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March News, Events, and Updates on The Lead Pedal Podcast

In this episode Bruce brings us up to date on developments on Lead Pedal Radio and the podcast. David Benjatschek drops into talk about his new show and we update you on changes to events and talk about guests and topics coming up this month. Have a listen and subscribe to the show.

This episode is sponsored by Groupe Trans West is looking for professional teams to operate out of their Mississauga terminal with excellent employment benefits between Toronto Ontario and California. Find out more at www.groupetranswest.com  or call recruiter Mike Hahn at 416-606-8296

DriverCheck is a leader in drug and alcohol, cognitive, and workplace testing helping employers have a safe workplace for their staff. Learn how DriverCheck can help you be safe at www.drivercheck.ca

About the Show

JOIN THE LEAD PEDAL PODCAST FAN CLUB www.TheLeadPedalPodcastFanClub.com

LISTEN TO LEAD PEDAL RADIO at www.LeadPedalRadio.com

The Lead Pedal Podcast for Truck Drivers talks all things trucking for people in the transportation industry helping them improve their business and careers. Interviews with industry professionals and truck drivers, trucking information, and other features on the industry are meant to be helpful for truck drivers and those in transportation. The Lead Pedal Podcast for Truck Drivers has main episodes released every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday with bonus material on other days. You can learn more about the host and show on our website and make sure to SUBSCRIBE to the show on your favourite podcast platform. www.theleadpedalpodcast.com

What does The Lead Pedal Podcast mean? The Lead (pronounced - Led) stands for acceleration or fast-track of your career or business. It is a play on words and we certainly are not here promoting speeding in the industry. We are hoping this information will help you become a professional driver faster than if you didn’t know about many of these topics.

Are you enjoying the show? If so we would appreciate you leaving us a rating and review on iTunes or on your favourite podcast platform. The show is available at www.theleadpedalpodcast.com  , ITunes, Stitcher, Spotify, Tunein, iHeartradio, SoundCloud, and other popular podcast platforms. Thanks for listening

Join The Lead Pedal Podcast Fan Club where are loyal fans get first chance at specials, discounts on merchandise and much more.The club is free to join and you can learn more at www.theleadpedalpodcastfanclub.com

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Legislation that the International Brotherhood of Teamsters asserts will make collective bargaining more fair at XPO Logistics [NYSE: XPO] and other trucking companies has the potential to gain traction in the current Congress – and it has the full support of President Joe Biden.

The Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act was introduced in February and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said he plans to take it up for consideration next week. The bill was approved by the House when it was introduced a year ago, but then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., vowed not to bring it to the Senate floor for a vote, and President Trump said he would veto it.

But Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., an original co-sponsor of last year’s companion bill in the Senate, is making that call this year. And President Biden tweeted his support of the bill’s provisions on Sunday. Consequently, the legislation is getting more pushback than ever from companies that consider it a threat to their business model.

President Biden tweet Feb. 28.

“In an attempt to increase union membership at any cost, the bill would make radical changes to well-established law, diminish employees’ rights to privacy and association, destroy businesses, particularly small ones, and threaten entire industries that have fueled innovation, entrepreneurship and job creation,” said Kristen Swearingen, who chairs the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace (CDW). The American Trucking Associations, the Truckload Carriers Association and the National Tank Truck Carriers are among CSW’s members.

“With this legislation, congressional Democrats are attempting to implement Obama-era labor law policies that were rejected by the judicial system, opposed on a bipartisan basis and/or abandoned by the agencies asked to enforce them,” Swearingen said. 

Among the provisions included in the bill is a requirement that, once a union has been recognized or certified as the employees’ bargaining representative, the employer and the union begin bargaining within 10 days of the union submitting a written request.

“Even when workers succeed in forming a union, nearly half of newly formed unions fail to ever reach a contract with the employer,” according to the bill’s fact sheet. “The bill facilitates first contracts between companies and newly certified unions by requiring mediation and arbitration to settle disputes.”

According to the Teamsters, these and other provisions in the bill would allow the union to make headway in organizing drivers who move less-than-truckload freight at XPO Logistics.

“There are a handful of facilities at XPO where we won recognition to represent drivers and we still don’t have an agreement in place,” Greg Chockley, national campaign coordinator for Teamster organizing, told FreightWaves. “The PRO Act addresses those things.”

Chockley contends that once workers voted to organize at certain XPO locations, the company was able to avoid negotiating an actual contract. “The company played every delay tactic to not get to an agreement,” he said. “That dissuades others from jumping in, and certainly makes workers frustrated. But the company still has the ability to spend money, delay and deny the workers the benefit of an election.”

Chockley noted that because the PRO Act also attempts to prevent employers from misclassifying their employees as independent contractors, it would open up opportunities for organizing drayage drivers who haul containers to and from ports.

“We’ve proven that port drivers meet every test [for being classified as an employee versus an independent contractor] but we need the labor laws to catch up with this. Employers have found a way to put all the expense and responsibility on the driver while avoiding providing benefits. It’s brutal and it’s not right,” he said.

XPO did not respond to a request for comment. “The fact is XPO employees in the U.S. have overwhelmingly elected to remain union-free, including recently, when our employees voted down the union four times after four different organizing campaigns,” the company stated in October in response to similar allegations made by the International Transport Workers Federation.

Michael Lotito, who co-chairs the Workplace Policy Institute at the law firm Littler Mendelson, called the Pro Act “rotten to its core” and said it would upend the laws for both nonunion and unionized employers.

Lotito told FreightWaves he is skeptical of the bill’s chances of getting final approval in the Senate. However, “Joe Biden is all for it, so if it gets to his desk I believe it would make him the biggest pro-labor president in U.S. history.”

Related articles:

Click for more FreightWaves articles by John Gallagher.

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Pallets of air cargo on carts waiting to be loaded into a white plane at night.

DHL Express last week made two unusual additions to its roster of contract carriers that bring with them extra aircraft to help the parcel carrier meet escalating growth in e-commerce shipments.

The express delivery arm of postal and logistics giant Deutsche Post DHL Group (DIX: DPW) arranged for German leisure airline Condor and a start-up cargo division of Latvian carrier SmartLynx to fly packages in its European air network.

The first cargo flights under the Condor partnership began last week. Condor, a charter carrier for tourists, will operate four of its Boeing 767 medium-size jets for DHL until the end of May. The Condor planes will be based at DHL Express’ largest European hub in Leipzig, Germany and cover three routes – to Shannon, Ireland; Milan-Malpesa, Italy; and Cologne, Germany. DHL suggested the initial contract could be extended.

It’s the latest example of smaller passenger airlines diversifying business amid a severe downturn in travel demand and establishing full cargo divisions for the first time. The Condor deal resembles what DHL has done in the U.S. where regional carrier Mesa Air Group in October began flying converted Boeing 737-400s, an aircraft it never operated before, on DHL’s behalf. 

Air Belgium is scheduled to begin operating four Airbus A-330 owned by ocean carrier CMA CGM – taking the concept of diversification to another level. And U.S. low-cost travel airline Sun Country last year began operating 737-800 freighters for Amazon Air.

“This partnership between cargo and passenger carriers is unique,” said Markus Otto, senior vice president aviation Europe at DHL Express, in a statement. “It allows us to react even faster and more flexibly to the continued high demand for international express service. The additional capacity through Condor allows us to further improve service quality and transit times, and maintain our growth trajectory.”

Since April of last year, Condor, like many passenger airlines, has emphasized cargo flights, transporting primarily medical protective equipment and e-commerce goods. At one point, 14 of Condor’s 16 Boeing 767 aircraft were being used solely for cargo. Condor has also trained and deployed a team of cargo supervisors to oversee cargo operations and ensure quality execution. 

SmartLynx

In-house airline DHL Aviation also hired SmartLynx Malta, a new cargo subsidiary of Riga, Latvia-based SmartLynx Airlines, that is one of the earliest adopters of the new Airbus A321 converted freighter. 

SmartLynx Malta has leased two of the narrowbody planes and will begin operating the first one for DHL at the end of March, DHL spokesman Tim Rehkopf said. The second aircraft is still being retrofitted and will join the DHL fleet by mid-July.

SmartLynx is moving aggressively to establish its cargo division, with plans to add eight more of the well-regarded A321 freighters by 2023.

The first two A321 passenger-to-freighter conversions so far are seeing duty with Qantas/Australia Post and Titan Airways

Aviation experts say the A321 is an excellent choice for regional and express delivery operators because it has more cargo space for containers than the 737-800, its main competition, and its fuel efficiency over older aircraft.

The A321 is “going to be a great freighter,” said Stan Wraight, CEO a;nd co-founder of Strategic Aviation Solutions, in a video chat for Global Supply Chain Week at FreightWaves.

Founded in 1992, SmartLynx is part of Avia Solutions Group, a large aerospace services company with businesses ranging from aircraft leasing to maintenance and repair. One of Avia’s cargo subsidiaries is charter airline Magma Aviation. SmartLynx has extensive experience operating the A320 and A321 as a passenger charter operator and provider of air transport for airline customers.

Smartlynx Malta says it plans to add two more  A321 freighters this year and up to four units during 2022, with the goal of becoming one of the largest narrow-body cargo freight carriers within the next three years.

In January, DHL Express ordered eight 777 freighters from Boeing as part of its effort to keep up with growing cargo volumes. 

Click here for more FreightWaves/American Shipper stories by Eric Kulisch.

RELATED NEWS:

Why the A321 freighter looks like a hot ticket

Titan to operate world’s second A321 converted freighter

AEI receives large order for 737-800 converted freighters

Shipping line CMA CGM’s first air cargo destination: Chicago

Ocean carrier CMA CGM buys jets for new air cargo unit

Mesa Airlines makes first cargo flight for DHL

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As the coronavirus pandemic continues its hold on the American economy, trucking companies are experiencing a new challenge: a rise in cargo thefts. While cargo thefts have long been a part of commercial truck shipping, the increase in recent months has been attributed to desperation on the part of criminals facing economic hardships. Trucking insurance is only one part of a risk management solution for transportation companies; understanding how to minimize cargo theft incidents can help protect valuable assets from loss. In this guide, we will explore cargo theft prevention strategies that can be used no matter where the road takes you.

Thefts on the Rise

Cargo thefts in the American trucking industry have seen staggering increases in both frequency and value. According to CargoNet, a resource for cargo theft prevention and security in the trucking sector, 2020 experienced a 107% increase in reported thefts. The increase occurred over a period between April 2019 and April 2020. Overall, 2020 saw almost 1100 reported thefts in the U.S. and Canada, with value per theft rates increasing by double over 2019 figure. The average value per theft now stands at approximately $230,000.

Cargo is not the only commodity being stolen at increasing rates. Tractor and trailer thefts are also on the rise as compared to reported figures from 2019. Trailer thefts experienced a 49% increase, while tractors saw a rate 18% than 2019. With the rise in thefts, trucking insurance becomes even more important in protecting company assets.

Strategies for Combatting Cargo Theft

Commercial truckers know that thefts are a common risk factor. To help to prevent cargo from being stolen, trucking companies have adopted technologies like GPS trackers to track stolen cargo and to facilitate recovery. These GPS receivers have been used in tractors and trailers, but they are now being embedded in the cargo itself.

Nighttime security is a focal point for cargo theft prevention. According to theft reports, most of the thefts have occurred during overnight truck parking, such as at rest stops, along highways, and in trucking yards or transfer points. By targeting parked vehicles, thieves may have the ability to take their pick of multiple vehicles. To prevent cargo thefts overnight, truckers should:

  • Park only in overnight locations with onsite security personnel.
  • Avoid parking along highways and tollways.
  • Parking in well-lit areas.
  • Parking in areas where cameras and fencing add a layer of protection to security.

Thieves do not only strike at night, and daytime thefts also occur on an ever-increasing basis. Truckers should be advised to be on the lookout for suspicious activity near transfer points or at loading docks. Insider thefts, where workers at a cargo facility are stealing truck loads, have become more common. Suspicious activity must be reported before a cargo theft incident can occur. Training truckers on security strategies and risk avoidance can help to minimize the impacts of cargo thefts – and can reduce the safety risks to cargo and drivers alike.

If trucks must be left unattended, equipment to secure trailers and cargo must be utilized. This equipment can include kingpin locks, door locks, air cuff locks, and landing gear. Although any lock or security device can be defeated, criminals will often seek easier targets when encountering security devices. This added layer of protection can thwart casual thieves as well as more experienced criminals.

Finally, trucking insurance can provide a safety net against cargo thefts. This insurance covers the damage and losses associated with thefts, protecting trucking company assets against out-of-pocket expenses.

About Western Truck Insurance Services

Western Truck Insurance Services is a commercial truck insurance agency with roots dating back to 1954. We have evolved into a highly respected, professionally managed, truck and transportation insurance brokerage. The hallmark of our organization is our desire to provide unparalleled service. We go way beyond what you expect to receive from an insurance brokerage. Equipped with state of the art automation, Western Truck Insurance can provide you with lightning fast truck insurance quotes, customer service, Insurance certificates, and coverage changes. Contact us today at (800) 937-8785 to learn more!

The post Year-Round Cargo Theft Prevention Techniques appeared first on Western Truck Insurance Services.

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Transportation Event Calendar March 2021-The Lead Pedal Podcast

Women with Drive Leadership Summit - Trucking HR Canada - March 10th, 2021 - Early Bird Closes January 31st, 2021 - www.truckinghr.com

Screening for Cognitive Impairment:  March 17th, 2021-virtual event - Ontario’s Enhanced Road Test - www.pmtc.ca

Hamilton Niagara Fleet Safety Council Spring Seminar- March 25th, 2021-Virtual - www.hamiltonniagarafleetsafetycouncil.com

National Recruiting Symposium - Mississauga On, Moved - www.transrep.ca

TTSAO - Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario Annual Conference -Moved to 2022- www.ttsao.com  - IHSA Creekbank Drive, Mississauga, ON. Wear your favourite team jersey theme for a special draw.

Special Olympics Opening Ceremony - May 2021 - TBA The Opening Ceremonies of the 2021 Special Olympics Ontario Spring Games. For contact information please refer to 2020springgames.com/ and Ceremonies.

Woodstock Truck Show - Cancelled - http://woodstocktruckshow.ca/index.html

PMTC Spring Golf Tournament - May 27th, 2021 - TBA - www.pmtc.ca

PMTC Annual Conference 2021 - June 16th-18th, 2021-TBA - www.pmtc.ca

Clifford Truck Show - Clifford Ontario - July 3-4th, 2021-TBA - www.greatlakestruckclub.com

Professionals of the Highway Tour - Eastern Ontario-Quebec -2021- TBA - www.theleadpedalpodcastfanclub.com

Wolcott Truckers Jamboree - Wolcott Iowa - July 8th-10th, 2021 - https://iowa80truckstop.com/trucker-jamboree/

519 Loud n Proud Truck Show - Mono ON - July 9th-10th, 2021- TBA - www.519loudnproud.com /

Big Sky Music Festival & Truck Show - Oro Station, ON - July 18, 2020 - TBA www.bigflymusicfestival.ca

Great Canadian Truck Show - Flamboro On - July 24-25th, 2021 - www.facebook.com/greatcanadiantruckshow  - TBA

Professionals of the Highway Tour - Hamilton / Niagara - August 2021-TBA - www.theleadpedalpodcastfanclub.com

Athen Truck Show - Antique Truck Club of America - August 14th, 2020 - TBA - https://www.antiquetruckclub.org

St.Thomas Big Rig Nationals- St. Thomas On-August 20-21, 2021 - http://www.sttracewaypark.com

GATS, (GREAT America Truck Show) Dallas, Texas, USA - TBA https://www.truckshow.com

Dates currently being evaluated for MATS 50th are September 16-18, 2021 or March 24-26, 2022. We are actively consulting with exhibitors and attendees to determine which dates are most viable and a final decision will be made by February 15, 2021

The Trucking Network Job Fair - Brampton On - September 11th, 2021 - www.thetruckingnetworkevents.ca 

Truck Convoy for Special Olympics Paris & GTA - September 17th-18th, 2021 - TBA - www.truckconvoy.ca

Chrome Supply Warehouse Appreciation Event - TBA - www.chromesupplywarehouse.com

Trucking for a Cure Woodstock & Brockville - TBA - www.truckingforacure.com

ExpoCam by NewCom - Saint-Hyacinthe (Montreal, QC) September 22-23, 2021 - www.expocam.ca

Fleet Safety Council - October 2021 - Mississauga, ON - TBA - www.fleetsafetycouncil.com

DriverCheck Fitness for Duty Summit - October 2021- TBA - www.drivercheck.ca

Bridging the Barrier Event- October 2021 - TBA - www.wtfc.ca

Safety Driven Speaker Series - Managing the Multi-generational Workforce-October 2021 - TBA - https://safetydriven.ca/news-events/speakerseries/

Trucking Network Job Fair - Kitchener ON - October 24th, 2021 - www.thetruckingnetworkevents.ca

National Recruiting Symposium - Mississauga On, October 28-29, 2021 - www.transrep.ca

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Featured Truck of the Week 2020 Western Star

Today’s truck is a cool Western Star brought to you by the Big Rigs Truck Show. Each week Bruce picks a cool truck from the many truck shows he attends. Hearing about them is one thing, seeing them is another. Check out this cool ride!

Check out the video on this featured truck by clicking here

This episode is sponsored by Groupe Trans West is looking for professional teams to operate out of their Mississauga terminal with excellent employment benefits between Toronto Ontario and California. Find out more at www.groupetranswest.com  or call recruiter Mike Hahn at 416-606-8296

About the Show

JOIN THE LEAD PEDAL PODCAST FAN CLUB www.TheLeadPedalPodcastFanClub.com

LISTEN TO LEAD PEDAL RADIO at www.LeadPedalRadio.com

The Lead Pedal Podcast for Truck Drivers talks all things trucking for people in the transportation industry helping them improve their business and careers. Interviews with industry professionals and truck drivers, trucking information, and other features on the industry are meant to be helpful for truck drivers and those in transportation. The Lead Pedal Podcast for Truck Drivers has main episodes released every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday with bonus material on other days. You can learn more about the host and show on our website and make sure to SUBSCRIBE to the show on your favourite podcast platform. www.theleadpedalpodcast.com

What does The Lead Pedal Podcast mean? The Lead (pronounced - Led) stands for acceleration or fast-track of your career or business. It is a play on words and we certainly are not here promoting speeding in the industry. We are hoping this information will help you become a professional driver faster than if you didn’t know about many of these topics.

Are you enjoying the show? If so we would appreciate you leaving us a rating and review on iTunes or on your favourite podcast platform. The show is available at www.theleadpedalpodcast.com  , ITunes, Stitcher, Spotify, Tunein, iHeartradio, SoundCloud, and other popular podcast platforms. Thanks for listening

Join The Lead Pedal Podcast Fan Club where are loyal fans get first chance at specials, discounts on merchandise and much more.The club is free to join and you can learn more at www.theleadpedalpodcastfanclub.com

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The Lead Pedal Podcast for Truck Drivers Celebrates 600 Episodes

Big thank you to all of our friends, fans, and supporters for helping The Lead Pedal Podcast reach 600 episodes. Without you we couldn’t have reached this amazing milestone. Thank you for your support. Bruce #theleadpedalpodcast #theleadpedalpodcastfanclub #theleadpedalfanclub

About the Show

JOIN THE LEAD PEDAL PODCAST FAN CLUB www.TheLeadPedalPodcastFanClub.com

LISTEN TO LEAD PEDAL RADIO at www.LeadPedalRadio.com

The Lead Pedal Podcast for Truck Drivers talks all things trucking for people in the transportation industry helping them improve their business and careers. Interviews with industry professionals and truck drivers, trucking information, and other features on the industry are meant to be helpful for truck drivers and those in transportation. The Lead Pedal Podcast for Truck Drivers has main episodes released every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday with bonus material on other days. You can learn more about the host and show on our website and make sure to SUBSCRIBE to the show on your favourite podcast platform. www.theleadpedalpodcast.com

What does The Lead Pedal Podcast mean? The Lead (pronounced - Led) stands for acceleration or fast-track of your career or business. It is a play on words and we certainly are not here promoting speeding in the industry. We are hoping this information will help you become a professional driver faster than if you didn’t know about many of these topics.

Are you enjoying the show? If so we would appreciate you leaving us a rating and review on iTunes or on your favourite podcast platform. The show is available at www.theleadpedalpodcast.com  , ITunes, Stitcher, Spotify, Tunein, iHeartradio, SoundCloud, and other popular podcast platforms. Thanks for listening

Join The Lead Pedal Podcast Fan Club where are loyal fans get first chance at specials, discounts on merchandise and much more.The club is free to join and you can learn more at www.theleadpedalpodcastfanclub.com 

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Borderlands is a weekly rundown of developments in the world of United States-Mexico cross-border trucking and trade. This week: JAMCO Group expands in Laredo; BTL picks Mexico for new auto parts plant; G-Global expands in El Paso; and agents seize $40 million in drugs in Texas and California.

Jamco Group expands operations in Laredo

The JAMCO Group, planning for an expansion of U.S.-Mexico trade, recently signed a long-term lease to occupy 500,000-square-feet at the Port Grande Logistics Port in Laredo, Texas.

The Laredo-based global logistics provider will move into its new space at Port Grande Logistics Port by June 1. 

“Primarily, we’re going to be using it as a distribution hub for the automotive industry,” Rahul Oltikar, JAMCO Group’s chief operating officer, told FreightWaves. “This will be for U.S. finished product coming north from maquiladoras in Mexico, and then we’ll be distributing the products to dealers and distribution centers up in the U.S.”

Maquiladoras are foreign-owned assembly plants in Mexico that import machinery and materials duty-free and export finished products around the world. A large number of the plants are U.S.-owned and located in areas close to the U.S.-Mexico border.

JAMCO’s cross-border business could expand between 10% and 20% with the new facility, and the company could hire up to 50 new employees, Oltikar said.

The company already leases a 250,000-square-foot space off of Interstate 69 West near Laredo’s trade bridge. Jamco was founded in 1994 and is a non-asset-based provider of trade, global freight forwarding and brokerage services.  

JAMCO primarily provides cross-border services among the U.S., Mexico and South America, in the automotive, produce and vegetables, medical, electrical, steel, oil and gas, and industrial industries.

“With the additional 500,000-square-feet, our total footprint will be around 750,000 in Laredo,” Oltikar said. “Along the U.S.-Mexico border we’ll be approaching a million square feet. We have branch offices in McAllen and El Paso, Texas; San Diego and Calexico, California.”

The Port Grande Logistics Port is a 2,000-acre master planned logistics port in Laredo, located just east of Interstate 35 on Carriers Drive. It is about 10 miles from the U.S.-Mexico border.

The port is a logistics hub from Los Angeles-area developer Majestic Realty Co. The company completed the acquisition of the 2,000-acre site from a subsidiary of Mercedes-Benz in 2015.

Officials with Majestic Realty said Jamco will occupy all 500,000 square feet of a building that Majestic originally completed as a build-to-suit for Mattel Inc. The lease agreement removes what would have been a 30%-40% increase in the market’s available square footage, officials said. 

“This is more evidence of the ever-growing need for large warehousing distribution space in Laredo,” Kyle Valley, senior vice president with Majestic Realty, said in a statement. 

Majestic Realty recently announced a $1 billion expansion at Port Grande Logistics Port.

The long-term plan calls for six phases and 14 million-square-feet of spec industrial development, primarily distribution, warehouse and manufacturing space at the port.

BTL picks Mexico for new auto parts plant 

China-based auto parts maker BTL recently announced a $2.4 million factory near Saltillo, Mexico.

BTL will manufacture auto aluminum castings for braking and suspension safety systems, as well as automotive electrical parts. The plant will supply BTL customers in Mexico, the United States and Canada.

Saltillo is about 53 miles from Monterrey, Mexico, and 136 miles from Laredo.

G-Global expands in El Paso

G-Global, a cross-border customs and logistics company, is expanding its operation in El Paso.

The company has leased 38,400 square feet of industrial space at 9660 Joe Rodriguez Drive. The building is owned by Boston-based Equity Industrial Partners and New York-based Raith Capital Partners.

G-Global is a San Diego-based customs broker and freight forwarding company. It has more than 500 employees and has expanded its operations to all major ports on the U.S.-Mexico border, according to its website.

CBP agents seize $40M in drugs in Texas and California

In three recent cases, border agents in Texas and California stopped attempts to use commercial trucks to move cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamine across the United States-Mexico border.

On Monday, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the Otay Mesa port of entry seized more than 12,000 pounds of marijuana found commingled within a shipment of papaya.

Otay Mesa is located on the California-Mexico border, around 20 miles south of San Diego. The marijuana has a street value of $27 million.

A CBP photo shows how the marijuana was hidden inside a shipment of papayas. (Photo: CBP)

On Feb. 21, CBP agents at the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge in Pharr, Texas, discovered that a produce shipment from Mexico also contained $11.5 million worth of methamphetamine hidden inside an empty trailer.

On Feb. 18, agents working at the Starr-Camargo International Bridge in Rio Grande City, Texas, intercepted $1 million worth of cocaine from an otherwise empty trailer arriving from Mexico.

CBP seized the narcotics along with the tractor-trailers. In the Rio Grande City case, the driver was arrested and turned over to local authorities, according to CBP.

Borderlands is sponsored by Forager. More information on Forager’s offerings can be found at: https://www.foragerscs.com/.

Click for more FreightWaves articles by Noi Mahoney.

More articles by Noi Mahoney

CFI consolidates operations in Laredo

Texas blackouts cost Mexican manufacturers $2.7B

Reliance Partners acquires Borderless Coverage

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Keeping Your Trucks Loaded in the Construction Industry

In the construction world keeping your trucks loaded is a daily challenge. Construction jobs last for various times and you never know when the work will be there for your dump truck. We talk with Andrew Davies of Trucon who has developed a program to help match work with people who have trucks in order to keep everyone working. Have a listen and find out how this technology works. You can learn more about Trucon at www.trucon.app

This episode is sponsored by Groupe Trans West is looking for professional teams to operate out of their Mississauga terminal with excellent employment benefits between Toronto Ontario and California. Find out more at www.groupetranswest.com  or call recruiter Mike Hahn at 416-606-8296

This episode is sponsored by C.A.T. Transport offering flexible work options, pet friendly programs, and is one of the Best Managed Carriers in Canada. Learn more at www.cat.ca  or call 1-800-363-5313

About the Show

JOIN THE LEAD PEDAL PODCAST FAN CLUB www.TheLeadPedalPodcastFanClub.com

LISTEN TO LEAD PEDAL RADIO at www.LeadPedalRadio.com

The Lead Pedal Podcast for Truck Drivers talks all things trucking for people in the transportation industry helping them improve their business and careers. Interviews with industry professionals and truck drivers, trucking information, and other features on the industry are meant to be helpful for truck drivers and those in transportation. The Lead Pedal Podcast for Truck Drivers has main episodes released every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday with bonus material on other days. You can learn more about the host and show on our website and make sure to SUBSCRIBE to the show on your favourite podcast platform. www.theleadpedalpodcast.com

What does The Lead Pedal Podcast mean? The Lead (pronounced - Led) stands for acceleration or fast-track of your career or business. It is a play on words and we certainly are not here promoting speeding in the industry. We are hoping this information will help you become a professional driver faster than if you didn’t know about many of these topics.

Are you enjoying the show? If so we would appreciate you leaving us a rating and review on iTunes or on your favourite podcast platform. The show is available at www.theleadpedalpodcast.com  , ITunes, Stitcher, Spotify, Tunein, iHeartradio, SoundCloud, and other popular podcast platforms. Thanks for listening

Join The Lead Pedal Podcast Fan Club where are loyal fans get first chance at specials, discounts on merchandise and much more.The club is free to join and you can learn more at www.theleadpedalpodcastfanclub.com

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Owners of Westfield Transport indicted on allegations the carrier falsified logs

The owners of defunct Westfield Transport Inc. of West Springfield, Massachusetts, who hired a driver accused of killing five motorcyclists and two passengers and injured seven others, in New Hampshire in June 2019, were indicted on federal charges of falsifying driving logs, on Friday.

Dunyadar (Damien) Gasanov, 36,  was indicted on one count of falsification of records, one count of conspiracy to falsify and one count of making a false statement to a federal investigator. He is still wanted by investigators. According to records from the Massachusetts Secretary of State’s Office, he is listed as the supervisor of Westfield Transport.

His brother, Dartanayan Gasanov, 35, who was arrested Friday, was charged with one count of falsification of records. He is listed as the president, treasurer, secretary and director of the shuttered company,  the company’s SOS records state.

According to the indictment, from May 3, 2019 to June 23, 2019, the owners of Westfield Transport falsified driving logs “in order to evade federal regulations designed to ensure the safety of roadways and drivers.”

The indictment further alleges that Dunyadar Gasanov instructed at least one Westfield Transport employee to falsify records to exceed the number of permissible driving hours. He then “made a false statement to a federal inspector regarding the manipulation of recording devices that track drivers’ on and off duty hours in order to evade regulations,” according to federal prosecutors.

NTSB issues report into Westfield Transport crash

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), an independent agency called in to investigate the fatal crash, claims in its report that Westfield Transport’s owners tried to add Volodymryr Zhukovskyy, 24, of West Springfield, to its insurance policy an hour after the driver was involved in the fatal crash. 

The NTSB report also alleges that Westfield Transport managers and drivers  “routinely tampered with electronic logging devices and falsified hours-of-service logs,” and called for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to remove KeepTruckin devices from its list of approved vendors that track the number of hours truckers can legally drive each day. 

Westfield Transport used KeepTruckin’s automatic onboard recording devices (AOBRDs), which investigators claim carriers are able to tamper with and “falsify” hours-of-service logs. However, investigators state that on the day of the fatal crash, Zhukovskky was using paper logs because his logging device in his truck wasn’t working.

The NTSB is also investigating another fatal crash involving a KeepTruckin device after a tractor-trailer crossed the median and struck a motorcoach in New Mexico, killing eight people, on Aug. 30, 2018. Investigators claim the commercial driver had “falsified the HOS logs” on the day of the crash and had doctored his logs in the days leading up to that fateful day. 

Although the NTSB investigation is still ongoing into the New Mexico crash, investigators discovered other drivers working for the same carrier also falsified their logs to drive longer hours using KeepTruckin technology. 

KeepTruckin disputes NTSB’s call to remove its devices 

Westfield Transport hired Zhukovskyy two days prior to crossing the center line and colliding with a group of Jarheads Motorcycle Club motorcyclists who were headed to a charity event at the local American Legion in Gorham on June 21, 2019, in Randolph, New Hampshire.

According to the NTSB report, Zhukovskyy admitted to using heroin and cocaine on the day of the crash. Zhukovskyy, who is charged with multiple counts of negligent homicide, is currently in prison, awaiting trial in New Hampshire. Investigators claim Westfield Transport failed to check Zhukovskyy’s driving record before hiring him as he had multiple traffic and drug arrests in the two years since obtaining his commercial driver’s license (CDL).

KeepTruckin, which has placed on FreightWaves’ FreightTech 25 list for three straight years, disputes the NTSB findings that its devices, designed to track the number of hours a trucker can legally drive, are not compliant with federal regulations. The company claims investigators conflated the carrier’s use of KeepTruckin’s AOBRD with KeepTruckin’s ELD system — two different technologies operated under different sets of rules, Travis Baskin, head of regulatory affairs of KeepTruckin, told FreightWaves. 

“The NTSB report suggests that the KeepTruckin ELD didn’t record a malfunction code for the location discrepancy when Westfield Transport disconnected their smartphones from the ELD in an attempt to falsify their logs,” Baskin told FreightWaves. “FMCSA doesn’t require that the ELD record a malfunction event when no mobile device is connected or when a driver is not logged into an ELD.” 

Click for more FreightWaves articles by Clarissa Hawes.


Legal woes force owner of shuttered carriers to file Chapter 7
Legal battle brewing in Texas over payout in fatal truck crash
Lavalle Transportation buys shuttered Rush Trucking, Lavalle employee says

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Two spots and he couldn't pick. If you can't back it, Swift it?

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"88 miles per hour, Marty"

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This should be fun...

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Peterbilt Motors Company is pleased to deliver a Peterbilt Model 579 equipped with the 250,000th PACCAR MX engine produced for North

The post PETERBILT DELIVERS MODEL 579 WITH MILESTONE 250,000TH PACCAR MX ENGINE TO TCW appeared first on NextTruck Blog & Industry News - Trucker Information.

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A Look at Factoring for Owner Operators in Trucking

We take a look at factoring and how it works for owner operators and who should be thinking about factoring to keep cashflow running through their business. Some clips are from past interviews and are listed below if you would like to go back and listen to the full interviews.

Full interviews with guests

https://theleadpedalpodcast.com/lp191-learn-about-factoring-with-christian-hernandez

https://theleadpedalpodcast.com/lp218-a-look-at-go99-with-devlin-fenton

This episode is sponsored by Bison Transport with many opportunities for truck drivers in their fleet across Canada. You can learn more about Bison and the opportunities available http://fuelyourjourney.ca/  or call 1-800-527-5781 #fuelyourjourney @BisonTransport

DriverCheck is a leader in drug and alcohol, cognitive, and workplace testing helping employers have a safe workplace for their staff. Learn how DriverCheck can help you be safe at www.drivercheck.ca

About the Show

JOIN THE LEAD PEDAL PODCAST FAN CLUB www.TheLeadPedalPodcastFanClub.com

LISTEN TO LEAD PEDAL RADIO at www.LeadPedalRadio.com

The Lead Pedal Podcast for Truck Drivers talks all things trucking for people in the transportation industry helping them improve their business and careers. Interviews with industry professionals and truck drivers, trucking information, and other features on the industry are meant to be helpful for truck drivers and those in transportation. The Lead Pedal Podcast for Truck Drivers has main episodes released every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday with bonus material on other days. You can learn more about the host and show on our website and make sure to SUBSCRIBE to the show on your favourite podcast platform. www.theleadpedalpodcast.com

What does The Lead Pedal Podcast mean? The Lead (pronounced - Led) stands for acceleration or fast-track of your career or business. It is a play on words and we certainly are not here promoting speeding in the industry. We are hoping this information will help you become a professional driver faster than if you didn’t know about many of these topics.

