Today’s Pickup: Uncertain contract status leads DHL to issue notice of potential layoffs in Michigan

DHL supply chain


DHL is reportedly negotiating a new
contract with FCA US (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles), and because it is unsure if
that contact will be renewed, the company has filed a Worker Adjustment and
Retraining Notification Act (WARN) notice with the state of Michigan.

The notice said the company was
shutting down a facility in Detroit on March 27, 2020, for maintenance. The
shutdown is expected to last approximately 90 days. The contract with FCA
expires March 31, 2020, DHL wrote in the notice.

“At this time, we do not have an
agreement to provide services beyond that date and we have no guarantee a new
or extension agreement will be reached, or that any potential successor service
provider to our customer will make offers of employment for current DHL
employees performing the work,” the notice said.

According to the notice, 134 jobs
will be affected, including 63 forklift jobs, 27 material handlers, 8 operations
assistants and 28 drivers.

DHL spokesperson Dan McGrath told Crain’s Detroit Business the filing is a “precautionary measure,” although he declined to
identify the customer. Crain’s identified the customer through Don Moran, vice
president of Teamsters Local 299, which represents the workers.

Did you know?

Rail carloads fell 4.2% annually
for the week ending Feb. 8, according to Association of American Railroads
data. Intermodal containers and trailers also fell, dropping 8.8%. For the
year-to-date, carloads are down 5.6% and intermodal units 6%.


“Insurance is a disaster. It’s a
bloody disaster. And shippers out there, we need your help. Carriers can’t
afford [insurance costs of] $25,000 a truck, which is what some carriers are
getting quoted. They can’t afford $25,000 – some trucks only make $25,000 a

– Joey Hogan, president and COO of Covenant Transport (NYSE: CVTI), on Feb. 13 at the ACT Research Seminar 62 conference in Columbus, Indiana.

In other news:

GM working to minimize coronavirus impacts

GM is working to minimize
disruption to its U.S. truck plants because of the coronavirus, as it seeks
ensure a continuous flow of parts.(Bloomberg)

Amazon drops delivery partners

Amazon has dropped relationships
with hundreds of small delivery firms, costing at least 1,300 driver jobs,
according to reports. (Bloomberg)

U.S. carload, intermodal volumes drop

Carload and intermodal volumes for
U.S. railroads dropped for the week ending Feb. 8, according to data. (Logistics Management)

Who has the best-looking van?

With all the electric vans being
adopted by Amazon, FedEx, UPS and others, the question becomes who has the
best-looking van? (Core 77)

Rail offers option for Chinese supply chains

As companies reopen factories in
China, some are looking to rail as a way to get goods moving in light of an
expected capacity crunch. (The Loadstar)

Final thoughts

Last week, Bill Strauss, senior
economist and economic advisor for the Federal Reserve in Chicago, and Sam
Kahan, chief economist for ACT Research, painted a rosy picture of the economy
moving ahead in 2020. Speaking during ACT Research’s Seminar 62 in Columbus,
Indiana, the pair went through the current state of the economy, and gave brief
look ahead that suggested everything will be fine and that it will be pickup up
steam as 2020 moves forward. Other speakers at the event spoke of the expected
improvement in freight conditions that should include a tightening of capacity
and rate improvement. In all, the event reinforced what many have been saying –
the economy is not great right now, but it’s not bad either.

Hammer down, everyone!