User-agent: Mediapartners-Google* Disallow: Trucks World News

Oct 21, 2016

FREIGHT RATES UP * Russian trucking industry

* Moscow - Toll to increase trucking rates by double digits

--- Russian shippers and transportation companies say they will have to increase their rates by 10 percent to 15 percent to keep up with the cost increases created by Russia’s “Platon” truck toll...  The increase, which is set to take effect at the end of the year after the government postponed the original implementation following enormous trucker protests, will double the cost of Russian truck tolls to 3.73 roubles ($0.05) per kilometer (0.62 miles) for trucks hauling more than 12 tonnes (13.2 tons)... The Russian government has denied that the toll will result in higher shipping rates or final prices for consumers... 
(Photo: Russian trucks on thec, which will soon become more expensive to travel)   --  Moscow, Russia - JOC, by Eugene Gerden - Oct 19, 2016


AUTONOMOUS TRUCKING * USA: Going full throttle on

* Washington - Toll lanes could get driverless trucks on highways faster

--- Prematurely accelerating the implementation of fully autonomous trucking (no driver in the cab) seems like an idea that could be fraught with risk. While driverless long-haul trucks have the potential to increase economic productivity by enabling more cost-effective transport of goods, the technology is not yet ready for prime time. There is growing pressure, however, to make it a reality sooner rather than later – particularly as long-distance trucking faces a worsening driver shortage... At the same time, highway infrastructure in many parts of the country is clearly inadequate even for today’s traffic, let alone a mixed bag of driven and driverless cars and trucks. The safety of autonomous vehicle technology – particularly when it comes to 18-wheelers – will be a question mark for some time to come... What autonomous trucking needs now is a carefully crafted path to implementation. We believe that separated highway toll lanes could not only mitigate perceived risks, but provide a solution to a convergence of public and private needs... 
(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren - In this Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016, file photo, truck and automobile traffic mix on Interstate 5, headed north through Fife, Wash., near the Port of Tacoma) -- Fife, WASH, USA - Forbes, by Jason Kuehn and Bill Rennicke - OCT 18, 2016

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TRUCKERS' SHORTAGE * USA: Increased assistance for female trainees

* California - Trucking firms rethink training to attract more female truck drivers

--- Trucking companies are making training programs more appealing to women in the hopes it will help the carriers expand their driver applicant pool and allow them to attract more female truck drivers... Carriers have increased assistance for female trainees by offering more practice time in truck driving simulators, creating internal support groups and adding female driver liaisons. They’ve added sexual harassment awareness and self-defense classes to training curriculums so women feel safer on training runs and can better respond in abusive situations... To recruit more women, some carriers now let existing drivers — predominately men — train their spouses. Other companies have expanded military veteran recruiting to promote trucking jobs to women retiring from active duty. A number of carriers also fund scholarships for female high school graduates and career changers interested in transportation industry jobs... 
(Photo) -- CAL, USA -, by MICHELLE RAFTER - OCTOBER 19, 2016

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"Driver-a-Check" MISTAKES * USA: Truckers say disputes are depriving them of jobs

* California -  Driver-Screening firms draw scrutiny. Faulty background checks, difficulties resolving disputes

--- Commercial driver background checks have become a lightning rod in the trucking industry, drawing ire from those who say they have been wrongly barred from jobs due to inaccuracies in these employment-history reports... Records compiled through public filings are a routine part of the application process for many jobs. But truck drivers face an extra layer of scrutiny in the form of “Drive-a-Check” or “DAC” reports, which contain employer-provided work histories, including accidents and alleged unethical behavior, such as abandoning a delivery mid-route... These dossiers, compiled since 2008 by Irvine, Calif.-based HireRight LLC, can be an extra barrier to employment for millions of truck drivers in the U.S. Even a single unfavorable incident in a report can spell the end of a driving career. HireRight has smaller rivals, but it far outpaces similar companies and runs about 2 million background checks on truckers each year, exposing it to more legal challenges... Some drivers say they have been wrongly barred from jobs due to inaccuracies in their DAC reports, and that HireRight and its rivals don’t do enough to verify claims or correct mistakes... TaNia Chapman says she couldn’t find work as a truck driver for years because a background check included an accident that she maintains never happened. She sued HireRight in federal court in 2013 alleging the company failed to remove the information in her report after she informed them of the mistake, and it failed to include her rebuttal statement, which is required by the Fair Credit Reporting Act. HireRight, which declined to comment on the lawsuit, settled out of court. Ms. Chapman’s lawyer said terms of the deal prevented her from speaking publicly about it... Ms. Chapman said the alleged accident has since been removed. But she hasn’t driven a truck for so long that she would need additional training, which she said she can’t afford... 
(Photo The WSJ, by THEO STROOMER - Former driver TaNia Chapman at a truck stop in Commerce City, Colo., in September. Ms. Chapman says she lost her job as a trucker over information in a background check and has been unable to get a driving position since) -- Irvine, CAL, USA - The WSJ, by LORETTA CHAO - Oct. 19, 2016

