Thursday, December 27, 2012

Diesel Prices Fall, Gasoline Rises

As the holiday week opened, diesel prices continued their recent downward trend, while gasoline prices crept back upward.

The Department of Energy's Information Administration reported a nationwide drop of 2.2 cents in the price of a gallon diesel earlier this week. The average price was $3.92 per gallon.

The steepest decrease in diesel and the cheapest overall prices were seen in the Rocky Mountain region, where prices fell 7.5 cents per gallon to rest at $3.79.

The most expensive diesel prices can still be found on the East Coast, specifically in the New England and Central Atlantic regions, where prices are still over the $4-mark.

Kevin Brown, fleet manager at Conley Trucking outside of Buffalo, N.Y., last week said diesel prices were $4.23 per gallon, well above the average reported for the region. "We have had some of the highest prices in New York ... and yet much closer to suppliers than most," he said.

Gasoline prices climbed incrementally across the nation by 0.3 cents to land at $3.26 per gallon. The cheapest gasoline prices can be found in the Gulf Coast region at $3.10 per gallon.

Crude oil, meanwhile jumped up by $2.37 to $90.98 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange yesterday, the highest settlement since Oct. 18, as President Obama and Congress return to Washington today to discuss how to avoid more than $600 billion in expiring tax cuts and mandatory spending cuts scheduled for January -- aka the "fiscal cliff."
Story from truckinginfo.com

Friday, December 21, 2012

Retailers, Intermodal Trucking Worry About Potential Port Strike


A coalition of more than 100 local, state and national trade associations sent a letter to President Obama yesterday urging action to prevent an East and Gulf Coast port strike next week over intermodal container handling.

The letter urges immediate action by the White House to ensure that the lack of progress in ongoing labor contract negotiations between the International Longshoremens Association, which represents 14,500 dockworkers in East and Gulf Coast ports, and the U.S. Maritime Alliance, which represents management for shipping lines and port employers, does not result in a strike.

The bargaining is for a new master contract governing containerized cargoes - commodities shipped in 20- or 40-foot containers. The latest talks between the parties broke down Dec. 18, less than two weeks before the current contract expires on Dec. 29.

A strike was averted Oct. 1 when both sides agreed to a 90-day extension through Dec. 29 - after the U.S. elections and the holiday shopping season. The group said that failure to reach a contract agreement would result in a coast-wide shutdown at 14 containerized ports from Maine to Texas which would have serious economy-wide impacts.

The impacted ports would include Boston; New York and New Jersey; Delaware River [Philadelphia]; Baltimore; Hampton Roads, Va. [Norfolk]; Wilmington, N.C.; Charleston, S.C., Savannah, Ga.; Jacksonville, Fla.; Miami; Tampa, Fla.; Mobile, Ala.; New Orleans; and Houston.

Read more here.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Retail Imports to Increase 3.9% in December Despite Port Strike

Import cargo volume at the nation's major retail container ports is expected to increase 3.9% in December despite a strike that closed the nation's largest port complex for the first few days of the month.

Retailers are keeping a close watch on a possible strike on the East Coast and Gulf Coast, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.

"After a strong kickoff on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the holiday season is looking good and these numbers reflect that," NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. "Nonetheless, we narrowly avoided what could have been a long-term disruption with the strike in Los Angeles and Long Beach and don't want to run that risk on the East Coast and Gulf Coast. NRF is continuing to urge labor, management and lawmakers to do whatever is necessary to keep our nation's ports running smoothly."

U.S. ports followed by Global Port Tracker handled 1.39 million Twenty-foot Equivalent Units in October, the latest month for which after-the-fact numbers are available. That was down 1% from September, but up 5.2% from October 2011. One TEU is one 20-foot cargo container or its equivalent.

November was estimated at 1.22 million TEU, down 5.6% from last year. The downturn was due in part to the eight-day strike that closed most terminals at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach beginning in the last few days of November, but also because November is a traditionally weak month after most holiday cargo has arrived.

December is forecast at 1.27 million TEU, up 3.9% from last year, with January forecast at 1.31 million TEU, up 2% from January 2012; February at 1.15 million TEU, up 5.9%; March at 1.27 million TEU, up 2%, and April at 1.35 million TEU, up 3.2%.

August, September and October are the three busiest months of the year as retailers bring merchandise into the country for the holiday season, and volume for the three months combined was up 3.6% at 4.2 million TEU. While cargo volume does not correlate directly with sales, NRF is forecasting that holiday sales will increase 4.1% to $586.1 billion this year.??

The first half of 2012 totaled 7.7 million TEU, up 3% from the same period last year. For the full year, 2012 is expected to total 15.8 million TEU, up 2.5% from 2011.

Hackett Associates Founder Ben Hackett said the Los Angeles/Long Beach strike shifted some cargo into December but would not have a significant effect on net volume for the year. But retailers are closely monitoring the situation at East Coast and Gulf Coast ports, where a contract extension expires Dec. 29.

"While the strike led to some diversion of cargo to Oakland and ports further afield, we believe much of the cargo destined for LA/Long Beach will simply arrive at the port later as vessels adjust their rotations," Hackett said. "As we look ahead into the coming months of 2013, the main threat to cargo flows through the ports would be a strike on East Coast and Gulf Coast. There is little option for diversion."

Friday, November 30, 2012

EPA sued over biodiesel push

The American Petroleum Institute has sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over its September-announced mandate that 1.28 billion gallons of biodiesel be used in 2013. The group says using biodiesel will drive up the cost of regular diesel and says biodiesel producers have a history of engaging in fraudulent activity related to selling fuel credits to oil refiners.

The EPA touts biodiesel as a clean resource of turning vegetable oil and waste oils into usable diesel and as a way to break dependence on foreign oil.

The 1.28 billion gallons is a 28 percent increase from the 2012 requirement, API says. The group also filed a petition to the EPA asking for reconsideration of the mandate.

What do you think?

Read more here.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Florida drivers can help pick new license plate design

The state of Florida wants to know what you think of the new proposals for a license plate.

Drivers can vote until Dec. 14, and their decision might decide the final design from the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. Anyone can vote on the state website. 

A 20-member committee of agency personnel, law enforcement, tax collectors and representatives from associations worked on the final license plate designs. The agency's graphics artist created the proposed designs.
The state is looking to change the current plate, which was first made in 2003 that has the orange in the center, MyFlorida.com above and "Sunshine State" motto below. The new versions shrink the orange and move it to the top of the plate while keeping the Sunshine State motto. The 2014 proposals also increase the number of available characters to seven from six.

In 1905, the state began to require that vehicle owners register and display their own tag, which were usually made of wood, leather or metal, according to the Pinellas County Tax Collector.

The state still offers more than 100 specialty license plates. In 2011, the most popular ones were the University of Florida, Florida State University and Helping Sea Turtles Survive.

Story from TBO.com

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Fall of Diesel Prices Slows

While nationwide diesel prices at the pump saw a decrease this week, it was a small one. The average price for a gallon of diesel fell only four-tenths of a cents to $3.967, according to the weekly U.S. Energy Information Administration's Gasoline and Diesel Fuel Update.

