User-agent: Mediapartners-Google* Disallow: Trucks World News: July 2008
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Jul 31, 2008

TRUCKING INDUSTRY NEWS * WORLDWIDE

* Germany - Deutsche Post Earnings Hurt by Costs at U.S. Express Unit

Bonn,Germany -Bloomberg News/ Transport Topics -31 July 2008: -- Deutsche Post AG, parent of U.S. parcel carrier DHL Express, said its second-quarter profit fell 11% to about $396 million, or 33 cents a share, on costs to revamp its parcel delivery business in North America... Deutsche Post, Bonn, Germany, said it spent about $73.7 in the second quarter on restructuring at the DHL Express U.S. Consequently, earnings before interest and taxes at the parent company sank 52% to about $48.6 million, Bloomberg said...


* Global Mergers & Acquisitions

Strategic Buyers

* France - 21 July: Keolis SA, a portfolio company of AlpInvest Partners, Intermediate Capital Group PLC and AXA Private Equity, has acquired Sofitra SA. Sofitra is a bus company based in Plouedern, France. Terms were not disclosed.

* Sweden - 21 July: Peab Industri AB announced the acquisition of UMF Entreprenad AB. Based in Sweden, UMF provides transportation and machinery contract services for the construction and civil engineering market. Terms were not disclosed.

* China - 22 July: Sky One Holdings Limited has acquired Jet International Courier Group Holdings. Based in China, Jet International provides international courier services. Terms were not disclosed.

* UK - 22 July: Trafficmaster plc has announced the acquisition of TRI-MEX Group Limited for $9.5 million. Based in London, TRI-MEX provides international cargo tracking, monitoring and response services for cargo and transport assets.

* China - 22 July: New Legend Holdings Limited has announced the acquisition of CITC for $20.8 million. Based in China, CITC provides shipping agency services.

* Israel - 22 July: Merhav Ampal Energy Ltd. has announced the acquisition of 20.7% of Gadot Chemical Tankers & Terminals Ltd. for $23.5 million. Based in Netanya, Israel, Gadot is a holding company that offers chemical distribution and shipping services.

Financial Buyers

* España - 21 July: -- 21 Centrale Partners SA announced the acquisition of Fleurop-Interflora España, S.A. for $19.0 million. Based in Madrid, Spain, Fleurop-Interflora provides delivery of cut flowers and floral arrangements.

* USA - 21 July: The Jordan Company, L.P. announced the acquisition of 76.0% of Harvey Gulf International Marine, Inc. for $500.0 million. Based in Harvey, Louisiana, Harvey Gulf owns and operates ocean going towing vessels in the Gulf of Mexico.

(From: Transport Intelligence -London,UK -30 July 2008)

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TRUCKING INDUSTRY NEWS * USA - Five Arkansas Trucking Companies Make Top 100

ARK, USA -KARK 4 News -July 30, 2008: -- Five Arkansas trucking companies are among the largest 100 freight carriers in the United States according to the latest list compiled by Transport Topics, an industry trade newspaper... The list ranks companies by their 2007 gross revenue... UPS is the nation’s largest carrier, with consolidated revenues of $49.6 billion. FedEx Corporation, of which FedEx Freight in Harrison is one of the company’s nine operating units, is the nation’s second largest trucking firm on revenue of $37.9 billion. J. B. Hunt Transport Services in Lowell, Arkansas, is the 8th largest U.S. carrier, reporting $3.48 billion in revenues in 2007... Arkansas Best Corporation, holding company of ABF Freight System in Fort Smith, is the second largest trucking company in Arkansas, and the 15th largest in the United States... USA Truck, headquartered in Van Buren, is the third largest carrier in Arkansas and the 54th largest in the United States... P.A.M. Transportation Services, headquartered in Tontitown, is the 62nd largest U.S. trucking company... Maverick USA is headquartered in North Little Rock, and is the 73rd largest U.S. trucking company. The flatbed and specialized carrier is also the largest privately owned trucking company in Arkansas. Maverick reported $290 million in revenue in 2007, and employed 1,740 people...


* Con-way Freight Sends a Record 68 Drivers to National Truck Driving Championships - Company's Highest Number of State Winners Ever Will Compete for National Titles

Ann Arbor,MICH,USA -MarketWatch -July 31, 2008: -- Con-way Freight will send more drivers than ever before to American Trucking Associations (ATA)-sponsored National Truck Driving Championships in August... This year, 983 U.S. Con-way Freight drivers participated in state qualifying competitions. A total of 68 of the company's drivers representing 34 U.S. states came in first place and will compete at the event set for Aug. 19-23 in Houston. Drivers are invited to Nationals after winning their equipment classes during state competitions... The national competition tests drivers on their skills and knowledge of safe driving practices through interviews, written examinations, equipment safety inspection testing and formal driving tests. Since the championships began, 11 Con-way Freight drivers have been named National Champion in their equipment classes, including Dale Duncan of Chula Vista, Calif., who won the National Grand Champion overall title in 2006. In 2007, two company drivers earned National Champion honors -- Duncan and Dennis Day of Georgia...