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Oct 19, 2016

Volvo's UD open a new factory * Indonesia

* Jakarta - UD Trucks sees gold in RI’s infrastructure development

--- Japan-based truck maker UD Trucks has opened its first truck factory in Indonesia, hoping to benefit from the country’s growing infrastructure development in years to come... UD Trucks, which was acquired by Swedish automobile manufacturing giant Volvo in 2007, formed partnerships with Tjahja Sakti Motor and Gaya Motor to build the factory with investment worth US$3 million... The new factory, located in North Jakarta, is expected to produce 200 units of Quester trucks per month with more than 40 percent of local industrial content. Quester is a heavy duty truck designed specifically to cater the mining, construction and logistics sectors... 
(Photo: UD Trucks' Quester)   --  Jakarta, Indonesia - The Jakarta Post, by Viriya P. Singgih - October 19 2016


OLDER TRUCKERS * USA: "The greater majority of truck-related crashes are not caused by truckers"

* New York - Are older commercial truck drivers causing more danger on nation's highways?

--- America’s trucking industry is facing a severe driver shortage. One estimate says about 48,000 drivers are needed to move 70 percent of the nation’s goods... Companies are aggressively recruiting retirees. Drivers more than 65 years old make up about 10 percent of commercial vehicle operators in the U.S. A five month investigation by CBS News looks at how the increase in older drivers translates to potential danger on the nation’s highways... This trend is a result of the recent downturn in the economy... Individuals are working well past the retirement age of 65. But as the industry has changed, the rules of the roads have not kept up with the times -- raising the question: Is more screening needed for commercial drivers? ... A CBS News analysis of crash data reveals a 19 percent increase in accidents involving commercial truck and bus drivers in their 70s, 80s and even 90s, in just the last three years. From 2013 to 2015, there were more than 6,636 involving elderly drivers in 12 states alone... The initiative was shelved because of the labor shortage and a lack of age restrictions. Trucking schools are now actively recruiting seniors, promising good benefits and money to supplement retirement... An association representing independent truck drivers said, while there are more commercial drivers over 70, “the greater majority of truck-related crashes are not caused by truckers, but are instead caused by other drivers”...
(Photo: Older Couple truckers)--  New York, NY, USA - CBS NEWS, reports correspondent Kris Van Cleave - October 18, 2
° KUMIJO 16 hours ago: "I blame young inexperienced drivers for most the wrecks. Have seen it far too many times.. A truck swerves into my lane, I look up and its a young driver. Older drivers have more experience and are less likely to be playing with a computer or taking on a phone."
° TASH.THO 17 hours ago: "Is this the entire report? According to FMCSA data, less than 6% of large truck and bus drivers in fatal crashes are over 65. If about 10% of large truck and bus drivers are more than 65 years old as stated in the article, then older truck drivers are actually safer than truck drivers on average."
° JIMBO7776 22 hours ago: "Drives and pilots over 65 should be allowed with cognitive testing."

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FEMALE TRUCKER LIFE * Canada: She loves to drive trucks

* Ontario - Female truck driver loves her life on the road

--- Valeska Riveros isn't your typical truck driver. She is just about as tall as the door handle on her 18-wheel big rig. But Riveros, 37, says life on the road has given her a feeling of freedom, security, and independence that she's never known before... "I love this job," said Riveros, who works for Challenger Motor Freight Inc. "I don't know how I didn't do this before" ... Riveros came to trucking after spending about 10 years working in Kitchener at the Schneider's meat packing plant. When that factory closed, she was offered a job in Hamilton at the new, amalgamated Maple Leaf factory. For Riveros, the work was monotonous and unfulfilling — and she was getting paid $3 less an hour... 
(Photo by Gary Yokoyama,The Hamilton Spectator: Valeska Riveros in the cab of her 2015 Volvo truck) -- Hamilton, ONT, USA - Hamilton Spectator, by Emma Reilly - Oct 18, 2016

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TIRES MAKERS* Czech Republic - "Continental" open new factory

* Otrokovice - Continental opens rebuilt truck tyre production hall in

--- A ceremony was held last week to officially inaugurate the newly-rebuilt truck tyre production hall at Continental’s manufacturing facility in Otrokovice, Czech Republic. The inauguration marks the completion of a three-year project that involved a CZK 4.4 billion (£146.4 million) investment and has led to the creation of 130 new jobs. The project has seen the Otrokovice site, which previously served the European, Middle East and African markets, additionally develop into a production hub for markets in America and the Asia Pacific region...
(Photo: The CVT2 hall has enabled the Otrokovice site to service markets in the Americas and Asia Pacific)   --   Otrokovice, Czech Republic - Tyre Press - 17th October 2016


