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Sep 24, 2016

IVECO's - at the IAA Trucks Show - * Italy: Unveiling the "Z Truck Comcept"

* Torino - Iveco focuses on autonomous trucking and green energy with its new concept truck


--- Iveco has thrown its hat into the sustainable heavy-duty truck ring with the launch of its natural gas-powered Z Truck concept at the IAA Commercial Vehicle Show... Like many of its ilk being launched in recent time, the Iveco Z Truck features automated driving technology, an aerodynamic design; and a waste heat recovery system... However, while some manufacturers have chosen the electric route, Iveco has fitted its concept with a powertrain fuelled by liquefied natural gas (LNG) technology and the use of bio-methane... 


... When pumped into Iveco’s new LNG engine, the fuel helps the Z Truck develop 460hp and 2,000Nm of torque over a 2,200km range... Stored in "conformable tanks", Iveco says the bio-LNG fuel is derived from refined biogas and "ensures low CO2 and ultra-low PM emission" levels... 
(Images: Iveco Z Truck Concept TradeTrucks) -- Torino, Piedmont, Italy - ATN (Australia) - 23 Sept 2016

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INTERNATIONAL Trucks' - at the IAA Show - * USA: Collision avoidance system standard

* Illinois - International makes system standard on new truck line


--- International Truck is slated to become the first OEM to make a collision mitigation system standard equipment when the Lisle, Ill. truck-maker unveils its LT Series on-highway Class 8 tractor later this month... Bendix Wingman Advanced – the standard solution featured on the new International LT Series – gives drivers following distance and stationary object alerts and brings together adaptive cruise control with collision mitigation braking technology...  The full-stability technology, Bendix ESP, provides fleets can help drivers avoid collisions, roll-overs, and loss-of-control situations... 
(Photo: An International LT truck at night)   --  Lisle, ILL, USA - Overdrive - September 22, 2016

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DAIMLER 's at the IAA Show Germany - * Introducing its Urban eTruck - ** FUSO’s eCanter's world premiere

* Hannover - The new Urban eTruck for heavy duty electric trucking


--- The air was “electric” here recently as Daimler Trucks announced this the company’s first electric truck, the Urban eTruck... The introduction took place at Europe’s big truck event, the IAA Commercial Vehicles show... The show focused on “digitization,” electric mobility and connectivity with other vehicles and infrastructure... Dr. Wolfgang Bernhard, member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG for Daimler Trucks and buses, said this type of urban vehicle will be needed more and more since it’s predicted that by 2050 more than 70 percent of the world’s population will live in cities...
The Urban eTruck it’s an all-new electric truck concept for short-radius, zero-emissions freight distribution... The eTruck has an estimated 125-mile range, per electrical charge (taking two hours to recharge) and can carry up to 12.8 tons... 
(Photos from DAIMLER - 1. This type of urban vehicle will be needed more and more. It’s predicted that by 2050 more than 70 percent of the world’s population will live in cities - 2. The truck's chassis holds 212 kWh of batteries and two electric motors. And the truck's route can be remotely managed) -- Hannover, Germany - New Atlas - September 22, 2016


** Hannover - Daimler Trucks Asia presents world premiere of FUSO’s eCanter at IAA 2016

--- Daimler Trucks Asia (DTA) presents the world premiere of the small series of FUSO’s light-duty electric truck “eCanter” at the Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung (IAA) 2016 in Hanover, Germany... Through customer trials in real-life conditions, the zero emission FUSO eCanter proved to be technically reliable and economic, with enough mileage and payload for daily use... The small series will be delivered to customers in the US, Japan and Europe from late 2017... DTA will further increase its global presence in mature markets and growth markets with the application of Daimler’s cutting-edge technologies in electric trucks and robust and powerful trucks... 
Hannover, Germany - Daimler / Mitsubishi-Fuso (PR) - September 21, 2016

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SCANIA's * Sweden - Gigantic working trucks' clock

* Stockholm - This is actually a fleet of trucks driving in circles

(Video from Scania Group - Sep 20, 2016: The New Generation Scania takes on the most demanding challenge. Time. Experience it on ScaniaClock.com)

--- To maximize profit, tractor trailers need to stay on the road for as long as possible. So to show off the performance and reliability of its vehicles, truck-maker Scania had 14 of its vehicles, manned by 90 drivers working around the clock, circle an empty airport for 24 hours straight to create a gigantic real-time clock when viewed from the air... A YouTube livestream of the stunt has been running non-stop for the past 22 hours, with the trucks occasionally losing a few seconds here and there, but always remaining in perfect formation. Is it the most accurate way to tell the time? Probably not. But the next time I’m shopping for a tractor-trailer because I want to create a giant Rolex watch in the desert, you better believe my first stop will be the Scania store at my local mall... 
Södertälje, Stockholm, Sweden - Gizmodo, by Andrew Liszewski - 21 Sept 2016

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Catenary electric trucks * USA: Not energy conservation or efficiency!

