TRAILER MAKERS * Europe - Germany's Kögel delivers its first LongPlex
Burtenbach,Germany -Truck Europe (Belgium), by Michel Buckinx-24 Jan 2011:-- Trailer manufacturer Kögelhas delivered its firstLongPlex semi-trailer.This is capable of carrying two C745 boxes. This semi-trailer can be extended by 1.3 m at the rear to achieve the length required to transport these boxes. According to the manufacturer, this solution enables transport costs to be reduced, along with CO2 emissions, and transport efficiency to be improved. The LongPlexis particularly suited to combined transport...
TRUCKING INDUSTRY * Europe / Holland - TNT sells part of its post activities
The Halle,The Netherlands -Truck Europe (Belgium), by Michel Buckinx -13 Jan 2011: -- TNT has announced that it is now going to concentrate its European ‘post’ activities on addressed post in countries in which it has a strong presence.TNT holds strong market positioning inGermany, the UKandItaly. In the other countries, the emphasis will be on partnerships or sale. Within this context, TNT says it has reached agreements to sell its ‘post’ activities in Belgium (Belgique Diffusion) and its ‘non-addressed post’ activities in Italy to its management and NPM Capital NV, a private investment company in the Benelux...
TRUCKMAKERS NEWS * Europe - Sergio Marchionne might be interested by MAN and Scania
Detroit,MICH,USA -Truck Europe (Belgium), by Claude Yvens -12 Jan 2011:-- During a press conference he held at the Detroit show, Sergio Marchionne, the CEO of Fiat, indicated that he might be interested in taking over MAN and Scania “if Volkswagen wished to withdraw from its trucks activities”. This statement reverberated very widely because it came at precisely the moment when the Fiat group was splitting into two, and when Iveco, its branch specialising in trucks, finds itself within the new Fiat Industrial division which had a good debut on the stock market on January 3rd...
* Italy - Fiat’s profit up on trucks and Brazil sales
Torino,Italy -FT.com (London,UK) by John Reed -January 27 2011: -- Fiat reported stronger fourth-quarter earnings and a full-year net profit of €600m, beating its own earlier forecasts, thanks to reviving markets for trucks and heavy equipment and strong sales of its cars inBrazil...The Italian group, which in December demerged its core automotive division from its industrial businesses, reported its earnings for the last time as a single company. Its after-tax profit compared with a net loss of €848m it reported in 2009, when the financial crisis sapped demand for the cars and capital goods Fiat makes... The group, which owns 25 per cent of US carmaker Chrysler, ended the year with net industrial debt of €2.4bn, compared with €4.4bn at the end of 2009...
ALTERNATIVE FUELS * UK - Breakthrough promises $1.50 per gallon synthetic gasoline with no carbon emissions
Didcot,Oxfordshire,UK -Gizmag, by Mike Hanlon -January 26, 2011:-- UK-based Cella Energyhas developed a synthetic fuel that could lead to US$1.50 per gallon gasoline. Apart from promising a future transportation fuel with a stable price regardless of oil prices, the fuel is hydrogen based and produces no carbon emissions when burned. The technology is based on complex hydrides, and has been developed over a four year top secret program at the prestigious Rutherford Appleton Laboratory near Oxford.Early indications are that the fuel can be used in existing internal combustion engined vehicles without engine modification... According to Stephen Voller CEO at Cella Energy, the technology was developed using advanced materials science, taking high energy materials and encapsulating them using a nanostructuring technique called coaxial electrospraying... The technology has been developed over a four-year top secret programme at the prestigious Rutherford Appleton Laboratory near Oxford, UK... The development team is led by Professor Stephen Bennington in collaboration with scientists from University College London and Oxford University...
Urban congestion * USA - D.C. area co-leads nation in traffic congestion
Search nation's largest urban areas to see commuters' yearly delays, excess fuel and congestion costs
Washington,DC,USA -The Washington Post, by Ashley Halsey III -January 20, 2011:... The number of drivers inthe Washington region who say they frequently feel uncontrollable anger toward another driver has doubled in the past five years, according to a Washington Post poll taken last year.Almost a third of drivers said they're overcome with that wild rage from time to time... One reason for that boiling frustration is contained in a report released Thursday, which found that Washington ranks first in the nation when it comes to hours wasted stuck in traffic... The most sophisticated number crunching done on traffic congestion says the average Washington areadriver loses 70 hours a year - almost three full days - crawling along in traffic, tying the region withChicago for worst in the country. Los Angeles, the perennial king of congestion, comes in third, with 63 blown hours...The news came in the annual national traffic survey done by the Texas Transportation Institute, a highly regarded research group based at Texas A&M University...(See Poll)(Photo from blog.thesietch.org: traffic congestion Washington,DC)
TRUCK SALES * Europe - ACEA: Recovery continues in December
New commercial vehicle sales rose 12.5 percent in December in the European Union...
