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Daily Transportation and Logistics News – June 8, 2011

Ocean cargo carriers can take nothing for granted
The container shipping industry stands on the brink of an “era-defining moment” as it faces fundamental challenges, said Maersk Line CEO, Eivind Kolding. In a keynote address at a major EU logistics event, he declared that if container the shipping industry is to secure its right to operate in the future, the industry needs to change now.

Ocean Carriers Delay Peak-Season Surcharge
A peak-season surcharge scheduled to take effect next week in the eastbound Pacific has been postponed for at least one month. The Transpacific Stabilization Agreement, which represents most of the large carriers in the U.S. import trade from Asia, late last year published a voluntary guideline for its members calling for a peak-season surcharge of $400 per 40-foot container to run from June 15 through Nov. 30.

DOT Sends $1.5 Million to Alabama for Tornado Repairs
The Department of Transportation is making $1.5 million available to Alabama in “quick-release” emergency funds, to reimburse the state for some initial repairs to traffic signals, road signs and other roadway damage from the deadly April 27 tornadoes. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced the early funding as he toured the damage zone in that state.

Japan Reports Record Trade Deficit
Japan’s trade deficit with the rest of the world soared more than three-fold to a record in the first part of May as the country’s exports withered in the wake of the devastating March 11 earthquake and tsunami. According to preliminary figures released by the Finance Ministry on Wednesday, Japan incurred a trade deficit of $13.2 billion between May 1 and May 20, up a whopping 224.3 percent from the same 20-day period last year.

– Ben Dundas, Web Analyst

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Daily Transportation and Logistics News – June 7, 2011

BDP study cites myriad challenges shippers experience from ‘slow steaming’
While the practice of “slow steaming” by ocean carriers has become more commonplace in an effort to reduce fuel costs, shippers are not necessarily enthused about its subsequent effects on their supply chains.

ACT and FTR report April Class 8 orders are down but still healthy overall
Data published by ACT Research, a provider of data and analysis for trucks and other commercial vehicles, and freight transportation forecasting firm and consultancy FTR Associates indicated that preliminary data for Class 8 trucks in May is down from a very strong April.

Diesel prices are down for fifth time in last six weeks, says EIA
Following a cumulative 11.3 cent decline over the last two weeks, diesel prices were are down again this week, falling 0.8 cents to $3.94 per gallon, according to the Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Freight Index Shows Economy Stalled
A key measure of freight shipping in the United States slipped back 0.2 percent in May from the month before, a new sign that the economy is losing momentum heading into the summer. The Cass Freight Index for shipments released Monday slipped back on a month-to-month basis for the first time since January following slim sequential expansion over the past three months.

– Ben Dundas, Web Analyst

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Daily Transportation and Logistics News – June 6, 2011

Is Sen. Boxer’s Highway Plan Realistic?
Last week, Sen. Barbara Boxer unveiled her Senate Environment & Public Works Committee’s plans for surface transportation legislation. If it holds up, the plan would preserve funding and authorize it for six years, giving state and local leaders the stability they need to perform long-term projects. Unfortunately for them, there’s almost no chance her proposal will become law in the near future.

DOT’s Stimulus Spending Hits $28.4 Billion
The Department of Transportation’s payouts to states for work done under the 2009 economic stimulus law went above $28.4 billion as of May 20, the government reported, a $241 million increase from a week earlier.

Airlines Cut Profit Outlook on Higher Costs
The International Air Transport Association scaled back its 2011 industry profit forecast by more than half on Monday, to $4 billion from an estimated $8.4 billion the industry group had projected just three months ago.

Shippers Expect 9 Percent Boost in Transport Spending
Shippers are bracing for higher transportation costs, even as the economy slows, according to a second-quarter survey of more than 2,000 logistics managers. On average, the shippers expected their transportation budgets to rise 9 percent over the next year, as tighter capacity pushes rates higher across modes, according to the survey by the Wolfe Trahan equity research firm.

– Ben Dundas, Web Analyst

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Daily Transportation and Logistics News – June 3, 2011

Cargo Theft A Greater Concern Than Terrorism For Supply Chain Future
Cargo theft is a major concern for an overwhelming majority of supply chain professionals, far higher than terrorism, according to the annual supply chain survey by FreightWatch International, a global logistics security solutions provider.

