Moving Grain: 15 States Pledge To Assist Trucking Industry

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    Governors From 15 States Pledge To Assist the Trucking Industry With Regulatory Relief …

    The Tennessee Governor, along with governors from 14 other States, recently pledged to act at the State level to assist the trucking industry in an initiative called “Operation Open Road.” Addressing regulatory burdens, the governors will modify weight, size, or load restrictions to allow more cargo to move more efficiently.

    The governors will also adjust hours-of-service constraints to give truck drivers more flexibility, as well as increase the number of commercial truck drivers by deregulating education and occupational barriers to licensure. Further, the governors asked the Federal Government to lower the age of commercial driver’s license holders from 21 to 18 years and suspend the Federal mandate for COVID-19 vaccines for the trucking and transportation industry.

    They intend such measures to reduce additional barriers to employment. Additionally, the governors asked the Federal Government to revise any Federal policies that prevent use or domestic manufacturing of essential transportation equipment, including intermodal containers, chassis, and automobiles, trucks, and tractor trailers.

    … And Public/Private Coordination To Address Supply-Chain Issues

    As part of “Operation Open Road,” the 15 governors have agreed to convene State agencies in transportation, commerce, workforce, and related fields to coordinate with private industry, local governments, and neighboring States. The governors intend this public/private coordination to ensure greater efficiency and data sharing among shippers and receivers at ports, distribution points, storage facilities, and other intrastate corridors.

    Governors of States with coastal ports have agreed to help their ports operate at full capacity, increase tonnage capacity, and accept more Panamax ships waiting off the west coast.

    FMCSA Extends Emergency Waiver on CDL and CLP Requirements

    The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recently extended, through February 28, 2022, its waiver on requirements for commercial driver’s licenses (CDLs) and commercial learners permits (CLPs) for truck drivers. The waiver includes permission to States to allow CLP holders to take the CDL skills test without waiting 14 days after the CLP is initially granted.

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    Originally issued to address the national COVID-19 emergency, the waiver for CDLs and CLPs permits States to extend the validity of CDLs due for renewal on or after March 1, 2020. The waiver also extends an exemption from CDL-required medical certification—provided the certification expired on or after September 1, 2021.

    FMCSA intends to review the waiver’s status on January 3, 2022, and may act to end it sooner, if conditions warrant.

    Snapshots by Sector

    Export Sales

    For the week ending December 2, unshipped balances of wheat, corn, and soybeans for marketing year 2021/22 totaled 45.8 million metric tons (mmt), down 21 percent from same time last year and down 1 percent from the previous week.

    Net corn export sales were 1.132 mmt, up 11 percent from the previous week. Net soybean export sales were 1.638 mmt, up 54 percent from the previous week. Net weekly wheat export sales were 0.240 mmt, up significantly from the previous week.


    U.S. Class I railroads originated 28,260 grain carloads during the week ending December 4. This was a 20-percent increase from the previous week, 1 percent more than last year, and 15 percent more than the 3-year average.

    Average December shuttle secondary railcar bids/offers (per car) were $1,150 above tariff for the week ending December 9. This was $746 more than last week and $851 more than this week last year. There were no non-shuttle bids/offers this week.


    For the week ending December 11, barged grain movements totaled 836,790 tons. This was 4 percent less than the previous week and 1 percent higher than the same period last year.

    For the week ending December 11, 493 grain barges moved down river—48 fewer barges than the previous week. There were 745 grain barges unloaded in the New Orleans region, 1 percent lower than last week.


    For the week ending December 9, 30 oceangoing grain vessels were loaded in the Gulf—down 33 percent from the same period last year. Within the next 10 days (starting December 10), 64 vessels were expected to be loaded—3 percent fewer than the same period last year.

    As of December 9, the rate for shipping a metric ton (mt) of grain from the U.S. Gulf to Japan was $72.50. This was 2 percent higher than last week. The rate from the Pacific Northwest to Japan was $39.00 per mt, 4 percent higher than last week.


    For the week ending December 13, the U.S. average diesel fuel price decreased by 2.5 cents from the previous week to $3.649 per gallon, $1.09 above the same week last year. At $3.512 per gallon, the average Midwest diesel price has declined for 6 consecutive weeks and is at its lowest level since October 11, 2021.

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