Some regions have seen an increase in diesel prices this week, including regions along the East Coast and in the Midwest. Diesel prices jumped the most, 2.3 cents, in the Lower Atlantic region to $3.94 a gallon, which is still below the national average.

Diesel still tops $4 per gallon in the Rocky Mountain Region and on the West Coast. The highest prices for diesel can be found in California, where the average price per gallon is $4.14.

Gasoline prices also continued to decline this week as the nationwide average price per gallon dropped 2 cents to rest at $3.43. Prices did see a slight increase in the Midwest region, 1.3 cents, according to the report, the only region in the U.S. to see an increase in gasoline prices this week.

The Huffington Post reports that the price for benchmark crude closed at its highest point since Oct. 22 at $89.28. Reasons cited for the rise in price of oil are concerns about current unrest between Isreal and Hamas in the Middle East, and - to a lesser degree - the U.S. "fiscal cliff" situation.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Sandy Recovery Efforts Continue as Latest Storm Moves On

Despite the arrival of another storm last night, recovery efforts from the hurricane-turned-superstorm Sandy continue throughout the Northeast, while fuel problems have a domino effect in the Southeast.
Permitting Help from the DOT.

The Federal Highway Administration is working with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the American Association of State Highway Officials to speed up permitting for carriers moving temporary mobile housing units from Maryland and Alabama to New Jersey.

Under normal circumstances, carriers have to work with states to get permits from each state they travel through. FHWA is coordinating with AASHTO to cut through some of the red tape and get all necessary permits at the same time. In addition, FHWA is also working with states to allow nighttime moves, which aren't normally allowed.

The Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration is also helping speed the transport of hazardous materials - including much-needed fuel - to and from hurricane disaster areas with fast-tracked emergency special permits.

Several permits have been issued to expedite gasoline and diesel transport into New Jersey and New York. Another permit has been issued that allows a large retail store to move goods quickly from damaged stores to temporary facilities nearby so people still have access to needed goods.

Read more here.

(This is a doctored photo, but it illustrates the devastation)

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Hours rule suspended for Sandy relief effort

Trucks carrying emergency-related materials to and in states affected by Hurricane Sandy are exempt from the federal hours of service rules effective Monday, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has said in a declaration.

The states included in the exemption are Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, MAssachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and West Virginia.

“This declaration of emergency provides relief for commercial motor vehicles operations while providing these emergency materials and services to customers in the above mentioned states during the emergency. This exemption applies only to those operations providing direct assistance to the emergency relief effort. Direct assistance terminates when a driver or commercial motor vehicle is used in interstate commerce to transport cargo or provide services not destined for the emergency relief effort or when the motor carrier operation dispatches such driver or vehicle to another location to begin operations in furtherance of commerce,” the declaration reads.

The waiver will last until midnight of Nov. 13.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Truckers roll with relief supplies to storm-ravaged area

Trucks for Arnold Transportation were ready to deploy Sunday from Louisiana with water and ready-made meals. (Photo courtesy of FEMA)The trucking industry began preparing for the Sandy before the hurricane slammed into the East Coast by staging essential cargo in strategic locations and is now working to get relief supplies to areas most impacted by the storm.

Dawn McAreavey reported on an Overdrive community Facebook page Tuesday that she was “hauling rations from Camp Minden to Westover AFB. A lot of downed trees, no power from Pa. to Ma. Turned over semi’s.”
Driver Robert Vivod wrote he was “hauling Rite Aid supplies and meds” in the affected area. He urged other truckers to be careful,  “just remember appointment times can be changed not our lives.”

Read more here.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

This story is just nuts!

$300,000 truckload of walnuts stolen between California, Florida
LOS MOLINOS, Calif. — Authorities are investigating the theft of more than 80,000 pounds of walnuts from Northern California valued at about $300,000. The Tehama County Sheriff's Office received a call from a freight brokerage firm on Friday reporting that a truckload of walnuts never arrived in Miami as they were supposed to.
Authorities believe the culprit is the same person who also picked up another load of walnuts days earlier from Los Molinos. Those walnuts were intended for Texas, but also disappeared.

Deputies tell the Record Searchlight of Redding (http://bit.ly/S8mOY9) the man who picked those walnuts up was not the person hired for the job. They have not identified the suspect although they do have a suspect description.

Monday, October 29, 2012

East Coast Braces for Hurricane Sandy

UPDATED 2 p.m. EDT: Hurricane Sandy could knock out power and flood highways in heavily populated areas such as New York City and Washington, D.C., as it comes ashore today, and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has declared a regional emergency, allowing for exception from some regulations for motor carriers providing emergency materials.

The national hurricane center said Hurricane Sandy was "expected to bring life-threatening storm surge flooding to the mid-Atlantic Coast, including Long Island Sound and New York Harbor."

FMCSA today declared a regional emergency that covers the states of Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and West Virginia.

This exempts commercial motor vehicle operations that are providing emergency materials and services from Parts 390 through 399 of the federal regulations. The exemption does not include controlled substance and alcohol use (Part 382), the commercial driver's license requirements (Part 383), the financial responsibility requirements (Part 387), or applicable size and weight requirements.
Click here to view current highway closures and restrictions in the region

Story from Truckinginfo.com

Friday, October 26, 2012

85 mph highway opens in Texas

Wednesday marked the opening of the new 85 mph speed limit on Texas State Highway 130, where a 40-mile section of the highway — a toll road — between San Antonio and Austin is now home to the country’s highest speed limit.

The stretch of highway is privately managed, and the 85 mph speed limit has been in the works for some time. As Overdrive reported in June, Texas Department of Transportation officials told the media they were performing studies to test the feasibility  of an 85 mph speed limit for SH 130.

A law passed in 2011 allowed speed limits of up to 85 mph, but this is the first to go so far. Others in the state have posted 75 mph speed limits, and in March, a stretch of 130 between Georgetown and Mustang Ridge and SH 45SE from Mustang Ridge to I-35 in South Travis County became the first to post 80 mph limits.

Is is safe or is that too fast?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Pilot Flying J opens 650th Location


Pilot Flying J recently opened its 650th location in North America. The store, a Pilot Travel Center in Von Ormy, Texas, opened on Oct. 15 and features full amenities for professional drivers, area residents and the motoring public.

Pilot Flying J also opened its 651st location - a Flying J Travel Plaza in Hudson, Wis.

Located off Interstate 35 at exit 140, the Pilot Travel Center in Von Ormy offers eight diesel lanes and 16 gasoline lanes with high-speed pumps for quicker refueling as well as a Subway and Cinnabon.

The Flying J Travel Plaza in Hudson is located off Interstate 94 at exit 10 along U.S. Highway 65 and offers eight diesel lanes and 12 gasoline lanes with high-speed pumps.

Both locations also offer:

- Expanded food offerings to include pizza, salads, sandwiches and hotdogs;
- Premium coffee and cappuccino selections; and
- General merchandise for quick shopping needs.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Gasoline prices begin to slide – finally

NEW YORK -- Gasoline prices have finally begun their seasonal slide. Better late than never.

The national average retail price has fallen for 10 straight days and is now $3.74 per gallon. That's 13 cents below the fall peak of $3.87 reached on Sept. 14, although still higher than ever for this time of year.

