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Daily Transportation and Logistics News – Apr. 11, 2011

obama budget | government shutdown | transportation spendingGovernment shutdown averted in last-minute budget deal, with some cuts to transportation
Late in the night on Friday, President Obama met with House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to strike a budget deal that contained $38 billion in budget reductions from current spending levels. This averted a government shutdown, but also cut over $1.35 billion in transportation spending.

Coming To A Station Near You- $4 Diesel and Blown Transportation Budgets!
This is an interesting blog by Mike Regan that focuses on the effects of the consistently rising diesel fuel prices and the budgets for all companies that ship their goods domestically and internationally.

FMCSA to Publish Detail of Mexico Trucking Pilot Program
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will publish details this week of the new program that allows Mexican and US carriers to offer long-distance service into each country.

New TSA air cargo requirements have potential to slow commerce, say experts
According to an update from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) cited in a report by the National Industrial Transportation League (NITL), air freight carriers and cargo shipping companies will be requesting information for all shipments on each master airway bill shipping into the US. Many industry experts believe that this could cause a delay in the shipping process.

Virginia Tech Transportation Institute Creates Driving Healthy Resource
Researchers in the Center for Truck and Bus Safety created the Driving Healthy resource network to provide practical and free health information and best practices for commercial motor vehicle drivers. This network can be found on the website, Facebook and Twitter.

Japan to Conduct Radiation Checks on Ships
With the concern about radiation affecting shipments still prevalent, the three main international ports in Japan are starting radiation checks on ships and containers leaving the country.

– Ben Dundas, Web Analyst

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Daily Transportation and Logistics News – Apr. 8, 2011

ryan budget | transportation investment | paul ryanRyan budget would slash growth in transportation funding
With the deadline for a budget agreement looming today, many in the transportation industry are worried of the impacts it will have on the industry. The budget resolution proposed by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan is calling for large changes that would cut at least $17 billion in transportation investment per year over the next several years. The report also focused on which modes were considered more important than others.

ATA Endorses Electronic Logging Requirement
The American Trucking Associations announced the they have officially endorsed a policy supporting federal laws and regulations that would require trucking companies to use electronic logging devices, EOBRs, to monitor driver hours of service.

Federal Agencies Step Up Import Inspections
The Food and Drug Administration and Consumer Product Safety Commission are stepping up inspections to prevent unsafe food products and consumer goods from entering the country.

New report presents a green look at NAFTA-related logistics operations
A recently released report from the Secretariat of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) has Jeff Berman of Logistics Management looking at the new NAFTA in a different way. The report offered various findings that support a more environment friendly impact from the trucking industry.

Bill Would Allow States to Raise Truck Weight Limits
A Senate bill was introduced Thursday that would put an end to the federal freeze on changes in truck sizes and weights, allowing states to allow 97,000 pound rigs on their highways.

Index Shows Tighter Truck Capacity
The Longbow Research Truckload Barometer increased 5.9 percent in the first week of April, indicating that truckload capacity tightened and freight demand increased.

Rail Carload Volume Hits Highest Level Since Late ’08
The railcar volume at major US freight railroads was over 300,000 carloads for the week ending April 2. This was the highest rate since late 2008 or before the financial collapse that year.

– Ben Dundas, Web Analyst

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Daily Transportation and Logistics News – Apr. 7, 2011

2011 NAT GAS Act Introduced

The New Alternative Transportation to Give Americans Solutions of 2011 Act, or NAT GAS Act, was introduced on Wednesday. This act will help to provide incentives for the use of natural gas as vehicle fuel as well as the purchase of vehicle fueled by natural gas and the installation of natural gas vehicle refueling infrastructure.

Heavy Truck Orders Rebound in March

In the month of March, net orders for heavy trucks increased by 20.2 percent. The ordering of 29,200 units was the largest monthly order since May 2006. While these statistics are great for the month, the outlook for the industry is as follows: 180,000 Truck Shortfall Predicted for 2012.

Rising Oil Prices Beginning To Hurt US Economy

The US economy is recovering and many companies are hiring more employees these days, but the rising oil prices are a large cause for concern in the continued recovery. If gas prices continue, it could put a strain on company resources and limit the ability to hire more employees.

