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Daily Transportation and Logistics News – Apr. 28, 2011

Dems seek to change conversation on gas prices

In a sign that the White House and Democrats know they need to move aggressively to change the conversation on gas prices, they have released a new set of talking points to outside allies and TV surrogates. See all the talking points in this article.

FMCSA Advisory Committee to Make Recommendations on Sleep Apnea

The next step in the federal effort to address sleep apnea in truck drivers will come this summer, when the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will ask a panel of advisers for recommendations on how It should proceed.

Global Port Tracker report says volumes remain on a steady path

According to the most recent edition of the Global Port Tracker report from Hackett Associates and the Bremen Institute of Shipping Economics and Logistics, European import and export volumes remain solid following a relatively promising report last month.

Shippers question value of slow steaming

In response to a request from the FMC for comments on the effect of slow steaming on US ocean carrier commerce, most shippers found little or no rate or service benefit. According to one ocean freight carrier, “So from a money-saving perspective, slow steaming’s advantages are negligible.”

Made in America, but expensive to ship

The National Industrial Transportation League is discussing the issues presented due to slow streaming. They mentioned the US exporters are seeing a reduction in ocean freight service frequency due to slow steaming as problematic. Exporters are finding it harder to compete against foreign companies that are not affected.

DOT Sends $100 Million to California for Trains

The Department of Transportation is sending California a $100 million grant to buy locomotives and passenger cars for two rail routes shared with freight railroads.

– Ben Dundas, Web Analyst

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Daily Transportation and Logistics News – Apr. 27, 2011

Railroads Work Through Storm Impact

The severe storms that have affected freight transportation in the Midwest this spring have caused many major railroads to close tracks from Texas to Canada. Debris and power outages have caused delays in many rail freight company’s shipping schedules.

ATA Tonnage Index Rises 1.7 Percent in March

The American Trucking Associations’ advance For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index increased 1.7 percent from February to March and 6.3 percent over the previous year. This comes after a decrease in February of 2.7 percent.

Boehner opens door to ending tax breaks for big oil companies

House Speaker John Boehner opened the door on Mon day to ending some of the tax breaks for large oil and gas producers that Democrats long sought to eliminate.

Poll: Gas prices costing Barack Obama in popularity

With gas prices continuing to increase, President Barack Obama’s approval ratings have done the opposite. Among Americans who say they are heavily burdened by high gas prices, only 39 percent approve of Obama’s job performance. Only 33 percent say he is doing a good job handling the economy.

Container Ships Set Record for Capacity Growth

Record deliveries of container ships in the next few months will likely add pressure on ocean freight rates for reduction in pricing. This will counter the recent rise in prices that has helped the ocean freight carriers to replenish funds after the recession.

– Ben Dundas, Web Analyst

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Daily Transportation and Logistics News – Apr. 26, 2011

Carrier CEO’s Weigh in on Rising Rates

Following the NASSTRAC conference last week, Mike Regan discusses what came out of the sessions with transportation industry CEOs and financial analysts. What he noticed was that the magnitude of cost increases for the year may be much higher than originally thought. According to freight carrier executives, an increase of 20% over the next three years is possible.

Obama Introduces Oil Speculation Task Force

President Obama announced the creation of the Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force last week. This group is designed to root out illegal speculation oil markets and will be conducted by the Department of Justice to evaluate developments in commodities markets.

Under Pressure, AASHTO Withdraws Objection to Stronger Bike-Ped Rules

The Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials is withdrawing its opposition to an important federal policy change that puts cyclists and pedestrians on a more equal footing with motorists.

Rail shipment issues cited in WSJ report are a matter of network velocity

A report by the Wall Street Journal earlier this month noted how Detroit automakers were “struggling with rail shipping woes…stalling deliveries of finished vehicles.” The report went into detail about US railroads putting rail cars into storage during the recession and how they do not have enough capacity during times of demand surges.

Diesel Slips to $4.098 per Gallon

Retail diesel fuel prices in the US fell seven-tenths of a cent last week, to a US average of $4.098 per gallon. This is the second small decrease in the last four weeks, which may be a sign that prices are beginning to stabilize.

– Ben Dundas, Web Analyst

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Daily Transportation and Logistics News – Apr. 25, 2011

LaHood: Air traffic controllers have ‘personal responsibility’

US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood speaks out about the issues with air traffic controllers falling asleep while on duty and the high-speed rail debate that continues to pop up all over the nation. He likened the high-speed rail project to that of the Interstate highway system in the Eisenhower Administration and stated that a transportation bill is a jobs bill.

