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2006-01-30

TRUCKING WORLD NEWS

* Taft's 'Perfect' Volvos
UK -TNN -30 Jan 2006: Taft International Transport of Canterbury, Kent, have replaced their entire fleet of mixed vehicles with 14 new Volvo FH12 tractor units on a three-year contract hire deal... They have been specified with Globetrotter XL cabs in 'Prestige' trim with electronic climate control, radio/CD players and 14-speed splitter gearboxes, Volvo Engine Brakes, Air Flow system and sliding fifth wheels...

* Schneider National introduces new tractor leasing program for owner-operators
Green Bay, Wis,USA -Transportation & Logistics, by Julia Kuzeljevich -26 Jan 2006: The new Owner-Operator Success Lease Program is offered by Schneider Finance, Inc., a truck financing subsidiary of Schneider National. Through the program, all new units leased or sold by Schneider Finance will include Thermo King TriPac heating and cooling units in aerodynamic Freightliner Century, Kenworth T2000, Volvo 780, and Peterbilt 386 and 387 tractors...

* DWP employees relate grievances
Los Angeles,CA,USA -Los Angeles Daily News, by Dan Laidman -28 Jan 2005: The Department of Water and Power Commission launched an investigation Friday into allegations of workplace discrimination as a steady stream of workers at the nation's largest municipal utility told of alleged harassment, retaliation and misspent taxpayer dollars... Commissioners decided to hold the hearing after receiving an anonymous letter charging that harassment and retaliation are rampant in the department and several speakers made similar statements during public comment periods at board meetings...

* Trucking firm shares secrets of its success
New Brunswick,Canada -Canada East Telegraph-Journal, by Nina Chiarelli -28 Jan 2006: Armour Transportation Systems among companies featured in new book on lessons from Canada's best-managed firms... Started by his father Gordon in the 1930s, Armour Transportation Systems began humbly as a small company that trucked hay and gravel to Moncton from tiny Taylor Village southwest of Memramcook... It has parlayed itself from a tiny family business operating out of southeastern New Brunswick's countryside to a diversified company with 1,500 employees that's now a major player in Atlantic Canada's transportation industry...

* Wattie’s off the road
Norfolk,England,UK -Norfolk Eastern Daily Press, by ED NASH -28 Jan 2006: Walter Claxton, who turned 79 today, will have to retire from haulage after thousands of miles of trucking... With nearly 400,000 miles on the clock Wattie's lorry could have been round the earth 16 times... But in fact the trusty red Bedford truck has spent the past 14 years zipping...

Corruption - Mexico - Probe May Delay Customs Facility in Mo.

USA -Associated Press/Forbes, by GARANCE BURKE -29 Jan 2006: -- A corruption investigation into the Mexican president's stepsons could slow plans to open a high-tech customs facility that would clear trucks for export to Mexico in the heart of the Midwest... The Mexican customs facility, which U.S. and Mexican officials are planning to open in Kansas City in May, would be the first customs house run by a foreign country inside the United States... The proposed inquiry, which will likely be voted on next week, links the Kansas City project to a larger corruption investigation involving first lady Marta Sahagun's eldest son...

Safely - Russia - Trucks reach Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky after 12 days en route

PETROPAVLOVSK-KAMCHATSKY,Russia -Itar/Tass -Jan 29 2006: -- A truck convoy that was trapped in snow captivity near Gorelyi Volcano in Kamchatka for several days has safely arrived in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. All the 18 crewmen are alive and in good health... Mechanized vehicles cleaned the road to the Vilyuchinsky mountain pass on Saturday enabling the convoy to move forward... Prosecutors are looking into the incident. Managers who dispatched the trucks on a trip across impassable roads despite a storm warning may face responsibility for negligence and violation of labour protection rules...

Jobs - USA - Trucking Jobs in Idaho

Idaho,Usa -www.classadrivers.com -30 Jan 2006: One Application - Multiple Trucking Companies - Complete the Application ONCE, and you can apply over the Internet for Multiple Available Jobs with Better Trucking Companies Submit An Application and Find A Better Trucking Job Today...

Pollution - USA - Panel says Mexican trucks must meet pollution rules

SACRAMENTO,CAL,USA -modbee.com/AP -January 28, 2006Foreign commercial trucks coming into California soon will have to meet U.S. air pollution standards, state air regulators ruled this week as they weighed in on an international fight that went to the U.S. Supreme Court... At least 4,000 trucks operate inCalifornia on any given day without meeting U.S. Environmental Protection Agency pollution standards, said California Air Resources Board spokesman Jerry Martin. Most are from Mexico, the air board found, since most Canadian vehicles are built to U.S. specifications... The debate over the use of Mexican trucks on U.S. highways culminated in 2004 with a U.S. Supreme Court decision supporting the Bush administration's decision to let trucks into the country beyond what had been a 20-mile commercial border zone...

AUTOS' WORLD NEWS

* Cummins records record profits
Indiana,USA -IndyStar -January 30, 2006: Southern Indiana's Cummins Inc. reported today that the fourth quarter was its most profitable ever... For all of 2005, Cummins reported profits as measured by earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) of $907 million, a 67 percent increase from 2004. Sales increased 18 percent to $9.92 billion, from $8.44 billion in 2004, the company said in a news release...

* Study finds toxic threat in auto interiors
WASHINGTON,DC,USA -The Detroit News, by Jeff Plungis -Jan 30, 2006: Chemical industry disputes report on dangers; Volvo cited as leader in interior air quality.... A report by an Ann Arbor environmental group that says toxic chemicals are present in automobile interiors at levels five to 10 times higher than those found in homes and offices has sparked protests from the chemical industry and interest from automakers... The report, "Toxic at Any Speed," was released by the Ecology Center on Jan. 11, amid the din of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit...

* Changes in car rental industry benefit Enterprise
ST. LOUIS.Miss,USA -The Detroit News -Jan 30, 2006: Its nationwide fleet numbers more than 600,000; Company buys about 7% of all new cars sold annually in the U.S... Recent industry changes have put Enterprise in the driver's seat. The trade publication Auto Rental News reported this week that for the first time, off-airport auto rentals account for more revenue than airport rentals industrywide...

Study - USA - Boosts Ethanol As Fuel

USA -The Car Connection -30 Jan 2006: -- Carmakers interest in building vehicles that run on alcohol got an important boost last week when a new study published in the magazine Science indicated that making motor fuel from corn actually can save energy... For years, supporters of the ethanol-based fuel have been ensnared in a running debate over whether turning corn into alcohol really saves fuel. The essential argument against the wider use of ethanol as a motor fuel was that the process of corn into alcohol ultimately consumed more energy than it saved... The findings of Alexander Farrell of the University of California-Berkeley basically dismantles the arguments of ethanol critics, who had claimed that making ethanol was "negative" net energy - producing it took more energy than it created...

Oil - USA - Exxon Mobil profit rises 27% on energy prices

NEW YORK,NY,USA -MarketWatch, by Padraic Cassidy -30 Jan 2006: -- Exxon Mobil on Monday reported fourth quarter net income of $10.71 billion, or $1.71 a share, compared with $8.42 billion, or $1.30 a share, earned a year ago. Excluding special items, Exxon Mobil would have earned $10.32 billion, or $1.65 a share. High oil and gas prices boosted revenue to $99.66 billion from $83.37 billion in the fourth quarter of 2004...

