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Daily Transportation and Logistics News – Mar. 10, 2011

Lawmaker: No more highway bill extensions after this one

John Mica, Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, spoke recently on the extension of the bill to fund highways and public transportation through September. His main focus was that this extension will be the last short-term fix and a long-term highway bill should be presented and passed by the expiration of the new extension.

FMCSA to Take Truckers Off ‘Alert’

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has come to a settlement with three trucking groups and agreed to stop using the term “Alert” to describe trucking company scores that break thresholds in CSA safety categories.

Are oil and gas prices making you green?

Jeff Berman of Logistics Management provides some great opinions and asks some great questions about the topic of sustainability in the current fuel situation for the industry. “It does not matter how you move it, because it all runs on fuel.”

Shippers Wait and See on Panama Expansion Impact

The West Coast of the US currently handles 93 percent of Asian imports, leaving shippers using a wait and see approach to whether the extension of the Panama Canal will make them seriously consider using the East Coast ports for Asian imports.

Ceridian-UCLA Pulse of Commerce Index is down 1.5 percent in February

BTS Freight Transportation Services Index up 0.9 percent in January

AAR reports annual increases in February 2011 volumes

– Ben Dundas, Web Analyst

Daily Transportation and Logistics News – Mar. 9, 2011

diesel fuel prices | diesel prices | fuel increasesDiesel prices rise another 15.5 cents to $3.871 per gallon, says EIA

After an already drastic rise in diesel prices the week before, the US saw an increase of 15.5 cents. This continues a streak of 14 straight increases in prices and marks the single highest weekly increase since May 2008.

Trans-Pacific Exports Grow but Rates Fall

While the US exports to Asia are increasing, the excess capacity that remains is causing declining freight charges. It is an interesting and confusing time for many shippers and carriers, in terms of these pricing and capacity concerns.

2010 Cargo Theft Shows Significant Increase

A cargo theft report from CargoNet shows that there was a significant increase of over 300 cargo thefts from 2009 to 2010 throughout the US. Almost 50% of these thefts included electronics, which was also a huge increase over the previous year.

Rail or no rail, Nelson says Florida could owe feds millions

US Senator Bill Nelson is arguing that the ending of the high-speed rail project in Florida could end up costing the state and taxpayers $110 million of spent money towards the project. Governor Rick Scott’s office has blasted these claims but declined to respond whether the rejection of the rail system would cost money.

ATA Asks PHMSA to Block Roadside Hazmat Package Inspections

The American Trucking Associations has asked the Obama administration and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration to prevent the opening and inspection of hazardous material on the side of the road.

– Ben Dundas, Web Analyst

Daily Transportation and Logistics News – Mar. 8, 2011

Cass Freight Index Reflects Improving Economy

The Cass Freight Index, which is based on the shipments of hundreds of clients of Cass Information Systems, shows that February shipments were up 2.6 percent from the previous month and 11.4 percent year over year. This index is a great indicator of an improving economy and shows that the freight shipping industry should prepare for a strong rebound throughout the rest of the year.

Port Tracker ups first half 2011 growth forecast to 7.5 percent

The most recent edition of the Port Tracker report from the National Retail Federation is forecasting that import cargo volume at major US container ports will be up 7.5 percent for the first half of 2011.

Retailers Project 11 Percent Container Growth

The National Retail Federation is projecting an 11 percent increase in March over the previous year for container shipments. The NRF surveys the 10 largest ports to gather the accurate information.

FRA to Scale Back Train Control Regulation

The Federal Railroad Administration, in a legal settlement with the Association of American Railroads, has agreed to scale back the regulations on expensive train-control systems that prevent collisions.

DOT to Hold Public Meeting on Regulations

The Department of Transportation is holding a public meeting on March 14th to discuss updating the federal regulations that the department and subsidiaries administer.

