User-agent: Mediapartners-Google* Disallow: Trucks World News: May 2008

May 31, 2008


* Kenworth C500s Go the Distance with Extreme Loads for Minnesota Heavy Hauler

Northfield,MIN,USA -Layover -30 May 2008: -- Perkins Specialized Transportation Contracting is a 50-year-old company that provides long distance transport for super loads. Typical hauls include giant boilers, super trusses and nuclear reactor vessels. With a long list of prominent customers, Perkins relies on its engineering expertise, decades of experience and Kenworth C500s to get the job done right... The company has developed a unique heavy-haul philosophy using Kenworth C500s spec'd with planetary drive axles, automatic transmissions and less horsepower than you might think. Rather than employing big 600-plus hp engines, Perkins uses smaller engines (480 hp), higher torque and multiple trucks to move huge loads easily without jerking or jumping upon take off. Additionally, the 5.56 rears deliver excellent start and gradeability without putting stress on either trucks or loads. And because the front end of the C500 has a through frame, the trucks are used as often for pushing as for pulling, a key to Perkins/ success...


"GREN" NEWS * USA - UDOT Truck Technology Project

Reduces Emissions, Boosts Industry Efficiency

Salt Lake City, UT,USA -The Earth Times/PRNewswire -30 May 2008: -- Utah Department of Transportation's (UDOT) adoption of PrePass truck technology a year ago has reduced greenhouse gas and related emissions by more than 2,000 metric tons. Based on the program's projected success, PrePass is anticipated to cut emissions during the next decade by an estimated 28,000 metric tons, the equivalent of eliminating all emissions from more than 400 cars per year... The deployment of PrePass technology is another great UDOT success story according to Governor Jon Huntsman... PrePass is a sophisticated technology that enables qualified motor carriers to comply electronically with Utah's weight, safety and credential requirements at highway speeds. Motor carrier participation is strictly voluntary and carrier eligibility is subject to strict safety qualifications... Since its deployment by UDOT in 2006, PrePass has saved carriers more than$11 million in operational costs, including fuel savings of more than 930,000 gallons. By enabling enforcement personnel to concentrate on those trucks most likely to be noncompliant, and by reducing lane-changing and congestion around weigh stations, PrePass can also make highways safer for all motorists...


TRUCKERS' PROTEST * USA - New York plan June 19 convoy to statehouse in Albany

New York,NY,USA -Land Line Magazine, by Clarissa Kell-Holland -May 30, 2008: -- For months now, truckers in New York have been waging a public battle to raise lawmakers’ awareness and gain media attention about the fact that high fuel prices are forcing many of them out of business... They started their battle back when diesel prices were still in the $3.50-per-gallon range. By Thursday, May 29, diesel was selling for $5.19 a gallon in some parts of New York... Now, those truckers have a new plan: a convoy on June 19 to the statehouse in Albany. Their hope is to get the governor to come out and discuss their concerns, Gramuglia said. He has even offered to pay the tolls for all truckers participating in the convoy from Fultonville to Albany... He has a meeting with the city clerk’s office and the Capitol Police in Albany on Monday, June 2, to discuss traffic control issues and finalize convoy details... Staging for the convoy is scheduled for 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. at the Betty Beaver’s Fuel Stop at Exit 28 on I-90 in Fultonville, NY. Additional staging space will be available at TravelCenters of America and the Ambest Super Stop, which are also at Exit 28. Vincent Gramuglia, owner of the Betty Beaver’s Fuel Stop in Fultonville, NY, said as many as 1,000 truckers pull in to the three trucks stops on a daily basis...



* Italy - Matteoli calls Union meeting on 9 June

Rome,Italy -AGI News -30 May 2008: -- The Minister of Infrastructure and Transport, Altero Matteoli has asked the representatives of the trucking trade unions for a meeting. The meeting will take place on the 9 June at 17.30 at the Ministry in Piazzale Porta Pia in Rome. The talks will focus on the problems in the sector. This was announced in a communique. The trade unions had announced a strike of the artic lorries for five days from the 30 June...