2006-01-28

TRUCKING WORLD NEWS

* Blizzard-stranded trucks in Kamchatka cannot drive over snowstorm
PETROPAVLOVSK-KAMCHATSKY,Eussia -Itar-Tass -Jan 26, 2006: A convoy of trucks, stranded by a blizzard near Gorely Volcano several days ago, cannot drive in the direction of the regional center Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky over a continued snowstorm... The convoy got stuck 20 kilometers from the nearest village of Nadezhda and 70 kilometers from the regional center...

* Bill to allow heavier trucks backed
Madison,WIS;USA -The Capital Times -26 Jan 2006: A state Assembly committee today unanimously approved a bill that would allow heavier logging trucks on some state roads... Assembly Bill 678 would expand the permit to allow trucks hauling logs and undefined "intermediary lumber" to carry 98,000 pounds year round...

* High-Tech announces truck maintenance tool
Las Vegas, Nev,USA -Transportation & Logistics (Canada), by Julia Kuzeljevich -Jan 25, 2006: Mitchell 1, provider of technical information for vehicle maintenance, service and repair, has announced the availability of its web-based heavy-duty vehicle service and repair information database, Tractor-Trailer.net... Tractor-Trailer.net is the trucking industry's first complete service and repair information source for all heavy-duty tractors, dry vans and reefers dating back to 1990...

* RUAN, Kings County Truck Lines finalize agreement
Lenexa, KS,USA -Ag Professional -Jan. 27, 2006: RUAN Transportation Management Systems, Inc., announced today the completion of the due diligence process and acquisition of Kings County Truck Lines, of Tulare, Calif... RUAN has purchased 100 percent of the outstanding stock of Kings County and other related entities. The Kings County assets will retain their current names at this time and operate as a part of RUAN's nationwide network...

* Patriot Transportation Holding, Inc. Announces Results for the First Quarter 2006
JACKSONVILLE, Fla.,USA -PRNewswire -Jan. 27, 2006: Patriot Transportation Holding, Inc., reported net income of $1,898,000 or $0.62 per diluted share in the first quarter of fiscal 2006, an increase of $214,000 or 12.7% compared to $1,684,000 and $0.56 per diluted share in the same period last year...

* USA Truck sees earnings jump to $4.3 million
Van Buren,ARK,USA -Arkansas Democrat Gazzette, by LAURIE WHALEN -Jan 27, 2006: USA Truck Inc. announced strong fourth-quarter results in the wake of a spike in workers ’ compensation claims... The Van Buren-based medium-haul carrier reported Thursday that it had net income of $ 4. 3 million, or 37 cents per share, a 43 percent increase compared with $ 3 million, or 32 cents per share, in the same year-ago period...

* Quarterly profit jumps 24% at Arkansas Best
Fort Smith,ARK,USA -Arkansas Democrat Gazzette, by LAURIE WHALEN -Jan 27, 2006: Decreased tonnage and increased prices marked the end of Arkansas Best Corp. ’s fourth quarter... The Fort Smith-based carrier reported Thursday that it had $ 30. 2 million, or $ 1. 18 per share, in net income for the quarter ending Dec. 31. That’s a 24 percent increase compared with $ 24. 4 million, or 95 cents per share, in 2004 ’s fourth quarter...

* YRC Worldwide has another record year
Overland Park,Kansas City,Miss,USA - The Kansas City Star -Jan. 26, 2006: YRC Worldwide Inc. of Overland Park posted sharply higher revenue and earnings last quarter, while revenue and operating income for all of 2005 set records for the third consecutive year... Changing its name from Yellow Roadway Corp. earlier this month, YRC last quarter earned $79.78 million, or $1.34 a share, on $2.48 billion in sales. During the same period in 2004, the company earned $63.35 million, or $1.24 a share, on $1.77 billion in revenue...

Regulations - USA - Trucking Safety

JACKSONVILLE,FL,USA -First Coast News, by Ken Amaro -26 Jan 2006: -- When you travel the interstate highways often, the 80,000 lb. truck in your rear view mirror becomes a symbol of fear and respect... The trucks are closely regulated by the state of Florida... "When we started inspection on these trucks 70% of them did not belong on the road, today the national average is about 20% and in Florida we are lower than that." says Captain Dave Fachko with the Florida Deaprtment for safety and compliance... "The drivers are trained, but the drivers make mistakes." he adds...

EcoNews - USA - EPA website shows diesel truck, bus fleets run cleaner

USA - EPA WebReport -Originally published: Dec. 15, 2000: -- A new EPA web site provides information on retrofitting diesel vehicles to help fleets run more cleanly... Nationwide, heavy duty diesel vehicles contribute 15 percent of the nation’s emissions of smog-causing nitrogen oxides and 22 percent of particulate matter (soot) emissions. In urban areas the contribution to air pollution can be even greater. An older, dirtier diesel truck or bus can emit almost 8 tons of pollution in a year which amounts to 160 to 240 tons of pollution over the life of an engine... To address the need for cleaner diesel vehicles on the road today, EPA created the Voluntary Diesel Retrofit Program to match fleet operators, engine manufacturers, local governments with those who can provide the appropriate technology and resources in cleaning up dirty trucks, buses and construction equipment...

EcoNews - USA - Soy biodiesel gives bigger energy bang than ethanol

USA - Agriculture Online, by Gene Johnston -27 Jan 2006: -- Ethanol from corn may get more headlines, but biodiesel from soybean oil may actually give more bang for the buck... Speaking before a group of Iowa business leaders, the CEO of West Central Cooperative in Ralston, Iowa, told of the value-added benefits of the soybean processing plant his co-op operates. Jeff Stroburg quoted USDA statistics that say biodiesel has a stronger energy balance than either ethanol or straight petroleum fuel...

Production - USA - Tenneco plant in Seward wins new exhaust treatment business

Lincoln,NE,USA -Lincoln Journal Star, by RICHARD PIERSOL -26 Jan 2006: -- Tenneco will be adding employees at its plant in Seward to make exhaust “aftertreatment systems” for International Truck and Engine Corporation to supply its entire line of medium-duty diesel vehicles beginning in 2007, the company said... The plant likely will add 40 to 50 jobs late this year... The diesel exhaust aftertreatment contract is Tenneco's first in North America for diesel emission control in the medium-duty commercial vehicle segment...

Shows - Canada - Today's Trucking publisher buys ExpoCam and CamExpo truck


TORONTO,ONT,CAN -Today's Trucking -26 Jan 2006: -- Newcom Business Media, producer of business-to-business magazines, websites and trade shows, has announced that it has acquired the two most popular truck shows in Quebec... Under the Newcom umbrella, future ExpoCam and CamExpo shows promise to be best ever... Newcom -- which produces Today's Trucking, highwaySTAR, Transport Routier, Truck & Trailer, and Truck & Trailer West, as well as Canada's online trucking resource, TodaysTrucking.com -- has completed a deal for both the ExpoCam and CamExpo trucking industry trade shows from dmg world media (Canada) inc....