New “On the Go” tackles cycling, fuel economy standards, and high-speed rail
In the May 2011 edition of the “On the Go” series, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood discussing the issues of cycling regulations, fuel economy standards and the continuing debate over high-speed rail throughout the country.

Rail traffic showed steady gains for the week ending May 28, says AAR
Rail traffic showed steady gains for the week ending May 28, according to data released by the Association of American Railroads (AAR).

Trucking towards a double-dip? Batter up!
Jeff Berman, Group News Editor of Logistics Management, discusses the recent week of news in the transportation industry.  This includes manufacturing reports, diesel prices, and freight volumes.

Truckload Capacity Index Up 14 Percent
Truckload capacity appears to be tightening again, after loosening in April, according to a key measure of industry equipment supply and demand. The weekly Longbow Research Truckload Barometer rose 14.1 percent week-to-week in the last week of May, the research firm said in a June 1 note to investors.

Freight Job Growth Flat in May
Freight transportation employment was virtually flat last month while a closely watched survey of non-manufacturing activity showed a sharp drop in import growth. Seasonally adjusted jobs in air, water, rail and truck transportation, which employ more than 2 million workers, rose only by 3,100 jobs in May, the Labor Department said. All but 800 of those were in air transport.

– Ben Dundas, Web Analyst

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Daily Transportation and Logistics News – June 2, 2011

PTC mandate may be less onerous depending on outcome of White House regulatory review

The topic of Positive Train Control (PTC), which has been commonly referred to as the “unfunded mandate” in railroad circles, has a chance to be less onerous and costly as the White House moves forward with its review of federal regulations that have a negative impact on the United States economy and future growth as part of its January 2011 Executive Order on Improving Regulations and Regulatory Review.

What The Debt Ceiling Vote Means For Transportation

Yesterday, the House of Representatives took a “symbolic” vote on raising the debt ceiling without any “strings attached” – i.e., the trillion dollars worth of spending cuts the Republicans are insisting on before they’ll agree to raise the debt ceiling.

CSA 2010 A FIELD GUIDE: Untangling the BEAST

The esteemed panel of transportation analysts from Logistics Management offer shippers, carriers, and private-fleet operators the ultimate field guide for understanding and managing the complexities surrounding the implementation of CSA 2010, the biggest regulatory change to hit trucking since deregulation.

Reduce Rates with Slow-Steaming Savings, Shippers Say

Shippers are adjusting to slow steaming by ocean carriers but want carriers to use some of the savings to reduce freight rates and improve customer service, according to a survey of 290 logistics executives.

– Ben Dundas, Web Analyst

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Daily Transportation and Logistics News – June 1, 2011

Industry Groups Challenge Provision of New Licensing Rule

A coalition of industry groups is challenging a provision of the recent federal rule that sets tough new testing standards for commercial licenses. The FMCSA rule contains a provision that prohibits third parties from administering skills tests to the applicants they have trained.

Diesel Continues Falling; Crude Once Again Rising

On-highway diesel prices continued falling last week, although not quite as steeply as the week before. The Energy Information Administration reported that the national average price fell another 4.9 cents to $3.948 last week.

Hours of Service – The Fix is In!

Mike Regan discusses the Hours of Service proposals and puts forward his opinions that the politicians may have already decided what they want to do with the HOS rule and are going to do what it takes to get it done.

DOT Eyes $1 Billion in Rail Regulatory Savings

The Department of Transportation is working on changes in rail regulations that could save the industry more than $1 billion over the next two decades. The most value would come from narrowing the scope of automated train controls.

Nations Urged to Avoid Trade Protectionism

The International Chamber of Commerce is urging G20 leaders to push for conclusion of the Doha Round of trade talks and says a new report shows major nations are violating pledges to restrict protectionism. This comes after a report was released that showed growing trade protectionism since October.

US Manufacturing Index Dipped in May

U.S. manufacturing growth slowed sharply in May amid rising commodity prices and an uncertain economic outlook, according to the Institute for Supply Management’s monthly index.

