equipment supplies and persons necessary for establishment and management of temporary housing and quarantine facilities related to COVID-19. Persons designated by Federal, State or local authorities for transport for medical, isolation or quarantine purposes. Personnel to provide medical or other emergency services. Carriers could experience a personnel shortage, which will disrupt carrier networks, create coverage challenges, and delay deliveries. Carriers will likely experience an imbalanced network as a result of trucks not unloading as scheduled, shortage or equipment, etc. which will lead to both pick-up coverage challenges and delayed deliveries. What steps Odyssey is taking: We are actively monitoring the market in real time to include transportation and logistics news publications. Generally, and at this time, we are seeing stability, but there is uncertainty to how the market will continue to respond as the situation worsens. We are monitoring the data for carrier load acceptance and delivery performance, particularly in markets hit hard by the virus. As each shipment transaction and overall situation is fluid, we are committed to continue to execute shipment coverage via a recovery or alternate option as the situation dictates. What our clients can do: Please keep Odyssey informed of any changes with your shipping sites and customer delivery locations, i.e. reduced hours of operations or closures. Communicate any issues that arise to Odyssey Management, so they can be reviewed and addressed in real time. Encourage customers to over-order and keep higher levels of safety stock. Longer lead-times will be beneficial for securing coverage and booking the lowest cost option. Short lead-times will likely lead to higher cost rates. Odyssey is starting to see spot market inflation. Odyssey Logistics & Technology will provide updates as they are available to keep you informed during this event. If you have any questions or need immediate assistance, please contact your Client Services Manager. Government Mandates/Regulations CISA: Essential Workforce FMCSA: Expired licenses, or medical certificates PHMSA: Hazardous Materials Training State Resources U.S. Department of Homeland Security Over the Road AAA Cooper Transporation American Trucking Associations A. DuiePYLE Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance Dayton Freight Dependable Highway Express DHL FEDEX Old Dominion Saia Southwestern Motor Transport, Inc. UPS Rail CN Rail CSX Port Marine Safety Matson Port Canaveral Port Houston Port of Los Angeles Port Miami Scenario: Business Closure Mandate 3/18/20 This update is bring provided in order to help prepare in advance of potential business closure mandates due to Covid-19. As you may be aware, on March 16, 2020 the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania urged, “non-essential businesses across the commonwealth to do their part by temporarily closing as we work to flatten the curve and protect the health and safety of all Pennsylvanians.” The statement continued to describe essential business sectors as (not limited to): food processing, agriculture, industrial manufacturing, feed mills, warehousing, storage, and distribution. (Click to read full statement) Covid-19 is rapidly evolving and having an increasing impact on global supply chains. Clearly there is no absolute directive in place for manufacturing businesses to close operations for an extended period. That said, it is important shippers consider the possibility of this scenario and its potential impact on your supply chain operations. Some points to consider: • What are your plans should the geographies around your shipping locations mandate closure of your facilities? • Do you have communication vehicles in place should your customer locations be impacted by a closure mandate? • Are you prepared to update your ERP systems in “real-time” as these events unfold? Directives issued by local governments are difficult to track in real time. As such, if Odyssey receives an order from a customer, we will proceed with planning the activity as normal operating procedures dictate. As always, if events occur locally to your business that may impact shipping, Odyssey requests you inform your Odyssey point of contact to keep information flowing effectively and ensuring an optimal approach to your supply chains continuity Follow Odyssey’s Covid-19 information center for the most up-to-date details available, and reach out to your point of contact if you have any specific questions or concerns.