Are you enjoying the show? If so we would appreciate you leaving us a rating and review on iTunes or on your favourite podcast platform. The show is available at www.theleadpedalpodcast.com  , ITunes, Stitcher, Spotify, Tunein, iHeartradio, SoundCloud, and other popular podcast platforms. Thanks for listening

Join The Lead Pedal Podcast Fan Club where are loyal fans get first chance at specials, discounts on merchandise and much more.The club is free to join and you can learn more at www.theleadpedalpodcastfanclub.com

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fw-scientific-ticker

Though already present at a lane level in the Lane Signal application inside of the SONAR platform, FreightWaves has aggregated a national predictive rate value for van (FWS.USA) and reefer (FWSR.USA) modes and made them accessible to view historically and up to a year into the future. The national rates are averages of the over 700,000 lanes in the U.S. excluding lanes that are under 250 miles. 

The main purpose of these rates is to provide increased visibility into the general direction of spot market prices for purchased transportation (shipper/broker to carrier) in the U.S. The basis for these rates is derived from a combination of data including but not limited to carrier costs, tender data, and demographic information. To learn more about the scientific rates and how they are formed click here

Seeing as these rates are based on more than simply historical rate data, which would only lead to predicting seasonal movement. FreightWaves’ scientific rates use multiple data points and forecast each one out to a year. More relevant data ingested in the model leads to increased precision in the forecast. 

Historical Predictions

In addition to the base rate values for van and reefer, FreightWaves has also included the ability to plot the historic predictive values at the 7-day (FWS7.USA, FWSR7.USA) and 28-day (FWS28.USA, FWSR28.USA) points to see how accurate the predictive value was against the observed outcome. 

For instance if the Atlanta to Chicago lane had 10 loads at $1.40/mile and the Milwaukee to Chicago lane had 20 loads at $2.10/mile the weighted average of these two lanes would be:

(5 x $1.40 + 20 x $2.10)/25 = $1.96/mile. 

In the straight average the calculation would weight each lane equally like this:

(1.40 + 2.10)/2 = $1.75/mile.

The weighted average gives the user another data point with which to evaluate market conditions and can alert the user to the increasing high RPM moves that can be hidden in the straight average. The weighted average is only available for van freight at the moment. 

FreightWaves SONAR platform is constantly expanding. Interested in learning more visit here.

To request a SONAR demo click here.

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Vanguard Truck Centers recently opened a new dealership in Houston, investing $23 million in the facility to offer customers increased

The post Mack Dealer Vanguard Truck Centers Invests $23 Million in New State-of-the Art Houston Dealership appeared first on NextTruck Blog & Industry News - Trucker Information.

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Same gig new rig

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Award Winning Trucking Tips from Bison Transport

Bison Transport has a number of award winning drivers and one of those is Jack Fielding. Bruce chats with Jack about his career and tips for drivers to be successful behind the wheel. Bison Transport with many opportunities for truck drivers in their fleet across Canada. You can learn more about Bison and the opportunities available http://fuelyourjourney.ca/  or call 1-800-527-5781 #fuelyourjourney @BisonTransport

About the Show

JOIN THE LEAD PEDAL PODCAST FAN CLUB www.TheLeadPedalPodcastFanClub.com

LISTEN TO LEAD PEDAL RADIO at www.LeadPedalRadio.com

The Lead Pedal Podcast for Truck Drivers talks all things trucking for people in the transportation industry helping them improve their business and careers. Interviews with industry professionals and truck drivers, trucking information, and other features on the industry are meant to be helpful for truck drivers and those in transportation. The Lead Pedal Podcast for Truck Drivers has main episodes released every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday with bonus material on other days. You can learn more about the host and show on our website and make sure to SUBSCRIBE to the show on your favourite podcast platform. www.theleadpedalpodcast.com

What does The Lead Pedal Podcast mean? The Lead (pronounced - Led) stands for acceleration or fast-track of your career or business. It is a play on words and we certainly are not here promoting speeding in the industry. We are hoping this information will help you become a professional driver faster than if you didn’t know about many of these topics.

Are you enjoying the show? If so we would appreciate you leaving us a rating and review on iTunes or on your favourite podcast platform. The show is available at www.theleadpedalpodcast.com  , ITunes, Stitcher, Spotify, Tunein, iHeartradio, SoundCloud, and other popular podcast platforms. Thanks for listening

Join The Lead Pedal Podcast Fan Club where are loyal fans get first chance at specials, discounts on merchandise and much more.The club is free to join and you can learn more at www.theleadpedalpodcastfanclub.com 

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Award Winning Trucking Tips from Bison Transport

Bison Transport has a number of award winning drivers and one of those is Jack Fielding. Bruce chats with Jack about his career and tips for drivers to be successful behind the wheel. Bison Transport with many opportunities for truck drivers in their fleet across Canada. You can learn more about Bison and the opportunities available http://fuelyourjourney.ca/  or call 1-800-527-5781 #fuelyourjourney @BisonTransport

About the Show

JOIN THE LEAD PEDAL PODCAST FAN CLUB www.TheLeadPedalPodcastFanClub.com

LISTEN TO LEAD PEDAL RADIO at www.LeadPedalRadio.com

The Lead Pedal Podcast for Truck Drivers talks all things trucking for people in the transportation industry helping them improve their business and careers. Interviews with industry professionals and truck drivers, trucking information, and other features on the industry are meant to be helpful for truck drivers and those in transportation. The Lead Pedal Podcast for Truck Drivers has main episodes released every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday with bonus material on other days. You can learn more about the host and show on our website and make sure to SUBSCRIBE to the show on your favourite podcast platform. www.theleadpedalpodcast.com

What does The Lead Pedal Podcast mean? The Lead (pronounced - Led) stands for acceleration or fast-track of your career or business. It is a play on words and we certainly are not here promoting speeding in the industry. We are hoping this information will help you become a professional driver faster than if you didn’t know about many of these topics.

Are you enjoying the show? If so we would appreciate you leaving us a rating and review on iTunes or on your favourite podcast platform. The show is available at www.theleadpedalpodcast.com  , ITunes, Stitcher, Spotify, Tunein, iHeartradio, SoundCloud, and other popular podcast platforms. Thanks for listening

Join The Lead Pedal Podcast Fan Club where are loyal fans get first chance at specials, discounts on merchandise and much more.The club is free to join and you can learn more at www.theleadpedalpodcastfanclub.com 

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A loss of electrical power could cause engines to shut down in certain Navistar International LT and Lonestar models, increasing the risk of a crash.

Navistar International Corp. (NYSE: NAV) is recalling 32,603 of the trucks in the U.S. and Canada. About one in 10 trucks may experience breakage of the battery ground cable ring terminal at the frame connecting point. A resulting loss of electrical power could cause the engine to shut down without warning.

The condition could increase the risk of a crash, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said on its website.

No crashes or injuries were reported in the NHTSA filing covering 27,457 trucks or a similar Transport Canada filing covering 5,146 trucks. Intermittent or brief loss of electrical power might alert a driver to a problem.

Most of recalled trucks are flagship LT model

Most of the recalled trucks are International flagship on-highway LT models from the 2017-2021 model years. A small number of conventional cab Lonestar models from the 2018-2021 model years are also included in the recall.

The suspect population consists of 6×4 and 6×2 tractors built with Cummins Inc. (NYSE: CMI) ISX engines that have an aluminum battery box mounted under the cab on the left side of the truck. The recalled trucks were built between May 2016 and Jan. 12 of this year. Cummins is a major supplier of engines to Navistar.

The identifying feature is a certain battery cable routing and connector type used to attach the cable to the frame rail, according to Navistar’s Feb. 18 NHTSA filing.

International dealers will replace the battery ground cable from the battery box to the chassis frame with a new, longer and more flexible battery ground cable assembled with a flat ring terminal designed to remove the stress loads found during testing.

Navistar expects to mail customer and dealer letters by April 16. The NHTSA recall number is 21V-079.

Navistar recalls trucks because engine revving can overwhelm parking brake

Cummins’ melting fuel heater leads to big Navistar recall

Navistar recalls 13,570 trucks for brake light malfunction

Click for more FreightWaves articles by Alan Adler.

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Trucks on snowy highway

For brokers hoping to retain carriers and cut down on so-called “one-load wonders,” creating an engaging carrier experience is vital. Competitive rates will convince a carrier to pick up a load, but the right combination of relationship and convenience will keep them coming back to the same broker over and over. 

Creating an environment that makes carriers want to stick around involves top-notch communication, ethical decision-making and making the process as easy as possible, according to Tom Curee, Kingsgate Logistics senior vice president of strategy and innovation. That means making calls meaningful, offering fair rates and keeping carriers in the loop.

When new technological tools hit the market, they are often lauded for their ability to eliminate check calls. This is an undeniable positive, saving brokers and drivers alike the hassle of picking up the phone at inopportune or even dangerous moments. 

Digital load tracking to cut down on check calls is one of the features truck driver Gerald Johnson appreciates most about the Trucker Tools mobile application. 

“The tracking is awesome,” Johnson said. “One of my biggest pet peeves has always been getting check calls when I am trying to sleep. With Trucker Tools’ tracking capabilities, brokers know where I am without having to call.”

Brokers should be careful, however, to ensure that eliminating check calls does not lead to eliminating all calls. Technology has made it possible to move a load without picking up the phone, but that does not mean this form of communication should be avoided entirely. Phone calls have always been a tool to build strong relationships for brokers and carriers. 

“Brokers need to make sure they are making phone calls for relations, not just phone calls for information,” Curee said. 

Beyond simply keeping in touch, there are other ways for brokers to communicate their respect and appreciation for their core carriers. One simple and effective way is by offering those reliable carriers good loads before posting them on public load boards. 

“Brokers should make loads available to their top carriers before sending them to the masses. There is a lot of perceived and real value in exclusivity,” Curee said. “You should be providing that to your core carriers. Too many people are living off load boards and discrediting their current carrier base.”

Overall, carriers are willing and ready to adopt new technological tools that effectively make their jobs easier. They appreciate fewer check calls, faster reloads and premium load access

“Drivers as a whole are pretty resilient,” Johnson said. “Forward movement is not a problem. If a tool makes a job easier, we should be open to using it.”

The oft-painted picture of the reluctant driver may have little to do with drivers’ distaste for technology and more to do with their hesitance to adopt redundant software or tools that simply do not perform as promised. 

“I get five emails a week about some new carrier capacity tool, and I think it is so important to identify a product that aligns with your goals,” Curee said. “Once you identify it, you have to go all in. Too many brokerages are trying to be jacks of all trades. You won’t get comfortable enough with any single product. Your operations team won’t know enough about all the tools to help drivers when they call with questions.” Adopting one multiuse tool – like the Trucker Tools suite – will encourage better driver compliance, stronger in-house familiarity and an overall more pleasant experience than adopting multiple single-use tools. 

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The new Kenworth T680E battery electric vehicle is now available and qualifies for a $120,000 voucher incentive available to qualifying

The post New Kenworth T680E Battery Electric Vehicles Eligible for $120,000 2021 CARB HVIP Voucher Incentive in California appeared first on NextTruck Blog & Industry News - Trucker Information.

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They might as well throw their hazards on while they're at it

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New rig - well new to me!

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While DoorDash (NYSE: DASH) reported new quarterly records for total orders, adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA), and market share, some analysts were not convinced of the value the company provides moving forward.

It’s likely not only a DoorDash problem but rather a food delivery problem in a market that has accelerated because of COVID-19 pandemic-related restaurant restrictions.

“This past quarter showed phenomenal top-line growth and the company guided for 2021 to see further growth in spite of tough comparables. In spite of the insane growth it showed in 2020, DASH was not profitable on either a GAAP or non-GAAP basis,” wrote Seeking Alpha analyst Julian Lin.

For its part, DoorDash acknowledged the challenges that lie ahead as vaccines roll out and restaurants reopen for in-person dining.

Read: In first earnings as public company, DoorDash beats revenue forecasts

“We hope markets will begin to open up soon. As that happens, we expect declines in consumer engagement and average order values, though the precise amount remains unclear,” it said. “In any scenario, we will remain focused on reducing friction on our Marketplace and executing against the factors that will drive long-term consumer adoption: selection, experience and value.”

Lin questioned the company’s inability to turn a profit at a time when making money should have been easier.

“Even if we add back stock-based compensation, DASH was barely able to generate $10 million in adjusted net income for the fourth quarter and lost $139 million in adjusted net income for the year,” he wrote. “Consider that Zoom (NASDAQ: ZM), another pandemic beneficiary, generated 25.5% GAAP net margins in the third quarter. Shopify (NYSE: SHOP) generated 12.7% GAAP net margins in its latest quarter. Why is DASH unable to generate profits during what might prove to be a peak year?”

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In 2019, Statista pegged the online food delivery market at $94.4 billion. The firm projects 2021 sales to reach $151.5 billion. According to research firm Second Measure, meal delivery sales rose 164% year-over-year in January, led by DoorDash’s 56% share of sales. Uber Eats was second at 20%.

In its earnings call, DoorDash CFO Prabir Adarkar said the company believes “consumer behavior tends to be sticky.”

“Once the consumer discovered DoorDash and they’ve ordered from their favorite restaurants and enjoyed the benefits of on-demand convenience, new habits get formed, and we believe this situation will persist over the long run,” he noted. “And so even when you look at markets like Texas and Georgia and Florida that reopened, that were sort of partially open, even through the pandemic in the U.S. against that backdrop, we continue to see our weekly order volumes in these markets continue to grow. So that’s a promising sign.”

Uber (NYSE: UBER) is more insulated from a likely downturn in food delivery because of its more diverse business lines.

“We’ve seen our business accelerate in January to over 150% year-on-year growth as the delivery continues to provide a natural hedge and lockdown. It’s become clear that the pandemic has increased consumers’ appetite for on-demand delivery of not just food, but all goods, and we take a major step to address this enormous opportunity,” Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said during that company’s earnings call earlier this month.

Uber’s plans include leveraging its platform to expand. It recently purchased on-demand alcohol supplier Drizly and in 2020 acquired both Postmates and Cornership, which opened up grocery for Uber.

“While the external environment remains uncertain, I am more optimistic than ever about Uber’s future,” Khosrowshahi said. “We’ve established the world’s largest mobility platform with a leading position in every major region that we operate in. In five years, we built the world’s largest food delivery platform outside of China, which is growing substantially faster than the category and which we’re using to expand into high-potential adjacencies.”

Read: Eats, Delivery pushing Uber toward profitability

DoorDash is now attempting to diversify its holdings as well. It has invested in local restaurants by reducing commissions for local merchants and has been providing grants. Earlier this week, the company launched the Main Street Strong Accelerator to support women-, immigrant- and BIPOC-owned businesses. The $2 million fund will provide $20,000 grants to 100 restaurants in five cities – New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta and Philadelphia.

The company is also looking to build out its DoorDash Drive program, which allows merchants to offer on-demand and same-day delivery through their own digital channels, and DoorDash Storefront, which helps merchants quickly build digital storefronts to participate in the e-commerce marketplace.

“Over time, we will have to build even more products and services to enable merchants to run their digital business as effectively as we operate our marketplace. Underpinning our marketplace and platform is our maniacal focus on operating efficiency where we believe best-in-class execution will result in an improving cost structure that unlocks further investment capital as we grow our skin,” CEO Tony Xu said.

Xu said the company still sees “massive runway” in the restaurant business, but DoorDash sees opportunity in the convenience and grocery categories.

“The job of our platform is to empower a brick-and-mortar merchant to build their own digital channel, a task necessary to have adapted to evolving consumer preferences before the pandemic and a task certainly necessary to have survived COVID-19. This business is even more critical as we come out of the pandemic as consumers have only become more habituated to a convenience economy, aided by a possible longer-term trend toward working from home,” Xu said.

DoorDash has been working with retailers such as Macy’s and Bloomingdales as well as dealers with convenience brands such as 7-Eleven, CVS, and Walgreens. Xu noted that DoorDash’s leadership in the food delivery space has allowed it to expand quickly into other areas – areas that it has actually been operating in since Drive launched in Q1 2017.

“I think what you’re seeing is every business recognizes that omnichannel is a great thing. Every business is trying to figure out how to redo their supply chains to really meet a post-pandemic omnichannel presence, which they expect to grow. And we’ll be there with them, both with our marketplace as well as our platform,” he said.

Click for more FreightWaves articles by Brian Straight.

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Social Auto Transport raises $1.5M in seed funding to expand gig economy auto-moving business

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Walmart to begin drone delivery pilot this summer

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Startup electric truck maker Nikola Corp. (NASDAQ: NKLA) reported a Q4 loss half of what analysts expected. It also has canceled its Powersports business to focus solely on battery-electric and hydrogen-powered fuel cell Class 8 trucks.

Nikola lost $146.8 million, or 17 cents a diluted share, in Q4 compared to a proforma loss of $28 million, or 9 cents, in the October-December period of 2019. 

Analyst consensus was for a loss of 34 cents per share. Nikola reported no revenue for the quarter. 

For the full year, Nikola lost $384.3 million, or 62 cents a diluted share, compared to a proforma loss of $88.7 million, or 32 cents, in 2019.

Nikola became a public company in June 2020 following a reverse merger with special purpose acquisition company VectoIQ Acquisition Corp.

Late 2021 production curtailed

Nikola expects to produce 50 to 100 battery-electric Tre models and generate its first meaningful revenue in the fourth quarter of 2021, Chief Financial Officer Kim Brady told analysts on the company’s earnings call after the market closed Thursday.

Production is being curtailed because of shortages of battery cells and semiconductors because of the COVID pandemic, CEO Mark Russell said. Work restrictions in Germany where the Tre is in prototype production also have slowed progress. Four of the first five Tre prototypes are in the U.S. for testing and validation. 

Potential customers could be invited to ride programs by the middle of the year, Russell said. But he declined to say how many Tres have been ordered. Nikola wants to lock in one or two fleets that will get the first trucks and “share a little bit of risk with us,” Russell said.

That is the approach Nikola took with Anheuser-Busch (NYSE: BUD), which will get the first Tre fuel cell trucks in early 2022 for testing.

Milton’s prevarications

Separately, former Executive Chairman Trevor Milton made at least nine inaccurate statements as alleged by short seller Hindenburg Research, according to Nikola’s 10-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. 

The company said SEC and U.S. Department of Justice investigations are ongoing. Civil or criminal charges are possible, Nikola said. Milton, Russell and Brady were among company officials subpoenaed by the federal court for the Southern District of New York in September.

“We have incurred significant expenses as a result of the regulatory and legal matters relating to the Hindenburg article,” Nikola said in the SEC filing. “The total cost associated with these matters will depend on many factors, including the duration of these matters and any related finding.”

Related articles:

Nikola reveals fuel cell truck timing but nothing new on customers

Nikola adds crisis-tested directors to regain credibility

Republic Services cancels refuse truck order from Nikola

Click for more FreightWaves articles by Alan Adler.

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Featured Truck - Eagleson Show Truck

Today’s truck is a cool Peterbilt brought to you by the Big Rigs Truck Show. Each week Bruce picks a cool truck from the many truck shows he attends. Hearing about them is one thing, seeing them is another. Check out this cool ride!

Check out the video on this featured truck by clicking here

This episode is sponsored by RIMS Transport who is looking for owner operators and drivers to work cross border operations out of Hamilton Ontario. You can learn more about the opportunities at www.rimstransport.com

About the Show

JOIN THE LEAD PEDAL PODCAST FAN CLUB www.TheLeadPedalPodcastFanClub.com

LISTEN TO LEAD PEDAL RADIO at www.LeadPedalRadio.com

The Lead Pedal Podcast for Truck Drivers talks all things trucking for people in the transportation industry helping them improve their business and careers. Interviews with industry professionals and truck drivers, trucking information, and other features on the industry are meant to be helpful for truck drivers and those in transportation. The Lead Pedal Podcast for Truck Drivers has main episodes released every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday with bonus material on other days. You can learn more about the host and show on our website and make sure to SUBSCRIBE to the show on your favourite podcast platform. www.theleadpedalpodcast.com

What does The Lead Pedal Podcast mean? The Lead (pronounced - Led) stands for acceleration or fast-track of your career or business. It is a play on words and we certainly are not here promoting speeding in the industry. We are hoping this information will help you become a professional driver faster than if you didn’t know about many of these topics.

Are you enjoying the show? If so we would appreciate you leaving us a rating and review on iTunes or on your favourite podcast platform. The show is available at www.theleadpedalpodcast.com  , ITunes, Stitcher, Spotify, Tunein, iHeartradio, SoundCloud, and other popular podcast platforms. Thanks for listening

Join The Lead Pedal Podcast Fan Club where are loyal fans get first chance at specials, discounts on merchandise and much more.The club is free to join and you can learn more at www.theleadpedalpodcastfanclub.com

 

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Owner of California carriers files Chapter 7

The owner of two defunct California trucking companies filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy on Wednesday.

This action comes after three breach-of-contract judgments amounting to over $317,000 were entered against Royal Flush 89 Transport and its owner, Getsemani Cuevas of Riverside, California.

In its filing with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California, Royal Flush lists assets of up to $50,000 and liabilities of between $500,000 and $1 million. The shuttered carrier states that it has up to 49 creditors. The company maintains that no funds will be available for unsecured creditors once it pays administrative fees.

Among the company’s list of unsecured creditors, which are last in line for payment, are Pearl Beta Funding, owed nearly $172,000, Mantis Funding, owed $113,500, and Comdata Inc., owed nearly $32,200. Cuevas was ordered to pay the companies in the breach-of-contract lawsuits.

Trucking companies Sierra Mountain Express Inc. of Orlando, Florida, is owed nearly $4,900, and H & S Car Carriers of Nahunta, Georgia, is owed $2,600, according to the petition.

Cuevas, who also owned Cuevas Transport, filed a personal Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition, listing assets of up to $50,000 and his liabilities of between $1 million and $10 million. In the filing, he lists the IRS as owed $19,500 in back taxes and the U.S. Treasury as owed more than $26,000. Both are listed as having priority unsecured claims against Cuevas. 

He also cites the legal judgments against Royal Flush and other company debts in his personal filing. The personal bankruptcy filing includes Cuevas Transport.

Cuevas did not respond to FreightWaves’ request for comment regarding the bankruptcy filings.

His attorney, Michael Smith of Shioda Langley & Chang of Riverside, told FreightWaves he couldn’t comment on the case.

Royal Flush had 12 power units and 11 drivers, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration SAFER website. The carrier’s authority was revoked in December 2018 after its insurance was canceled.

His intrastate carrier, Cuevas Transport, had four power units and eight drivers before shutting its doors.

A creditor’s meeting is scheduled for March 30.

Click for more FreightWaves articles by Clarissa Hawes.


Legal battle brewing in Texas over payout in fatal truck crash
Uber, judge skeptical of Levandowski’s tactics to protect wealth from creditors
Lavalle Transportation buys shuttered Rush Trucking, Lavalle employee says
Oilfield supervisor admits lining pockets with $400,000 of Petco’s money

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This fireside chat recap is from Day 4 of FreightWaves Global Supply Chain Week. Day 4 focuses on automotive.

FIRESIDE CHAT TOPIC: A Shared Trust Layer: MOBI’s Work on the Open Mobility Network

DETAILS: Providing vehicles with a secure ID via blockchain opens up enormous potential as market participants come together under shared standards. MOBI has created “digital twins” for vehicles, incorporating all of the information on the vehicles as they leave the factory, as well as everything in vehicles’ lives after they leave the factory.

SPEAKER: Chris Ballinger, CEO, MOBI

BIO: Chris Ballinger is the CEO and co-founder of the Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative (MOBI), a global consortium of government agencies, academic institutions, private companies and public organizations exploring blockchain and distributed ledger technology to improve mobility, transit and logistics. 

KEY QUOTES FROM CHRIS BALLINGER:

“The convergence of AI, IoT and distributed ledgers allows anything, whether it’s a person or a package or a vehicle, to have a trusted ID and link that to other attributes. So, for the first time, we can begin to export digital economics to physical things.”

“If you can combine location with a secure ID, that opens up enormous opportunities — a whole new economy.”

“Most infrastructure, you can’t marginal-cost price, meaning you have difficulty financing it and difficulty using it efficiently. You have all kinds of problems with congestion and pollution because you can’t marginal-cost price for these kinds of things. If you combine location with secure ID, you can begin to charge for things like the carbon footprint, and charge differently for a clean vehicle versus a dirty vehicle, and so on.”

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What Does it Take to be a Successful Father and Son Team

We chat with a father and son team operating with Groupe Trans-West to find out what it is like on the road as a team operation and what they like best about the road. Groupe Trans-West is looking for professional teams to operate out of their Mississauga terminal with excellent employment benefits between Toronto Ontario and California. Find out more at www.groupetranswest.com  or call recruiter Mike Hahn at 416-606-8296

About the Show

JOIN THE LEAD PEDAL PODCAST FAN CLUB www.TheLeadPedalPodcastFanClub.com

LISTEN TO LEAD PEDAL RADIO at www.LeadPedalRadio.com

The Lead Pedal Podcast for Truck Drivers talks all things trucking for people in the transportation industry helping them improve their business and careers. Interviews with industry professionals and truck drivers, trucking information, and other features on the industry are meant to be helpful for truck drivers and those in transportation. The Lead Pedal Podcast for Truck Drivers has main episodes released every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday with bonus material on other days. You can learn more about the host and show on our website and make sure to SUBSCRIBE to the show on your favourite podcast platform. www.theleadpedalpodcast.com

What does The Lead Pedal Podcast mean? The Lead (pronounced - Led) stands for acceleration or fast-track of your career or business. It is a play on words and we certainly are not here promoting speeding in the industry. We are hoping this information will help you become a professional driver faster than if you didn’t know about many of these topics.

Are you enjoying the show? If so we would appreciate you leaving us a rating and review on iTunes or on your favourite podcast platform. The show is available at www.theleadpedalpodcast.com  , ITunes, Stitcher, Spotify, Tunein, iHeartradio, SoundCloud, and other popular podcast platforms. Thanks for listening

Join The Lead Pedal Podcast Fan Club where are loyal fans get first chance at specials, discounts on merchandise and much more.The club is free to join and you can learn more at www.theleadpedalpodcastfanclub.com 

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safety bonus

A good safety bonus is always a welcome addition to a paycheck. Not all companies have the same criteria for what they expect from drivers. However, there are several best practices that will help keep you safe no matter what you haul or who you drive for. Our list includes some of the most common expectations we’ve seen from companies.

1. Every Company Is Different

Safety bonuses are a nice boost to a paycheck, but the bottom line is, it’s a bonus. Companies don’t have to give drivers that money. There’s also a lot of different philosophies between companies. Some offer large bonuses that make up a good chunk of change. Others give smaller bonuses that are more like a pat on the back. The frequency of payment also depends entirely on the company. Some might give bonuses quarterly, while others might stick to an annual bonus.

2. Safety With Your Truck

Truck maintenance and repairs are an important part of truck safety, and they can help keep you on track for a safety bonus. Make sure to take your truck in for regular preventative maintenance. Those little problems that can probably wait until later might eventually become big problems. Also, always perform and document pre-trip and post-trip inspections. Make sure your boss knows that you are diligent in caring for your vehicle. Keeping your tractor in good condition goes a long way toward safety on the road.

3. Safety On The Ground

As any experienced driver knows, truck safety starts before you reach your tractor. It’s important to have a plan for your next route. Find the balance between timely deliveries and cautious driving. Make sure to allow time for unexpected incidents, especially in poor weather or when you know there are construction zones on your route. If something comes up that will delay your delivery, get in touch as soon as possible.

Find the balance between timely deliveries and cautious driving.

Some companies may look at other parts of your driving record when deciding on a safety bonus, For example, drivers should not have any hours of service violations. If you find yourself in a forced dispatch situation that would violate HOS rules, refuse the load. It’s illegal to force dispatch that violates HOS rules. A safety bonus could also look at drug tests or days absent from work. 

4. Safety On The Road

Safety on the road is all about accident prevention. All of the basics you learned early on are the same things that will help you get that safety bonus. Use turn signals. Maintain a safe following distance. Keep scanning every 8-10 seconds. Don’t get pulled over for a speeding ticket (or anything else), and make sure your record is clear from preventable accidents. All of these are fundamental safety tips that are tried and true for a reason. 

Earn a driver safety bonus

Whenever possible, make sure to eliminate or at least reduce distractions while driving. Whether it’s a phone, the radio, or another piece of technology, use it safely when you’re behind the wheel. Driving distraction-free is especially important when you’re maneuvering in tight spaces. Whether it’s backing into a loading dock or navigating tight city streets, these are areas of increased work accidents. Loading and unloading zones may have vehicles, people, and all kinds of other obstacles or distractions in your path. Stay alert to your surroundings, and don’t hesitate to ask for other vehicles or people to move if there’s not enough space. Safety bonuses are most important to you as a driver, so put yourself in a position to be successful.

5. Benefits of a Clean Driving Record

A clean driving record will leave you in a better position for almost any job. To start, good driving can give you an extra pay bump from a safety bonus at your current company. It will also give you better hiring prospects for almost any job in the future. In addition, there are some trucking jobs where safety is even more important such as tanker hazmat loads. A clean driving record will open doors for these types of jobs if you decide to apply for them in the future.

STAY UPDATED ON INDUSTRY TRENDS AND BEST PRACTICES

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The post 5 Tips for Truck Drivers to Earn a Safety Bonus appeared first on Drive My Way.

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Berkshire Grey

Making its inaugural deal, special purpose acquisition company Revolution Acceleration Acquisition Corp. has entered into an agreement with Berkshire Grey, which provides AI-enabled integrated robotic solutions for the supply chain. 

The deal values the combined company at $2.7 billion and is expected to provide Berkshire Grey about $413 million in cash.

“My partner Steve Case and I are thrilled to have identified Berkshire Grey for our inaugural SPAC,” said Revolution Chief Executive Officer John Delaney. 

“When Steve and I partnered to form Revolution Acceleration Acquisition Corp., our thesis was to acquire a company that is positioned to benefit from the acceleration of certain important trends in our economy. Berkshire Grey is a perfect fit. There may be no trend that is accelerating more than the transition to the digital economy.”

Founded in 2013 by Chief Executive Officer Tom Wagner, Berkshire develops artificial intelligence-based logistics automation systems, which are used by its customers in their warehouses and distribution centers. It reported $35 million in revenue in 2020 and expects to generate $59 million in revenue in 2021.

“Berkshire Grey was founded to help our customers compete even more favorably in the rapidly evolving worlds of retail and logistics,” Wagner said.  “Consumer expectations have changed, putting more pressure on supply chain operations to get the right goods to the right places at the right times, as efficiently as possible. 

“Over the last 12 months the pandemic amplified the already high pressure to transform, so today it is no longer a question of if companies might transform but how quickly. We are incredibly excited about this transaction, which will enable Berkshire Grey to accelerate growth and provide new and existing customers with our leading robotics solutions.”

“As we all know, e-commerce is exploding and consumer expectations are changing, creating a strategic imperative to automate the supply chain across the retail, grocery and package sectors,” Delaney said, adding that Berkshire Grey is a “singular category-defining company and an extraordinary compelling investment.” 

Delaney cited seven reasons why Revolution considers Berkshire Grey to be compelling:

  • Best-in-class technology. (“What their robots can do is amazing,” he said)
  • Category creator
  • Huge market opportunity
  • Terrific growth, especially for the next five years
  • Can enable companies to effectively address the “Amazon Effect”
  • Already doing business with number of blue-chip clients, including Walmart, Target and FedEx
  • Very well managed

“Today’s consumers expect a better selection of goods, at lower prices, with shipping that is immediate,” Delaney said. “In our judgment, Berkshire Grey’s best-in-class technology and uniquely integrated solutions provide a critical pathway for companies to adapt to these changing needs.”

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Ate one too many Twinkies today.

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International express carrier DHL Express said Wednesday that it has opened a drive-up, mobile pop-up retail store in Woodbridge, Virginia’s Potomac Mills shopping center. The drive-up facility, believed to be the first of its kind in the U.S., will allow customers to complete their transactions without leaving their vehicles, the DHL unit said.

The new facility, about 22 miles south of Washington, D.C., on Interstate 95, can be used to create shipments at the site, drop off already-prepared packages, and pick up parcels for U.S. and international services. DHL operates in 220 countries and territories. The U.S. market is an international pickup and delivery node. The unit ceased U.S. domestic operations in January 2009.

Customers may access the Virginia facility either via the drive-up window or in the store, DHL Express said. Supplies such as bubble wrap, packing tape and DHL-branded boxes are available, the DHL unit said. In response to social-distancing concerns brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, DHL Express said that customers can request that labels and packaging be ready upon their arrival.

The facility is the second DHL Express “ServicePoint location” in the Washington metro area. In July 2019, DHL Express opened a mobile pop-up store in Silver Spring, Maryland. However, that facility does not have drive-up capabilities.

DHL is a unit of the German transport and logistics conglomerate Deutsche Post DHL (OTCUS:DPSGY).

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I went 30-seconds over on my Hours of Service. Now I’m in prison.

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Postmaster General Louis DeJoy on Wednesday defended parts of what will likely be included in a 10-year strategy to save the struggling agency, including a cost-cutting measure that would expand delivery times and move more first-class mail from planes to trucks.

Testifying before the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, the U.S. Postal Service chief blamed air carriers for poor service during 2020, particularly during the end-of-year holidays.

“That [air] network over the last year has been performing at a 55% to 70% [on-time] rate, and that is a big reason for a lot of our failure, especially through the Christmas holiday,” DeJoy told Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md. “We’ve had packages — which are not even included in that statistic — being held up at air facilities across the country. It is not reliable.”

Raskin pressured DeJoy on the logic of eliminating two- to three-day mail delivery and moving to a three- to five-day service window. “How will that improve the appeal and resiliency of the post office?”

“The appeal of the Postal Service will survive the minor changes” that will be included in the 10-year strategy, DeJoy responded. “In our strategy, if we in fact get the relief that we need in terms of [added delivery] time, we will put more mail on the ground.”

The purpose of the hearing was to review legislation introduced last week meant to rescue the Postal Service from what DeJoy at the hearing called a “death spiral.” The current draft includes a provision to repeal a requirement that the Postal Service pre-fund retiree health care as well as performance standard requirements.