Paris,France -Reuters, by Helen Massy-Beresford -Jan 26, 2011:... ACEAsaid on Wednesday, as the recovery continued and the sector finished 2010 on a positive note... Highly cyclical demand for heavy trucks has powered ahead in the last few months, as the industry recovers after the worst downturn in decades... Strong growth in emerging markets like Asia and South America has helped truckmakers that were hit hard by the crisis...Demand has also picked up in Europe, although there are concerns that eurozone economic woes could destabilise the recovery...For the year 2010 as a whole, commercial vehicle sales rose 8 percent, ACEA said... In December, sales of new vans, or light commercial vehicles, rose 8.4 percent... Sales of heavy trucks over 16 tonnes rose 70.2 percent in December, from a very low base the same month in 2009. Over the year, sales rose 8.4 percent from 2009, the association said... Sales of trucks over 3.5 tonnes rose 47.8 percent in December and 6.4 percent in 2010... Bus and coach sales, the only segment showing a decline, were down 1.4 percent in December in the region...
* USA - Harbor City truck maker announces deal to export green drive systems to China
Los Angeles,CAL,USA -The Los Angeles Times, by Stephen Ceasar-January 25, 2011:-- ALos Angeles County heavy-duty truck, tractor and electrical systems maker announced a deal Tuesday to export $15.9 million worth of electric vehicle drive systems to Chinato power buses... Balqon Corp.,based in Harbor City near Long Beach,said it expected to hire 150 workers over the next 18 months to build 300 electric vehicle drive systems to power buses that can carry 15 to 40 passengers each... The drive systems are being purchased by Winston Global Energy, a Shenzhen, China, company owned by Chinese entrepreneur Winston Chung, who is also a major shareholder in Balqon, founded in 2005...
TECHNONEWS * USA - ‘Talking’ Cars that Could Save Your Life
It's called Intellidrive
(Video from CNBC: Covering the auto industry I've seen some amazing technology over the years, but the latest crash avoidance system I tested in Detroit last week ranks among the most fascinating)
Detroit,MICH,USA -CNBC, by Phil LeBeau -25 Jan 2011:-- Using technology developed over the last nine years by a dozen major automakers working in conjunction with the federal government, Intellidrive basically revolves around cars "talking" to each other... Cars using GPS receivers and WiFi signals are constantly sending out data about their location and speed. As those signals bounce off other cars on the road or traffic signals at intersections, your car warns you when you are about to crash... The scenarios where Intellidrive works to keep you from crashing are varied... When I tested it, I was at a blind intersection and couldn't see a car approaching at roughly 35 miles per hour... Just as I was about to turn into the path of the oncoming car, Intellidrive warned me to slam on the brakes. Within a split second the system saved me from being sideswiped... Make no mistake, the "talking" car is coming. It will like be 6-7 years before Intellidrive is standard on all new cars, but it's coming...
* USA - Billionaire Venture Capitalist Vinod Khosla’s Energy Bets Inch Forward
)Photo: Vinod Khosla)
Menlo Park, California, USA -Forbes, by KERRY A. DOLAN -Jan. 25 2011: -- Superstar venture capitalist Vinod Khosla has spent the past six years or so investing in a broad array of clean energy-related companies and technologies.He readily admits that many are science experiments with a high probability of failure. But he may be getting closer to success with a few of them... Khosla recently told an audience in San Jose, Calif. that portfolio investment EcoMotors, a company that builds automotive engines that are up to 50% more efficient than current models, in early January signed up one of the larger truck makers in the world to adopt EcoMotors’ technology.Khosla didn’t specify which truck maker it was...