* Not a UCR host state, Oregon will fine truckers anyway

OR,USA -Land Line Magazine -July 30, 2008: -- Motor carriers, brokers, freight forwarders and leasing companies that have failed to register with the Unified Carrier Registration Program became subject to fines effective July 1. And even though the state of Oregon doesn’t participate in the new program – which replaced the old Single State Registration System it will soon begin imposing a fine for UCR non-compliance... The UCR (system) basically is a federal law. Everybody who operates interstate is required to pay this fee ... Oregon is not participating as a host state in collecting these fees. It would require us an additional burden to collect the fees ... so we have chosen not to do it,” Jo Schiffner of the Oregon Department of Transportation told... Fines for UCR non-compliance differ from state to state. Oregon’s fine will be $427...

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Trucking Calls * USA - For Comprehensive Plan to Limit Fuel Costs Effect on the Economy

Arlington,VA,USA -MarketWatch -July 30, 2008: -- A top trucking official along with a professional truck driver today urged the Bush Administration and Congress to implement a comprehensive energy plan that will ensure an affordable supply of oil and limit the effect of rising fuel costs on the U.S. economy... Speaking at a press conference hosted by Senator Mitch McConnell and the Republican Leadership, Barbara Windsor, President and CEO of Hahn Transportation of New Market, Md., said the United States needs a comprehensive energy plan that decreases demand for fossil fuels, increases domestic energy production and ensures transparency in the petroleum markets... Tony Sifford, a professional truck driver with over 1.8 million accident-free miles, compared the year-over-year cost of fuel for his regular roundtrip route from Hillsville, Va., to Dallas, Texas. At this time last year, Sifford's fuel bill was $1,680. That same trip recently cost $2,826... Sifford said truck drivers are doing their part to reduce fuel consumption by slowing truck speeds, reducing idling and properly maintaining equipment. Such steps, however, do not begin to offset the rising cost of fuel, he said...

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FEMALE TRUCKERS * Canada - Women taking the wheel

"You really are your own boss. If you own your own truck, you are a business person. You decide where and when to go." Jayne Gunn

Brantford,Canada -The Expositor, by CHERYL BAUSLAUGH -31 July 2008: -- Sitting behind the wheel of a big rig isn't everyone's cup of tea. But it can be an interesting and well-paying job for men and women, says Jayne Gunn, who is president of the Brantford Traffic Club and the only Canadian board member of Women In Trucking -- an advocacy group for women in the transportation industry -- knows what she's talking about... A single parent with two teenagers, aged 13 and 15, she's spent most of her working life in the transportation industry. Gunn said it's been a challenging, fulfilling career that has more than paid the bills... She's worked at Sunbury, a mid-sized company based in Fredericton, N. B., since March... Gunn said trucking has traditionally been seen as a job for burly men. But those stereotypes are starting to break down, as more women get into the industry... Anyone over the age of 21 with a Grade 10 education can take an eight-week training course to get their truck driving licence, Gunn said she believes that people should learn about sharing the road with big rigs as part of basic driver training... Gunn said she's "passionate" about what she does and wants to raise the profile of an industry she sees as vital to today's economy..."We in North America would not survive without the trucking industry." ...

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Keep your eye on that tank * Canada - Pssst ... Wanna buy some diesel fuel?

Disappearance of more than 55,000 liters of diesel fuel from underground storage tanks in and around Hamilton this past weekend

Hamilton,ONT,CAN -CHCH television news/ Today's Trucking -30 July 2008: -- Following the disappearance, it's beginning to look like an organized theft ring is operating in the area... Several thefts in the area, at least two of which were caught on security cameras. In both cases, two trucks pulling 53-ft van trailers -- possibly reefers -- pulled up and parked over top of under ground fuel storage tanks. While not actually seen on camera, it's assumed that the vans were equipped with liquid pumps and storage tanks large enough to accommodate a significant amount of fuel... (Photo: Keep your eye on that tank !!)

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TRUCKING INDUSTRY NEWS * Australia - New laws for

Australia -ABC News -31 July 2008: -- The Minister for Planning and Infrastructure, Alannah MacTiernan, says owner-operator truck drivers will be protected under new laws governing the trucking industry... The legislation will establish a base rate of pay and force companies to pay drivers within 30 days after they lodge their invoice... The laws will also establish a tribunal to resolve disputes and allow drivers to claim lost wages... Ms MacTiernan says the changes will make the industry safer... The Opposition spokesman for Planning and Infrastructure, Simon O'Brien, says the laws have the potential to promote price fixing in the trucking industry... (ABC Rural: Kath Sullivan - New laws for trucking industry in Western Australia)

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Truckers Say * USA - DOT's Proposal Would Sell America's Highways

Coming soon along a highway near you, courtesy of the U.S. Department of Transportation, signs that read “For Sale”

Grain Valley,Mo,USA -Land Line Magazine/Layover -30 July 2008: -- The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) responded to an announcement by Transportation Secretary Mary Peters where she asks for reform of funding highway and transit systems that would place a priority on public private partnerships and tolling. The Association contends the proposal has no real meaning this late in the game and does not address the real problems and challenges that need to be focused on... “The Administration is on its way out and is simply hanging a ‘For Sale’ sign on our highways as a last ditch effort to reward their friends on Wall Street,” said Todd Spencer, OOIDA Executive Vice President...