TRUCK EMISSIONS SURVEY * USA - New Federal limits on

* Michigan - Survey gauges trucking industry attitudes

--- As the U.S. trucking industry faces new federal limits on greenhouse gas emissions, a University of Michigan team surveyed fleet managers to gauge their views on fuel usage, fuel economy and fuel-saving technologies... The survey results, released today with the American Transportation Research Institute, include responses from nearly 100 heavy-duty fleet managers who operate more than 114,500 truck-tractors and haul 9 billion tons of freight across 1.8 billion miles annually... The researchers found that: 

 ° The median heavy-duty fleet fuel economy was 6.5 mpg. While that number may sound low, the researchers point out that these trucks haul tens of thousands of pounds at a time, whereas passenger vehicles weigh only a few thousand pounds each. 

 ° On average, managers of the smallest fleets said that the price of diesel per gallon that would require seeking out fuel-saving technologies was $3.50, while all other fleets (and all fleets overall) said $3.00. Every heavy-duty fleet in this survey currently uses diesel fuel, with biodiesel blends B5, B10 and B20 being the most common alternatives. 

 ° The most popular fuel-saving technologies on the truck-tractor were aluminum wheels, speed limiters and low-rolling resistance dual tires. The most common fuel-saving technologies on trailers were low-rolling resistance dual tires, aluminum wheels and weight-saving technologies. Larger fleets tended to more often utilize monitoring technology that would notify drivers and fleet managers if they exceeded certain speeds, but smaller fleets tended to utilize on-truck technologies. 

 ° Nearly all fleet managers feel that new EPA heavy-duty emissions regulations will lead to higher truck operating and truck purchase costs... 

New standards from the EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration require that emissions reductions begin in 2017... 
(Image credit: American Transportation Research Institute - Truck traffic in the U.S. over a single day)   --  Ann Harbour, MICH, USA - University of Michigan, by Nicole Casal - Oct 17, 2016

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SAFETY CAMERAS * USA: Allowed on truck cabs

* DC - FMCSA grants Bendix Video Camera permanent exemption

--- Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems announced the video camera component of its Wingman Fusion collision mitigation technology and AutoVue lane departure warning system will remain compliant with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration rules, following an exemption that was recently made permanent... Effective Oct. 24, the rule change allows certain devices that use vehicle safety technology to be placed on the interior of commercial vehicle windshields within the area that is swept by the windshield wipers... The regulatory change affecting its camera component states that motor carriers using approved sfety technologies such as lane departure warning systems and collision mitigation systems can mount devices within that area, though not more than four inches below its upper edge, or seven inches above its lower edge, Bendix said... 
(Photo: FMCSA grants Bendix video-camera permanent exemption)   --  Washington, DC, USA - Transport Topics - 17 Oct 2016

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SPEED LIMITER DEBATE * USA: For heavy trucks

* DC - 3000 comments sent to the FMCSA & NHTSA

... Nearly 3,000 comments have already been sent in to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. And that does not include comments from many larger groups, such as American Trucking Associations, which have said they will respond prior to next month’s deadline... The proposal, published Sept. 7, does not specify a speed that could be adopted in a final rule but suggests that setting limiters at 60 mph, 65 mph or 68 mph would save lives and reduce fuel use.. The majority are truly concerned with the unintended consequences of having trucks and cars traveling at different speeds, especially when the limit on a highway is above 70 mph... All of this comes a week after ATA President Chris Spear expressed similar concerns about what he called a “flawed” proposal... It unfortunately sounds like it still will be a while before there is a final mandate. We can only hope trucking’s voice will be heard and a final mandate will reflect their serious safety concerns...
 (Image by: Gallo Images/Thinkstock Truck wheels)   --   Washington, DC, USA - Transport Topics - Oct. 17 2016

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J.B. Hunt * USA: Earnings fall amid weak demand

* Ohio - Low rates cut profits for intermodal trucker

--- Falling truck and intermodal pricing cut into profits at J.B. Hunt Transport Services in the third quarter, despite increases in freight volume and revenue. The 5 percent drop in net profit to $109.4 million was the first decline in profitability this year for the intermodal trucking firm, which has gained market share in 2016 while competitors cut capacity as their margins narrowed... The drop in profitability at a reliably profitable large transport operator underscores the intensity and depth of the rate battle between US freight shippers and trucking companies this year. Truckload carriers, in particular, have been pressed to lower rates as weak consumer spending, high inventories, and excess truckload capacity depress freight demand in 2016... That higher-margin business and demand will inspire more dedication to dedicated services at J.B. Hunt and other truckload and even less-than-truckload carriers expanding dedicated services as they pursue opportunities for growth...
(Photo Bloomberg News - Tractor trailers sit parked at a J.B. Hunt Transport Services facility)  --    Columbus, OH, USA - JOC, by William B. Cassidy - Oct 17, 2016


Oct 18, 2016

ZTO Express * China: Set for biggest USA IPO this year

* Shanghai - Delivery firm set to raise up to $1.3 billion in biggest IPO by Chinese company in the U.S. A.