In Tampa, the average price Thursday was $3.60, about 14 cents cheaper than a month ago, according to GasBuddy.com. The Florida average was about $3.67, a 13-cent drop from a month ago.

Gasoline prices typically decline in the fall as refiners switch to cheaper fuel blends and drivers take a break from road trips. This year, a series of refinery and pipeline problems sent gasoline supplies plummeting and prices soaring.

The problems have begun to clear up, though, and prices are responding. Tom Kloza, Chief Oil Analyst at the Oil Price Information Service, predicts drops of 5 cents to 15 cents per week for the next three weeks.

By The Associated Press

Monday, October 15, 2012

Speed and Space Management

 
The Speed and Space Management video shows you the importance of maintain a safe operating speed and safe space cushions on all side of your truck and trailer.  There are helpful tips on how to maintain those safe buffer zones and what to so in case weather and road conditions deteriorate.
Before you understand how to manage truck speed and the space around your truck, you first need to recognize why it’s important to do so.
· Speed can be costly
· Drivers experience pressure to save time, but pushing speed can actually cause drivers to lose time.
· A driver may be ticketed because he or she did not have enough time to slow down or stop or because he or she was simply going too fast for conditions.
· Speeding can result in serious delays, but it can also result in never finishing your run.
· Operating costs increase, too.  Driving 70mph instead of 50 mph can increase operating costs by as much as 70 to 80%
· The more you speed, the less time you have to react to what’s going on around you.
· Speeding puts your personal safety, your job and your life in jeopardy.
· Don’t be tailgater!!!!!
Perception distance… is the distance you travel from the time a hazard appears in front of you until your brain registers it. (For most of us, that takes about ¾ of a second which is 60 feet at 55 mph)
Reaction distance….is the time it takes for you to apply the brakes.  For most of us this is another 60 feet.
Braking distance….is the time it takes to come to a stop.  In a 50-60 foot truck at 55 mph this could take another 4/8 seconds.  The total stopping time is more than 6 seconds and stopping distance at 55 mph is more than 500 feet.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Business Development Coordinator Position Available at Reed Transport

Position overview: The role of a “Business Development Coordinator” is to manage the sales process for a targeted group of customers while working in conjunction with the Business Development team. This individual will also provide business critical information to their respective customers and assist in developing strategies to create efficiencies while adding value to the client relationship for continuous and sustainable growth for ReedTMS.

Primary duties:
- Proactively develops and improves services for our customers.
- Understands clients' needs.
- Build and maintain excellent relationships with colleagues and clients.
- Administering accounts, customer websites and sending customer updates.
- Provide market feedback to BD and Transportation Sales Teams.
- Maintains customer records by updating account information.
- Be a team player by supporting the overflow call volume and operational needs of the Business Development Team.
- Provide support for BD reps during travel.
- Assist in customer bids, rates and problem resolution.
Working relationships: Candidate must be goal oriented, self-motivated and possess strong negotiation skills. Outgoing personality and competitive attitude is a must. Familiarity with Microsoft and related software is a plus.

Education: Bachelor’s degree and 2 years trucking/logistics experience required.

Submit resume to: kpein@reedtransport.net

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Diesel update

Gasoline, Diesel Prices Drop Slightly
This week the price at the pump for a gallon of diesel or a gallon of gasoline decreased marginally from last week.

Although the average price of a gallon of diesel fell nationally, it was by less than 1 cent, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration's weekly report. Specifically, diesel fell by 0.7 cents to land at an average of $4.08 per gallon.

Although the price of diesel has been falling the past few weeks, the price per gallon is still on average 33 cents above where it was one year ago.

Prices remain highest on the West Coast, which saw a slightly larger decrease at 2.2 cents per gallon. The price for a gallon of diesel on the West Coast is an average of $4.30. The highest prices are seen in California with a gallon of diesel costing on average $4.38.

The price for a gallon of gasoline also fell this week, on average 2.2 cents per gallon nationally to rest at $3.80.

Benchmark crude oil rose 29 cents on Monday to close at $92.48 per barrel, as investors took heart in a report showing U.S. manufacturing activity rose in September for the first time in four months.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Supply Chain Management Popular Among Business Students

Although supply chain management (SCM) has not historically been a popular specialization for business students, colleges have recently seen heightened interest in this subject. SCM involves getting the right products to consumers at the right time, including every aspect from the acquisition of parts to delivery.

According to Texas A&M's Mays Business School, students who study SCM typically hold job titles such as supply/demand planner, procurement manager, supply chain strategist and vendor relations manager. In these positions, individuals can find job satisfaction, global opportunities and high salaries.

For these reasons, Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports that there has been increased interest in SCM degrees. In fact, since 2006, the number of undergraduate SCM programs has risen by 25%.

Students who want to land a job in this growing sector will find that many colleges across the country now offer an undergraduate degree in SCM. For example, at Michigan State University, students can earn a bachelor's degree in SCM. This program was recently ranked number one in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, while the school's SCM graduate program was rated number two in March.

For working professionals who want to quickly and conveniently advance their skills, Michigan State also offers non-degree master and advanced master certificates in subjects like logistics, operations and integrated supply chain management. These programs are available entirely online to better suit the needs of full-time employees and busy professionals.

 By Catherine Groux at usnewsuniversitydirectory.com

Friday, September 21, 2012

East Coast/Gulf Coast Port Strike Averted

A looming strike at East Coast and Gulf Coast ports has been averted for the time being. After working with mediators from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, the International Longshoremen's Association and the United States Maritime Alliance agreed to extend the Sept. 30 deadline for a new contract until Dec. 29. They have also agreed to continue negotiations.

In a statement, FMCS Director George H. Cohen said of the reasoning behind the extension of 90 days: "The parties emphasized that they are doing so, 'for the good of the country' to avoid any interruption in interstate commerce," said Cohen.

The statement goes on to indicate that negotiations will continue with the help of the FMCS.
The widespread implications of a potential strike by longshoremen at 14 East Coast and Gulf Coast ports became quickly apparent, as the Sept. 30 deadline for a new contract had many industries watching closely and making contingency plans.

Curtis Whalen, executive director of the American Trucking Associations' Intermodal Carrier Conference, said that if the strike were to have taken place, the impact would have been profound.

"This is what we historically know as the peak season, and volumes are projected to be increasing. This strike would have [had] a financial impact on the stores, on the customers, on everyone-including those in the trucking industry. It would have [had] an immense impact," Whalen said.

The National Retail Federation applauded the move but urged both sides to keep negotiating.
""While this extension, facilitated by the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, will provide both sides with more time, it is still critically important that USMX and ILA remain at the negotiation table to hammer out a final contract," said Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold in a statement.

"Until a final contract is ratified, America's retail community will remain concerned. NRF continues to urge both sides to negotiate in good faith to reach a firm and final deal for the good of the supply chain, and the good of the U.S. economy."
By Truckinginfo Staff

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

FreightWatch Figures Show Cargo Theft Drop from Second Quarter

The summer months saw a drop in cargo thefts compared to the second quarter, but there was a slight increase in the theft of electronics, auto/parts and pharmaceuticals, according to numbers compiled by FreightWatch International. In June, July and August, FreightWatch recorded a total of 188 thefts, with 62 thefts in June, 62 in July and 64 in August.