Jobs - Canada - Truck drivers targeted for Sask

There is an "enormous" driver shortage in Saskatchewan

Regina,Sask,Canada -Regina Leader-Post, by Veronica Rhodes -Jan 28, 2006: -- A Winnipeg immigration lawyer is training truck drivers abroad in the hopes of getting them hired by Saskatchewan transport companies... This week, Teruel Carrasco placed an advertisement in the Leader-Post's classified section stating, "I have a pool of qualified truck drivers willing to immigrate to Canada and to settle in the province of Saskatchewan"... In a telephone interview, Carrasco explained he decided to begin training drivers in other countries after researching the driver shortage in the industry. He has about 200 long haul truck drivers willing to come to Canada... Since 2003, the Saskatchewan Trucking Association (STA) has been in partnership with the provincial and federal governments to run the Immigrant Worker Nominee Program. Approximately 250 families have come to Saskatchewan to work in the industry but all have been from the United Kingdom...

Appreciation - USA - Trucking Industry Under Review

JACKSONVILLE, FL,USA -First Coast News, by Roger Weeder -27 Jan 2005: -- The Department of Transportation is taking notice of the truck accident that happened Wednesday in Lake Butler, killing seven children... Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta, who took part in truck appreciation events at Landstar, says in recent days there have been four major truck accidents across country killing 18 people... In Washington, the transportation department is the in the process of seeing how it can better prioritize "compliance reviews."... Mineta says the challenge here is that there are more than 700,000 trucking companies. Another 8,000 new companies he says are in the pipeline for review...

AUTOS' WORLD NEWS

* U.S. automakers search for the road to recovery
PROVIDENCE,RI,USA -The Providence Journal-Jan 27, 2006: Is the future of Ford Motor Co. small, inexpensive and green? That's one possible direction for the automaker... The possibility is embodied in the Ford Reflex, a one-of-a-kind prototype concept car... Something of a cross between an economy car and the Batmobile, the Reflex is powered by a diesel-electric hybrid engine, aided by camouflaged solar panels that help recharge the battery. The gas mileage should be around 65 miles per gallon. The interior is insulated with material recycled from ground-up Nike tennis shoes. The cost? Hard to say, since the car is just a prototype, but the plan would be to make it affordable for young professionals...

* Rides rack up more lifetime miles
WASHINGTON,DC,USA -The Detroit News, by Ken Thomas -Jan 28, 2006: A new government report says that cars and light trucks are racking up more miles than ever during the vehicle's lifetime... "We consistently, on any given day, usually have multiple cars with 150,000 to 250,000 miles and quite frequently cars well over that," said Pat Goss, the owner of Goss' Garage in Seabrook, Md., and the host of a radio and television show with the same name...

* Ford ordered to pay $29 million in rollover crash
CORPUS CHRISTI, TX, USA -The Detroit News/AP -Jan 28, 2006: It's the first Ford-Firestone case to go to a verdict since Firestone tire recalls started in 1999... Ford Motor Co. was ordered to pay $29 million Friday in the case of a 22-year-old woman who was partially paralyzed after the Firestone tire on her Explorer failed and the vehicle rolled over....Firestone previously paid an undisclosed settlement in the case...


* Porsche says net profit up 13 percent in fiscal first half
BERLIN,Germany -The Detroit News/AP -Jan 28, 2006: Luxury automaker Porsche AG estimated Friday that net profit rose by 13 percent in the first half of its fiscal year as revamped versions of its Boxster and 911 models sold strongly...

* Kia Motors says 2005 profit gained 2.9 percent as overseas sales rose
SEOUL, South Korea -The Detroit News -Jan 28, 2006: Kia Motors Corp., South Korea's second-largest automaker, on Friday said net profit rose 2.9 percent in 2005 as the export-dependent company saw overseas sales increase...

* Volkswagen recalling 47,000 Passats
WASHINGTON,DC,USA -The Detroit News/AP -Jan 27, 2006: Faulty fuel pumps could lead to stalling engines... Volkswagen of America Inc. said Friday that it was recalling about 47,000 Passat sedans and wagons from the 2003 model year because of potentially faulty fuel pumps that could lead to stalling engines...

2006-01-27

MADD - USA - Dry Up Alcohol Ads

Mothers Against Drunk Driving aims to prevent underage drinking
USA - MADD WebReport -27 Jan 2006: -- A new study by Dr. Leslie Snyder and four colleagues from the University of Connecticut and Colorado State University indicates that alcohol ads are linked to increase drinking among youth... MADD is not against alcohol advertising, but believes it is imperative that stricter standards be put in place to protect our children from constant exposure to alcohol messages... Alcohol is the No. 1 drug choice of American’s youth. Underage drinkers are responsible for between 10 and 20 percent of all alcohol consumed in the United States...

2006-01-26

TRUCKING WORLD NEWS - Condenseds -

* Appeals Court Denies Request to Revisit Insurance Ruling
USA -TTNews, by Thelma Guerrero -25 Jan 2006: A federal appeals court last week denied a request to rehear its recent decision that the federal government can require only common carriers — not contract carriers — to obtain cargo liability insurance, often referred to as BMC-32 coverage after the relevant endorsement form.The appeals court had overturned a U.S. District Court decision favoring a shipper’s loss-and-damage claims and sent the case back to the lower court, but an attorney for the shipper said he eventually would appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

* Private Motor Truck Council of Canada won't support speed limiter policy
TORONTO, Ont.,Can -Truck News, by James Menzies -25 Jan 2006 -- The Private Motor Truck Council of Canada (PMTC) has decided against endorsing the Ontario Trucking Association's (OTA) proposal to mandate speed limiters... The Ontario Ministry of Transportation called upon the PMTC for its views of the proposal in December and according to the council it decided "not to support it without further information."...

* CTA encouraged by Tory promises
OTTAWA, Ont.,Can -Truck News, by James Menzies -25 Jan 2006: The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) is urging Canada's new government to stay true to its word and deliver on its campaign promises surrounding funding for highways and border infrastructure... The new Conservative government promised to negotiate a new infrastructure agreement with the provinces. They said they'd invest $2 billion over the next five years into the federal Highways and Border Infrastructure Fund with the Trans-Canada Highway being the centerpiece of the program...

* Former pollie elected ATA boss

Australia -Supply Chain Review -23 Jan 2006:
Former National Party MP and transport advisor to then transport minister John Anderson, Stuart St Clair, has been appointed CEO of the Australian Trucking Association (ATA)... St Clair went into federal parliament with the support of the trucking industry after running as a sawmiller at Guyra in the New England district...

* Officials Expect FMCSA to Issue New Regulations in 2006
USA -TTNews, by Sean McNally -25 Jan 2006: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is expected to issue several important new regulations this year, including an intermodal chassis maintenance rule and guidance on the use of electronic onboard recorders, agency sources and industry executives told last week...

* West Europe commercial vehicles sales hit 5-yr high
FRANKFURT,Germany -Reuters -Jan 26, 2006: New registrations in western Europe of medium and heavy commercial vehicles that weigh more than 3.5 tonnes rose 6.4 percent in 2005 to 360,699 units, the best performance since 2000, official data showed on Thursday... Registrations of trucks and buses are a surrogate economic indicator and usually reflect overall business activity to be expected in around half a year...


* Daimler Restructuring to Include Renamed Truck Group Unit
USA -TTNews -24 Jan 2006: DaimlerChrysler, parent of leading U.S. truck maker Freightliner LLC, said Tuesday it will restructure its management and will rename its commercial vehicles division under the name Truck Group... The Truck Group will include units Trucks NAFTA, which includes Freightliner, Sterling and Thomas Built Buses; Trucks Europe/Latin America, which includes Mercedes-Benz trucks; Mitsubishi Fuso Bus and Truck Corp.; and Truck Product Creation...