– Ben Dundas, Web Analyst

Daily Transportation and Logistics News – Mar. 7, 2011

truck | freight | truckingThe War on Trucking – An Update

Mike Regan gives some great insights into the current status of the trucking industry and what shippers and carriers can expect in the industry. This includes many of the new laws and regulations that have or will be going into effect and the costs to carriers and shippers that are associated.

States Eye DOT Process to Split Florida Rail Grant

After Florida Gov. Rick Scott gave final word that the high-speed passenger rail project was dead, officials from many states came forward requesting a portion of the $2.4 billion. The Department of Transportation is taking new proposals from states as to how the money should be distributed for projects in their states.

White House proposes $6.5 billion more in spending cuts

Many government leaders have met to discuss the spending cuts to the US budget for the current year. In conjunction with these meetings, the White House has proposed $6.5 billion in spending cuts that falls far short of the $61 billion the House voted for last month.

Securing the supply chain is a constant challenge

Patrick Burnson shares conclusions between Logistics Management and Insight, Inc. about the current status of supply chain planning.

Senate Approves Transportation Extension; President Signs Bill

The Senate approved a measure that will extend surface transportation spending until the end of the fiscal year, which President Obama then signed on Friday.

Oil Prices Hit 29-Month High

Crude oil prices reached $104 a barrel last week, the highest level since September 2008. The prices continue to rise due to the news from Libya and supply-demand worries.

– Ben Dundas, Web Analyst

Daily Transportation and Logistics News – Mar. 4, 2011

john mica | transportation committeeMica, LaHood Stump at AASHTO Meeting

Rep. John Mica and Secretary Ray LaHood both spoke to DOT leaders at an AASHTO meeting about the development of a six-year reauthorization bill and on some of the hot topics in the development of the bill and US infrastructure.

Congress approves extending SAFETEA-LU funding through September 30

The US Congress and House of Representatives both voted to extend funding related to highway, highway safety and transit programs.

Retailers Say Shorter Hours for Truck Drivers Would Increase Costs and Congestion

The National Retail Federation has voiced their concern over the new hours of service proposal, stating that it would increase costs for businesses and consumers. It would also increase congestion by requiring more trucks on the road.

Senate Panel Votes to End Rail’s Antitrust Exemption

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved the Railroad Antitrust Enforcement Act to strip rail firms of a limited exemption they currently have from regular antitrust oversight. It will now need to go to the floor for passing.

U.S., Mexico focus on cross-border trucking compromise

The US and Mexico are finally working out an agreement to establish a cross-border trucking program that will ease the high tariffs placed on US goods.

Business Groups Applaud U.S.-Mexican Trucking Pact

The US Chamber of Commerce, National Association of Manufacturers and American Trucking Associations have shown their support for the potential cross-border trucking agreement for trucking and retaliatory tariffs.

– Ben Dundas, Web Analyst

Daily Transportation and Logistics News – Mar. 3, 2011

transportation programs | spending bill | stopgap measureCompromise on two-week spending bill temporarily spares crucial transportation programs from deep cuts

The recent approval of a two-week stopgap measure containing $4 billion in spending cuts seems to have saved many transportation programs for the time being.

Members of Congress Blast HOS Proposal

Senators and representatives are urging the Department of Transportation and Obama administration to drop the proposed hours of service rule and keep the current trucker work rules.

Mica Plans to Start Transport Bill in March

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee will begin the development of the new six-year surface transportation legislation towards the end of this month. The hope from Chairman John Mica is that a proposal will be finished by August.

Increase in U.S. Driving Underscores Need for Infrastructure Investment

US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced that Americans drove 3 trillion miles in 2010, the third highest level ever recorded and an increase of 0.7 percent, or 20.5 billion miles, over the previous year.

House Votes To Extend Highway Programs to October

The current levels of spending on federal surface transportation programs will be held at current levels through the 2011 budget year, pending approval from the Senate.

ACT preliminary data indicates strong February Class 8 net orders

Preliminary data from ACT Research shows that Class 8 commercial vehicles continue to maintain strong growth rates, totaling 24,300 units in February.