* AASHTO estimates bridges need $140 billion – minimum

North Philadelphia,USA -Land Line Magazine, by David Tanner -July 30, 2008: -- State transportation officials from around the country say it will take $140 billion to repair and modernize 590,000 bridges that are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete... Members of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials spoke to reporters Tuesday, July 29, in North Philadelphia to announce the release of their latest report on modernizing the nation’s bridges... The report cites FHWA data about bridge age, traffic congestion and construction costs to come up with the overall repair estimate... Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell said no matter how much money a state, federal or local government pays for bridges and infrastructure, it never seems enough... Rendell is currently seeking a long-term funding mechanism in his home state to fund roads, bridges and mass transit. Two options he has supported include tolls on Interstate 80 and the long-term leasing of the Pennsylvania Turnpike to private investors... The lease proposal stalled in the state’s House Transportation Committee when the General Assembly recessed earlier this month...

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OIL NEWS * UK - Royal Dutch Shell's profits top $11 billion

London,UK -MarketWatch (CAL,USA), by Steve Goldstein -July 31, 2008: -- Royal Dutch Shell said second-quarter profit climbed 33% as surging oil prices helped offset diminished production as the group struggles to pump oil out of Nigeria... Joining Exxon Mobil as the only oil company to earn more than $10 billion in a single quarter, Royal Dutch Shell said its profit rose to $11.56 billion... The quarter included a net $73 million of one-time items, as divestments were offset by mark-to-market valuations on U.K. gas contracts and tax charges... Excluding price changes on unsold inventories and other one-time items, Shell would have earned $7.9 billion, up 5% from the same period last year...

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TRUCKMAKERS' NEWS WORLDWIDE * USA - Truck producer to open new plant

Poteau,OK.USA -NewsOK, by Debbie Blossom -July 31, 2008— A truck manufacturer that last year selected this southeast Oklahoma town of 8,000 for its new headquarters and assembly plant officially will open today... Privately owned Tiger Truck LLC, formerly based in Dallas, has 90 on payroll and plans to employ 300 within two years, founder and Chief Executive Mike Ward said. The company invested $25 million to renovate 150,000 square feet in several buildings in Poteau Industrial Park and has started construction on another 25,000-square-foot building to accommodate projected demand... (See Video) ... Tiger Truck produces several truck models designed by the ChangAn Automobile Group, which is China's third-largest vehicle manufacturer...


* India - Tata sees biggest profit decline in five years

New Delhi,India -The Detroit News (Detroit,Mich,USA) -30 July 2008: -- Tata Motors Ltd ., the Indian truck maker that bought Jaguar and Land Rover from Ford Motor Co., reported its biggest decline in quarterly profit in at least five years after raw material costs surged... Net income fell 30 percent to 3.26 billion rupees ($77 million), or 7.68 rupees a share, in the three months ended June 30, from 4.67 billion rupees, or 11.52 rupees, Tata Motors said Wednesday...

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Jul 30, 2008

Would Ban Mexican Trucks ? * USA - House Measure After Pilot Program Ends

Mexican trucks would be barred from U.S. highways, and the Department of Transportation prohibited from enacting future cross-border programs for Mexican truckers

Washington,DC,USA -Transport Topics -30 July 2008: -- ... under a measure introduced in the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee... The bill, introduced late Tuesday by Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), would prohibit DOT from granting “authority to a motor carrier domiciled in Mexico to operate beyond United States municipalities and commercial zones on the United States-Mexico border after September 6, 2008” unless the action is “expressly authorized by Congress"... The measure would also require DOT to halt its current pilot program for Mexican trucks by Sept. 6. That program, which began last September, allows a select number of Mexican trucking companies to operate outside of a narrow commercial border zone... The Transportation and Infrastructure Committee plans to vote on the measure tomorrow...

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OIL SPECULATORS * USA - House rejects bill aimed at energy speculators

Most Republicans objected to the bill, preferring to pass legislation to open the outer continental shelf and other off-limits areas to energy exploration

Washington,DC,USA -MarketWatch, by Rex Nutting -July 30, 2008: -- A bill that would put new limits on speculative trading in energy commodities failed to get the required two-third majority of votes to pass the House on Wednesday. The vote was 276 to 151. The Commodity Markets Transparency and Accountability Act would boost staffing at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and require the agency to limit the positions of speculators in energy and agricultural commodities...