– Ben Dundas, Web Analyst

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Daily Transportation and Logistics News – May 31, 2011

ATA Predicts a Good Decade Ahead for the Trucking Industry

The American Trucking Associations has predicted a bright future for the trucking industry in its Freight Transportation Forecast to 2022. In the forecast, the ATA said the trucking has a good decade of growth ahead.

An Encouraging Development

A bipartisan group of heavy-hitter in the US Senate showed that they were prepared to lead the charge to get a transportation funding bill through Congress. The group, calling itself “The Big Four,” outlined a proposal to spend $339 billion over the next six years as the best way to break the impasse that has prevented passage of a full highway bill for years. More information can also be found here.

Ocean shipping: Global Port Tracker report calling for strong growth prospects in future quarters

Coming off a less-than-stellar first quarter, future prospects for import and export container volumes in Europe are expected to grow over the next six months, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report from Hackett Associates and the Bremen Institute of Shipping Economics and Logistics.

NAFTA Surface Trade Posts Record Value

The value of surface transportation trade between the US and Canada and Mexico hit a record $80.8 billion in March, a gain of 15.6 percent over the previous year. This increase, which is the highest monthly total since 1994, was reported by the US Department of Transportation.

Trucking HOS rule date pushed back to late October by FMCSA

The FMCSA recently announced that it will not meet its initial goal of publishing a new hours of service (HOS) rule by its initial deadline of July 26, based on the changes to the rule it proposed late last year. It has now been pushed back to October 28.

– Ben Dundas, Web Analyst

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Daily Transportation and Logistics News – May 27, 2011

Intermodal Container Volume Hits 2011 High

Intermodal rail traffic for U.S. Class 1 railroads grew 8.7 percent year-over-year in the week ending May 21, including a 10.2 percent gain in intermodal container loads to a new 2011 high, according to the Association of American Railroads.

Report: Trucking firms to see growth ahead

Despite truck shipments stalling in April, an economist says the freight volumes for the remainder of the year should increase as the economic recovery continues to pick up speed. The report comes after truck shipments slipped in April, reversing gains from the prior month, according to the American Trucking Associations.

Obama’s transportation plan to shrink in the Senate

President Obama’s sweeping spending plan for roads, rail and bridges is shrinking as it travels through Congress. The Senate will begin considering legislation to authorize about $339 billion over six years, which is less than two-thirds of the $556 billion package that Obama proposed in February.

Proposed trucking HOS regulations are not welcome news, according to Transplace panel

Proposed changes to truck driver Hours of Services (HOS) regulations made by the FMCSA in December have created a potential situation in which the amount of time carriers have to move freight could be significantly curtailed, as well as hinder available trucking capacity.

Trailer Orders Fell 30 Percent in April

Net orders for commercial truck trailers dropped 30 percent in April from March after climbing for 18 straight months, according to ACT Research.

– Ben Dundas, Web Analyst

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Daily Transportation and Logistics News – May 26, 2011

ATA Supports Mandate for Electronic Logging Devices – With Caveats

American Trucking Associations told the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration it supports the agency’s proposal to require motor carriers to install devices to record drivers’ hours of service electronically, but urged the agency to address important device design and performance requirements.

CSA 2010 remains a major concern for trucking capacity and liability, says Transplace panel

Even with some signs of economic improvement apparent, capacity in the trucking market remains tight and is likely to remain that way for a while. This is especially true when looking at the possible impact on capacity that may be caused by CSA 2010 by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

Truckload Rates ‘Firm’ Despite Falling Loads

Truckload carriers are holding onto rate increases despite a decline in truck tonnage and loads, according to a report from Jefferies Equity Research Americas. Despite this slower load growth, dry van truckload pricing jumped 9.6 percent in March.

Ports and shippers must remain vigilant

Patrick Burnson discusses how supply chain velocity is always a shipper concern, but cargo security remains one of the highest priorities for seaports throughout the Western Hemisphere.

ATA Truck Tonnage Index Slipped in April

Seasonally adjusted for-hire truck tonnage fell 0.7 percent in April, decelerating from a revised 1.9 percent gain in March. According to the American Trucking Associations, this decrease doesn’t change their forecast for moderate growth in 2011.