– Ben Dundas, Web Analyst

Daily Transportation and Logistics News – Mar. 2, 2011

AASHTO: Government Shutdown Could Cost Transportation Sector $100M/Day

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials recently estimated that a full government shutdown would put a stop to $100 million in transportation funding each day that is flowing into the economy.

Cost of CSA Will Rise as Program Ramps Up

The FMCSA has realized that the CSA program will require a much larger amount of resources in order to properly enforce the program. This is because the program will be ramping up to full enforcement and will need more staff to fully implement CSA and integrate it into its operations.

Truckload Index Shows Tightening Capacity

The capacity for truckloads was much tighter in February than in some of the previous months. This was due to weather constraints in both January and February, as well as the stronger demand after the weather had cleared up.

IATA issues positive statement on air cargo growth

The International Air Transport Association has announced a growth in January of 9.1 percent in air freight as compared to January 2010.

Texting Ban Announced for Hazmat Drivers

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration issued their final rule prohibiting texting on electronic devices by Hazmat drivers.

NAFTA Trade Rose 13.8 Percent in December

For the 13th consecutive month, trade using surface transportation between the US, Canada and Mexico posted a year-over-year increase. The month of December showed a 13.8 percent increase.

– Ben Dundas, Web Analyst

Daily Transportation and Logistics News – Mar. 1, 2011

2011 Market Trends Report: Warehouse Management Systems

Recently, a great article was written by Michael Koploy of Software Advice discussing the 2011 trends for warehouse management systems. While these trends focus on WMS software, many trends are relative to TMS and other technologies important to the transportation and supply chain process. This includes a focus on the importance of integration between a WMS and TMS system.

Time is running short for continued federal highway and transit funding

The extension of federal highway and transit funding, which was extended through March 4, will expire again at the end of the week. With the Fiscal Year 2012 budget proposal, a six-year surface transportation reauthorization was proposed, but will most likely not be passed by Friday. Another extension, this one through the end of the year, has already been proposed.

ATA Challenges Research in Hours of Service Proposal

The American Trucking Associations is continuing to battle against the FMCSA and their proposed changes to the hours of service rule, citing flaws and misconceptions from the research conducted.

FMC Publishes Tariff Exemption

The Federal Maritime Commission published its final version of the proposed rules to exempt non-vessel-operating common carriers from maintaining tariffs.

Ready for a freight pickup

Jeff Berman weighs in on the status of the industry going into the last month of the quarter for most companies.

Diesel Soars 14.3 Cents per Gallon on Oil Fears

In the biggest jump since May 2008, diesel prices soared 14.3 cents to a total of $3.716 per gallon after Libyan oil production was cut in half.

– Ben Dundas, Web Analyst

Daily Transportation and Logistics News – Feb. 28, 2011

Truckers Call on Obama to Tap Offshore Oil

The American Trucking Associations is urging the Obama administration to begin looking at domestic energy sources. This comes after a spike in oil prices has increased fuel prices across the US, due to the conflict in Libya. The ATA is suggesting that offshore oil deposits and other resources should be investigated.

AAPA objects to port security funding cut

The American Association of Port Authorities is worried that budget cuts to the Department of Homeland Security’s Port Security grant program could cause security issues to arise in America’s ports.

LaHood Gives Florida Another Week on Rail Plan

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is giving Florida and Gov. Rick Scott until March 4th to come to a final decision on whether to keep or reject $2.4 billion in federal grants for the high speed rail project.

FMCSA Expands Pre-Employment Screening Program

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has added a new feature to their screening program that gives carriers a look at the history of a driver applying for a job. This will help to deter drivers with bad driving records from just moving from carrier to carrier.

Ports Join Business Environmental Group

Port authorities in Virginia, South Carolina and Georgia have joined the Coalition for Responsible Transportation, a business environmental group focusing on reducing the environmental impact by the transportation industry.