* California - 16,000 catenary trucks would use all California’s electricity with only 2400 to 8300 miles of overhead wires


--- It makes sense to electrify trucks since fuel from oil, coal, and natural gas is finite and unsustainable, and biomass doesn’t scale up (and probably has a negative EROI or at best, is close to break-even)... And sustanable electricity generation is impossible without trucks. For example, trucks are needed from start to finish in the life cycle of wind turbines — from the trucks needed to carry the 8,000 components from dozens of factories world-wide to the factory where it is assembled, to the cement and other trucks that prepare the wind turbine site and take the wind turbine to its destination, and to build and maintain the roads... Since without trucks, civilization shuts down within a week, there is no higher priority than keeping trucks running... So it is very important to see if trucks can be electrified, or if a 100% renewable electric is even possible, or there’s no point in using the remaining fossil energy to build windmills, solar PV, nuclear, and other electricity generating installations. If trucks can’t be electrified and/or a 100% renewable grid isn’t possible, the remaining fossil energy would be better spent on energy conservation, insulation, conversion of industrial farms to organic agriculture, smaller and more widely spread grain storage facilities, passive solar homes and buildings, lower speed limits, and so on... Scaling that up to 20,000 heavy-duty freight trucks that run just seconds apart, if that is even possible (we don’t know yet), is so energy-intensive that very few stretches of roads could be electrified...
 (Photo Siemens Mobility: Proposed catenary system for I-710 zero-emissions corridor) -- CAL, USA - Resilience - 20 Sept 2015

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XPO Logistics' * USA: Union to focus on the ‘less-than-truckload’

* Illinois - Teamsters mounting campaign to organize drivers at XPO Logistics

--- The International Brotherhood of Teamsters is mounting a campaign to organize truckers driving for XPO Logistics Inc., opening a new front in the union’s push to revive its influence in the trucking industry... Last week, the Teamsters announced that drivers for XPO Logistics Inc. in Aurora, Ill. and workers at XPO’s warehouse in North Haven, Conn. had filed petitions with the National Labor Relations Board to seek union representation. The drives follow similar, recent moves by the Teamsters to organize XPO employees in Laredo, Tex. and Vernon, Calif... Unionized drivers dominated trucking for much of the 20th century, but membership fell off sharply starting in the 1980s, when deregulation made it easier for new, nonunion fleets to enter the market... The Teamsters’ efforts have focused on the less-than-truckload, or LTL, segment of the industry, in which drivers haul freight from multiple shippers in each load. They tend to drive shorter distances, making them easier to organize than drivers working cross-country routes... 
(PHOTO: XPO LOGISTICS INC. - Analysts say that driver compensation is the biggest cost at most trucking companies after fuel, and that extra benefits that go to unionized drivers can eat into slim margins) -- Aurora, ILL, USA - The WSJ, by ROBBIE WHELAN - Sept. 21, 2016

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EZE Truck Holdings & FARRAH International * USA: Trucking combination

* New Jersey - Heavy haul trucking companies combine, expand US network


--- EZE Truck Holdings, the parent of several flatbed and heavy-haul trucking firms, merged with Farran International, a global transportation and rigging business in Randolph, New Jersey... The company that will form from the combination of EZE Truck Holdings and Farran International has around 900 pieces of equipment... Two US specialists in heavy freight hauling and rigging merged Tuesday to create a specialized trucking and logistics business with an expanded service area in North America...  
(Photo: The company that will form from the combination of EZE Truck Holdings and Farran International has around 900 pieces of equipment)   --   Randolph, NJ, USA - JOC, by William B. Cassidy - Sep 20, 2016

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FEDEX's * USA: Lifts outlook after buying TNT Express

* Tennessee - FedEx says integration is going smoothly, calls results strong despite global economy

--- FedEx Corp. said revenue and operating margins rose at its key express and ground units in its fiscal first quarter and predicted that income also would rise for the year despite being dragged down by newly acquired TNT Express NV... The Memphis, Tenn., delivery giant also said Tuesday it expects another record shipping season during the peak holiday period, lifted by e-commerce, even as it scaled back its broader economic growth outlook... FedEx reported Tuesday revenue in the quarter ended Aug. 31 rose to $14.7 billion from $12.3 billion a year earlier, aided in part by Dutch parcel delivery company TNT, which it acquired in May... 
(Photo: AP - FedEx says the integration of recently acquired TNT Express is proceeding smoothly)  --  Memphis, TENN, USA - The WSJ, by MIKE ESTERL - Sept. 20, 2016