“Absent substantial changes, our financial losses will continue to widen, and our ability to invest in the future of the organization will be severely curtailed,” DeJoy testified. “We are forecasted to lose $160 billion over the next 10 years, with a negative cash balance of the same size.”

Asked if he thought using third-party logistics companies to share the work of the agency could help financially, DeJoy said he wasn’t a fan.

“I think in many ways it has enabled people to run around the network, and is part of the reason we have a hollowed-out network,” he said. “We only deliver 35% of the packages to the American community right now, and I think we have an opportunity to grow that and serve the people, and having partnerships with commercial businesses [such as retailers] and being fully integrated with them … is a big opportunity for us.”

Rep. Jim Cooper, D-Tenn., confronted DeJoy on plans to remain postmaster general, given calls by Democrats that President Joe Biden replace him and the rest of the Postal Service board. Political opposition to DeJoy intensified last year when service from the agency began to deteriorate shortly after he took the reins.

“I’m not a political appointee; I was selected by a bipartisan board of governors. I appreciate if you get that straight,” DeJoy responded. “Get used to me. As far as my commitment to see our plan through, I’m here until I can see the tangibly produced results we intend to see. I believe the board is committed to that.”

Related articles:

Click for more FreightWaves articles by John Gallagher.

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This fireside chat recap is from Day 3 of FreightWaves Global Supply Chain Week. Day 3 focuses on food shippers.

FIRESIDE CHAT TOPIC: The transportation challenges faced by U.S. food exporters.

DETAILS: The global transport system is short of containers. Carriers are racing to get available boxes back to China for lucrative headhaul trades. This is leaving U.S. exporters of food and containerized agricultural products short of the boxes they need.

SPEAKER: Peter Friedmann, executive director, Agriculture Transport Coalition (AgTC).

BIO: Peter Friedmann led the formation of the AgTC when a number of agricultural exporters sought assistance in dealing with transportation challenges. The AgTC is now the voice for a broad cross-section of U.S. agriculture exporters, importers and service providers who require competitive ocean, rail and truck transportation services to maintain and grow their foreign market share.

KEY QUOTES FROM PETER FRIEDMANN:

“It’s a little too easy for ocean carriers and the terminals to blame everything on COVID. We are finding that some of the most incredible cost burdens imposed on U.S. exporters had their roots in the actions of the carriers and the terminals in the years leading up to the COVID crisis. This notion that carriers need to charge fees as an incentive is an old song you’ve heard for decades.”

“It’s terrible [the situation for U.S. exporters]. Terrible as in losing sales, losing customers and losing profits after you pay significant penalties when you don’t deliver on time.”

“The fact is: The Chinese government stepped in when the ocean carriers announced yet another general rate increase [GRI] on the trans-Pacific eastbound — on import cargo into the U.S. The Chinese government said, ‘No, that $800 GRI you announced, you’re not going to do it.’ And the next day, it was rescinded. China is protecting its exports. The U.S., we believe, needs to protect its exports.”

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I was just thinking things are starting to look up for a change but then reality kicked me in the dick.

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[caption caption="Ten million tons of furniture end up in landfills each year, according to Chris Richter, CEO of FloorFound. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com."][/caption]Reverse logistics startup FloorFound received $4 million in seed funding Wednesday to grow its online return and resale platform and expand into additional segments within the oversized e-commerce market.The...

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Saw this old girl sitting around. Had to stop and grab a picture.

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This fireside chat recap is from Day 3 of FreightWaves’ Global Supply Chain Week. Day 3 focuses on food and perishables and the consumer packaged goods supply chain.  

FIRESIDE CHAT TOPIC: Big shifts among grain traders and how it impacts agricultural supply chains

DETAILS: Jonathan Kingsman discusses several key trends that have impacted global supply chains in agriculture over the past 40-plus years. One is the evolution of the huge grain merchants that controlled so much of the flows back in the 1970s, who have either changed their way of doing business or disappeared altogether in mergers. The second is the growing efficiency of the supply chain in agriculture, which recently has come under pressure from revived government intervention.

SPEAKER and INTERVIEWER: Kingsman is the author of “Out of the Shadows: The New Merchants of Grain” and host of the podcast “Commodity Conversations.” He is interviewed by John Kingston, FreightWaves editor at large. 

BIO: Kingsman spent nearly 40 years in the commodity business as a trader, a broker, and finally, as an analyst. He also founded Kingsman SA, an analytics firm in the sugar market that was sold to what is now S&P Global in 2012. Kingsman, who  lives in Lausanne, Switzerland, also is the author of “The Sugar Casino”; “Commodity Conversations – An Introduction to Trading in Agricultural Commodities”; and Crop to Cup:. 

KEY QUOTES FROM KINGSMAN

On recent trade wars: “Governments were coming back into the business, not just in the U.S., which was impacting very seriously grain exports out of the U.S., but also in Russia, where the Russian government is sort of getting involved again in Russian grain exports.”

“Government intervention impacts these trade flows and makes it pretty difficult for markets to operate. If you want these markets to operate, you need to have the price signals getting through and you need governments to stay away from trying to do what they do when they set prices and fix export quotas.”

On the impact from recent trade wars: “Looking back now, it’s not that bad. Those supply chains still exist. The supply chains are working so we can see that the market is robust and those supply chains are robust.”

“Farmers are attacked for being big. But this increasing efficiency allowed for the amount of farmland to go down and allowed these areas to be reforested.”

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Out of 50 trailers this one poor trailer sunk straight down

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Taking Secondary roads all day today. My apologies for whoever gets stuck behind me doing 70kph.

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Welcome to the WHAT THE TRUCK?!? newsletter sponsored by Legend Transportation Inc. In this issue, dogs in logistics, plus market crunches shippers, a look at Global Supply Chain Week, moving a house with a semi and more.

Rejects on the rise

SONAR

Find another carrier — Last week’s winter storms saw freight volumes drop down like my Robinhood portfolio but not at pace with capacity, which went offline at a faster rate. As Zach Strickland wrote in his Chart of the Week, “It is unusual, but not as rare as one might think, for capacity to tighten and volumes decline simultaneously.” This week we’re continuing to see recovery in volumes (+5.17%) at a quicker pace than capacity, which is driving rejects to near-peak levels with more than 1-in-4 (27.59%) loads being denied. 

Spot spotting — In a near unprecedented move, market volatility has delayed spot rates as markets are accounted for. We were at $2.85 last week, and we expect this number to be up even higher this week. Bad news for shippers as they’re not only dealing with elevated freight costs, but delivery and service delays as well. This couldn’t come at a worse time as retailers are desperate to restock inventories

The most important part of the day

CBP

Officer Bico earns his biscuit On Feb. 13, CBP narcotics K-9 Bico sniffed out a shipment of cocaine-frosted corn flakes from South America. The illicit cereal originated from Peru and was headed to Hong Kong before it got clipped in Cincinnati. According to a CBP release, officers reportedly tested the shipment and found it contained about 44 pounds of cocaine-coated corn flakes, with a street value of up to $2.8 million. No word on if it still gets soggy in milk. 

CBP

Hidden in plain sight Drug smugglers have gone to great lengths to smuggle narcotics over the years, often using common albeit unlikely items to do so. Agents have found cocaine inside Nike Air Jordans, tamales, fish, cookies, watermelon, accordions, dolls and more.

Dogs taking their talents to South Beach

Department for Health and Social Care

Bombs and COVID — During Day 1 of FreightWaves’ Global Supply Chain Week, our own Eric Kulisch caught up with Eric Hare, CEO of Global K9 Protection Group, to talk about the use of trained dogs to detect cargo explosives at airports as well as COVID-19 at Miami Heat Games. 

The science [proves] that canines can almost detect anything that has an odor signature. Canines can be taught to react to that, to things like cancer. — Eric Hare, CEO, Global K9 Protection Group

We talkin’ about practice!? — According to Hare, it takes eight weeks to train both a doggo and its hooman. With the pandemic, recruiting dogs has gone virtual as pups are screened over video.  

Alley-oop — Nearly a month ago, the Miami Heat began allowing a limited number of fans to attend games. Part of what has made that possible is the use of COVID-sniffing canines at American Airlines Arena. “Dogs are amazing creatures and their noses are way more powerful than ours,” said Matthew Jafarian, the executive vice president of business strategy for the Miami Heat, to ABC7. By powerful, he means 300 million smell receptors to our inferior 6 million. 

Roll over — So, does it work? Although the method isn’t approved by the FDA, a number of peer-reviewed studies are being conducted to determine the dogs’ effectiveness. A German veterinary clinic claims to have trained sniffer dogs to detect COVID-19 with 94% accuracy, according to the World Economic Forum. Critics still contend that it gives people a false sense of security. I contend that dogs are in fact awesome. 

When you hate your neighbors as much as you love your house

Twitter / @JamesClayton5

When you have to move houses, literally — For the first time in 47 years, a Victorian home was moved in San Francisco. The journey of six blocks took six hours as a semi tugged the 141-year-old home through the Bay Area. The 19th century dwelling moved mostly without incident, though it did hit a few trees and a light pole. The cost? $400,000.

Pixar did it first — Since the comparisons to “Up” are so obvious and undeniable, it makes you wonder how many balloons would it have taken to move such a house. According to Science On, “We’re looking at needing about 6.67 million balloons to lift the 120,000-pound house.” That’s far less than the 23.5 million balloons Pixar technicians estimated it would take. In the movie, only 20,622 balloons were used.

Blowout

Wyoming Department of Transportation

High winds — According to WYDOT, crews were working on a crash on I-25 south of Chugwater involving a truck blow over. The incident occurred northbound near milepost 54. The area was rankled by 57 mph winds with gusts of 67 mph.

That’s exactly where my wife and I were in our motor home caught in a tornado! I had to pull over and the wind lifted us up about 3 feet on our side then set us back down! So scary, we won’t ever forget about this break. — Tracy Sessions on Facebook

Blow the man down — According to our own Nick Austin, NWS-Cheyenne office issued 55 high-wind warnings in 2020 for southeastern Wyoming alone. The only other office to issue more last year was Midland, Texas (out of more than 122 offices). A high-wind warning is issued if gusts are forecast to exceed 58 mph.

Global Supply Chain Week


Off to the races
Day 2 of Global Supply Chain Week is in the books, but we still have six more days of live virtual event action to go. You can register for free right here. Doing so will enter you into a drawing to win some amazing prizes. So far we’ve already given away Apple TV 4Ks, AirPod Pros, annual Platinum memberships to Topgolf and more. Heck, you can even win an XBox Series X.

WTT?!? LIVE M-W-F Monday on the show we caught up with Hyliion CEO/founder Thomas Healy to talk about his company’s breakthrough battery tech. We were also joined by Doug Waggoner, CEO of Echo Global Logistics, and Patrick Pretorius, Transporeon’s director of business development. You can rewatch that here, then catch the rest of our live sets on 2/24, 2/26, 3/1 and 3/3.

Now on demand

LIVE from GSCW Hyliion’s Thomas Healy, Echo Global Logistics’ Doug Waggoner

The story behind landing Perseverance on Mars with guests from NASA

WATCH/LISTEN

Logistics behind building a beverage brand with Olipop

WATCH/LISTEN

Kids ask NASA

Stars inspiring the youth — The WHAT THE TRUCK?!? kids ask NASA’s Kennedy Space Center if they’ll reach Mars by the time they’re the ripe old age of The Dude and me.

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Defense contractor Oshkosh Truck Corp. (NYSE: OSK) won a 10-year contract to build next-generation delivery vehicles (NGDVs) for the U.S. Postal Service, beating out electric delivery van maker Workhorse Group Inc.

Day traders had driven Workhorse (NASDAQ: WKHS) shares to record levels in recent months, anticipating that at least a piece of the multibillion-dollar contract would be awarded to the company. It was one of three finalists. The Postal Service delayed awarding the contract for several years after inviting seven companies to build prototypes for evaluation.

Workhouse shares closed down 47.45% to $16.47 on Tuesday. It continued to lose ground in after-hours trading, dropping an additional 5% to $15.88. Oshkosh shares closed 6.14% higher at $109.62.

Investors, especially day traders on the Robinhood platform, led to Workhorse being among 50 stocks whose trading Robinhood suspended during the recent meme stock frenzy.

It’s Oshkosh, by gosh

Oshkosh, based in the Wisconsin city of the same name, makes off-highway equipment, refuse and severe service equipment in addition to military vehicles. The Oshkosh M-ATV is a mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicle for the MRAP All Terrain Vehicle program intended to replace the M1114 HMMWVs, known as Humvees.

The Postal Service said little and discouraged companies in the running from talking about the bid process. Oshkosh recently related to investors its willingness to make battery-electric-powered vehicles if that is what the Postal Service wanted. 

The heavy equipment maker partnered with Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F), which recently announced an electric version of the Transit van built at its Kansas City Assembly Plant in Claycomo, Missouri.

“Oshkosh operates with unparalleled commitment to those who depend on our products and services to build, protect and serve communities around the world,” John Pfeifer, Oshkosh president and chief operating officer, said in a press release.

The third finalist was Turkish commercial vehicle builder Karsan. It teamed up with bodybuilder Morgan Olson.

Modern upgrade

The 10-year contract begins with a $482 million investment. With that money, Oshkosh Defense will finalize the production design of the  purpose-built, right-hand-drive vehicle for mail and package delivery.

It will assemble 50,000 to 165,000 NGDVs over 10 years. The vehicles will be equipped with either fuel-efficient internal combustion engines or battery-electric powertrains capable of being retrofitted to keep pace with advances in electric vehicle technologies. 

The initial investment also includes plant tooling and build-out for a U.S. manufacturing facility where final vehicle assembly will occur. Oshkosh did not disclose which of its plants would build the NGDV  or how Ford would be involved.

The Postal Service fleet has more than 230,000 vehicles in every class from purpose-built to commercial vehicles. Approximately 190,000 deliver mail reaching every U.S. community. Many of the vehicles, built by Grumman Corp. (NYSE: NOC), have been in service for 30 years. The Oshkosh contract is open-ended. That means the Postal Service can add money for more vehicles.

The first NGDVs are estimated to appear on carrier routes in 2023.

Air conditioning and heating, improved ergonomics, and advanced vehicle technology, including 360-degree cameras, will be included on the new vehicles. Advanced braking and traction control, air bags, and a front- and rear-collision avoidance system that includes visual, audio warning and automatic braking are also planned.

The vehicles will also have increased cargo capacity to better accommodate higher package volumes stemming from the growth of e-commerce.

Workhorse support

Workhorse was seen as a strong candidate when President Donald Trump was in office. He advocated for Lordstown Motors Corp. (NASDAQ: RIDE), a startup electric pickup truck maker, which purchased the former General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) assembly complex in northeast Ohio.

Founded by former Workhorse CEO Steve Burns, LMC was expected to manufacture the postal vehicles under contract from Workhorse in the sprawling 6.2 million-square-foot plant. LMC shares fell 13.41% to close at $19.69.

The technology for the Lordstown Endurance Class 1 electric pickup is based on technology leased from Workhorse. The same underpinnings were used for Workhorse’s postal vehicle entry.

Workhorse did not respond to a FreightWaves request for comment on the awarding of the postal contract.

Workhorse production woes

Burns founded  Amp Electric in 2007. It changed its name to Workhorse in 2015 after acquiring a former Navistar International Corp. (NYSE: NAV) plant in Union City, Indiana. After building a few hundred battery-electric vans there, Workhorse pivoted to a composite body battery-electric van called the C-Series. 

The production startup was delayed several times. And Workhorse has been hit with COVID infection and parts supply issues. Only a handful of vans have been built. It has orders for several thousand on its books.

Workhorse scrutinized as Postal Service again delays contract

Analysts’ patience wearing thin with Workhorse delays

GM sells shuttered Lordstown plant to Workhorse founder

Click for more FreightWaves articles by Alan Adler.

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My first middle finger of 2021. 😃 West Virginia, US-35.

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Brian Topping Talks Rosedale Safety and Why It’s So Important

Bruce chats with Brian Topping of Rosedale Transport about safety and professionalism at the company. Learn why Rosedale is one of the leaders in safety in the trucking industry and why they should be on your list if looking to work with a safe carrier. Rosedale Transport offers career opportunities for truck drivers with their large network. You can learn more at www.rosedalegroup.com

About the Show

JOIN THE LEAD PEDAL PODCAST FAN CLUB www.TheLeadPedalPodcastFanClub.com

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The Lead Pedal Podcast for Truck Drivers talks all things trucking for people in the transportation industry helping them improve their business and careers. Interviews with industry professionals and truck drivers, trucking information, and other features on the industry are meant to be helpful for truck drivers and those in transportation. The Lead Pedal Podcast for Truck Drivers has main episodes released every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday with bonus material on other days. You can learn more about the host and show on our website and make sure to SUBSCRIBE to the show on your favourite podcast platform. www.theleadpedalpodcast.com

What does The Lead Pedal Podcast mean? The Lead (pronounced - Led) stands for acceleration or fast-track of your career or business. It is a play on words and we certainly are not here promoting speeding in the industry. We are hoping this information will help you become a professional driver faster than if you didn’t know about many of these topics.

Are you enjoying the show? If so we would appreciate you leaving us a rating and review on iTunes or on your favourite podcast platform. The show is available at www.theleadpedalpodcast.com  , ITunes, Stitcher, Spotify, Tunein, iHeartradio, SoundCloud, and other popular podcast platforms. Thanks for listening

Join The Lead Pedal Podcast Fan Club where are loyal fans get first chance at specials, discounts on merchandise and much more.The club is free to join and you can learn more at www.theleadpedalpodcastfanclub.com 

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dot drug test

DOT Drug tests aren’t going to win a contest for the best part about trucking any time soon, but all drivers have to take them. DOT Drug tests are required for all “safety-sensitive” employees, and that includes all CDL holders. Normally, the drug tests are pretty routine, but the possibility of failing a drug test can be pretty nerve-wracking. Hopefully, you will pass every DOT Drug test, but if not, here’s what you need to know to get back on your feet.

What is the DOT Drug Test?

The DOT Drug test started with the Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act. Essentially, in 1991, the Department of Transportation saw a need for federally regulated drug testing to keep traveling public workers safe. Since then, CDL drivers and other designated employees have to regularly take DOT Drug tests.

Everywhere in the United States, the drug tests are non-invasive and test for a standard list of substances. The drug test looks for evidence of Marijuana, Cocaine, Opiates (any opium and codeine substances), Amphetamines and Methamphetamines, and Phencyclidine (PCP). Each of these substances has a cutoff concentration, and drivers must be below that limit. Drug tests are typically done with a hair or urine test, and saliva or breath tests are used for alcohol. 

When Do Drivers Take the Drug Test?

There are a few times where you can count on getting a DOT Drug test. The first is for a new job. Any time you are starting a new position as a CDL driver, you can count on a DOT drug test. Employers can also test when they have reasonable suspicion that you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In this case, their concerns must be based on legitimate observations. That could include appearance, smell, behavior, or similar tip-offs. Finally, employers give random drug tests on a quarterly basis. This doesn’t mean that you will get tested every quarter, but it means that someone will. 

According to DOT regulations, when on duty, drivers are prohibited from specific behaviors including:

  • Being under the influence of alcohol
  • Drug use (including residual amounts in your body)
  • Refusing a DOT Drug test.

What If I Don’t Pass?

If you fail or refuse a DOT drug test, there will be several consequences. You will likely be removed from your job immediately. Employers aren’t required to wait for the final results from the Medical Review Officer (MRO), so you will typically be asked to step away from your job right away. In some cases, you could lose your license or driving endorsements. At the end of the day, the consequences will be a little different depending on your company and your employment agreement. If you believe it was a false positive because of medications or another factor, reach out immediately! You will not be able to give a second sample, but you can ask that the sample is retested. You will need a follow-up appointment and proof of your prescription to validate your claim.

How Do I Get Back To Work?

If you fail or refuse a drug test, there is a separate process for moving forward. While you will likely be asked to immediately step away from your job, that doesn’t mean you will never be able to return to driving. Typically, after drivers fail a drug test, they work closely with a qualified Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) for several months as part of a Return to Duty process. The SAP plans a program that may include some type of rehab and/or education. At this stage, it’s no longer in the hands of your employer. Ultimately, the decisions of the SAP are final. Once the SAP confirms that the driver is healthy and has completed the rehabilitation program, drivers may be eligible to return to work with their previous or a new employer.

Will This Stay on My Record?

Failed DOT Drug tests are recorded in the FMCSA Clearinghouse. Refusals to take a drug test are also documented in the Clearinghouse. The SAP will also stay in touch with drivers who fail or refuse a drug test. Typically, the SAP will follow up with the driver six times in the 12 months after the failed test. Drivers may also be required to take additional drug tests up to five years after the initial failed test.

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The post What Happens If You Fail a DOT Drug Test appeared first on Drive My Way.

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This fireside chat recap is from Day 1 of FreightWaves Global Supply Chain Week. Day 1 focuses on military, aerospace and manufacturing.

FIRESIDE CHAT TOPIC: Customer-centric digital innovation in the airfreight industry — a look at Delta Cargo’s digital transformation from a customer perspective

DETAILS:  A look at how Delta Cargo’s innovative digital transformation is creating a more transparent and customer-centric experience across the globe.

SPEAKERS: Rob Walpole, vice president of Delta Cargo, and Thomas Puglisi, global head of operations, air logistics at Kuehne+Nagel.

BIOS: Walpole is vice president of Delta Cargo and leads a team of 1,500 employees across the globe. He is responsible for driving the division’s continuous improvement to ensure superior commercial, financial and operational performance. He also spent 11 years with the global logistics company DB Schenker, most recently as chief executive officer of its USA business.

Puglisi has been employed at Kuehne+Nagel for 27 years, where he has held various roles within the Airfreight business unit, and oversees Airfreight Operations and Processes, Airfreight Systems, Customer Onboarding, e-Touch, Training, and Operational Development. 

“There [are] fundamental reasons why we do it, not just for the sake of the technology itself, but rather because the technology like API makes good sense. … Our experience with working with Delta has been very, very positive.”

“I am a big believer that email as a business process is just not the way you want to work…the ability to interact systematically on a host-to-host basis eliminates all of the time spent just for sending emails.”

“There are several steps that a company typically has to go through in order to have a check issued. … These are some of the typical bottlenecks that you can actually eliminate when you go to that cashless process.”

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CONA Services, which provides a specific framework of practices and IT services for all Coca-Cola suppliers and bottlers to allow a more efficient workflow, continues to add to its growest list of partnerships.

Earlier this month, CONA announced it was partnering with Salesforce, a leader in the customer relationship management space, to streamline operations and communications with contact centers.

This comes on the heels of previously announced partnerships in the past seven months with Blue Yonder and Plantensive — and may help explain why the Atlanta-based CONA was featured in Forbes’ Blockchain 50, a list of technology leaders that have a revenue or valuation of at least $1 billion.

Many on Forbes’ Blockchain 50 have used blockchain technologies to create more sustainable, global supply chains and to fix a number of logistical problems. Prior to CONA Services, many of Coca-Cola’s processes involved antiquated spreadsheets and regulations across the world, leading bottlers to bicker over lost product and unexpected costs.  

With the help of CONA’s blockchain initiatives, consumers can track their Coca-Cola products in real time.   

“The decision to move to Salesforce Consumer Goods Cloud makes sense for CONA,” Reinhart Meiser, chief executive officer of CONA, said when the partnership was announced Feb. 11. “Providing a 360-degree view of the consumer, Consumer Goods Cloud gives our bottlers a shared view of every customer interaction, increasing productivity, removing waste and simplifying our systems landscape.’’

Added Parker Harris, co-founder and chief technology officer of Salesforce: “Coca-Cola and CONA rely on grocery stores, restaurants, sports stadiums and more to represent their brand and deliver their products to consumers. We’re proud to work with Coca-Cola bottlers to help them build even closer relationships with merchandisers, streamline contact center operations, and ultimately, power their digital transformation.”

This has not been CONA’s only strategic partnership in the past year. In October, Plantensive, a supply chain and retail planning consulting provider, announced it had completed a core build phase of Blue Yonder’s planning solutions for the Coca-Cola service.

“We are excited to partner with CONA on their digital supply chain transformation journey,” said Terry Turner, president, Americas Retail, Blue Yonder. “Blue Yonder’s solutions will allow CONA to have an agile supply chain that can predict disruptions, creating end-to-end visibility into its planning and the ability to pivot to meet any challenges and demands.”

CONA also partnered with Unibright in August to develop enterprise blockchain applications aiming to create what they call a “Coca-Cola Bottling Harbor.” This initiative brought together the processes of Coca-Cola’s 12 largest bottlers within North America.  

Their goal is to create a low-barrier network-joining process for bottling suppliers. Purchase orders from the buyer’s ERP system are transformed into a common domain model that all participants are able to read and write, then sent to suppliers of the network through secure channels. They intend to create this same baseline for shipping and invoice updates as well.

Provide Technologies and Unibright explain CONA Services’ baseline protocol

All of Coca-Cola and CONA’s blockchain investments seem to be paying off in supply-chain efficiency. In the company’s Feb. 10 earnings call, James Quincey, chairman and chief executive officer of Coca-Cola, explained their bottling investment group further improved operating margin performance. 

“Seamless system connectivity helps us maintain the local relevance while benefiting from a global scale,” Quincey said. “We continue to engage with our bottling partners holistically to fuel the network for long-term growth. We’re working to lift and shift capabilities. We can focus on being successful today while also pursuing our ambitions for the future.”

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Hours of service (HOS) compliance is an important part of risk management in the commercial trucking sector. In addition to trucking insurance and safety-oriented procedures, adhering to HOS guidelines for driver operations can protect fleets and their drivers while helping to avoid steep regulatory penalties. While “yard moves” are a common practice in fleet operations, there exists some confusion in the relationship between this practice and HOS compliance. Proposed guidance by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) aims to erase that confusion.

Yard Moves Defined

When trucks are operated in fleet yards, such as to position them for maintenance, cleaning, or logistical purposes, this is considered a yard move. The term “yard” may refer to several different facilities, including:

  • Intermodal transfer points
  • Port facilities
  • Private parking areas owned by a motor carrier
  • Motor carrier places of business
  • Restricted public roads (restricted temporarily from public use by using traffic control devices like gates, lighting, or flaggers)

Prior to the implementation of electronic logging devices (ELDs), fleet managers understood that yard moves were considered off-duty time and as such were not counted towards driver hours of service. Unfortunately, ELDs cannot distinguish the difference between on-duty and off-duty vehicle movements; these devices automatically record each time a truck moves. If ELD logs were scrutinized by regulatory authorities during inspections, fleet owners faced the possibility of fines or other penalties. Potentially, those penalties could drive up expenses, including that of trucking insurance. The issue of yard moves came up during the ELD regulatory process, and at this time the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance asked the FMCSA to provide further guidance.

FMCSA Guidance

As noted above, yards may be any number of facilities where trucks operate. The FMCSA published initial guidance in February 2020, instructing drivers of commercial vehicles not to record yard operations as on-duty driving time. This new guidance supersedes rules established in 1997 that all driving, including yard moves, should be considered on-duty operation.

The FMCSA, in its proposal to broaden yard move guidance, is attempting to clarify what can be considered a yard and how yard move status can be applied to truck movements. In simple terms, a driver can treat truck operations as off-duty “only if the movement of the commercial motor vehicle (CMV) occurs in a confined area on private property(or intermodal facility or briefly on public roads).”

The use of public roads in the guidance can only be treated as off-duty time if traffic control devices preventing public use are deployed during truck movements. Without traffic control devices in place, driving time must be recorded as on-duty time for HOS purposes if the trucks are operated on public roads. Truck use on other public facilities, such as rest areas, must also be recorded as on-duty driving.

Special Considerations for HOS and Yard Moves

Commercial fleet owners know that risk management takes many forms. The foundational aspect to manage risks is trucking insurance. Compliance with federal and state motor carrier regulations is another critical component. Yard moves continue to create confusion, but if the FMCSA guidance currently under proposal is adopted, this will help fleet managers remain in compliance with HOS regulations.

Two considerations for yard moves can help fleet managers eliminate confusion with drivers. These are:

  • Yard moves may be used to satisfy required 30-minute breaks as long as the yard move itself is part of the break. In other words, if a driver is on break and must move his or her truck in the yard, the break is still being satisfied.
  • Yard moves, provided existing and proposed guidance is followed, do not count against 11 hours driving limits under current regulations.

Managing hours of service is an important aspect of commercial trucking operations. By adhering to HOS regulations and by following the guidance of the FMCSA and other agencies, fleet managers can supplement the protections of their trucking insurance policies. Ultimately, these risk management practices lead to safer, more efficient operations.

About Western Truck Insurance Services

Western Truck Insurance Services is a commercial truck insurance agency with roots dating back to 1954. We have evolved into a highly respected, professionally managed, truck and transportation insurance brokerage. The hallmark of our organization is our desire to provide unparalleled service. We go way beyond what you expect to receive from an insurance brokerage. Equipped with state of the art automation, Western Truck Insurance can provide you with lightning fast truck insurance quotes, customer service, Insurance certificates, and coverage changes. Contact us today at (800) 937-8785 to learn more!

 

The post What is a “Yard Move”? appeared first on Western Truck Insurance Services.

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Navistar International Corporation (NYSE: NAV) and its International® dealer network are building momentum through their TECH EmPOWERment initiative, which is supplying

The post Navistar Shares Vision Of Opportunity For Service Technicians appeared first on NextTruck Blog & Industry News - Trucker Information.

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My mpg past Cheyenne going on I-80 e

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You can conveniently find every FreightWaves podcast in one feed via the free FreightCasts channel on freightwaves.com/podcasts, iTunes, Spotify or wherever podcasts are found. 

Subscribe to FreightCasts and never miss a FreightWaves podcast.

The full list of FreightWaves media can be streamed via the FreightWavesTV app available on your smartphone, Apple TV, Roku and Fire TV. The app is free on all platforms.

Users of the FreightWavesTV app also have access to a full lineup of FreightWavesTV content, including weekday livestreams, special reports, news segments, past shows, SONAR demos, rapid-fire demos and exclusive interviews.

WHAT THE TRUCK?!?

Monday: Dooner and The Dude are talking about the state of COVID-19 vaccine logistics two months later; a revolutionary automated trailer that promises to change the game for intermodal; growing Legend Transportation; and career comeback stories.

Wednesday: Olipop’s Ben Goodwin on the logistics behind building a beverage brand and the latest freight news. 

Friday: Dooner and The Dude are celebrating NASA’s historic landing of the Perseverance rover on Mars. They talk to the NASA teams from Kennedy Space Center and Jet Propulsion Laboratory that helped make it happen.

Put That Coffee Down

Monday: What makes a lead qualified? Kevin Hill and Chris Jolly talk to the COO of ‘zembles about how to know when a lead is a good one. 

Long-Haul Crime Log

Monday: A rookie trucker arrested and charged after U.S. border officers found $2.8 million worth of marijuana concealed in a load of Canadian pork bound for Texas was freed after evidence came to light showing he wasn’t involved in the crime. 

Midday Market Update

Tuesday: Hill and Vincent discuss the top headlines and get an update on how two consecutive winter storms are impacting shipping around the nation.

Thursday: The winter weather that crippled the Southern Plains is hitting earnings for some companies. Hill and Vincent discuss what it means for freight.

Stackd

Tuesday: In the first episode of the FreightWaves podcast stackd, host Adam Robinson tells you how to build out your arsenal of digital tools to maximize broker efficiency.

Great Quarter, Guys

Tuesday: Andrew Cox and Seth Holm detail Ancora Advisors’ attempts to reroute asset-light trucking and logistics company Forward Air.

Point of Sale

Wednesday: Cox explores how tariffs and trade policies can impact the retail landscape in the United States.

Freightonomics

Wednesday: Anthony Smith and Zach Strickland explore how quickly supply chains are shifting in response to current events.

#WithSONAR 

Wednesday: Kyle Taylor and Luke Falasca talk to K-Ratio’s Kyle Lintner about the way markets are responding to major disruptive events.

Long-Haul Crime Log

Thursday: Long-Haul Crime Log delves into a recent case involving the owner of now-defunct Sisic Transport Services and looks back at the outlaw days before ELDs when some carriers and drivers used multiple logbooks to document their hours.

Navigate B2B

Friday: Steve Ferreira talks container losses, carrier assets and freight rates.

Get the top headlines from FreightWaves.com every weekday morning, available on FreightWaves.com/podcasts, your favorite podcasts player and Alexa by adding the skill “FreightWaves.”

You can find more recaps of our live podcasts here.

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Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) is recalling 16,623 Freightliner M2 Business Class trucks in the U.S. and Canada because a transmission fluid leak could make roads slick and increase the potential for crashes.

DTNA said in a filing with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that about 5% of the 2014-2019 models could have a condition in which the retaining clip that connects the transmission oil cooler line to the in-tank oil cooler may fail. That could lead to a possible transmission fluid leak. 

No crashes or injuries were reported.

Connection to in-tank oil cooler could fail

On some of the 15,835 vehicles in the U.S., the retaining clip that engages the transmission oil cooler line connection to the in-tank oil cooler may fail. That would allow the transmission fluid cooler hose to disengage, which may allow fluid to leak. The leak should be detectable. But it is possible for a rapid leak to occur before a driver would detect it and move the truck off the road.  

If a rapid loss of undetected transmission fluid leaked while the truck was moving, it could result in a vehicle hitting the fluid and losing control. 

Freightliner dealers will remove the retaining clip that engages the transmission fluid cooler lines at the radiator tank. It will be replaced free of charge by a collar and clamp connection.

Customers and dealers will be notified of the recall April 5. The NHTSA recall number is 21V-067. The Transport Canada recall number covering 788 vehicles can be found here.

Daimler recalling Freightliner M2 Business Class trucks

2-year-old Eaton recall blamed in Daimler Trucks clutch failures

Daimler expands recall of medium-duty trucks for possible stalling

Click for more FreightWaves articles by Alan Adler.

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Got To Drive This Today. Sadly It's Only Temporary.

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Chart of the Week:  Outbound Tender Reject Index, Outbound Tender Volume Index – USA SONAR: OTVI.USA, OTRI.USA

The recent string of winter storms and cold weather that has gripped the central U.S. disrupted shipping across the country in a way that is somewhat counterintuitive — volumes fell while capacity tightened. 

