Major U.S. Snowstorms still on Track for Thanksgiving Week

November 25, 2019

As first reported by FreightWaves of Friday, Nov. 22, Thanksgiving week will look like Christmas week in many areas of the U.S. as two winter-like storms take shape. Heavy snowfall accompanied by gusty winds will make it tough for some holiday travelers and truckers to get home on time. The weather will likely slow drivers working through the holiday to earn those extra bucks. Shippers should expect fairly significant delays of road, rail and air cargo.

Storm No. 1

The first winter storm will strengthen as it moves over the northern and central Rockies from Monday, Nov. 25, into Tuesday, Nov. 26. A large area of heavy snowfall is likely from the mountains of northern Colorado and southern Wyoming eastward into western Nebraska and northwestern Kansas. The snowfall will begin in the mountains Monday afternoon, spreading into the Denver-Fort Collins area during the evening. Then, the storm will move across the rest of northeastern Colorado by about midnight. The snowfall will end from west to east during the day Tuesday. The heaviest snowfall will probably occur late Monday into the early morning hours Tuesday.
Storm totals of 6 to 12 inches will be common, with up to 24 inches possible in some foothills. Wind gusts of 35 to 50 mph will produce blowing/drifting snow, creating occasional whiteout conditions and very low visibility on the I-25 and I-70 corridors.

The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a winter storm warning for the region. FreightWaves SONAR shows several assets at risk of service disruptions, including Denver International Airport (ICAO code: DEN), Union Pacific Railroad (NYSE: UNP) and a few oil/petroleum facilities. These assets are indicated by the colored dots and “doughnuts” in the map above.

Storm No. 2

The focus for this storm is in the Western U.S. The NWS expects a low pressure system to strengthen as it approaches the California Coast on Tuesday, Nov. 26. Confidence is increasing that the low will strengthen and track into the Southern Oregon coast Tuesday, then move inland across the Sierra Nevada of eastern California and the Great Basin through Black Friday.

Storm No. 2 may also produce periods of very heavy rainfall. Flooding, mudslides and debris flows are possible in lower peak and valleys. Urban flooding is also possible in the San Diego, Los Angeles and San Francisco metropolitan areas.

Besides travel issues, both storms could cause major disruptions in local and regional business and supply chain operations in the affected areas. Check chain laws here for the latest updates on winter driving. Whether you’re on the road or in the air, the FreightWaves staff hopes everyone has a safe and happy Thanksgiving!

For the full story, please click HERE

Source: Freight Waves

CN Rail Dips as Workers’ Strike Enters Second Day, Slows Factory Output

November 21, 2019

Shares of Canadian National Railway Co fell as much as 2.2% on Wednesday, as a strike by about 3,000 unionized workers, including conductors and yardmen, at the country’s biggest railroad entered the second day.

Talks with the management to end the stalemate was on even as factories whose supplies have been cut off from their markets began slowing production.

The union’s concerns center on fatigue, safety and ensuring that workers’ breaks are not reduced. However, in a letter to employees that was seen by Reuters, the railroad denied union arguments that the “strike was about safety.”

Canada, one of the world’s biggest exporters of farm products, relies on Canadian National and Canadian Pacific Railway to move crops, potash, coal and manufactured goods to ports and the United States.

For the full story, please click HERE

Source: Reuters

UK Export Orders Plummet

November 21, 2019

The Quarterly International Trade Outlook (QITO) for Q3 2019, released by British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) and DHL today, reveals that indicators for exporting manufacturers in the third quarter (Q3) of 2019 have undergone large declines, with several key indicators for orders and cashflow now in negative territory.

The percentage balance of exporting manufacturers reporting an increase in export orders fell to –1 percent, down from +9 in the previous quarter. The balance of those reporting increased domestic orders fell to -4 percent in Q3, down from +8 percent in Q2.

The balance of exporting manufacturers reporting improved cash flow stood at -5 percent in Q3, down from +6 percent in Q2. In Q3 2018, one year ago, the balance stood at +13.

For the full story, please click HERE

Source: Lloyd’s Loading List

Company Leaders Often Overlook the Importance of Distribution

November 15, 2019

In the business world, the term “distribution” refers to the channels, logistics and processes to move products and services from the point of manufacture, production, or creation to the ultimate end-users. When “distribution” is linked to “strategy,” the question becomes: How can distribution serve as a component or variable to support a company’s overall business and marketing strategy?

Distribution is often an unrecognized and underappreciated element of strategy, yet it is almost always an important factor in a winning strategy. Some examples will illustrate this premise:

● Starbucks created a new distribution system for coffee, featuring its own stores and coffee shops, although the economics might have been better if Starbucks had simply sold its coffee in grocery stores and supermarkets. In the beginning years, however, it’s likely that Starbucks did not have the financial wherewithal for the heavy advertising, slotting allowances and sales development expenses required to achieve distribution in the supermarket channel. Nor did Starbucks have the brand awareness and reputation that would have allowed it to challenge the major national coffee brands in supermarkets. So, Starbucks wisely chose to develop its own distribution system and its own retail stores. This distribution strategy has been a key element in Starbucks’ success…

For the full story, please click HERE


China Reopens Market to US Poultry Imports

November 15, 2019

The Chinese government on Nov. 14 agreed to lift a five-year ban imposed on U.S. poultry imports.

China imposed the ban on U.S. poultry imports in January 2015 after an avian flu outbreak in December 2014 but kept the import prohibition in place although the U.S. has been declared free of the disease since August 2017.

“The United States welcomes China’s decision to finally lift its unwarranted ban on U.S. poultry and poultry products,” said U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in a statement.

The announcement was a bright spot during ongoing and often tense negotiations between the U.S. and China to ease a tariff-fueled trade war between the two large economies.

For the full story, please click HERE

Source: American Shipper