* USA - Chrysler announces development of hydraulic hybrid technology for cars
Deaborn,MICH,USA -Gizmag, by Mike Hanlon -January 26, 2011: -- Chrysler caught everyone off guard this week when it announced a partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to design and develop an experimental hydraulic hybrid powertrain suitable for use in large passenger cars and light-duty vehicles. The announcement was made at the EPA laboratories in Ann Arbor, Mich., following a meeting with Sergio Marchionne, Chrysler Group CEO, and Lisa P. Jackson, Agency Administratorfor the EPA... The hydraulic hybrid system, developed by the EPA's lab in Ann Arbor, is well known and currently used in industrial applications, including large delivery trucks and refuse trucks across the country. The technology has shown substantial increases in fuel economy when compared with traditional powertrains in the same type of vehicles. Working together, both parties hope to reduce the size and complexity of the hybrid system and produce a technology that is sensitive to the needs of drivers for smooth and quiet operation... (Images: Chrysler hydraulic hybrid)
Work stoppage scheduled to begin Friday at Marseille and Le Harve
Marseille,France -The Journal of Commerce Online, by Bruce Barnard-Jan 26, 2011:-- French dockers and port workers will stage a four-day nationwide strike on Friday, Jan. 28, in a major escalation of a long-running row over pensions and working conditions...The Communist-led CGT, the biggest docker union,today called for a third successive weekend stoppage as leading ports struggle to clear up a backlog of cargo built up during the previous strikes... The strikes are expected to completely or partially close down France’s major ports, including Marseille and Le Havre, the nation’s biggest container hub...The union said the strike, like previous stoppages, would not affect oil traffic and passenger ships, but would halt mainly container traffic and bulk shipment...
SALES HYBRID TRUCKS * USA - Effort to drive hybrid truck sales powers up
Long-term process to build acceptance and demand for hybrid technology within the U.S. fleet communit
Baltimore,MAR,USA -Fleet Owner, by Sean Kilcarr-Jan 26, 2011: -- The official deployment of 143 hybrid commercial vehicles manufactured by Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) under the auspices of the Maryland Hybrid Truck Initiative (MHTI) here this week is being characterized as but the first step of a long-term three-stage process to build acceptance and then demand for hybrid technology within the U.S. fleet community... MHTIis using $5.9 million in grant funding fromthe American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA, also known as the “stimulus bill”)through the Dept. of Energyto help offset the incremental costs of these 143 vehicles – diesel-electric hybrid Freightliner Business Class M2 tractor and straight truck models, as well as diesel-electric and hydraulic hybrid Freightliner Custom Chassis “bread vans” ... Those trucks are being deployed in local operations within Maryland with five fleets: Nestle Waters North America, UPS, Aramark, Sysco Corp. and Efficiency Enterprises...
Obama * USA - Pitches highway infrastructure spending
“With more research and incentives, we can break our dependence on oil with biofuels, and become the first country to have a million electric vehicles on the road by 2015 ... ”
(Photo Credit:The White House)
Washington,DC,USA -Fleet Owner, by David Cullen -Jan 26, 2011:-- In his State of the Union addresslast night, President Obama laid out an expansive blueprint for how the United Statescan “outbuild” other nations and so expand-- and strengthen-- its economy well beyond the ongoing recovery from the Great Recession... The biggest take-aways for trucking were bold proposals on R&D and infrastructure investments: “We’ll put more Americans to work repairing crumbling roads and bridges. We’ll make sure this is fully paid for, attract private investment, and pick projects based [on] what’s best for the economy, not politicians” ...
* Connected Vehicle Technology Challenge
Washington,DC,USA -U.S. Department of Transportation -26 Jan 2011:-- New wireless technology enables connectivity for vehicles of all kinds—cars, trains and even bicycles. Vehicles can “talk” to each other, traffic signals, and mobile devices. What should they say? ...The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT)is undertaking a new program to develop new applications, devices, products, business solutions, and a range of services that improve transportation’s role in safety and quality of life. The DOT believes that there are new approaches, partnerships and devices for using DSRC that innovators among the broader public can and will devise, if they are called to participate. This is that invitation... America’s transportation system is among the best in the world, but Americans face crash risks, congestion, environmental impacts, and other detriments that erode our quality of life. Smart ideas on how to apply advanced wireless technology can make the transportation system safer, more efficient and even “greener” ...An advanced open source wireless technology called Dedicated Short-Range Communications (DSRC) allows vehicles of all kinds, whether traveling slowly or even over 60 mph, to communicate with each other, stationary roadside equipment, and mobile devices. Thus far, the majority of applications have been aimed toward crash avoidance...