The Outbound Tender Volume Index (OTVI) — a measure of shipper requests for truckload capacity — fell over 6% last week while the Outbound Tender Rejection Index (OTRI) — the rate at which these requests are rejected by carriers — jumped to near-peak-season levels in mid-February. Declining carrier compliance is tightly correlated with increasing shipping costs. These events are extending the effects of the shipping boom that resulted from increased consumer demand for goods last year. 

Normally, declining demand has the reverse impact on capacity in the way that pressure loosens with lower volumes. It is unusual, but not as rare as one might think, for capacity to tighten and volumes decline simultaneously. This event occurs every year and most often around the Christmas holiday. Though the mechanical reasons are different, the fundamental structure is the exact same between the current situation and the Christmas effect.   

The reason is simple: Supply (capacity) falls faster than demand. Most people think supply is relatively constant or slow to change in transportation. This is largely true when measured in aggregate over the course of a year. But certain events greatly reduce the amount of trucks available to haul freight over relatively short periods of time.

Around Christmas, drivers are slowly positioned with loads that put them closer to their homes or vacation spots. This eliminates carriers’ ability to service a wide geography of freight. Simultaneously, shippers outside of the retail space are winding down their activity as they prepare to take time off as well. 

Tender rejection rates along with spot rates increase as availability declines and those that do need service are willing to pay for it. 

The recent weather-induced capacity crunch events are much different than the slower to develop Christmas effect in the way that they are unexpected and more immediate. In a normal year, winter weather events tend to be relatively short-lived, having little lasting impact. This is not a normal year. Neither was this a standard weather event.  

Capacity was recovering slowly prior to the nor’easter dropping feet of snow in parts of freight-dense Pennsylvania and New Jersey — enough to net about a 1.5 percentage point increase in the national OTRI in a two-day period before receding. Tender volumes remained relatively unchanged from their previous course. 

The winter storms that pummeled Texas and many other areas not accustomed to regular occurrences of snow and ice had a much bigger impact. Only three states failed to receive measurable snow over the past week. The national OTRI jumped from 20.75% on Feb. 9 to over 26% Thursday — the largest eight-day jump since June. Tender volumes fell 6% from last Sunday to Wednesday. 

Dallas was one of the hardest hit markets with rejection rates soaring over 26% after being under 15% a week earlier. Chart: SONAR – OTRI.DAL, OTVI.DAL

The fact volumes fell so quickly during this round of storms could portend a rapid return once the weather conditions improve as they are forecast to do this week. Even if capacity returns quickly, volumes could offset this return, pushing the market into further imbalance. 

Many companies are already scrambling to restock inventories and keep up with a revitalized consumer. Another round of stimulus was issued and helped push retail sales up in January, which places more pressure on already strained shippers. 

The recent weather would probably not have had as significant of an impact in a loose environment in which capacity is abundant, such as the one in 2019. Carriers have underutilized equipment in those markets and can recover loads more effectively. 

With tender rejection and spot rates already elevated, the impact has been exaggerated and the recovery will take longer. In this instance, recovery means falling back to the overriding trend of the market before the event, which was slowly loosening with a slow decline in demand. 

The nor’easter impact lasted about eight days. If the relationship holds constant, the market will be reeling from the recent weather events until the end of the month — just in time for what is typically a seasonal push of freight. The lesson here is that the current shipping environment remains extremely unstable and more disruptions are likely.  


FreightWaves Passport subscribers received a deeper look into the effects of the weather on freight markets this past week. Click here to learn more.

About the Chart of the Week

The FreightWaves Chart of the Week is a chart selection from SONAR that provides an interesting data point to describe the state of the freight markets. A chart is chosen from thousands of potential charts on SONAR to help participants visualize the freight market in real time. Each week a Market Expert will post a chart, along with commentary, live on the front page. After that, the Chart of the Week will be archived on FreightWaves.com for future reference.

SONAR aggregates data from hundreds of sources, presenting the data in charts and maps and providing commentary on what freight market experts want to know about the industry in real time.

The FreightWaves data science and product teams are releasing new data sets each week and enhancing the client experience.

To request a SONAR demo, click here.

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"Yeah I drove an 18 wheeler in the District of Columbia 😎"

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A large pallet of white boxes tied down with netting in an airport terminal.

Brussels Airport’s role as export hub for the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine contributed to a 21% increase in cargo volume in January. 

Since the end of November, airlines operating from Brussels Airport have flown to more than 40 destinations with shipments of the Pfizer vaccine, the Brussels Airport Co. said earlier this month. Many vaccines are being carried by DHL Express and its partners. Large amounts are moving on commercial passenger or passenger-freighter flights operated by Singapore Airlines, Qatar Airways, Emirates, El Al, Virgin Atlantic and United Airlines. 

There are almost daily flights within the DHL Express network carrying smaller shipments of the COVID-19 vaccine. Last week, DHL and partner All Nippon Airways announced they have begunan delivering Pfizer vaccines to Tokyo.

Brussels Airport was one of the first airports to make preparations for distribution of COVID vaccines and their unique cold temperature requirements. It coordinated all stakeholders in the area to streamline the process and align resources, an effort that benefited from a cargo community organization developed years earlier.

In January, Brussels posted a 21% gain in air cargo volume even as passenger traffic plummeted 84% compared to the first month of 2020. 

Many European and other airports  have experienced a downturn in cargo business since the pandemic, but Brussels has ridden a wave of growth from all-cargo and express delivery carriers, as well as cargo-only flights operated by passenger airlines.

In January, the amount of cargo carried by full freighters at Brussels Airport increased 73% year-over-year, while tonnage for express carriers grew 37%, more than making up for the lost volume carried by passenger jets. And airport-to-airport truck volumes increased 10% after several months of contraction. The total volume of goods handled at Brussels Airport grew 18% in January to 58,311 metric tons. 

The airport said imports from Asia and North America, and exports to Asia were strong, and that it saw a positive effect on throughput from Brexit. 

Last year,  Brussels Airport reported 2.2% growth in cargo as passenger traffic plunged 74%. 

The airport is operated by Brussels Airport Co., in which the government of Belgium has a 25% stake. 

Click here for more FreightWaves/American Shipper stories by Eric Kulisch.

RELATED NEWS:

Hong Kong, Amsterdam airports lost cargo business in 2020

Airport cargo communities collaborate to optimize vaccine transport

Brussels Airport bucks trend with June rise in cargo volumes

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Stay safe out there everyone

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Well they made a mistake before I even called...

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A photograph of a truck driving by a lake.

Cape Breton, Nova Scotia-headquartered Seaboard Transportation Group plans to acquire fellow trucking company Armour Transportation Systems for an undisclosed amount.

With operations in the U.S. and Canada, Seaboard Transport specializes in bulk truckloads. In recent years, the company has added rail terminal transload services and options for bulk storage of dry and liquid products.

Armour operates 24 terminals and owns more than 4,000 pieces of equipment. Affiliated companies include Armour Courier Services, Armour Logistics Services, Diamond’s Transfer Ltd., Hillman’s Transfer Ltd., Pole Star Transport, RJS Terminals, Triple B Trucking and Way’s Transport Ltd.

Following the acquisition, Armour’s assets will continue to operate under the Armour name, and the bulk of its operations will remain at its headquarters in Moncton, New Brunswick, Seaboard Transport said.

“We have shared Canada’s roadways for 50 years. We have come to admire and appreciate the Armour family’s work ethic and reputation. We look forward to continuing their tradition of excellence as a member of the Seaboard Group,” said Joe Shannon, Seaboard Transport owner. Both companies are family-owned.

The deal is subject to typical closing conditions and regulatory approval. Serving as adviser to the transaction is CIBC Capital Markets.

“Like us, the Seaboard group is a private, family-owned company with roots in Atlantic Canada. Seaboard has similar exceptional values and a corporate culture that makes me very comfortable about the future of the Armour company and our dedicated employees,” said Armour President and CEO Wes Armour.

This sale is just the latest in a string of acquisitions within the Canadian trucking industry since the start of 2021. The largest of these deals is TFI International’s (NYSE: TFII) $800 million agreement to buy UPS Freight. 

Also this year, cross-border carrier XTL announced its first acquisition in history, buying Quebec temperature-controlled trucking firm Transport Savoie, while Titanium Transportation Group announced it had acquired International Truckload Services, nearly doubling its size.

FreightWaves Border and North America Correspondent Nate Tabak contributed to this report.

Subscribe to FreightWaves’ e-newsletters and get the latest insights on freight right in your inbox.

Click here for more FreightWaves articles by Joanna Marsh.

Related articles:

Canada’s Fastfrate buys cross-border logistics provider ASL

XTL makes its first acquisition as Canada trucking M&A heats up

Titanium buys ITS, joins big leagues of Canadian trucking

TFI to acquire UPS Freight for $800M

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A photograph of tank cars parked in a rail yard.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited TrinityRail and Maintenance Services over an August 2020 incident that resulted in two fatalities.

OSHA is suggesting $419,347 in penalties, and it cited Trinity for 11 serious violations and two willful violations for not following federal safety standards for working in confined spaces. 

On Aug. 12, a Trinity employee in Hugo, Oklahoma, was seeking to clean a tank car used to carry natural gasoline, according to OSHA. A second employee also entered the railcar, seeking to rescue the first employee. Both workers were eventually recovered and pronounced dead at a local hospital after inhaling toxic fumes. 

OSHA said the company failed to require a permit to allow entry into the railcar, ventilate the space, monitor hazards inside a confined space and complete entry permits for work inside a confined space.

“Work inside confined spaces is a dangerous job and federal workplace safety standards must be followed to avoid disaster,” said OSHA Area Director Steven A. Kirby. “As is the case here, failing to follow OSHA standards can be the difference between life and death.”

Dallas-based Trinity has 15 business days from receipt of citation and penalties to comply, and it can request an informal conference with OSHA or contest the findings.

Trinity told FreightWaves that it disagrees with OSHA’s findings.

“We are aware of the findings released by OSHA regarding the fatality incident at our TrinityRail Maintenance Services facility in Hugo, Oklahoma,” said Trinity spokesman Jack Todd. “The company has been working cooperatively with OSHA during its investigation process, however, we respectfully disagree with the proposed findings and penalties that OSHA has issued.” 

He continued, “We look forward to addressing the proposed findings and penalties through the agency’s formal process. Trinity is committed to safety at all of our facilities, and we are deeply saddened by the loss of our co-workers.”

Subscribe to FreightWaves’ e-newsletters and get the latest insights on freight right in your inbox.

Click here for more FreightWaves articles by Joanna Marsh.

Related articles:

TrinityRail permanently closing plant in Texas

Rail Roundup: TrinityRail rolls out tech platform; CP, Teamsters reach deal

Trinity Industries pinpoints focus on rail

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Winter storms across the country — in particular the nor’easter in Pennsylvania and New Jersey and the damaging ice storms in Texas — have caused many retailers to close down and disrupted freight operations. Subsequently, tender volumes have taken a nosedive in the U.S. this week. 

It is not typical for tender volumes to decline and rejections to rise midseason. It’s a common occurrence to see this dynamic play out with weather and on major holidays when capacity is taken off line at a faster rate than volumes. 

This is a short-term story, but it could have a major impact on freight networks for weeks to come due to the tight capacity environment currently. If this would have occurred at a time when capacity was plentiful and carriers’ assets underutilized, networks could be shifted much easier to absorb the disruption. But with an already tight market, and a meaningful percentage of drivers sidelined, freight will pile up and create a backlog of pent-up demand. Therefore, it may take weeks for already strained carriers to accommodate this freight. 

Retailers are still struggling to replenish depleted inventories, especially those coming in from any major port. Consumer demand remains elevated, aided by government stimulus and boosted by the expectation of more to come. Consumer sentiment fell in early February, but the nation is making promising progress with vaccine deployment. One-in-20 Americans have received at least one vaccination. There is now light at the end of the tunnel. 

With another round of stimulus, and the likelihood of a meaningful reopening in the summer growing each day, the snow is unlikely to meaningfully or sustainably dent the economic momentum beyond the last few weeks of February. Freight volumes are poised to bounce back in a major way sooner rather than later. As evidence of this, it is projected to be 65 and sunny on Tuesday in Dallas. 

On a negative note, only four of the 15 major freight markets that we monitor as a broad, representative benchmark were positive on a week-over-week basis. This ratio weakened dramatically from the stronger levels it has become accustomed to in recent months as the freight market rallies. Clearly the snowstorm was the primary culprit here. The markets with the largest gains this week in OTVI.USA were Cleveland (3.39%), Indianapolis (1.83%) and Ontario, California (1.78%). The markets with the largest drops were Memphis, Tennessee (-33.43%), Houston (-31.17%) and Dallas (-18.92%).

SONAR: OTVI.USA

Tender rejections skyrocket back to near peak

Only three states in the continental U.S. didn’t receive meaningful amounts of snow this week. Tender rejections across the nation have risen substantially over the past week, particularly in Texas, Arkansas and much of the Midwest. Carriers are rejecting half of all outbound tenders from Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska and all of Illinois, excluding the Chicago area. 

The national average for the Outbound Tender Reject Index (OTRI) rose more than 5 percentage points from 21% last week to 26.3% currently. Unlike the typical falling volumes and rising rejections events, this occurrence will not revert back to normal quickly. The reasons were laid out above — elevated demand potentially growing with stimulus and reopening hopes on top of an already strained capacity network. 

We expect volumes to snap back quickly next week, but it will take some time for carriers to work through the freight disrupted by the storms. This will keep upward pressure on tender rejections and spot rates through the end of the month and right into the beginning of the spring freight season. 

SONAR: OTRI.USA

For more information on Passport Research, please contact sholm@freightwaves.com.

Check out the newest episode of the Great Quarter Guys podcast here.

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Navistar International Corporation (NYSE: NAV) acquired a new property in San Antonio, which includes existing buildings that will house support

The post Navistar Acquires Second Property In San Antonio Ahead Of Plant Launch In 2022 appeared first on NextTruck Blog & Industry News - Trucker Information.

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“It’s striking,” said Jonathan Duncan, Kenworth’s design director. “When you look at the Kenworth T680 Next Generation, the first thing

The post Kenworth T680 Next Generation: Sleek and Sophisticated appeared first on NextTruck Blog & Industry News - Trucker Information.

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Frontline tanker

Crude tankers are seeing “classic signs of recovery.” “Newbuilding orders are extremely low. We have the lowest orderbook is in 25 years.” On the product-tanker side of the equation, “refineries are shutting down so products are being shipping from further away, which is very interesting from a ton-mile point of view.”

Those quotes are from a shipping conference in New York in 2011, a full decade ago.

A few quotes circa-2017: “New capacity additions for global refineries are set to double, a positive for global volumes and product tanker demand.” Crude tankers should see “an asset and rate recovery in 2018 and beyond.” Given pending regulations, “the number of tankers sent for demolition will increase.”

The song remains the same in 2021. That doesn’t mean a major recovery won’t come to pass this time around. Hopeful quotes with a very familiar ring should always be taken with a grain of salt, but given unprecedented pandemic effects, market conditions are very different now than in the past. 

The question — as in the beginning of every previous year since the 2009 global financial crisis — is: When will the still-hypothetical, sustainable tanker recovery, not just brief spikes, finally arise? Recovery timing was addressed on Friday’s Frontline (NYSE: FRO) conference call, on the call the day before by Scorpio Tankers (NYSE: STNG) and during a virtual forum presented by Capital Link earlier in the week.

Contrasting views on recovery

The super-bullish view was voiced by Clarksons Platou Securities analyst Omar Nokta at the Capital Link event.

“We think there are roughly 5 million barrels missing from the [seaborne] market today and we know there’s going to be a handful of barrels coming as we proceed through the year. We already know the sector is very sensitive to just a million barrels, which leads to huge volatility. Now, imagine a million followed by another million followed by another million,” said Nokta.

“You’ve got the whole supply equation working in your favor with the lack of newbuildings and all the retrofits required to adhere to new regulations. Supply will be extremely tight and you’ve got demand that’s about to go bananas.”

Evercore ISI analyst Jon Chappell voiced a different view on the Scorpio call. “If there is 5 or 6 million barrels of demand growth this year, what I’m trying to understand is the extreme optimism about the pace or magnitude of the recovery,” he said.

Chappell pointed to demand estimates of “super-bullish oil analysts” calling for a 7.6 million barrel per day increase over 2021-2022. He pointed out that this “is up against an 8.7-million-barrel decline in 2020. So, we’re looking at a 2022 demand number that’s lower than 2019.”

Tanker vessel capacity gains are slowing, but still inching up. So, Chappell wondered: How does that jive with such extreme optimism?

Crude versus product tanker recovery

Responding to Chappell’s question, Scorpio Tankers President Robert Bugbee said that oil analysts are looking at the recovery in crude oil demand, but it’s a different equation for product tankers.

He pointed to shutdowns in refineries that will increase the average distance of product cargoes, increasing ton-mile demand. “For us, it’s how much product is going to be used in the world, and where it’s being shifted to. The ratio of products carried by sea is going to increase by a far higher rate than that of crude oil in this recovery,” he argued.

Frontline operates both crude and product tankers. Lars Barstad, Frontline’s interim CEO, was asked which he thought would recover first: crude or product tanker rates?

 He replied, “I am unsure which segment will be hit first when the recovery story starts to come true. Potentially, the VLCC market [very large crude carriers; tankers that carry 2 million barrels of crude oil]. Eventually, you will need refinery runs to increase for products to flow. And the start of any return of volume will come from the Middle East, which would benefit VLCCs first.”

Floating storage hangover over

Tanker earnings have been weighed for months by floating storage. As floating storage unwinds, tankers come back into the spot market, a headwind for rates.

The good news is that it appears that the downside from floating storage is largely over. “There’s almost on storage of products on the water. That has been drawn down,” said Bugbee.

On the crude-tanker side, Barstad explained, “During Q4 2020, inventories drew down at a record pace of 2.6 million barrels per day. Oil demand rose to levels near 10 million barrels per day above Q2 2020 levels and the structure of the oil market incentivized players to empty tanks, both floating and on land, as the future price was increasingly lower than the prompt price, making it uneconomical to hold stocks.

“Floating storage is no longer a significant factor weighing on the tanker market,” affirmed Barstad.

Data provided to American Shipper by commodity intelligence company Kpler reveals that crude tankers idled for 12 or more days held a total of 70 million barrels as of Wednesday, roughly the same as the level at the same time in 2020 — before the COVID-induced floating-storage situation ensued.

tanker storage data
(Chart: American Shipper based on data from Kpler)

Tanker stocks anticipate future recovery

Tanker rates are still in the gutter, but tanker equities are moving up in anticipation of higher rates ahead. Crude and product tanker stocks had another solid day on Friday. Scorpio rose 6.9% and Euronav (NYSE: EURN) gained 4.5%. Overall, tanker stocks are up double digits since the beginning of this month.

“The share market is pricing in the recovery a little bit further out, obviously jumping over the insecurity in the front,” said Barstad.

Chappell upgraded Frontline from “Underperform” to “In Line” on Friday because “the fundamental outlook has reached its inflection point and Frontline is unlikely to continue to underperform as rates and assets values emerge from the abyss. With crude-tanker rates bouncing along a deep prolonged bottom [there is] only one way to go from here.”

The caveat, Chappell warned, is that “a return to profitability [for tanker names] may not occur until Q4 2021.”

On Feb. 15, Cleaves shipping analyst Joakim Hannisdahl abruptly flipped his ratings for almost all of the tanker names under his coverage from “Sell” to “Buy.” Hannisdahl said, “While we see earnings lackluster until Q4 2021, we think asset and share prices have bottomed out.”

He cited “early signs of a massive capital injection into the segment” that prompted him to upgrade the segment “a few months ahead of schedule.”

Tanker earnings roundup

On Friday, Frontline reported a net loss of $9.2 million for Q4 2020 compared to net income of $108.8 million in Q4 2019. The adjusted loss per share of 7 cents came in below consensus expectations for a loss of 5 cents.

According to Barstad, “We expected some degree of normal seasonality to kick in, but this time around the fourth quarter proved to be softer than Q3. Actually, that’s the first time that’s happened in 10 years.”

For Q1 2021, Frontline has booked 78% of its VLCC days at an average of $22,600 per day, 68% of its Suezmaxes [tankers that carry 1 million barrels of crude] at $22,600 per day and 65% of its LR2 product tankers [vessels with capacity of 80,000-119,999 deadweight tons or DWT] at $12,200 per day.

On Thursday, Scorpio Tankers reported a net loss of $76.3 million for Q4 2020 compared to net income of $12 million in the same period the prior year. The adjusted loss per share of $1.04 came in a sliver better than consensus expectations for a loss of $1.05.

For Q1 2021, Scorpio has booked 48% of its LR2s at $15,200 per day, 58% of its LR1s [55,000-79,999 DWT] at $11,000 per day, and 58% of its MRs [25,000-54,999 DWT] at $11,500 per day.

According to Stifel analyst Ben Nolan, “While the timing of the recovery is uncertain and the tanker market could continue facing near-term headwinds, we believe the eventual upside is there for Scorpio Tankers shares from current levels.” Click for more FreightWaves/American Shipper articles by Greg Miller 

MORE ON TANKERS: Crude tankers stuck in ‘rate hell’ but floating storage wanes: see story here. Tanker recovery still distant prospect after Saudi surprise: see story here. Frontline’s disappearing dividend speaks volumes on tanker fears: see story here. Tanker shipping at risk of rare winter hibernation: see story here.

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Stratford Tx RR Crossing

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Here’s what we know about hydrogen-powered fuel cells for heavy-duty trucking:

  • They are not in commercial production.
  • Onboard hydrogen storage is far less efficient than battery-powered trucks.
  • Heavy-duty truck fuel cell adoption is projected to be just 2.5% by 2030.
  • Battery-electric truck proponents call fuel cells unflattering names.

.None of that has changed. Yet, something seems different. 

For starters, car and truck makers and Tier 1 suppliers are investing billions of dollars in fuel cell technology.  

Blank check companies are raising hundreds of millions of dollars to target startup and growth-stage companies across the electric vehicle spectrum. Publicly traded fuel cell entities are riding double- and triple-digit growth in their share prices.

“I think there is significant momentum,” Chris Rovik, executive program manager of Toyota (NYSE: TM) North America’s Advanced Product Planning Office, told FreightWaves in an interview. “I think all the truck [manufacturers] realize they need to have zero-emission solutions. They’re starting to understand the benefits of fuel cells in certain use cases.”

Most agree that over-the-road trucking is the best use case. Lengthy stops to recharge a battery-electric truck eat into the total cost of ownership (TCO), the holy grail of fleet managers. And adding thousands of pounds of batteries for onboard energy reduces cargo capacity.

Tesla’s battery-electric range tease

So even as Elon Musk teases a 300- to 500-mile range in the still-future battery-electric (BEV) Tesla Semi, the trucking industry is fielding more demonstrations of what Musk has called “fool cells.” None are long-haul fuel cell demos yet. Absent a breakthrough in energy density, however, battery-powered trucks aren’t going long distances either.

“Range is really about how much space you take up on the truck,” said Preston Feight, CEO of PACCAR Inc. (NASDAQ: PCAR), which is working with Toyota. “The energy density at this point is higher for fuel cells. Both types of solutions need infrastructure development.”   

Toyota has developed 10 first-generation and two second-generation Kenworth T680 Class 8 fuel cell tractors. Five are being tested in drayage operations in the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Port runs are the chosen test regimen for battery-electric truck demonstrations, too. Daimler Trucks’ Freightliner and Volvo Trucks both run demo programs in California.

The fuel cell stacks in the Kenworth trucks come from Toyota’s Mirai passenger sedan. They have proved reliable so far. As for hauling freight from the water’s edge to inland distribution centers, instead of long-haul routes, Toyota is simply going with what it knows.

A good starting point

As a vehicle importer to the West Coast for decades, Toyota has mature port operations and access to hydrogen fueling. 

“It seemed like a good starting point,” Rovik said. “You’re not going to go out on a brand-new technology and start making 100,000 or 200,000 trucks a year. You’re going to start smaller and increase your scale as infrastructure sets in.”

Toyota introduced its Project Portal proof-of-concept fuel cell truck in 2017. It occupied the body of a Kenworth T660. A beta version appeared in 2019 and was the basis for the 10-truck Project Ocean demonstration fleet. 

Toyota’s Japanese subsidiary Hino Trucks plans to bring demo fuel cell conventional-body trucks to the U.S. this year. They, too, will rely on Mirai fuel cell stacks. 

“The whole point was to show we could use these stacks and systems in a light-duty vehicle and scale up from there,” Rovik said.

South Korean automaker Hyundai also plans to bring its Xcient fuel cell truck to California this year.

Dedicated routes

Most companies looking at fuel cells envision them running dedicated customer routes where hydrogen fueling is available. Startup Nikola Corp. (NASDAQ: NKLA) plans to build them as customers purchase fuel cell trucks for specific routes. Each onsite hydrogen production facility costs $17 million, according to Nikola investor documents.

Nikola recently got a deal from Arizona regulators for cheap electricity that will help it build its first hydrogen-producing station. It is intended for Anheuser-Busch (NYSE: BUD) fuel cell trucks traveling regularly between a Van Nuys, California, brewery and a distributor in Chandler, Arizona. 

Another startup, Hyzon Motors, sees hydrogen fuel as a “behind-the-fence” operation for fleets that would return to base for refueling. 

Navistar International Corp. (NYSE: NAV) plans to use mobile hydrogen refueler OneH2 to bring hydrogen to J.B. Hunt Transport (NYSE: JBHT) trucks equipped with General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) Hydrotec fuel cell systems beginning around 2023. Like Toyota, GM’s fuel cell stacks are scaled up from the size needed for a light-duty vehicle.

Big investments

Major automotive suppliers are pouring money into fuel cells. German supplier Robert Bosch is helping Nikola develop its fuel cell system. It embedded more than 50 engineers to work alongside Nikola engineers.

“I think Bosch has invested over the last several years over 5 billion euros [$6 billion] in electrical powertrain including fuel cells,” Alex Freitag, director of diesel systems engineering, told FreightWaves. “This year alone, we’ll be spending approximately 700 million euros [$849.3 million] in developing further electric mobility.”

Freitag expects Bosch’s first fuel cell powertrains to be on the road in 2022 or 2023. “So, it’s no longer 10 years. I think, from our perspective, much less than that,” he said.

Decarbonization Plus Acquisition Corp. (NASDAQ: DCRB) raised $570 million for Hyzon. That should lead to the spinoff of Singapore-based Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies being publicly listed in the second quarter. Volvo paid Daimler $700 million to become a joint venture partner in its fuel cell efforts.

California’s regulatory muscle

Toyota’s Rovik and Freitag agreed much of the impetus toward zero emissions is due to  stringent California emissions regulations that begin to impact sales of diesel trucks in 2024.

“Everybody’s focusing a lot on the BEV,” Freitag said. “It seems that on the Class 8 trucks, the fuel cell is preferred because of the refueling time and the range. Everything above 500 miles will be more suited for a fuel cell than a [BEV].”

Not necessarily, said Mike Roeth, executive director of the North American Council for Freight Efficiency.

“The costs of hydrogen, vehicles and hydrogen production all must come down significantly to make hydrogen economically competitive with alternatives,” Roeth said.

A downside of pursuing parallel electric vehicle strategies is creating separate infrastructures for charging and hydrogen fueling. Both are expensive. But location is critical, Freitag said.

Multiple uses

Bosch, Cummins Inc. (NYSE: CMI), and even Daimler and Volvo Group see fuel cells being used as backup power for data centers and other installations. Working with Ceres Power Co. of the United Kingdom, Bosch aims to produce 200 megawatts of electricity from solid oxide fuel cells by 2024. That is enough to supply power to some 400,000 homes, Bosch said.

Fuel cells used in transportation typically depend on proton exchange membrane (PEM) technology. Cummins has the largest hydrogen-making PEM electrolyzer in the world. It is working on the first fuel cell-powered zero-emissions commercial ferry in North America. And It has supplied fuel cells for buses in Asia and to rail giant Alstom for use in passenger trains in Austria.

“While hydrogen fuel cell technology is very promising, we know that widespread adoption will take time,” said Amy Davis, president of Cummins’ New Power unit.

“It’s always 10 years away,” said Arshad Mansoor, president and CEO of the Electric Power Research Institute. “Even 50 years ago, it was 10 years away.”

So, maybe prime time for fuel cells will be a longer wait after all.

Toyota equips Kenworth Class 8 truck with updated fuel cell

Navistar, GM and J.B. Hunt collaborate on fuel cell trucks

Hyzon Motors to get $570M from SPAC backing fuel cell technology

Click for more FreightWaves articles by Alan Adler.

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All eyes are on California’s San Pedro Bay. Hapag-Lloyd focused on the congestion crisis at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach during a virtual press conference conducted Thursday from Germany with media outlets around the globe. 

“Today there is fairly extreme port congestion,” Hapag-Lloyd CEO Rolf Habben Jansen said, sharing an image crowded with dots representing ships anchored in San Pedro Bay waiting to berth. Jansen did not count the dots, but Port of LA Executive Director Gene Seroka this week dropped an astounding number: 62 ships were anchored awaiting berth space early Wednesday afternoon. 

“All of this means the ships are not as efficient as you’d like them to be,” Jansen said. “In the case of LA, we have more ships waiting than we have alongside. That doesn’t help if we want to keep goods flowing. Again, it’s understandable because there’s been a surge in demand that nobody expected.”

Unprecedented demand for imports and COVID-19 outbreaks among longshore workers have compounded the problem and further slowed the flow of goods, he said.

“Schedule reliability admittedly is at a very low level,” Jansen said. “The delays that we have at arrival have really gone up.”

Hapag-Lloyd has seen average delay on arrival grow from 43 hours in January 2020 to 125 hours this year. That’s “a level we’ve not seen very often before,” he said.

“If you take into account the 125 hours, which is more or less five days, then you can see that it’s quite tough for a lot of the ships to then be back on time again at origin to take on the next voyage on time,” Jansen said. 

He explained that a container ship can’t simply speed up to make up the time it lost at anchor. 

“We do speed up, but if you have to wait … for a week and you have a sailing back from LA to Shanghai, which is normally 12 days or so, you can’t make up seven days. If you go very fast,” Jansen said, “maybe you can … catch up one day or 36 hours, but certainly not much more than that.”

The surge of imports, coupled with labor shortages caused by COVID outbreaks at the ports, has led to delays in unloading cargo and returning empty containers to vessels heading back to Asia.

“The turn times of the containers are simply longer,” he said. “Normally you would sail 12 days [to LA/Long Beach]. You unload two or three days and then you get the box back one or two weeks later from the customer. Today you sail 12 days, you wait for a week. The dwell time of the container is double what it is normally and then you have another delay on the rail side, so you easily lose a week or two weeks before you get the box back.”

Jansen continued, “In some ports, you also see because of the lack of labor, they prioritize laden cargo over the empties, which is understandable. But that means you end up sailing back to Asia with a ship that’s not entirely full because the empty boxes remain on the terminals. That was very much the issue in the fourth quarter.”   

Container shortages further poke holes in supply chain flow. “If we get the boxes back later, then we need more containers than we need normally to carry the same amount of cargo,” he said, adding later that “every box that is basically available is also in use.”  

‘The idle fleet is pretty much zero’

The demand for imports from American consumers beginning last summer also was far bigger than anticipated, Jansen said. 

“When the pandemic hit us almost 12 months ago,” he said, “everybody predicted that volumes would not only sharply decline in Q2 but it would only very slowly get back and in a best-case scenario would be reasonably close to 2019 toward the end of the year. In reality, what we [saw] in the second half of the year [was] demand was much stronger. … We’ve actually seen growth that we’ve not seen for a very long period of time.”

Jansen said the container lines can’t simply put more ships into service to rectify the situation. “The idle fleet is pretty much zero,” he said. “Today every ship that is available is basically sailing.”

He said Hapag-Lloyd has added 300,000 TEUs of container capacity since March 2020 and moved some capacity to meet demand on the Asia-Europe and trans-Pacific lanes. 

“We’ve deployed 52 ships to get additional empty containers back to where they belong and, to give you a little bit of flavor, in a normal year, that would always be a single-digit number,” Jansen said. 

“We have really a perfect storm of demand that’s surging like there’s no tomorrow, everybody needing to get the boxes back, COVID-related restrictions,” he said. “How long exactly it will take is very hard to predict. If you would have asked me in October, I would have said by Chinese New Year the worst is going to be over. If you ask me today, I think it’s going to take a couple more months because we see that demand also is stronger than probably anticipated a couple of months ago.” 

Thus, the domino effect from port congestion will continue to be felt from North America to Asia.

“Given the severity of the problem, the likelihood that this will be resolved soon I don’t see as very high unfortunately,” Jansen said.  

“I would say that [the first half of 2021] is going to remain challenging,” he said. “Fixing these port delays, even if they’re caused by understandable reasons, it tends to take time. Terminals are very big operations, and when you have a yard that gets really congested and you can’t move it out quickly onto the ships or inland, that does tend to impact your productivity.” 

Hapag-Lloyd’s earnings ‘significantly higher’ despite uncertainty of 2020

Hapag-Lloyd, ONE order ultra large container ships

Significant earnings jump spurs Hapag-Lloyd forecast revision

Click here for more American Shipper/FreightWaves stories by Senior Editor Kim Link-Wills.

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March News, Events, and Updates on The Lead Pedal Podcast

In this episode Bruce brings us up to date on developments on Lead Pedal Radio and the podcast. David Benjatschek drops into talk about his new show and we update you on changes to events and talk about guests and topics coming up this month. Have a listen and subscribe to the show.