Cass Freight Index is up for second straight month in March

The Cass Freight Index, widely considered to be the most accurate barometer of freight volumes and market conditions, showed a 6.5 percent increase in March over February and an increase of 13.8 percent annually.

Labor Accord Clears Way for US-Colombia Trade Pact

An accord between the US and Colombia on labor protections and legal reforms means that President Obama can send the US-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement to Congress for ratification within the next few weeks.

Budget Drama Casts Fresh Doubt on Plan for Transportation Funding

With the budgeting issues in the government these days, many in the transportation industry are worried about the success of plans for a large-scale transportation bill to be passed by the end of the summer.

– Ben Dundas, Web Analyst

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Daily Transportation and Logistics News – Apr. 6, 2011

LaHood Touts Inland Waterways for Container Moves

Department of Transportation Secretary, Ray LaHood, sent Congress a report detailing a plan from the Obama administration to spur an alternative shipment system. This system would use barges to carry loaded trailers or containers between US markets, a fuel-efficient and cost-effective way to haul goods.

ATA Points out Outdated Rules to DOT

After President Obama called for a reduction in regulatory burden on US businesses, the American Trucking Associations has come forward with nine rules that the Department of Transportation needs to reconsider.

Radiation Heads Japan-EU Maritime Talks

Japan will be holding their sixth round of dialogue on policies for maritime affairs this Thursday. The ongoing nuclear crisis in Japan will be topping the agenda and is the first bilateral policy dialogue since the crisis.

Global Container Traffic Hits All Time High

For the year 2010, global ocean container traffic reached an all-time high of 560 million units. The year-over-year increase of 14.5 percent over 2009 was fueled by the surging volume at Chinese ports.

In the Budget Debate, Scarcely a Mention of the Word “Transportation”

As the budget debate continues with the Friday deadline looming, many people in the transportation industry are worried about the lack of concern for transportation funding.

– Ben Dundas, Web Analyst

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Daily Transportation and Logistics News – Apr. 5, 2011

Transportation Best Practices for Every Shipper!

“Transportation’s Perfect Storm – the Sequel!” is a new white paper, sponsored by MercuryGate, that re-examines and enhances the list of best practices shippers can implement to avoid capacity shortages and lower transportation costs. MercuryGate is a leading Transportation Management System software provider.

Diesel Price Nears $4 per Gallon

Continuing the steady pace of increases in diesel fuel prices, the US Energy Information Administration has confirmed that diesel prices have reached the highest level in 2.5 years. Diesel fuel prices increased 4.4 cents last week and are currently sitting at $3.976 per gallon.

White House unveils National Clean Fleets Initiative

President Obama introduced a new energy-focused initiative last week that focuses on cutting down on diesel and gasoline usage in fleets by meshing electronic vehicles, alternative fuels and fuel-savings measures into daily operations. The five charter members of this initiative are PepsiCo, Verizon, AT&T, UPS and FedEx.

Study: American Competitiveness Hinges on the Greening of Freight

A new report by NAFTA’s Secretariat of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation cautions the US, Canada and Mexico against failing to adopt fuel-saving innovations to ensure economic competitiveness.

TransCore’s Truckload Rate Index Up in March

According to TransCore’s Truckload Rate Index, truckload rates were up across the board in March. Van rates increased 4 percent compared to February, while flatbed rates rose 2.5 percent and reefer rate rose 2.2 percent.

– Ben Dundas, Web Analyst

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Daily Transportation and Logistics News – Apr. 4, 2011

House Passes Long-Sought FAA Bill

The House approved a bill to authorize operations of the FAA on Friday. This should “jump-start the aviation industry, help expand employment and wake up federal officials asleep at the job,” according to House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman John Mica.

Canadian Professor to Research Trucker Health

Michel Johnson is launching a study of the health habits of 1,000 truck drivers, using a combination of interviews and mobile simulators to look at questions such as sleep problems, stress issues, nutrition and physical activity, and whether those types of problems affect reaction times.

ISM reports steady manufacturing growth in March

According to data released by the Institute for Supply Management (ISM), manufacturing activity is continuing a steady growth of 22 consecutive months. While the index showed a decline of .2 percent over February’s numbers, any reading over 50 represents economic growth. March’s level was 61.2 percent.