Railroad traffic shows continued gains for week of February 19, says AAR

The volume of traffic on America’s rail network was up 8.2 percent compared to last year for the week ending February 19th.

– Ben Dundas, Web Analyst

Daily Transportation and Logistics News – Feb. 25, 2011

transportation policies | transportation industry | transportation 101“Transportation 101″ provides a primer on the federal transportation program

Transportation for America has developed a “Transportation 101” document that is hoping to inform the industry and public as to how current federal transportation policy works. It is important for industry professionals to understand many of the policies that affect us every day.

End of an Era?

If you were following news outlets over the last few weeks, you should have seen that a variety of well-known leaders in the industry have resigned or retired from their respective companies. Many of these leaders have been in their positions for a long time and helped mold the way the current industry is.

Seaport cooperation to be examined at upcoming NAFTA conference

In an upcoming North American Free Trade Agreement conference, industry professionals and government officials will work together with a group of researchers to examine how seaports are currently working together in the industry.

Alleged Terrorist Caught Using Domestic Truck Shipments

Many have seen the story about the Saudi national arrested in Texas on terror charges. What many do not know is that Con-way Freight helped in the capturing of the man, by notifying authorities of a suspicious package in their facility.

Oil Prices Appear to be Stabilizing, Diesel Up: Crude Closes at $97.28

The initial projection for how the rebellion in Libya would affect oil production seems to have been worse than current projections. This is helping to reduce oil prices for the first time in nine days.

Cargo Theft Plagues Global Supply Chain

FreightWatch International has released its Annual Global Threat Assessment, showing that cargo theft grew substantially in the western hemisphere.

– Ben Dundas, Web Analyst

Daily Transportation and Logistics News – Feb. 24, 2011

The State of Automation

Technology and innovation, a focus for us at BlueGrace Logistics, are changing the way the transportation industry works. Inventory management and many other transportation operations should be looked at in an entirely new way to ensure that each company is moving forward with the rest of the industry.

ATA Supports Proposed Ban on Hand-Held Phone Use by Drivers

In an important move for the trucking industry, the American Trucking Associations announced its support for the FMCSA’s proposal to prohibit use of hand-held phones while driving.

Panama Canal preparations under full sail

The expansion of the Panama Canal, which is set for completion in the year 2014, has companies and seaports all over the world preparing for the new competitive landscape in the industry.

Libyan Ports Closed by Violence

Due to the concerns over the violence in Libya, all of the ports in the country have been closed.

Uproar over proposed HOS regulations not abating anytime soon

The Hours of Service proposal is still a hot topic among members of the transportation and logistics industry. The proposal has actually become less favored now, then when it was originally introduced.

Truck volumes post strong gains in January

Despite the harsh winter storms that pounded much of the country, year-to-year truck tonnage increased 8 percent in January.

– Ben Dundas, Web Analyst

Daily Transportation and Logistics News – Feb. 23, 2011

women in trucking | transportation industry | equal rightsWIT Meets with U.S. Transportation Officials

Women in Trucking President, Ellen Voie, met recently with US Secretary of Transportation, Ray LaHood, and FMCSA Administrator, Anne Ferro. The discussions focused on the challenges facing women in the transportation industry and how to address those needs.

US Rail Lines Cut Jobs in January

The cuts in jobs from mid-December to mid-January mark the first back-to-back monthly declines since the recession. This comes after a strong year and strong outlook for the rail industry.

Diesel Prices Surge as Oil Nears $100

The price per gallon of diesel fuel is up another 3.9 cents this week, marking the 12th consecutive week of increases. The turmoil in Libya is having major effects on this pricing.

FMCSA’s Ferro Defines Broad Safety Strategy

The FMCSA has put together a three-part strategy to improve truck safety and decrease accidents, injuries and fatalities in the industry. These strategies include the CSA program, hours of service reform and electronic logging.

