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Mar 28, 2012

TRUCKMAKERS NEWS * USA

* Michigan - Ford diesel to reduce customer fleet costs

(Photo: Ford's diesel engines with new 6.7-liter Power Stroke V8)
Dearborn,MICH,USA -The Detroit News, by Jaclyn Trop -March 28, 2012: -- A new diesel engine for Ford Motor Co.'s Transit van will help fleet customers cut costs by boosting fuel economy at least 25 percent compared with Ford's E-Series vans, the company said Tuesday... The diesel will be an alternative to the Transit's 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 engine and will meet demand from fleet customers to combat rising fuel prices and trim budgets, according to Kevin Koswick, Ford North America fleet director... Production on the U.S.-built Ford Transit cargo and passenger vans will start next year in Kansas City...


* Michigan - Chrysler unveils six new Jeep concept vehicles

Auburn Hills,MICH,USA -The Detroit News -March 28, 2012: -- This Jeep J-12 concept is one of six new concepts Chrysler Group LLC unveiled Tuesday, all of which will be on display at the annual Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, Utah, which begins Saturday. Developed in conjunction with Chrysler's Mopar aftermarket parts division, it bears a strong resemblance to the Jeep Gladiator pickups of the 1960s...

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AUTOMAKERS NEWS * USA & Canada

* Michigan - GM to offer navigation app with traffic updates in MyLink system

(John F. Martin / Chevrolet)
Detroit,MICH,USA -The Detroit News, by Melissa Burden -March 28, 2012: -- General Motors Co. said Wednesday this fall it will offer an additional application in its MyLink infotainment system to give drivers of the Chevy Sonic and new Chevy Spark full navigation service including live traffic updates... Called GogoLink, the smartphone navigation application will work through the MyLink system. GM estimates about 90 percent of expected Spark and Sonic buyers use smartphones...


* Michigan - Safety by the seat of your pants. Cadillac introduces safety features

(Video: Cadillac introduces safety features: New technology helps drivers steer clear of danger)
Warren,MIC,USA -The Detroit News, by Melissa Burden -March 28, 2012: -- The Cadillac SRX drifts left across the center line. Like a cellphone set to vibrate on an incoming call, the left side of the driver's seat quietly shakes, warning the driver to correct course — without the embarrassment of pointing it out to everyone else in the car... This first-of-its-kind vibrating seat with directional warnings is one of several new safety technologies General Motors Co. will introduce on 2013 models of the Cadillac SRX, ATS and XTS...


* Michigan - Detroit judge rules Chrysler doesn't have to reinstate shuttered dealers
Detroit,MICH,USA -The Detroit News, by David Shepardson-March 28, 2012: -- A federal court judge in Detroit ruled in favor of Chrysler Group LLC in a long-running dispute with eight shuttered dealers, saying the company doesn't have to immediately reinstate them... In 2009, Chrysler decided to close a quarter of its dealer network or 789 of its nearly 3,200 dealers as part of its bankruptcy restructuring... Chrysler offered letters of intent to 50 former Chrysler dealers before arbitration, while another 32 dealers won arbitration. The letter of intent doesn't reinstate a dealership, but sets the framework for reaching an agreement on the terms to reopen...


* Ontario, Canada - Toyota to invest $80M, add 400 jobs at Ontario plant
Woodstock,ONT,CAN -The Detroit News -March 28, 2012: -- Toyota Motor Corp. will invest $80 million to increase RAV4 SUV production at its Woodstock, Ontario, assembly plant by 50,000 vehicles, to 200,000 annually... The investment will result in about 400 new jobs by 2013, Toyota said Wednesday...

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AUTOMAKERS NEWS * WORLDWIDE - ELECTRIC VEHICLES

* France - Sales of over-ambitious electric cars stall, but weird Twizy might succeed

Lyon,France -The Detroit News, by Neil Winton -March 27, 2012: -- The two-seat semi-enclosed Renault Twizy has a range of up to 60 miles, a 50 mph top speed and a price of around $11,000. It might have a silly name and look ridiculous, but the Renault Twizy could be the first electric vehicle to sell on its merits and without taxpayer inducements...


* Japan - Electric cars may lose green sheen in post-meltdown Japan
Tokyo,Japan -Associated Press/The Detroit News, by Yuri Kageyama -March 28, 2012: -- Electric car owners who prided themselves on being green now find themselves in a bind as Japan's government maneuvers to restart dozens of nuclear power plants idled after last year's meltdowns... For decades, nuclear generation has been a crucial source of power here, but the tsunami-triggered meltdowns at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant have spurred a national debate over how to supply Japan's electricity in the future...  Long touted as a clean, zero-emission alternative to vehicles powered by dirty fossil fuels, electric cars are now at risk of being tainted by their association with nuclear...