EOBR Mandate Reintroduced in Senate

Senators Mark Pryor and Lamar Alexander have reintroduced the Commercial Driver Compliance Improvement Act that would require most trucks to carry electronic onboard recorders.

Conference Presses Japanese Government on Radiation

Shippers, carriers and diplomats are urging action to minimize the effects on business from radiation fears due to the ongoing crisis in Japan. Many are worried that the radiation and fear from customers are hindering their businesses.

– Ben Dundas, Web Analyst

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Daily Transportation and Logistics News – Apr. 1, 2011

Traffic Deaths Drop 3 Percent in 2010

According to the Department of Transportation, the nationwide traffic fatality rate has hit the lowest level since 1949. This comes off of a year where Americans drove more than previous years, which helped account for the 1.09 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled.

AAR reports steady continued volume growth for week ending March 26

For the week ending March 26, rail carload and intermodal volumes were both up again, leading to an annual increase of 1.9 percent. This comes from data from the Association of American Railroads.

Trucking Scrambles to Add Jobs in March

Following the surge in February of hiring in the transportation industry, March had a modest 1600 jobs added in the trucking sector. This was about 15 percent lower than February’s number.

TransCore reports a near 40 percent gain in spot market van rates

Data released by TransCore shows that trucking spot market saw modest gains for the week ending March 24. Linehaul rates for vans on the spot market were up 38 percent, including a large jump in outbound lanes from Atlanta and Orlando.

CVSA: Cutting Funding Will Weaken Commercial Vehicle Enforcement

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance has issued a statement warning a Congressional committee that funding commercial motor vehicle safety programs at lower than current levels would weaken state enforcement efforts. This could possibly cause truck-related injuries and deaths to tick upwards.

Future surface transportation reauthorization is focus of House hearing

A two-day hearing hosted by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s Subcommittee on Highways and Transit will focus on the pending reauthorization of the surface transportation program. Leaders from many transportation organizations were in attendance, including members from the American Trucking Associations and America Association of Port Authorities.

– Ben Dundas, Web Analyst

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Daily Transportation and Logistics News – Mar. 31, 2011

john robert smith | house transportation committee | transportation infrastructureT4 America co-chair John Robert Smith tells key House subcommittee to repair infrastructure and invest in transit options
John Robert Smith encouraged members of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to be bold with the new policies to repair our nation’s crumbling infrastructure, increase transit options and demand accountability for results. More than 40 transportation experts testified before the Subcommittee on Highways and Transit earlier this week.

President Calls for Cutting Oil Imports
President Obama has made his intentions clear of seeking alternative energy sources, calling for slashing oil imports by 1/3 by 2025. This is part of his administration’s Blueprint for A Secure Energy Future.

Aviation Bill: Foretelling What’s to Come For Surface Transportation?
Fights between the House and Senate may be on the horizon for the surface transportation bill, if the March 29th vote on an aviation bill is any indication.

Truckload Capacity Eases, Index Shows
The Longbow Research Truckload Barometer dropped almost 6 percent in March, indicating that the contraction of truckload capacity is slowing.

Grassroots effort is no substitute for true leadership on trade
The efforts from the US Chamber of Commerce to increase trade relations and create jobs with the Korea-US Free Trade Agreement are causing some to speculate that the Obama Administration should be the ones leading the charge.

ATA Urges Separation of Highway, Transit Funding
American Trucking Associations Chairman, Barbara Windsor is calling for a “fundamental reform” of the surface transportation program to focus on roads and congestion.

– Ben Dundas, Web Analyst

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Daily Transportation and Logistics News – Mar. 30, 2011

infrastructure bank | transportation infrastructureKerry-Hutchison-Warner infrastructure bank would leverage private investment for revenue-generating projects
A bipartisan group of US Senators introduced a new option for a national infrastructure bank earlier this month that will help to generate private investment to fund projects focusing on transportation infrastructure. This would only fund revenue-generating projects, and the bank would operate independently of the US Department of Transportation.

Heavier Truck Freight Shifting to LTL
With the capacity in the full truckload shipping market tightened, many shippers are pushing their freight to LTL freight carriers. Heavier freight has seen a huge increase for less than truckload carriers since last November and could put changes in motion for pricing on these shipments.