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Sep 22, 2016

SCANIA's * Europe: "Truck of the Year 2017"

* Hannover / Germany - Scania win  2017 INTERNATIONAL TRUCK OF THE YEAR award


--- A jury of truck journalists in Europe have selected a Scania truck as the top truck of the year... Swedish truck maker Scania has picked up one of the most sought-after awards in truck manufacturing, with its new S series being crowned the ‘International Truck of the Year’ for 2017... Presented as part of the 2016 IAA Commercial Vehicle Show in Hannover, Germany, the new Scania S series won the gong just ahead of the recently-launched Iveco Stralis XP-NP long-haul range and the Mercedes-Benz Actros heavy-duty truck with the latest generation OM 471 engine... Part of the redesigned Scania truck range aimed at long-haul transport, the S series was praised by the judging panel of 25 European truck journalists for its new sleeper cab with improved visibility, in-line six-cylinder 13-litre SCR-only 500hp engine, capability to run on diverse fuels, connectivity options, and new aerodynamic design... 
(Photo Scania new truck - Scania wins 2017 International Truck of the Year award)   --  Hannover, Germany - ATN (Australia) - 22 Sept 2016

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INHUMAN WAR * Syria: Trucks aid convoy, hit by air strikes

* Aleppo - Human Rights monitoring group said attacks were carried out by Syrian or Russian aircraft


--- Syria's fragile ceasefire appears to have been shattered after an aid convoy was hit by air strikes that killed at least 12 people, mostly truck drivers and Red Crescent workers. It is not clear who was behind the attack. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said the attacks were carried out by either Syrian or Russian aircraft, adding that there had been 35 strikes in and around Aleppo since the truce ended... UN officials said the convoy was delivering assistance for 78,000 people in the town of Urm al-Kubra, west of the rebel-held city of Aleppo. Initial estimates indicate that about 18 of the 31 trucks in the convoy were hit, as well as the Red Crescent warehouse in the area. A local resident told Reuters by phone that the trucks were hit by about five missile strikes... The UN humanitarian aid agency says it has temporarily suspended all convoys in Syria following the deadly air strike on aid trucks... The convoy, part of an inter-agency dispatch operated by the Syrian Red Crescent, was hit in the rural western Aleppo province. The White Helmets first responder group posted images of a number of vehicles on fire and a video of the attack showed huge balls of fire in a pitch black area, as ambulances arrive on the scene... Aid deliveries to the besieged eastern districts of Aleppo did not reach their destination. The UN accused the government of obstructing the deliveries, while Russian officials said rebels opened fire along the delivery roads...
(Photo by Omar haj Kadour/AFP - Aid is scattered around a truck outside a bombed warehouse) -- Aleppo, Syria - I.B.Times, by David Sim - September 20, 2016

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VOLVO's * USA: Lay off

* Maryland - Volvo to lay off 143 workers on Monday


--- The Volvo Group Trucks plant near Hagerstown will lay off 143 people effective Monday, a company spokesman confirmed Friday afternoon... The number is in addition to 138 who were laid off during the first quarter of this year, according to John Mies, vice president of communications for Volvo Group North America... Mies reported that about 1,500 people work at the powertrain-manufacturing facility... David Dopp, president of UAW Local 171 said, numerous trucking companies have bought new vehicles in recent years, many new trucks are available in the marketplace, and freight traffic has declined...
Hagerstown, MAR, USA - Herald Media, by Mike Lewis - Sep 19, 2016

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VW & MAN news * Germany: Trucks with new digital services

* Wolfsburg - VW's MAN to sell trucks with new digital services from 2017

--- Volkswagen division MAN will next year start selling heavy-duty commercial vehicles with new digital services to make its trucks more efficient... Truck makers are looking for new revenue from connected services that can make vehicles safer and more efficient. For large truck fleets, that can mean big savings... MAN has developed a cloud-based platform called RIO capable of connecting those in the freight transport business, including hauliers, dispatchers and receivers while feeding truck drivers traffic and navigation data, VW said on Tuesday... Through RIO, logistics firms will be able to better use vehicle capacity, reduce empty journeys, save fuel and avoid traffic jams, VW said in a statement published on the eve of the Hanover trucks show... 
(Photo from REUTERS, by Ina Fassbender: Signs of VW and MAN are pictured at a truck service centre in Dortmund July 4, 2011) -- Wofsburg, Germany - Reuters, by Andreas Cremer - 20 Sept 2016

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FORD's news * USA: Trump's claim rebutted by CEO Mark Fields