* Canada - EV firm tied to Ford files for bankruptcy
Oak Park,BC,USA -The Detroit News (USA), by David Shepardson -March 28, 2012: -- A Canadian company that electrifies Ford Motor Co.'s Transit Connect is reorganizing under court protection and filed for bankruptcy in the United States... British Columbia-based Azure Dynamics, which has offices in Oak Park, has been installing the battery electric powertrain in Ford's Transit Connect since 2010... The company laid off about 120 people worldwide at four sites Monday, including about 50 people in Oak Park, said Mike Elwood, a spokesman for Azure Dynamics. The company also had layoffs at its offices near Boston, the United Kingdom and in Canada...

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Mar 27, 2012

TRANSPORT & LOGISTIC NEWS * WORLDWIDE

Briefing Weekly News


* New report:  Germany - UPS acquisition sees it leapfrog DHL in Europe

(Photo: DHL fleet, Berlin)
London,EN,UK -eyefortransport -Mar 26, 2012:  --  The acquisition of TNT by UPS will see the company leapfrog DHL to become the biggest express parcels company in Europe, according to market estimates contained in International Express Parcels 2012, the latest report from industry expert research company Transport Intelligence... The combination of UPS and TNT will significantly change the market landscape, providing the US integrator with ground networks in Europe, Asia and Latin America. In Europe, it will leave FedEx trailing significantly in a distant third place, although the Memphis-based carrier is still dominant in the US and bigger than the UPS/TNT tie up in Asia... The acquisition's most significant impact will be in Europe where competition regulators are bound to take an interest. In several key country markets, UPS/TNT will become the single largest player, breaking through the significant 25% market share level; which always flags up an acquisition to the authorities. Despite this, Ti believes that following the acquisition, UPS will only have to make limited disposals, if any, as within individual market segments there is still a high degree of fragmentation...

* FedEx doubles profits in third quarter
- Despite much of the talk in the express sector focusing on UPS's acquisition of TNT Express and the possible effects on competition, FedEx has reaffirmed its competitive position as a key player in the market with a strong performance in its third quarter. Read more

* Lufthansa Cargo offers new express service
- Lufthansa Cargo is offering a new worldwide express service for urgent shipments. The new "Courier.Solutions" service provides the fastest transit and shortest delivery times in the Lufthansa Cargo. The company announced that the service has no weight limits. Read more

* New monthly survey reveals freight volumes expected to rise
- A new monthly index launched today by Stifel Nicolaus provides an insight into the confidence of air and sea freight forwarders on key trade lanes. The survey was conducted in the first week of March on a worldwide basis by global industry research organisation Transport Intelligence. Read more

* Maersk announces eastward cargo suspension
- The assumption may be that the container shipping market is overwhelmed with spare capacity, yet Maersk Line has just announced that it is "suspending" container bookings on the Europe to Asia route until May due to insufficient capacity. Read more

* Canadian Pacific and Unimin announce agreement for the movement of frac sand
- Canadian Pacific (CP) has announced a multi-year agreement with Unimin Corporation of New Canaan, Connecticut, for the movement of frac sand from Unimin's facility in Wisconsin. Read more

* CEVA wins Nasser Bin Abdullatif Alserkal contract
- CEVA has signed a five-year contract with Nasser Bin Abdullatif Alserkal Est., one of the biggest importers and distributors of major tyre brands in the United Arab Emirates. Read more

* OHL expands US fulfillment operations
- OHL has announced an expansion of its e-fulfillment network with a new 400,000 sq ft facility in Plainfield, Indiana and a 200,000 sq ft expansion in St. Louis, Missouri. Read more

* PC manufacturer Stak integrates with NetDespatch for easy order fulfilment
- Computer firm Stak has leapt forward with fulfilling customer website orders since integrating its ecommerce system with web technology from NetDespatch. Stak’s web store system now sends orders directly to the NetDespatch online applications for order management, shipping label printing, carrier pre-advice and consignment tracking. Read more

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TRUCKMAKERS NEWS * WORLDWIDE

* USA - Caterpillar invests $100 million for production base in Xuzhou

Peoria,ILL,USA -China Trucks, by Eric -26 March 2012: -- On March 21, Caterpillar, the largest engineering mechanism maker, declared their new investment plan to build production base in Xuzhou... The investment amount to 100,000,000 USD, and the factory will start to run in 2016, and CAT hydraumatic excavator production capacity will increase 80%... There over 300 Caterpillar products all over the world, and just a few of them entered in China... There are 17 factories of Carterpillar in China, and the production base in Xuzhou is their flagship plant...