These figures make for an average of 63 thefts per month. The average value of thefts for the period of June-August was $139,172, a 5.6% decrease in average value from the second quarter of 2012, according to the most recent release of the FreightWatch Cargo Theft Report.

Food/drinks was the most-stolen product category in the last three months, with 37 thefts. Products in this category include soft drinks, coffee and frozen meat. Auto/parts suffered 23 thefts, including thefts of tires, automotive parts and oil. There were 21 thefts in the electronics category, including televisions, computers and cell phones. The food/drinks category continued to be the most stolen cargo in the months of June through August; however, its percentage decreased slightly through the last three months as thefts, in general, decreased.

Despite the recent decrease in overall thefts in the months of June through August, there has been a slight increase in the theft of electronics, auto/parts and pharmaceuticals. From June to August 2012, California had the most thefts at 46, accounting for close to 24% of all thefts. Texas had 33 thefts (17%) and Florida 22 (12%), making them the second and third most popular states for cargo theft in the second quarter.
Unsecured parking was the location with the most thefts for those incidents with a recorded location. Secured parking had the second-most theft occurrences, with about half as many thefts as in unsecured parking.

Following usual trends, incidents involving theft of trailers were seen most often, accounting for 78% of all thefts during this quarter. Thefts involving deceptive pickups rose slightly, making up 7% of all thefts in the months of June through August.

Story from truckinginfo.com

Monday, September 17, 2012

Reed Transport has partnered with the University of South Florida's MBA Program

Reed Transport Services, Inc., has partnered with the University of South Florida in order to help their MBA students further their education.

Reed Transport will open their doors to six MBA students who will build a business and marketing consulting plan during the fall 2012 semester through extensive research in the transportation industry as well as employee and customer interviews.

"Today's announcement of our partnership with USF is a great example of how we continue to invest in the community and of our commitment to helping educate future professionals," said Jason Reed, CEO. "We hope to use their plan as an analysis tool and see how closely it relates our actual business plan. It will be interesting to see if there is anything the USF students caught that we may have overlooked. It will be a great learning experience for everyone involved."

The students will begin their research this week and will also start conducting in-house interviews with employees. Customers will be asked to participate on a voluntary basis and will receive inquiries as early as this week. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

TCA Adding "Wellness" to National Truck Driver Appreciation Week

During National Truck Driver Appreciation & Wellness Week, the Truckload Carriers Association and state trucking associations will host health fairs and "celebrity walks" designed to get drivers exercising, eating better, and taking charge of their bodies. These activities will take place at 12 TA/Petro locations across the U.S. from 3-8 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 18.

It's no secret that truck driving involves a sedentary lifestyle, so TCA launched this initiative to encourage drivers to make healthier choices. The idea is to remove obstacles by offering activities that are conducive to life on the road. Fortunately, the association says, more and more inexpensive and flexible resources are becoming available to drivers; NTDAWW's health-oriented events will heighten awareness of some of the possibilities.

The activities will begin with health fairs conducted between 3-6 p.m. Various subject matter experts will be on hand to provide information on health-related issues, such as weight loss, nutrition, obesity, heart disease, and sleep apnea. They will also provide basic health services such as glucose testing.

Read more here.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Truck Driver Frees Severely Injured Children from Crashed Minivan


Truck driver Jason Harte of Rogers, Ark., has been named a Truckload Carriers Association Highway Angel for freeing children trapped in a minivan after a severe crash. Harte is a lease purchase operator for Sammons Trucking of Missoula, Mont.

On July 16, Harte was traveling on I-80 just east of Wamsutter, Wyo., when he saw a cloud of dust in the distance. As he approached the area, he saw that a pickup truck (later estimated to be going 75-80 mph) had pushed a minivan off the road and then hit a car, pushing it into the median.

Since bystanders were already helping the car victims, Harte turned his attention to the minivan, which was crumpled. A man and a woman holding a 6-month-old baby were frantically trying to get something out of the vehicle. Harte grabbed a first aid kit and medical gloves and went to help, finding that three children were still trapped inside. The third row seat had been pushed up to the second row seat, which was in turn pushed up to the front row seat where the parents had been.

Harte, who is a first responder and a former paramedic and EMT, heard a bystander using her cell phone to dial 911. He asked to speak to the operator and described the severity of the situation based on his medical expertise. He then extracted the most accessible child, a 5-year-old boy who was in the second row. He directed some of the bystanders to lay him on the ground, following basic spinal injury precautions.

Next, as emergency personnel began to arrive and assist, he asked the four strongest bystanders to help him reach the two girls trapped in the third row seats. At Harte's suggestion, the men opened the minivan's back hatch for better accessibility, allowing Harte to perform first aid on one of the girls. After someone removed a second row seat, he was able to slide her out.

By then, an off-duty EMT showed up. While the EMT followed spinal injury precautions, Harte held the child's body and car seat. Firefighters pulled apart seats and cut seatbelts until there was enough space to extract the child.

"I have been a firefighter/first responder since 1989, including four years as an EMT, and what I encountered that day was the worst motor vehicle accident I've ever seen," said Harte, noting that the injuries ranged from a broken pelvis, to broken legs, hips, arms and jaws, to fractured skulls and internal bleeding. He noted that only two ambulances were available to transport the eight victims of both the car and the minivan, so he spent a lot of time attending to the injuries while waiting for the ambulances to make return trips.

For his efforts that day, Harte has received a Highway Angel lapel pin, certificate, and patch. Sammons Trucking also received a certificate acknowledging that one of its drivers is a Highway Angel.

Story from truckinginfo.com

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Cross-border trucking needs revisions, audit says

The cross-border trucking pilot program with Mexico needs procedural and monitoring improvement and lacks sufficient data and participation to draw safety conclusions, according to the Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General’s latest audit.

The oversight agency’s Aug. 16 report included the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s formal response to recommendations auditors made concerning the 11-month old program. The FMCSA disagreed with the OIG’s call for revision to quality assurance procedures for pre–authorization safety audits or PASAs. These carrier reviews verify compliance in areas that include drug and alcohol testing, hours-of-service, insurance, vehicle maintenance and driver qualification.

Auditors reported that in two of three instances they reviewed, FMCSA’s quality assurance personnel approved PASA results for Mexican carriers before verifying that Mexico’s transportation ministry had tested 18 prospective pilot program driver qualifications for commercial driver’s licenses.

By law, the agency must verify Mexico has tested prospective drivers’ qualifications. The oversight did not result in Federal Register publications of PASA results or approval of unqualified drivers, but showed FMCSA had not updated its quality assurance PASA procedures to reflect this requirement, the auditors wrote.

Read the full story here.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

ReedTMS hiring in accounting!