NTTC Supports Mandatory Electronic Logging Devices

The National Tank Truck Carriers announced that they are in full support of the mandatory electronic logging devices, or EOBRs as many call them, for documentary compliance with hours of service rules. This comes after the National Private Truck Council, Truckload Carriers Association and the American Trucking Associations have all done the same.

Looking back at NASSTRAC

Jeff Berman, Group News Editor for Logistics Management, discusses what he saw during this year’s NASSTRAC 2011 conference. Included in this year’s topics were HOS, CSA, capacity, infrastructure, fuel prices and much more.

Strategic Intelligence Report: Truckers Running on Fumes

In a report produced by Mike McDermott, he discusses the effects that high oil prices, inefficiencies, issues with equities and vulnerability to investor decisions can have on the trucking industry.

Japan to Launch Ship Radiation Checks April 28

On Thursday, Japan will begin conducting radiation checks on all ships and containers leaving three main international ports around Tokyo. This will account for about 40 percent of foreign trade containers leaving Japan.

ATA data points to increased driving turnover and hiring numbers

Recent data released by the American Trucking Associations (ATA) suggests that data pointing to increasing driver hiring and turnover translates into signs of an economic recovery.

– Ben Dundas, Web Analyst

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Daily Transportation and Logistics News – Apr. 22, 2011

Oberstar stresses need for partisan cooperation and infrastructure investment in NASSTRAC keynote

Former Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, James Oberstar, spoke at this week’s NASSTRAC Logistics Conference about the role of transportation infrastructure in fostering economic growth and success in the US.

Carrier execs focus on capacity, regulations, and safety in NASSTRAC panel

During a panel at the NASSTRC Logistics Conference, many carrier executives discussed managing multiple obstacles in the industry and re-growing networks to get back to full strength. These obstacles include government regulations, managing capacity, increasing fuel costs and shipper-carrier relationships and collaboration.

America’s Low Gas Prices: A Global Perspective

With many politicians and leaders fighting against reducing gas prices and the gas tax, The Infrastructurist compares US gas prices to other countries. There is also an interesting chart of costs per gallon for goods used daily.

New York Times: High-speed rail deserves continued support

The New York Times resolutely defended high-speed rail in an editorial yesterday, characterizing the elimination of remaining funds for the program this year as “harebrained.”

Heavy Truck Orders Jump 20 Percent

ACT Research has confirmed that net orders of Class 8 trucks jumped almost 20 percent in March, bringing the levels to the highest since December of 2006. This means a production backlog of over 100,000 units at the end of March.

Short Line Railroads See 9 Percent Traffic Gain

North America’s small and regional railroads have seen a surge in traffic thus far in 2011, with volume up 9 percent overall. Chemical shipping rose 11.5%, while grain shipping rose 9%, construction based materials rose 15%, metal shipping rose 10% and coal rose 4%.

– Ben Dundas, Web Analyst

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Daily Transportation and Logistics News – Apr. 21, 2011

Research Links Truck Crash Involvement to Driver History

A study by the American Transportation Research Institute has shown that truck driver with poor driving records are more susceptible to being involved in a future truck crash than their peers with clean driving records.

Homeland Security Launches Threat Level System

The rainbow-hued terrorist threat warning system that began during the Bush administration has been replaced by the Department of Homeland Security’s new National Terrorism Alert System. The NTAS will consist of an “elevate threat” advisory of possible terrorist activity or an “imminent threat” of an impending attack based on credible information.

Obama invokes bridge collapse in criticizing GOP budget plan

President Obama criticized cuts to infrastructure in the Republican budget plan on Tuesday by spotlighting the 2007 collapse of the Interstate 35-W bridge in Minneapolis. He also noted that the US was given a “D” grade for its infrastructure.

Small Percentage of Drivers Represent Highest Distracted Driving Risk

The SmartDrive Distracted Driving Index summarized the 2010 performance of commercial drivers using in-vehicle records that capture data during sudden stops, swerves and collisions. The study showed that 5 percent of drivers with the most driving distractions were distracted 67 percent of the time during which a risky driving maneuver was observed, which is almost 6 times more than other drivers.

US Freight Rails Hiring Rises Sharply

The transportation industry, specifically US freight rails, has continued to do their part to improve the unemployment rate in the US. The top seven railroads have the biggest combined workforce since February 2009 after an increase of 1,340 workers over the previous month.