WEATHER TROUBLES * USA - Truckers beware: More snow heading for the East
Harrisburg,PENN,USA -Fleet Owner, by Brian Straight -Jan 25, 2011: -- While many people along the Eastern seaboard are growing quite tired of snow, there may be plenty more coming in the next few weeks if an Accuweather.com short-range forecast proves correct.And that is not good news for the trucking industry-- or the consumers who rely on trucks to bring virtually everything they need to market... Many states throughout the Northeast have already seen snowfall totals above their yearly averages.Boston, through Monday, had seen 49.6 in. vs. a yearly average of 41.8; Hartford, CT, is at 57.2 vs. 45.3;New York has seen 36.1 in. vs. an average of 22; and Philadelphiais also above average with 22.7 in. vs. an average of 19.3.The coastal region from New York City to the northeast was expecting anywhere from a dusting of snow to 3 in. in many areas today... And now the Eastis bracing for another big storm, expected to hit Wednesday night into Thursday with forecasts ranging from 1-3 in. of snow in the Tennessee Valley up to 16 in. or more in parts of New England, according to Accuweather.com...(Photo from assets.nydailynews)
(Video from YouTube, by 2btime -29 Oct 2009: There is always a variety of ships and passenger boats that travel up and down the river)
from Contract Logistics
* Waitrose awards primary contract to Gist
- Gist, the fresh food supply chain specialists, have been awarded a contract by Waitrose to become a key logistics provider for components of its primary transport operations. Read Full News Here
* TCI's nine months revenues increase by almost 22%
- Transport Corporation of India Ltd. (TCI) has announced its financial results for the quarter ended December 31, 2010, with total revenues increasing by 21.78%.Read Full News Here
* CEVA in Brazil announces new contract with Honda
- CEVA to provide parts distribution and transportation to Honda Automoveis do Brasil Ltda.Read Full News Here
* CEVA signs international transportation contract with Levi’s
- CEVA Logistics has signed a contract with Levi's, the global fashion brand.Read Full News Here
* Gazeley awarded £20m contract by Tesco
- Gazeley has signed a major deal with the UK’s largest retailer Tesco, to build a new e-commerce distribution centre at G.Park Enfield, north London. Read Full News Here
from Express & Mail
* Kuehne + Nagel to expand overland network and introduce new "KN Euro-Line" product
- Kuehne + Nagel is set to significantly expand its European overland network. By 2014 the number of scheduled international lines will have increased from 300 to 500. The company has also introduced its new "KN Euro-Line" parcel service product.Read Full News Here
from Road Freight
* Alibaba sets up Chinese logistics network
- Alibaba, the leading Chinese procurement website, has announced it intends to build a physical logistics network across China. Read Full Brief Here
* Con-way Freight introduces SafeStack cargo loading system fleetwide
- Con-way deploys SafeStack system, an adjustable decking and securing system, to enable LTL shipments travel more securely and reduce cargo damage during transit. Read Full News Here
from Air Cargo
* DHL station receives accreditation as qualified Envirotainer provider
- DHL’sBrisbane, California station receives accreditation as a Qualified Envirotainer Provider (QEP). More North American stations expected to be accredited by the end of 2011. Read Full News Here
* Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, Inc.announces placement of two additional B747-400 Freighters in service for DHL Express
- Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings will add two additional Boeing 747s for DHL Express beginning March 2011. Read Full News Here
* HFW Sanctions update: Iran
- HFW has released a sanctions update for Iran, considering the prohibition on insurance in light of imminent P&I renewals and recent UK legislation changes. Read Full Brief Here
* Iranian shipping sanctions cause global logistics headache
- The politics of Iran and the Gulf are one of the more dangerous problems the world faces, both economically and militarily. Logistics is a key part of this global issue.Read Full Brief Here
* CMA CGM upgrades its ACSA service between Asia and the Americas
- CMA CGM has announced the upgrading and reinforcement of its ACSA service linking Asia to Mexico, Central America and the West Coast of South America. This enhanced service will be operated in partnership with CSAV and CSCL. Read Full News Here
* JF Hillebrand enhances European multi-modal options
- JF Hillebrand, the global beverage logistics company, has announced the launch of an enhanced European service offering. Read Full News Here
* Maritime piracy costs global community up to $12 billion a year
(Video from YouTube, by bartamaha -18 April 2009) London,UK -One Earth Future Foundation/Oceans Beyond Piracy/Eye for Transport, by Sharon Gill-Jan 20, 2011:-- At the end of 2010, around 500 seafarers from more than eighteen countries were being held hostage by pirates.During the same year, around $238 million was paid in ransoms to Somali pirates.Piracy doesn't only affect the world's largest trade transport industry; it actually costs the global community a lot more than just ransoms and stolen cargo...Despite more than thirty countries (including the US) contributing to the navies patrolling the trade lanes around the Horn of Africa, pirates operating in the waters off the coast of Somalia are still doing a roaring trade. The pirates doubled the number of attacks and expanded their playground, so the actual number of successful hijackings increased... Furthermore, hijacked vessels are reportedly being used as "mother ships". This not only enables the pirates to expand their operating area, but also gives them some degree of protection since a naval vessel would hesitate to fire on pirates aboard a ship full of crude oil... OBPsays that, between 2004-2009, only 15% of global piracy attacks occurred off the coast of Somalia. But in 2009, Somali pirates were responsible for 53% of reported attacks around the world, including 47 hijacked vessels and 867 seafarers held hostage... The One Earth Future Foundation saysthat the scourge of piracy will continue to increase because there is no effective international system to deal with the problem...