– Ben Dundas, Web Analyst

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Daily Transportation and Logistics News – May 25, 2011

Experts Agree: Six-Year Transportation Bill Won’t Pass This Year

At times in this whole reauthorization process, it’s been hard to see the way forward. House Republicans refuse to deficit-spend their way out of the funding conundrum, and Democrats haven’t gotten behind a coherent plan to come up with more revenues, though they’re still arguing for a bigger bill.

Trucking news: TransCore says truck capacity hits a six-month high

Recent data from TransCore indicated that spot market truck capacity recorded its single highest weekly volume in the last six months. The firm said that truck availability rose 8.0 percent on its DAT Network of load boards, with truck postings for all equipment types seeing gains, including: flatbeds up 8.4 percent; reefer vans up 8.3 percent, and dry vans are up 4.9 percent from the week of May 7 to the week of May 14.

DOT Stimulus Payments Reach $28.2 Billion

The Department of Transportation’s payouts to states for construction projects under the 2009 stimulus law reached $28.2 billion as of May 13. The DOT shoveled out $800 million to states from mid-April to mid-May for completed work that the DOT backed with funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Since the start of this year, the DOT has sent the states $3.4 billion in ARRA project reimbursements, according to figures reported on the government’s Recovery.org Web site tally.

Diesel Drops 6.4 Cents Per Gallon

The average price of diesel fell 6.4 cents in the past week to $3.997 a gallon across the U.S., the first time it has been below $4 in nearly two months, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

– Ben Dundas, Web Analyst

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Daily Transportation and Logistics News – May 24, 2011

My thoughts and prayers go out to all of those affected by the tornadoes that passed through Joplin, MO over the weekend, especially those that have been affected in the industry like the Con-way Truckload facility has been.

Con-way Truckload Recovering From Tornado Hit

The deadly storm that passed through Joplin, MO over the weekend narrowly missed the headquarters of Con-way Truckload that employs 500 people in the city. Damage throughout the area has delayed operations as rescuers search through the wreckage for survivors.

3PL Market Growing Strong

Most third party logistics providers got back on track in 2010 and are sprinting in 2011, according to a new report released by Armstrong & Associates.

Spot Market Truck Capacity Hits Highest Levels in Six Months

For the week ending May 14, spot market truck capacity recorded the highest volume for a single week in the past six months as truck availability increased 8 percent nationwide on TransCore’s DAT Network of load boards.

Oil and diesel fuel situation has logistics managers focused on adjusting budgets to cover costs

Jeff Berman discusses the issues that high oil and diesel fuel prices have caused in budgeting for the current year. This comes even as the price per gallon has been stabilizing to around $4 per gallon.

BTS, ISM data show a slow return to normal following earthquake and tsunami in Japan

Following the tragic events of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan earlier this year, the immediate and long-term impacts of it are likely to impact the United States, due to damage caused to the freight transportation system in Japan.

Mica to Target Harbor Tax in Transport Legislation

Rep. John Mica, R-Fla., digging deeper into specifics of the next multi-year surface transportation bill, says he wants to use the measure to revamp the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund to spend down its large balances.

– Ben Dundas, Web Analyst

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Daily Transportation and Logistics News – May 23, 2011

With wedding season in full force, I was out of the office last week to celebrate with my brother and family. This means that there is a ton of news in the industry to report on. I hope you all enjoy the news and enjoy the wedding season!

ATA report points to bright future for trucking (and some other modes, too)

Jeff Berman, Group News Editor for Logistics Management, discusses the American Trucking Association report that highlighted the fact that the United States freight economy is poised for liftoff following the depths of the Great Recession.

CBO says taxing cars by the mile could raise money for highways

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) on Tuesday said the imposition of a new tax on cars and trucks based on how many miles they drive would be one way of generating revenues for the federal Highway Trust Fund.

Outlook Dim for Highway Reauthorization

According to TruckingInfo, here is practically no chance that Congress will approve any increase in infrastructure investment this year, and only a small chance that it will pass any highway legislation at all. This is other than an extension of the current program that might have to include funding cuts on of around 30 percent.