--- A logistics company tied to China’s booming online-shopping industry is set to raise up to $1.3 billion in what could be the biggest U.S. initial public offering this year... ZTO Express, which delivers parcels for businesses including Chinese e-commerce giants Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Inc., said late Friday it will sell 72.1 million shares at $16.50 to $18.50 each... Founded in 2009 by a 15-year veteran of China’s logistics industry, ZTO operates a fleet of more than 3,300 trucks that deliver across China. Its main business is delivering parcels for Alibaba, which accounted for 75% of its business during the first half of this year. ZTO’s backers include Hillhouse Capital Group and Warburg Pincus LLC. ... 
(Photo: Reuters - Workers listen to instructions at a ZTO Express sorting centre in Beijing, China, in November 2015)   --  Shanghai, China - The WSJ, by ALEC MACFARLANE - Oct. 16, 2016

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Schneider National Carriers Inc. * USA: Will pay $28 million

* California - Schneider National settles truckers’ lawsuit for $28M

--- Schneider National Carriers Inc. will pay $28 million to settle a long-standing dispute over wages for meal and rest breaks for drivers in California... The settlement, disclosed last week, ends a class-action lawsuit filed in 2008 by drivers who said they were not paid for breaks or for waiting at docks for their cargo to be loaded or unloaded... The lawsuit affects about 7,700 current or former Schneider drivers in California... In a 2014 ruling, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed that California could enforce its own meal and rest break requirements for the trucking industry. The trucking industry has fought to reverse that decision... The lawsuit claimed that Schneider failed to pay California drivers minimum wage, a violation of the California Labor Code, and failed to pay employees wages for vacation time, personal days off and other paid leave owed when they left the company. Drivers also alleged in the suit that the company failed to keep accurate pay records of wages that drivers earned while working in California... 
(Photo: Jason MIller/Flickr - Schneider National truck) -- Sacramento, CAL, USA -, by Clarissa Hawes - Oct 17, 2016


Oct 17, 2016

NAVISTAR's news * USA - Demonstrates SuperTruck, platooning

* Indiana - Navistar's SuperTruck changes shape at highway speeds

--- Navistar’s super-cool SuperTruck actually changes shape as it reaches highway speeds, lowering the front axle up to two inches and the trailer axles by as much as three, giving the tractor-trailer an airfoil shape... The company demonstrated its SuperTruck this week at its sprawling test track in New Carlisle, Ind.... Navistar also demonstrated its ability to operate truck platoons, with following vehicles driven autonomously. International has been working to develop and test the system. I rode along in the second truck in a two-truck platoon and watched as the driver joined the platoon and then removed his hands and feet from the steering wheel and pedals... The truck followed the one in front as close as 15 meters and steered itself in accordance with the movements of the lead truck. Navistar engineers demonstrated lane changes, but no, the following truck doesn’t activate its own signal light. Most of the driving, however, was done hands-free... 
(Photo: Hands-free driving of the second truck in a two-truck platoon)   --   New Carlisle, IND, USA - Truck News (CAN), by James Menzies

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* Michigan - US Army testing self driving supply trucks

--- US Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center, or TARDEC, has been testing robotic trucks for the Army in Michigan and Michigan will be the main location for developing autonomous technology for commercial trucks... TARDEC is developing its vehicle-to-infrastructure capabilities to increase safety, reduce distracting tasks and carry supplies for soldiers... In June, the four-vehicle convoy of tractor-trailers on Interstate 69, about 40 miles east of Flint, Mich., showed the trucks’ ability to communicate with roadside units set up by the Michigan Department of Transportation. The so-called vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) connectivity is a crucial step toward building a network of autonomous commercial trucks and passenger vehicles... Eventually, V2I will be able to send vehicles information about traffic signals and relay information about collisions on the road, among other data... 
 (Photo: Military autonomous trucks tested in Michigan roads)  --  MICH, USA - Next Big Future

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SMALLER TRUCKING FIRMS * USA: Out of business by Electronic Log Rule ??