* Somalia - Pirates Seize Beluga Project-Cargo Vessel. Ship 'in severe distress and danger,' shipowner says
Somalia -The Journal of Commerce Online, by Peter T. Leach -Jan 25, 2011:-- Pirates off the coast ofSomalia captured a German multipurpose vessel with 12 men on board... The Beluga Nomination, belonging to Bremen-basedBeluga Shipping, was traveling fromMalta to the port of Masan inSouth Koreawhen it was seized Jan. 22 some 800 nautical miles north of the Seychelles,Beluga Shippingsaid today.The crew of the ship comes from Poland,Ukraine, Russia andthe Philippines, the company said...The Beluga Nomination, built in 2006, is a 9,821 deadweight-ton, multipurpose heavy-lift project-cargo vessel... The ship "is in severe distress and danger," said Beluga, which transports heavy-lift project cargo for the offshore oil and gas industry and to sea-based wind-energy projects... The crew was able to flee to a security room within the ship when the pirates attacked. Their captors eventually managed to break into the room and take control of the ship, which is now sailing toward Somalia,Beluga said...
* South Korea - Korea Line Files for Bankruptcy. Shipping line suffered losses after economic turndown
Seoul,S.Korea -The Journal of Commerce Online, by Peter T. Leach -Jan 26, 2011: --Korea Linefiled for a court receivership on Tuesday in the wake of losses caused by the global oversupply of bulk vessels and low freight rates... The shipping line, South Korea's second-largest bulk-carrying line, suffered losses during the past two years after the shipping was hit by a global economic downturn... Other local rivals such as STX Pan Ocean and Hanjin Shipping posted operating profits last year, but Korea Line continued to suffer losses as it had to pay lease fees on chartered ships...(
..."in part because low sulfur diesel fuel is not available in Mexico"
Mexico City,DF,MEX -Fleet Owner, by Brian Straight -January 24, 2011:-- While the U.S. has offered up a preliminary document that it says will satisfy its requirements underNAFTAto allow Mexican trucks to operate inside the borders of this country, the head ofMexico’s largest trucking associationsays not so fast... Speaking to reporters after meeting with Mexico’s transportation secretary,Juan Carlos Muñoz, president of National Chamber of Motor Transport of Freight, saidthat Mexican trucks would be unable to meet EPA environmental standards ...Oil companies in Mexico “do not have sufficient capacity to supply the diesel suitable for these new technologies,” Muñoz said... That, if true, should alleviate fears of many in this country and could be a major sticking point as U.S. and Mexican negotiators debate the fine points of any new program...(Photo from aftermathnews.files.wordpress: mexican trucks at border in Nogales,MEX )
RECALL * Japan - Toyota shares drop after global vehicle recall
Hong Kong,China -MarketWatch (USA), by Chris Oliver -Jan. 26, 2011: --Toyota Motor Corp.announced Wednesday a number of vehicle recalls domestically and overseas, pressuring its shares in late afternoon trading in Tokyo. The recall announcement, reportedly the first by Toyota since October, applied to about 1.2 million vehicles in Japan and 245,000 vehicle in the U.S, as well as a smaller number of vehicles in Europe, for a variety of defects including some relating to fuel systems. Vehicles affected by the recall reportedly include the Noah minivaninJapan manufactured between 2000 to 2008, the IS andGS Lexus models inthe U.S. andthe Avensis sedan and station wagonin Europe. Toyotashares fell 1.9% in Wednesday's session in Tokyo...