Reed Transport, a division of ReedTMS, is hiring to fill immediate openings in the accounting department. Individual will share responsibility for Payables and Receivables including General Ledger Coding, Inputting invoices to payable system, writing checks and posting to customer accounts. Specific duties include:
  • Apply checks to customer accounts
  • Process refunds, returned checks and bad debts.
  • Must be proficient in processing invoices (incoming & verifying PO's or receiving tickets), posting to vendor accounts and processing cleared checks.
  • Perform Journal entries and month-end for AP and AR areas
Check out the listing on their website for more information here.
 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

U.S. Dept. of Transportation says plan for 54.5 mpg averages by 2025 will be completed 'soon'

The Obama administration plan will require automakers to have a fleet average of 54.5 miles per gallon

The U.S. government said on Wednesday it plans to complete rules "soon" that significantly boost automobile efficiency, despite calls from some Republicans for further evaluation of the regulations.

The Obama administration had planned to finalize standards last week that would require companies to reach an average fuel efficiency across their U.S. fleets of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025, but the release of the regulations was delayed.

While declining to provide a specific timeline, the Transportation Department stressed the rules are moving forward.

"The rule is still undergoing interagency review and we expect that process to be completed soon," department spokeswoman Lynda Tran said in a statement.

Read more here.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Highway Angel Helps Fellow Driver Survive a Heart Attack

The Truckload Carriers Association added a new name to its roster of Highway Angels. Steven Huett of Orion, Ill., a professional truck driver for Tennant Truck Lines of Colona, Ill., is being recognized for helping a fellow truck driver survive a medical emergency.

On June 26, Huett was driving along Highway 50 near Peabody, Kan., when he came upon another Tennant truck parked on the side of the road. Knowing that Tennant's home terminal was hundreds of miles away, he stopped to see if the driver needed any help.

The man inside the vehicle, Jackie Kinley, said he had been working all day and now felt very hot. He had pulled over to cool down, but did not seem to be getting any better. Kinley was wringing his hands and rubbing his left arm. Huett asked if he was experiencing a tingling sensation in his fingertips and was told "yes."

Recognizing the signs of heart trouble, Huett quickly called 911 and gave Kinley aspirin and water while waiting for emergency personnel to arrive. During the 10 minutes it took for authorities to arrive, Kinley's condition deteriorated significantly. He was clearly in great physical distress by the time he was rushed away by ambulance.

With Kinley now getting the medical attention that he needed, Huett turned his attention to the equipment the man had been driving. He drove the rig to Peabody, secured it in a protected location, and then asked a police officer to return him to his own truck. He drove to the hospital - and then to a second hospital because Kinley had been transferred - until he found his fellow driver. Kinley was just being wheeled out of surgery and was able to briefly thank Huett for saving his life.

"When I was a new driver, more than 40 years ago, an old guy I looked up to told me it doesn't matter where you are, you never drive by one of your own trucks parked on the side of the road," said Huett. "I've lived by that ever since, and this time, it paid off. Kinley is only one year older than me. I am so glad he's going to be okay."

For his efforts that day, Huett has received a Highway Angel lapel pin, certificate and patch. Tennant Truck Lines also received a certificate acknowledging that one of its drivers is a Highway Angel. The Highway Angel program is sponsored for TCA by Internet Truckstop. Since the program's inception in August 1997, hundreds of drivers have been recognized as Highway Angels for the unusual kindness, courtesy, and courage they have shown others while on the job. TCA has received letters and e-mails from people across North America nominating truck drivers for the program.
Story from truckinginfo.com

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Reduced supplies cause gas prices to skyrocket in Tampa area

Gas prices around the Tampa region have reached above $3.60 at many stations, and could creep up further until winter kicks in.

That's up about 25 cents per gallon in the last month.

European sanctions on Iran are curtailing oil supplies, as are disruptions at some West Coast refineries. Some tropical storms also helped push oil up to $92.87 per barrel last week, up $1.47 from a week before.

"Hopefully, retail prices will drop after the Labor Day holiday when demand tends to fall and we switch to a cheaper fuel blend," said AAA Spokeswoman Jessica Brady. That winter blend is less expensive for refineries to produce than summer blends that are tuned to reduce emissions. That switch often cuts 5 to 10 cents from each gallon at the pump.

Nationally, a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline now averages $3.692, up from $3.388 a month ago, but even with last year.

That's thanks to "an onslaught of refinery problems – mainly in the Great Lakes and California," said GasBuddy.com Senior Petroleum Analyst Patrick DeHaan. "While these situations are temporary in nature, it goes to show this nations dependence on domestic refineries."

Story from TBO.com

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Spot Freight Index Defies Economic News


TransCore's DAT Freight Index, which monitors the spot freight market, continues this year's trend of record same-month freight volumes and a double-digit increase on a year-over-year basis.

July marked the fifth instance of a same-month record in 2012 and the DAT Index outpaced July 2011 levels by 12%, but lagged June 2012 by 20%, says TransCore. The decline follows a consistent pattern seen since the Index began in 1996.

Truckload freight rates on the spot market also followed historic, seasonal patterns, beginning their decline in mid-July.

Rates for dry vans fell 1.4% compared to June, while refrigerated ("reefer") van rates slid 2.8%. Flatbed rates rose in the first half of July before giving back their gains in the second half, resulting in a flat month compared to June.

Despite the month-over-month variances, rates were up from this time last year: 6.8% for vans, 11% for reefers and 3.4% for flatbeds.

Rates are derived from DAT Truckload Rate Index, and do not include fuel surcharges. Spot market rates are paid by brokers and 3PLs to the carrier.

Looking ahead to September, carriers are likely to find relatively high freight volumes and a favorable ratio of outbound loads emerging in the Midwest, including Illinois, Indiana and Missouri.

Story by truckinginfo.com, read more here.

Monday, August 13, 2012

ReedTMS is hiring!


Reed Transport is currently hiring to fill openings at its Florida location. The opening is an entry-level position and the ideal candidate is a recent college graduate. This operational position is in a fast-paced, customer service focused environment in the dynamic transportation services industry. Industry knowledge is not required or expected. Goal of the position is to learn the industry through detailed training and develop relationship and sales skills, with opportunities to grow into a Senior Logistics Coordinator role or internal/external sales role.

Candidate must be goal oriented, self-motivated and possess strong negotiation skills. Outgoing personality and competitive attitude is a must. Familiarity with Microsoft and related software is a plus.

Education: Bachelor’s degree required.

Visit their website for more information and how to apply!

www.ReedTMS.com

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Diesel, Gasoline Prices Rise Again


Diesel prices rose again last week, with the U.S. Department of Energy reporting a national average of $3.85, up 5.4 cents from last week, while gasoline price surged by 13.7 cents per gallon.

Diesel prices topped the $4 mark in California, where the average price was up 5.6 cents to $4.023, driving overall West Coast prices to an average of $3.959. The lowest prices were in the Gulf Coast region at $3.752. Prices rose in every region of the country.

Gasoline prices are on the rise as well; the average price rose in every region of the country except the Rocky Mountain region. The national average is $3.645, up 13.7 cents over the previous week. The jump was driven by a more than a quarter-per-gallon hike in the Midwest region to $3.772.