* DC - Small operators found that 84 percent lacked electronic logs

--- A new regulation that will force U.S. trucking companies to electronically log employee hours is designed to limit accidents by keeping tired drivers off the road... It may also drive smaller trucking firms out of business... A trucking industry survey earlier this year of mostly small operators found that 84 percent lacked electronic logs, according to load-matching firm Paper logs allow transport companies already facing razor thin margins to fudge the books, boosting their hours on the road to help the bottom line... Industry experts argue that whatever those savings, the smaller firms and independent owner operators that are the backbone of a highly fragmented market will take a productivity hit, making it difficult to pay off their trucks that have doubled in price since 2000... As a result, small to mid-size trucking outfits will need to find more drivers to haul the same amount of freight — and seek other ways to cut costs — in order to make it... 
Washington, DC, USA - Insurance Journal, by Nick Carey - October 14, 2016

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SPEED LIMITERS * USA: Truckers opposed

* DC - Truckers remain mostly opposed to speed limiter rule as comments pour in

--- Nearly 3,000 comments have been received by the Department of Transportation in just five weeks since it published its proposal to mandate the use of speed limiting devices on trucks weighing more than 26,000 pounds. Truckers, according to the publicly filed comments, remain opposed to the rule... The proposal is written as more of a fact-finding request than a fully formed rule proposal. It doesn’t offer specifics on a speed trucks would be limited to. The DOT did appear to be leaning toward either a 60, 65 or 68 mph cap, however... Many of the comments, if not most, received to the docket so far have been in opposition of the rule, and although it hasn’t filed a formal comment yet, the American Trucking Associations, has said it won’t support the rule as it’s currently written, despite its past strong support for a rule mandating limiters... ONE COMMENT: “I oppose speed limiters in trucks. Accidents are much less likely to happen when vehicles are traveling at the same speed. If speed limiters are such a great idea why don’t we put them on all vehicle[s]? Then everybody would be traveling at the same speed.” – Donald Beebe, Burnsville, Minn... 
(Photo: Highway truck) -- Washington, DC, USA - Overdrive - 13 Oct 2016

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* Rhode Island - Trucking stakeholders staging anti-toll rally on Oct. 18

--- The Rhode Island Trucking Association and Natso, the national association representing travel plazas and truck stops, will be staging an informational rally and press conference at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 18, at the TravelCenters of America...  The rally is in response to Rhode Island’s truck-only toll... Presenters at the rally will discuss the effects of the RhodeWorks program on local businesses and commercial truck drivers... In February, Gov. Gina Raimondo signed into law a bill that would toll only commercial vehicles to fund road and bridge repairs. The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, Rhode Island Trucking Association and other industry groups have been outspoken about their disapproval of the bill since it was introduced in the summer of 2015... Local residents and truckers are encouraged to attend the rally at the TravelCenters located at 849 Victory Highway in West Greenwich, R.I. ... 
West Greenwich, Rhode Island, USA - Land Line - 13 Oct 2016

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Oct 15, 2016

MAN TRUCK & BUSES' news * Germany - Truck staff get job guarantee until 2025

* Munich - VW's MAN: Job guarantee applies to German, Austrian ops 

--- Truckmaker MAN will offer job guarantees to some of its staff until at least 2025, a person familiar with the matter said... Job guarantees will apply to staff at MAN Truck & Bus in Germany and Austria and automatically extend through 2030 if not terminated prior to that date. MAN has 36,000 workers globally... Volkswagen (VW) had been seeking to build a global trucks business by integrating the heavy goods vehicle operations of Scania and MAN divisions... VW last month announced details on how Scania and MAN will in future share development of engines, transmissions, axles and emissions-treatment systems to try to align the two manufacturers more closely to boost profits... With Thursday's decision, MAN is reassuring workers after restructuring last year culminated in 1,800 job losses in Europe designed to revive languishing profitability and tackle high fixed costs... 
(Photo: MAN truck)  --   Munich/Berlin, Germany - Reuters - 13 Oct 2016


DAIMLER news * Germany - New high-tech car engine factory In Poland

* Stuttgart - Daimler Will produce a new generation of engines

--- German carmaker Daimler says it will build a 500 million euro ($551 million) factory in southwestern Poland that will produce a new generation of engines... Markus Schaefer, a board member in Daimler unit Mercedes-Benz Cars, said Thursday that production of the engines in Jawor will begin next year. The plant will reach its output capacity in 2020 with hundreds of thousands of engines made for various Mercedes car models... He estimated the plant will create hundreds of jobs, and thousands more indirectly through the need for support services in the region, some 60 kilometers (37 miles) west of Wroclaw. Before this new factory plan, Daimler had offered about 250 jobs in Poland... 
(AP Photo)  --  Stuttgart, Germany - The Associated Press - 13 Oct 2016


FORD's Trucks news * USA: Parts issue’ slowed F-Series Super Duty Truck

* Kentucky - Louisville factory ... "it will be ‘impossible’ to build all of the lost units in third quarter"

--- Ford Motor Co.’s shipments of its newest heavy pickups known as the F-Series Super Duty were hurt in late summer because of unspecified “parts issues,” a union official said, signaling a potential drag on the auto makers’ third-quarter earnings... Rodney Janes, the United Auto Workers union chairman at Ford’s Louisville, Ky., truck factory, said while the issues are being ironed out, it would be “impossible to build all the lost units” from this past quarter. The shortfall could mean overtime work for assemblers as the company races to meet demand for the redesigned truck, among the industry’s most profitable products... Last year, as Ford was ramping up production of its new F-150, the company also struggled with parts problems that forced it to cancel planned overtime and halt the assembly line during regular shifts. That left dealers short on pickups and ultimately dented profit and market share during 2015... 
(PHOTO: LUKE SHARRETT/BLOOMBERG - The grill of a 2017 Ford Motor Co. Super Duty F-250 truck) -- Louisville, KY, USA - The WSJ, by CHRISTINA ROGERS - Oct. 13, 2016