TRUCKING INDUSTRY * UK - Fleets re-examine funding methods
London,UK -Fleet News -24 Jan 2011:-- A number of fleets have already changed or are looking to change the way they fund their vehicles to ensure they’re still getting the best value for money... The increase in VAT from 17.5% to 20%, a reduction in capital allowances and proposed new accountancy rules are all having an impact... Doubts have already been raised over the future for employee car ownership (ECO) schemes, with mileages, fuel costs and the administrative burden eroding potential savings... However, whether a fleet’s employing an ECO scheme, outright purchase or leasing its vehicles, the continuing backdrop is one of cost reduction...
* Wales - Welsh haulier says market conditions are 'uneconomic'
Chepstow,Wales,UK -Road Transport, by Simon Jack -24 January 2011:... HaulierStroat Transportsays that market conditions are close to making the business uneconomic... The company, which works in the construction and agricultural sectors, has seen fuel costs rise by £1,000 per month for each of its three vehicles... Dave Bollen, a partner of the firm, says: "It's almost getting to the stage where we'll say we're not going to work for no money. We'll park the lorries up if necessary" ... At the same time there has been no corresponding rise in rates - the company says it is talking with its customers to try to address the situation...As well as the haulage business, the partners of Stroat Transport run a farm growing wheat and oilseed rape...
TRUCK SALES * USA - Ward’s: Class 4-8 truck sales “finish 2010 in black”
New York,NY,USA -Fleet Owner -Jan 21, 2011:-- According to WardsAuto.com, Ward’s own data shows that “a 2.6% uptick in December helped boost U.S. sales of medium- and heavy-duty trucks to a 9% full-year gain over 2009” ... What Ward’s describes as “big-truck sales (Class 4-8 GVW) for 2010 totaled 217,702 units, compared with the prior year’s 199,686 tally...But “putting the jump in clearer perspective,” Ward’s Christie Schweinsberg stated in her report that 2008’s total was 298,424...For the year:
* Class 8 outpaced 2009 by 13%, led by a 65.4%
* Class 7 lost 1.9% of its 2009 volume
* Class 6 for the year was the hottest sector, “soaring 32.5% from 2009 levels.”
* Class 5’s 51.9% jump was December’s biggest percentage-based improvement
* Class 4 incurred the biggest loss in December and for the year, dropping 65% and 39.2%, respectively...
Portland,ORE,USA -Truck News -Jan 21, 2011: -- Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA)has declared it finished 2010 as the market share leader forthe US and NAFTA regionsin the Classes 6-8 and Class 8 markets... The company attributes its market share growth to the acceptance of its selective catalytic reduction (SCR) engine emissions technology...DTNA's Classes 6-8 retail sales climbed to 67,800 units in the NAFTA market in 2010, reaching 31.6% market share, a gain of 2% over 2009, according to the company... US sales accounted for 56,900 units and 32.6% of the market...Daimler also scored 32.4% of the Class 8 NAFTA market and 33.9% of the Class 8 US market... Not surprisingly, Freightliner led the way among DTNA brands.The NAFTA market saw 42,800 Class 8 Freightliners sold for 30.3% of the market share. Western Star also saw retail sales growth over 2009... (Photo from fargofreightliner)
* GM to add 3rd shift, 750 jobs to Flint plant
Flint,MICH,USA -Fleet Owner-Jan 24, 2011: --General Motors has announced plans to add a third shift at itsFlint, MI, Assembly plant. The shift will result in the addition of 750 jobs, the company said... The plant builds the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra heavy-duty pickups... The new shift is expected to begin production in the third quarter. GM employs 2,100 currently at the Flint plant over two shifts. It produces 115,000 trucks a year, the company said... (Photo from t2.gstatic: GMC Sierra heavy-duty pickup )
* Chicago taxi firm adds Ford natural-gas vans
Chicago,ILL,USA -Fleet Owner -Jan 24, 2011: -- Medallion Managementaffiliated with Yellow Cab Chicago, has purchased 12 Ford Transit Connect vansthat run on natural gas instead of gasoline.In a statement issued by FordandTaxi Medallion, the companies said the commercial vans are expected to help the cab company reach its goal of cutting total emissions by 25%... The Ford Transit Connect typically is used as a delivery van, but second-row seats can be added. According to the announcement, the natural gas-powered vans achieve some 23 mpg in combined city-highway driving-- 21% better than a conventional taxi cab such as the Ford Crown Victoria sedan...The natural gas-powered Ford Transit Connects are scheduled to be delivered in March... (Photo from unnen: 2011 Ford Transit Connect Taxi )