* Michigan - Ford fires back at Mexico criticism, citing boom in US truck output

--- Ford Motor Co. pushed back against criticism by Republican presidential candidate, Donald Trump, for moving work to Mexico by highlighting its booming business in big trucks after shifting production to an Ohio factory from south of the border... The automaker began building F-650s and F-750s--think dump trucks, beer haulers, tow trucks and furniture vans--near Cleveland a year ago after a joint venture in Mexico disbanded in 2014. Through August, their sales have jumped 59% from the same period in 2015, Ford said in a statement Monday... For Ford, the convoy out of Cleveland shows the benefits of the strategy that Trump is criticizing: shifting production of lower-margin small cars to Mexico, where workers are paid less, while using U.S. factories to build its biggest, high-profit vehicles. Trump last week called Ford “a disgrace” that’s cutting U.S. jobs, a claim rebutted by Chief Executive Officer, Mark Fields, he said the company is “absolutely not” cutting U.S. jobs to move small-car operations south because the Michigan plant currently building them will manufacture other models... Ford derives most of its profit from its F-Series truck line, Morgan Stanley has said. And the largest vehicles in the line generate the biggest return, according to analysts... 
(Photo: New FORD F-650 and F-750 trucks)  --  Dearborn, MICH, USA - Bloomberg/Industry Week - Sep 19, 2016

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INFRASTRUCTURES * China - Beats the U.S. but at a heavy cost

* Shanghai - Is China building a road to ruin?

(Video From: The Daily Conversation - Feb 9, 2016: China is embracing megaprojects at an unprecedented rate and will - over the course of a few decades - complete a phase of infrastructure that will rival what the United States has built in its entire history) 

 --- Even the harshest critics of authoritarian rule generally concede that when it comes to building infrastructure China wins hands down over the rich democracies... China recently finished the sixth ring road around Beijing, construction crews are now working on a seventh—100 miles out in some places—part of plans to merge the capital with surrounding municipalities to create a “supercity” of 130 million people, slightly larger than the population of Japan. The national high-speed rail network, nonexistent a decade ago, is now more extensive than the European Union’s—and expanding rapidly. New dams, bridges, tunnels and subways are all in a day’s work for state planners... But at what cost? A report by four academics at the University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School has created a stir by arguing that what outside observers often hail as a towering strength of the Chinese system has instead led to colossal waste. All this construction, they say, has produced cost overruns equal to one-third of China’s $28.2 trillion debt pile in 2014, and unless China scales back it is “headed for an infrastructure-led national financial and economic crisis” with global ramifications... Examining data on 95 road and rail projects, the authors say cost overruns are typically about the same as in democracies, and although China handily wins on speed it comes at the expense of quality, safety and the environment... Most of the finished routes carry paltry traffic; a few are clogged. Either way, the outcome is grossly inefficient... If these failures are representative across the board, they not only suggest a Chinese financial blowup but challenge a conventional belief that the more you build the more you lower costs for businesses and households and add to economic growth. In China’s case, infrastructure may be the road to ruin... What is indisputably clear is that in the realm of infrastructure, China has far too much of a good thing, while America and other Western democracies don’t have nearly enough. Both extremes threaten long-term growth, human well-being and financial fragility...
Shanghai, SH, China - The WSJ, by ANDREW BROWNE - Sept. 20, 2016

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Sep 21, 2016

DRIVERLESS CARS & NEW TRAFFIC LAWS * USA

* DC - Obama Administration rolls out recommendations for driverless cars

--- Transportation Department trying to head off conflicting local rules and spurring adoption of technologies that could reduce traffic deaths... The Obama administration on Tuesday will roll out guidelines that urge car makers and other developers submit to a 15-point ‘safety assessment’ outlining how driverless cars are tested, safeguards in the event of a system failure and how vehicles are programmed to comply with traffic laws. The guidelines also expect firms to detail plans to prevent vehicle hacking... U.S. officials are hoping to spur companies to share data on crashes, detail their latest systems to regulators and take steps to ensure technologies are traffic-ready. Current regulations set out specific safety standards for seat belts, brakes and other traditional systems envisioning human drivers. The latest autonomous-vehicle guidelines largely lack specific benchmarks and delineate areas for companies to share and submit information... While the path toward regulation is still hazy, the new guidelines are an endorsement by regulators of a safer future with cars driven by robots and not people. The recommendations give auto makers and technology companies a firmer sense of regulators’ expectations, indicating they should aim to comply with uniform safety guidelines rather than a patchwork of state regulations... Regulators will investigate and urge recalls when systems pose unreasonable risks to safety, officials said... The development of driverless cars has sparked a technological arms race among traditional car manufacturers, technology titans and Silicon Valley startups. But hurdles with infrastructure, regulations, and clarity on legal liability could slow down adoption... U.S. officials are attempting to balance encouraging adoption of promising technologies that researchers contend will cut traffic fatalities while ensuring they’re safe. Traffic deaths topped 35,000 in 2015, according to government figures, largely because of human error... 
(Photo by STEPHANIE STRASBURG/The WSJ - A self-driving Uber hybrid Ford Fusion drives through Pittsburgh on Sept. 12) -- Washington, DC, USA - The WSJ, by MIKE SPECTOR - Sept. 19, 2016