This episode is sponsored by Groupe Trans West is looking for professional teams to operate out of their Mississauga terminal with excellent employment benefits between Toronto Ontario and California. Find out more at www.groupetranswest.com  or call recruiter Mike Hahn at 416-606-8296

DriverCheck is a leader in drug and alcohol, cognitive, and workplace testing helping employers have a safe workplace for their staff. Learn how DriverCheck can help you be safe at www.drivercheck.ca

About the Show

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The Lead Pedal Podcast for Truck Drivers talks all things trucking for people in the transportation industry helping them improve their business and careers. Interviews with industry professionals and truck drivers, trucking information, and other features on the industry are meant to be helpful for truck drivers and those in transportation. The Lead Pedal Podcast for Truck Drivers has main episodes released every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday with bonus material on other days. You can learn more about the host and show on our website and make sure to SUBSCRIBE to the show on your favourite podcast platform. www.theleadpedalpodcast.com

What does The Lead Pedal Podcast mean? The Lead (pronounced - Led) stands for acceleration or fast-track of your career or business. It is a play on words and we certainly are not here promoting speeding in the industry. We are hoping this information will help you become a professional driver faster than if you didn’t know about many of these topics.

Are you enjoying the show? If so we would appreciate you leaving us a rating and review on iTunes or on your favourite podcast platform. The show is available at www.theleadpedalpodcast.com  , ITunes, Stitcher, Spotify, Tunein, iHeartradio, SoundCloud, and other popular podcast platforms. Thanks for listening

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Legislation that the International Brotherhood of Teamsters asserts will make collective bargaining more fair at XPO Logistics [NYSE: XPO] and other trucking companies has the potential to gain traction in the current Congress – and it has the full support of President Joe Biden.

The Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act was introduced in February and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said he plans to take it up for consideration next week. The bill was approved by the House when it was introduced a year ago, but then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., vowed not to bring it to the Senate floor for a vote, and President Trump said he would veto it.

But Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., an original co-sponsor of last year’s companion bill in the Senate, is making that call this year. And President Biden tweeted his support of the bill’s provisions on Sunday. Consequently, the legislation is getting more pushback than ever from companies that consider it a threat to their business model.

President Biden tweet Feb. 28.

“In an attempt to increase union membership at any cost, the bill would make radical changes to well-established law, diminish employees’ rights to privacy and association, destroy businesses, particularly small ones, and threaten entire industries that have fueled innovation, entrepreneurship and job creation,” said Kristen Swearingen, who chairs the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace (CDW). The American Trucking Associations, the Truckload Carriers Association and the National Tank Truck Carriers are among CSW’s members.

“With this legislation, congressional Democrats are attempting to implement Obama-era labor law policies that were rejected by the judicial system, opposed on a bipartisan basis and/or abandoned by the agencies asked to enforce them,” Swearingen said. 

Among the provisions included in the bill is a requirement that, once a union has been recognized or certified as the employees’ bargaining representative, the employer and the union begin bargaining within 10 days of the union submitting a written request.

“Even when workers succeed in forming a union, nearly half of newly formed unions fail to ever reach a contract with the employer,” according to the bill’s fact sheet. “The bill facilitates first contracts between companies and newly certified unions by requiring mediation and arbitration to settle disputes.”

According to the Teamsters, these and other provisions in the bill would allow the union to make headway in organizing drivers who move less-than-truckload freight at XPO Logistics.

“There are a handful of facilities at XPO where we won recognition to represent drivers and we still don’t have an agreement in place,” Greg Chockley, national campaign coordinator for Teamster organizing, told FreightWaves. “The PRO Act addresses those things.”

Chockley contends that once workers voted to organize at certain XPO locations, the company was able to avoid negotiating an actual contract. “The company played every delay tactic to not get to an agreement,” he said. “That dissuades others from jumping in, and certainly makes workers frustrated. But the company still has the ability to spend money, delay and deny the workers the benefit of an election.”

Chockley noted that because the PRO Act also attempts to prevent employers from misclassifying their employees as independent contractors, it would open up opportunities for organizing drayage drivers who haul containers to and from ports.

“We’ve proven that port drivers meet every test [for being classified as an employee versus an independent contractor] but we need the labor laws to catch up with this. Employers have found a way to put all the expense and responsibility on the driver while avoiding providing benefits. It’s brutal and it’s not right,” he said.

XPO did not respond to a request for comment. “The fact is XPO employees in the U.S. have overwhelmingly elected to remain union-free, including recently, when our employees voted down the union four times after four different organizing campaigns,” the company stated in October in response to similar allegations made by the International Transport Workers Federation.

Michael Lotito, who co-chairs the Workplace Policy Institute at the law firm Littler Mendelson, called the Pro Act “rotten to its core” and said it would upend the laws for both nonunion and unionized employers.

Lotito told FreightWaves he is skeptical of the bill’s chances of getting final approval in the Senate. However, “Joe Biden is all for it, so if it gets to his desk I believe it would make him the biggest pro-labor president in U.S. history.”

Related articles:

Click for more FreightWaves articles by John Gallagher.

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Pallets of air cargo on carts waiting to be loaded into a white plane at night.

DHL Express last week made two unusual additions to its roster of contract carriers that bring with them extra aircraft to help the parcel carrier meet escalating growth in e-commerce shipments.

The express delivery arm of postal and logistics giant Deutsche Post DHL Group (DIX: DPW) arranged for German leisure airline Condor and a start-up cargo division of Latvian carrier SmartLynx to fly packages in its European air network.

The first cargo flights under the Condor partnership began last week. Condor, a charter carrier for tourists, will operate four of its Boeing 767 medium-size jets for DHL until the end of May. The Condor planes will be based at DHL Express’ largest European hub in Leipzig, Germany and cover three routes – to Shannon, Ireland; Milan-Malpesa, Italy; and Cologne, Germany. DHL suggested the initial contract could be extended.

It’s the latest example of smaller passenger airlines diversifying business amid a severe downturn in travel demand and establishing full cargo divisions for the first time. The Condor deal resembles what DHL has done in the U.S. where regional carrier Mesa Air Group in October began flying converted Boeing 737-400s, an aircraft it never operated before, on DHL’s behalf. 

Air Belgium is scheduled to begin operating four Airbus A-330 owned by ocean carrier CMA CGM – taking the concept of diversification to another level. And U.S. low-cost travel airline Sun Country last year began operating 737-800 freighters for Amazon Air.

“This partnership between cargo and passenger carriers is unique,” said Markus Otto, senior vice president aviation Europe at DHL Express, in a statement. “It allows us to react even faster and more flexibly to the continued high demand for international express service. The additional capacity through Condor allows us to further improve service quality and transit times, and maintain our growth trajectory.”

Since April of last year, Condor, like many passenger airlines, has emphasized cargo flights, transporting primarily medical protective equipment and e-commerce goods. At one point, 14 of Condor’s 16 Boeing 767 aircraft were being used solely for cargo. Condor has also trained and deployed a team of cargo supervisors to oversee cargo operations and ensure quality execution. 

SmartLynx

In-house airline DHL Aviation also hired SmartLynx Malta, a new cargo subsidiary of Riga, Latvia-based SmartLynx Airlines, that is one of the earliest adopters of the new Airbus A321 converted freighter. 

SmartLynx Malta has leased two of the narrowbody planes and will begin operating the first one for DHL at the end of March, DHL spokesman Tim Rehkopf said. The second aircraft is still being retrofitted and will join the DHL fleet by mid-July.

SmartLynx is moving aggressively to establish its cargo division, with plans to add eight more of the well-regarded A321 freighters by 2023.

The first two A321 passenger-to-freighter conversions so far are seeing duty with Qantas/Australia Post and Titan Airways

Aviation experts say the A321 is an excellent choice for regional and express delivery operators because it has more cargo space for containers than the 737-800, its main competition, and its fuel efficiency over older aircraft.

The A321 is “going to be a great freighter,” said Stan Wraight, CEO a;nd co-founder of Strategic Aviation Solutions, in a video chat for Global Supply Chain Week at FreightWaves.

Founded in 1992, SmartLynx is part of Avia Solutions Group, a large aerospace services company with businesses ranging from aircraft leasing to maintenance and repair. One of Avia’s cargo subsidiaries is charter airline Magma Aviation. SmartLynx has extensive experience operating the A320 and A321 as a passenger charter operator and provider of air transport for airline customers.

Smartlynx Malta says it plans to add two more  A321 freighters this year and up to four units during 2022, with the goal of becoming one of the largest narrow-body cargo freight carriers within the next three years.

In January, DHL Express ordered eight 777 freighters from Boeing as part of its effort to keep up with growing cargo volumes. 

Click here for more FreightWaves/American Shipper stories by Eric Kulisch.

RELATED NEWS:

Why the A321 freighter looks like a hot ticket

Titan to operate world’s second A321 converted freighter

AEI receives large order for 737-800 converted freighters

Shipping line CMA CGM’s first air cargo destination: Chicago

Ocean carrier CMA CGM buys jets for new air cargo unit

Mesa Airlines makes first cargo flight for DHL

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As the coronavirus pandemic continues its hold on the American economy, trucking companies are experiencing a new challenge: a rise in cargo thefts. While cargo thefts have long been a part of commercial truck shipping, the increase in recent months has been attributed to desperation on the part of criminals facing economic hardships. Trucking insurance is only one part of a risk management solution for transportation companies; understanding how to minimize cargo theft incidents can help protect valuable assets from loss. In this guide, we will explore cargo theft prevention strategies that can be used no matter where the road takes you.

Thefts on the Rise

Cargo thefts in the American trucking industry have seen staggering increases in both frequency and value. According to CargoNet, a resource for cargo theft prevention and security in the trucking sector, 2020 experienced a 107% increase in reported thefts. The increase occurred over a period between April 2019 and April 2020. Overall, 2020 saw almost 1100 reported thefts in the U.S. and Canada, with value per theft rates increasing by double over 2019 figure. The average value per theft now stands at approximately $230,000.

Cargo is not the only commodity being stolen at increasing rates. Tractor and trailer thefts are also on the rise as compared to reported figures from 2019. Trailer thefts experienced a 49% increase, while tractors saw a rate 18% than 2019. With the rise in thefts, trucking insurance becomes even more important in protecting company assets.

Strategies for Combatting Cargo Theft

Commercial truckers know that thefts are a common risk factor. To help to prevent cargo from being stolen, trucking companies have adopted technologies like GPS trackers to track stolen cargo and to facilitate recovery. These GPS receivers have been used in tractors and trailers, but they are now being embedded in the cargo itself.

Nighttime security is a focal point for cargo theft prevention. According to theft reports, most of the thefts have occurred during overnight truck parking, such as at rest stops, along highways, and in trucking yards or transfer points. By targeting parked vehicles, thieves may have the ability to take their pick of multiple vehicles. To prevent cargo thefts overnight, truckers should:

  • Park only in overnight locations with onsite security personnel.
  • Avoid parking along highways and tollways.
  • Parking in well-lit areas.
  • Parking in areas where cameras and fencing add a layer of protection to security.

Thieves do not only strike at night, and daytime thefts also occur on an ever-increasing basis. Truckers should be advised to be on the lookout for suspicious activity near transfer points or at loading docks. Insider thefts, where workers at a cargo facility are stealing truck loads, have become more common. Suspicious activity must be reported before a cargo theft incident can occur. Training truckers on security strategies and risk avoidance can help to minimize the impacts of cargo thefts – and can reduce the safety risks to cargo and drivers alike.

If trucks must be left unattended, equipment to secure trailers and cargo must be utilized. This equipment can include kingpin locks, door locks, air cuff locks, and landing gear. Although any lock or security device can be defeated, criminals will often seek easier targets when encountering security devices. This added layer of protection can thwart casual thieves as well as more experienced criminals.

Finally, trucking insurance can provide a safety net against cargo thefts. This insurance covers the damage and losses associated with thefts, protecting trucking company assets against out-of-pocket expenses.

About Western Truck Insurance Services

Western Truck Insurance Services is a commercial truck insurance agency with roots dating back to 1954. We have evolved into a highly respected, professionally managed, truck and transportation insurance brokerage. The hallmark of our organization is our desire to provide unparalleled service. We go way beyond what you expect to receive from an insurance brokerage. Equipped with state of the art automation, Western Truck Insurance can provide you with lightning fast truck insurance quotes, customer service, Insurance certificates, and coverage changes. Contact us today at (800) 937-8785 to learn more!

The post Year-Round Cargo Theft Prevention Techniques appeared first on Western Truck Insurance Services.

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Transportation Event Calendar March 2021-The Lead Pedal Podcast

Women with Drive Leadership Summit - Trucking HR Canada - March 10th, 2021 - Early Bird Closes January 31st, 2021 - www.truckinghr.com

Screening for Cognitive Impairment:  March 17th, 2021-virtual event - Ontario’s Enhanced Road Test - www.pmtc.ca

Hamilton Niagara Fleet Safety Council Spring Seminar- March 25th, 2021-Virtual - www.hamiltonniagarafleetsafetycouncil.com

National Recruiting Symposium - Mississauga On, Moved - www.transrep.ca

TTSAO - Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario Annual Conference -Moved to 2022- www.ttsao.com  - IHSA Creekbank Drive, Mississauga, ON. Wear your favourite team jersey theme for a special draw.

Special Olympics Opening Ceremony - May 2021 - TBA The Opening Ceremonies of the 2021 Special Olympics Ontario Spring Games. For contact information please refer to 2020springgames.com/ and Ceremonies.

Woodstock Truck Show - Cancelled - http://woodstocktruckshow.ca/index.html

PMTC Spring Golf Tournament - May 27th, 2021 - TBA - www.pmtc.ca

PMTC Annual Conference 2021 - June 16th-18th, 2021-TBA - www.pmtc.ca

Clifford Truck Show - Clifford Ontario - July 3-4th, 2021-TBA - www.greatlakestruckclub.com

Professionals of the Highway Tour - Eastern Ontario-Quebec -2021- TBA - www.theleadpedalpodcastfanclub.com

Wolcott Truckers Jamboree - Wolcott Iowa - July 8th-10th, 2021 - https://iowa80truckstop.com/trucker-jamboree/

519 Loud n Proud Truck Show - Mono ON - July 9th-10th, 2021- TBA - www.519loudnproud.com /

Big Sky Music Festival & Truck Show - Oro Station, ON - July 18, 2020 - TBA www.bigflymusicfestival.ca

Great Canadian Truck Show - Flamboro On - July 24-25th, 2021 - www.facebook.com/greatcanadiantruckshow  - TBA

Professionals of the Highway Tour - Hamilton / Niagara - August 2021-TBA - www.theleadpedalpodcastfanclub.com

Athen Truck Show - Antique Truck Club of America - August 14th, 2020 - TBA - https://www.antiquetruckclub.org

St.Thomas Big Rig Nationals- St. Thomas On-August 20-21, 2021 - http://www.sttracewaypark.com

GATS, (GREAT America Truck Show) Dallas, Texas, USA - TBA https://www.truckshow.com

Dates currently being evaluated for MATS 50th are September 16-18, 2021 or March 24-26, 2022. We are actively consulting with exhibitors and attendees to determine which dates are most viable and a final decision will be made by February 15, 2021

The Trucking Network Job Fair - Brampton On - September 11th, 2021 - www.thetruckingnetworkevents.ca 

Truck Convoy for Special Olympics Paris & GTA - September 17th-18th, 2021 - TBA - www.truckconvoy.ca

Chrome Supply Warehouse Appreciation Event - TBA - www.chromesupplywarehouse.com

Trucking for a Cure Woodstock & Brockville - TBA - www.truckingforacure.com

ExpoCam by NewCom - Saint-Hyacinthe (Montreal, QC) September 22-23, 2021 - www.expocam.ca

Fleet Safety Council - October 2021 - Mississauga, ON - TBA - www.fleetsafetycouncil.com

DriverCheck Fitness for Duty Summit - October 2021- TBA - www.drivercheck.ca

Bridging the Barrier Event- October 2021 - TBA - www.wtfc.ca

Safety Driven Speaker Series - Managing the Multi-generational Workforce-October 2021 - TBA - https://safetydriven.ca/news-events/speakerseries/

Trucking Network Job Fair - Kitchener ON - October 24th, 2021 - www.thetruckingnetworkevents.ca

National Recruiting Symposium - Mississauga On, October 28-29, 2021 - www.transrep.ca

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Featured Truck of the Week 2020 Western Star

Today’s truck is a cool Western Star brought to you by the Big Rigs Truck Show. Each week Bruce picks a cool truck from the many truck shows he attends. Hearing about them is one thing, seeing them is another. Check out this cool ride!

Check out the video on this featured truck by clicking here

This episode is sponsored by Groupe Trans West is looking for professional teams to operate out of their Mississauga terminal with excellent employment benefits between Toronto Ontario and California. Find out more at www.groupetranswest.com  or call recruiter Mike Hahn at 416-606-8296

About the Show

JOIN THE LEAD PEDAL PODCAST FAN CLUB www.TheLeadPedalPodcastFanClub.com

LISTEN TO LEAD PEDAL RADIO at www.LeadPedalRadio.com

The Lead Pedal Podcast for Truck Drivers talks all things trucking for people in the transportation industry helping them improve their business and careers. Interviews with industry professionals and truck drivers, trucking information, and other features on the industry are meant to be helpful for truck drivers and those in transportation. The Lead Pedal Podcast for Truck Drivers has main episodes released every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday with bonus material on other days. You can learn more about the host and show on our website and make sure to SUBSCRIBE to the show on your favourite podcast platform. www.theleadpedalpodcast.com

What does The Lead Pedal Podcast mean? The Lead (pronounced - Led) stands for acceleration or fast-track of your career or business. It is a play on words and we certainly are not here promoting speeding in the industry. We are hoping this information will help you become a professional driver faster than if you didn’t know about many of these topics.

Are you enjoying the show? If so we would appreciate you leaving us a rating and review on iTunes or on your favourite podcast platform. The show is available at www.theleadpedalpodcast.com  , ITunes, Stitcher, Spotify, Tunein, iHeartradio, SoundCloud, and other popular podcast platforms. Thanks for listening

Join The Lead Pedal Podcast Fan Club where are loyal fans get first chance at specials, discounts on merchandise and much more.The club is free to join and you can learn more at www.theleadpedalpodcastfanclub.com

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Sets New Standard for Excellence with Superior Fuel Efficiency, Performance and Comfort Kenworth launched the new Kenworth T680 Next Generation

The post The Kenworth T680 Next Generation: Kenworth Launches New On-Highway Flagship appeared first on NextTruck Blog & Industry News - Trucker Information.

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The Lead Pedal Podcast for Truck Drivers Celebrates 600 Episodes

Big thank you to all of our friends, fans, and supporters for helping The Lead Pedal Podcast reach 600 episodes. Without you we couldn’t have reached this amazing milestone. Thank you for your support. Bruce #theleadpedalpodcast #theleadpedalpodcastfanclub #theleadpedalfanclub

About the Show

JOIN THE LEAD PEDAL PODCAST FAN CLUB www.TheLeadPedalPodcastFanClub.com

LISTEN TO LEAD PEDAL RADIO at www.LeadPedalRadio.com

The Lead Pedal Podcast for Truck Drivers talks all things trucking for people in the transportation industry helping them improve their business and careers. Interviews with industry professionals and truck drivers, trucking information, and other features on the industry are meant to be helpful for truck drivers and those in transportation. The Lead Pedal Podcast for Truck Drivers has main episodes released every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday with bonus material on other days. You can learn more about the host and show on our website and make sure to SUBSCRIBE to the show on your favourite podcast platform. www.theleadpedalpodcast.com

What does The Lead Pedal Podcast mean? The Lead (pronounced - Led) stands for acceleration or fast-track of your career or business. It is a play on words and we certainly are not here promoting speeding in the industry. We are hoping this information will help you become a professional driver faster than if you didn’t know about many of these topics.

Are you enjoying the show? If so we would appreciate you leaving us a rating and review on iTunes or on your favourite podcast platform. The show is available at www.theleadpedalpodcast.com  , ITunes, Stitcher, Spotify, Tunein, iHeartradio, SoundCloud, and other popular podcast platforms. Thanks for listening

Join The Lead Pedal Podcast Fan Club where are loyal fans get first chance at specials, discounts on merchandise and much more.The club is free to join and you can learn more at www.theleadpedalpodcastfanclub.com 

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Volvo Trucks North America dealer Vanguard Truck Centers has invested $23 million in a new facility, which is one of

The post Vanguard Truck Centers Opens New Flagship Volvo Trucks Dealership in Houston appeared first on NextTruck Blog & Industry News - Trucker Information.

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Photo I took today from Walmart/Sam's DC in Loveland, CO

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Borderlands is a weekly rundown of developments in the world of United States-Mexico cross-border trucking and trade. This week: JAMCO Group expands in Laredo; BTL picks Mexico for new auto parts plant; G-Global expands in El Paso; and agents seize $40 million in drugs in Texas and California.

Jamco Group expands operations in Laredo

The JAMCO Group, planning for an expansion of U.S.-Mexico trade, recently signed a long-term lease to occupy 500,000-square-feet at the Port Grande Logistics Port in Laredo, Texas.

The Laredo-based global logistics provider will move into its new space at Port Grande Logistics Port by June 1. 

“Primarily, we’re going to be using it as a distribution hub for the automotive industry,” Rahul Oltikar, JAMCO Group’s chief operating officer, told FreightWaves. “This will be for U.S. finished product coming north from maquiladoras in Mexico, and then we’ll be distributing the products to dealers and distribution centers up in the U.S.”

Maquiladoras are foreign-owned assembly plants in Mexico that import machinery and materials duty-free and export finished products around the world. A large number of the plants are U.S.-owned and located in areas close to the U.S.-Mexico border.

JAMCO’s cross-border business could expand between 10% and 20% with the new facility, and the company could hire up to 50 new employees, Oltikar said.

The company already leases a 250,000-square-foot space off of Interstate 69 West near Laredo’s trade bridge. Jamco was founded in 1994 and is a non-asset-based provider of trade, global freight forwarding and brokerage services.  

JAMCO primarily provides cross-border services among the U.S., Mexico and South America, in the automotive, produce and vegetables, medical, electrical, steel, oil and gas, and industrial industries.

“With the additional 500,000-square-feet, our total footprint will be around 750,000 in Laredo,” Oltikar said. “Along the U.S.-Mexico border we’ll be approaching a million square feet. We have branch offices in McAllen and El Paso, Texas; San Diego and Calexico, California.”

The Port Grande Logistics Port is a 2,000-acre master planned logistics port in Laredo, located just east of Interstate 35 on Carriers Drive. It is about 10 miles from the U.S.-Mexico border.

The port is a logistics hub from Los Angeles-area developer Majestic Realty Co. The company completed the acquisition of the 2,000-acre site from a subsidiary of Mercedes-Benz in 2015.

Officials with Majestic Realty said Jamco will occupy all 500,000 square feet of a building that Majestic originally completed as a build-to-suit for Mattel Inc. The lease agreement removes what would have been a 30%-40% increase in the market’s available square footage, officials said. 

“This is more evidence of the ever-growing need for large warehousing distribution space in Laredo,” Kyle Valley, senior vice president with Majestic Realty, said in a statement. 

Majestic Realty recently announced a $1 billion expansion at Port Grande Logistics Port.

The long-term plan calls for six phases and 14 million-square-feet of spec industrial development, primarily distribution, warehouse and manufacturing space at the port.

BTL picks Mexico for new auto parts plant 

China-based auto parts maker BTL recently announced a $2.4 million factory near Saltillo, Mexico.

BTL will manufacture auto aluminum castings for braking and suspension safety systems, as well as automotive electrical parts. The plant will supply BTL customers in Mexico, the United States and Canada.

Saltillo is about 53 miles from Monterrey, Mexico, and 136 miles from Laredo.

G-Global expands in El Paso

G-Global, a cross-border customs and logistics company, is expanding its operation in El Paso.

The company has leased 38,400 square feet of industrial space at 9660 Joe Rodriguez Drive. The building is owned by Boston-based Equity Industrial Partners and New York-based Raith Capital Partners.

G-Global is a San Diego-based customs broker and freight forwarding company. It has more than 500 employees and has expanded its operations to all major ports on the U.S.-Mexico border, according to its website.

CBP agents seize $40M in drugs in Texas and California

In three recent cases, border agents in Texas and California stopped attempts to use commercial trucks to move cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamine across the United States-Mexico border.

On Monday, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the Otay Mesa port of entry seized more than 12,000 pounds of marijuana found commingled within a shipment of papaya.

Otay Mesa is located on the California-Mexico border, around 20 miles south of San Diego. The marijuana has a street value of $27 million.

A CBP photo shows how the marijuana was hidden inside a shipment of papayas. (Photo: CBP)

On Feb. 21, CBP agents at the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge in Pharr, Texas, discovered that a produce shipment from Mexico also contained $11.5 million worth of methamphetamine hidden inside an empty trailer.

On Feb. 18, agents working at the Starr-Camargo International Bridge in Rio Grande City, Texas, intercepted $1 million worth of cocaine from an otherwise empty trailer arriving from Mexico.

CBP seized the narcotics along with the tractor-trailers. In the Rio Grande City case, the driver was arrested and turned over to local authorities, according to CBP.

Borderlands is sponsored by Forager. More information on Forager’s offerings can be found at: https://www.foragerscs.com/.

Click for more FreightWaves articles by Noi Mahoney.

More articles by Noi Mahoney

CFI consolidates operations in Laredo

Texas blackouts cost Mexican manufacturers $2.7B

Reliance Partners acquires Borderless Coverage

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Peterbilt Motors Company continues to deliver the Class of the industry with significant updates to the vocational Model 567 and

The post PETERBILT LAUNCHES UPDATED VOCATIONAL MODELS 567 AND 520 appeared first on NextTruck Blog & Industry News - Trucker Information.

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New Trucker Enjoying The Scenery

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Keeping Your Trucks Loaded in the Construction Industry

In the construction world keeping your trucks loaded is a daily challenge. Construction jobs last for various times and you never know when the work will be there for your dump truck. We talk with Andrew Davies of Trucon who has developed a program to help match work with people who have trucks in order to keep everyone working. Have a listen and find out how this technology works. You can learn more about Trucon at www.trucon.app

This episode is sponsored by Groupe Trans West is looking for professional teams to operate out of their Mississauga terminal with excellent employment benefits between Toronto Ontario and California. Find out more at www.groupetranswest.com  or call recruiter Mike Hahn at 416-606-8296

This episode is sponsored by C.A.T. Transport offering flexible work options, pet friendly programs, and is one of the Best Managed Carriers in Canada. Learn more at www.cat.ca  or call 1-800-363-5313

About the Show

JOIN THE LEAD PEDAL PODCAST FAN CLUB www.TheLeadPedalPodcastFanClub.com

LISTEN TO LEAD PEDAL RADIO at www.LeadPedalRadio.com

The Lead Pedal Podcast for Truck Drivers talks all things trucking for people in the transportation industry helping them improve their business and careers. Interviews with industry professionals and truck drivers, trucking information, and other features on the industry are meant to be helpful for truck drivers and those in transportation. The Lead Pedal Podcast for Truck Drivers has main episodes released every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday with bonus material on other days. You can learn more about the host and show on our website and make sure to SUBSCRIBE to the show on your favourite podcast platform. www.theleadpedalpodcast.com

What does The Lead Pedal Podcast mean? The Lead (pronounced - Led) stands for acceleration or fast-track of your career or business. It is a play on words and we certainly are not here promoting speeding in the industry. We are hoping this information will help you become a professional driver faster than if you didn’t know about many of these topics.

Are you enjoying the show? If so we would appreciate you leaving us a rating and review on iTunes or on your favourite podcast platform. The show is available at www.theleadpedalpodcast.com  , ITunes, Stitcher, Spotify, Tunein, iHeartradio, SoundCloud, and other popular podcast platforms. Thanks for listening

Join The Lead Pedal Podcast Fan Club where are loyal fans get first chance at specials, discounts on merchandise and much more.The club is free to join and you can learn more at www.theleadpedalpodcastfanclub.com

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Hate it when buckets try to exit stage right

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Story by: Clarissa Hawes, Senior Editor, Investigations and Enterprise at FreightWavese      Westfield Transport driver Volodymyr Zhukovskyy is awaiting trial in the fatal crash involving seven motorcyclists   Volodymyr Zhukovskyy   The owners of defunct Westfield Transport Inc. of West Springfield, Massachusetts, who hired a driver (Volodymyr Zhukowskyy) accused of killing five motorcyclists and […]

The post Owners of trucking company Westfield Transport indicted for falsifying driving logs appeared first on iTrucker | Transforming Trucking.

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TTSI Operating in Drayage and Regional Service in Southern California Kenworth continues to advance the latest clean technologies designed to

The post Kenworth Delivers Two Range-Extended Electric Prototype Trucks for Commercial Service appeared first on NextTruck Blog & Industry News - Trucker Information.

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Owners of Westfield Transport indicted on allegations the carrier falsified logs

The owners of defunct Westfield Transport Inc. of West Springfield, Massachusetts, who hired a driver accused of killing five motorcyclists and two passengers and injured seven others, in New Hampshire in June 2019, were indicted on federal charges of falsifying driving logs, on Friday.

Dunyadar (Damien) Gasanov, 36,  was indicted on one count of falsification of records, one count of conspiracy to falsify and one count of making a false statement to a federal investigator. He is still wanted by investigators. According to records from the Massachusetts Secretary of State’s Office, he is listed as the supervisor of Westfield Transport.

His brother, Dartanayan Gasanov, 35, who was arrested Friday, was charged with one count of falsification of records. He is listed as the president, treasurer, secretary and director of the shuttered company,  the company’s SOS records state.

According to the indictment, from May 3, 2019 to June 23, 2019, the owners of Westfield Transport falsified driving logs “in order to evade federal regulations designed to ensure the safety of roadways and drivers.”

The indictment further alleges that Dunyadar Gasanov instructed at least one Westfield Transport employee to falsify records to exceed the number of permissible driving hours. He then “made a false statement to a federal inspector regarding the manipulation of recording devices that track drivers’ on and off duty hours in order to evade regulations,” according to federal prosecutors.

NTSB issues report into Westfield Transport crash

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), an independent agency called in to investigate the fatal crash, claims in its report that Westfield Transport’s owners tried to add Volodymryr Zhukovskyy, 24, of West Springfield, to its insurance policy an hour after the driver was involved in the fatal crash. 

The NTSB report also alleges that Westfield Transport managers and drivers  “routinely tampered with electronic logging devices and falsified hours-of-service logs,” and called for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to remove KeepTruckin devices from its list of approved vendors that track the number of hours truckers can legally drive each day. 

Westfield Transport used KeepTruckin’s automatic onboard recording devices (AOBRDs), which investigators claim carriers are able to tamper with and “falsify” hours-of-service logs. However, investigators state that on the day of the fatal crash, Zhukovskky was using paper logs because his logging device in his truck wasn’t working.

The NTSB is also investigating another fatal crash involving a KeepTruckin device after a tractor-trailer crossed the median and struck a motorcoach in New Mexico, killing eight people, on Aug. 30, 2018. Investigators claim the commercial driver had “falsified the HOS logs” on the day of the crash and had doctored his logs in the days leading up to that fateful day. 

Although the NTSB investigation is still ongoing into the New Mexico crash, investigators discovered other drivers working for the same carrier also falsified their logs to drive longer hours using KeepTruckin technology. 

KeepTruckin disputes NTSB’s call to remove its devices 

Westfield Transport hired Zhukovskyy two days prior to crossing the center line and colliding with a group of Jarheads Motorcycle Club motorcyclists who were headed to a charity event at the local American Legion in Gorham on June 21, 2019, in Randolph, New Hampshire.

According to the NTSB report, Zhukovskyy admitted to using heroin and cocaine on the day of the crash. Zhukovskyy, who is charged with multiple counts of negligent homicide, is currently in prison, awaiting trial in New Hampshire. Investigators claim Westfield Transport failed to check Zhukovskyy’s driving record before hiring him as he had multiple traffic and drug arrests in the two years since obtaining his commercial driver’s license (CDL).

KeepTruckin, which has placed on FreightWaves’ FreightTech 25 list for three straight years, disputes the NTSB findings that its devices, designed to track the number of hours a trucker can legally drive, are not compliant with federal regulations. The company claims investigators conflated the carrier’s use of KeepTruckin’s AOBRD with KeepTruckin’s ELD system — two different technologies operated under different sets of rules, Travis Baskin, head of regulatory affairs of KeepTruckin, told FreightWaves. 

“The NTSB report suggests that the KeepTruckin ELD didn’t record a malfunction code for the location discrepancy when Westfield Transport disconnected their smartphones from the ELD in an attempt to falsify their logs,” Baskin told FreightWaves. “FMCSA doesn’t require that the ELD record a malfunction event when no mobile device is connected or when a driver is not logged into an ELD.” 

Click for more FreightWaves articles by Clarissa Hawes.


Legal woes force owner of shuttered carriers to file Chapter 7
Legal battle brewing in Texas over payout in fatal truck crash
Lavalle Transportation buys shuttered Rush Trucking, Lavalle employee says

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Story by: iTrucker  / Mario Pawlowski / iTrucker.com     At least two people were critically injured after jumping from a bridge next to I-90 in Montana during an accident involving approximately 30 vehicles, including a semi-truck. “We can confirm that two people jumped from the bridge during the incident to avoid being struck by a vehicle. They suffered […]

The post Two people critically injured after jumping off the bridge in Montana during a multi-vehicle accident appeared first on iTrucker | Transforming Trucking.

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Two spots and he couldn't pick. If you can't back it, Swift it?

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"88 miles per hour, Marty"

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This should be fun...

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Peterbilt Motors Company is pleased to deliver a Peterbilt Model 579 equipped with the 250,000th PACCAR MX engine produced for North

The post PETERBILT DELIVERS MODEL 579 WITH MILESTONE 250,000TH PACCAR MX ENGINE TO TCW appeared first on NextTruck Blog & Industry News - Trucker Information.

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A Look at Factoring for Owner Operators in Trucking

We take a look at factoring and how it works for owner operators and who should be thinking about factoring to keep cashflow running through their business. Some clips are from past interviews and are listed below if you would like to go back and listen to the full interviews.