RI’s US senators request FL high speed rail funds

Another state, Rhode Island, has come forward to request the high-speed rail funding that was refused by Florida Gov. Rick Scott last week.

Consumer Confidence Hits Three-Year High

The consumer confidence index from The Conference Board jumped up to 70.4, an increase from 64.8 in January.  This comes with concern about jobs, but overall the optimism is high for steady improvement in the economy.

– Ben Dundas, Web Analyst

Daily Transportation and Logistics News – Feb. 22, 2011

Girl Scout Cookie Distribution Impresses UT Logistics Expert

An interesting article about the way the Girl Scouts sort and distribute millions of boxes of cookies. University of Tennessee Associate Professor of Logistics, Dr. Mary Holcomb visited a warehouse to see their operations.

Panama Canal preparations under full sail

The expansion of the Panama Canal has companies across the globe strategizing new ways to use the expansion to their benefit. This expansion should help shorten transit times across the world.

Trucking Industry Steers Closer to Recovery

With the industry representing an important component to the US economy, the changes in the trucking industry can normally mean a change in a variety of other industries. The recovery shown in the trucking industry does hint towards overall recovery for businesses, however the new legislation could cause the landscape to change.

High Speed Rail supporters to converge on transportation hearing

Californians that are in support of the high-speed rail are coming together to show their support for the projects. This comes after Congressman Devin Nunes attempt to divert funds to other projects. If the funding isn’t used towards the high-speed rail projects, the money could be sent to other states like Florida, Ohio and Wisconsin.

– Ben Dundas, Web Analyst

Daily Transportation and Logistics News – Feb. 21, 2011

3pl relationships | third party logistics | vested outsourcing5 Steps to improving your 3PL relationships

This is a great article about the 5 steps to improve your third party logistics relationships, put together by members of the University of Tennessee’s center for Executive Education. These steps include laying the foundation, understanding the business, aligning interests, establishing the agreement and managing the performance.

DeFazio Targets Shippers Who Delay Truck Drivers

Rep. Peter DeFazio introduced a bill that would require the Department of Transportation to regulate how long truckers are detained at docks and require shippers to pay drivers and carriers for detention.

Boehner says spending must be cut, but Senate Democrats won’t budge

An interesting article about the budget battle between both government parties. This article shows the contrasting arguments, rather than favoring one side of the debate. Hopefully, a resolution can be found soon.

Shipper Says HOS Changes Would Hike Transport Costs

The proposed changes to the Hours of Service rules could cause transportation costs to rise anywhere from 1 to 3 percent. This could cause huge problems for large shippers, which could mean a rise of hundreds of millions of dollars in transportation spending for some.

House Reintroduces Safe & Efficient Transportation Act

House Reps. Mike Michaud and Jean Schmidt have reintroduced SETA to increase the federal weight limits on Interstate Highways. This new bill would give the option to each state to set interstate weight limits of up to 97,000 pounds, compared to the current limit of 80,000 pounds.

LaHood Gives Florida One Week to Find Rail Options

Transportation Secretary, Ray LaHood has given Florida one more week to salvage the efforts for the Tampa to Orlando project. If the projects are not salvaged, the funding will be sent to other states, most notably California.

– Ben Dundas, Web Analyst

Daily Transportation and Logistics News – Feb. 18, 2011

House T&I Committee Approves Aviation Bill

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee approved a four year plan that will cut spending and omit the bargaining rights language.

Funding questions are front and center in proposed surface transportation bill

The questions are still coming in as to where the funding will come from for many of the budget line items in the proposed surface transportation reauthorization.

Carrier Says Hours Plan Would Boost Driver Pay

Representatives from Schneider National have said that the new Hours of Service plan would cause drivers’ pay to rise $3,000 per year.

U.S. seaports have mixed reaction to Obama budget

The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) has mixed opinions on the recent budget proposal for the 2012 fiscal year. This organization and all those involved have many questions that need answered before they will be satisfied with the budget.