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ZIKA & GOP vs. TRUCKERS' HOURS OF SERVICE * USA

* DC - Republicans want to use Zika Funding Bill to keep truckers on the road longer


(Photo: Add-on provision could let truckers work more than 80 hours a week)

--- Want to keep the government open? Want to fund the Zika response? The trucking industry and Republican allies in Congress say the price for that could be weakening rest rules for truck drivers, sources said... The industry is trying to latch onto the stopgap bill that Congress must pass this month to combat Zika and to fund the government until Dec. 9, hoping to slip in a provision that would permanently block a rest regulation for truck drivers that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has tried to implement since 2013... The rule would ensure that drivers take off at least two nights a week and drive no more than 70 hours. It was enacted because research suggested the best, most restorative sleep happens at night, and because accidents jump dramatically when drivers are fatigued... The industry and many drivers believe this rule robs them of flexibility. Forcing drivers to sleep at night means they have to drive during the daytime, when there are more vehicles on the roads and more accidents, they argue... 
Washington, DC, USA - The Huffington Post, by Michael McAuliff - 20 Sept 2016

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TRUCKS' PERMIT ON LINE * Canada

* British Columbia - Trucks coming to B.C. will be able to get permits online


--- Transportation Minister, Todd Stone, has announced an expedited permitting system for the province's trucking industry... The online-based system is called 'onRouteBC,' and is touted to reduce wait times for trucking companies... Stone says the current permit application system results in wait times before truckers can receive their permits, but in the new system, truckers will often be issued their permits immediately... onRouteBC will be available by October 3... 
(Photo: Truck on BC roads)   --   Kamloops, BC, CAN - CFJC - 19 Sept 2016

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TRUCKING INDEXS USA: * UP: ATA's TTI - ** DOWN: ICI and CTLI

* Virginia - ATA’s Truck Tonnage Index Increases 5.7% in August

--- The American Trucking Associations’ (ATA) advanced seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index increased 5.7 percent in August, following a 2.1 percent decline during July. In August, the index equaled 141.8 (2000=100), up from 134.2 in July. The all-time high was 144 in February...  Compared with August 2015, the seasonally adjusted index rose 5.9 percent — the largest year-over-year gain since May, which was also 5.9 percent. In July, the year-over-year increase was 0.2 percent. Year-to-date, compared with the same period in 2015, tonnage was up 3.5 percent... The not-seasonally adjusted index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by the fleets before any seasonal adjustment, equaled 144.7 in August, which was 4.8 percent above the previous month (138.1)... 
Arlington, VA, USA - Trucking News - September 21, 2016 


  ** Indiana - FTR’s Intermodal Competitive Index: Drops sharply in July


--- Analysts at FTR say the newly introduced Intermodal Competitive Index (ICI) fell more than three points from June to a reading of 0.6 for July. That’s a large drop that brought the ICI close to negative territory... Intermodal volume was unexpectedly weak across the board in July. Intermodal ISO container movements are trailing behind import trends. Domestic intermodal was also quite anemic. Lower diesel prices were another factor that contributed to the decline... 
Bloomington, IND, USA - Trucking News - September 19, 2016


** Missouri - Truckload Linehaul, intermodal rates continue tumbling

--- Measures of both truckload and intermodal rates posted another rounds of declines, according to new figures released by freight payment processor Cass Information Systems... The Cass Truckload Linehaul Index fell another 2.8% year-over-year in August following decreases of 1.8% and 1.6% in June and July, respectively. This represents six consecutive months of year-over year-declines in truckload linehaul costs... The reading of 121.5 is also down 0.9% in August from July but is up slightly from June, when it hit a reading of 121.2, it lowest level so far in 2016... 
St. Louis, MO, USA - TruckingInfo, by Evan Lockridge - September 19, 2016

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UPS news * 3D in China - ** Trial for illegal deliveries of untaxed cigarettes

* Georgia - UPS, Fast Radius to open 3D printing factory in Singapore

(Video by Losers of America - Mar 14, 2016: The UPS Store offers 3D printing now, but none of their employees seem to know how to do work the machines properly) 