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INTELLIGENCE in TRANSPORT * Switzerland - Collapse of WTO talks threatens global trade

Geneva,Switzerland -Transport Intelligence, by Rob Walter -30 July 2008: -- World Trade Organisation (WTO) director-general Pascal Lamy has announced that after days of negotiations, ministers have failed to agree on the liberalisation of trade in agriculture and industrial products. That has led to the collapse of the whole trade negotiation process which, if successful, would have resulted in a major boost for economies in the developing and developed world... Talks foundered on agreeing a 'special safeguard mechanism' in farm products for developing countries and ultimately came down to an impasse between the US and India. Lamy's summary of the situation was bleak. "It is no use beating around the bush. This meeting has collapsed. Members have not been able to bridge their differences," he told journalists later... Out of a 'to-do list' of 20 topics, 18 had seen positions converge but the gaps could not be narrowed on the 19th — the special safeguard mechanism for developing countries, which would have allowed those countries to raise tariffs temporarily in order to deal with import surges and price falls...

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Survey * UK - Shows companies are passing the buck on 'green' logistics costs

Despite many companies' avowed commitment to 'greening' their logistics operations, it seems that most expect their sub-contractors to pick up the bill

London,UK -Transport Intelligence -23 July 2008: -- ... The Logistics & Transport Industry Environmental Survey sponsored by Kewill, a leading provider of global trade and logistics software, found that three-quarters of respondents who awarded logistics contracts included sections on environmental compliance in their tender documents. However, most (54%) failed to make provision for the extra costs that could be involved. That will no doubt be a source of annoyance for many logistics companies which will see the environmental measures they are forced to adopt as another cost burden pushed on to them by their clients... Evan Puzey, Chief Marketing Officer at Kewill added: "The survey reinforces the fact that technology can play an important role in helping make logistics more environmentally friendly, particularly in the area of carbon footprints – where 79% of respondents cited technology as an important tool for reducing carbon footprints"...

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OPINION * USA - First signs of upturn in the US logistics market?

There is no doubt that the market environment in the US logistics sector is tough

USA -Road Freight/Transport Intelligence (UK), by John Manners-Bell -25 July 2008: -- ... Many small and medium truckers are suffering, with a substantial number either going out of business or approaching their bigger rivals to be bought-out. Many of the bigger players are also finding it challenging, with Arkansas Best Corporation reporting a 7% drop in profits. YRC Worldwide, reporting yesterday, also announced a fall in revenue and a loss over the first half of the year. However this is only part of the story... There are some pockets of good news in the market. Con-way, for example, has just reported strong figures for both its less than trailer load and full truck load business. Its operational income increased 7.2% to $77.4m for the second quarter compared to the same period 2007 and revenue climbed 10.6%. Yield is improving even after fuel surcharge, as is capacity utilisation which is running at over 90%. Its newly created full truck load business is also in profit. Intermodal and non-asset based operators such as Hub Group and CH Robinson have also announced positive results, with both companies seeing profits up 9% over the quarter (Ti Logistics Briefing, News, July 22)... There are now signs that the balance within the market is starting to change. Demand may have fallen, but so has capacity. There are not as many trucks on the road, yet key areas of the economy are still growing, such as the coal and the agri-bulk sector which continue to drive profits. US export traffic is also strong. This means that in a number of areas capacity has tightened. As Douglas Stotlar, the CEO of Con-Way commented "The trend of capacity leaving the market is improving the supply/demand balance which is benefiting Con-way Truckload"... There is no doubt that the industry seems to be consolidating around larger, stronger players...

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TRUCKMAKERS' NEWS * Germany - MAN Q2 tops all forecasts, truck orders hit shares

Munich,Germany -Reuters, by Christiaan Hetzner -July 30 2008: -- German industrial group MAN AG posted a 39 percent rise in second-quarter operating profit on strong growth in all its main units, beating the most bullish forecasts, but falling truck orders unnerved the market... MAN kept its 2008 forecast for an operating profit margin of just under 12 percent amid a good 10 percent gain in sales... New orders fell 23 percent to 20,838 trucks in the quarter, but an improved mix helped cushion that blow to just a 6 percent drop in value to 2.36 billion euros, mainly due to Russian customers ordering high-priced long haulers...

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THANKING TRUCKERS * Canada - Remember to thank a trucker

Without their willingness to drive across this great nation of ours, our economy would fall apart...

Fergus,ON,Canada -The Fergus Elora News Express -Jul 29, 2008: -- This week, thousands of area residents flocked to the Centre Wellington Sportsplex to take in all things shiny at the Fergus Truck Show... It is, then, somewhat appropriate to reflect on the impact the trucking industry has on this province — and on this country — as a whole... Food, car parts, clothing — the list goes on and on... According to the Ontario Trucking Association, 90 per cent of all consumer products and food stuffs used and consumed in this province are distributed, at some point, by truck... Our entire economy hinges on our trucking industry, and its ability to get consumer goods to our stores on time... According to Statistics Canada, the trucking industry contributed approximately $14.2 billion to the economy in 2005... With all of this in mind, it’s probably a good idea for us to remind ourselves that truckers — good, hardworking folk with a love of the road — are behind a lot of the things in life we enjoy... The next time we see them on the road, let’s take the time to thank them... Without their willingness to drive across this great nation of ours, our economy would fall apart... It would be good for all of us to remember that...