*US Xpress buys a thousand Petes
Chattanooga,TENN,USA -Hooked Up/Truck News, by James Menzies -24 Jan 2011:--Peterbilt has announced that US mega-fleetUS Xpresshas placed an order for 1,000 newModel 587s.It's significant order any way you look at it, but it's especially interesting since US Xpresshad been a devout Freightlineruser since, well, pretty much since the company's inception... (Photo from farm3.static.flickr)
Traffic Congestion * USA - Rebounding with economy
Houston,TX,USA -Fleet Owner, by Wendy Leavitt -Jan 21, 2011: -- According to the just-released 2010 edition of the Urban Mobility Report, published by the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) at Texas A&M University, after two years of slight declines in overall traffic congestion – attributable to the economic downturn and higher fuel prices – leading indicators now suggest that as the economy is rebounding, so too are traffic problems...For motor carriers and shippers hoping to save time by moving freight during off hours, the report offers more specific data on the best such opportunities:
*Approximately half of the total delays occur in the midday and overnight (outside of the peak hours of 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.) times of day when shippers and carriers generally have expected lighter traffic
* Midday congestion is not as severe, but it can cause problems, especially for time-sensitive shipments.
In Chicago, for example, truck delays resulted in a “congestion cost” of more than $ 3,349 million. Slow traffic in New York cost $3,133 million thanks to the time trucks spent stuck in traffic there...
TRUCKING INDUSTRY * USA - U.S. Xpress: Motor carriers must march to a very different drum
Picture a constraint on truck-freight capacity for at least the next two to three years that starts this summer
Chattanooga,TN,USA -Fleet Owner, by Sean Kilcarr -Jan 21, 2011:... Add in a driver shortage expected to range as high as 150,000 and a projected productivity loss of 4% to 8% from Hours of Service (HOS) reforms as proposed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and it is clear motor carriers must change with the times. Immediately… if not sooner... And the challenge for carriers will only grow from here,according toMax Fullerand Patrick Quinn, co-chairmen and co-founders of U.S. Xpress Enterprises...Quinn pointedoutthat adding new capacity-- be it by existing carriers wishing to expand their fleets or start-ups trying to enter the business-- will be almost impossible due to the cost of new trucks and trailers... (Photo from i.ytimg: Lease purchase program driver testimonial USXpress)
* Iowa - Rewards card leaves info trail of digital bread crumbs
Arlee,MT,USA -Land line Magazine, by David Tanner-21 Jan 2011: -- By law, truckers are required to account for both on-duty and off-duty time. Most professionals do a fine job of it, so inspections and the like are just part of the job, albeit inconvenient at times... Company driver Jody Scott thought he had his ducks in a row as an Iowa DOT inspector asked to see some receipts back in November 2010. That’s when the inspector demanded to see a truck stop rewards card on the dash...The regulations do not require drivers to keep supporting documents in their possession – that requirement rests with the motor carrier. Drivers only have to have seven days’ worth of logs with them... But, as truckers know, inspectors are allowed to run just about anything they can get their hands on in an effort to verify a logbook, so the Pilot Driver Payback rewards card on Scott’s dash was fair game... The inspector took the card back to his car, used a laptop to enter the card number on Pilot’s website and began reviewing transactions... Among the transactions the inspector noted on Scott’s report, the Pilot card was used on Nov. 30, 2010, to redeem points for a shower at 12:10 p.m., Central Time... The issue of trucker privacy, or better yet, the lack thereof, is disconcerting, said Scott’s boss, OOIDA Life Member, Bill Farrell...
