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:

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

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!