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TRUCKING INDUSTRY NEWS * USA - New Safety Education Company

ATA Associates, Inc. & Codega LLC, Signs Ten-Year Contract With the American Trucking Associations

Houston,TX,USA -PRNewswire/Earth Times -29 Jul 2008: -- The catastrophic engineering firm ATA Associates recently formed Codega LLC, a company dedicated to providing creatively different and educationally significant training experiences... Focusing on motivation, reinforcement, retention and transference of information, Codega's training initiatives increase safety using alternative learning techniques... In recent years, ATA Associates has focused a lot of its effort on the heavy trucking industry, investigating thousands of accidents and supporting many prominent transportation companies. It comes as no surprise that ATA Associates' sister company, Codega, has signed a ten-year contract to develop training videos in conjunction with the American Trucking Associations...


* ATA Truck Tonnage Index Jumped 1.3 Percent in June

Arlington,VA,USA -MarketWatch -July 29, 2008: -- The American Trucking Associations' advanced seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index increased 1.3 percent in June, marking the second consecutive month-to-month gain. The index rose 0.5 percent in May... The seasonally adjusted tonnage index equaled 116.5 (2000 = 100) in June, which was the highest reading since February 2008 (117.2). The not seasonally adjusted index increased 1.2 percent to 119.9 in June... The seasonally adjusted index was 5.4 percent higher compared with June 2007, marking its eighth consecutive year-over-year increase. This improvement was the largest year-over-year gain since January 2005, just surpassing the 5.3 percent jump in January 2008...

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ILLEGAL DRUGS * USA - Truck drivers taking illegal drugs get hired

Washington,DC,USA -AP, by HOPE YEN -29 July 2008: -- Tractor-trailer and bus drivers who tested positive for illegal drugs have flouted federal regulations by returning to work without the required treatment, in some cases transporting hazardous materials for many months, congressional investigators say... The study by the Government Accountability Office, obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press, is the latest to detail problems involving unfit commercial drivers who can operate vehicles weighing 40 tons or more. The GAO found that 19 out of 37 commercial drivers who had a positive drug test in the last two years were hired elsewhere less than a month later — keeping quiet about their previous test result... These tractor-trailer or bus drivers, who had tested positive for cocaine, amphetamines or marijuana, passed a new pre-employment drug test either by quickly going clean or using products such as synthetic urine to mask drug use. They subsequently operated commercial vehicles for periods ranging from one month to over a year, GAO said...

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INFRASTRUCTURES' PLAN * USA - US DOT Proposes Overhaul of Federal Approach to Transportation

US Transportation Secretary Mary Peters unveiled a plan to “refocus, reform and renew” the national approach to highway and transit systems in America

Washington,DC,USA -Fast Lane, by Arthur Bochner -29 July 2008: -- The new plan outlines increased federal attention on maintaining and improving the Interstate highway system, rather than applying funds for programs clearly not federal priority areas... Addressing urban congestion and giving greater flexibility to state and local governments to invest in their most needed transit and highway priorities is another main element of the plan. As part of the focus on congestion, the plan would create a Metropolitan Innovation Fund that rewards cities willing to combine a mix of effective transit investments, dynamic pricing of highways and new traffic technologies, the Secretary said...

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TRUCKERS' FATIGUE * Australia - Fatigue management transition for South Australia

S.Australia -ATN -30 July 2008: -- South Australia is following Queensland’s lead by implementing a transition period to new fatigue management regulations as well as relaxing its enforcement strategy... Although the laws will be introduced on September 29, operators will have a six-month exemption from changed driving hours. This means drivers using standard hours will still be allowed to drive for 12 hours and work for two hours... Under the new regulations, drivers are limited to a 12-hour workday... The Rann Government is also extending the Transitional Fatigue Management Scheme (TFMS) from six to 12 months. Those resigtered under the TFMS are allowed to drive for longer hours.The South Australian Road Transport Association (SARTA), which campaigned hard for the transition periods, says the Government’s decision will give operators more time to adjust to the new regulations...

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DRIVERS' FATIGUE * USA - Fatigue major problem in trucking industry

Roanoke,VA,USA -WSLS -July 28, 2008: -- Daphne and Steve Izer lost their 17-year old son, Jeff, when a trucker fell asleep at the wheel and swerved into his car. Jeff and 3 of his friends lost their lives that day back in 1993. And since then—the Izer’s say the federal government has not done enough to take on the problem. The Izer’s tell that fatigue has been named the number one problem in the trucking industry. The Izer’s formed “Parents Against Tired Truckers” soon after their son was killed. It has become a national organization based out of Northern Virginia. It aims to bring the fatigue issue to the forefront. The Izer’s say the problem is fueled by the bottom line—trucking companies and their truckers don’t make money unless the wheels are turning. That means they will often sacrifice sleep to move the load they’re carrying... (See Video)

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STRIKE * Australia - Trucking industry cancels shutdown

Organisers have been forced to cancel a planned two-week shutdown of the trucking industry across Australia after just two and a half days...

