News, Trucking Feed

Trucking’s Share of Cross Border Freight Value Declines But Still Tops

Trucking ValueTrucking posted the biggest loss of the five major transportation modes when it came to the value of U.S. freight moved between Canada and Mexico last year, according to new Transportation Department figures.

Its 2.2% drop in 2017 from 2016 came as rail declined 0.2% and air fell by 0.1%.

In contrast, the share of the value of freight moved by vessel rose by 1.2% and the pipeline share increased by 1.1%. A 17.3% increase in the year-over-year price of crude oil in 2017 played a key role in the annual increases in the dollar value of goods shipped by pipeline and vessel, according to the report.


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Getting good sleep: it still ain’t easy, especially in trucking

I’ve slept in a sleeper berth a time or two and it’s something that takes getting used to for most folks; even for long-haul irregular route TL drivers who live in their trucks three weeks or more out of a month.

There are external noises to deal with, the often-constant rattle and hum from diesel-fired auxiliary power units (APUs) or idling engines, and the effort to get physically comfortable on a mattress that’s mayhap not as comfy as the one back home.

Thus getting good, restorative sleep for truck drivers can sometimes be a struggle, and that’s before we inject medical issues such as sleep apnea in to the mix. But truckers should take heart from one aspect of their “sleep struggles,” if you can call them that – they aren’t unique to the freight-hauling business, not be a longshot.


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Three Truck Makers Plan Large Exhibits at 2018 Mid-America Trucking Show

The annual Mid-America Trucking Show will open its doors March 22-24, offering attendees three days to peruse exhibits of trucking equipment and technology, attend seminars on industry issues and enjoy a variety of entertainment.

The 2018 MATS will feature exhibits from several original equipment manufacturers for a second straight year after all of the major North American truck makers chose to forgo the event in 2016.

Kenworth Truck Co., Peterbilt Motors Co. and Mack Trucks Inc. are set to showcase their latest equipment at MATS, held each year at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, Ky.

Navistar Inc. will have a smaller presence at the show centered on its OnCommand Connection remote diagnostics and technology platform.


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New federal trucking regulation won’t affect most local farmers

Agriculture did not become a major industry in this country until transportation infrastructure was put in place for farmers to deliver their excess production to markets off the farm.

Roads had to be built to deliver food to cities, and to shipping points for further delivery, such as rivers, canals, and rail.

Today, transportation is even more important for U.S. agriculture to be competitive with other countries in the world markets. Trucking is a major component of the transportation system, getting farm goods to their destination points.

Many local farmers use trucks to deliver grain from the farm to grain elevators and processing facilities.

Since trucking often crosses state lines, it is regulated by the federal government. Last December, a new “electronic logging device rule” was instituted by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which requires interstate commercial haulers to use electronic technology that automatically records hours of service, in place of using paper logs.


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Waymo's self-driving trucks will arrive on Georgia roads next week

The race to control the future of self-driving trucking just got even more competitive.

Beginning next week, Waymo - formerly known as Google's self-driving car project - will roll out a pilot program in Atlanta where the company's technology will power Peterbilt Class 8 trucks to carry cargo bound for Google's data centers, the company announced Friday.

The company's engineers have been testing self-driving trucks in California and Arizona, the same state where a fleet of 600 autonomous Waymo taxis has been on the roads without a human driver since November, the company said in a blog post. 

"Our software is learning to drive big rigs in much the same way a human driver would after years of driving passenger cars," Waymo said in the post. "The principles are the same, but things like braking, turning, and blind spots are different with a fully-loaded truck and trailer."


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Employers add 313,000 jobs in February; trucking adds 5,600

WASHINGTON  — U.S. employers went on a hiring binge in February, adding 313,000 jobs, the most in any month since July 2016, and drawing hundreds of thousands of people into the job market.

At the same time, average wages rose 2.6 percent over the past 12 months, a slowdown from January's accelerated pace, which had spooked investors because it raised fears of high inflation. Friday's jobs report from the government revised down January's year-over-year wage gain by one-tenth of a point to 2.8 percent.

An influx of new job seekers in February kept the unemployment rate unchanged at a low 4.1 percent.

News of the unexpectedly robust job growth sent stock futures up after the report was released at 8:30 a.m. Eastern time.

For-hire trucking added 5,600 jobs in February.


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Women stakeholders list obstacles to attracting females to trucking and what’s working

Women think of trucking and picture heavy machinery and an all-male job. Recruiting ads don’t speak to women and many females are afraid to be alone in a truck with a male trainer they don’t know.

Those are a few of the obstacles to attracting more women to the industry, said women industry stakeholders Wednesday in a Web roundtable discussion made open to individual drivers and members of the news media.

It was sponsored by Omnitracs and featured Omnitracs’ Senior Director of Analytics and Modeling Lauren Domnick, Sherri Garner Brumbaugh, president and CEO of Garner Trucking, and Ellen Voie, president and CEO of Women In Trucking.


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Captive trucking helps Walmart weather transport crunch

Operating its own fleet of trucks has helped shield Walmart to some degree from the rising transportation costs that are impacting many industries, according to Brett M. Biggs, executive VP and chief financial officer.

Speaking at the Raymond James Institutional Investors Conference on Tuesday, Biggs said that although the company does use some third-party trucking, it benefits from having a captive supply chain, including transportation.

“It’s a good time to have your own fleet for a lot of reasons,” said Biggs. “To have the drivers that we have and the long tenured associates in that area is so important.”


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Spear: Trucking to Play Key Role in Autonomous Policy

ATLANTA — New federal guidance on automated cars and trucks to be unveiled this year will include the input from the trucking industry, American Trucking Associations President Chris Spear said at the Technology & Maintenance Council annual meeting March 5.

Spear also said he continues to fight to clarify a perception that commercial trucks will operate without drivers in the near future. Drivers, he emphasized, will continue to have major roles in heavy trucks and the freight industry. He took issue with media reports that are promoting a rapid adoption of self-driving trucks.

“Technology is cool. It has the ability to attract younger talent into our industry,” Spear said, adding, “but if it’s not taken in a realistic fashion, it also has consequences. It could drive people away from this industry.”


Trucking Companies Hauling In Higher Sales

Buckle up.

U.S. trucking companies are coming off a year of improved sales growth and profitability, according to data from Sageworks, a financial information company. And some industry experts believe 2018 could mark the start of several years of strong results, based on tight capacity and improving demand.

Privately held general freight trucking companies (NAICS 4841) grew sales, on average 14.9 percent in 2017, according to preliminary results of Sageworks’ financial statement analysis. “This early estimate from our private-company industry data represents the strongest sales growth since 2014, when sales increased about 17 percent,” said Sageworks analyst Libby Bierman. Sales growth that year was driven by a North American cold wave and wintry start to 2014 that disrupted transportation networks and boosted rates, according to multiple industry experts.


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