– Ben Dundas, Web Analyst

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Daily Transportation and Logistics News – Apr. 20, 2011

Obama Won’t Sacrifice Infrastructure for Deficit since the beginning of 2011

President Obama drew a line against slashing programs that upgrade the transportation infrastructure in order to cut the federal budget deficit. Obama spoke about how transportation infrastructure helps to keep businesses in the US and generate jobs.

Carrier Procurement Insights: Trucking Company Volume, Cost, and Pricing Tradeoffs

As a shipper doing business in the freight shipping industry, it is important to know how your freight complements a carrier’s network and how carriers will see your freight. This white paper helps to realize these things and show how Third Party Logistics Providers manage and utilize contract trucking.

Former FMCSA Chief Speaks out on HOS, EOBRs

Former Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrator John Hill believes it is going to take Congressional action to put an end to the never-ending cycle of hours of service litigation and rewrites.

Excess capacity will keep ocean freight rates down

While 2010 was a great year for ocean carriers, with 19 out of the top 25 earning an estimated $14 billion, many industry analysts predict these earnings will be short-lived. This is because industry analysts see the margins getting smaller due to rate reductions and excess capacity.

Truckload Capacity Index Drops 10.7 Percent

The Longbow Research Weekly Truckload barometer dropped 10.7 percent last week, indicating that truck capacity is easing but still tight. This was the 2nd consecutive weekly decline, but is still up 31.7 percent.

As debt ceiling vote nears, the pressure’s on House Republican freshman

Financial industry executives, business leaders and Treasury Department officials are visiting the 87 freshman House Republicans to insist that they vote to allow the federal government to go further into debt by raising the debt ceiling.

Panama Free Trade Pact Ready for Congress

The free-trade agreement between the US and Panama is ready to be considered by Congress after Panama took actions sought by the Obama administration.

– Ben Dundas, Web Analyst

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Daily Transportation and Logistics News – Apr. 19, 2011

Senate Bill Would Suspend 100% Scanning Deadline

The SAFE Port Reauthorization Act is a bill that renews Customs’ Automated Targeting System, the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) and the Container Security Initiative (CSI). It also includes a provision that would suspend the July 2012 deadline for scanning all containers before they board a US bound vessel.

Top 50 trucking companies: Emerging from the shadows

John D Schulz has released the information on the top 50 trucking companies based on revenues and includes a brief description of each company. Leading trucking company CEOs weighed in and said that it’s time to pay down debt and put profit to work to recapitalize their businesses. Rock bottom rates for shippers will all be in the past as well.

Obama will use recess to seize momentum in 2012 spending fight

President Obama and the White House will be using the two-week congressional recess to try and seize momentum in its spending fight with House Republicans. The President and other House Democrats will be conducting interviews and appearances to criticize the House GOP budget for its proposed changes to Medicare.

DOT Stimulus Obligations Hit $45.5 Billion

The Department of Transportation’s total obligation of funds from the 2009 stimulus fund has reached $45.5 billion, just $2.6 billion short of the total it was authorized to spend. Most of the remainder is in rail project grants.

Diesel Pushes Higher, Crude Continues Modest Decline

Diesel fuel prices last week reached $4.105 per gallon, which showed an increase of 2.7 cents over the previous week and an increase of $1.031 over this time last year.

– Ben Dundas, Web Analyst

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Daily Transportation and Logistics News – Apr. 18, 2011

AAPA explores new ways of funding

The American Association of Port Authorities sponsored the biennial Port Administration and Legal Issues Seminar last week than featured an in-depth discussion on port funding and public finance management.

Senate Confirms 18 Long-awaited Nominations

After a logjam of unconfirmed appointments by the Senate for over six months, 18 candidates were confirmed on Friday. Three of these candidates were confirmed for two federal transportation boards, including two for the FMC and one for the STB.

Obama Signs Repeal of 1099 Provision of Healthcare Reform

President Obama signed a bill into law on Thursday that repealed the healthcare reform law that required 1099 tax reporting, relieving small businesses of future paperwork burdens. The provision required businesses to submit a 1099 tax form for all purchases over $600.

Transportation official blasts federal agencies

Oklahoma Transportation Secretary Gary Ridley accused the US Environmental Protection Agency of running amok. The attacks from Secretary Ridley focus on the Disabilities Act, air standards and the states’ ability to use their own engineering judgement.

Used-Truck Market Continues to Gain Despite Rising Fuel Prices

While rising fuel prices have caused some concern in the light-truck and car markets, they have yet to make a big impact on heavy and medium duty trucking, according to Chris Visser, senior analyst with the ATD/NADA Official Commercial Truck Guide.