Full interviews with guests

https://theleadpedalpodcast.com/lp191-learn-about-factoring-with-christian-hernandez

https://theleadpedalpodcast.com/lp218-a-look-at-go99-with-devlin-fenton

This episode is sponsored by Bison Transport with many opportunities for truck drivers in their fleet across Canada. You can learn more about Bison and the opportunities available http://fuelyourjourney.ca/  or call 1-800-527-5781 #fuelyourjourney @BisonTransport

DriverCheck is a leader in drug and alcohol, cognitive, and workplace testing helping employers have a safe workplace for their staff. Learn how DriverCheck can help you be safe at www.drivercheck.ca

About the Show

JOIN THE LEAD PEDAL PODCAST FAN CLUB www.TheLeadPedalPodcastFanClub.com

LISTEN TO LEAD PEDAL RADIO at www.LeadPedalRadio.com

The Lead Pedal Podcast for Truck Drivers talks all things trucking for people in the transportation industry helping them improve their business and careers. Interviews with industry professionals and truck drivers, trucking information, and other features on the industry are meant to be helpful for truck drivers and those in transportation. The Lead Pedal Podcast for Truck Drivers has main episodes released every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday with bonus material on other days. You can learn more about the host and show on our website and make sure to SUBSCRIBE to the show on your favourite podcast platform. www.theleadpedalpodcast.com

What does The Lead Pedal Podcast mean? The Lead (pronounced - Led) stands for acceleration or fast-track of your career or business. It is a play on words and we certainly are not here promoting speeding in the industry. We are hoping this information will help you become a professional driver faster than if you didn’t know about many of these topics.

Are you enjoying the show? If so we would appreciate you leaving us a rating and review on iTunes or on your favourite podcast platform. The show is available at www.theleadpedalpodcast.com  , ITunes, Stitcher, Spotify, Tunein, iHeartradio, SoundCloud, and other popular podcast platforms. Thanks for listening

Join The Lead Pedal Podcast Fan Club where are loyal fans get first chance at specials, discounts on merchandise and much more.The club is free to join and you can learn more at www.theleadpedalpodcastfanclub.com

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fw-scientific-ticker

Though already present at a lane level in the Lane Signal application inside of the SONAR platform, FreightWaves has aggregated a national predictive rate value for van (FWS.USA) and reefer (FWSR.USA) modes and made them accessible to view historically and up to a year into the future. The national rates are averages of the over 700,000 lanes in the U.S. excluding lanes that are under 250 miles. 

The main purpose of these rates is to provide increased visibility into the general direction of spot market prices for purchased transportation (shipper/broker to carrier) in the U.S. The basis for these rates is derived from a combination of data including but not limited to carrier costs, tender data, and demographic information. To learn more about the scientific rates and how they are formed click here

Seeing as these rates are based on more than simply historical rate data, which would only lead to predicting seasonal movement. FreightWaves’ scientific rates use multiple data points and forecast each one out to a year. More relevant data ingested in the model leads to increased precision in the forecast. 

Historical Predictions

In addition to the base rate values for van and reefer, FreightWaves has also included the ability to plot the historic predictive values at the 7-day (FWS7.USA, FWSR7.USA) and 28-day (FWS28.USA, FWSR28.USA) points to see how accurate the predictive value was against the observed outcome. 

For instance if the Atlanta to Chicago lane had 10 loads at $1.40/mile and the Milwaukee to Chicago lane had 20 loads at $2.10/mile the weighted average of these two lanes would be:

(5 x $1.40 + 20 x $2.10)/25 = $1.96/mile. 

In the straight average the calculation would weight each lane equally like this:

(1.40 + 2.10)/2 = $1.75/mile.

The weighted average gives the user another data point with which to evaluate market conditions and can alert the user to the increasing high RPM moves that can be hidden in the straight average. The weighted average is only available for van freight at the moment. 

FreightWaves SONAR platform is constantly expanding. Interested in learning more visit here.

To request a SONAR demo click here.

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Vanguard Truck Centers recently opened a new dealership in Houston, investing $23 million in the facility to offer customers increased

The post Mack Dealer Vanguard Truck Centers Invests $23 Million in New State-of-the Art Houston Dealership appeared first on NextTruck Blog & Industry News - Trucker Information.

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Same gig new rig

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Award Winning Trucking Tips from Bison Transport

Bison Transport has a number of award winning drivers and one of those is Jack Fielding. Bruce chats with Jack about his career and tips for drivers to be successful behind the wheel. Bison Transport with many opportunities for truck drivers in their fleet across Canada. You can learn more about Bison and the opportunities available http://fuelyourjourney.ca/  or call 1-800-527-5781 #fuelyourjourney @BisonTransport

About the Show

JOIN THE LEAD PEDAL PODCAST FAN CLUB www.TheLeadPedalPodcastFanClub.com

LISTEN TO LEAD PEDAL RADIO at www.LeadPedalRadio.com

The Lead Pedal Podcast for Truck Drivers talks all things trucking for people in the transportation industry helping them improve their business and careers. Interviews with industry professionals and truck drivers, trucking information, and other features on the industry are meant to be helpful for truck drivers and those in transportation. The Lead Pedal Podcast for Truck Drivers has main episodes released every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday with bonus material on other days. You can learn more about the host and show on our website and make sure to SUBSCRIBE to the show on your favourite podcast platform. www.theleadpedalpodcast.com

What does The Lead Pedal Podcast mean? The Lead (pronounced - Led) stands for acceleration or fast-track of your career or business. It is a play on words and we certainly are not here promoting speeding in the industry. We are hoping this information will help you become a professional driver faster than if you didn’t know about many of these topics.

Are you enjoying the show? If so we would appreciate you leaving us a rating and review on iTunes or on your favourite podcast platform. The show is available at www.theleadpedalpodcast.com  , ITunes, Stitcher, Spotify, Tunein, iHeartradio, SoundCloud, and other popular podcast platforms. Thanks for listening

Join The Lead Pedal Podcast Fan Club where are loyal fans get first chance at specials, discounts on merchandise and much more.The club is free to join and you can learn more at www.theleadpedalpodcastfanclub.com 

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Award Winning Trucking Tips from Bison Transport

Bison Transport has a number of award winning drivers and one of those is Jack Fielding. Bruce chats with Jack about his career and tips for drivers to be successful behind the wheel. Bison Transport with many opportunities for truck drivers in their fleet across Canada. You can learn more about Bison and the opportunities available http://fuelyourjourney.ca/  or call 1-800-527-5781 #fuelyourjourney @BisonTransport

About the Show

JOIN THE LEAD PEDAL PODCAST FAN CLUB www.TheLeadPedalPodcastFanClub.com

LISTEN TO LEAD PEDAL RADIO at www.LeadPedalRadio.com

The Lead Pedal Podcast for Truck Drivers talks all things trucking for people in the transportation industry helping them improve their business and careers. Interviews with industry professionals and truck drivers, trucking information, and other features on the industry are meant to be helpful for truck drivers and those in transportation. The Lead Pedal Podcast for Truck Drivers has main episodes released every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday with bonus material on other days. You can learn more about the host and show on our website and make sure to SUBSCRIBE to the show on your favourite podcast platform. www.theleadpedalpodcast.com

What does The Lead Pedal Podcast mean? The Lead (pronounced - Led) stands for acceleration or fast-track of your career or business. It is a play on words and we certainly are not here promoting speeding in the industry. We are hoping this information will help you become a professional driver faster than if you didn’t know about many of these topics.

Are you enjoying the show? If so we would appreciate you leaving us a rating and review on iTunes or on your favourite podcast platform. The show is available at www.theleadpedalpodcast.com  , ITunes, Stitcher, Spotify, Tunein, iHeartradio, SoundCloud, and other popular podcast platforms. Thanks for listening

Join The Lead Pedal Podcast Fan Club where are loyal fans get first chance at specials, discounts on merchandise and much more.The club is free to join and you can learn more at www.theleadpedalpodcastfanclub.com 

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A loss of electrical power could cause engines to shut down in certain Navistar International LT and Lonestar models, increasing the risk of a crash.

Navistar International Corp. (NYSE: NAV) is recalling 32,603 of the trucks in the U.S. and Canada. About one in 10 trucks may experience breakage of the battery ground cable ring terminal at the frame connecting point. A resulting loss of electrical power could cause the engine to shut down without warning.

The condition could increase the risk of a crash, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said on its website.

No crashes or injuries were reported in the NHTSA filing covering 27,457 trucks or a similar Transport Canada filing covering 5,146 trucks. Intermittent or brief loss of electrical power might alert a driver to a problem.

Most of recalled trucks are flagship LT model

Most of the recalled trucks are International flagship on-highway LT models from the 2017-2021 model years. A small number of conventional cab Lonestar models from the 2018-2021 model years are also included in the recall.

The suspect population consists of 6×4 and 6×2 tractors built with Cummins Inc. (NYSE: CMI) ISX engines that have an aluminum battery box mounted under the cab on the left side of the truck. The recalled trucks were built between May 2016 and Jan. 12 of this year. Cummins is a major supplier of engines to Navistar.

The identifying feature is a certain battery cable routing and connector type used to attach the cable to the frame rail, according to Navistar’s Feb. 18 NHTSA filing.

International dealers will replace the battery ground cable from the battery box to the chassis frame with a new, longer and more flexible battery ground cable assembled with a flat ring terminal designed to remove the stress loads found during testing.

Navistar expects to mail customer and dealer letters by April 16. The NHTSA recall number is 21V-079.

Navistar recalls trucks because engine revving can overwhelm parking brake

Cummins’ melting fuel heater leads to big Navistar recall

Navistar recalls 13,570 trucks for brake light malfunction

Click for more FreightWaves articles by Alan Adler.

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Trucks on snowy highway

For brokers hoping to retain carriers and cut down on so-called “one-load wonders,” creating an engaging carrier experience is vital. Competitive rates will convince a carrier to pick up a load, but the right combination of relationship and convenience will keep them coming back to the same broker over and over. 

Creating an environment that makes carriers want to stick around involves top-notch communication, ethical decision-making and making the process as easy as possible, according to Tom Curee, Kingsgate Logistics senior vice president of strategy and innovation. That means making calls meaningful, offering fair rates and keeping carriers in the loop.

When new technological tools hit the market, they are often lauded for their ability to eliminate check calls. This is an undeniable positive, saving brokers and drivers alike the hassle of picking up the phone at inopportune or even dangerous moments. 

Digital load tracking to cut down on check calls is one of the features truck driver Gerald Johnson appreciates most about the Trucker Tools mobile application. 

“The tracking is awesome,” Johnson said. “One of my biggest pet peeves has always been getting check calls when I am trying to sleep. With Trucker Tools’ tracking capabilities, brokers know where I am without having to call.”

Brokers should be careful, however, to ensure that eliminating check calls does not lead to eliminating all calls. Technology has made it possible to move a load without picking up the phone, but that does not mean this form of communication should be avoided entirely. Phone calls have always been a tool to build strong relationships for brokers and carriers. 

“Brokers need to make sure they are making phone calls for relations, not just phone calls for information,” Curee said. 

Beyond simply keeping in touch, there are other ways for brokers to communicate their respect and appreciation for their core carriers. One simple and effective way is by offering those reliable carriers good loads before posting them on public load boards. 

“Brokers should make loads available to their top carriers before sending them to the masses. There is a lot of perceived and real value in exclusivity,” Curee said. “You should be providing that to your core carriers. Too many people are living off load boards and discrediting their current carrier base.”

Overall, carriers are willing and ready to adopt new technological tools that effectively make their jobs easier. They appreciate fewer check calls, faster reloads and premium load access

“Drivers as a whole are pretty resilient,” Johnson said. “Forward movement is not a problem. If a tool makes a job easier, we should be open to using it.”

The oft-painted picture of the reluctant driver may have little to do with drivers’ distaste for technology and more to do with their hesitance to adopt redundant software or tools that simply do not perform as promised. 

“I get five emails a week about some new carrier capacity tool, and I think it is so important to identify a product that aligns with your goals,” Curee said. “Once you identify it, you have to go all in. Too many brokerages are trying to be jacks of all trades. You won’t get comfortable enough with any single product. Your operations team won’t know enough about all the tools to help drivers when they call with questions.” Adopting one multiuse tool – like the Trucker Tools suite – will encourage better driver compliance, stronger in-house familiarity and an overall more pleasant experience than adopting multiple single-use tools. 

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The new Kenworth T680E battery electric vehicle is now available and qualifies for a $120,000 voucher incentive available to qualifying

The post New Kenworth T680E Battery Electric Vehicles Eligible for $120,000 2021 CARB HVIP Voucher Incentive in California appeared first on NextTruck Blog & Industry News - Trucker Information.

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Reddit

They might as well throw their hazards on while they're at it

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Reddit

New rig - well new to me!

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While DoorDash (NYSE: DASH) reported new quarterly records for total orders, adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA), and market share, some analysts were not convinced of the value the company provides moving forward.

It’s likely not only a DoorDash problem but rather a food delivery problem in a market that has accelerated because of COVID-19 pandemic-related restaurant restrictions.

“This past quarter showed phenomenal top-line growth and the company guided for 2021 to see further growth in spite of tough comparables. In spite of the insane growth it showed in 2020, DASH was not profitable on either a GAAP or non-GAAP basis,” wrote Seeking Alpha analyst Julian Lin.

For its part, DoorDash acknowledged the challenges that lie ahead as vaccines roll out and restaurants reopen for in-person dining.

Read: In first earnings as public company, DoorDash beats revenue forecasts

“We hope markets will begin to open up soon. As that happens, we expect declines in consumer engagement and average order values, though the precise amount remains unclear,” it said. “In any scenario, we will remain focused on reducing friction on our Marketplace and executing against the factors that will drive long-term consumer adoption: selection, experience and value.”

Lin questioned the company’s inability to turn a profit at a time when making money should have been easier.

“Even if we add back stock-based compensation, DASH was barely able to generate $10 million in adjusted net income for the fourth quarter and lost $139 million in adjusted net income for the year,” he wrote. “Consider that Zoom (NASDAQ: ZM), another pandemic beneficiary, generated 25.5% GAAP net margins in the third quarter. Shopify (NYSE: SHOP) generated 12.7% GAAP net margins in its latest quarter. Why is DASH unable to generate profits during what might prove to be a peak year?”

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In 2019, Statista pegged the online food delivery market at $94.4 billion. The firm projects 2021 sales to reach $151.5 billion. According to research firm Second Measure, meal delivery sales rose 164% year-over-year in January, led by DoorDash’s 56% share of sales. Uber Eats was second at 20%.

In its earnings call, DoorDash CFO Prabir Adarkar said the company believes “consumer behavior tends to be sticky.”

“Once the consumer discovered DoorDash and they’ve ordered from their favorite restaurants and enjoyed the benefits of on-demand convenience, new habits get formed, and we believe this situation will persist over the long run,” he noted. “And so even when you look at markets like Texas and Georgia and Florida that reopened, that were sort of partially open, even through the pandemic in the U.S. against that backdrop, we continue to see our weekly order volumes in these markets continue to grow. So that’s a promising sign.”

Uber (NYSE: UBER) is more insulated from a likely downturn in food delivery because of its more diverse business lines.

“We’ve seen our business accelerate in January to over 150% year-on-year growth as the delivery continues to provide a natural hedge and lockdown. It’s become clear that the pandemic has increased consumers’ appetite for on-demand delivery of not just food, but all goods, and we take a major step to address this enormous opportunity,” Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said during that company’s earnings call earlier this month.

Uber’s plans include leveraging its platform to expand. It recently purchased on-demand alcohol supplier Drizly and in 2020 acquired both Postmates and Cornership, which opened up grocery for Uber.

“While the external environment remains uncertain, I am more optimistic than ever about Uber’s future,” Khosrowshahi said. “We’ve established the world’s largest mobility platform with a leading position in every major region that we operate in. In five years, we built the world’s largest food delivery platform outside of China, which is growing substantially faster than the category and which we’re using to expand into high-potential adjacencies.”

Read: Eats, Delivery pushing Uber toward profitability

DoorDash is now attempting to diversify its holdings as well. It has invested in local restaurants by reducing commissions for local merchants and has been providing grants. Earlier this week, the company launched the Main Street Strong Accelerator to support women-, immigrant- and BIPOC-owned businesses. The $2 million fund will provide $20,000 grants to 100 restaurants in five cities – New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta and Philadelphia.

The company is also looking to build out its DoorDash Drive program, which allows merchants to offer on-demand and same-day delivery through their own digital channels, and DoorDash Storefront, which helps merchants quickly build digital storefronts to participate in the e-commerce marketplace.

“Over time, we will have to build even more products and services to enable merchants to run their digital business as effectively as we operate our marketplace. Underpinning our marketplace and platform is our maniacal focus on operating efficiency where we believe best-in-class execution will result in an improving cost structure that unlocks further investment capital as we grow our skin,” CEO Tony Xu said.

Xu said the company still sees “massive runway” in the restaurant business, but DoorDash sees opportunity in the convenience and grocery categories.

“The job of our platform is to empower a brick-and-mortar merchant to build their own digital channel, a task necessary to have adapted to evolving consumer preferences before the pandemic and a task certainly necessary to have survived COVID-19. This business is even more critical as we come out of the pandemic as consumers have only become more habituated to a convenience economy, aided by a possible longer-term trend toward working from home,” Xu said.

DoorDash has been working with retailers such as Macy’s and Bloomingdales as well as dealers with convenience brands such as 7-Eleven, CVS, and Walgreens. Xu noted that DoorDash’s leadership in the food delivery space has allowed it to expand quickly into other areas – areas that it has actually been operating in since Drive launched in Q1 2017.

“I think what you’re seeing is every business recognizes that omnichannel is a great thing. Every business is trying to figure out how to redo their supply chains to really meet a post-pandemic omnichannel presence, which they expect to grow. And we’ll be there with them, both with our marketplace as well as our platform,” he said.

Click for more FreightWaves articles by Brian Straight.

You may also like:

Social Auto Transport raises $1.5M in seed funding to expand gig economy auto-moving business

Bringg’s collaboration with Uber opens new doors for e-commerce

Walmart to begin drone delivery pilot this summer

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Startup electric truck maker Nikola Corp. (NASDAQ: NKLA) reported a Q4 loss half of what analysts expected. It also has canceled its Powersports business to focus solely on battery-electric and hydrogen-powered fuel cell Class 8 trucks.

Nikola lost $146.8 million, or 17 cents a diluted share, in Q4 compared to a proforma loss of $28 million, or 9 cents, in the October-December period of 2019. 

Analyst consensus was for a loss of 34 cents per share. Nikola reported no revenue for the quarter. 

For the full year, Nikola lost $384.3 million, or 62 cents a diluted share, compared to a proforma loss of $88.7 million, or 32 cents, in 2019.

Nikola became a public company in June 2020 following a reverse merger with special purpose acquisition company VectoIQ Acquisition Corp.

Late 2021 production curtailed

Nikola expects to produce 50 to 100 battery-electric Tre models and generate its first meaningful revenue in the fourth quarter of 2021, Chief Financial Officer Kim Brady told analysts on the company’s earnings call after the market closed Thursday.

Production is being curtailed because of shortages of battery cells and semiconductors because of the COVID pandemic, CEO Mark Russell said. Work restrictions in Germany where the Tre is in prototype production also have slowed progress. Four of the first five Tre prototypes are in the U.S. for testing and validation. 

Potential customers could be invited to ride programs by the middle of the year, Russell said. But he declined to say how many Tres have been ordered. Nikola wants to lock in one or two fleets that will get the first trucks and “share a little bit of risk with us,” Russell said.

That is the approach Nikola took with Anheuser-Busch (NYSE: BUD), which will get the first Tre fuel cell trucks in early 2022 for testing.

Milton’s prevarications

Separately, former Executive Chairman Trevor Milton made at least nine inaccurate statements as alleged by short seller Hindenburg Research, according to Nikola’s 10-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. 

The company said SEC and U.S. Department of Justice investigations are ongoing. Civil or criminal charges are possible, Nikola said. Milton, Russell and Brady were among company officials subpoenaed by the federal court for the Southern District of New York in September.

“We have incurred significant expenses as a result of the regulatory and legal matters relating to the Hindenburg article,” Nikola said in the SEC filing. “The total cost associated with these matters will depend on many factors, including the duration of these matters and any related finding.”

Related articles:

Nikola reveals fuel cell truck timing but nothing new on customers

Nikola adds crisis-tested directors to regain credibility

Republic Services cancels refuse truck order from Nikola

Click for more FreightWaves articles by Alan Adler.

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Featured Truck - Eagleson Show Truck

Today’s truck is a cool Peterbilt brought to you by the Big Rigs Truck Show. Each week Bruce picks a cool truck from the many truck shows he attends. Hearing about them is one thing, seeing them is another. Check out this cool ride!

Check out the video on this featured truck by clicking here

This episode is sponsored by RIMS Transport who is looking for owner operators and drivers to work cross border operations out of Hamilton Ontario. You can learn more about the opportunities at www.rimstransport.com

About the Show

JOIN THE LEAD PEDAL PODCAST FAN CLUB www.TheLeadPedalPodcastFanClub.com

LISTEN TO LEAD PEDAL RADIO at www.LeadPedalRadio.com

The Lead Pedal Podcast for Truck Drivers talks all things trucking for people in the transportation industry helping them improve their business and careers. Interviews with industry professionals and truck drivers, trucking information, and other features on the industry are meant to be helpful for truck drivers and those in transportation. The Lead Pedal Podcast for Truck Drivers has main episodes released every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday with bonus material on other days. You can learn more about the host and show on our website and make sure to SUBSCRIBE to the show on your favourite podcast platform. www.theleadpedalpodcast.com

What does The Lead Pedal Podcast mean? The Lead (pronounced - Led) stands for acceleration or fast-track of your career or business. It is a play on words and we certainly are not here promoting speeding in the industry. We are hoping this information will help you become a professional driver faster than if you didn’t know about many of these topics.

Are you enjoying the show? If so we would appreciate you leaving us a rating and review on iTunes or on your favourite podcast platform. The show is available at www.theleadpedalpodcast.com  , ITunes, Stitcher, Spotify, Tunein, iHeartradio, SoundCloud, and other popular podcast platforms. Thanks for listening

Join The Lead Pedal Podcast Fan Club where are loyal fans get first chance at specials, discounts on merchandise and much more.The club is free to join and you can learn more at www.theleadpedalpodcastfanclub.com

 

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Owner of California carriers files Chapter 7

The owner of two defunct California trucking companies filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy on Wednesday.

This action comes after three breach-of-contract judgments amounting to over $317,000 were entered against Royal Flush 89 Transport and its owner, Getsemani Cuevas of Riverside, California.

In its filing with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California, Royal Flush lists assets of up to $50,000 and liabilities of between $500,000 and $1 million. The shuttered carrier states that it has up to 49 creditors. The company maintains that no funds will be available for unsecured creditors once it pays administrative fees.

Among the company’s list of unsecured creditors, which are last in line for payment, are Pearl Beta Funding, owed nearly $172,000, Mantis Funding, owed $113,500, and Comdata Inc., owed nearly $32,200. Cuevas was ordered to pay the companies in the breach-of-contract lawsuits.

Trucking companies Sierra Mountain Express Inc. of Orlando, Florida, is owed nearly $4,900, and H & S Car Carriers of Nahunta, Georgia, is owed $2,600, according to the petition.

Cuevas, who also owned Cuevas Transport, filed a personal Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition, listing assets of up to $50,000 and his liabilities of between $1 million and $10 million. In the filing, he lists the IRS as owed $19,500 in back taxes and the U.S. Treasury as owed more than $26,000. Both are listed as having priority unsecured claims against Cuevas. 

He also cites the legal judgments against Royal Flush and other company debts in his personal filing. The personal bankruptcy filing includes Cuevas Transport.

Cuevas did not respond to FreightWaves’ request for comment regarding the bankruptcy filings.

His attorney, Michael Smith of Shioda Langley & Chang of Riverside, told FreightWaves he couldn’t comment on the case.

Royal Flush had 12 power units and 11 drivers, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration SAFER website. The carrier’s authority was revoked in December 2018 after its insurance was canceled.

His intrastate carrier, Cuevas Transport, had four power units and eight drivers before shutting its doors.

A creditor’s meeting is scheduled for March 30.

Click for more FreightWaves articles by Clarissa Hawes.


Legal battle brewing in Texas over payout in fatal truck crash
Uber, judge skeptical of Levandowski’s tactics to protect wealth from creditors
Lavalle Transportation buys shuttered Rush Trucking, Lavalle employee says
Oilfield supervisor admits lining pockets with $400,000 of Petco’s money

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This fireside chat recap is from Day 4 of FreightWaves Global Supply Chain Week. Day 4 focuses on automotive.

FIRESIDE CHAT TOPIC: A Shared Trust Layer: MOBI’s Work on the Open Mobility Network

DETAILS: Providing vehicles with a secure ID via blockchain opens up enormous potential as market participants come together under shared standards. MOBI has created “digital twins” for vehicles, incorporating all of the information on the vehicles as they leave the factory, as well as everything in vehicles’ lives after they leave the factory.

SPEAKER: Chris Ballinger, CEO, MOBI

BIO: Chris Ballinger is the CEO and co-founder of the Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative (MOBI), a global consortium of government agencies, academic institutions, private companies and public organizations exploring blockchain and distributed ledger technology to improve mobility, transit and logistics. 

KEY QUOTES FROM CHRIS BALLINGER:

“The convergence of AI, IoT and distributed ledgers allows anything, whether it’s a person or a package or a vehicle, to have a trusted ID and link that to other attributes. So, for the first time, we can begin to export digital economics to physical things.”

“If you can combine location with a secure ID, that opens up enormous opportunities — a whole new economy.”

“Most infrastructure, you can’t marginal-cost price, meaning you have difficulty financing it and difficulty using it efficiently. You have all kinds of problems with congestion and pollution because you can’t marginal-cost price for these kinds of things. If you combine location with secure ID, you can begin to charge for things like the carbon footprint, and charge differently for a clean vehicle versus a dirty vehicle, and so on.”

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What Does it Take to be a Successful Father and Son Team

We chat with a father and son team operating with Groupe Trans-West to find out what it is like on the road as a team operation and what they like best about the road. Groupe Trans-West is looking for professional teams to operate out of their Mississauga terminal with excellent employment benefits between Toronto Ontario and California. Find out more at www.groupetranswest.com  or call recruiter Mike Hahn at 416-606-8296

About the Show

JOIN THE LEAD PEDAL PODCAST FAN CLUB www.TheLeadPedalPodcastFanClub.com

LISTEN TO LEAD PEDAL RADIO at www.LeadPedalRadio.com

The Lead Pedal Podcast for Truck Drivers talks all things trucking for people in the transportation industry helping them improve their business and careers. Interviews with industry professionals and truck drivers, trucking information, and other features on the industry are meant to be helpful for truck drivers and those in transportation. The Lead Pedal Podcast for Truck Drivers has main episodes released every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday with bonus material on other days. You can learn more about the host and show on our website and make sure to SUBSCRIBE to the show on your favourite podcast platform. www.theleadpedalpodcast.com

What does The Lead Pedal Podcast mean? The Lead (pronounced - Led) stands for acceleration or fast-track of your career or business. It is a play on words and we certainly are not here promoting speeding in the industry. We are hoping this information will help you become a professional driver faster than if you didn’t know about many of these topics.

Are you enjoying the show? If so we would appreciate you leaving us a rating and review on iTunes or on your favourite podcast platform. The show is available at www.theleadpedalpodcast.com  , ITunes, Stitcher, Spotify, Tunein, iHeartradio, SoundCloud, and other popular podcast platforms. Thanks for listening

Join The Lead Pedal Podcast Fan Club where are loyal fans get first chance at specials, discounts on merchandise and much more.The club is free to join and you can learn more at www.theleadpedalpodcastfanclub.com 

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safety bonus

A good safety bonus is always a welcome addition to a paycheck. Not all companies have the same criteria for what they expect from drivers. However, there are several best practices that will help keep you safe no matter what you haul or who you drive for. Our list includes some of the most common expectations we’ve seen from companies.

1. Every Company Is Different

Safety bonuses are a nice boost to a paycheck, but the bottom line is, it’s a bonus. Companies don’t have to give drivers that money. There’s also a lot of different philosophies between companies. Some offer large bonuses that make up a good chunk of change. Others give smaller bonuses that are more like a pat on the back. The frequency of payment also depends entirely on the company. Some might give bonuses quarterly, while others might stick to an annual bonus.

2. Safety With Your Truck

Truck maintenance and repairs are an important part of truck safety, and they can help keep you on track for a safety bonus. Make sure to take your truck in for regular preventative maintenance. Those little problems that can probably wait until later might eventually become big problems. Also, always perform and document pre-trip and post-trip inspections. Make sure your boss knows that you are diligent in caring for your vehicle. Keeping your tractor in good condition goes a long way toward safety on the road.

3. Safety On The Ground

As any experienced driver knows, truck safety starts before you reach your tractor. It’s important to have a plan for your next route. Find the balance between timely deliveries and cautious driving. Make sure to allow time for unexpected incidents, especially in poor weather or when you know there are construction zones on your route. If something comes up that will delay your delivery, get in touch as soon as possible.

Find the balance between timely deliveries and cautious driving.

Some companies may look at other parts of your driving record when deciding on a safety bonus, For example, drivers should not have any hours of service violations. If you find yourself in a forced dispatch situation that would violate HOS rules, refuse the load. It’s illegal to force dispatch that violates HOS rules. A safety bonus could also look at drug tests or days absent from work. 

4. Safety On The Road

Safety on the road is all about accident prevention. All of the basics you learned early on are the same things that will help you get that safety bonus. Use turn signals. Maintain a safe following distance. Keep scanning every 8-10 seconds. Don’t get pulled over for a speeding ticket (or anything else), and make sure your record is clear from preventable accidents. All of these are fundamental safety tips that are tried and true for a reason. 

Earn a driver safety bonus

Whenever possible, make sure to eliminate or at least reduce distractions while driving. Whether it’s a phone, the radio, or another piece of technology, use it safely when you’re behind the wheel. Driving distraction-free is especially important when you’re maneuvering in tight spaces. Whether it’s backing into a loading dock or navigating tight city streets, these are areas of increased work accidents. Loading and unloading zones may have vehicles, people, and all kinds of other obstacles or distractions in your path. Stay alert to your surroundings, and don’t hesitate to ask for other vehicles or people to move if there’s not enough space. Safety bonuses are most important to you as a driver, so put yourself in a position to be successful.

5. Benefits of a Clean Driving Record

A clean driving record will leave you in a better position for almost any job. To start, good driving can give you an extra pay bump from a safety bonus at your current company. It will also give you better hiring prospects for almost any job in the future. In addition, there are some trucking jobs where safety is even more important such as tanker hazmat loads. A clean driving record will open doors for these types of jobs if you decide to apply for them in the future.

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Berkshire Grey

Making its inaugural deal, special purpose acquisition company Revolution Acceleration Acquisition Corp. has entered into an agreement with Berkshire Grey, which provides AI-enabled integrated robotic solutions for the supply chain. 

The deal values the combined company at $2.7 billion and is expected to provide Berkshire Grey about $413 million in cash.

“My partner Steve Case and I are thrilled to have identified Berkshire Grey for our inaugural SPAC,” said Revolution Chief Executive Officer John Delaney. 

“When Steve and I partnered to form Revolution Acceleration Acquisition Corp., our thesis was to acquire a company that is positioned to benefit from the acceleration of certain important trends in our economy. Berkshire Grey is a perfect fit. There may be no trend that is accelerating more than the transition to the digital economy.”

Founded in 2013 by Chief Executive Officer Tom Wagner, Berkshire develops artificial intelligence-based logistics automation systems, which are used by its customers in their warehouses and distribution centers. It reported $35 million in revenue in 2020 and expects to generate $59 million in revenue in 2021.

“Berkshire Grey was founded to help our customers compete even more favorably in the rapidly evolving worlds of retail and logistics,” Wagner said.  “Consumer expectations have changed, putting more pressure on supply chain operations to get the right goods to the right places at the right times, as efficiently as possible. 

“Over the last 12 months the pandemic amplified the already high pressure to transform, so today it is no longer a question of if companies might transform but how quickly. We are incredibly excited about this transaction, which will enable Berkshire Grey to accelerate growth and provide new and existing customers with our leading robotics solutions.”

“As we all know, e-commerce is exploding and consumer expectations are changing, creating a strategic imperative to automate the supply chain across the retail, grocery and package sectors,” Delaney said, adding that Berkshire Grey is a “singular category-defining company and an extraordinary compelling investment.” 

Delaney cited seven reasons why Revolution considers Berkshire Grey to be compelling:

  • Best-in-class technology. (“What their robots can do is amazing,” he said)
  • Category creator
  • Huge market opportunity
  • Terrific growth, especially for the next five years
  • Can enable companies to effectively address the “Amazon Effect”
  • Already doing business with number of blue-chip clients, including Walmart, Target and FedEx
  • Very well managed

“Today’s consumers expect a better selection of goods, at lower prices, with shipping that is immediate,” Delaney said. “In our judgment, Berkshire Grey’s best-in-class technology and uniquely integrated solutions provide a critical pathway for companies to adapt to these changing needs.”

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Ate one too many Twinkies today.

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International express carrier DHL Express said Wednesday that it has opened a drive-up, mobile pop-up retail store in Woodbridge, Virginia’s Potomac Mills shopping center. The drive-up facility, believed to be the first of its kind in the U.S., will allow customers to complete their transactions without leaving their vehicles, the DHL unit said.

The new facility, about 22 miles south of Washington, D.C., on Interstate 95, can be used to create shipments at the site, drop off already-prepared packages, and pick up parcels for U.S. and international services. DHL operates in 220 countries and territories. The U.S. market is an international pickup and delivery node. The unit ceased U.S. domestic operations in January 2009.

Customers may access the Virginia facility either via the drive-up window or in the store, DHL Express said. Supplies such as bubble wrap, packing tape and DHL-branded boxes are available, the DHL unit said. In response to social-distancing concerns brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, DHL Express said that customers can request that labels and packaging be ready upon their arrival.

The facility is the second DHL Express “ServicePoint location” in the Washington metro area. In July 2019, DHL Express opened a mobile pop-up store in Silver Spring, Maryland. However, that facility does not have drive-up capabilities.

DHL is a unit of the German transport and logistics conglomerate Deutsche Post DHL (OTCUS:DPSGY).

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I went 30-seconds over on my Hours of Service. Now I’m in prison.

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Postmaster General Louis DeJoy on Wednesday defended parts of what will likely be included in a 10-year strategy to save the struggling agency, including a cost-cutting measure that would expand delivery times and move more first-class mail from planes to trucks.

Testifying before the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, the U.S. Postal Service chief blamed air carriers for poor service during 2020, particularly during the end-of-year holidays.