* Charleston Port: system implementation slowing truck
Charleston,SC,USA -Land Line, by Charlie Morasch -21 Jan 2011:-- A new check-in process caused massive truck lines at the Port of Charleston this week. A port spokesman, however, said the system will improve...News organizations in the area posted pictures of truck lines clogging highways this week after the port’s new check-in system began enforcement Jan. 18... Byron Miller, spokesman for the South Carolina Ports Authority, acknowledged the port’s responsibility for delays. The port is using an existing check-in system, he said, though different employees are now handling the work... (Photo from postandcourier: Trucks were backed up on Remount Road in both directions as far as the eye could see Tuesday, caused by a change in operations at the State Ports Authority's two container terminals. City of North Charleston -January 18, 2011)
* Pennsylvania - NAPA Transportation acquires assets of Payne Trucking
Mechanicsburg,PA,USA -Penton Media/Fleet Owner -Jan 27, 2011: -- NAPA Transportation, a provider of food and consumer goods throughout the northeastern United States, has acquired the rolling stock and certain other assets ofPayne Trucking, a dry van truckload carrier providing service primarily in the eastern United Statesas well as brokerage services.Transport Capital Partners, LLC (TCP) helped the companies craft the agreement and announced the deal.“We are pleased to bring these two organizations together,” said Lana Batts, managing partner of TCP... NAPApresently operates a fleet of 235 tractors and 535 trailers...
STRIKES * France - Nationwide French Dockworker Strikes Begin
Union claims solid support as strike blocks all ports
Le Havre,France -The Journal of Commerce Online, by Bruce Barnard-Jan 21, 2011:-- French dockworkers Jan. 21 began a four-day nationwide strike amid warnings of further stoppages as port employers resist union demands for improved working conditions and early retirement... The Communist-led CGT, the largest dockworker union, claimed solid support for the strike at all ports, with shipping at a standstill from Marseille in the south to Le Havre, the nation’s main container port, in the north... Dockworkers will strike Friday and Sunday, and other port workers, including container crane operators, will walk off the job on Saturday and Monday... The government forced changes in working conditions at the seven publicly owned ports -- Marseille, Le Havre, Dunkirk, Bordeaux, Rouen, La Rochelle and Nantes-St. Nazaire -- in 2008 as part of an overall reform aimed at boosting productivity to the level of rival European ports that have captured a large slice of France’s container traffic... The government also loosened the state’s control over the ports but remains the single shareholder...(Photo: Aerial view Le Havre's Port)
TRUCKMAKERS' NEWS * Germany - MAN plans to control consumption with the MAN TGX EfficientLine
Efficient Line has been specially designed to provide optimum aerodynamics
Brussels,Belgium -Truck & Business, by Julie Widart -19 Jan 2011: -- At the Show, MAN will present version of TGX optimized in terms of consumption.Based on a TGX 18.440 4x2 BLS XLX cab, already have an aerodynamic optimum (spoiler and skirts cabin) and the new Eco Intarder (reducing friction when the vehicle is stationary), MAN expects to offer a significant reduction in average consumption by applying the following measures:
* New more powerful alternator,
* new management system the air pressure switch off,
TRUCKMAKER'S CORRUPTION * Germany - MAN demands 237 million euros from former CEO
Hakan Samuelsson left MAN after the corruption scandal in 2009
Munich,Germany -AFP/DPA/DW World, by Kyle James & Sam Edmonds -17 Jan 2011: -- German truckmaker MAN is demanding its former CEO, Hakan Samuelsson, pay more than 200 million euros in damages out of his own pocket in connection with a bribery scandal. In addition to the 150-million-euro fine prosecutors demanded, Piece has added the cost of expensive internal investigations to the bill...Samuelssonis not the only formerMAN executive who is being asked to pay dearly for past actions, or inaction, in the bribery scandal. Six former board members have received letters in the mail, includingKarlheinz Hornung, MAN's former finance chief, andAnton Weinmann, former head of MAN's commercial vehicle arm. Several of the bills are for over 100 million euros...MAN's supervisory board, which is headed by Ferdinand Piëch, a hard-driving Austrian who is also the chairman of Volkswagen, is seen as a ruthless, but successful, leader... In May of that year, prosecutors opened an investigation into the MAN, suspecting its sales force was paying kickbacks to secure truck and bus contracts.A Munich court fined the company 151 million euros in December 2009 for failing to prevent bribery... After the MAN scandal broke, Samuelsson introduced new anti-corruption guidelines, replaced regional sales heads and made other efforts to stop long-ingrained, but questionable, practices... It is also whether liability insurance that MAN executiveshad taken out could cover the bills. According to the report, their "Directors and Officers" insurance policy covered up to 200 million euros in damages...Some observers wonder if Piëch is setting a new bar for personal liability when it comes to big German companies and corruption scandals...(Photo from nimg.sulekha: The headquarters of German truck manufacturer MAN are seen in Munich)