– Ben Dundas, Web Analyst

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Daily Transportation and Logistics News – Apr. 15, 2011

Government audit confirms that TIGER, rail grants followed merit-based process, despite GOP complaints

Several Republican lawmakers are claiming that a report released by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) revealed a lack of transparency and accountability for where the money went when awarding high-speed rail and TIGER grants.

US Exports, Imports Fall in February

The US trade deficit has shrunk to 2.6 percent in February as both imports and exports fell from the previous month. The US Commerce Department reported yesterday that exports fell 0.3 percent and imports fell 0.2 percent, partially caused by a drop in imports of automobiles and capital goods.

March truckload spot market sets another record month, according to TransCore

TransCore, a truckload freight board, has released the numbers for March of truckload spot market freight availability. March load volume was up 23 percent from February and 40 percent annually. Flatbed freight showed the largest increase with a 57 percent gain.

Foreign Freight Forwarders Criticize Tariff Rule

FIATA and the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations have spoken out against the recent easing of FMC rules for US non-vessel operating common carriers (NVOCCs). The exemptions given to US NVOCCs were not extended to foreign carriers.

FTR Shippers’ Condition Index at lowest level since 2004

The Shippers’ Condition Index (SCI) from FTR Associates has a current reading of negative 7.7, which indicates continued deterioration with the outlook for capacity shortages getting worse.

– Ben Dundas, Web Analyst

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Daily Transportation and Logistics News – Apr. 14, 2011

ATA Leaders Call on FMCSA to Retain HOS Rules in Face of New Data

The American Trucking Associations has again asked the US Department of Transportation and FMCSA to abandon their current proposal to change the hours of service rules following the release of new data. This data has rebutted the claim that truck-related crashes are increasing or caused by long hours of service.

March retail sales remain up but fuel prices are a concern

The US Department of Commerce published data yesterday that showed an increase of 7.1 percent in retail sales in March compared to the same time last year. Total retail sales for the year have shown an 8.1 percent annual increase thus far. The National Retail Federation (NRF) reported that February retail sales were up 0.6 percent year-over-year.

Shipping Association Sees Overcapacity Poisoning Market

BIMCO, the independent shipping association in Copenhagen, is worried that spot freight rates on the trans-Pacific and Asia-Europe trade lanes may not recover to sustainable levels for a while after their three month slide. They have recommended that carriers should start idling some vessels to restore freight rates over the next quarter.

BTS Freight Transportation Services Index down 1.5 percent in February

The Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reported yesterday that its Freight Transportation Services Index (TSI) fell 1.5 percent in February. This comes after a gain of 2.4 percent over the previous two months.

Mica Blasts FAA Staffing Decision

House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman John Mica blasted the Federal Aviation Administration’s response to a recent increase of air traffic control problems. The FAA decided to double the staffing levels at 27 air traffic control towers around the country.

– Ben Dundas, Web Analyst

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Daily Transportation and Logistics News – Apr. 13, 2011

Budget deal zeroes out high-speed rail, but preserves TIGER and sustainable communities funding

In the budget deal made to avert a government shutdown, many transportation budgets were cut and others were spared. Cuts were made to the New Starts program, the TIGER program, the Partnership for Sustainable Communities and funding that has not been obligated by the highway contract authority.

FMCSA Seeks Comments on EOBRs and Driver Harassment

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is asking for more comments on its proposed mandate for electronic onboard records and whether it sets up the possibility of driver harassment.

Diesel Rockets Past $4 Mark

The US average of diesel fuel prices last week climbed for the 18th time in the last 19 weeks, rising to $4.078 per gallon. This was the first time that diesel prices rose above $4 since September 2008.

High Fuel Prices Expected For Summer, But Oil Could Tumble

The Energy Information Administration is predicting that fuel prices this summer will be extremely high and that oil markets will continue to tighten over the next two years. The organization expects robust growth in world oil demand and slow growth in supply.

Increase in truck buying activity remains intact, says ACT Research

According to data from ACT Research, pent-up demand continues to point to a steady increase in buying activity. Preliminary reports on March’s buying activity show the largest monthly order intake since May 2006.

UCLA-Ceridian Trucking Index Rises 2.7 Percent

The Ceridian-UCLA Pulse of Commerce Index rose 2.7 percent in March, after declines in both January and February. This index, which tracks the volume and location of diesel fuel purchased by truckers, has shown 16 consecutive months of year-over-year growth.

– Ben Dundas, Web Analyst

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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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