Freight interests gear up for ‘combat service’ on Capitol Hill in rush to fund bill

Freight movement needs a coordinated national freight strategic plan and dedicated source of funds in the next surface transportation bill, and major industry players need to be aggressive in selling that message to legislators obsessed with cutting federal transportation spending.

Gas prices could plummet for summer driving

Gas futures are heading for the biggest monthly drop in a year as demand shrinks, refiners bring spare capacity back on line after maintenance and plants in Louisiana avoid damage from Mississippi River floods, Bloomberg reports.

Andreoli on Oil & Fuel: The fundamental problem with oil prices

Derik Andreoli discusses the majority of recent news regarding the supply side of the oil and fuel equation that strongly indicates a further tightening of oil and fuel supplies. He presents a review and brief interpretation of recent news on supply coming from the largest oil producing countries.

– Ben Dundas, Web Analyst

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Daily Transportation and Logistics News – May 17, 2011

Japan Delays Decision on Trans-Pacific Pact

Japan will delay any decisions on whether to join negotiations toward a US-led trans-Pacific free trade agreement under new economic policy guidelines the government adopted Tuesday. The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a regional free trade initiative currently being negotiated among the US, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.

T4 teams up with fiscally conservative groups to promote innovative transportation solutions

Transportation for America partnered with Taxpayers for Common Sense and the Reason Foundation on a report detailing innovative and cost-effective transportation solutions with the potential to command broad support in a divided Congress.

TransCore’s North American Freight Index Dips in April Due to Extreme Weather

The freight index showed a 14 percent decline in spot market truckload freight volume for the month of April as compared to March. The index did show a 12 percent increase compared to April 2010.

Obama Pushes Transport Agenda

President Obama gave a strong push to a transportation infrastructure program that builds on the 2009 stimulus program to repair roads, re-engineer the rail system and “maintain a world-class logistics network.”

Diesel, Oil Prices Drop

Diesel prices dropped for the second week in a row, down 4.3 cents nationally to $4.061 per gallon, as crude oil prices fell to a two-month low on Monday.

Port Tracker report calls for short-term volumes flattening before return to annual growth

The most recent edition of the Port Tracker report by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Hackett Associates is calling for import cargo volume at major US-based container ports to closely resemble last year, with a leveling off in May volumes.

– Ben Dundas, Web Analyst

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Daily Transportation and Logistics News – May 16, 2011

Don’t Hold Your Breath for a White House Transportation Bill

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood told reporters last Thursday that the administration sent its draft bill to Capitol Hill two weeks ago. Both the House and Senate have recently stepped back from earlier talk of finalizing a bill by Memorial Day. They are now looking at sometime in June as a completion date.

Truck Market Tightens for Shippers, Index Shows

Market conditions are worsening for US shippers as truck capacity tightens and fuel prices and surcharges rise. These statistics are according to the FTR Shippers’ Condition Index that dropped 48 percent.

Japan Report Claims Unfair Trade Practices

A new Japanese government report, titled the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry report, is charging the country suffers from unfair practices by its trading partners, including 38 policies and measures taken by the US.

House Prepares ‘Backup’ FAA Extension Bill

House transportation committee members filed a precautionary Federal Aviation Administration extension bill that would tide the agency over if congressional conferees fail to produce a new four-year authorization before the end of May.

April retail sales show modest growth, according to Commerce and NRF data

Data published this week by the US Department of Commerce and the National Retail Federation (NRF) shows that retail sales are continuing a modest growth pattern. According the Commerce data, April retail sales showed a 7.6 percent increase compared to April 2010. According to the NRF, April retail sales were up 4 percent over April 2010.

– Ben Dundas, Web Analyst

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Daily Transportation and Logistics News – May 13, 2011

transportation news | obama administration | transportation infrastructureObama administration draft transportation bill embraces performance measures, boosts options
The Transportation Opportunities Act, a draft transportation bill put together by the Obama administration, contains many favored reforms in the 2012 budget blueprint in February. It boosts USDOT resources for the core highway program while making significant investments in transit.