* Zimbabwe - Man Accused of Instigating Strike
Harare,Zimbabwe -The Government of Zimbabwe/The Herald (Harare)/All Africa-Washington,DC,USA -30 May 2008: -- Transport and Allied Workers Union organising secretary Charles Gusinauye has been arrested on allegations of inciting truck drivers to go on strike and not deliver more than 1 000 tonnes of maize imported from Zambia meant to alleviate food shortages in the country... According to the police, Gusinauye had connived with Knowledge Chisi and a person only identified as Gwande who are both officials of his union. Police are looking for the other two. On Wednesday, the Government warned NGOs against dangling food to sway votes in favour of the opposition in the run-up to the June 27 run-off...


FUTURE - Holland - Overlooked Tram Offers Revolutionary Transportation Solution

Amsterdam took an historic step in joining the Green movement when it conducted experiments using its tram system and electric vehicles to move products into the inner city

York,PA,USA -Material Handling Management (Cleveland,OH,USA) -30 May 2008: -- ... Amsterdam-based startup company CityCargo, whose novel entrepreneurial approach is responsible for the pilot project, hopes to reduce the deliveries of the 2,500 trucks that roll into the city daily... The inner city distribution system consists of freight trams that will carry goods in and out of the city on existing tram lines, and electrically powered vans ('e-cars')... The project will now move deeper into the realization stage, according to Tom Bonkenburg, director of European Operations for York, Pa.-based St. Onge Company... CityCargo is actively seeking partners and completing details that deal with the final design of the tram, cargo box and electric vehicle design. CityCargo will start off in the first half of 2009 with 10 cargo trams, 40 E-cars and one distribution center. When the project is in full operation (in about five years), it will be 58 cargo trams, 600 E-cars and four distribution centers... (Video from YouTube, by MvdHCCA - July 31, 2007: "CityCargo Amsterdam (ENG)" - CityCargo goods delivery by cargo tram)


HIGHER FUEL COSTS * USA - Fill it up, lose your shirt

Everyone is feeling the pain at the gas pump. But diesel prices are even higher, over $5 per gallon locally

Hillsdale,NY,USA -The Columbia Independent Online (Columbia,NY), by RICHARD ROTH -29 May 2008: -- ... That represents a $2 per-gallon increase in just one year... At those prices the owner-operator of a diesel truck, whose rig is likely to get four to five miles per gallon on average, is spending more than a dollar a mile just on fuel. Other petroleum costs have also gone up. An oil change is necessary every 10,000 miles--once a month for a long-haul trucker--and the eleven gallons of oil lubricating the crankcase of a large engine cost another $200... Some drivers are giving up and selling their trucks to meet the high demand for used vehicles in Russia, according to a Vermont driver who delivered wood chips to a Hillsdale garden supply store this week. Fuel costs are one problem, he said, but the general slowdown in the economy is also taking its toll... There are also concerns about fuel oil costs for the coming season, because fuel oil is closely related to diesel. Congresswoman Kirsten Gillibrand (D-20th) has urged the Congressional leadership to include $1 billion for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) in the emergency appropriations bill currently being debated... Meanwhile, according the independent trucker Butch McWhirt , truck drivers are making the best of a bad situation. "There's stuff guys are scarfing up because they've got to try and make the truck payment," he said. "They're trying to ride out the storm, and hoping something better comes along"...


CHEAP FUEL * USA - Slippery slope from trash to treasure

Rustlers target fryer grease

CAL,USA -The New York Times News Service, by Susan Saulny/The Chicago Tribune -May 30, 2008: -- The bandit pulled his truck to the back of a Burger King in Northern California one afternoon last month armed with a hose and a tank. After rummaging around assorted restaurant rubbish, he dunked a tube into a smelly storage bin and, the police said, vacuumed out about 300 gallons of grease... The man was caught before he could slip away. In his truck, the police found 2,500 gallons of used fryer grease, indicating that the Burger King had not been his first fast-food craving of the day... Outside Seattle, cooking oil rustling has become such a problem that the owners of the Olympia Pizza and Pasta Restaurant in Arlington, Wash., are considering using a surveillance camera to keep watch on its 50-gallon grease barrel... Nick Damianidis, an owner, said the barrel had been hit seven or eight times since last summer by siphoners who strike in the night."Fryer grease has become gold," Damianidis said. "And just over a year ago, I had to pay someone to take it away."... Much to the surprise of Damianidis and many other people, processed fryer oil, which is called yellow grease, is actually not trash. The grease is traded on the booming commodities market. Its value has increased in recent months to historic highs, driven by the even higher prices of gas and ethanol, making it an ever more popular form of biodiesel to fuel cars and trucks... In 2000, yellow grease was trading for 7.6 cents per pound. On Thursday, its price was about 33 cents a pound, or almost $2.50 a gallon. (That would make the 2,500-gallon haul in the Burger King case worth more than $6,000.)... Biodiesel is derived by processing vegetable oil or animal fat with alcohol. It is increasingly available around the country, but it is expensive. With the right kind of conversion kit (easily found on the Internet) anyone can turn discarded cooking oil into a usable engine fuel that can burn on its own, or as a cheap additive to regular diesel...