* FedEx Will Pay $400 Million to Buy Out Chinese Partner
USA -TTNews -24 Jan 2006: FedEx Corp. has signed an agreement to buy out a joint-venture partner in China for $400 million, the company said Tuesday... FedEx will pay Tianjin Datian W. Group Co. Ltd. for the 50% of the companies' joint venture it does not already own, the company said in a statement. The move will help FedEx expand its domestic delivery business in that country...

* Werner's Fourth-Quarter, Year-End Earnings, Revenue Rise
USA -TTNews -24 Jan 2006: Company Cautions on Continued High Fuel Prices... Truckload carrier Werner Enterprises said late Monday it earned $28.8 million or 36 cents a share in the fourth quarter, up from $25.8 million or 32 cents a year earlier...

* Cummins Extends Engine Agreement With Volvo
USA -TTNews -24 Jan 2006: Diesel engine manufacturer Cummins Inc. and Volvo Trucks North America said Wednesday they have extended the agreement for the availability of Cummins’ ISX engine with Volvo Trucks North America’s VN and VT trucks...

* Navteq Expands to Mexico With Map Firm
USA -TTNews -24 Jan 2006: Navteq, a maker of digital maps for vehicle navigation systems, said it will acquire Gedas MapIT, a company that specializes in providing virtual maps of Mexico, for an undisclosed sum... Gedas is a subsidiary of information technology firm Gedas AG, which is part of Volkswagen AG...

* Performance Transportation Services Files Chapter 11
USA -TTNews -24 Jan 2006:
Automobile transporter Performance Transportation Services said Wednesday it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy “in order to re-align its capital structure [and] resolve its operational issues... ”Wayne, Mich.-based PTS, the No. 2 auto hauler behind Allied Industries, said it has received a commitment from a group of lenders led by Credit Suisse’s Cayman Islands Branch for up to $10 million in debtor-in-possession financing... Performance Transportation Services — owned by Onex Corp., Norwest Equity Partners and Penske Truck Leasing Co. — is ranked No. 65 in the 2005 Transport Topics 100 listing of U.S. and Canadian for-hire carriers...

* SCS Reports Record Earnings Per Share for 2005
USA -TTNews -24 Jan 2006: Company Still Concerned Over Jevic Unit's Performance... SCS Transportation late Tuesday reported record earnings per share for 2005 and said it earned $10.7 million or 73 cents in the fourth quarter, up from $4.6 million or 30 cents a year earlier...

* Covenant Transport's Fourth-Quarter Income Rises
USA -TTNews -24 Jan 2006: Covenant Transport said late Tuesday reported its net income for the fourth quarter rose to $4.4 million or 32 cents a share, from a loss of $6.5 million or 32 cents a year earlier...

* CNF Reports Record Fourth-Quarter Earnings
USA -TTNews -24 Jan 2006: Transportation firm CNF Inc. reported record fourth-quarter 2005 net income late Tuesday, as its profit rose to $51.2 million or 92 cents a share, compared with $32.2 million or 58 cents a year earlier...

* Port of Houston Authority Commission Considers Bayport, Security, Capital Improvement Matters and Partnership Service Agreement
HOUSTON,TX,USA -PRIMEZONE -Jan. 23, 2006: The Port of Houston Authority (PHA) commission will consider several recommendations involving contract awards, bids and proposals, professional services and general administrative and operational matters during its public meeting at 2 p.m. on Monday, January 23, 2006 in the board room at the PHA Executive Building...

* Tenneco wins International Truck supplier deal
USA -ETrucker -24 Jan 2006: Emission control manufacturer Tenneco has signed a contract to provide International Truck and Engine Corp.’s exhaust aftertreatment systems for its entire line of medium-duty diesel vehicles with International engines...

* Vandermarel Trucking and BSM complete deal
MISSISSAUGA, Ont.,Can -Truck News, by Steven Macleod -25 Jan 2006: BSM Technologies has completed an agreement with Vandermarel Trucking to outfit its trucks with 50 SentinelFM units, to allow for enhanced vehicle tracking, surveillance and improved fleet management...


* Eaton Corp. profit up; dividend to rise by 13%
NEW YORK,NY,USA -MarketWatch, by Padraic Cassidy -23 Jan 2006: Eaton Corp. reported Monday that fourth-quarter profit rose a stronger-than-expected 15% and lifted its quarterly dividend 13%...


* Truckers fight charges hike
Australia -ABC Online -Jan 25, 2006: The rural sector is being urged to signed a petition against higher charges for the trucking industry or face higher transport costs... The National Transport Commission has proposed increased registration and fuel charges for heavy vehicles like B doubles and road trains to try to cover road maintenance and construction costs...

* Nissan creates U.S. division to sell commercial trucks
DETROIT,Mich,USA -Automotive News, by Dale Jewett -Jan 25, 2006: Nissan North America Inc. is creating a division to sell light commercial vehicles in North America, a market segment where it is not present... The automaker has not determined the number of vehicle lines, types of vehicles or the distribution network, spokesman Fred Standish said...

* Delhi stops registration of diesel mini-trucks
India -AWKnowledge -25 Jan 2006: The Delhi government has put a halt to the registration of diesel-powered mini-trucks in the city in a bid to control pollution, reports Newsline... The entire fleet will now run on compressed natural gas (CNG) engines...

AUTOS' WORLD NEWS

* U.S. Automakers Continue To Lose Market Share
WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Cal,USA -KCCI Des Moines 8 -Jan 26, 2006: Power Information Network, a division of J.D. Power, said that sales are down and the car companies are losing market share to Asian manufacturers... Toyota had the highest retail share in the industry at 18.8 percent. That's up more than three points from a year ago, follow Toyota, General Motors at 17.5 percent, down more than four points from a year ago; Ford at 14.7 percent, a loss of almost three points; and DaimlerChrysler, with a 12.8 percent share, down a fraction from a year ago...

* Report: U.S. auto sales up a tad in Jan.
DETROIT,Mich,USA -UPI -Jan. 26, 2006: U.S. auto sales this month are expected to hit 1.07 million vehicles, up 1.6 percent from January 2005... Edmunds.com says the increase will come entirely from non-U.S. companies: Sales by General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co. and the Chrysler Group of Germany's DaimlerChrysler AG will be less than year-earlier levels... Meanwhile, Honda and Toyota sales will be higher, with Honda sales in January up 18 percent to 96,000 vehicles and Toyota sales up 16 percent to 164,000 vehicles; predicts...


* The Japan's top auto manufacturer Toyota Motor Corp. leading the way
Tokyo,Japan -The Mainichi Daily News -26 Jan 2006: -- Toyota, the world's second biggest automaker after General Motors Corp., reported global production of 596,481 vehicles in December, up 17.8 percent from a year ago... Its domestic production rose 15.7 percent while overseas output jumped 20.2 percent... For all of 2005, Toyota produced 7.360 million vehicles, up 9.5 percent from 2004...

* Hyundai 4Q Earnings Jump on Strong Sales
SEOUL, South Korea -AP, by KELLY OLSEN -26 Jan 2006: Hyundai Motor Co., South Korea's largest automaker, said Thursday its fourth-quarter profits rose 71 percent from the same period a year ago, mostly on strong sales of vehicles made at its overseas plants...