ATA Chairman Tells Congress Trucking Needs a Highway Bill
American Trucking Associations chairman, Barbara Windsor told Congress on Tuesday that they need to quickly pass a new surface transportation bill that focuses on highways. She stated, “A safe, efficient system of highways is essential to our country’s economic well-being, security, and overall quality of life.”

BTS says surface trade with NAFTA partners up 19.5 percent annually in January
Surface trade between the US and NAFTA partners Mexico and Canada showed an increase of 19.5 percent between January 2010 and January 2011. The information released for the US DOT Bureau of Transportation Statistics showed an increase of $67.7 billion.

Consumer Confidence Index Dips
The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index dipped from 72.0 to 63.4 in February, its steepest decline in 13 months. This index, which closely correlates to transportation spending and volume, comes with concern about inflation and income.

– Ben Dundas, Web Analyst

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Daily Transportation and Logistics News – Mar. 29, 2011

Japan to Remain Major US Trading Partner

The US Department of Commerce has confirmed that Japan will remain on of the top US trading partners while it works through the crisis that hit their country. There has been a short-term hit due to repercussions for the devastating earthquake and tsunami.

Political unrest slows global growth

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced the international traffic in February of 2011 shows an increase in cargo demand of 2.3 percent compared to February 2010.

Japanese Restore Transportation Systems

After the devastating earthquake and tsunami hit Japan, restoration work on Japanese transportation systems made large strides to make them available as soon as possible. With all the hard work, transport minister Akihiro Ohata said that most railways, roads, airports and ports are now usable.

Government Shutdown Grows Likelier

The discussion between congressional leaders and the White House on government funding through 2010 has hit another snag, with Republicans and Democrats loudly bickering about the spending cuts.

On-Highway Diesel Prices Continue Rise After Brief Fall

Diesel prices in the US are up 2.5 cents from last week, following a week that had the first decline in prices in 16 weeks. US on-highway diesel prices are up 99.3 cents from this point last year.

– Ben Dundas, Web Analyst

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Daily Transportation and Logistics News – Mar. 28, 2011

Global Port Tracker report says 2011 growth path remains intact

The recent edition of the Global Port Tracker report surveying the six major container ports in North Europe forecasts January exports 11.5 percent better than January 2010 and imports 16 percent better than January 2010. The forecast also calls for an increase in the 1st quarter of 7.3 percent over 4th quarter 2010 and 14.1 percent over 1st quarter 2010.

FedEx Freight, Con-way Gain LTL Market Share

A study by SJ Consulting Group shows that FedEx Freight and Con-way have gained market share in the LTL freight shipping market. YRC’s share of national LTL freight dropped to 9.6 percent in 2010, while FedEx Freight controls 16.1 percent and Con-way controls 11 percent.

Trailer Orders Surge

According to ACT Research, net orders of commercial trailers rose over 25 percent between January and February. Net orders are also up over 87 percent when compared to 2010.

Risk management key to Japan’s recovery

With new market intelligence on Japan being made available to shippers this week, many businesses and organizations must focus on risk management to ensure success. More information about the impact of the disaster to commercial activity in Japan can be found with a free search tool on the D&B website.

Tariff-Filing Changes May Not Please Carriers, Says Firm

The Federal Maritime Commission will put the modification of the tariff-filing requirements for cargo consolidators into effect on April 18th allowing NVOs a quicker response time to fluctuating market conditions. Not all carriers are satisfied with the decision however.

Heavy Industry Drives Flatbed Uptick

TransCore’s DAT Network of load boards has reported an increase of 2 percent nationwide in truckload freight availability. Flatbed freight volume leads the charge with an increase of 3.2 percent.

– Ben Dundas, Web Analyst

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Daily Transportation and Logistics News – Mar. 24, 2011

EPA Says US Radiation Poses No Health Concern

The Environment Protection Agency has confirmed that only miniscule Japanese radiation has been found in Hawaii and the West Coast. This small amount found in air monitor filters on the West Coast remains “hundreds of thousands to millions of times below levels of concern.”

WSJ: Mica Says Transit Funding Will Stay “About the Same”

Tanya Snyder discusses what Transportation Committee Chair John Mica may have meant when stating that transit funding will stay “about the same.” This article also discusses the scenarios that could play out based on the funding and passing of different legislation.