Future prices for light, sweet crude for September delivery rose 80 cents, or 0.9%, to settle at $92.20 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange Monday, the highest settlement price since July 19. Crude oil future prices have risen nearly 20% since hitting a low of $77.69 in late June.
Story from truckinginfo.com

Friday, August 3, 2012

Toll discount bill passes House, but not a done deal


A bill designed to give local commuters a toll discount while making truckers and out-of-towners foot the bill has passed the U.S. House. While the intent of the bill is noble in an ongoing battle over excessive tolls, highway user groups say it ignores the negative consequences the action could have on interstate commerce, tourism and the economy.

HR897, which was introduced more than a year ago by U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm, R-NY, aimed to give Staten Island residents a break from excessive bridge tolls. The bill passed by voice vote in the House on Wednesday, Aug. 1.

Greg Cohen, president of the American Highway Users Alliance, says the idea of cutting people a break on tolls is one thing, but the bill has far broader consequences in the way it is written.

“The language of the bill is drafted so broadly as to give the green light to any state or private tolling entity that wants to create separate tiers of pricing based on the residency of the drivers,” Cohen told Land Line.

I like the general idea of the bill. There is a toll road that makes my morning commute much more pleasant, but I rarely take it because I'd end up spending over $500 a year in tolls! I think locals should get a break. Tourists plan on spending money and won’t mind the one-time charge. But it can definitely take a toll on daily commuters, no pun intended. The part I disagree with is that truck drivers will also face higher tolls. Although they may not be daily commuters, they are just trying to do their job and with the rises cost of transportation, they have enough to worry about! What do you think?

Read the full story here.

Monday, July 30, 2012

ATA reports seasonally adjusted tonnage is up 1.2 percent in June

Even with sequential growth occurring from May to June, overall trucking growth remains at a standstill to a large degree, based on data released today by the American Trucking Associations (ATA).

Seasonally-adjusted (SA) truck tonnage in June was up 1.2 percent on the heels of a 1.0 percent (revised from an original reading of -1.7 percent) decline in May. ATA officials said that June’s 1.2 percent SA bump represents the largest month-to-month increase in 2012 year-to-date. But even with the gain it pointed out that that the SA contracted a cumulative 1.2 percent in April and May. June’s SA reading was 119.0 (2000=100), which was ahead of May’s 117.5. The SA is 3.2 percent above June 2011, marking the smallest annual SA gain since May 2012. Through the first six months of the year SA tonnage is up 3.7 percent.

The ATA’s not seasonally-adjusted (NSA) index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by fleets before any seasonal adjustment, fell 0.9 percent from May to come in at 123.0 in June. This was up 0.7 percent on an annual basis.

As defined by the ATA, the not seasonally-adjusted index is assembled by adding up all the monthly tonnage data reported by the survey respondents (ATA member carriers) for the latest two months. Then a monthly percent change is calculated and then applied to the index number for the first month.

“June’s increase was a pleasant surprise, but the lower year-over-year gain fits with an economy that has slowed,” ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello said in a statement. “Manufacturing output was strong in June, which helped tonnage levels.”

Read the full article here.
Story by Jeff Berman

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Secret Service announces RNC security restrictions in Tampa

The Secret Service today released a plan restricting where residents and visitors can drive, park, walk or take a bus during the 2012 Republican National Convention.

That doesn't mean people should avoid downtown, Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor said.

Catching a glimpse of history will have its challenges. Many of the roads near the Tampa Convention Center and Forum, including the lower level of the Selmon Expressway, will be shut down before the convention begins on Aug. 27 and remain closed until after the event ends on Aug. 30.

No offense to the police chief, but if I could I would be avoiding downtown if I could, but unfortunately I live right next to all this madness. My morning walk with my dog will be affected by the RNC. Hopefully they will cut a little slack to residents of the surrounding neighborhoods... Or I’m in for a very long week.


To read more and see the other maps for closures, click here.

Monday, July 23, 2012

North American Rail Traffic Generally Up in June

The Association of American Railroads reported U.S. rail carloads originated in June 2012 totaled 1,140,271, down 1.3 percent compared with June 2011. Intermodal volume in June 2012 totaled 996,022 containers and trailers, up 49,168 units or 5.2 percent compared with June 2011. The June 2012 average weekly intermodal volume of 249,006 units is the highest average for any June on record and the third-highest for any month, behind August and October 2006.

Nine of the 20 commodity groups saw carload gains in June 2012 compared with June 2011, including: petroleum and petroleum products, up 14,177 carloads, or 51 percent; motor vehicles and parts, up 12,957 carloads, or 24.5 percent; food products, up 1,549 carloads, or 6.2 percent; and lumber and wood products, up 1,336 carloads, or 11.4 percent.

Commodities with carload declines in June 2012 were led by coal, down 30,152 carloads, or 6.2 percent; grain, down 9,159 carloads, or 10.6 percent; metallic ores, down 2,804 carloads, or 8 percent; and iron and steel scrap, down 1,951 carloads, or 10.2 percent. Carloads excluding coal were up 14,979 carloads or 2.2 percent in June 2012 over June 2011.  Carloads excluding coal and grain were up 24,138 carloads or 4.2 percent in June 2012 over June 2011.

Read more here.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Citrus greening funding effort advances

Legislation designed to aid the fight against citrus greening disease has cleared a key U.S. Senate hurdle.
In the national effort to fight the disease, the Senate Finance Committee passed legislation introduced by Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., establishing a trust fund dedicated to discovering cures for citrus diseases and other threats to the industry.

The bill provides funding to be primarily used to support national research and development of citrus greening cures.

The trust fund is designed to be funded by tariffs importers already pay shipping citrus into the U.S., according to a release from Nelson.

That money is sent into the U.S. General Treasury but the legislation designates a portion of it to be diverted into the greening trust fund and dedicated specifically for disease and pest research and development, according to the release.

Read the full story here.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Diesel, Gasoline, Oil Prices Spike This Week


The average U.S. price of both diesel and gasoline rose this week, according to data from the Energy Information Administration. Also, oil prices climbed for a fourth day this week.

The price of diesel rose 1.2 cents to $3.695 per gallon. The only region to experience a fall in prices was the Rocky Mountain region. Diesel prices are down 22.8 cents from one year ago.

Gasoline prices rose 1.6 cents to $3.427 per gallon. However, the Midwest, Rocky Mountain and West Coast less California regions all experienced price decreases. Gas prices are down 25.5 cents from this time last year.

Oil prices have risen four consecutive days this week in hopes that the Federal Reserve will take more steps to boost the economy, reports the Associated Press.

Benchmark U.S. crude on Monday rose $1.33 to end at $88.43 per barrel in New York, while Brent crude rose by $1.95 to finish at $103.37 per barrel in London.

The Federal Reserve is considering a new strategy to boost consumer spending, and analysts are anticipating that Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke will speak on this when he addresses Congress on Tuesday and Wednesday this week. As consumers spend more and the economy strengthens, demand for oil is likely to rise.

For more information: www.eia.gov/petroleum/gasdiesel

Friday, July 13, 2012

FMCSA Posts EOBR FAQ, Says it is Revisiting Cost-Benefit Analysis


The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration indicates it will re-examine the costs-vs-benefits of mandatory electronic onboard recorders in a new list of frequently asked questions it posted this week on its website. The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association has criticized the FMCSA's efforts to mandate automated driver hours-of-service logs, saying such a mandate would impose a $2 billion penalty on the trucking industry -- a cost small-business truckers can ill afford to pay, it says.