GM News - USA - Full-year loss totals $8.6 billion

Quarterly net loss mushrooms to $4.8 billion

DETROIT,Mich,USA -Reuters/Automotive News -Jan 26, 2006: -- General Motors posted a fourth-quarter net loss of $4.8 billion on Thursday, much worse than Wall Street had expected, amid high costs, shrinking market share and sluggish sales of SUVs... It was the fifth straight quarterly loss for the world's largest automaker and brought its losses for all of 2005 to $8.6 billion...

Kerkorian to buy back 12 million GM shares
DETROIT,Mich,USA -Automotive News -Jan 26, 2006: -- Investor Kirk Kerkorian is buying an additional 12 million shares of General Motors, upping his stake in the automaker to about 9.9 percent... The move restores Kerkorian's GM holdings to 56 million shares - the level he had last year before selling shares for tax purposes...

Invention - South Africa - Designer bins Cape baboon littering

Cape Town,South Africa -Independent Online, by Murray Williams -Jan 24 2006: -- Across the Cape residents are terrorised by gangs of brazen baboon raiders. But now a local company has devised a cunning lock for wheelie bins to thwart the scavengers... Meet industrial designer Retief Krige, from Stellenbosch... His invention is called the "binguard" and he calls it "bin access control" - because it is far more than just a simple lock... Baboons have become adept at overturning bins and spreading their contents far and wide in their search for food. So Krige set out to create a safe and practical locking mechanism...

Comments - USA - Fleets positive about ’06, but fear ’07 technology

USA -eTrucker, by Linda Longton -24 Jan: -- This year will be a “continuation of the hot market we’ve enjoyed for several years,” Jim McReynolds, Caterpillar general manager, on-highway engines, told attendees Jan. 23 at Heavy Duty Dialogue in Las Vegas... Continued economic growth, low interest and inflation rates and strong carrier profits all contribute to the rosy outlook, he said... Estimates are that truck prices could go up another $10,000 in 2007, McReynolds said... Looking toward the introduction of new low-emissions engines in 2007, many fleets responding to the survey said they will deal with higher truck prices and operational costs by extending trade cycles...

Safety Program - USA - Michelin sponsors Share the Road

USA -eTrucker, by Lance Orr -23 Jan 2006: -- Michelin Americas Truck Tires has joined Mack Trucks and Chevron Delo as a sponsor of the American Trucking Associations' Share the Road highway safety program... Share the Road has been delivering the trucking industry’s safety message to major traffic-choked cities and media markets across the U.S. since 2000. At each event, million-mile, accident-free professional truck drivers simulate real life highway situations to illustrate their car-truck safety lessons...

Competition - USA - Mexican truckers drive down wages

Lower costs for regulations and drivers hurt competition

S.California, USA -The Business Press, by CAROL PARK -Jan 23, 2006: -- Competition from Mexican truckers has the potential to drive the Complete Logistics Co. out of business... Mexican trucking firms pay their workers half of what American truckers make, said Ronald Ryan, Complete Logistics vice president of national accounts... Low wages and the low cost of doing business in Mexico could force Complete Logistics out of business some day unless something is done, Ryan said... Wages for truck drivers in the United States could eventually drop to Mexican wages. But then drivers will find other jobs that pay better... Highway taxes, workers' compensation, permits and license fees drive up costs for U.S. businesses. Competing with lower-wage labor sources is difficult... Foreign truck drivers jeopardize the safety of American roads, claims Stephanie Williams, senior vice president of the California Trucking Association in Sacramento. ... "The Department of Motor Vehicles can't control the foreign driver, creating a safety issue," Ryan said... Mexican trucks are regulated like any hauler once they cross the border, California Highway Patrol Officer Jaime Nuñez said...

2006-01-25

TRUCKING WORLD NEWS - Condenseds

* DaimlerChrysler plans big-ticket launches
BANGALORE, India --The India Economic Times -Jan 19, 2006: Bouyed by record sales in 2005, DaimlerChrysler India (DCI) is all set to make some big-ticket launches in the country this year. It plans to finally foray into the commercial vehicles market with a heavy duty tipper truck for mining sector applications in the first half of this calendar...

* International revives PayStar brand
USA -eTrucker, by Lance Orr -Jan 20, 2006: All International Truck and Engine’s 5000 Series trucks will now go by the name PayStar, the company announced... International introduced its trucks and tractors under the PayStar name in the late 1970s to fit in with the company’s Transtar, Fleetstar, Loadstar and Cargostar truck lines...

Sales - USA - Heavy-duty trucks posted heavy-duty sales gain in 2005

USA -Automotive News, by Greg Migliore -Jan 23, 2006: -- Class 8 trucks posted sales gains for the second straight year in 2005... Class 8 trucks, the best-selling segment, surged 24.4 percent last year compared with 2004. The overall truck market dipped 0.5 percent last year, dragged down by flagging sales of light trucks in Classes 1-3. It was the first annual dip for the overall truck market since 2002...

Big Three - USA - Tout fuel efficiency in D.C.

Ford will unveil a concept ethanol-electric SUV as GM shows off diesel-electric buses at auto show
Washington,DC,USA -The Detroit News, by Jeff Plungis -25 Jan 2006: -- Detroit's automakers kicked off a charm offensive in the nation's capital Tuesday, showing off their latest fuel-saving technologies to U.S. Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman at the Washington Auto Show... Bodman was given a tour of vehicles by officials from DaimlerChrysler AG, Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Corp... All three companies touted their improvements in fuel economy. DaimlerChrysler highlighted its new diesels. Ford showed off a flex-fuel F-150 truck, a hybrid Escape and its Reflex small-car concept...

Production - Russia - Cummins and KAMAZ in Russian JV for Mid-Range Diesel Engines

USA -Gree Car Congress-24 Jan 2006: -- Cummins Inc. and KAMAZ Inc., the largest vehicle manufacturer in Russia, signed a joint venture agreement to produce Cummins B Series engines (120–275 horsepower) in Russia under the name ZAO Cummins Kama... The engines will be produced in two stages to comply with Euro 2 and Euro 3 standards for diesel emissions. The EU is currently adhering to Euro 4 standards, and planning for Euro 5. Assembly of the engines begins in early 2006...

Class-action - USA - Freightliner, Lawsuit filed against union

North Caroline, USA -WCNC/Associated Press, by PAUL NOWELL -24 Jan 2006: -- Five North Carolina employees of commercial truckmaker Freightliner LLC filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday accusing the United Auto Workers of trading wage and benefit concessions for the company's assistance in organizing workers... The lawsuit, which seeks class-action status, charges both the UAW and Portland, Ore.-based Freightliner with four violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Practice Act. The law bars employers from delivering "things of value" to unions, according to the National Right to Work Foundation...

AUTOS' WORLD NEWS

* Ford posts 19 percent rise in 4th-quarter profit
DETROIT,Mich,USA -The AutoNews -23 Jan 2006: Ford Motor Co. on Monday posted a higher-than-expected 19 percent increase in earnings for the fourth quarter of 2005, boosted by strength in its finance arm and the sale of its Hertz Corp. rental car unit, even as its core automotive division lost money...

* Ford introduces hybrid research vehicle that can run on ethanol
WASHINGTON,DC,USA -AP -Jan 25, 2006: Ford Motor Co., extending its push into hybrid technology, said Wednesday it was the first automaker to develop a hybrid research vehicle capable of running on ethanol-based fuels... Ford was unveiling the Escape Hybrid E85 before journalists at the Washington Auto Show on Wednesday. The vehicle combines hybrid-electric power with the capability of operating on a mixture of 15 per cent gasoline and 85 per cent ethanol, a corn-based additive.