INSURERS RUNNING FROM TRUCKS * USA: ‘Nuclear’ Verdicts do it

* New York - Zurich Insurance, AIG dropped coverage of most for-hire fleets earlier this year

--- Truckers are finding it harder and costlier to line up coverage for their fleets, as a wave of blockbuster payouts over accidents pushes insurers out of the market... The number of people killed in accidents involving large trucks fell 20% in the last decade, according to the Transportation Department, though it ticked higher last year. But a string of so-called “nuclear” verdicts, where juries award tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars to families of accident victims, have made the financial consequences of those crashes harder to predict... Unwilling to bear the risk of large settlements and verdicts, Zurich Insurance Group AG and American International Group Inc. dropped coverage of most for-hire fleets earlier this year. Both insurers still cover trucks operated directly by retailers and manufacturers, brokers say. They had been two of the biggest underwriters for the business. Other insurers hiked premiums anywhere from 10% to 30%... AIG stopped covering trucking fleets via its Lexington Insurance Co. unit as part of a wider effort to improve profits in its commercial insurance division, the company said in a statement... Federal law requires trucking companies to cover drivers up to $750,000 per accident. Many self-insure up to around $1 million, then buy tiers of outside insurance to cover additional costs... The cost of that extra coverage is putting fresh pressure on the trucking industry, which already is mired in its worst slump since the recession. The average U.S. trucking company spent about 9.2 cents per mile on premiums in 2015, a figure that is up 44% in two years and doesn’t include this year’s hikes, according to the American Transportation Research Institute, an industry group. The figure is dwarfed by the 40 cents per mile spent on fuel and 50 cents per mile paid out to drivers. But diesel prices have fallen and salaries have edged up slightly, making the jump in premiums stand out... Concerns about accidents involving sleep-deprived drivers led the federal government to impose stricter limits on truckers’ hours behind the wheel in 2013, and starting late next year most trucks will be required to carry electronic monitoring devices to help enforce these rules. Higher insurance costs are spurring the trucking industry to adopt accident-prevention technology, including devices that alert drivers if their trucks drift outside their lane, he said...
(PHOTO: DAVID GARD/ASSOCIATED PRESS - Traffic moved past the scene of a June 2014 accident on the New Jersey Turnpike involving a Wal-Mart Stores truck, in which one person was killed and several, including comedian Tracy Morgan, were injured) - NY, USA - The WSJ, by BRIAN BASKIN - Oct. 14, 2016

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* California - Import volumes sank at the ports of Long Beach and Oakland in September

--- The bankruptcy of global ocean carrier Hanjin Shipping Co. battered U.S. West Coast seaports in September... For weeks after the South Korean operator filed for bankruptcy protection, its fleet of dozens of vessels—about 3.2% of global container capacity—sat idle in international waters with billions of dollars in cargo trapped on board. The disruption came as retailers were stocking their shelves for the busy holiday season, a time that usually results in among the strongest months at U.S. ports... But delays and confusion are mounting. Thousands of Hanjin containers—unloaded from ships and emptied of their imported goods—clutter warehouse yards and parking lots, many of them attached to trailers that port truckers need to move other companies’ goods on and off the docks... This week, Hanjin started accepting empty container drop-offs at port terminals in Long Beach and Seattle, relieving some of those issues... 
(PHOTO: BLOOMBERG NEWS - Import volumes at the ports of Long Beach and Oakland declined last month as Hanjin Shipping filed for bankruptcy protection. Above, the Hanjin Montevideo container ship sits anchored near the Port of Long Beach, Calif)   --  Los Angeles, CAL, USA - The WSJ, by ERICA E. PHILLIPS - Oct. 13, 2016

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* DC - Trump bests Clinton among trucking campaign contributions

--- Trucking campaign contributions have heavily favored Republican candidates this election cycle, with 82 percent of the industry’s contributions going to Republicans, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics. The remaining 18 percent has gone to Democrats, the center reports... Contributions to the top Republican on the ticket, however, are much lower than recent presidential elections... Of trucking’s $5.22 million in contributions, more than $97,000 went to Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump – far less than the $1.05 million contributed to Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney in 2012. It’s also well below the $375,000 contributed to John McCain’s Republican campaign in 2008... Just over $72,000 has been contributed by trucking to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton this election cycle, according to CRP data. Clinton’s trucking-received contributions are lower than President Obama’s $80,601 in 2012 and $151,864 in 2008... The top recipient of trucking political contributions was Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, receiving $164,730.... 
(Photo: Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton ranked 6th on the list of trucking industry contributors, drawing more than $72,000 from the industry in campaign contributions)  --   Washington, DC, USA - CCJ, by James Jaillet - October 11, 2016

