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
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.