DOT’s Stimulus Payouts Reach $26.7 Billion

The Department of Transportation has sent more stimulus money to states to reimburse them for completed infrastructure projects. Total payouts of the $48 billion available from the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act are at $26.7 billion as of March 11.

Oil Prices Near 30-Month High

The events in Libya, protests in Syria and crisis in Japan have helped crude oil prices to continue their climb to a near 30-month high on Wednesday. These events have caused concern that the oil supplies would be disrupted.

Port Tracker Forecasts Rising North Europe Trade

Import volumes at six major North European ports increased almost 16 percent in January over the previous year, according to the Global Port Tracker: North European Trade Outlook.

– Ben Dundas, Web Analyst

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Daily Transportation and Logistics News – Mar. 23, 2011

National Export Initiative to Partner with Ports

The Commerce Department and the American Association of Port Authorities have combined forces to encourage small and medium sized businesses to increase exports. The new program will allow ports to work with the National Export Initiative (NEI) to improve and expand their export promotional activities.

American Trucking Associations: Truck tonnages dip in February but trend is up

The ATA’s advance For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index showed a decrease of 2.9 percent in February over January. This was most likely due to winter storms during the month. The tonnage was still up 4.2 percent year-over-year.

Rail and intermodal growth to be addressed at upcoming NARS conference

At the 2011 North American Rail Shipping annual meeting in San Francisco, many railroad and shipping experts are slated to predict their industry’s future. This year’s theme for the conference is “Forecasts for the Future: What the Experts are Saying.”

FHWA Launches New Bridge Safety Initiative

US Transportation Secretary, Ray LaHood announced a new initiative that will allow the Federal Highway Administration to more closely monitor how states are performing their bridge inspections and maintenance.

NRCC targets Rahall with TV ads

The National Republican Congressional Committee is airing television ads attacking Dem. Representative Nick Rahall on gas prices.

– Ben Dundas, Web Analyst

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Daily Transportation and Logistics News – Mar. 22, 2011

Crisis in Japan and what it means to oil and fuel markets

Derik Andreoli weighs in on the impact the crisis in Japan will have on the oil and fuel markets. He states that on one side, the decrease in production leads to less demand for oil and fuel, while the other side shows that the loss of nuclear power plants will cause them to use more alternative power sources.

Break in Price Rise Streak for On-Highway Diesel, Crude Rises

After the longest streak of price increases in diesel fuel, the US average fuel prices finally dropped by a tenth of a cent last week. This will most likely be a short-lived drop, as crude oil prices rose on Monday and due to the crises in Libya and Japan.

LTL Industry Expands 9.1 Percent in 2010

A study by SJ Consulting Group shows that total LTL revenue in 2010 rose 9.1 percent over 2009. This is coming from a 24.4 percent decrease in 2009 from 2008, which means the LTL trucking industry is far from recovery.

BTS Releases North American Surface Trade Numbers for 2010

The Bureau of Transportation Statistics of the US Department of Transportation has compiled research for N.A. surface trade numbers for 2010. The surface trade between the US and NAFTA partners increased 24.3 percent in 2010 compared to 2009, which should show larger increases with the recent legislation to increase relations with Mexico.

Top Railroads Add 1,198 US Jobs in February

The seven largest freight railroads in the US added 1,198 jobs in February, which was the first increase since November.

Container lines making daily adjustments to Japan service

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has stated that container lines are making changes to their ship schedules to and from Japan, while not halting any services to the country.

– Ben Dundas, Web Analyst

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Daily Transportation and Logistics News – Mar. 21, 2011

ocean carrier | cargo shipping | freight shipping overseasOcean Carriers Cancel More Japan Services

A few ocean carriers eliminated stops at the Tokyo and Nagoya ports, while other ocean carriers added cargo restrictions and changed ship routings around Japan. Japan’s Coast Guard has told ship operators to steer at least 50 miles away from the damaged Fukushima plant to avoid contamination.

Some Japanese Ports Reopen

Some of the Japanese ports that were affected by the devastating earthquake and tsunami have reopened, including the Port of Sendai-Shiogama.

Trucking rates poised to continue upwards, according to Transport Capital Partners’ survey

With the trucking industry showing a healthy volume of growth, many would expect this to have a positive impact on pricing for shippers. According to Jeff Berman, this may not be the case as carriers continue to grow and spend money on this growth and the rising fuel prices.