“That [air] network over the last year has been performing at a 55% to 70% [on-time] rate, and that is a big reason for a lot of our failure, especially through the Christmas holiday,” DeJoy told Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md. “We’ve had packages — which are not even included in that statistic — being held up at air facilities across the country. It is not reliable.”

Raskin pressured DeJoy on the logic of eliminating two- to three-day mail delivery and moving to a three- to five-day service window. “How will that improve the appeal and resiliency of the post office?”

“The appeal of the Postal Service will survive the minor changes” that will be included in the 10-year strategy, DeJoy responded. “In our strategy, if we in fact get the relief that we need in terms of [added delivery] time, we will put more mail on the ground.”

The purpose of the hearing was to review legislation introduced last week meant to rescue the Postal Service from what DeJoy at the hearing called a “death spiral.” The current draft includes a provision to repeal a requirement that the Postal Service pre-fund retiree health care as well as performance standard requirements.

“Absent substantial changes, our financial losses will continue to widen, and our ability to invest in the future of the organization will be severely curtailed,” DeJoy testified. “We are forecasted to lose $160 billion over the next 10 years, with a negative cash balance of the same size.”

Asked if he thought using third-party logistics companies to share the work of the agency could help financially, DeJoy said he wasn’t a fan.

“I think in many ways it has enabled people to run around the network, and is part of the reason we have a hollowed-out network,” he said. “We only deliver 35% of the packages to the American community right now, and I think we have an opportunity to grow that and serve the people, and having partnerships with commercial businesses [such as retailers] and being fully integrated with them … is a big opportunity for us.”

Rep. Jim Cooper, D-Tenn., confronted DeJoy on plans to remain postmaster general, given calls by Democrats that President Joe Biden replace him and the rest of the Postal Service board. Political opposition to DeJoy intensified last year when service from the agency began to deteriorate shortly after he took the reins.

“I’m not a political appointee; I was selected by a bipartisan board of governors. I appreciate if you get that straight,” DeJoy responded. “Get used to me. As far as my commitment to see our plan through, I’m here until I can see the tangibly produced results we intend to see. I believe the board is committed to that.”

Related articles:

Click for more FreightWaves articles by John Gallagher.

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This fireside chat recap is from Day 3 of FreightWaves Global Supply Chain Week. Day 3 focuses on food shippers.

FIRESIDE CHAT TOPIC: The transportation challenges faced by U.S. food exporters.

DETAILS: The global transport system is short of containers. Carriers are racing to get available boxes back to China for lucrative headhaul trades. This is leaving U.S. exporters of food and containerized agricultural products short of the boxes they need.

SPEAKER: Peter Friedmann, executive director, Agriculture Transport Coalition (AgTC).

BIO: Peter Friedmann led the formation of the AgTC when a number of agricultural exporters sought assistance in dealing with transportation challenges. The AgTC is now the voice for a broad cross-section of U.S. agriculture exporters, importers and service providers who require competitive ocean, rail and truck transportation services to maintain and grow their foreign market share.

KEY QUOTES FROM PETER FRIEDMANN:

“It’s a little too easy for ocean carriers and the terminals to blame everything on COVID. We are finding that some of the most incredible cost burdens imposed on U.S. exporters had their roots in the actions of the carriers and the terminals in the years leading up to the COVID crisis. This notion that carriers need to charge fees as an incentive is an old song you’ve heard for decades.”

“It’s terrible [the situation for U.S. exporters]. Terrible as in losing sales, losing customers and losing profits after you pay significant penalties when you don’t deliver on time.”

“The fact is: The Chinese government stepped in when the ocean carriers announced yet another general rate increase [GRI] on the trans-Pacific eastbound — on import cargo into the U.S. The Chinese government said, ‘No, that $800 GRI you announced, you’re not going to do it.’ And the next day, it was rescinded. China is protecting its exports. The U.S., we believe, needs to protect its exports.”

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I was just thinking things are starting to look up for a change but then reality kicked me in the dick.

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[caption caption="Ten million tons of furniture end up in landfills each year, according to Chris Richter, CEO of FloorFound. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com."][/caption]Reverse logistics startup FloorFound received $4 million in seed funding Wednesday to grow its online return and resale platform and expand into additional segments within the oversized e-commerce market.The...

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Saw this old girl sitting around. Had to stop and grab a picture.

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This fireside chat recap is from Day 3 of FreightWaves’ Global Supply Chain Week. Day 3 focuses on food and perishables and the consumer packaged goods supply chain.  

FIRESIDE CHAT TOPIC: Big shifts among grain traders and how it impacts agricultural supply chains

DETAILS: Jonathan Kingsman discusses several key trends that have impacted global supply chains in agriculture over the past 40-plus years. One is the evolution of the huge grain merchants that controlled so much of the flows back in the 1970s, who have either changed their way of doing business or disappeared altogether in mergers. The second is the growing efficiency of the supply chain in agriculture, which recently has come under pressure from revived government intervention.

SPEAKER and INTERVIEWER: Kingsman is the author of “Out of the Shadows: The New Merchants of Grain” and host of the podcast “Commodity Conversations.” He is interviewed by John Kingston, FreightWaves editor at large. 

BIO: Kingsman spent nearly 40 years in the commodity business as a trader, a broker, and finally, as an analyst. He also founded Kingsman SA, an analytics firm in the sugar market that was sold to what is now S&P Global in 2012. Kingsman, who  lives in Lausanne, Switzerland, also is the author of “The Sugar Casino”; “Commodity Conversations – An Introduction to Trading in Agricultural Commodities”; and Crop to Cup:. 

KEY QUOTES FROM KINGSMAN

On recent trade wars: “Governments were coming back into the business, not just in the U.S., which was impacting very seriously grain exports out of the U.S., but also in Russia, where the Russian government is sort of getting involved again in Russian grain exports.”

“Government intervention impacts these trade flows and makes it pretty difficult for markets to operate. If you want these markets to operate, you need to have the price signals getting through and you need governments to stay away from trying to do what they do when they set prices and fix export quotas.”

On the impact from recent trade wars: “Looking back now, it’s not that bad. Those supply chains still exist. The supply chains are working so we can see that the market is robust and those supply chains are robust.”

“Farmers are attacked for being big. But this increasing efficiency allowed for the amount of farmland to go down and allowed these areas to be reforested.”

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Out of 50 trailers this one poor trailer sunk straight down

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Taking Secondary roads all day today. My apologies for whoever gets stuck behind me doing 70kph.

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Welcome to the WHAT THE TRUCK?!? newsletter sponsored by Legend Transportation Inc. In this issue, dogs in logistics, plus market crunches shippers, a look at Global Supply Chain Week, moving a house with a semi and more.

Rejects on the rise

SONAR

Find another carrier — Last week’s winter storms saw freight volumes drop down like my Robinhood portfolio but not at pace with capacity, which went offline at a faster rate. As Zach Strickland wrote in his Chart of the Week, “It is unusual, but not as rare as one might think, for capacity to tighten and volumes decline simultaneously.” This week we’re continuing to see recovery in volumes (+5.17%) at a quicker pace than capacity, which is driving rejects to near-peak levels with more than 1-in-4 (27.59%) loads being denied. 

Spot spotting — In a near unprecedented move, market volatility has delayed spot rates as markets are accounted for. We were at $2.85 last week, and we expect this number to be up even higher this week. Bad news for shippers as they’re not only dealing with elevated freight costs, but delivery and service delays as well. This couldn’t come at a worse time as retailers are desperate to restock inventories

The most important part of the day

CBP

Officer Bico earns his biscuit On Feb. 13, CBP narcotics K-9 Bico sniffed out a shipment of cocaine-frosted corn flakes from South America. The illicit cereal originated from Peru and was headed to Hong Kong before it got clipped in Cincinnati. According to a CBP release, officers reportedly tested the shipment and found it contained about 44 pounds of cocaine-coated corn flakes, with a street value of up to $2.8 million. No word on if it still gets soggy in milk. 

CBP

Hidden in plain sight Drug smugglers have gone to great lengths to smuggle narcotics over the years, often using common albeit unlikely items to do so. Agents have found cocaine inside Nike Air Jordans, tamales, fish, cookies, watermelon, accordions, dolls and more.

Dogs taking their talents to South Beach

Department for Health and Social Care

Bombs and COVID — During Day 1 of FreightWaves’ Global Supply Chain Week, our own Eric Kulisch caught up with Eric Hare, CEO of Global K9 Protection Group, to talk about the use of trained dogs to detect cargo explosives at airports as well as COVID-19 at Miami Heat Games. 

The science [proves] that canines can almost detect anything that has an odor signature. Canines can be taught to react to that, to things like cancer. — Eric Hare, CEO, Global K9 Protection Group

We talkin’ about practice!? — According to Hare, it takes eight weeks to train both a doggo and its hooman. With the pandemic, recruiting dogs has gone virtual as pups are screened over video.  

Alley-oop — Nearly a month ago, the Miami Heat began allowing a limited number of fans to attend games. Part of what has made that possible is the use of COVID-sniffing canines at American Airlines Arena. “Dogs are amazing creatures and their noses are way more powerful than ours,” said Matthew Jafarian, the executive vice president of business strategy for the Miami Heat, to ABC7. By powerful, he means 300 million smell receptors to our inferior 6 million. 

Roll over — So, does it work? Although the method isn’t approved by the FDA, a number of peer-reviewed studies are being conducted to determine the dogs’ effectiveness. A German veterinary clinic claims to have trained sniffer dogs to detect COVID-19 with 94% accuracy, according to the World Economic Forum. Critics still contend that it gives people a false sense of security. I contend that dogs are in fact awesome. 

When you hate your neighbors as much as you love your house

Twitter / @JamesClayton5

When you have to move houses, literally — For the first time in 47 years, a Victorian home was moved in San Francisco. The journey of six blocks took six hours as a semi tugged the 141-year-old home through the Bay Area. The 19th century dwelling moved mostly without incident, though it did hit a few trees and a light pole. The cost? $400,000.

Pixar did it first — Since the comparisons to “Up” are so obvious and undeniable, it makes you wonder how many balloons would it have taken to move such a house. According to Science On, “We’re looking at needing about 6.67 million balloons to lift the 120,000-pound house.” That’s far less than the 23.5 million balloons Pixar technicians estimated it would take. In the movie, only 20,622 balloons were used.

Blowout

Wyoming Department of Transportation

High winds — According to WYDOT, crews were working on a crash on I-25 south of Chugwater involving a truck blow over. The incident occurred northbound near milepost 54. The area was rankled by 57 mph winds with gusts of 67 mph.

That’s exactly where my wife and I were in our motor home caught in a tornado! I had to pull over and the wind lifted us up about 3 feet on our side then set us back down! So scary, we won’t ever forget about this break. — Tracy Sessions on Facebook

Blow the man down — According to our own Nick Austin, NWS-Cheyenne office issued 55 high-wind warnings in 2020 for southeastern Wyoming alone. The only other office to issue more last year was Midland, Texas (out of more than 122 offices). A high-wind warning is issued if gusts are forecast to exceed 58 mph.

Global Supply Chain Week


Off to the races
Day 2 of Global Supply Chain Week is in the books, but we still have six more days of live virtual event action to go. You can register for free right here. Doing so will enter you into a drawing to win some amazing prizes. So far we’ve already given away Apple TV 4Ks, AirPod Pros, annual Platinum memberships to Topgolf and more. Heck, you can even win an XBox Series X.

WTT?!? LIVE M-W-F Monday on the show we caught up with Hyliion CEO/founder Thomas Healy to talk about his company’s breakthrough battery tech. We were also joined by Doug Waggoner, CEO of Echo Global Logistics, and Patrick Pretorius, Transporeon’s director of business development. You can rewatch that here, then catch the rest of our live sets on 2/24, 2/26, 3/1 and 3/3.

Now on demand

LIVE from GSCW Hyliion’s Thomas Healy, Echo Global Logistics’ Doug Waggoner

The story behind landing Perseverance on Mars with guests from NASA

WATCH/LISTEN

Logistics behind building a beverage brand with Olipop

WATCH/LISTEN

Kids ask NASA

Stars inspiring the youth — The WHAT THE TRUCK?!? kids ask NASA’s Kennedy Space Center if they’ll reach Mars by the time they’re the ripe old age of The Dude and me.

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Defense contractor Oshkosh Truck Corp. (NYSE: OSK) won a 10-year contract to build next-generation delivery vehicles (NGDVs) for the U.S. Postal Service, beating out electric delivery van maker Workhorse Group Inc.

Day traders had driven Workhorse (NASDAQ: WKHS) shares to record levels in recent months, anticipating that at least a piece of the multibillion-dollar contract would be awarded to the company. It was one of three finalists. The Postal Service delayed awarding the contract for several years after inviting seven companies to build prototypes for evaluation.

Workhouse shares closed down 47.45% to $16.47 on Tuesday. It continued to lose ground in after-hours trading, dropping an additional 5% to $15.88. Oshkosh shares closed 6.14% higher at $109.62.

Investors, especially day traders on the Robinhood platform, led to Workhorse being among 50 stocks whose trading Robinhood suspended during the recent meme stock frenzy.

It’s Oshkosh, by gosh

Oshkosh, based in the Wisconsin city of the same name, makes off-highway equipment, refuse and severe service equipment in addition to military vehicles. The Oshkosh M-ATV is a mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicle for the MRAP All Terrain Vehicle program intended to replace the M1114 HMMWVs, known as Humvees.

The Postal Service said little and discouraged companies in the running from talking about the bid process. Oshkosh recently related to investors its willingness to make battery-electric-powered vehicles if that is what the Postal Service wanted. 

The heavy equipment maker partnered with Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F), which recently announced an electric version of the Transit van built at its Kansas City Assembly Plant in Claycomo, Missouri.

“Oshkosh operates with unparalleled commitment to those who depend on our products and services to build, protect and serve communities around the world,” John Pfeifer, Oshkosh president and chief operating officer, said in a press release.

The third finalist was Turkish commercial vehicle builder Karsan. It teamed up with bodybuilder Morgan Olson.

Modern upgrade

The 10-year contract begins with a $482 million investment. With that money, Oshkosh Defense will finalize the production design of the  purpose-built, right-hand-drive vehicle for mail and package delivery.

It will assemble 50,000 to 165,000 NGDVs over 10 years. The vehicles will be equipped with either fuel-efficient internal combustion engines or battery-electric powertrains capable of being retrofitted to keep pace with advances in electric vehicle technologies. 

The initial investment also includes plant tooling and build-out for a U.S. manufacturing facility where final vehicle assembly will occur. Oshkosh did not disclose which of its plants would build the NGDV  or how Ford would be involved.

The Postal Service fleet has more than 230,000 vehicles in every class from purpose-built to commercial vehicles. Approximately 190,000 deliver mail reaching every U.S. community. Many of the vehicles, built by Grumman Corp. (NYSE: NOC), have been in service for 30 years. The Oshkosh contract is open-ended. That means the Postal Service can add money for more vehicles.

The first NGDVs are estimated to appear on carrier routes in 2023.

Air conditioning and heating, improved ergonomics, and advanced vehicle technology, including 360-degree cameras, will be included on the new vehicles. Advanced braking and traction control, air bags, and a front- and rear-collision avoidance system that includes visual, audio warning and automatic braking are also planned.

The vehicles will also have increased cargo capacity to better accommodate higher package volumes stemming from the growth of e-commerce.

Workhorse support

Workhorse was seen as a strong candidate when President Donald Trump was in office. He advocated for Lordstown Motors Corp. (NASDAQ: RIDE), a startup electric pickup truck maker, which purchased the former General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) assembly complex in northeast Ohio.

Founded by former Workhorse CEO Steve Burns, LMC was expected to manufacture the postal vehicles under contract from Workhorse in the sprawling 6.2 million-square-foot plant. LMC shares fell 13.41% to close at $19.69.

The technology for the Lordstown Endurance Class 1 electric pickup is based on technology leased from Workhorse. The same underpinnings were used for Workhorse’s postal vehicle entry.

Workhorse did not respond to a FreightWaves request for comment on the awarding of the postal contract.

Workhorse production woes

Burns founded  Amp Electric in 2007. It changed its name to Workhorse in 2015 after acquiring a former Navistar International Corp. (NYSE: NAV) plant in Union City, Indiana. After building a few hundred battery-electric vans there, Workhorse pivoted to a composite body battery-electric van called the C-Series. 

The production startup was delayed several times. And Workhorse has been hit with COVID infection and parts supply issues. Only a handful of vans have been built. It has orders for several thousand on its books.

Workhorse scrutinized as Postal Service again delays contract

Analysts’ patience wearing thin with Workhorse delays

GM sells shuttered Lordstown plant to Workhorse founder

Click for more FreightWaves articles by Alan Adler.

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My first middle finger of 2021. 😃 West Virginia, US-35.

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Brian Topping Talks Rosedale Safety and Why It’s So Important

Bruce chats with Brian Topping of Rosedale Transport about safety and professionalism at the company. Learn why Rosedale is one of the leaders in safety in the trucking industry and why they should be on your list if looking to work with a safe carrier. Rosedale Transport offers career opportunities for truck drivers with their large network. You can learn more at www.rosedalegroup.com

About the Show

JOIN THE LEAD PEDAL PODCAST FAN CLUB www.TheLeadPedalPodcastFanClub.com

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The Lead Pedal Podcast for Truck Drivers talks all things trucking for people in the transportation industry helping them improve their business and careers. Interviews with industry professionals and truck drivers, trucking information, and other features on the industry are meant to be helpful for truck drivers and those in transportation. The Lead Pedal Podcast for Truck Drivers has main episodes released every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday with bonus material on other days. You can learn more about the host and show on our website and make sure to SUBSCRIBE to the show on your favourite podcast platform. www.theleadpedalpodcast.com

What does The Lead Pedal Podcast mean? The Lead (pronounced - Led) stands for acceleration or fast-track of your career or business. It is a play on words and we certainly are not here promoting speeding in the industry. We are hoping this information will help you become a professional driver faster than if you didn’t know about many of these topics.

Are you enjoying the show? If so we would appreciate you leaving us a rating and review on iTunes or on your favourite podcast platform. The show is available at www.theleadpedalpodcast.com  , ITunes, Stitcher, Spotify, Tunein, iHeartradio, SoundCloud, and other popular podcast platforms. Thanks for listening

Join The Lead Pedal Podcast Fan Club where are loyal fans get first chance at specials, discounts on merchandise and much more.The club is free to join and you can learn more at www.theleadpedalpodcastfanclub.com 

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dot drug test

DOT Drug tests aren’t going to win a contest for the best part about trucking any time soon, but all drivers have to take them. DOT Drug tests are required for all “safety-sensitive” employees, and that includes all CDL holders. Normally, the drug tests are pretty routine, but the possibility of failing a drug test can be pretty nerve-wracking. Hopefully, you will pass every DOT Drug test, but if not, here’s what you need to know to get back on your feet.

What is the DOT Drug Test?

The DOT Drug test started with the Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act. Essentially, in 1991, the Department of Transportation saw a need for federally regulated drug testing to keep traveling public workers safe. Since then, CDL drivers and other designated employees have to regularly take DOT Drug tests.

Everywhere in the United States, the drug tests are non-invasive and test for a standard list of substances. The drug test looks for evidence of Marijuana, Cocaine, Opiates (any opium and codeine substances), Amphetamines and Methamphetamines, and Phencyclidine (PCP). Each of these substances has a cutoff concentration, and drivers must be below that limit. Drug tests are typically done with a hair or urine test, and saliva or breath tests are used for alcohol. 

When Do Drivers Take the Drug Test?

There are a few times where you can count on getting a DOT Drug test. The first is for a new job. Any time you are starting a new position as a CDL driver, you can count on a DOT drug test. Employers can also test when they have reasonable suspicion that you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In this case, their concerns must be based on legitimate observations. That could include appearance, smell, behavior, or similar tip-offs. Finally, employers give random drug tests on a quarterly basis. This doesn’t mean that you will get tested every quarter, but it means that someone will. 

According to DOT regulations, when on duty, drivers are prohibited from specific behaviors including:

  • Being under the influence of alcohol
  • Drug use (including residual amounts in your body)
  • Refusing a DOT Drug test.

What If I Don’t Pass?

If you fail or refuse a DOT drug test, there will be several consequences. You will likely be removed from your job immediately. Employers aren’t required to wait for the final results from the Medical Review Officer (MRO), so you will typically be asked to step away from your job right away. In some cases, you could lose your license or driving endorsements. At the end of the day, the consequences will be a little different depending on your company and your employment agreement. If you believe it was a false positive because of medications or another factor, reach out immediately! You will not be able to give a second sample, but you can ask that the sample is retested. You will need a follow-up appointment and proof of your prescription to validate your claim.

How Do I Get Back To Work?

If you fail or refuse a drug test, there is a separate process for moving forward. While you will likely be asked to immediately step away from your job, that doesn’t mean you will never be able to return to driving. Typically, after drivers fail a drug test, they work closely with a qualified Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) for several months as part of a Return to Duty process. The SAP plans a program that may include some type of rehab and/or education. At this stage, it’s no longer in the hands of your employer. Ultimately, the decisions of the SAP are final. Once the SAP confirms that the driver is healthy and has completed the rehabilitation program, drivers may be eligible to return to work with their previous or a new employer.

Will This Stay on My Record?

Failed DOT Drug tests are recorded in the FMCSA Clearinghouse. Refusals to take a drug test are also documented in the Clearinghouse. The SAP will also stay in touch with drivers who fail or refuse a drug test. Typically, the SAP will follow up with the driver six times in the 12 months after the failed test. Drivers may also be required to take additional drug tests up to five years after the initial failed test.

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The post What Happens If You Fail a DOT Drug Test appeared first on Drive My Way.

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This fireside chat recap is from Day 1 of FreightWaves Global Supply Chain Week. Day 1 focuses on military, aerospace and manufacturing.

FIRESIDE CHAT TOPIC: Customer-centric digital innovation in the airfreight industry — a look at Delta Cargo’s digital transformation from a customer perspective

DETAILS:  A look at how Delta Cargo’s innovative digital transformation is creating a more transparent and customer-centric experience across the globe.

SPEAKERS: Rob Walpole, vice president of Delta Cargo, and Thomas Puglisi, global head of operations, air logistics at Kuehne+Nagel.

BIOS: Walpole is vice president of Delta Cargo and leads a team of 1,500 employees across the globe. He is responsible for driving the division’s continuous improvement to ensure superior commercial, financial and operational performance. He also spent 11 years with the global logistics company DB Schenker, most recently as chief executive officer of its USA business.

Puglisi has been employed at Kuehne+Nagel for 27 years, where he has held various roles within the Airfreight business unit, and oversees Airfreight Operations and Processes, Airfreight Systems, Customer Onboarding, e-Touch, Training, and Operational Development. 

“There [are] fundamental reasons why we do it, not just for the sake of the technology itself, but rather because the technology like API makes good sense. … Our experience with working with Delta has been very, very positive.”

“I am a big believer that email as a business process is just not the way you want to work…the ability to interact systematically on a host-to-host basis eliminates all of the time spent just for sending emails.”

“There are several steps that a company typically has to go through in order to have a check issued. … These are some of the typical bottlenecks that you can actually eliminate when you go to that cashless process.”

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CONA Services, which provides a specific framework of practices and IT services for all Coca-Cola suppliers and bottlers to allow a more efficient workflow, continues to add to its growest list of partnerships.

Earlier this month, CONA announced it was partnering with Salesforce, a leader in the customer relationship management space, to streamline operations and communications with contact centers.

This comes on the heels of previously announced partnerships in the past seven months with Blue Yonder and Plantensive — and may help explain why the Atlanta-based CONA was featured in Forbes’ Blockchain 50, a list of technology leaders that have a revenue or valuation of at least $1 billion.

Many on Forbes’ Blockchain 50 have used blockchain technologies to create more sustainable, global supply chains and to fix a number of logistical problems. Prior to CONA Services, many of Coca-Cola’s processes involved antiquated spreadsheets and regulations across the world, leading bottlers to bicker over lost product and unexpected costs.  

With the help of CONA’s blockchain initiatives, consumers can track their Coca-Cola products in real time.   

“The decision to move to Salesforce Consumer Goods Cloud makes sense for CONA,” Reinhart Meiser, chief executive officer of CONA, said when the partnership was announced Feb. 11. “Providing a 360-degree view of the consumer, Consumer Goods Cloud gives our bottlers a shared view of every customer interaction, increasing productivity, removing waste and simplifying our systems landscape.’’

Added Parker Harris, co-founder and chief technology officer of Salesforce: “Coca-Cola and CONA rely on grocery stores, restaurants, sports stadiums and more to represent their brand and deliver their products to consumers. We’re proud to work with Coca-Cola bottlers to help them build even closer relationships with merchandisers, streamline contact center operations, and ultimately, power their digital transformation.”

This has not been CONA’s only strategic partnership in the past year. In October, Plantensive, a supply chain and retail planning consulting provider, announced it had completed a core build phase of Blue Yonder’s planning solutions for the Coca-Cola service.

“We are excited to partner with CONA on their digital supply chain transformation journey,” said Terry Turner, president, Americas Retail, Blue Yonder. “Blue Yonder’s solutions will allow CONA to have an agile supply chain that can predict disruptions, creating end-to-end visibility into its planning and the ability to pivot to meet any challenges and demands.”

CONA also partnered with Unibright in August to develop enterprise blockchain applications aiming to create what they call a “Coca-Cola Bottling Harbor.” This initiative brought together the processes of Coca-Cola’s 12 largest bottlers within North America.  

Their goal is to create a low-barrier network-joining process for bottling suppliers. Purchase orders from the buyer’s ERP system are transformed into a common domain model that all participants are able to read and write, then sent to suppliers of the network through secure channels. They intend to create this same baseline for shipping and invoice updates as well.

Provide Technologies and Unibright explain CONA Services’ baseline protocol

All of Coca-Cola and CONA’s blockchain investments seem to be paying off in supply-chain efficiency. In the company’s Feb. 10 earnings call, James Quincey, chairman and chief executive officer of Coca-Cola, explained their bottling investment group further improved operating margin performance. 

“Seamless system connectivity helps us maintain the local relevance while benefiting from a global scale,” Quincey said. “We continue to engage with our bottling partners holistically to fuel the network for long-term growth. We’re working to lift and shift capabilities. We can focus on being successful today while also pursuing our ambitions for the future.”

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Hours of service (HOS) compliance is an important part of risk management in the commercial trucking sector. In addition to trucking insurance and safety-oriented procedures, adhering to HOS guidelines for driver operations can protect fleets and their drivers while helping to avoid steep regulatory penalties. While “yard moves” are a common practice in fleet operations, there exists some confusion in the relationship between this practice and HOS compliance. Proposed guidance by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) aims to erase that confusion.

Yard Moves Defined

When trucks are operated in fleet yards, such as to position them for maintenance, cleaning, or logistical purposes, this is considered a yard move. The term “yard” may refer to several different facilities, including:

  • Intermodal transfer points
  • Port facilities
  • Private parking areas owned by a motor carrier
  • Motor carrier places of business
  • Restricted public roads (restricted temporarily from public use by using traffic control devices like gates, lighting, or flaggers)

Prior to the implementation of electronic logging devices (ELDs), fleet managers understood that yard moves were considered off-duty time and as such were not counted towards driver hours of service. Unfortunately, ELDs cannot distinguish the difference between on-duty and off-duty vehicle movements; these devices automatically record each time a truck moves. If ELD logs were scrutinized by regulatory authorities during inspections, fleet owners faced the possibility of fines or other penalties. Potentially, those penalties could drive up expenses, including that of trucking insurance. The issue of yard moves came up during the ELD regulatory process, and at this time the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance asked the FMCSA to provide further guidance.

FMCSA Guidance

As noted above, yards may be any number of facilities where trucks operate. The FMCSA published initial guidance in February 2020, instructing drivers of commercial vehicles not to record yard operations as on-duty driving time. This new guidance supersedes rules established in 1997 that all driving, including yard moves, should be considered on-duty operation.

The FMCSA, in its proposal to broaden yard move guidance, is attempting to clarify what can be considered a yard and how yard move status can be applied to truck movements. In simple terms, a driver can treat truck operations as off-duty “only if the movement of the commercial motor vehicle (CMV) occurs in a confined area on private property(or intermodal facility or briefly on public roads).”

The use of public roads in the guidance can only be treated as off-duty time if traffic control devices preventing public use are deployed during truck movements. Without traffic control devices in place, driving time must be recorded as on-duty time for HOS purposes if the trucks are operated on public roads. Truck use on other public facilities, such as rest areas, must also be recorded as on-duty driving.

Special Considerations for HOS and Yard Moves

Commercial fleet owners know that risk management takes many forms. The foundational aspect to manage risks is trucking insurance. Compliance with federal and state motor carrier regulations is another critical component. Yard moves continue to create confusion, but if the FMCSA guidance currently under proposal is adopted, this will help fleet managers remain in compliance with HOS regulations.

Two considerations for yard moves can help fleet managers eliminate confusion with drivers. These are:

  • Yard moves may be used to satisfy required 30-minute breaks as long as the yard move itself is part of the break. In other words, if a driver is on break and must move his or her truck in the yard, the break is still being satisfied.
  • Yard moves, provided existing and proposed guidance is followed, do not count against 11 hours driving limits under current regulations.

Managing hours of service is an important aspect of commercial trucking operations. By adhering to HOS regulations and by following the guidance of the FMCSA and other agencies, fleet managers can supplement the protections of their trucking insurance policies. Ultimately, these risk management practices lead to safer, more efficient operations.

About Western Truck Insurance Services

Western Truck Insurance Services is a commercial truck insurance agency with roots dating back to 1954. We have evolved into a highly respected, professionally managed, truck and transportation insurance brokerage. The hallmark of our organization is our desire to provide unparalleled service. We go way beyond what you expect to receive from an insurance brokerage. Equipped with state of the art automation, Western Truck Insurance can provide you with lightning fast truck insurance quotes, customer service, Insurance certificates, and coverage changes. Contact us today at (800) 937-8785 to learn more!

 

The post What is a “Yard Move”? appeared first on Western Truck Insurance Services.

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Navistar International Corporation (NYSE: NAV) and its International® dealer network are building momentum through their TECH EmPOWERment initiative, which is supplying

The post Navistar Shares Vision Of Opportunity For Service Technicians appeared first on NextTruck Blog & Industry News - Trucker Information.

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My mpg past Cheyenne going on I-80 e

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You can conveniently find every FreightWaves podcast in one feed via the free FreightCasts channel on freightwaves.com/podcasts, iTunes, Spotify or wherever podcasts are found. 

Subscribe to FreightCasts and never miss a FreightWaves podcast.

The full list of FreightWaves media can be streamed via the FreightWavesTV app available on your smartphone, Apple TV, Roku and Fire TV. The app is free on all platforms.

Users of the FreightWavesTV app also have access to a full lineup of FreightWavesTV content, including weekday livestreams, special reports, news segments, past shows, SONAR demos, rapid-fire demos and exclusive interviews.

WHAT THE TRUCK?!?

Monday: Dooner and The Dude are talking about the state of COVID-19 vaccine logistics two months later; a revolutionary automated trailer that promises to change the game for intermodal; growing Legend Transportation; and career comeback stories.

Wednesday: Olipop’s Ben Goodwin on the logistics behind building a beverage brand and the latest freight news. 

Friday: Dooner and The Dude are celebrating NASA’s historic landing of the Perseverance rover on Mars. They talk to the NASA teams from Kennedy Space Center and Jet Propulsion Laboratory that helped make it happen.

Put That Coffee Down

Monday: What makes a lead qualified? Kevin Hill and Chris Jolly talk to the COO of ‘zembles about how to know when a lead is a good one. 

Long-Haul Crime Log

Monday: A rookie trucker arrested and charged after U.S. border officers found $2.8 million worth of marijuana concealed in a load of Canadian pork bound for Texas was freed after evidence came to light showing he wasn’t involved in the crime. 

Midday Market Update

Tuesday: Hill and Vincent discuss the top headlines and get an update on how two consecutive winter storms are impacting shipping around the nation.

Thursday: The winter weather that crippled the Southern Plains is hitting earnings for some companies. Hill and Vincent discuss what it means for freight.

Stackd

Tuesday: In the first episode of the FreightWaves podcast stackd, host Adam Robinson tells you how to build out your arsenal of digital tools to maximize broker efficiency.

Great Quarter, Guys

Tuesday: Andrew Cox and Seth Holm detail Ancora Advisors’ attempts to reroute asset-light trucking and logistics company Forward Air.

Point of Sale

Wednesday: Cox explores how tariffs and trade policies can impact the retail landscape in the United States.

Freightonomics

Wednesday: Anthony Smith and Zach Strickland explore how quickly supply chains are shifting in response to current events.

#WithSONAR 

Wednesday: Kyle Taylor and Luke Falasca talk to K-Ratio’s Kyle Lintner about the way markets are responding to major disruptive events.

Long-Haul Crime Log

Thursday: Long-Haul Crime Log delves into a recent case involving the owner of now-defunct Sisic Transport Services and looks back at the outlaw days before ELDs when some carriers and drivers used multiple logbooks to document their hours.

Navigate B2B

Friday: Steve Ferreira talks container losses, carrier assets and freight rates.

Get the top headlines from FreightWaves.com every weekday morning, available on FreightWaves.com/podcasts, your favorite podcasts player and Alexa by adding the skill “FreightWaves.”

You can find more recaps of our live podcasts here.

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Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) is recalling 16,623 Freightliner M2 Business Class trucks in the U.S. and Canada because a transmission fluid leak could make roads slick and increase the potential for crashes.

DTNA said in a filing with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that about 5% of the 2014-2019 models could have a condition in which the retaining clip that connects the transmission oil cooler line to the in-tank oil cooler may fail. That could lead to a possible transmission fluid leak. 

No crashes or injuries were reported.

Connection to in-tank oil cooler could fail

On some of the 15,835 vehicles in the U.S., the retaining clip that engages the transmission oil cooler line connection to the in-tank oil cooler may fail. That would allow the transmission fluid cooler hose to disengage, which may allow fluid to leak. The leak should be detectable. But it is possible for a rapid leak to occur before a driver would detect it and move the truck off the road.  

If a rapid loss of undetected transmission fluid leaked while the truck was moving, it could result in a vehicle hitting the fluid and losing control. 