Melbourne,Victoria,Australia -Radio Australia, by Matt Watson -29 July 2008: -- ... Drivers launched the industrial action in protest against the state and federal government's road safety laws... The action was supposed to cause fuel and food shortages and force the government into changing its laws... However, the National Road Transport Forum has sent drivers back to work because the transport ministers in the states of New South Wales and Queensland have gone on holidays... Organiser Mick Pattell says it was a ridiculous situation... (Horsham,Victoria,Australia -The Wimmera Mail Times, by JO MORRIS)... Australian Trucking Association spokesman Bill McKinley said the ATA and its member organisation Truckers Workers Union was opposed to the shutdown... He said it had been badly organised and the fact that drivers had felt threatened to stop work was an indication of this... Mr McKinley said the stopwork was unlikely to affect many retail outlets...


* Shutdown begins but trucking operator says support not there

Disillusioned truck drivers have started a national shutdown but there are already claims it will fail to achieve any meaningful gains

Australia -ATN -29 July 2008: -- ... Operators and owner-drivers, fed up with soaring diesel prices and impending regulations, converged on a number of truck stops designed to pressure the government into acceding to a list of demands... But the Australian Long Distance and Owner Drivers Association (ALDODA) latest crusade has failed to draw overwhelming support despite claims 80 percent of the industry is backing it... In a statement from the organisation, shutdown organiser and president of ALDODA’s Queensland branch, Lyn Bennetts, says 470 truck drivers took part across regional areas in Queensland and NSW. But while she says more than 400 trucks joined a convoy in Brisbane, and operator who attended the shutdown claims it was closer to the media figure of 43... About 200 truck drivers turned up to the Brisbane meeting point at a service station... According to Bennetts, ALDODA will receive most of its support in Melbourne, claiming about 600 to 800 drivers will stop work... However, the Victorian strike organiser Fletcher Davis says between 200 to 300 drivers took part in the shutdown. But he says ALDODA expects more to come on board as the week goes on... Davis says he is happy with the progress after around 30 trucks took part in a convoy through Melbourne streets...


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TRUCKER'S STORY * USA - 'In a man's world'

Chattanooga,TN,USA -The Chattanooga Times Free Press, by Joan Garrett -July 29, 2008: -- Cast against the row of looming 18-wheelers, Sheila Stanford appeared a diminutive grandmother... At 64 years old, her hair was gray and white. She wore a pressed polo shirt and the type of tinted, rhinestone-studded glasses that snowbirds don in Florida retirement communities... As she walked into the Tennessee truck stop, men and families stared... “When a female steps out of the truck they say, ‘My God, I can’t believe she’s doing that,’” said Ms. Stanford, a driver for Chattanooga-based Covenant Transport... Like many in the small sorority of female truckers, Ms. Stanford looked to find a new and independent life on the road. A truck-school teacher who often ate at a restaurant Ms. Stanford owned in Jacksonville, Fla., introduced her to the idea eight years ago. The teacher told her she was the type of woman who could make the most of life on the road... (Photo by Gillian Bolsover - Sheila Stanford stands in front of her truck at Covenant Transport headquarters. Ms. Stanford has been driving trucks for eight years)

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TRUCKS' PURCHASE PROSPECTS * Malaysia - Yinson planning to buy more trucks

Firm will invest RM6mil to enhance its fleet and cut fuel costs

Johor Baru,Malaysia -The Malaysia Star, by ZAZALI MUSA -July 29, 2008: -- Yinson Holdings Bhd will invest RM6mil to add 20 to 30 new trucks to its existing 350-unit fleet in the financial year ending Jan 31, 2009... Managing director Lim Han Weng said, while Japanese-made cars were fuel-efficient and a favourite among car owners, the same could not be said of Japanese-made trucks... Lim said although the European models were higher priced, cost-wise they were a better choice, as they were more economical... He said since fuel made up between 30% and 40% of the company’s operating cost, it preferred trucks that were more fuel-efficient... He added that apart from owning trucks, Yinson also hired about 200 trucks from smaller transporters...

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Green Coke * USA - Company hits road with hybrid trucks

The soda giant is leading the way with hybrid trucks -- at considerable expense. The estimated price of each vehicle is about $85,000

Miami,FL,USA -The Miami Herald, by JOHN DORSCHNER -Jul. 29, 2008: -- While other companies are shying away from the considerable costs involved, Coca-Cola announced Monday it is rolling out 10 heavy-duty hybrid trucks in South Florida, part of a national campaign to put 142 of these so-called green trucks on the road in North America in the next several weeks... Coke's new trucks are estimated to lower fuel consumption by 37 percent and emissions by 32 percent -- solid figures to impress the growing number of people who are demanding a reduction in greenhouse gases... But heavy-duty hybrid trucks aren't cheap. Coca-Cola estimates the special engines add about $35,000 to the cost, making the total about $85,000 per truck... (Photo by LILLY ECHEVERRIA/MIAMI HERALD - Coca Cola says it's the first in South Florida to introduce heavy duty hybrid trucks, like this one at the Coca-Cola facility at 3350 Pembroke Rd., in Hollywood)

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TRUCKMAKERS' NEWS * USA - Paccar's fuel-saving hybrid trucks