Customs Says No Aircraft Entering US Show Harmful Radiation

The US Customs and Border Protection Agency have tested all aircraft, ocean carriers and cargo to ensure that they are free of harmful radiation. All equipment and cargo that has been scanned has shown no harmful radiation.

Deal with Columbia could secure energy

US manufacturers are urging the Obama administration to move forward on the pending free trade agreement with Columbia. Their hope is that the agreement will open up a new source for oil and gas that is not from less secure foreign sources.

N.A. Heavy-Duty Order Backlog Approaching 100,000 Units

ACT Research has determined that heavy net order volume in recent months has pushed the Class 8 heavy-duty backlog volume to just under 100,000 units.

– Ben Dundas, Web Analyst

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Daily Transportation and Logistics News – Mar. 18, 2011

Japan-US Air Freight Rates Rise as Cargo Space Tightens

As the crisis continues in Japan, the demand for cargo space has far outpaced the available capacity, creating a sharp spike in cargo prices.

Japanese automakers suspend vehicle production

Nearly all Japanese automakers have idled production in Japan due to physical damage to plants or rolling blackouts that have plagued the area.

Communication with Shippers a Top Priority for Carrier Leaders

Chief Executives at the Truckload Carriers Association Conference discussed that trucking needs to make sure its customers have a clear understanding of the challenges the industry now faces.

BTS says surface trade with NAFTA partners up 24.3 percent annually in 2010

The DOT’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) has released the numbers showing a 24.3 percent annual increase over 2009. This is the largest annual increase from the time it has been collecting this data.

Agriculture Secretary Pushes for Free Trade Agreement

Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack urged Congress on Wednesday to approve a US-Korea Free Trade Agreement by July 1.

Poll: Concern over gas prices hits record level

A record number of Americans are now worried over the cost of gas prices and the US dependency on oil imports. Nine out of ten US adults show concern and 79% are “greatly” concerned.

– Ben Dundas, Web Analyst

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Daily Transportation and Logistics News – Mar. 17, 2011

Senate trio sets sights on an American Infrastructure Bank

Senators Kerry, Bailey, Hutchison and Warner have drafted legislation entitled the BUILD Act. The Building and Upgrading Infrastructure for Long-Term Development Act is aimed to help close the country’s widening infrastructure funding gap, while also helping establish the American infrastructure bank.

Oregon Senator Ron Wyden wants to relaunch popular Build America Bonds program

Senator Wyden is attempting to rebrand and relaunch the Build America Bonds program that ensured a continuing line of credit for states and cities during a fragile financial market. This would help to increase job-creating infrastructure projects.

Japan’s air cargo sector also stressed

With the crisis in Japan causing many ports to shut down, the air cargo sector has seen a large rise in demand. This has caused many complications in costs and congestion.

US Railroads Post Safest Year on Record

US freight rail lines completed their safest year on record in 2010, reducing the total number of accidents by 3 percent and employee casualties by 14.2 percent.

House Passes Spending Bill, but Not Happily

The House approved a plan to finance the federal government for another three weeks, while cutting another $6 billion in spending. This leads to another vote on April 8 to finalize a larger cut in budgets to finance the government through September 30.

Home Construction Drops to Two-Year Low

Home construction, a key driver of freight transportation demand, has reached its lowest level since April 2009 and the second lowest since 1946.

Transit Agencies Rebuffed On Request for More Funds

Officials from over 30 public transit systems throughout the US spoke to Washington about the lack of funds due to the rising gas prices. Rep. John Mica told these leaders that they would have to be more creative with their operations, as more funding will probably not be in line in the future.

– Ben Dundas, Web Analyst

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Daily Transportation and Logistics News – Mar. 16, 2011

Kerry Introduces Infrastructure Bank

Sen. John Kerry is expected to file legislation this week to create the American Infrastructure Financing Authority that will channel private investment money for US transportation, water and energy infrastructure.

Andreoli on Oil & Fuel: Turmoil in Middle East/North Africa has taken oil markets by surprise

Derik Andreoli from Logistics Management weighs in on the effects of the turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa regions on oil markets.