* China - Sinotruk to set heavy and light trucks assembly plants in Indonesia

Jinan,Shandong,China -China Trucks, by Eric -26 March 2012: -- Signing ceremony of Sinotruk and Indonesia Yingda Group to build light and heavy truck plant in the Southeast country... This is an important for Sinotruk to enter overseas markets to set assembly plant in Indonesia, said Liu Peimin, President of Sinotruk Import and Export Company. And Sinotruk order will reach 1,000 units in Indonesia this year... Exports of Sinotruk trucks keeps increasing, and over 10,000 Sinotruk vehicles were sold in the first quarter, up 50%...


* China - Over half heavy truck makers deem that sales may decrease in March

Beijing,China -China Trucks, by Eric -26 March 2012: -- According to survey conducted by China Security News, about 30% of the interviewees think that sales of heavy trucks will increase in March, and 70% of them state that the sales will be similar to that of Feb. And 57% deem that sales will decrease 50%, 14% of them deem that sales will decrease 30% and 29% of them think that the sales will be similar to last year... Many interviewees find no clear recovering factors for heavy trucks, including gloomy real estate industry and logistics transport industry. However, an interview from Shanxi Province is optimistic about sales in March, and some one are expecting sales growth of excavators... Apart from investment factors, higher fees to hire heavy truck drivers and pending policies for limited loading get some heavy truck drivers hesitating on buying of heavy trucks...

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Mar 26, 2012

AUTOMAKERS NEWS * WORLDWIDE

* China - Dongfeng Honda recalls CR-V cars

Beijing,China -Xinhua/China Daily -24 March 2012:  --  Dongfeng Honda has announced it will recall 2,000 CR-V multi-purpose passenger vehicles in China starting Saturday, China's consumer quality watchdog said Friday... The recall is due to poor welding on the vehicles' triangle arms, which may cause potential safety risks, a statement on the website of the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine said... The vehicles involved were produced between August 28 and October 12, 2006... The company said it will offer free checks and repairs for the recalled cars.


* India - Maruti Suzuki says car making ops at Gurgaon plant will continue

Gurgaon,Gujarat,India -REUTERS/Money Control -Mar 26, 2012: -- Maruti Suzuki India Ltd., says will not shut down car production at Gurgaon plant... Will reduce no. of cars produced at Gurgaon plant to make space for expanding engine manufacturing capacity. Maruti Suzuki says once the capacity in Manesar is fully utilized, the company plans to set up a new facility in Gujarat...


* China - Hong Kong to tighten vehicle emission standards

Hong Kong,China -Bayanihan (Phillippines) -March 24, 2012: -- The 2012 Air Pollution Control (Vehicle Design Standards) amendment regulation was released here Friday... The regulation aims to tighten emission standards for newly registered vehicles to European levels, according to the Hong Kong government website... The city's Environmental Protection Department said the regulation requires newly registered vehicles to comply with Euro V standards from June 1... Newly registered diesel vehicles of less than 3.5 tons must comply with the standards from Dec. 31... Compared with Euro IV vehicles, Euro V heavy diesel vehicles emit 40 percent less nitrogen oxide, while light diesel vehicles emit 80 percent less respirable suspended particulates and 30 percent less nitrogen oxide... Euro V petrol or LPG vehicles emit 30 percent less nitrogen oxide...


* China - Ricardo and China’s Wuxi Fuel Injection Equipment Research Institute to collaborate on next-generation engine technologies


Wuxi,Jiangsu,China -Green Car Congress (USA) -26 March 2012: -- Ricardo and Wuxi Fuel Injection Equipment Research Institute (WFIERI) will collaborate across a range of engine technologies and market development opportunities in China under a new cooperation agreement... Ricardo and WFIERI share a common commitment to the development of next-generation technologies and products to improve vehicle fuel efficiency and reduce emissions...

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AUTOMAKERS NEWS * USA

* USA / Michigan - GM makes big splash in small-car market

(Photo by Daniel Mears / The Detroit News - Robots begin welding the body along the assembly line March 20, 2012, at the General Motors Orion Assembly Plant where the Chevrolet Sonic and the Buick Verano is built in Orion Tonwship, Mich)
Orion Township,Oakland County,MIC,USA -The Detroit News, by Melissa Burden -March 26, 2012: -- Orion Township General Motors Co. looks to have a winning hand in the growing U.S. subcompact market: Sales of its Chevrolet Sonic are gaining market share, and the automaker is readying the launch of Chevy's even smaller Spark minicar this summer...  The Sonic debuted in August and replaced the nondescript Chevy Aveo. It is built at Orion Assembly Center, which also builds the new Buick Verano luxury compact sedan... GM sold 7,900 Sonics in February, the model's best month yet; it snagged 14 percent of the subcompact segment, according to Kelley Blue Book...