The FAQ notes that OOIDA's numbers are based on the agency's Regulatory Impact Analysis for the 2011 notice of proposed rulemaking on EOBRs, which estimated total costs of $2.377 billion per year.
However, the agency said in its FAQ that it believes costs for the devices has come down since it made that estimate.

The agency notes the same 2011 RIA estimated total benefits of $2.711 billion, resulting in an annual net benefit of $344 million. A significant portion of these benefits, the agency says, would come from $1.965 billion in annual paperwork reduction - a savings of $688 per driver each year - due to drivers no longer completing and submitting logbooks.

The FAQ goes on to say the agency is currently preparing a supplemental NPRM that will re-examine the estimated costs and benefits (both paperwork savings and safety) associated with an EOBR mandate for carriers using handwritten RODS.

The agency explains that that $2 billion-plus cost estimate was actually higher than the one in its 2010 final rule (which was subsequently vacated by the court), because the 2011 rule focused on the least expensive device determined to be compliant.

"The agency chose to base its calculations on the higher cost device in the 2011 NPRM because it did not believe that a sufficient number of the cheapest units would be available for a broad industry mandate, which would cover approximately 2 million units."

Read the full story here. Where do you stand?

Friday, July 6, 2012

Ohio Troopers Seek Driver Help in Stopping Crime

With the the Ohio State Highway Patrol's newly launched Truck Shield program, truck drivers can assist patrol by acting as extra sets of eyes and ears on the road.

Training for the program will be conducted by patrol officers statewide and consists of instruction on impaired driver detection, criminal patrol, homeland security and human trafficking.

The program was launched Memorial Day weekend, which is traditionally a dangerous period on Ohio roads, particularly for impaired driving crashes. Last Memorial Day holiday, five of the 14 people killed on Ohio roadways were involved in alcohol-related crashes.

"Once trained, these drivers have the ability to help law enforcement keep Ohio roadways safe, whether from impaired drivers or terrorist activity," says Colonel John Born, Patrol superintendent. "We are very excited to have the help of these drivers - not only Memorial Day weekend - but for years to come."

Trucking companies interested in receiving Truck Shield training should contact their local Ohio Patrol Post.

All drivers are encouraged to call #677 to report impaired drivers or drug activity.

For more information, go to http://statepatrol.ohio.gov/.

Monday, July 2, 2012

ReedTMS community service

ReedTMS has recently partnered with the Southeast Produce Council (SPC) to join their initiative to assist RAMP America, a non-profit organization which aids poverty-stricken families in the Appalachian region of the United States.

Martin County, located in rural Appalachia, is home to some of the most impoverished people in the United States and continues to face many challenges. Access to healthy food and economic opportunity is scarce. Moreover, the county’s isolation makes it difficult to access federal and other assistance programs: currently there are little to no human or social services available in the area.

RAMP works with the Martin County community to identify critical needs and create solutions focusing on nutrition, economic development, and emergency relief intervention, with a special focus on children and families. They also connect resources locally and nationally to address basic human needs where other resources are limited or inaccessible. For more information on RAMP, click here.

RAMP has partnered with the SPC to collect donations from their members and ReedTMS has joined the cause and will help with the efficient delivery of resources.

ReedTMS has pledged to send our drivers and pick up donated goods from various locations and deliver them to the Appalachian region on our trucks at no charge, and currently we have moved one load from the Washington, D.C. area to Martin County. We are all proud to be involved with such an honorable project and look forward to moving more loads in the future!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Tropical Storm Debby


After hitting the Tampa Bay area with high winds and rain, Tropical Storm Debby promised to bring more of the same in the coming days as it continued to hover in the Gulf of Mexico early today, in no apparent hurry to make landfall.

A tropical storm warning remained in effect Tuesday morning for about 450 miles of coastline, from Mexico Beach in the Panhandle to Englewood, south of Sarasota. The warning includes the Tampa Bay area.

Many areas across the Bay area are completely flooded and water levels continue to rise. Travelers need to be aware of road closures to reach your destination with ease and without frustration. 

Currently the Sunshine Skyway is still closed due to high winds, Bayshore Blvd in downtown Tampa remains closed due to flooding, the Suncoast Parkway at State Road 50 is closed due to flooding and state Road 54 is blocked at Little Road due to flooding.

Let’s all continue to drive with caution and try to stay dry out there!


Friday, June 22, 2012

Fourth Mexican carrier admitted to cross-border program

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has accepted a fourth carrier to its cross-border trucking pilot program and responded to comments over the most recent round of Mexican carriers applying for authority.

Transportes Del Valle De Guadalupe of Baja California will operate one truck and one driver beyond the commercial border zone, as have the other three program participants.

The FMCSA published a May 11 Federal Register Notice and Request for Comment on Transportes’ Pre-Authorization Safety Audit, required of Mexican carriers applying to operate beyond the border zone. The notice also provided the PASAs of Higienicos Y Desechables Del Bajio and Servicios Refrigerados Internacionales.

Read more here.

Monday, June 18, 2012

U.S. Supply Chain and Logistics Industry Rebound Led by Trucking, Rail

Total U.S. business logistics costs in 2011 rose to $1.28 trillion, a 6.6% increase from the previous year and accounting for 8.5% of the U.S. gross domestic product, according to the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals' 23rd Annual "State of Logistics Report," presented by Penske Logistics.

This year's report reveals that with overall revenue 15.3% higher than 2010, railroads gained market share, especially in intermodal, and did not experience capacity problems faced by the trucking sector. Trucking companies are also using intermodal rail help to offset the impacts of driver shortages and the costs of acquiring and maintaining new equipment. In spite of tightening capacity and an overall decline in volume, trucking rates were up 5% to 15% in 2011.

Inventory carrying costs in 2011 continued their rising trend and overall inventories have returned to pre-recession levels, which could be a cause for concern for the economy. The growth has occurred among wholesalers and manufacturers while retail inventories remained flat, indicating that inventory management processes have changed.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Semi driver kidnapped, truck stolen

Police are investigating after a trucker was kidnapped on Highway 301 and driven blindfolded to a location in Baker County. Tuesday around 3:30 a.m. deputies with the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office were called to the Baker County Sheriff's Office. When officers arrived they learned the victim, a semi driver, had been at the Pilot truck stop on Highway 301 to get fuel for his semi-truck and snacks from the nearby Chevron station. The victim was scheduled to drop off a load of deli foods to the Publix Supermarket Company.

A gunman pulled the victim by his shirt to over to the semi-truck.  The victim repeatedly asked the men to take his money and leave his truck.  They demanded the keys to his truck and his money.  The suspects then tied the victim's hands and feet and picked him up, placing him in the sleeper cab area of the truck. The men then drove the victim away from the gas station at gunpoint with the Ford Mustang following behind.

Eventually the truck stopped and the men took the victim out of the truck's cab, placing him on the floor of an empty storage building. Once he heard the truck leave, the victim was able to break the ropes tying his feet and rubbed his head on the storage building's floor to remove the shirt still covering his face.