--- Package delivery company United Parcel Service Inc said on Monday it will expand its 3D printing services to Asia with a new facility in Singapore run by its partner Fast Radius that will open by the end of 2016... UPS rolled out a similar service in May in the United States. The company owns an undisclosed stake in Fast Radius, which has a 3D printing factory at the Atlanta-based package delivery company's hub in Louisville... In the United States, UPS customers can have parts printed at the Fast Radius factory or at one of 60 UPS Stores equipped with 3D printers and then shipped to them... UPS also plans a 3D printing hub in Europe. The company sees 3D printing as a potential threat to its warehousing business where it stores parts for manufacturers, so its strategy is to embrace the new technology and incorporate it into its business model instead... Also known as additive manufacturing, 3D printing works by laying down successive levels of material, mostly plastics at this point, to create an object... 
Atlanta, GA, USA - Reuters, by Nick Carey & Jacqueline Wong - 19 Sept 2016


** New York - Seeks $872 million from UPS in cigarette shipments trial

--- New York state and city authorities took United Parcel Service Inc to trial on Monday, urging a federal judge to make the company pay more than $872 million for making illegal deliveries of more than 683,000 cartons of untaxed cigarettes... The non-jury trial before a federal judge in Manhattan came in a lawsuit by New York Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman, and New York City as part of the state's ongoing efforts to combat smuggling of cigarettes from lower-tax areas... Filed in February 2015, the lawsuit contends that since 2010, UPS illegally shipped over 683,000 cartons of untaxed cigarettes mostly from smoke shops situated on Indian reservations throughout New York state... 
(Photo By Nate Raymond)  --  NY, USA - Reuters/Metro, by Nate Raymond and David Gregorio - 21 Sept 2016

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FEDEX Corp. news * USA: Shipping rates Up in 2017

* Tennessee - FedEx details plans to raise rates next year


--- FedEx Corp. said its will raise shipping rates starting next year, including an average increase of 3.9% at its air-shipping Express division and 4.9% for its ground and home-delivery services... Other planned changes unveiled by FedEx on Monday include raising freight shipment rates and charging customers more to ship large packages... Starting in February, FedEx also will adjust its fuel surcharges weekly instead of monthly, reducing the lag time between U.S. government fuel index changes and its surcharge adjustments to two weeks from two months...
(Photo Wikimedia: Air fleet. A Boeing 727–200 in Portland, Maine) -- Memphis, TENN, USA - The WSJ, by TESS STYNES - Sept. 19, 2016

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Sep 20, 2016

MERCEDES BENZ's news * Germany

* Frankfurt - Mercedes-Benz Trucks and Krone team up to cut emissions

--- Groups to unveil aerodynamic components that promise to improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions... Mercedes-Benz Trucks has teamed up with trailer-maker Krone to sell a package of aerodynamic components that promise to improve fuel efficiency and cut carbon emissions... The two companies will demonstrate the new products on Thursday at the 66th IAA Commercial Vehicles conference in Hanover, where they hope to show the trucks industry has not been asleep at the wheel when it comes to the environment... The EU seeks to reduce emissions in the long-haul sector by 30 per cent by 2030, but Daimler — Mercedes’ parent — has been critical of Brussels for focusing narrowly on tyres and engine improvements, rather than the whole picture of how vehicles are actually used... 
(Photo from Daimler AG) -- Frankfurt, Germany - FT, by Patrick McGee - SEPT 12, 2016

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NAVISTAR'S CEO * USA: TRUCKING PROGNOSIS

* Indiana - Navistar CEO, Troy Clarke, lays out vision for trucking’s future


--- By the year 2035, the U.S. will have 35 mega-cities connected by major freeways on which tractor-trailers operate in a self-driving autopilot mode, according to the vision offered by Navistar International President and CEO Troy Clarke at the 2016 FTR Conference on Sept. 15... In such a scenario, truck drivers would manually drive their vehicles to the freeways, then engage an on-highway autonomous system that frees the driver from operating the vehicle on the highway, Clarke says. The truck driver would then reengage to operate the vehicle when the truck nears its destination. “We would have fewer, but well-trained drivers that are paid a lot more,” he said, “You’d have a system that’s very analogous to an airline pilot.” ... 
(Photo: Telematics systems are one of the linchpins of trucking’s coming technology shift, Clarke says) -- Indianapolis, IND, USA - Truck News (CAN), by James Jaillet - September 15, 2016

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HOT LANES FIRST * Canada

* Ontario - HOT lanes debut in Canada


--- Ontario opened Canada's first High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes today, providing a new 16.5-kilometer travel option for 500 solo drivers who won a random draw and forked over $180 for a permit to drive the new lanes without a passenger... But don’t expect to see any trucks in the new lanes, at least not legally. The HOT lanes have a vehicle weight limit of just 4,500 kilograms, or about 10,600 lbs... The HOT lanes run on the QEW in both directions, from Trafalgar Rd. in Oakville to Guelph Line in Burlington, Ontario. It’s all part of a pilot program expected to last for two to four years... If you’re caught using the HOT lanes without a permit, you may be fined or issued a penalty. Fines range from $250 to $2,500... 
Toronto, ONT, CAN — Today's Trucking -- Sep 15, 2016