* USA / Florida - GM Ecotec Engine Hits 3 million Mark at Spring Hill Plant

(Photo: Ecotec 3 millionth engine)
Spring Hill,FL,USA -Torque News, by Keith Griffin -24 March 2012: -- GM is touting the fact that its General Motor Spring Hill powertrain plant produced its 3-millionth Ecotec engine this week but the bigger story is really the fact that is has produced 1 million of the engines in the last 30 months alone...  Investments of $55 million to meet consumer demand for more fuel-efficient engines helped General Motors Spring Hill powertrain plant produce its 3-millionth Ecotec engine this week, just 2½ years after the 2 millionth engine was assembled, according to a GM news release...

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TRUCKS SALES * Sweden

* Scania: China orders 435 trucks, year starts well

Stockholm,Sweden -MarketWatch, by Dominic Chopping -March 26, 2012: -- Swedish truck maker Scania AB said Sunday that Chinese concrete pump manufacturer Zoomlion has now ordered 435 trucks that will be delivered before the end of June... Present order is in addition to the 375 trucks being delivered by April... "The year has started very well. The deliveries to Zoomlion alone mean that our sales volume during the first quarter of 2012 is at about as high as during the full year 2011," says Peter Sjoeblom, Managing Director of Scania's Chinese sales company...

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TRUCKMAKERS NEWS * USA

* Illinois - Navistar Wins Armored Truck Upgrade Work

(Photo: Mine Resistant Ambush Protected -MRAP- Category I )
Lisle,ILL,USA -Transport Topics -26 March 2012: -- Navistar Defense LLC said it received a $21 million contract from the U.S. Army for more work connected to a January order to upgrade 2,717 MaxxPro Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected vehicles...  The company said the retrofits will be done in West Point, Miss., and work is expected to be completed by the end of May this year... Navistar Defense is a division of truck and engine maker Navistar Inc...


* Illinois - Caterpillar Ramps Up Capacity On Strong Backlog

(Photo credit, Wikipedia: A Caterpillar 777F dump truck with the Capitol)
Peoria,ILL,USA -Forbes -23 March 2012: -- Construction and mining equipment manufacturer maker Caterpillar is busy preparing for the next few years of record growth... The company delivered an exceptional 2011 and looks set to beat these results in 2012. It ended 2011 with a backlog of $29.6 billion, a record and the highest ever for the company. This represents a 59% increase in backlog from 2010 and a 4% gain from the third quarter of 2011. Given the size of its backlog, Caterpillar reckons that it will not be able to deliver on some orders for large mining trucks until 2014. This has forced the company to look for ways where it can increase its capacity to service the extra demand...

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Mar 24, 2012

2012 Mid-America Trucking Show * USA - TRUCK SALES

* Kenworth Receives Order From TransAm Trucking For 1,000 T680s Powered by PACCAR MX Engines

(Photo: The new Kenworth T680)
Louisville,KY,USA -BUSINESS WIRE -March 21, 2012: -- Kenworth Truck Company today announced it has received an order for 1,000 aerodynamic Kenworth T680s with PACCAR MX engines from TransAm Trucking, a leading refrigerated fleet in Olathe, Kansas... More than 20,000 trucks serving various customer applications in North America are currently equipped with the PACCAR MX engine, which is designed to deliver industry-leading performance, reliability, and fuel efficiency. The engine is available with a horsepower range of 380 hp to 485 hp and torque up to 1,750 lb-ft on select Kenworth Class 8 models... TransAm specified its T680s with the new Kenworth 76-inch sleeper and PACCAR MX engine rated at 485-hp and 1,650 lb-ft of torque...