ELDs and EOBRs – What’s the Difference?
With the large amount of new products hitting the market in the electronic logging and on-board recorder industry, it is getting more and more difficult to keep up-to-date on the new acronyms. Dave Kraft helps to describe what each acronym means including EOBR, ELD, EDL and AOBRD.

Senators Propose $5 Billion DOT Infrastructure Fund
Leaders of the Senate Commerce Committee are proposing a $5 billion national infrastructure fund that would encourage private investment in transportation infrastructure though loans, loan guarantees and grants.

Senators Propose Extending TIGER Grant Program
A bipartisan group of senator is proposing legislation to extend the Department of Transportation’s TIGER grant program through fiscal 2018, but stops short of authorizing a specific amount for grants. The extended TIGER program would retain most of the previous features and add loan guarantees to the previous grant-only rounds.

Railroads Bulk Loads Fall, Intermodal Grows
Carload traffic on North America’s largest railroads slipped 1 percent in the first week of May, extending a slide the rails have seen for the past month even as intermodal volume maintains strong growth this spring.

– Ben Dundas, Web Analyst

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Daily Transportation and Logistics News – May 11, 2011

Senators Propose $5 Billion DOT Infrastructure Fund

Leaders of the Senate Commerce Committee are proposing a $5 billion national infrastructure fund that would encourage private investment in transportation infrastructure through loans, loan guarantees and grants. This proposal is called the American Infrastructure Investment Fund Act of 2011.

FMCSA Enhances Public Access With Searchable Database

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has launched a new web page that improves free public access to orders and decisions on FMCSA civil penalty and safety rating cases.

Parties Take Shots at Each Other, Not High Prices, this Week

House Republicans are introducing a bill that will attempt to force the Obama administration to consider new drilling permits in the Gulf and automatically approve the permits if they don’t decide within 60 days. The Senate Democrats are introducing the “Close Big Oil Tax Loophioles Act” that will repeal a tax break for big oil companies.

DOT Freight Index Hits 33-month High

The amount of freight carried by for-hire carriers rose 1.9 percent in March from February to reach the highest level since July 2008. The Department of Transportation’s Freight Transportation Services Index measures month-to-month changes in freight shipping miles.

Supply Chains at Risk – A Shippers Call to Arms

Mike Regan wrote this blog to bring some issues to the forefront and call on shippers to be aware of the issues arising in the industry. This includes Hours of Service regulations and new safety guidelines that will affect transit time and shipping costs.

– Ben Dundas, Web Analyst

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Daily Transportation and Logistics News – May 10, 2011

Financing remains major challenge to any future surface transportation legislation

This blog by Jeff Berman of Logistics Management discusses the financial issues associated with any future legislation for surface transportation.  He goes into detail on the current proposals by the White House and the other possible bills circulating.

Diesel Prices Down, Oil Recovering From Significant Fall

National on-highway diesel prices fell by 2 cents from last week to $4.104, according to the Energy Information Administration.

John Boehner: Cut ‘trillions’ as debt limit nears

Speaker John Boehner spoke to the Economic Club of New York to unveil a staunchly conservative plan to offset a debt ceiling hike with spending cuts of a greater amount.

Opinion: Infrastructure – A Pivotal Moment

This is an opinion piece by Transportation for America Director, James Corless, discussing the needs of a transportation bill and investment in our nation’s transportation infrastructure. The key things he says need addressed are crippling commutes, rising costs, wasteful spending, lack of options and the need for economic development in urban, suburban and rural communities alike.

Florida’s high-speed rail loss is the Northeast’s gain

Secretary Ray LaHood and the US Department of Transportation announced the recipients of the $2 billion in high-speed rail fund that Florida Governor Rick Scott rejected. A total of 22 projects across the US have been selected to receive funding.

– Ben Dundas, Web Analyst

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Daily Transportation and Logistics News – May 9, 2011

Flooding Slows Midwest Road, Rail Traffic

Widespread flooding across the US inland river system is slowing some freight and passenger transportation systems, both over the road and rail. Some areas affected were in Arkansas where parts of I-40 were closed and the Amtrak route between Illinois and Memphis was suspended.

New draft of surface transportation legislation has a sharp focus on freight

A legislative draft, the “Transportation Opportunities Act,” that has been circulating around Washington D.C. is comprised of various items that would have a direct impact on domestic supply chain and freight operations. See some of the highlights in this article.