* Volvo Car profits fell 55 percent in 2005
STOCKHOLM,Sweden -Reuters/daily Dagens Industri -Jan 24, 2006: Volvo Car Corp.'s operating earnings fell 55 percent last year, but it was still the most profitable auto unit of Ford Motor Co....

* Ex-cop, lawyer to handle tips on corruption at VW
FRANKFURT,Germany -Reuters -Jan 23, 2006: Volkswagen has put a former senior police officer and a labor law expert in charge of handling tips from whistle-blowers on potential corruption at Europe's biggest carmaker, it said on Monday... Rainer Buchert, a former German federal criminal investigator as well as police commissioner in Offenbach near Frankfurt, was chosen as VW's ombudsman along with Thomas Rohrbach, who previously worked for the company during its efforts to compensate victims of Nazi-era forced labor...

* Renault plans global organization overhaul
PARIS,France -Reuters/La Tribune newspaper -Jan 23, 2006: French carmaker Renault SA, due to make a 3-year strategy announcement on Feb. 9, plans to restructure its organization by geographical zones to cater better to local markets...

* DaimlerChrysler to cut 6,000 jobs globally
Germany -AutoNews -24 Jan 2006: Zetsche: Automaker will ramp up Mercedes, Chrysler collaboration... DaimlerChrysler on Tuesday announced a new "efficiency program" that will reduce its worldwide work force by about 6,000 in the next three years. Additionally, the Mercedes Car Group and the Chrysler group will work more closely, CEO Dieter Zetsche said in a prepared statement...

* Mitsubishi Motors is open to alliance with Proton
TOKYO,Japan -Reuters -Jan 24, 2006: The head of Mitsubishi Motors Corp. said on Tuesday the Japanese automaker was open to forming a technology alliance with Malaysia's Proton... Mitsubishi Motors was one of the founding members of Proton and a major shareholder until its own financial difficulties forced it to sell off its 8 percent stake in early 2004. Mitsubishi Motors still supplies auto parts to Proton...

* BMW sales exceed forecasts
BERLIN,Germany -ASSOCIATED PRESS -Jan. 25, 2006: German automaker BMW AG reported a 5.2 per cent rise in 2005 net sales to 46.66 billion euros ($57.28 billion (U.S.)), exceeding analysts' expectations...

Ford's News - USA - Francisco Codina to take top sales job

DETROIT,Mich,USA -AutoNews -24 Jan 2006: -- Automaker cuts three officer positions; more cuts to be made later... Steve Lyons, Ford Motor Co.'s top sales and marketing executive, is leaving the company on March 1 and will be replaced by Francisco Codina, 54, has been head of the automaker's customer service division... The move had been anticipated for several weeks and was part of a number of executive changes expected as part of the Way Forward plan the automaker unveiled on Monday, Jan. 23...

Opinion - USA - Private Ford?

NEW YORK,NY,USA -Forbes, by Joann Muller 24 Jan 2006: -- William Clay Ford Jr. seems to think that's enough to inspire confidence among investors that he's finally got the right strategy to stop the erosion of Ford Motor's, market share and profits in its core North American business... At last, after more than four years with his hands on the wheel at Ford Motor, the great-grandson of Henry Ford was beginning to talk like a man with a vision. Yet, when Bill Ford and his minions had the chance to spell out the specifics of their recovery plan, they were remarkably thin on details... The long-term view is better suited to a family-run company, where the interest is in preserving company assets for future generations as much as it is receiving quarterly dividends. Maybe Bill Ford, whose extended family owns 5% of the company stock, but enjoys 40% voting control, should take the company private and fix it on his own clock, sparing investors from this guessing game... It's not so far-fetched. At a Ford gathering a couple of years ago, Bill Ford hinted that he'd actually considered the possibility back in March 2003, when Ford shares were trading around $6.50 a share. Today, at $8.33 a share, Ford’s market capitalization is around $15 billion. Maybe Bill Ford ought to give the idea a second look...

Comments on Ford - USA - Overhaul Time--Again

NEW YORK ,NY,USA -Forbes, by Jerry Flint -23 Jan 2006: -- Ford Motor will shut 14 plants and cut factory employment by 25,000 to 30,000 in an effort to return North American operations to profitability by 2008. "That's not a prediction, it's a promise," says Mark Fields, who heads Ford's North American operations... Last year, Ford lost $1.6 billion (pretax) in North America... The emphasis in Ford's announcement today, called "The Way Forward Plan," is that the company would change. Ford is to be less conservative in design, and costs are to be cut by billions of dollars. But "you can't cut your way to success," says Bill Ford, company chairman... Ford may need a strongman. That has been a Ford characteristic--the "prime minister" who actually runs the company under the "constitutional monarch," a member of the Ford family. It is common throughout Ford's history for Ford's prime minister and the monarch to eventually have a falling-out, which is what happened in 1978 when Henry II forced out Lee Iacocca... One more thing: Never forget the dedication of the Ford family to the company. Any bankruptcy would mean a loss of control for the family. The Fords would fight to the death to prevent the company's downfall. Think Valley Forge, Stalingrad, Verdun. Their name is on the building, and they intend for both the company and the family to survive...

Ford News - USA - To close 7 assembly plants, cut up to 30,000 jobs

DETROIT,Mich,USA -The AutoNews, by Dale Jewett -23 Jan 2006: -- Ford Motor Co. said Monday that it would close assembly plants in St. Louis, Atlanta and Wixom, Mich., as part of a sweeping restructuring plan... The automaker also is closing a transmission plant in Batavia, Ohio, and a casting plant in Windsor, Ontario... It also will close two additional assembly plants, which will be named later... In total, Ford will close 14 manufacturing plants by 2012 -- seven of them vehicle assembly plants. The closings will cut Ford's assembly capacity by 1.2 million units, or 26 percent, by 2008, the automaker said... The moves will cut North American jobs by 25,000 to 30,000 positions by 2012, the automaker said.The plant closings and job cuts are part of the Way Forward plan, designed to help Ford stabilize its North American market share... Work on the various speeches given on Monday continued almost to the moment before senior Ford managers, led by CEO Bill Ford, took to the stage. That reflected, in part, an ongoing debate over just how much information to reveal to the world. In the end, a number of key details were omitted, in part for the sake of time, in part to maintain certain proprietary decisions... But "a lot will be coming out over the coming weeks and months," confided one high-level source, immediately after the announcement was completed. Others confirmed that comment... Ford officials will soon reveal plans to also close one of their Mexican assembly lines, and another in St. Paul, Minn... Look for Ford to build its Fairlane "people-mover," an interesting alternative to the traditional minivan. It will also bring over a version of the European Ford Focus, a much more modern and well-equipped vehicle than the American subcompact sharing that name. Even more new products will start appearing in the months to come...

2006-01-20

TRUCKING WORLD NEWS - Condenseds

* Trucking a “best job” for 2006
Boston,Mass,USA -Logistics Management -Jan 18, 2006: Heavy-duty truck driving made No.18 on Careerbuilder.com’s list of the top 25 jobs for 2006 which ranked industries of all kinds based on their need for skilled professionals... Careerbuilder.com’s survey represented eight million new jobs and 40 percent of total job growth over the next decade...