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Mar 23, 2012

TRUCKMAKERS NEWS at MATS 2012 * USA

The Mid America Trucking Show * Kentucky

* Volvo ups fuel efficiency efforts, positions itself for future

(Photo: The Volvo VNL daycab offers customers a larger – 123-inch bumper-to-back-of-cab -BBC- and is rated up to 80,000 GCWR)
Louisville,KY,USA -The Trucker, by DOROTHY COX -22 March 2012: -- Volvo has championed fuel efficiency from the first EPA emissions rules to the present, but it’s still a “horse race” as far as which alternative fuel truck customers will favor in the future...  The natural gas-powered VNL model will be equipped with a 12-liter, 400 horsepower, 1,450 lb-ft. torque Cummins Westport ISX12 G engine that uses cost-effective, clean-burning compressed or liquefied natural gas and requires only a three-way catalyst to meet EPA 2010 emissions standards...  Volvo Trucks also showed Mean Green, billed as “the world’s fastest hybrid truck” in its booth at Mid-America...  The eye-catching truck was developed utilizing Volvo Group’s hybrid driveline technology, and is equipped with a Volvo D16 engine and a modified version of Volvo’s automated I-Shift gearbox, which interacts with the hybrid’s electric motor...


* Anything but your grandaddy's truck ...

(Photo: aerodynamicly talking, the truck is certainly an eye-catcher)
Louisville,KY,USA --Pork Chop Diaries 2012 -March 21, 2012: -- For a few years now, Freightliner has been trotting out its truck-of-the-future prototypes. Today, Mid-America Trucking Show Press Day 2012, we saw the finished product. Sure, it's still a prototype, but it's a working prototype. It rolled up on the stage under its own power... The truck is designed for one person. For starters, there's not even a passenger seat. Better than that, there's not even a passenger door. The truck is optimized for the one-driver operations. The "work" area behind the driver's seat converts into a bunk area in case a driver is out of hours, or just wanting to grab a quick nap during the day... To add to its futuristic appeal, the truck's in-dash controls feature an iPad dock that can run all of the handy apps made just for drivers -- log book, route optimization, you name it...


* “Best Peterbilt ever” unveiled at MATS

Louisville, KY,USA -Fleet Owner, by Wendy Leavitt -Mar. 22, 2012: -- Peterbilt Motors Company unveiled its all-new Model 579 during the Mid-America Trucking Show (MATS) here in yesterday... Aerodynamic performance is enhanced through modular aero packages that meet the EPA’s SmartWay designation. The aero packages are designed to meet customer optimized requirements, with variable length chassis fairings, sleeper extenders and rubber flares, under-cab close-outs and under-fairing skirts... Peterbilt also announced the immediate availability of its Extended Day Cab feature for its complete lineup of medium-duty vehicles... The Extended Day Cab is available on Peterbilt’s entire medium duty product line, which spans Class 5 through Class 7 and includes the Models 348, 337, 330 and 325...



* Navistar rolls out severe-duty low-cab-forward truck

Louisville, KY,USA -Fleet Owner, by David Cullen -Mar. 22, 2012: -- Navistar debuted its new International LoadStar, a low-cab-forward work truck aimed at severe-duty applications last evening here at the Mid-America Trucking Show. According to the OEM, the LoadStar was “designed from the ground up with input from drivers and fleet managers” and is targeted at applications in the waste, concrete pumping and airplane-refueling markets among others...


* WABCO's OptiDrive, a Breakthrough in Modular Automated Manual Transmission Technology, Boosts Fuel Economy up to 5% for Commercial Vehicles

(Photo: Wabco Opti-Drive)
Brussels,Belgium/Louisville,KY,USA -MarketWatch(USA) -Mar 23, 2012: -- WABCO Holdings Inc., a global technology leader and tier-one supplier to the commercial vehicle industry, today announced that its OptiDrive system, a breakthrough in automated manual transmission technology, continues to gain global acceptance among major manufacturers of transmissions, trucks and buses... Superbly engineered as a modular system, OptiDrive reduces by 50 percent the development time required for transmission and original equipment manufacturers to apply it to their respective product platforms... WABCO's OptiDrive improves vehicle control and reduces fuel consumption by as much as five percent through optimized gear shifting...

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TRUCKING FRAUD * USA

* Feds: New York trucking company employees stole $5 million from union

New York,NY,USA -Land Line -22 March 2012: -- Federal prosecutors say a group of five New York City trucking company employees worked together to steal $5 million from a union... According to the Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General, John Farnsworth controlled four trucking companies and worked with four individuals placed in roles at the companies to enter into union contracts with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 282... While the companies were paid union wages of $30 an hour for drivers as well as benefits for the employees, much of the work performed was done by the non-union companies – in which drivers weren’t paid union wages. The five charged individuals allegedly pocketed the difference... The companies – Greenwood 2 LLC, Rainbow Transportation Corp., and Nicholas J. LLC and Marky O’G LLC – performed work on projects receiving DOT grant funds, including the New York City Second Avenue Subway project and the World Trade Center Transportation Hub project...