Labor’s Richard Trumka, Chamber’s Tom Donohue appear together to plead for infrastructure spending

Presidents of the AFL-CIO and US Chamber of Commerce testified on Wednesday to plead for more infrastructure spending. This comes after President Obama’s call for infrastructure spending in his State of the Union address.

BREAKING: LaHood to Meet with Florida Delegation to Salvage Florida High Speed Rail

Transportation Secretary, Ray LaHood, will meet with the Florida delegation to discuss options to save the high-speed rail projects in Florida.

Here’s to cautious (economic) optimism

Jeff Berman continues his insight into the economic conditions of the country, showing his optimism towards a strong recovery but being cautious in his hopes.

– Ben Dundas, Web Analyst

Daily Transportation and Logistics News – Feb. 17, 2011

LaHood Says Other States in Line for Fla. Rail Money

The funding for high-speed rail projects in Florida, which was rejected yesterday by Governor Rick Scott, will be headed to other states that are supporting the projects.

Mica ‘Deeply Disappointed’ at Fla. Ending Rail Project

House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman, Rep. John Mica, has shown his disappointment with Governor Rick Scott for his rejection of federal funding for high-speed rail.

House is currently debating 2011 budget containing deep cuts to transportation

With the 2012 fiscal budget fresh in everyone’s minds, it is still important to focus on the current budget for 2011, which contains deep cuts to transportation projects.

Business as usual in the Suez…for now

With the issues in Egypt still in the forefront of the news, many are worried about the problems it can cause with transportation through the Suez Canal. For now, it seems that there is no interruption.

A free market victory

The Federal Maritime Commission has worked hard to reduce regulatory burdens and bring cost savings to the shipping industry. The FMC voted to finally relieve more than 3300 NVOCCs from many of these costs and regulatory burdens.

– Ben Dundas, Web Analyst

Daily Transportation and Logistics News – Feb. 16, 2011

president obama | obama budget | state of the unionWith the recent proposal of the 2012 fiscal year budget by the White House, many people, organizations and groups have been commenting on the aspects that affect their interests. There is a wide range of news stories that reflect the opinions of different industries. Here are a few that affect the transportation and logistics industry.

Shippers, Carriers Cite Flaws in Obama’s Budget

Ports Concerned About Federal Budget Cuts

White House Boosts FMCSA Budget 10 Percent

Tightening our belts, strengthening our future

There were also a lot of other important news articles that have been published.

White House Proposes $50 Million for Cross-border Trucking

With the new budget proposal, there will be funding for the new cross-border trucking agreement between the US and Mexico. The money will help to bolster truck inspections and will reduce retaliatory tariffs that have been imposed since 2007.

Give the Obama administration a break

This is a great blog by Patrick Burnson explaining why the critics should give President Obama and his administration a break from the criticism. The blog states the facts about Obama’s goals and how the US remains on track to meet many of them.

Port Tracker report calls for solid first half of 2011

In another great sign that the economy is on a steady pace of improvement, a report was released that shows import volume to be up 6 percent annually for the first half of 2011.

FMCSA Extends HOS Comment Period to Cover Additional Documentation and Clerical Amendments

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has extended the comment period on the hours of service proposal an extra week, from February 28th to March 4th.

Cuban Box Terminal Will Become Transshipment Hub

The new hub will help to improve transshipment of containers to ports in North and South America. It will also become an important transshipment hub for cargo to and from the US when the trade embargo is lifted.

– Ben Dundas, Web Analyst

Daily Transportation and Logistics News – Feb. 15, 2011

2012 budget | US budget | transportation budgetProposed fiscal year 2012 budget represents increases for transportation funding

The White House proposed the 2012 budget request, which includes a 38 percent increase over the proposed amount in 2011 for the Department of Transportation. It also included a 6-year $556 billion surface transportation and reauthorization proposal. This proposal has been applauded by Transportation for America. Also, more information on the reauthorization proposal can be found here.