White House disowns plan to tax car mileage

The White House on Thursday walked back a proposal to tax people based on how many miles they drive. The “Transportation Opportunities Act” was not an administration proposal according to a White House spokesman and is considered an early working draft that was never formally circulated.

AAR reports mixed volume results for week ending April 30

According to data released by the Association of American Railroads, rail traffic was mixed across different types. Carload volume was flat on an annual basis and down slightly from the previous week. Intermodal volume was up 7.8 percent over the previous year and was a slight increase over the previous week.

FMCSA Reopens HOS Docket; Comments Sought on Four New Fatigue Studies

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reopened the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking comment period to allow for review of the newly presented research of four new fatigue studies that have surfaced.

U.S. to Miss Court Deadline on Truck Regulation, DOT Says

The US Transportation Department has said that it will miss a court deadline for HOS regulations so that they can continue to gather the required information to develop a proper proposal.

– Ben Dundas, Web Analyst

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Daily Transportation and Logistics News – May 6, 2011

Obama Draft Plan Eyes VMT, Interstate Tolling

The Obama administration has been floating draft language for surface transportation legislation that could lead to a tax on vehicle miles traveled, allow states to impose tolls on some existing interstate highways and set up an Office of Freight Policy inside the Department of Transportation.

Americans conflicted about WikiLeaks

Americans are significantly more concerned about nearly all aspects of their supply chain security compared to six months ago. Research conducted by the Unisys Corporation shows that Americans fear there may be too much transparency in their business dealings.

Surface Transport Bill Drafting in Progress, Mica Says

Congressional staff on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee is making progress drafting legislative language of what could become the panel’s six-year surface transportation bill, according to Chairman John Mica.

Survey says Driver Shortage Will Have Widespread Impact on Fleet Capacity

More than seven in ten fleets surveyed for the Q2 2011 Fleet Sentiment Report indicate that the shortage of drivers is either impacting their fleet now or may in the future.

TMS market is on the mend following recession, says ARC Advisory Group

The market for Transportation Management Systems (TMS) appears to be heating up again, according to data released by ARC Advisory Group.

U.S. mayors say no to new revenue for transportation without reform

A supermajority of America’s mayors, surveyed by the US Conference of Mayors, are clamoring for a reorientation in our nation’s transportation policy toward fixing what we have an investing in new options.

DOT Unveils New Motor Coach Safety Initiative, New CDL Testing Procedures

US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced new measures that passengers traveling by bus are as safe as possible, including more rigorous commercial driver’s license testing standards and new rules to strengthen passenger carrier and driver compliance with federal safety regulations.

– Ben Dundas, Web Analyst

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Daily Transportation and Logistics News – May 5, 2011

ray lahood | free trade agreement | transportation secretaryRay LaHood: A driving force in White House
Ray LaHood is not the standard, low profile head of the Department of Transportation that many would expect to find in a presidential Cabinet. He has become a highly visible point man for many crises and is praised for his accessibility, plain-spoken demeanor and crusades to end distracted driving and protect airline passengers from delays. Kudos to you Mr. LaHood!

US Ready to Move on FTAs with Colombia, Panama, South Korea
The Obama administration announced on Wednesday that they are ready to work with Congress to approve the free trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama that have been stalled by concerns over labor issues.

President Obama’s Transportation Bill Prioritizes Livability, High-Speed Rail
A draft of the president’s full transportation bill has started floating around different circles and includes more information than the partial bill that started making rounds last week. There is still a portion of the bill that funds high-speed rail and the bill explains the new Livability Program, which helps to increase resources towards pedestrians and bicyclists.

ATA Calls for Sensible Security Credentialing
The American Trucking Associations have called on Congress to eliminate duplicate background checks for commercial drivers due to the fact that they are costly and discourage well-qualified potential drivers from entering or remaining in the industry.

Security in the supply chain still a major U.S. concern, according to Unisys
According to new research conducted by Unisys Corporation, Americans are significantly more concerned about nearly all aspects of their security compared to six months ago.

– Ben Dundas, Web Analyst

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