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TRUCKING INDUSTRY NEWS * USA

* Tennessee - FedEx Profit More Than Doubles. Record holiday shipping strengthens fiscal third quarter results

(Photo: Kinkos FedEx Corp.'s Corporate Offices)
Memphis,TENN,USA -The Journal of Commerce Online. by Joseph Bonney -Mar 22, 2012: -- FedEx Corp.’s profit more than doubled during its fiscal third quarter, fueled by record holiday package shipping, higher profit for the company’s ground shipping unit and reduced losses at FedEx Freight... FedEx posted net income of $521 million, up 126 percent from a year earlier, as revenue rose 9 percent to $10.56 billion... The company’s express unit had operating income of $349 million, up 96 percent, as revenue rose 8 percent to $6.54 billion... FedEx Ground operating income rose 43 percent to $465 million on a 14 percent rise in revenue to $2.48 billion... The company’s FedEx Freight segment narrowed its operating loss to $1 million from $110 million a year ago as revenue rose 10 percent to $1.23 billion... Less-than-truckload yield rose 6 percent because of higher fuel charges and improved base yields. LTL average daily shipments rose 2 percent, aided by favorable weather...


* DC - FedEx to Pay $3 Million to Settle Bias Claims


Washington,DC,USA -The Journal of Commerce Online, by William B. Cassidy -Mar 23, 2012: -- Agreement with federal contracting watchdog covers 21,000 job seekers...   FedEx will pay $3 million to more than 21,000 rejected job applicants to settle allegations of hiring discrimination, the Labor Department said Thursday...  The settlement caps a review of FedEx hiring practices by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs. It is the largest OFCCP settlement since 2004...  In its review, the OFCCP said it found evidence of discriminatory hiring practices at 22 FedEx Ground and one FedEx SmartPost site from 2004 through 2011... Those facilities, from California to New York, discriminated against a wide variety of applicants based on gender, race and national origin, according to the OFCCP...  FedEx Ground, based in Pittsburgh, has more than 75,000 “team members,” including driver contractors, and handles more than 3.5 million packages a day...


* Florida - DHL to Spend $47 Million to Expand US Hub

(Photo: DHL Corporate Office Headquarters HQ in USA)
Plantation,FL,USA - The Journal of Commerce Online, by Mark Szakonyi -Mar 14, 2012: -- Expansion to provide an extra 193,000-square-feet of capacity at airport... DHL said the $47 million expansion of its U.S. hub at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky airport will provide parcel customers with an extra 193,000-square-feet of capacity... The package giant said the new warehouse capacity will be online by November, while improvements to existing buildings and the purchase of material handling equipment won’t be completed until March 2013. With the newest phase of expansion, which will add about 280 jobs, DHL will have spent $105 million on the hub since 2009...

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TECHNOLOGY for TRUCKS * USA

* DC - NHTSA Addresses Keyless Ignition Dangers

Washington,DC,USA -IIHS (PR) - March 16, 2012: -- The NHTSA is proposing a rule standardizing keyless ignition systems so that they all shut down after a half-second hold of the power button, whether the vehicle is moving or not. In addition, the proposal calls for a loud warning to sound if the driver exits the vehicle without putting it in park or without turning off the vehicle. Some carbon monoxide fatalities have occurred when drivers left their cars running in attached garages...


* New York - Start-Stop Technology Coming to Conventional Vehicles

NY,USA -Aol Autos - March 16, 2012: -- Start-stop system technology has been used in gas-electric hybrids but has now moved over to conventional vehicles to improve mileage and lower emissions by shutting off the engine when it's not being used. Shutting down the idling engine can reduce fuel consumption and emissions by up to 12 percent in conventional gasoline-powered vehicles. The majority of new cars and trucks will be equipped with the new system over the next ten to fifteen years...

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TRUCKS MARKETS * Europe

* W Europe: Market sees longest downturn in 40 years

London,EN,UK -AutomotiveWorld -March 16, 2012: -- In 2011, the western European vehicle market dropped by 0.7% to 14.56 million cars, trucks and buses, marking the fourth consecutive year of decline, and the longest downturn experienced in this market for at least 40 years... Recent data from AutomotiveWorld.com show that the light vehicle (LV) market fell by 1% to 14.25 million units. The fall was wholly attributable to six of the 18 markets: Italy, Spain, Portugal, France, UK and Greece... For 2012, further declines in most LV markets are expected, due to the considerably weaker economic outlook for western Europe in 2012, with high and rising unemployment and austerity programmes in many countries... In the heavy commercial vehicle (HCV) sector, the recovery in West European demand which began in 2010 gained substantial momentum in 2011 with a 20% rise in overall HCV demand to 314,300 vehicles. The increase was broadly based, with Greece and Portugal being the only two markets to register declines. The heavy truck (16t-plus) sector enjoyed particularly robust growth, with sales rising 31%. For 2012, however, the outlook is more subdued...