Administration Wants $2 Billion in TIGER Grants

These grants would help to increase funding towards projects that are not normally eligible for funding, including rail and port infrastructure work.

Survey Reveals Strong Support for Infrastructure Deal

A large majority of American people want better roads and bridges, but are not interested in paying higher taxes or other subsidies to cover the cost of these improvements.

Diesel prices move up another 2.1 cents per gallon

For the 11th straight week, diesel prices have increased in price per gallon. This is a 37.2 cent gain in this stretch.

Forecast: A Long Climb Out of Recession but a Busy Couple of Years for Trucking

The outlook for the trucking industry over the next couple of years looks great from a carrier perspective. This stems from the current increases in manufacturing and retail sales.

House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee rolls out new FAA bill

The FAA Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2011 was introduced by Rep. John Mica and Rep. Tom Petri last week. The bill is designed to reform the FAA programs, create infrastructure jobs and set new policies for aviation systems.

– Ben Dundas, Web Analyst

Daily Transportation and Logistics News – Feb. 14, 2011

Since I was out of commission on Thursday and Friday of last week, there has been a large amount of news to report on. Because there were so many different important topics in the transportation industry, I will keep each summary short and only provide a link in some cases. Happy Valentine’s Day!!!

Nadler Introduces Clean Ports Bill in House

Rep. Jerrod Nadler introduced the Clean Ports Act of 2011 to the House in order to reduce truck pollution at container ports.

FAA to examine health of air cargo industry

Obama’s $53 Billion Rail Plan: Applause, Jeers, and Many Unanswered Questions

The newly introduced plan is raising questions as to where the funding will come from.

More infrastructure investment will create jobs, boost economy, according to Treasury Sec. Geithner

Jobless Claims Drop to Lowest Since July 2008

Obama’s ratings inch up as economy improves: poll

President Obama’s job approval rating rose from 50% to 51% in January.

Trade deficit numbers tell an interesting story

Senator Moves to Reduce Rail PTC Mandate

The new bill will reduce regulatory burdens and remove a deadline for railroads to deploy positive train control technology.

Ceridian-UCLA Pulse of Commerce Index falls 0.3 percent in January

Lawmaker Proposes Cargo Tax for Infrastructure

– Ben Dundas, Web Analyst

Daily Transportation and Logistics News – Feb. 9, 2011

widening the panama canal | asian cargo | south florida portsRail Exec Sees Florida Gaining From Panama Canal

The anticipated widening of the Panama Canal, which should happen in the year 2014, could mean great things for business through the ports of South Florida. The widening could mean that South Florida will be a gateway for Asian cargo moving to the Southeast.

IANA: Overall Intermodal Volume Ends 2010 Up 14.7% Year-Over-Year

The year 2010 was a record-setting year for international and domestic volumes of intermodal shipments. The overall comparisons from 2009 to 2010 showed an increase of 14.7%, with international volumes showing the highest increase of 18.5%.

LaHood Touts $53 Billion High-Speed Rail Plan

Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood and Vice President Joe Biden announced a plan to continue construction of a national high-speed and intercity passenger rail network. This plan calls for a $53 billion investment over six years.

ATA’s Graves reminds Obama of pledge towards ‘robust’ transport program

American Trucking Associations’ President Bill Graves is appreciative of President Obama’s commitment to rebuilding the infrastructure of the US, but is calling on Obama and his administration to live up to their commitment by proposing a strong surface transportation program focusing on highways.

FMC Slow Steaming Inquiry Gets Under Way

The Federal Maritime Commission’s inquiry into the effects of slow steaming officially began on Monday with the commission seeking comments and discussion from industry groups and companies on all of the effects.

DOE Projects Diesel to Average $3.43 This Year

The Department of Energy is projecting that diesel fuel will average $3.43 per gallon in 2011, up from the $2.99 average in 2010.

– Ben Dundas, Web Analyst