* Port of Los Angeles Sets Container Volume Record
Los Angeles,CAL,USA -PR/TTNews -20 Jan,2006: The Port of Los Angeles said that for the fourth year in a row it set a nationwide container volume record by handling nearly 7.5 million twenty-foot equivalent units in 2005, a 2.2% increase over 2004... The port said it anticipates growth in container volume to continue this year...

* Hub Group to Acquire Memphis Trucking Firm Comtrak
Memphis, Tenn.,USA -TTNews -20 Jan 2006: Third-party logistics provider Hub Group said late Thursday it would buy Comtrak Inc., a trucking and drayage firm, for $38 million... Comtrak's services include rail and drayage for the intermodal sector, full truckload transportation, container storage, yard management, truck brokerage and other logistics services. It utilizes company drivers and third-party owner operators to serve its customers... Comtrak’s revenue is expected to be about $85 million for 2005, Hub Group said...

* Celadon Reports Record Income, Revenue; Sets Stock Split
USA -TTNews -19 Jan 2006: Truckload carrier Celadon Group said late Thursday it earned record income in its fiscal second quarter and set a 3-for-2 stock split, to take effect in February... Revenue rose 12.5% to $120.3 million, which was also a record... Freight revenue, excluding fuel surcharges, rose 5.9% to $102.9 million... Celadon Group is ranked No. 55 on the Transport Topics 100 list of the largest U.S. and Canadian for-hire carriers...

* DOT Approves Move of Eight Indiana Counties to Central Time
USA -Associated Press/TTNews -19 Jan 2006: The U.S. Department of Transportation said it will allow eight Indiana counties to switch from the Eastern to the Central time zone, ending a long battle in the state over daylight-saving time... DOT said it bases its decisions on whether changes will benefit commerce, and also looks at factors such as transportation, commuter patterns, and where areas get their radio and television signals...

* Knight’s Fourth-Quarter Income, Revenue Reach Records
USA -TTNews -19 Jan 2006: Truckload carrier Knight Transportation said late Wednesday its net income and revenue for the fourth quarter reached record highs... Knight earned earned a record $18.5 million or 21 cents a share, up from $14.6 million or 17 cents a year earlier, in the quarter... Knight is ranked No. 49 on the Transport Topics 100 list of the largest U.S. and Canadian trucking companies...

* Dynamex Completes $10 Million Stock Repurchase
USA -TTNews -19 Jan 2006: Logistics and delivery firm Dynamex Inc. said it had completed a $10 million share repurchase it first announced in September... Dynamex, which provides same-day delivery services in the U.S. and Canada, is ranked No. 71 on the Transport Topics 100 listing of U.S. and Canadian for-hire carriers...

* Ont. company acquires Saint John trucking firm
Woodstock, Ont.,Canada - Canadian Press -Jan 18, 2006: Contrans Income Fund expanded its operations in New Brunswick this week by acquiring General Freight Carriers Inc. of Saint John... General Freight, located on Golden Grove Road, operates 47 highway tractors and 60 trailers with 10 owner-operators under contract... Contrans has 700 full-time employees and 830 owner operators - more than 1,300 tractors and 2,100 trailers - based in seven provinces, according to information on the company's website...

* Parker Hannifin earnings fall, sales rise
CLEVELAND,OH,USA -Associated Press -Jan. 18, 2006: Parker Hannifin Corp., a manufacturer of industrial motion control and transportation devices, said on Wednesday that its second-quarter earnings fell 25 percent from a year ago when it recorded a $61 million gain from the sale of a business...

* Michigan seeing many trucks with no DOT number
EAST LANSING, Mich.,USA -The Trucker -18 Jan 2006: Officials with the Michigan State Police Motor Carrier Division said, they were encountering a number of large trucks from other states that were not displaying a U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) number... USDOT defines a commercial motor vehicle (“large truck”) as any vehicle with a single or combination gross weight rating or actual gross weight of 10,000 pounds or more; a vehicle designed to transport more than eight passengers, including the driver; or a vehicle of any size that is required to display a hazardous materials placard. If any of these vehicles operate in interstate commerce...

* Ontario trucks could face 105 km/h speed limit
Ontario,Canada -Toronto Star/CBC News -17 Jan 2006: Tractor-trailers in Ontario could soon face a speed cap of 105 kilometres an hour... Ontario's Transportation Ministry is reviewing a proposal from the Ontario Trucking Association, which represents companies operating half of the 700,000 registered trucks in Ontario, says truckers should be forced to use a device that prevents them from going faster than 105 km/h. The device already exists in tractor-trailer engines less than 10 years old...

* Border-crossers get a PASS from passports
WASHINGTON,DC,USA -Today's Trucking -18 Jan 2006: The Bush Administration has scrapped a plan to require passports from any traveler entering the U.S. via land. However, it will instead mandate a new smaller, less expensive, biometric identity card in order to cross the border from Canada or Mexico... The new PASS card (People Access Security Service) -- part of the statutory Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative -- will be issued to registered American travellers starting in late 2006, and will be required for travel on Jan. 1, 2008...

* Story: We are Family
UK -TNN- 20 Jan 2006: In this age of corporate giants, large, successful, family run hauliers seem to be in decline. One company that's certainly bucking the trend is Prestons of Potto. TNN went to meet their Chairman, Anne Preston MBE to find out more...

* TRUCKING shouldn't bear Pacific toll alone
Australia -Australasian Transport News (subscription) -18 Jan 2006: ... should pay for upgrades to the Pacific Highway, including local residents, if governments push ahead a toll road plan, the New South Wales trucking lobby says...

* New Parcel Firm Will Fill Void From Closure
Bangkok,Thailand -Bangkok Post,By Yuthana Praiwan -Jan. 20, 2006: Thai Parcels Co, a newly established trucking company, will begin operations in April, with hopes of capitalising on the planned closure of the debt-ridden Express Transport Organisation (ETO)...

* Goods handled through SuperLink up 220%
Hong Kong,China -Infraestructure & Logistics -Jan 18, 2006: Cross-boundary cargo throughput handled through the SuperLink China Direct service rose 220% from 5,460 tonnes in 2003 to 17,500 tonnes last year, Secretary for Economic Development & Labour Stephen Ip says...

* Truck sales idle as industry cuts back
Beijing,China -Beijing Time, by Jin Jing -321 Jan 2006: SALES slowed in China's commercial vehicle sector last year as the nation throttled back investment in heavy industries... Chinese manufacturers sold 1.79 million commercial vehicles including buses, trucks and semi-tractors in 2005, down 0.75 percent from a year earlier, according to a report by the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. Production decreased 0.6 percent to 1.77 million units... The slowdown resulted mainly from a sales drop in mid-size and heavy-duty trucks, the main transport vehicles for industrial material, after the Chinese government implemented measures to cool down the economy...

* ANNOUNCEMENT Press Release from Weichai Power
China -Yahoo! News (USA) -19 Jan 2006: This announcement is made by Weichai Power Co., Ltd.: Who has not received any order from the CHDTGL Group... The heavy-duty trucks market experienced a significant decline in 2005 (as compared with 2004) in China, and the Company's unit salesvolume of diesel engines for use in heavy-duty trucks during the same period was similarly affected. The Company's sales volume of diesel engines (for all product types in aggregate) exceeded 100,000 units(unaudited) in 2005. The Company has received aggregate indicative orders for diesel engines for 2006 in excess of the actual number ofthe diesel engines sold by the Company in 2005 (based on unaudited figures)...