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ELECTRIC REEFERS TRUCKS * USA: On California roads

* California - Electric reefers running groceries in 

--- California’s continued push toward fewer and fewer emissions has affected all companies that use trucks in the state, and fleets that rely on trucks to deliver products are no exception...  D&D Wholesale Distributors in City of Industry, Calif., has been distributing produce, meats, poultry, grocery, non-foods, frozen foods and dairy in the Southern California area since 1979, and it’s responding to the demand by moving to all-electric refrigeration units for its delivery trucks... They found a Canadian company, Volta Air, that offers all-electric refrigeration units for vans and medium-duty delivery trucks. Last year they installed a unit it a smaller truck, an Isuzu. It worked “wonderful,” according to Ulloa, so this summer they added a larger-size unit incorporating solar panels on a larger Hino box truck... 
(Photo courtesy Second Generation Cooling and Volta Air - Two of D&D's trucks outfitted with Volta Air electric reefers. Photo courtesy Second Generation Cooling and Volta Air)  --  INDUSTRY, CAL, USA - Today's Trucking, by Deborah Lockridge - 14 Sept 2016

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TRUCKINGS' AMNESTY * USA: For misclassifing drivers

* California - Trucking Companies file for employee misclassification amnesty protection

--- While two California-based trucking companies have accepted an amnesty deal for trucking companies that have allegedly misclassified employees, a U.S. agency has ruled that another transportation firm improperly classified its drivers as independent contractors... The amnesty program has languished for months with no takers. But recently, Shippers Transport Inc. and Gonzalo Trucking Inc. both applied for amnesty under the Motor Carrier Amnesty Program, Paola Laverde, spokeswoman for California’s Department of Industrial Relations, told Trucks.com ... The program allows carriers to pay back wages, benefits and taxes owed to misclassified drivers and change their work status from independent contractor to employee. In return, the trucking companies would be relieved of any liability that could result in fines and other penalties... The amnesty deal ends Jan. 1, 2017... 
(Photo: Port of Long Beach - Drayage trucks work a terminal at Port of Long Beach) -- Long Beach, CAL, USA - Trucks.com, by CLARISSA HAWES - SEP 19, 2016

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Sep 19, 2016

JMC TRUCKMAKER * China: Enters light duty market with a new model

* Jiangxi - Chinese truck maker launch the JMC Conquer

--- Chinese truck maker Jiangling Motors (JMC) has made a play for the Australian light-duty market with the local launch of its Conquer truck this week... Arriving with a $32,000 pricetag, the new truck range is shipping in two models – with GVM ratings ranging from 4.5 tonne to 7.5 tonne – and two different power ratings... The smaller models will be powered by the company’s 2.4-litre high-pressure direct-injection diesel engine that pumps out 120hp (90kW) and 315Nm (232 ft-lb) of torque... The larger models will feature a 3.0-litre engine, which ups the output to 150hp (110kW)... It is understood the vehicles will be available with ABS brakes, air-conditioning, FM radio, CD player, auxiliary inputs, and a number of in-cab storage options. Whether airbags, cruise control or ESC will be available as added extras is yet to be revealed... 
(Photo courtesy of JMC: The manufacturer is bringing its small trucks down under)   --  Nanchang, Jiangxi, China - ATN (Australia) - 16 Sept 2016

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NUTZFAHRZEUGE TRUCKS' * Germany - At the IAA Commercial Vehicles Show

* Hannover - Custom trucks to hit IAA in

--- German custom truck specialist Paul Nutzfahrzeuge has unveiled three of the unique builds it will be taking to the IAA Commercial Vehicles Show in Hannover, Germany this month... The company, which focuses on building vehicles for specialised applications, has a history of showing off custom-creations at the show... This year, it will be taking a Mercedes-Benz Arocs 4151 AK 6x6, an Agro Mover based on a Mercedes-Benz Arocs 2051 AK 4x4, and a Fuso Canter 6c18 D... The first of the two Benz trucks, the Arocs 4151 AK has been converted from a four-axle 4151 AK 8x8/4 basic chassis to a 6x6, with an air-suspended rear axle and two steered front axles. The modified truck body features a Hiab loading crane, a winch and a tray behind the driver’s cab... Paul Nutzfahrzeuge says the truck is aimed at the energy industry, which deals with challenging maintenance tasks...
 (Photo: The Mercedes-Benz Arocs 4151 AK 6x6) -- Hannover, Germany - ATN (Australia) - 19 Sept 2016

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ELECTRONIC LOGGING DEVICES FOR TRUCKS * USA: ELDs