Police are still looking for the three men and the stolen tractor-trailer.  The semi-truck is a black 2000 Freightliner, described as having grey fenders and a sleeper cab.

The woman the victim encountered in the parking lot prior to being kidnapped is described as being a white woman, 19-22 years of age, 100-120 pounds, approximately 5 feet two inches tall, with blonde hair.  She was wearing blue jeans and a white tank top at the time.

The black man who was walking with the female is described as being between the age of 20 and 25, 6' tall, weighed about 160 pounds and was wearing brown pants and a white shirt.

The other two suspects were described as being black males, between the ages of 30 and 35.  One was said to be wearing a grey tank top, was bald or balding and weighed between 140 and 150 pounds.  The other was said to be between 200 and 220 pounds, was approximately 5'10" tall, had short, low hair and was wearing blue jeans, a blue shirt and black Reebok tennis shoes.

If you know anything that may help lead police to the location of the tractor-trailer of the suspects you are asked to call the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office at 904-630-0500.

To remain anonymous you may call First Coast Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS.  You could be eligible to receive a cash reward.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Finally, good new for gas prices!

Diesel Drops to Lowest Price of 2012
Diesel and gasoline prices fell for the ninth straight week, bringing diesel prices to their lowest so far for 2012 and gasoline prices to their lowest since February. Oil prices fell again this week due to skepticism about Europe's debt crisis.
Diesel prices dropped 6.5 cents this week to $3.781 per gallon, according to a weekly report from the U.S. Department of Energy. California saw the biggest regional decrease, with prices dropping 12 cents to $3.902. Diesel prices are down more than 17 cents from a year ago.
U.S. gasoline prices also fell this week, by an average of 4 cents to $3.572. The West Coast had the biggest decrease with a drop of 9.2 cents to $4.093. Currently, the Gulf Coast is the region with the lowest gasoline prices, an average of $3.311.
Despite a boost for Spain's economy in the form of a $125 billion bailout loan for its banking system, analysts are still skeptical about the debt crisis in Europe. That skepticism caused oil prices to fall this week. Benchmark oil fell $1.40 to $82.70 per barrel in New York. Brent crude settled at 81 cents to $98.66 per barrel in London.
Spain is the fourth European country to request financial help since the start of the debt crisis, after Greece, Portugal and Ireland.
Story from truckinginfo.com

Monday, June 11, 2012

Overturned truck-trailer causes backups on Howard Frankland

Traffic heading into Pinellas County on the Howard Frankland Bridge is backed up due to an overturned truck-trailer partially hanging over the railing.

The westbound right lane (Interstate 275 South) is blocked nearly halfway across the bridge, causing significant backups into Tampa, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

Eastbound traffic toward Tampa (I-275 North) is also slow. The incident occurred shortly before 8 a.m.

Stay with TBO.com for updates.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Maryland I-895 Summer Bridge Work to Cause Major Delays

The Maryland Transportation authority is warning drivers that a repair project on the I-895 "K-truss" bridge over CSX Transportation, between Exit 8 and Exit 7, south of the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel toll plaza, will cause major delays this summer.

The repair project is scheduled to begin on June 20, with an expected completion in October. Construction to rehabilitate the bridge deck will be completed in four stages, with an eight-week duration of continuous (24/7) single-lane closures in one or both directions. Work will also take place Saturdays starting at noon (southbound) and Sundays starting at 4 p.m. (northbound).

Motorists should anticipate major delays, especially during morning and evening rush hours and weekend peak-travel periods. MAT suggests using I-95 and I-695 (Francis Scott Key Bridge) as alternate routes to I-895.

For more information, click
here.
Story from truckinginfo.com

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Diesel particulate pollution down 50%, CARB says

We’ve all heard about the negative effects of pollution on the atmosphere (global warming) and the health risks as well. Many industries are doing their part to help in the ways they can. One thing the trucking world is doing to help is to try to control emissions of their diesel trucks. Although some companies are slower to adapt than others, the trend is a positive one. The California Air Resources Board, also known as CARB, goals include attaining and maintaining healthy air quality; protecting the public from exposure to toxic air contaminants; and providing innovative approaches for complying with air pollution rules and regulations.
The chemicals that are the main focus are: black carbon (the black soot portion of health-damaging fine particle pollution), methane (the primary constituent of natural gas and also emitted by livestock) and hydrofluorocarbons (industrial chemicals used in refrigeration and air conditioning).
These chemicals tend to have strong and immediate global warming influences. Actions to reduce emissions of these short-lived climate pollutants will produce a relatively rapid reduction in their contribution to climate change.
California has been addressing fine particle pollution from diesel engines over the past 10 years, and findings presented last week indicated a 50 percent reduction of these compounds in ambient air over the past 20 years. I’m happy to say that all TMS Logistics trucks, a ReedTMS company, are CARB approved and we’re doing our part to help control harmful gas emissions. Let hope more fleet owners get on board and leave the world a better place than we came into it.

Read more here.

Friday, June 1, 2012

CVSA's Roadcheck 2012 Set for June 5-7, delays in service expected

About 10,000 federal, state, provincial and local truck and bus inspectors will fan out at more than 1,500 locations from June 5-7 across North America for the annual "Roadcheck" inspections on commercial vehicles.
During the 72-hour event, inspectors will conduct comprehensive North American Standard Level I Inspections, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance said Tuesday.
This year's focus will be on vehicle brake systems and preventing driver fatigue by conducting hours-of-service compliance checks, said CVSA, which represents law enforcement personnel who conduct truck safety inspections in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
Maryland State Police will host the Roadcheck kickoff event to underscore the importance of comprehensive driver and vehicle safety inspections of trucks and buses and on enforcing safety belt use.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

March Surface Trade with Canada and Mexico Exceeds $85 Billion for First Time

There was so much arguing when they planned to comply with the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that our country agreed to back in 1994. Would foreign truck drivers have to follow U.S. laws? Would the U.S. pay for electronic HOS devices on foreign trucks? Would foreign truck drivers be able to stay here forever? Would foreign drivers steal business that could be given to U.S. companies? There were and still are many unanswered questions. But the idea seems to be – the agreement was a good one.
Surface trade between the U.S. and its North American Free Trade Agreement partners, Canada and Mexico, was 6.2% higher in March 2012 than in March 2011, totaling $85.8 billion, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics of the U.S. Department of Transportation. March 2012 was the highest month for NATFA trade value since collection of data began in 1994, exceeding $85 billion for the first time and topping the previous record of $80.8 billion in March 2011.
The value of U.S. surface transportation trade with Canada and Mexico in March increased by 88.2% compared to March 2002, a period of 10 years. Imports in March were up 76.1% since March 2002, while exports were up 104.5%.
U.S.-Canada and U.S.-Mexico surface transportation trade in March 2012 both increased compared to March 2011 with U.S.-Canada trade reaching $50.1 billion, a 2.9% increase, and U.S.-Mexico trade reaching $35.7 billion, an 11.2% increase.
More exports are leaving giving the U.S. more money and we are able to import more goods thus reducing prices of goods in the U.S. Overall, the outlook is positive… only time will tell if the trend continues. Hopefully it does.
Read more here