* Shurepower, LLC announces an energy efficient alternative to truck and TRU idling
CONKLIN, NY,USA -SBWIRE, by Joe Licari -19 Jan 2006: The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority has recently awarded a cost-shared contract to Shurepower, LLC to enable the installation and operation of electrified loading docks and parking spaces for heavy-duty diesel trucks and refrigerated trailers...

* New 13-litre or old FH12? Volvo proves the case for its newcomer
UK -&TNN/Big Lorry Blogby Brian Weatherley -20 Jan 2006: "Results from realistic UK comparative fuel trials between a Euro-3 FM fitted with the outgoing D12 420hp engine and a Euro-3 new FM, equipped with the latest 440hp D13A power-plant have been announced." And guess what?... The latest 13 litre artic achieved "..a 4% improvement in overall fuel consumption over the 12 litre." Amazing!...

Comments - USA - Trucks, cars share road – and responsibility

Kansas, Missouri await federal guidelines but are eager to devote money to enforcing passenger traffic around 18-wheelers

Kansas City,MO,USA -The Kansas City Star, by BRAD COOPER -Jan. 19, 2006: -- "By and large, people realize that driving around a truck they need to drive differently. But it’s just not real high on their radar", said Jonna VanDyk, spokeswoman for the Washington Traffic Safety Commission... Truck driver Gordon Neal sometimes just doesn’t understand the erratic behavior of car drivers... From the perch in his cab, Neal has seen them follow too close. He’s seen them linger in the blind spot of his rear-view mirror. And he’s seen them whiz in and out of lanes, sometimes cutting him off with little room to spare... questioned whether many motorists knew how to drive around trucks safely. “Do you think people know the rules and regulations to drive around trucks?”...

Opinion - Canada - Trucks and safety

Toronto,Ont,Canada -Toronto Star -Jan. 19, 2006: -- One of the more terrifying spectres of highway driving is the image of a fully loaded 18-wheeler looming large in the rear-view mirror... So, it is not surprising that many Ontario motorists welcomed calls this week by the Ontario Trucking Association for mandatory "speed limiters." Such devices, installed in truck engines, would prevent truckers from driving at speeds higher than 105 km/h... All Ontario truckers agree that driving at lower speeds helps to cut fuel consumption and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, both worthy goals. But there is a simmering dispute within the industry over the need for mandatory speed limiters and the impact on road safety...

Markets - Hong Kong/China - Shares end morning higher led by China stocks

HONG KONG,China -Forbes/AFX -19 Jan 2006: -- Share prices finished the morning session higher on continued interest in China stocks, dealers said. They said speculation regarding a possible unification of China's A and B share markets and reports of PetroChina's plans to issue A shares, along with continuing fund inflows, are driving the sustained interest in China stocks... "Apart from the (lead on) unification of A shares and B shares, China stocks were also supported by rumours that the Chinese government will allow foreign investors to invest directly in A shares next month", said Jackson Wong, investment manager at Tanrich Securities...

Perfomance - Canada - OTA points across the border in biodiesel warning

TORONTO,Canada -Today's Trucking -01/19/2006: - Ontario regulators should look at recent problems with biodiesel in Minnesota before mandating the alternative fuel for truckers in this province, says the Ontario Trucking Association... OTA points to a neighbouring US state as proof that further examination is required to answer questions over operational and cost concerns, including the fuel's cold weather performance... Minnesota was the first jurisdiction in North America to mandate the use of biodiesel in September 2005. Since then, the state has frozen the regulation twice -- once because the supply of biodiesel did not meet proper state specifications, and more recently because truckers complained the fuel is clogging fuel filters in the winter...

"Forbes" - USA - Trucking firms make “America’s Best Big Companies” list

NEW YORK,NY,USA -Forbes/Staff Logistics Management -Jan 19, 2006: -- Seven trucking companies made the Forbes Platinum 400 list of Best Big Companies in the United States... The companies on the list were selected based on financial performance compared to their industry peers, and analysis of their accounting, governance, financial condition, and earnings quality... The trucking companies included are:
* Arkansas Best Corp: Arkansas Best, whose largest subsidiary is ABF Freight System Inc., makes the list at rank #207—its sixth year as a Forbes Platinum 400.
* C.H. Robinson: With sales of $5.3 million, C.H. Robison lands #142—its fourth appearance.
* The Hub Group: Rank #11 puts the Hub Group as the highest ranking trucking company on the list in their second year earning mention.
* J.B. Hunt Transport: JB Hunt pulls in at rank #25 in its fifth year as a member of the Platinum 400.
* Landstar System: At rank #31, Landstar makes its seventh consecutive appearance on the list.
* Pacer International: Ranked #234 on the list, this is the company’s second year on the list.
* Werner Enterprises:
Werner earns #194 and makes the Platinum 400 for the seventh consecutive year.
To access the full list of Forbes Platinum 400 companies, click here.

Talks - USA - Got a trucker story to tell?

St. Louis,MO,USA -St. Louis Post-Dispatch, by Kurt Greenbaum -18 Jan 2006: -- Truckers do not escape our wrath as we speed anonymously down the highway. I’ve certainly cursed my share of 18-wheelers as they barrel through the left lane at speeds more suited for a NASCAR racer. And I’ve cursed the clueless sedan-jockeys who cut in front of truckers with no understanding of how Newton’s laws of motion could affect their personal safety... Today, we have a story about truckers and the law enforcement officials who watch them — commercial vehicle enforcement officers. They’re the ones who watch for overweight trucks, or truckers who have been driving too long at a stretch, truckers carrying loads for which they’re not authorized, and so far... Reporter Elisa Crouch shadowed officers. You’d be surprised at what she found. You’ll also learn about the myriad of regulations that truckers must abide by when they’re hauling their cargo. Elisa writes: Commercial vehicle enforcement officers like Stephens can pull over any truck they want, without probable cause, and inspect it. The reason: they’re enforcing state and federal transportation regulations that each year get stricter, as agencies work to reduce truck-related fatalities. Large trucks were involved in 4,440 fatal crashes in 2004, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Missouri had 132 fatal crashes involving trucks in that same year, while Illinois had 139...

Act - USA - Robinson-Patman Applied to Customer-Specific Bid Discounts

Volvo Trucks North America, Inc. v. Reeder-Simco GMC, Inc.
Reeder’s $4 million price discrimination claim: differing discounts in a competitive bidding market... The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the Robinson-Patman Act does not prohibit selling at different prices to purchasers that do not compete for the same customers...
USA -Mondaq News Alerts(London,UK), by G. Michael Halfenger and Jon P. Christiansen - 18 Jan 2006: -- The United States Supreme Court recently announced its decision in Volvo Trucks North America, Inc. v. Reeder-Simco GMC, Inc.... The Roberts’ Court’s first foray into antitrust law. Interpreting the Robinson-Patman Act’s prohibition on price discrimination, the decision provides helpful guidance to companies that sell through independent dealers, especially those companies that offer negotiated discounts to their dealers in an effort to aid those dealers in competing with rival manufacturers’ dealers. The decision emphasized the Court’s continuing commitment to interpreting the federal antitrust laws in a manner that promotes interbrand competition, rather than protects individual competitors. Foley attorneys G. Michael Halfenger and Jon P. Christiansen represented several manufacturing associations that filed amicus briefs supporting Volvo Truck’s request for Supreme Court review and for reversal of the lower court’s decision...