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* DC - Department of Transportation to provide $165M to make U.S. cities smarter

--- At the White House Frontiers Conference in Pittsburgh today, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced new funds that will help it roll out smart city technologies in places across the U.S., as part of the White House’s Smart Cities Initiative. $165 million in funding, including $65 million in public funding made available through two new grants, and $100 million in matching funds targeted for advanced transportation tech will help push the Smart Cities Initiative forward in cities including Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Houston, Los Angeles, Buffalo and Marysville... The funds are designed to help pay for solutions that ease traffic congestion and also improve driver and pedestrian safety. Pittsburgh will get $11 million through the program to install smart traffic lights, for instance, and Denver will get $6 million towards use of connected vehicles to mitigate traffic during commutes. Around $8 million in grants is also now available for the specific purpose of building on-demand mobility, including car sharing, demand-based dynamic buses and bike sharing into their existing public transit networks... 
  Washington, DC, USA - TC, by Darrell Etherington - 14 Oct 2016


* USA Truck: Increases pay for its independents

* Arkansas - Touts fuel discounts along with maintenance benefits in addition to 33 cent per mile pay boost

--- TL carrier USA Truck said it boosted pay rates for new independent contractors by 33 cents a mile effective October 1; raising pay from $1.02 per mile to $1.35 per mile for them, depending on length of haul... The company added that its independent contractors will also receive substantial discounts on retail fuel prices at all “in-network” fuel stops, along with preferred labor rates and discounted parts when they take their equipment to USA Truck maintenance facilities...
 (Photo USA Truck - Stifel Capital Markets noted that USA Truck is the middle of a "transformational turnaround period" since struggling through the Great Recession) -- Van Buren, ARK, USA - Fleet Owner - 13 Oct 2016

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UBER's news * USA: Unemployment payments to two former drivers

* New York - Uber drivers ruled eligible for jobless payments in 

--- Two former drivers for Uber are eligible for unemployment payments, New York State regulators have ruled, finding that they should be treated as employees rather than independent contractors, as the company has maintained... Unlike contractors, employees are entitled to a variety of rights and protections, including a minimum wage and workers’ compensation insurance, and are typically more costly for companies to rely on... The decision could make it more difficult for Uber, its rival Lyft and other new businesses operating in what is known as the gig economy by raising their costs and challenging their business model...
(Photo by Kevin Hagen/The New York Times - Uber drivers in a staged strike in Long Island City, Queens, in February)   --  NY, USA - The NYT, by NOAM SCHEIBER - Oct. 12, 2016

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XPO Logistics * USA: Workers vote to unionize

* Connecticut & Illinois - XPO Logistics truck drivers to join International Brotherhood of Teamsters

--- XPO Logistics Inc. warehouse workers and truck drivers in Connecticut and Illinois have voted to join the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, the union said Thursday... A majority of 127 warehouse workers in North Haven, Conn., voted to become the first warehouse workers at XPO to form a union in the U.S., the Teamsters said. A majority of 74 drivers in Aurora, Ill., voted to join, marking the first Teamsters victory at XPO since the company acquired Con-way Inc. for $3 billion last year... XPO, Greenwich, Conn., has 44,000 employees in the U.S. ...
(Photo: XPO LOGISTICS INC. - The labor votes at XPO Logistics took in about 200 workers in a business that has 44,000 employees in the U.S.) -- CONN/ILL, USA - The WSJ, by LORETTA CHAO - Oct. 13, 2016


PORT TRUCKERS * USA: Use GPS to measure turn times

* New York & New Jersey: Truckers tested system to reducing dock delays

--- The main trucker advocacy group at the Port of New York and New Jersey is preparing to launch a satellite-based system to compile data on truck turn times at the port’s five main terminals in an effort to prod terminals into reducing delays... The Association of Bi-State Motor Carriers in recent weeks has tested the system with information from 800 to 900 trucks fitted with global positioning system devices. The data are used to measure queue times outside gates and the time that vehicles spend inside terminals... Association officials hope the data will highlight concerns about the difficulties their drivers endure when taking containers in and out of the nation’s third-busiest port. Sporadic bouts of congestion and delays in recent years have routinely increased queue and turn time at some terminals to well above an hour on the best days, and often to several hours... 
(Photo: Harbor truckers hope the new system will provide the information needed to make improvements that will help revent long truck lines such as the one pictured)  --  Newark, NJ, USA - JOC, by Hugh R. Morley - Oct 13, 2016


UPS news * USA: Expands morning package-delivery service

* Georgia - UPS: To add an additional 28 countries to the 8 a.m. delivery service