Kenworth Truck, a subsidiary of Paccar, plans to begin full production of its T270 and T370 hybrid trucks in early September

Kirkland,WASH,USA -The Seattle Times -29 July 2008: -- ... Like the increasingly popular hybrid cars, these vehicles come with an electric motor that assists the main engine during acceleration and can capture the energy produced from braking, storing it in a battery for later use... Kenworth chief engineer Mike Dozier said hybrids are ideally suited for such delivery fleets, because stop-and-go driving allows the electric motor to operate and recharge its batteries more frequently... A hybrid truck can cost $40,000 more than its more traditional peers, which can sell for around $60,000 for the chassis alone; final costs vary widely according to specifications... But Kenworth says the trucks pay for that premium in four to five years. When used for deliveries, a hybrid truck can reduce fuel consumption by 30 percent; in its utility version, by 50 percent, said Dozier... (Photo by KEN LAMBERT / THE SEATTLE TIMES - Andy Douglas, Western region sales manager for Kenworth, shows off two medium-duty hybrid trucks. The Paccar subsidiary plans to start full production of the trucks in September. The nation's distribution industry relies on medium-duty trucks)


* Cummins’ Profits Rise as Engine Demand Recovers

USA -Transport Topìcs -30 July 2008: -- Engine manufacturer Cummins Inc., said that its second-quarter profits rose to a record as overseas demand bolstered a recovering North American truck-engine market... Cummins said it earned $293 million, or $1.49 a share, in the quarter ended June 29, on sales of $3.89 billion, a 16% gain compared with the 2007 quarter... Total sales of heavy-duty truck engines in the second quarter rose to $672 million from $473 million a year ago, Cummins said in its latest earnings report. The company shipped 31,700 heavy-duty engines in the second quarter, up from 23,800 a year ago... Notwithstanding soaring fuel prices and a weak U.S. economy, Cummins said that demand for heavy-duty truck engines in North America improved from year-ago levels, when the 2007 federal emission regulations “led to sharply lower demand"...

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"CLEAN TRUCKS" LAW SUIT * USA - This, You Call a Slam Dunk?

After months of chest-thumping, the trucking industry has finally filed its lawsuit against the Clean Trucks Programs of the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach

Santa Monica,CA ,USA -Switchboard, from NRDC, by David Pettit -July 28, 2008: -- ... Industry’s legal arguments will fare no better. First, they rely heavily on the recent Rowe vs. New Hampshire Motor Transport Association case from the U.S. Supreme Court for the argument that the ports can’t admit some trucks (i.e. clean trucks) and deny admittance to others (dirty trucks)... The ATA says that Rowe means that the Ports can’t keep dirty trucks off their property. But ATA’s argument is wrong because even if a court finds the programs preempted, under the “market participant” doctrine, the ports, as landlords, can choose who they do or don’t want to do business with, and who can or can’t come onto their property... Second, industry argues that the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution bars the ports from telling dirty trucks in interstate commerce that they can’t work at the ports... This is wrong also because the Commerce Clause (actually, the “dormant Commerce Clause,” for constitutional nitpickers) does not draw a bright line between permitted and illegal in a case like this, but rather requires a balancing test that looks at the local interests and the degree of impairment of interstate commerce. Here, the local public health interest is huge...

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Jul 29, 2008

STRIKE * AUSTRALIA

* Qld businesses feel pinch of truckie strike

Brisbane,Queensland,Australia -ABC News -Jul 28, 2008: -- Some Queensland businesses are starting to feel the effect of a national truck industry shutdown... The two-week trucking shutdown began at midnight last night over state and federal government transport changes, which include increased registration fees, new fatigue laws and changes to the fuel excise... Brisbane Markets chief executive Andrew Young says there was a drop in produce deliveries at Rocklea this morning... Mr Young says some suppliers have been stocking up with extra produce... (Picture by Alison McRae/ABC News: Trucks slowly make their way through the centre of Brisbane in a 'go-slow' protest on July 28, 2008. The truckies were protesting against the high price of petrol)


* Truckies protest in Melbourne

Melbourne,Australia -ABC News -Jul 28, 2008: -- Dozens of self-employed truck drivers are taking part in stop work meetings across Melbourne, as part of a national day of protest over working conditions... The drivers are angry about rising fuel costs, increases in registration fees and low rates of pay... About 50 drivers are moving in convoy through Melbourne's west as a show of force... (Picture by Karl Hoerr/ABC TV - Truckies are angry about risking costs)


* Supermarkets brace for truckie strike - Truckies preparing for two week strike

Sydney,Australia -NEWS.com.au -July 27, 2008: -- Supermarket chains are bracing for serious shortages of fresh fruit and vegetables this week amid fears truckies could strike as early as tonight... Thousands of truckies, outraged at low pay rates and soaring fuel and registration costs, have vowed to bring the country to its knees from midnight tonight, refusing to drive for two weeks... The Australian Long Distance Owners and Drivers Association and the National Road Transport Forum are calling it a nationwide strike, but a Transport Workers Union spokesman said they were a local "fringe group" and the action was limited to drivers in Queensland... One organiser said up to 80 per cent of owner drivers were facing bankruptcy and they were prepared to take the Queensland economy down with them...