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FUEL PRICES OPINION * UK

* Rising fuel prices put telematics in the driving seat. By deploying telematics technology, organisations of all sizes can reduce fuel use by up to 30%.

London,EN,UK -AutomotiveWorld (UK), by Andrew Yeoman -March 16, 2012: -- Recent hikes in the price of diesel have once again highlighted the ongoing battle between fleet operators, service managers and fuel costs. In the UK, the price of diesel is now running at twice the rate of inflation since reaching a record high of 143.05p (US$2.25) per litre last month, adding further pressure to already cash-strapped businesses in transportation and field services... Using telematics can help companies to optimise schedules and route planning, helping to reduce unnecessary mileage and improve fuel efficiency and driver behaviour...  However, a key factor in controlling fuel costs through this technology lies with the employee in the driving seat... Despite the doom and gloom surrounding the direction fuel prices are heading, fleet and field services managers can take positive steps towards making a change today. The price of fuel will always have a significant impact on the bottom line of operators of large fleets, but technological solutions can substantially reduce this, and sow the seeds for real progress in the automotive industry...

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Mar 22, 2012

AUTOMAKERS NEWS * USA

* DC - Highway bill riles automakers. Industry slams proposed safety rules, recall fine

Washington,DC,USA -Detroit News, by David Shepardson -March 22, 2012: -- Major automakers want significant changes in auto safety reforms that are part of a two-year highway reauthorization bill... Mitch Bainwol, president and CEO of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, is expected to tell the House Energy and Commerce Committee today that it should make major changes in the $109 billion bill that the Senate approved on a 74-22 vote... The alliance — which represents Detroit's Big Three automakers, Toyota Motor Corp., Volkswagen AG and seven others--  wants the House to reject a provision in the Senate bill that would allow the government to fine them $250 million for failing to recall vehicles properly. That's up from about $17 million now...


* New Jersey - Claim Accuses Ford of Covering Up Defects in F-Series Fuel Tanks

Trenton,NJ,USA -The Detroit Bureau - March 16, 2012: -- Papers filed with the U.S. District Court in New Jersey claim Ford was aware that the linings of F-Series pickups and E-Series vans built between 1999 and 2008 could "separate and flake-off," which could clog the fuel lines and lead to loss of power or stalling. Plaintiffs claim Ford issued a "secret" technical bulletin to dealers advising them of the problems, but customers were not informed. It is not clear if federal regulators are looking into the issue as it could be considered a potential safety hazard...

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TRUCKING STATISTICS * USA

* N.A. spot market freight surges 24% in February, declines year-over-year

Portland,OR,USA -Truck News -Mar 20, 2012: -- TransCore’s DAT North American Freight index was up 24% in February compared to January, but declined 5.2% compared to February 2011 when the spot market recorded unseasonably strong freight volumes. In seven of the last 10 years, February has seen month-over-month freight volume increases averaging 21%, according to the report... TransCore’s monthly DAT North American Freight Index reflects spot market freight availability on the company’s network of load boards in the US and Canada...

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Mar 21, 2012

MEGATRUCKS * Europe

* EU Commission accused of U-turn over megatrucks

(Photo: An european megratruck: They are over 25 metres long and have up to 60 tonnes of weight)
Brussels, Belgium -Reuters/Euronews -21 March 2012: -- Megatrucks, which are almost as long as medium-sized aircraft, are expected to be given more room for manoeuvre in Europe from next week... The EU’s transport chief is set to outline to the European Parliament’s transport committee on Monday a reinterpretation of EU law... It will ease a ban on cross-border use within the EU of the 25-metre long, 60-tonne trucks, also known as gigaliners, to allow them to travel between consenting countries, rather than being forced to switch to smaller vehicles, a spokeswoman said... Environmental campaigners protest that such an easing poses the risk of increased use of gigaliners, with the result that less freight is shipped on railways and more carbon emissions are generated... EU states including Finland and Sweden have allowed megatrucks and trials have taken place in Denmark and the Netherlands...

