A U.S. appeals court on Monday rejected a bid by Uber and subsidiary Postmates to revive a challenge to a California law that could force the companies to treat drivers as employees rather than independent contractors who are typically less expensive. An 11-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco upheld a lower court ruling that said Uber failed to show that the 2020 state law known as AB5 unfairly singled out app-based transportation companies while exempting other industries. Uber in a statement on Monday said the ruling would not change the status of its relationships with its drivers, who are considered to be contractors under a 2020 ballot initiative known as Proposition 22. The fate of Prop 22 is being weighed in a separate case at the state’s top court, which last month heard arguments from a labor union and four drivers contending the ballot measure was unconstitutional.

Monthly inbound cargo volume at the nation’s major container ports is expected to reach its highest level in nearly two years this summer, according to a report from the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Hackett Associates. The surge is good news for retailers and freight carriers, but it is also expected to put extra strain on global supply chains that are already working to handle stresses such as port congestion and regional geopolitical violence. If the forecast plays out as expected, it would produce an expected seven-month string of import levels above 2 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) – a level reached only twice since October 2022. The trend is partly due to changes in the annual “peak season” for shipping. By the numbers, U.S. ports covered by Global Port Tracker handled 2.02 million TEU in April, the latest month for which final numbers are available. That was up 4.6% from March and up 13.2% year over year, and was the highest number since 2.06 million TEU last October.

Truck transportation jobs took a significant dip in May, according to the monthly employment report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and now are at the level where they were in November. Seasonally adjusted jobs fell by 5,400 from April, to 1,550,100, according to the BLS. That is exactly the same as in November. The decline is the third-largest since jobs began rising in 2020 after the tremendous drop first reported in April 2020. But the biggest decline post-pandemic was driven by the closure of Yellow Corp., when the BLS report for August noted a drop of 31,600 jobs. May’s decline of 5,400 jobs is behind only that and the 5,700 jobs lost in September 2022. With the Yellow losses and the recent declines, the May total of 1,550,100 is now 24,600 jobs below the July 2023 figure of 1,574,700 jobs, right before Yellow declared bankruptcy and began ending the careers of thousands of drivers at Yellow. The total is 29,600 jobs fewer than it was a year ago.

That’s all for this week. Enjoy the weekend and the song of the week, Hot Dog Buddy Buddy by Bill Haley & His Comets.

The post This Week in Logistics News (June 8 – 14) appeared first on Logistics Viewpoints.

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