Truckers Dispute Fuel Pumps Less Than the Public

As fuel prices rise, the complaints received by state weights and measures officials have steadily increased. These complaints have been limited to gasoline consumers though, as truckers seem to have a better understanding of fuel price fluctuations.

Spot Market Truck Index Hits Historic High

According to TransCore, spot market truckload freight volume rose 38 percent in February over January and 65 percent over February of 2010. This level was the highest in February since TransCore was founded in 1986.

Diesel prices continue march to $4 per gallon

Diesel prices rose for the 15th consecutive week, according to data from the Department of Energy’s EIA. The recent tragedy in Japan could also cause diesel prices to continue to increase for much longer.

FMC Reaches Compromises in Shipping Act Cases

The Federal Maritime Commission announced on Tuesday that it had reached compromise agreements with four NVOCCs after investigations of alleged violations of the Shipping Act.

– Ben Dundas, Web Analyst

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Daily Transportation and Logistics News – Mar. 15, 2011

TSA Issues Tougher International Air Cargo Rules

The Transportation Security Administration has issued a new security directive that has caught the air cargo industry off guard. This comes as the TSA is focusing on increasing the level of surveillance on high-risk international shipments, especially from shippers that do not have a history of transactions with a company.

Trucking spot market seeing gains from tight capacity

Truck tonnage levels have continued to show a steady level of increases from the previous year and capacity is continuing to be tight. This has helped the trucking spot market to show increases in freight availability of 12 percent for the week ending March 5.

TCA Will Support Mandatory E-Logs

The Truckload Carriers Association is showing support for the FMCSA’s proposed mandate for electronic onboard recorders (EOBRs) to track driver hours of service by adopting a new policy in favor of electronic logging.

DeFazio blasts proposed U.S.-Mexico cross-border trucking program

The Ranking Member of the House Subcommittee on Highways and Transit wrote a letter to Ray LaHood expressing his concern about the plan to allow Mexican trucking companies to operate long-haul in the US.

Budget vote tests GOP unity

With a swelling group of conservatives calling for tougher action in the budget cuts, the GOP unity will be tested over the upcoming resolution and in the continuing discussions.

Private Sector Participation in Intercity Rail Service

The House Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials held a hearing to discuss the potential for increased involvement from the private sector in funding and operations of intercity passenger rail service.

Mica Aims for T&I to Complete Transport Bill in May

John Mica, Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, has released his plans to complete the panel’s work on the long-term transportation legislation by the end of May. This would help to have the deal finalized by the end of the year.

– Ben Dundas, Web Analyst

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Daily Transportation and Logistics News – Mar. 14, 2011

japan earthquake | japan shipping | shipping lane issuesJapan’s earthquake may disrupt global supply chain

The earthquake that struck Japan on Friday has caused many ports and companies to plan for a possible disruption in the global supply chain. While many seaports and airports were reporting no problems (see below), many precautions have been taken to ensure the safe transit of goods.

West Coast Ports Operating Smoothly

With the earthquakes in Japan affecting the supply chain for many, the operations at all West Coast ports were proceeding without interruption on Friday.

EOBR Alliance Decries Unfairness of DOT’s Plan to Pay for EOBRs on Mexican Trucks

The group of carriers that has been pushing mandatory electronic onboard recorders (EOBRs) is upset with the DOT’s plan to fund the devices on Mexican trucks that will be operating in the US.

February retail sales show sustained growth, says Commerce and NRF

According to data from the US Department of Commerce and the National Retail Federation (NRF), February’s retail sales increased by about 1 percent from January. They also reported that the year-over-year increase was 8.2 percent.

Truck Orders May Signal Stronger Recovery

ACT Research has found evidence of self-sustaining expansion in equipment orders throughout last year, and now 2011 shows signals of long-term confidence in the economic recovery.

DOT Opens Another $2.43 Billion in Rail Grants

Transportation Secretary, Ray LaHood has made available the $2.43 billion in rail grants that Florida Governor, Rick Scott rejected. Other states can now apply for the funds for new projects.

Obama Says US Prepared to Tap Oil Reserve

President Obama has indicated that the US is prepared to tap the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to make sure that enough oil is flowing. He has also indicated that he will be on the lookout for price gouging as fuel prices rise.

– Ben Dundas, Web Analyst

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