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REGULATIONS * USA

* ATA criticizes FMCSA’s crash accountability decision

Arlington,VA,USA -Penton Media/Fleet Owner, by Deborah Whistler -Mar. 21, 2012: -- American Trucking Assns.’ leaders expressed “serious concern” over the recent decision by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to continue to hold the trucking industry responsible in its CSA program for every truck-involved crash, including those which the truck driver could not have prevented... ATA says the FMCSA buckled to pressure by anti-truck groups when it determined it would not add crash accountability determination process to the CSA program to make it fair to truckers... ATA and other industry groups had requested FMCSA develop a process where police accident reports would be reviewed to determine crash accountability and remove non-preventable crashes from a carrier’s CSA profile... After pressure from some special interest groups who have questioned the reliability of police accident reports, FMCSA now has shelved these plans, ATA claimed...

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ENGINE MAKERS * USA - The Mid-America Trucking Show.

* Kentucky - Cummins unveils 2013 engine lineup and more

(Photo: Cummins ISL G Natural Gas Engine)
Louisville,KY,USA -Fleet Owner, by David Cullen -21 March 2012: -- Cummins Inc. revealed its medium- and heavy-duty engine lineup for next year—which it said will meet the federal 2014 GHG/MPG rules in January 2013 and deliver up to a 2% fuel-economy improvement over today’s engines... In addition to its broad diesel lineup from the ISB6.7 to the ISX15, Cummins will continue to offer the Cummins Westport ISL G natural-gas engine, and it will introduce the Cummins Westport ISX12 G into full production in 2013. The ISX12 G is based on the Cummins ISX12 diesel engine platform, and will operate exclusively on natural gas, and fuel can be carried on the vehicle as either compressed natural gas (CNG) or liquefied natural gas (LNG)... Cummins also announced that it has begun development of a 15L heavy-duty, spark-ignited natural-gas engine. The ISX15 G will be based on the ISX15 diesel engine and will build on Cummins’ technology leadership with spark-ignited, SEGR technology. The engine will run on compressed natural gas, liquefied natural gas or biomethane and Cummins expects it will be in limited production by 2014...


* Belgium / USA - WABCO Marks its Two-Millionth Air Compressor Made

Brussels,Belgium/Louisville,KY,USA -Marketwire via COMTEX -Mar 21, 2012: -- WABCO Holdings Inc. a global technology leader and tier-one supplier to the commercial vehicle industry, today announced that its joint-venture factory in Charleston, South Carolina, has recently produced its two-millionth high performance air compressor... WABCO designs and manufactures innovative single- and twin-cylinder air compressors for diesel engines in commercial vehicle applications... WABCO has a long-term supply agreement with Cummins to furnish air compressors for applications in trucks, buses and industrial equipment worldwide... WABCO in South Carolina also supplies several other globally operating manufacturers of diesel engines and commercial vehicles...

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TRUCKS PRODUCTS * USA

* Ohio - Top Rated Professional Driver Radar and Laser Detector

West Chester,OH,USA -PRWEB/Virtual Strategic Magazine -March 20, 2012: -- BELTRONICS, maker of the world's best performing radar and laser detectors, is returning to the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Kentucky, March 23–25, with its newest ‘completely invisible’ radar and laser detector, the BELTRONICS Professional Series STi Magnum™...  The industry’s top-rated stealth detector is the professional driver’s first choice in radar and laser protection...  BELTRONICS is also featuring the STi Magnum™’s compatibility with ESCORT Live™, the ultimate real-time ticket protection network. ESCORT Live™ delivers revolutionary radar and laser ticket protection by using real-time, cloud-based threat and information sharing among drivers throughout North America...


* Michigan - SAF-Holland standardizes Black Armour protection, releases self-steering axle suspension

Muskegon,MICH,USA -Truck News -Mar 21, 2012:  -- SAF-Holland has announced a pair of changes to its product line-up: the standardization of its Black Armour protection and the release of a self-steering axle suspension series... The company’s Black Armour corrosion and rust prevention treatment will now be offered as a standard feature on SAF CBX air suspension axle systems, Holland Ultralite mechanical suspensions, and Holland landing gear...   SAF-Holland has also announced the availability of integrated suspension/axle systems with self-steering capability...


* Kentucky - Low-cost, easy-to-use EOBR introduced at Mid-America

(Photo: The VDO Roadlog has a built-in printer that produces paper records that are easy to interpret for drivers and enforcement officers)
Louisville,KY,USA -Truck News, by James Menzies -Mar 21, 2012:  --   A new low-cost electronic on-board recorder (EOBR) was introduced at the Mid-America Trucking Show, which is easy to use and doesn’t require a monthly subscription fee... The VDO RoadLog from Continental Commercial Vehicles and Aftermarket, can track Canadian and US hours-of-service and has a built-in printer that can produce printed records at the push of a button. The printouts look very similar to what drivers and enforcement officers are accustomed to seeing... Continental has about six million such devices deployed around the world...

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