* Truck drivers in Australia seek government help

Melbourne,Victoria,Australia -Radio Australia -Jul 28, 2008: -- Self employed truck drivers from the Australian state of Victoria say they will take industrial action unless the federal government responds to their request for help to improve their working conditions... Protest meetings have been held in capital cities around the country... They want a cut in diesel excise, more safety stops along freeways and registration fees to be standardised nationally... Ivan Waddingham, of the Australian Long Distance Owners and Drivers Association, says soaring petrol prices are sending many owner-drivers broke... "We get paid per kilometre. That hasn't changed much at all in the last 20 years," he said... "We've got huge fuel spike. Everyone's hurting and you know, you almost need a personal loan now to fill it, it's got that bad." ..


* Truck strike to hurt small operators

Fairfax,Australia -Stock and Land - 28 July 2008: -- The commencement today of disruption to road freight will cause economic harm to those who can least afford disruption to their cash flow, income and profitability, according to the Queensland Trucking Association... As a result, QTA chief executive Peter Garske is calling for on all owner-drivers to return to work and to focus their attentions on negotiating with Government...


* Australian Truckers Split Over Stoppage

Australia -Freightscene, by Findlay Osborn -28 July 2008: -- The trucking industry in Australia appears split over attempts by two of the industry’s representative organisations to organised a nationwide stoppage of truck transport... The stoppage, which commenced this morning in Australia has been organised by the Queensland based National Road Transport Forum and Australian Long Distance Owners and Drivers Association in response to increased fuel prices and proposed legislation by Australia’s Labor government which would see a raft of new charges imposed on the industry... The National Road Transport Forum’s Mick Pattell hoped the public would back the drivers concerns and that the government would react quickly to the stoppage... The stoppage is planned to last for two weeks with repercussions expected for both retailers and consumers, should truck drivers choose to join the nationwide action... Truck drivers in the state of Western Australia have decided against joining the two-week nationwide truck stoppage. The decision was made after a brief gathering of truck drivers in Kewdale and a subsequent protest drive to a point close to the Parliament of Western Australia...


* SA Transport Authority: We won't be bullied

Adelaide,SA,Australia -ABC Online -Jul 27, 2008: -- The South Australian Road Transport Authority says it could sue the organisers of tonight's planned national shutdown of the trucking industry if it goes ahead... The transport body says it has advice to take legal action against the organisations leading the planned action from midnight tonight... Some rogue trucking groups have threatened violence towards drivers who continue to work during the unofficial strike... The Transport Authority's director Steve Shearer says the industry will not be bullied... (Picture by Daniel Munoz/Reuters: Truck drivers are planning a national stoppage from midnight)

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Disabled Truckers * USA - Lying To Keep Licenses

Medically unfit truck drivers are lying to keep their trucks on the road, which can put all drivers safety at risk on the road

Amarillo,TX,USA -KFDA -Jul 25, 2008: -- ... According to the Governmental Accountability Office, Texas has 819,000 drivers with active commercial drivers licenses, with 22,600 receiving full federal disability benefits... Those are drivers that are getting behind the wheel with medical disabilities such as diabetes, loss of limb or sleep apnea... The study concludes, that it's easy for truckers to fake a medical certificate and that there's almost no incentive to get a real one. Making it easy for those who have an unnoticeable disability to obtain a Commercial Drivers License... There is no database or central repository allowing state inspectors to verify the legitimacy of a medical certificate... Trooper Wayne Williams says there is no way to prevent people from lying to get a CDL...

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TECHNONEWS WORLDWIDE * USA - Trucking industry accelerating use of technology for fuel efficiencies

Chattanooga,TN,USA -The Chattanooga Times Free Press, by Joan Garrett -July 25, 2008: -- Several years ago, after driving a truck for 25 years, Barry Andersen decided to leave the industry and pursue research. He made a mud flap with holes... Sales were poor to begin with, but when diesel hit $4 a gallon Mr. Andersen found himself and his new mud flaps in the middle of an industry frenzy over aerodynamics. These porous mud flaps, coined eco-flaps, could improve a trucks fuel efficiency by 1.7 to 4 percent, he said... Along with tweaking trucks physical appearance for improved aerodynamics, companies are serious about reducing the time their drivers idle their trucks when they aren’t driving. Oftentimes, truckers idle to stay warm or cool at night, but one hours of sitting can eat up one gallon of diesel fuel...


* South Africa - Putting a spring into the trucking industry

Garden View,South Africa -Creamer Media's Engineering News -25 July 08: -- New technologies that enable the production of polyurethanes that are ten times as hard-wearing as rubber compounds are replacing rubber in many applications, says polyurethane product manufacturer Polyurethane Precision Mouldings (PPM) MD Fred Evans... The inherent strength, toughness and longevity of polyurethanes make the material applicable for special formulations in hydraulic machinery and equipment...

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