--- UPS Inc. will expand its morning package-delivery service to 28 new countries and expand the urgent-shipping offering to additional ZIP codes in many others, the supply chain giant announced today... Atlanta-based UPS is targeting this Worldwide Express Plus service for businesses in the industrial manufacturing, automotive, healthcare, and retail industries that often need to make urgent shipments. A package shipped by Express Plus service is guaranteed for delivery on the next business day as early as 8 a.m., depending on the destination... The service had previously been available in 28 countries, and UPS will now add an additional 28 countries, including Turkey, Mexico, Vietnam, and United Arab Emirates. The company will also expand the range of Express Plus delivery in most of the original regions, adding 3,000 more postal codes in the U.K. and 2,000 more codes in Canada... 
Atlanta, GA, USA - DC Velocity - October 12, 2016

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AMAZON's * USA: Seasonal Hiring

* New York - Amazon adding 120,000 workers to meet holiday demand

--- The holidays are coming and Amazon plans to add 120,000 seasonal workers in an effort to meet an expected spike in demand as more and more people trade bricks for clicks... The move marks a 20 percent boost from the 100,000 seasonal hires a year ago... The move comes as online shopping growth continues to eclipse shopping at traditional stores. The National Retail Federation, based in Washington, D.C., is forecasting holiday sales for the November and December period to rise 3.6 percent to $655.8 billion, much better than the 3 percent growth seen in the year-ago period. Online shopping is expected to rise 7 to 10 percent over last year to as much as $117 billion... At the end of July, the company said it has 123 distribution centers globally and more than 23 sorting center, with plans to have add 21 new global fulfillment centers by the end of September; at the same point in 2015, it had added only 10... 
(Photo: Shows the Amazon logo in Santa Monica, Calif. will add about 120,000 seasonal workers in an effort to meet an expected spike in demand during the holidays)   --  NY, USA - AP/ABC News, by MAE ANDERSON - Oct 13, 2016

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Oct 14, 2016

DAIMLER TNA. * USA: Offer trucks´ optional Aero Kit

* Texas - FlowBelow Aero expands supplier agreemet with DTNA

--- FlowBelow Aero Inc. said Daimler Trucks North America will offer its fuel-saving Tractor AeroKit system as an option on its most fuel-efficient Freightliner Cascadia Evolution equipment package, effective immediately... The AeroKit system improves truck fuel efficiency by more than 2% and consists of aerodynamic quick-release wheel covers, center fairings located between the wheels and rear fairings installed behind the tractor's wheels, according to the company... 
(Photo: The FlowBelow AeroKit) -- Austin, TXS, USA - Transport Topics - 12 Oct 2016


TRUCK FREIGHT * USA: Increased 3.5% this year

* Florida - Earnings turmoil deepens at railroads as trucks poach freight

--- Railroads lost cargo to trucks in the third quarter, adding to a yearlong slide in profits as demand tumbled for coal, oil and metals... Intermodal cargo, goods hauled in containers, fell a second consecutive quarter for the first time since 2009, according to the Association of American Railroads, an industry trade group. A surplus of trucks has pushed down freight rates and lower diesel prices have chipped away at rail’s usual fuel-savings advantage, taking a toll on once-steady growth... Meanwhile, truck freight has increased 3.5% this year through August, according to the railroads association... 
(Photo) -- Jacksonville, FL, USA - Transport Topics, by Thomas Black - 12 Oct 2016

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Freight Transportation Forecast * USA - Shows continued growth for trucking

* Virginia - Total truck volumes will grow

--- Today, the American Trucking Associations released the latest edition of its look into the future of freight transportation, U.S. Freight Transportation Forecast to 2027, showing growth in both overall freight volumes and in the amount of goods moved by truck... American Trucking Associations is the largest national trade association for the trucking industry. Specific to trucking, truckload volumes will grow 2% annually between 2016 and 2022 and 1.6% per year after that until 2027. Less-than-truckload volume will grow year after year 3% through 2022 and 2.8% from 2023 to 2027. Private carrier volumes will grow 2.3% annually until 2022 and 2.1% each year over the next five years... 
Arlington, VA, USA - PRNewswire-USNewswire - Oct. 12, 2016

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UPS´s NEW FLEET * USA: Hybrid-electric trucks

* Georgia - UPS adding 200 hybrid delivery trucks

--- UPS is adding 200 new hybrid-electric delivery trucks that feature a 2-cylinder engine and E-GENTM chassis to its alternative fuel and advanced technology fleet... The vehicles deliver approximately four times the fuel economy of a gasoline powered vehicle, and offer a real time telematics performance monitoring system that provides feedback for energy monitoring and route efficiency, according to UPS... The trucks will be deployed sometime in January 2017 starting at locations in Arizona, Texas, Nevada, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida... 
(Photo courtesy of UPS) -- Atlantaa, GA, USA - TruckingInfo - October 11, 2016