Freightliner dealers will remove the retaining clip that engages the transmission fluid cooler lines at the radiator tank. It will be replaced free of charge by a collar and clamp connection.

Customers and dealers will be notified of the recall April 5. The NHTSA recall number is 21V-067. The Transport Canada recall number covering 788 vehicles can be found here.

Daimler recalling Freightliner M2 Business Class trucks

2-year-old Eaton recall blamed in Daimler Trucks clutch failures

Daimler expands recall of medium-duty trucks for possible stalling

Click for more FreightWaves articles by Alan Adler.

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Got To Drive This Today. Sadly It's Only Temporary.

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Chart of the Week:  Outbound Tender Reject Index, Outbound Tender Volume Index – USA SONAR: OTVI.USA, OTRI.USA

The recent string of winter storms and cold weather that has gripped the central U.S. disrupted shipping across the country in a way that is somewhat counterintuitive — volumes fell while capacity tightened. 

The Outbound Tender Volume Index (OTVI) — a measure of shipper requests for truckload capacity — fell over 6% last week while the Outbound Tender Rejection Index (OTRI) — the rate at which these requests are rejected by carriers — jumped to near-peak-season levels in mid-February. Declining carrier compliance is tightly correlated with increasing shipping costs. These events are extending the effects of the shipping boom that resulted from increased consumer demand for goods last year. 

Normally, declining demand has the reverse impact on capacity in the way that pressure loosens with lower volumes. It is unusual, but not as rare as one might think, for capacity to tighten and volumes decline simultaneously. This event occurs every year and most often around the Christmas holiday. Though the mechanical reasons are different, the fundamental structure is the exact same between the current situation and the Christmas effect.   

The reason is simple: Supply (capacity) falls faster than demand. Most people think supply is relatively constant or slow to change in transportation. This is largely true when measured in aggregate over the course of a year. But certain events greatly reduce the amount of trucks available to haul freight over relatively short periods of time.

Around Christmas, drivers are slowly positioned with loads that put them closer to their homes or vacation spots. This eliminates carriers’ ability to service a wide geography of freight. Simultaneously, shippers outside of the retail space are winding down their activity as they prepare to take time off as well. 

Tender rejection rates along with spot rates increase as availability declines and those that do need service are willing to pay for it. 

The recent weather-induced capacity crunch events are much different than the slower to develop Christmas effect in the way that they are unexpected and more immediate. In a normal year, winter weather events tend to be relatively short-lived, having little lasting impact. This is not a normal year. Neither was this a standard weather event.  

Capacity was recovering slowly prior to the nor’easter dropping feet of snow in parts of freight-dense Pennsylvania and New Jersey — enough to net about a 1.5 percentage point increase in the national OTRI in a two-day period before receding. Tender volumes remained relatively unchanged from their previous course. 

The winter storms that pummeled Texas and many other areas not accustomed to regular occurrences of snow and ice had a much bigger impact. Only three states failed to receive measurable snow over the past week. The national OTRI jumped from 20.75% on Feb. 9 to over 26% Thursday — the largest eight-day jump since June. Tender volumes fell 6% from last Sunday to Wednesday. 

Dallas was one of the hardest hit markets with rejection rates soaring over 26% after being under 15% a week earlier. Chart: SONAR – OTRI.DAL, OTVI.DAL

The fact volumes fell so quickly during this round of storms could portend a rapid return once the weather conditions improve as they are forecast to do this week. Even if capacity returns quickly, volumes could offset this return, pushing the market into further imbalance. 

Many companies are already scrambling to restock inventories and keep up with a revitalized consumer. Another round of stimulus was issued and helped push retail sales up in January, which places more pressure on already strained shippers. 

The recent weather would probably not have had as significant of an impact in a loose environment in which capacity is abundant, such as the one in 2019. Carriers have underutilized equipment in those markets and can recover loads more effectively. 

With tender rejection and spot rates already elevated, the impact has been exaggerated and the recovery will take longer. In this instance, recovery means falling back to the overriding trend of the market before the event, which was slowly loosening with a slow decline in demand. 

The nor’easter impact lasted about eight days. If the relationship holds constant, the market will be reeling from the recent weather events until the end of the month — just in time for what is typically a seasonal push of freight. The lesson here is that the current shipping environment remains extremely unstable and more disruptions are likely.  


FreightWaves Passport subscribers received a deeper look into the effects of the weather on freight markets this past week. Click here to learn more.

About the Chart of the Week

The FreightWaves Chart of the Week is a chart selection from SONAR that provides an interesting data point to describe the state of the freight markets. A chart is chosen from thousands of potential charts on SONAR to help participants visualize the freight market in real time. Each week a Market Expert will post a chart, along with commentary, live on the front page. After that, the Chart of the Week will be archived on FreightWaves.com for future reference.

SONAR aggregates data from hundreds of sources, presenting the data in charts and maps and providing commentary on what freight market experts want to know about the industry in real time.

The FreightWaves data science and product teams are releasing new data sets each week and enhancing the client experience.

To request a SONAR demo, click here.

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"Yeah I drove an 18 wheeler in the District of Columbia 😎"

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A large pallet of white boxes tied down with netting in an airport terminal.

Brussels Airport’s role as export hub for the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine contributed to a 21% increase in cargo volume in January. 

Since the end of November, airlines operating from Brussels Airport have flown to more than 40 destinations with shipments of the Pfizer vaccine, the Brussels Airport Co. said earlier this month. Many vaccines are being carried by DHL Express and its partners. Large amounts are moving on commercial passenger or passenger-freighter flights operated by Singapore Airlines, Qatar Airways, Emirates, El Al, Virgin Atlantic and United Airlines. 

There are almost daily flights within the DHL Express network carrying smaller shipments of the COVID-19 vaccine. Last week, DHL and partner All Nippon Airways announced they have begunan delivering Pfizer vaccines to Tokyo.

Brussels Airport was one of the first airports to make preparations for distribution of COVID vaccines and their unique cold temperature requirements. It coordinated all stakeholders in the area to streamline the process and align resources, an effort that benefited from a cargo community organization developed years earlier.

In January, Brussels posted a 21% gain in air cargo volume even as passenger traffic plummeted 84% compared to the first month of 2020. 

Many European and other airports  have experienced a downturn in cargo business since the pandemic, but Brussels has ridden a wave of growth from all-cargo and express delivery carriers, as well as cargo-only flights operated by passenger airlines.

In January, the amount of cargo carried by full freighters at Brussels Airport increased 73% year-over-year, while tonnage for express carriers grew 37%, more than making up for the lost volume carried by passenger jets. And airport-to-airport truck volumes increased 10% after several months of contraction. The total volume of goods handled at Brussels Airport grew 18% in January to 58,311 metric tons. 

The airport said imports from Asia and North America, and exports to Asia were strong, and that it saw a positive effect on throughput from Brexit. 

Last year,  Brussels Airport reported 2.2% growth in cargo as passenger traffic plunged 74%. 

The airport is operated by Brussels Airport Co., in which the government of Belgium has a 25% stake. 

Click here for more FreightWaves/American Shipper stories by Eric Kulisch.

RELATED NEWS:

Hong Kong, Amsterdam airports lost cargo business in 2020

Airport cargo communities collaborate to optimize vaccine transport

Brussels Airport bucks trend with June rise in cargo volumes

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Stay safe out there everyone

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Well they made a mistake before I even called...

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A photograph of a truck driving by a lake.

Cape Breton, Nova Scotia-headquartered Seaboard Transportation Group plans to acquire fellow trucking company Armour Transportation Systems for an undisclosed amount.

With operations in the U.S. and Canada, Seaboard Transport specializes in bulk truckloads. In recent years, the company has added rail terminal transload services and options for bulk storage of dry and liquid products.

Armour operates 24 terminals and owns more than 4,000 pieces of equipment. Affiliated companies include Armour Courier Services, Armour Logistics Services, Diamond’s Transfer Ltd., Hillman’s Transfer Ltd., Pole Star Transport, RJS Terminals, Triple B Trucking and Way’s Transport Ltd.

Following the acquisition, Armour’s assets will continue to operate under the Armour name, and the bulk of its operations will remain at its headquarters in Moncton, New Brunswick, Seaboard Transport said.

“We have shared Canada’s roadways for 50 years. We have come to admire and appreciate the Armour family’s work ethic and reputation. We look forward to continuing their tradition of excellence as a member of the Seaboard Group,” said Joe Shannon, Seaboard Transport owner. Both companies are family-owned.

The deal is subject to typical closing conditions and regulatory approval. Serving as adviser to the transaction is CIBC Capital Markets.

“Like us, the Seaboard group is a private, family-owned company with roots in Atlantic Canada. Seaboard has similar exceptional values and a corporate culture that makes me very comfortable about the future of the Armour company and our dedicated employees,” said Armour President and CEO Wes Armour.

This sale is just the latest in a string of acquisitions within the Canadian trucking industry since the start of 2021. The largest of these deals is TFI International’s (NYSE: TFII) $800 million agreement to buy UPS Freight. 

Also this year, cross-border carrier XTL announced its first acquisition in history, buying Quebec temperature-controlled trucking firm Transport Savoie, while Titanium Transportation Group announced it had acquired International Truckload Services, nearly doubling its size.

FreightWaves Border and North America Correspondent Nate Tabak contributed to this report.

Subscribe to FreightWaves’ e-newsletters and get the latest insights on freight right in your inbox.

Click here for more FreightWaves articles by Joanna Marsh.

Related articles:

Canada’s Fastfrate buys cross-border logistics provider ASL

XTL makes its first acquisition as Canada trucking M&A heats up

Titanium buys ITS, joins big leagues of Canadian trucking

TFI to acquire UPS Freight for $800M

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A photograph of tank cars parked in a rail yard.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited TrinityRail and Maintenance Services over an August 2020 incident that resulted in two fatalities.

OSHA is suggesting $419,347 in penalties, and it cited Trinity for 11 serious violations and two willful violations for not following federal safety standards for working in confined spaces. 

On Aug. 12, a Trinity employee in Hugo, Oklahoma, was seeking to clean a tank car used to carry natural gasoline, according to OSHA. A second employee also entered the railcar, seeking to rescue the first employee. Both workers were eventually recovered and pronounced dead at a local hospital after inhaling toxic fumes. 

OSHA said the company failed to require a permit to allow entry into the railcar, ventilate the space, monitor hazards inside a confined space and complete entry permits for work inside a confined space.

“Work inside confined spaces is a dangerous job and federal workplace safety standards must be followed to avoid disaster,” said OSHA Area Director Steven A. Kirby. “As is the case here, failing to follow OSHA standards can be the difference between life and death.”

Dallas-based Trinity has 15 business days from receipt of citation and penalties to comply, and it can request an informal conference with OSHA or contest the findings.

Trinity told FreightWaves that it disagrees with OSHA’s findings.

“We are aware of the findings released by OSHA regarding the fatality incident at our TrinityRail Maintenance Services facility in Hugo, Oklahoma,” said Trinity spokesman Jack Todd. “The company has been working cooperatively with OSHA during its investigation process, however, we respectfully disagree with the proposed findings and penalties that OSHA has issued.” 

He continued, “We look forward to addressing the proposed findings and penalties through the agency’s formal process. Trinity is committed to safety at all of our facilities, and we are deeply saddened by the loss of our co-workers.”

Subscribe to FreightWaves’ e-newsletters and get the latest insights on freight right in your inbox.

Click here for more FreightWaves articles by Joanna Marsh.

Related articles:

TrinityRail permanently closing plant in Texas

Rail Roundup: TrinityRail rolls out tech platform; CP, Teamsters reach deal

Trinity Industries pinpoints focus on rail

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Winter storms across the country — in particular the nor’easter in Pennsylvania and New Jersey and the damaging ice storms in Texas — have caused many retailers to close down and disrupted freight operations. Subsequently, tender volumes have taken a nosedive in the U.S. this week. 

It is not typical for tender volumes to decline and rejections to rise midseason. It’s a common occurrence to see this dynamic play out with weather and on major holidays when capacity is taken off line at a faster rate than volumes. 

This is a short-term story, but it could have a major impact on freight networks for weeks to come due to the tight capacity environment currently. If this would have occurred at a time when capacity was plentiful and carriers’ assets underutilized, networks could be shifted much easier to absorb the disruption. But with an already tight market, and a meaningful percentage of drivers sidelined, freight will pile up and create a backlog of pent-up demand. Therefore, it may take weeks for already strained carriers to accommodate this freight. 

Retailers are still struggling to replenish depleted inventories, especially those coming in from any major port. Consumer demand remains elevated, aided by government stimulus and boosted by the expectation of more to come. Consumer sentiment fell in early February, but the nation is making promising progress with vaccine deployment. One-in-20 Americans have received at least one vaccination. There is now light at the end of the tunnel. 

With another round of stimulus, and the likelihood of a meaningful reopening in the summer growing each day, the snow is unlikely to meaningfully or sustainably dent the economic momentum beyond the last few weeks of February. Freight volumes are poised to bounce back in a major way sooner rather than later. As evidence of this, it is projected to be 65 and sunny on Tuesday in Dallas. 

On a negative note, only four of the 15 major freight markets that we monitor as a broad, representative benchmark were positive on a week-over-week basis. This ratio weakened dramatically from the stronger levels it has become accustomed to in recent months as the freight market rallies. Clearly the snowstorm was the primary culprit here. The markets with the largest gains this week in OTVI.USA were Cleveland (3.39%), Indianapolis (1.83%) and Ontario, California (1.78%). The markets with the largest drops were Memphis, Tennessee (-33.43%), Houston (-31.17%) and Dallas (-18.92%).

SONAR: OTVI.USA

Tender rejections skyrocket back to near peak

Only three states in the continental U.S. didn’t receive meaningful amounts of snow this week. Tender rejections across the nation have risen substantially over the past week, particularly in Texas, Arkansas and much of the Midwest. Carriers are rejecting half of all outbound tenders from Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska and all of Illinois, excluding the Chicago area. 

The national average for the Outbound Tender Reject Index (OTRI) rose more than 5 percentage points from 21% last week to 26.3% currently. Unlike the typical falling volumes and rising rejections events, this occurrence will not revert back to normal quickly. The reasons were laid out above — elevated demand potentially growing with stimulus and reopening hopes on top of an already strained capacity network. 

We expect volumes to snap back quickly next week, but it will take some time for carriers to work through the freight disrupted by the storms. This will keep upward pressure on tender rejections and spot rates through the end of the month and right into the beginning of the spring freight season. 

SONAR: OTRI.USA

For more information on Passport Research, please contact sholm@freightwaves.com.

Check out the newest episode of the Great Quarter Guys podcast here.

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Navistar International Corporation (NYSE: NAV) acquired a new property in San Antonio, which includes existing buildings that will house support

The post Navistar Acquires Second Property In San Antonio Ahead Of Plant Launch In 2022 appeared first on NextTruck Blog & Industry News - Trucker Information.

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“It’s striking,” said Jonathan Duncan, Kenworth’s design director. “When you look at the Kenworth T680 Next Generation, the first thing

The post Kenworth T680 Next Generation: Sleek and Sophisticated appeared first on NextTruck Blog & Industry News - Trucker Information.

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Frontline tanker

Crude tankers are seeing “classic signs of recovery.” “Newbuilding orders are extremely low. We have the lowest orderbook is in 25 years.” On the product-tanker side of the equation, “refineries are shutting down so products are being shipping from further away, which is very interesting from a ton-mile point of view.”

Those quotes are from a shipping conference in New York in 2011, a full decade ago.

A few quotes circa-2017: “New capacity additions for global refineries are set to double, a positive for global volumes and product tanker demand.” Crude tankers should see “an asset and rate recovery in 2018 and beyond.” Given pending regulations, “the number of tankers sent for demolition will increase.”

The song remains the same in 2021. That doesn’t mean a major recovery won’t come to pass this time around. Hopeful quotes with a very familiar ring should always be taken with a grain of salt, but given unprecedented pandemic effects, market conditions are very different now than in the past. 

The question — as in the beginning of every previous year since the 2009 global financial crisis — is: When will the still-hypothetical, sustainable tanker recovery, not just brief spikes, finally arise? Recovery timing was addressed on Friday’s Frontline (NYSE: FRO) conference call, on the call the day before by Scorpio Tankers (NYSE: STNG) and during a virtual forum presented by Capital Link earlier in the week.

Contrasting views on recovery

The super-bullish view was voiced by Clarksons Platou Securities analyst Omar Nokta at the Capital Link event.

“We think there are roughly 5 million barrels missing from the [seaborne] market today and we know there’s going to be a handful of barrels coming as we proceed through the year. We already know the sector is very sensitive to just a million barrels, which leads to huge volatility. Now, imagine a million followed by another million followed by another million,” said Nokta.

“You’ve got the whole supply equation working in your favor with the lack of newbuildings and all the retrofits required to adhere to new regulations. Supply will be extremely tight and you’ve got demand that’s about to go bananas.”

Evercore ISI analyst Jon Chappell voiced a different view on the Scorpio call. “If there is 5 or 6 million barrels of demand growth this year, what I’m trying to understand is the extreme optimism about the pace or magnitude of the recovery,” he said.

Chappell pointed to demand estimates of “super-bullish oil analysts” calling for a 7.6 million barrel per day increase over 2021-2022. He pointed out that this “is up against an 8.7-million-barrel decline in 2020. So, we’re looking at a 2022 demand number that’s lower than 2019.”

Tanker vessel capacity gains are slowing, but still inching up. So, Chappell wondered: How does that jive with such extreme optimism?

Crude versus product tanker recovery

Responding to Chappell’s question, Scorpio Tankers President Robert Bugbee said that oil analysts are looking at the recovery in crude oil demand, but it’s a different equation for product tankers.

He pointed to shutdowns in refineries that will increase the average distance of product cargoes, increasing ton-mile demand. “For us, it’s how much product is going to be used in the world, and where it’s being shifted to. The ratio of products carried by sea is going to increase by a far higher rate than that of crude oil in this recovery,” he argued.

Frontline operates both crude and product tankers. Lars Barstad, Frontline’s interim CEO, was asked which he thought would recover first: crude or product tanker rates?

 He replied, “I am unsure which segment will be hit first when the recovery story starts to come true. Potentially, the VLCC market [very large crude carriers; tankers that carry 2 million barrels of crude oil]. Eventually, you will need refinery runs to increase for products to flow. And the start of any return of volume will come from the Middle East, which would benefit VLCCs first.”

Floating storage hangover over

Tanker earnings have been weighed for months by floating storage. As floating storage unwinds, tankers come back into the spot market, a headwind for rates.

The good news is that it appears that the downside from floating storage is largely over. “There’s almost on storage of products on the water. That has been drawn down,” said Bugbee.

On the crude-tanker side, Barstad explained, “During Q4 2020, inventories drew down at a record pace of 2.6 million barrels per day. Oil demand rose to levels near 10 million barrels per day above Q2 2020 levels and the structure of the oil market incentivized players to empty tanks, both floating and on land, as the future price was increasingly lower than the prompt price, making it uneconomical to hold stocks.

“Floating storage is no longer a significant factor weighing on the tanker market,” affirmed Barstad.

Data provided to American Shipper by commodity intelligence company Kpler reveals that crude tankers idled for 12 or more days held a total of 70 million barrels as of Wednesday, roughly the same as the level at the same time in 2020 — before the COVID-induced floating-storage situation ensued.

tanker storage data
(Chart: American Shipper based on data from Kpler)

Tanker stocks anticipate future recovery

Tanker rates are still in the gutter, but tanker equities are moving up in anticipation of higher rates ahead. Crude and product tanker stocks had another solid day on Friday. Scorpio rose 6.9% and Euronav (NYSE: EURN) gained 4.5%. Overall, tanker stocks are up double digits since the beginning of this month.

“The share market is pricing in the recovery a little bit further out, obviously jumping over the insecurity in the front,” said Barstad.

Chappell upgraded Frontline from “Underperform” to “In Line” on Friday because “the fundamental outlook has reached its inflection point and Frontline is unlikely to continue to underperform as rates and assets values emerge from the abyss. With crude-tanker rates bouncing along a deep prolonged bottom [there is] only one way to go from here.”

The caveat, Chappell warned, is that “a return to profitability [for tanker names] may not occur until Q4 2021.”

On Feb. 15, Cleaves shipping analyst Joakim Hannisdahl abruptly flipped his ratings for almost all of the tanker names under his coverage from “Sell” to “Buy.” Hannisdahl said, “While we see earnings lackluster until Q4 2021, we think asset and share prices have bottomed out.”

He cited “early signs of a massive capital injection into the segment” that prompted him to upgrade the segment “a few months ahead of schedule.”

Tanker earnings roundup

On Friday, Frontline reported a net loss of $9.2 million for Q4 2020 compared to net income of $108.8 million in Q4 2019. The adjusted loss per share of 7 cents came in below consensus expectations for a loss of 5 cents.

According to Barstad, “We expected some degree of normal seasonality to kick in, but this time around the fourth quarter proved to be softer than Q3. Actually, that’s the first time that’s happened in 10 years.”

For Q1 2021, Frontline has booked 78% of its VLCC days at an average of $22,600 per day, 68% of its Suezmaxes [tankers that carry 1 million barrels of crude] at $22,600 per day and 65% of its LR2 product tankers [vessels with capacity of 80,000-119,999 deadweight tons or DWT] at $12,200 per day.

On Thursday, Scorpio Tankers reported a net loss of $76.3 million for Q4 2020 compared to net income of $12 million in the same period the prior year. The adjusted loss per share of $1.04 came in a sliver better than consensus expectations for a loss of $1.05.

For Q1 2021, Scorpio has booked 48% of its LR2s at $15,200 per day, 58% of its LR1s [55,000-79,999 DWT] at $11,000 per day, and 58% of its MRs [25,000-54,999 DWT] at $11,500 per day.

According to Stifel analyst Ben Nolan, “While the timing of the recovery is uncertain and the tanker market could continue facing near-term headwinds, we believe the eventual upside is there for Scorpio Tankers shares from current levels.” Click for more FreightWaves/American Shipper articles by Greg Miller 

MORE ON TANKERS: Crude tankers stuck in ‘rate hell’ but floating storage wanes: see story here. Tanker recovery still distant prospect after Saudi surprise: see story here. Frontline’s disappearing dividend speaks volumes on tanker fears: see story here. Tanker shipping at risk of rare winter hibernation: see story here.

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Here’s what we know about hydrogen-powered fuel cells for heavy-duty trucking:

  • They are not in commercial production.
  • Onboard hydrogen storage is far less efficient than battery-powered trucks.
  • Heavy-duty truck fuel cell adoption is projected to be just 2.5% by 2030.
  • Battery-electric truck proponents call fuel cells unflattering names.

.None of that has changed. Yet, something seems different. 

For starters, car and truck makers and Tier 1 suppliers are investing billions of dollars in fuel cell technology.  

Blank check companies are raising hundreds of millions of dollars to target startup and growth-stage companies across the electric vehicle spectrum. Publicly traded fuel cell entities are riding double- and triple-digit growth in their share prices.

“I think there is significant momentum,” Chris Rovik, executive program manager of Toyota (NYSE: TM) North America’s Advanced Product Planning Office, told FreightWaves in an interview. “I think all the truck [manufacturers] realize they need to have zero-emission solutions. They’re starting to understand the benefits of fuel cells in certain use cases.”

Most agree that over-the-road trucking is the best use case. Lengthy stops to recharge a battery-electric truck eat into the total cost of ownership (TCO), the holy grail of fleet managers. And adding thousands of pounds of batteries for onboard energy reduces cargo capacity.

Tesla’s battery-electric range tease

So even as Elon Musk teases a 300- to 500-mile range in the still-future battery-electric (BEV) Tesla Semi, the trucking industry is fielding more demonstrations of what Musk has called “fool cells.” None are long-haul fuel cell demos yet. Absent a breakthrough in energy density, however, battery-powered trucks aren’t going long distances either.

“Range is really about how much space you take up on the truck,” said Preston Feight, CEO of PACCAR Inc. (NASDAQ: PCAR), which is working with Toyota. “The energy density at this point is higher for fuel cells. Both types of solutions need infrastructure development.”   

Toyota has developed 10 first-generation and two second-generation Kenworth T680 Class 8 fuel cell tractors. Five are being tested in drayage operations in the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Port runs are the chosen test regimen for battery-electric truck demonstrations, too. Daimler Trucks’ Freightliner and Volvo Trucks both run demo programs in California.

The fuel cell stacks in the Kenworth trucks come from Toyota’s Mirai passenger sedan. They have proved reliable so far. As for hauling freight from the water’s edge to inland distribution centers, instead of long-haul routes, Toyota is simply going with what it knows.

A good starting point

As a vehicle importer to the West Coast for decades, Toyota has mature port operations and access to hydrogen fueling. 

“It seemed like a good starting point,” Rovik said. “You’re not going to go out on a brand-new technology and start making 100,000 or 200,000 trucks a year. You’re going to start smaller and increase your scale as infrastructure sets in.”

Toyota introduced its Project Portal proof-of-concept fuel cell truck in 2017. It occupied the body of a Kenworth T660. A beta version appeared in 2019 and was the basis for the 10-truck Project Ocean demonstration fleet. 

Toyota’s Japanese subsidiary Hino Trucks plans to bring demo fuel cell conventional-body trucks to the U.S. this year. They, too, will rely on Mirai fuel cell stacks. 

“The whole point was to show we could use these stacks and systems in a light-duty vehicle and scale up from there,” Rovik said.

South Korean automaker Hyundai also plans to bring its Xcient fuel cell truck to California this year.

Dedicated routes

Most companies looking at fuel cells envision them running dedicated customer routes where hydrogen fueling is available. Startup Nikola Corp. (NASDAQ: NKLA) plans to build them as customers purchase fuel cell trucks for specific routes. Each onsite hydrogen production facility costs $17 million, according to Nikola investor documents.

Nikola recently got a deal from Arizona regulators for cheap electricity that will help it build its first hydrogen-producing station. It is intended for Anheuser-Busch (NYSE: BUD) fuel cell trucks traveling regularly between a Van Nuys, California, brewery and a distributor in Chandler, Arizona. 

Another startup, Hyzon Motors, sees hydrogen fuel as a “behind-the-fence” operation for fleets that would return to base for refueling. 

Navistar International Corp. (NYSE: NAV) plans to use mobile hydrogen refueler OneH2 to bring hydrogen to J.B. Hunt Transport (NYSE: JBHT) trucks equipped with General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) Hydrotec fuel cell systems beginning around 2023. Like Toyota, GM’s fuel cell stacks are scaled up from the size needed for a light-duty vehicle.

Big investments

Major automotive suppliers are pouring money into fuel cells. German supplier Robert Bosch is helping Nikola develop its fuel cell system. It embedded more than 50 engineers to work alongside Nikola engineers.

“I think Bosch has invested over the last several years over 5 billion euros [$6 billion] in electrical powertrain including fuel cells,” Alex Freitag, director of diesel systems engineering, told FreightWaves. “This year alone, we’ll be spending approximately 700 million euros [$849.3 million] in developing further electric mobility.”

Freitag expects Bosch’s first fuel cell powertrains to be on the road in 2022 or 2023. “So, it’s no longer 10 years. I think, from our perspective, much less than that,” he said.

Decarbonization Plus Acquisition Corp. (NASDAQ: DCRB) raised $570 million for Hyzon. That should lead to the spinoff of Singapore-based Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies being publicly listed in the second quarter. Volvo paid Daimler $700 million to become a joint venture partner in its fuel cell efforts.

California’s regulatory muscle

Toyota’s Rovik and Freitag agreed much of the impetus toward zero emissions is due to  stringent California emissions regulations that begin to impact sales of diesel trucks in 2024.

“Everybody’s focusing a lot on the BEV,” Freitag said. “It seems that on the Class 8 trucks, the fuel cell is preferred because of the refueling time and the range. Everything above 500 miles will be more suited for a fuel cell than a [BEV].”

Not necessarily, said Mike Roeth, executive director of the North American Council for Freight Efficiency.

“The costs of hydrogen, vehicles and hydrogen production all must come down significantly to make hydrogen economically competitive with alternatives,” Roeth said.

A downside of pursuing parallel electric vehicle strategies is creating separate infrastructures for charging and hydrogen fueling. Both are expensive. But location is critical, Freitag said.

Multiple uses

Bosch, Cummins Inc. (NYSE: CMI), and even Daimler and Volvo Group see fuel cells being used as backup power for data centers and other installations. Working with Ceres Power Co. of the United Kingdom, Bosch aims to produce 200 megawatts of electricity from solid oxide fuel cells by 2024. That is enough to supply power to some 400,000 homes, Bosch said.

Fuel cells used in transportation typically depend on proton exchange membrane (PEM) technology. Cummins has the largest hydrogen-making PEM electrolyzer in the world. It is working on the first fuel cell-powered zero-emissions commercial ferry in North America. And It has supplied fuel cells for buses in Asia and to rail giant Alstom for use in passenger trains in Austria.

“While hydrogen fuel cell technology is very promising, we know that widespread adoption will take time,” said Amy Davis, president of Cummins’ New Power unit.

“It’s always 10 years away,” said Arshad Mansoor, president and CEO of the Electric Power Research Institute. “Even 50 years ago, it was 10 years away.”

So, maybe prime time for fuel cells will be a longer wait after all.

Toyota equips Kenworth Class 8 truck with updated fuel cell

Navistar, GM and J.B. Hunt collaborate on fuel cell trucks

Hyzon Motors to get $570M from SPAC backing fuel cell technology

Click for more FreightWaves articles by Alan Adler.

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All eyes are on California’s San Pedro Bay. Hapag-Lloyd focused on the congestion crisis at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach during a virtual press conference conducted Thursday from Germany with media outlets around the globe. 

“Today there is fairly extreme port congestion,” Hapag-Lloyd CEO Rolf Habben Jansen said, sharing an image crowded with dots representing ships anchored in San Pedro Bay waiting to berth. Jansen did not count the dots, but Port of LA Executive Director Gene Seroka this week dropped an astounding number: 62 ships were anchored awaiting berth space early Wednesday afternoon. 

“All of this means the ships are not as efficient as you’d like them to be,” Jansen said. “In the case of LA, we have more ships waiting than we have alongside. That doesn’t help if we want to keep goods flowing. Again, it’s understandable because there’s been a surge in demand that nobody expected.”

Unprecedented demand for imports and COVID-19 outbreaks among longshore workers have compounded the problem and further slowed the flow of goods, he said.

“Schedule reliability admittedly is at a very low level,” Jansen said. “The delays that we have at arrival have really gone up.”

Hapag-Lloyd has seen average delay on arrival grow from 43 hours in January 2020 to 125 hours this year. That’s “a level we’ve not seen very often before,” he said.

“If you take into account the 125 hours, which is more or less five days, then you can see that it’s quite tough for a lot of the ships to then be back on time again at origin to take on the next voyage on time,” Jansen said. 

He explained that a container ship can’t simply speed up to make up the time it lost at anchor. 

“We do speed up, but if you have to wait … for a week and you have a sailing back from LA to Shanghai, which is normally 12 days or so, you can’t make up seven days. If you go very fast,” Jansen said, “maybe you can … catch up one day or 36 hours, but certainly not much more than that.”

The surge of imports, coupled with labor shortages caused by COVID outbreaks at the ports, has led to delays in unloading cargo and returning empty containers to vessels heading back to Asia.

“The turn times of the containers are simply longer,” he said. “Normally you would sail 12 days [to LA/Long Beach]. You unload two or three days and then you get the box back one or two weeks later from the customer. Today you sail 12 days, you wait for a week. The dwell time of the container is double what it is normally and then you have another delay on the rail side, so you easily lose a week or two weeks before you get the box back.”

Jansen continued, “In some ports, you also see because of the lack of labor, they prioritize laden cargo over the empties, which is understandable. But that means you end up sailing back to Asia with a ship that’s not entirely full because the empty boxes remain on the terminals. That was very much the issue in the fourth quarter.”   

Container shortages further poke holes in supply chain flow. “If we get the boxes back later, then we need more containers than we need normally to carry the same amount of cargo,” he said, adding later that “every box that is basically available is also in use.”  

‘The idle fleet is pretty much zero’

The demand for imports from American consumers beginning last summer also was far bigger than anticipated, Jansen said. 

“When the pandemic hit us almost 12 months ago,” he said, “everybody predicted that volumes would not only sharply decline in Q2 but it would only very slowly get back and in a best-case scenario would be reasonably close to 2019 toward the end of the year. In reality, what we [saw] in the second half of the year [was] demand was much stronger. … We’ve actually seen growth that we’ve not seen for a very long period of time.”

Jansen said the container lines can’t simply put more ships into service to rectify the situation. “The idle fleet is pretty much zero,” he said. “Today every ship that is available is basically sailing.”

He said Hapag-Lloyd has added 300,000 TEUs of container capacity since March 2020 and moved some capacity to meet demand on the Asia-Europe and trans-Pacific lanes. 

“We’ve deployed 52 ships to get additional empty containers back to where they belong and, to give you a little bit of flavor, in a normal year, that would always be a single-digit number,” Jansen said. 

“We have really a perfect storm of demand that’s surging like there’s no tomorrow, everybody needing to get the boxes back, COVID-related restrictions,” he said. “How long exactly it will take is very hard to predict. If you would have asked me in October, I would have said by Chinese New Year the worst is going to be over. If you ask me today, I think it’s going to take a couple more months because we see that demand also is stronger than probably anticipated a couple of months ago.” 

Thus, the domino effect from port congestion will continue to be felt from North America to Asia.

“Given the severity of the problem, the likelihood that this will be resolved soon I don’t see as very high unfortunately,” Jansen said.  

“I would say that [the first half of 2021] is going to remain challenging,” he said. “Fixing these port delays, even if they’re caused by understandable reasons, it tends to take time. Terminals are very big operations, and when you have a yard that gets really congested and you can’t move it out quickly onto the ships or inland, that does tend to impact your productivity.” 

Hapag-Lloyd’s earnings ‘significantly higher’ despite uncertainty of 2020

Hapag-Lloyd, ONE order ultra large container ships

Significant earnings jump spurs Hapag-Lloyd forecast revision

Click here for more American Shipper/FreightWaves stories by Senior Editor Kim Link-Wills.