* Virginia - Truckers are facing a new kind of scrutiny — electronic data tracking


---  Big-rig driver John “Randy” Saunders recently had a scare – caused by a turtle... He was going 37 mph... If he had braked hard enough to drop his speed by 27 mph in three seconds, an electronic-logging device, or “ELD,” in his truck would have recorded the whole thing: his exact speed, digital snapshots of his actions in the moments before he braked, and latitude and longitude, among other things... Saunders would have been required to go back to his company’s office and fill out paperwork explaining why he had to brake so hard – even though he had hit nothing... As it turns out, he hadn’t triggered what’s known as a “hard brake violation.” But his experience reflects the extent to which virtually every movement of a truck driver is under close scrutiny, in one form or another... The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is requiring commercial truck and bus drivers to use electronic-logging devices beginning in December 2017... The regulatory agency estimates that using the devices will result in annual savings of more than $1 billion, by cutting the expense of processing all that paper. It’ll also save an estimated 26 lives a year and prevent 562 injuries resulting from crashes involving big commercial motor vehicles, according to a statement announcing the rule’s adoption in December...
 (Photo: Mike Innes, 52, of Norfolk, is a distpacher at Century Express. He explains the installation of a dash link for "engine-connected-electronic-log")   --   Norfolk, VA, USA - The Virginian-Pilot, by Robert McCabe - Sep 17, 2016

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DANGEROUS HIGHWAY * USA: Truck-related crashes increase in Ohio

* Ohio - “There’s not a load out there that’s more important than human life,” Bradley said

--- Commercial vehicle crashes and fatalities have increased in Ohio in the past four years as the economy has improved and logistic centers that need thousands of semi-trucks have been added in the Springfield-Dayton region, an investigation by this newspaper found... Truck operators and owners say safety has greatly improved, decreasing the number of crashes from 10 to 20 years ago and statistics point to car drivers increasingly being blamed for the wrecks... But safety advocates say more needs to be done to protect drivers from dangerous conditions caused by a larger mix of large trucks and other vehicles on roadways... Brad Bradley, director of safety for Home Run Trucking Inc., of Xenia, OH, said safety is an ongoing focus. It’s involves regular training, including mandatory training, videos, testing, inspections of vehicles by independent inspectors and more... Drivers are expected to check for items as minute as a license plate light. Something as small as that will give inspectors a reason to pull a driver over, he said... 
 (Photo by JEFF GUERINI - A semi-truck carrying dry wall crashed and landed on it’s side on Interstate 70 in Clark County. The driver was transported to Springfield Regional Medical Center with non life threatening injuries) -- Springfield, OH, USA - The Springfield News Sun, by Michael Cooper and Thomas Gnau - 18 Sept 2016

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TRUCKS ON TRAIN * South Africa - Transport tested in

* Johannesburg - Hybrid trucks running on railways set to revolutionise transport


--- In a move that could have a dramatic effect on the country's long-haul trucking industry, Transnet announced this week it had signed an agreement on a freight service in which privately owned road trucks will run over its rail network... The project - a joint venture between Transnet Freight Rail and RailRunner SA - will see a test train of truck trailers being hauled on rail bogies on the Cape corridor in the first half of next year... This means that the containers do not need to be lifted off the truck... So, the RailRunner system will allow truckers to focus on the "last mile" part of the logistics chain where rail cannot operate...
 (Photo: Trucks on a train) -- Johannesburg, S.A. - The Times Live, by PAUL ASH - 18 Sept 2016

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TRUCKS BANNED from SKYWAY * Philippines

* Manila - Trucks to be banned from Skyway to improve safety

---  All trucks will be banned from using Metro Manila’s Skyway starting Nov. 15, 2016 in an effort to improve road safety and speed up the flow of traffic on the elevated toll road and the soon-to-be-opened NAIA Expressway... Skyway O&M (Somco)—the operator of the Skyway system—said that a recent consultative meeting with barangay (village) officials, local police, highway patrol units, mall owners and other stakeholders determined that it was unsafe for trucks to use the elevated road, since they pose potential risks to other road users... This was reinforced by two recent major accidents involving delivery trucks of a beverage company which were reported along the Skyway elevated section, causing heavy traffic along the busy thoroughfare... Faster traffic flow would benefit not only other motorists, but also passengers of PUVs, their drivers and operators, as well as truck owners and their business clients... According to Somco, the daily average number of vehicles using the Skyway system has risen from 180,000 in 2015 to around 200,000 this year... 
(Photo by JILSON SECKLER TIU: Wheels blocked trucks on Manila's street)  --  Manila, Philippine - The Philippine Daily Inquirer, by: Daxim L. Lucas - September 18th, 2016

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