AWARDS * USA - Clean Air Honor Ports

Two of the largest U.S. ports are among 11 winners of this year's U.S. EPA Clean Air Excellence Awards honoring innovative efforts that make progress in achieving cleaner air

Washington,DC,USA -Enviroment News Service -May 29, 2008: -- ... The awards were established in 2000, at the recommendation of the Clean Air Act Advisory Committee, a senior-level policy group that advises tne EPA on implementing the Clean Air Act. There are four categories of awards: clean air technology, community action, education/outreach, and regulatory policy innovations, with one special award for individual achievement... This year's Southern California winner is for regulatory policy innovations at the Port of Long Beach and the Port of Los Angeles, which share San Pedro Bay... The ports developed the five year San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan outlining strategies to reduce air emissions and associated health risks from heavy-duty vehicles, oceangoing vessels, cargo-handling equipment, harbor craft, and railroad locomotives involved in port operations. The plan will serve as a model for other ports to follow in the future... (Photo courtesy Environmental Health Perspectives: Container ships at the Port of Los Angeles )


May 30, 2008

HIGH FUEL COSTS * USA - Take Toll On Trucking Industry

It used to be that labor was the largest cost for his company. Today, the largest cost is fuel...

Chattanooga,TN,USA -The Chattanoogan, by Judy Frank -May 29, 2008: -- ... U.S. Xpress Co-Chairman Patrick E. Quinn told Chattanooga Rotary Club members Thursday... The increased costs present cash-flow problems for many trucking companies because fuel bills often have to be paid daily – while companies must wait 30 days before they are reimbursed for the freight they used that fuel to haul... Consequently, many small trucking firms are being forced out of business, Mr. Quinn said... As the third largest privately owned truckload carrier in the nation, U.S. Xpress spends $12 to $13 million per week for diesel fuel, he said... Costs are escalating sharply, he noted... Skyrocketing fuel prices are not the only problem facing the industry. For example, one constant challenge is finding enough drivers... Another problem that faces the trucking industry – and the nation as a whole – is the deteriorating transportation infrastructure... Today, there are about 300 million people in the United States, he said. Fifty years from now, studies indicate, there will be 420 million... The larger population will significantly impact everything from traffic congestion to stresses on infrastructure, he said... Just to keep up, the nation needs to spend at least $225 billion annually for the next 50 years, he said. Currently, it is not doing that... "One price the nation pays for failing to maintain and/or improve its infrastructure is increasing traffic congestion, he said. If our commute this year takes five minutes longer than it did last year, we don’t see that as a major problem,” Mr. Quinn said. “But if the commute takes five minutes longer every year, then in a dozen years that’s an extra hour on the road..."


* Japan - Dekotora Trucks

Tokyo,Japan -offbeatearth -29 May 2008: -- Dekotora trucks are highly customized trucks found in Japan that often look like they’re straight out of the movie Transformers. These trucks are often made for fun by their drivers or made to be used as art trucks at special events.


ENVIROMENTAL REGULATIONS * Canada - Delta port refuses 250 trucks for not meeting new ones

Since adding new environmental standards to its licensing system last month, the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority (VFPA) has taken 250 trucks out of the system

Delta,BC,Canada -The Delta Optimist/Truck News, by Jan Westell -29 May 2008: -- ... because the trucks were deemed not clean enough to be allowed to access port property under new environmental regulations ... The first phase of the environmental requirements went into effect April 1. Under those regulations, all trucks built before 1994 had to pass an opacity test (which measures a truck's emissions), before the end of March. Higher opacity readings are connected with higher particulate matter emissions... In addition to passing the test, all trucks built prior to 1989 must also now be outfitted with a VFPA-approved age emission reduction measure. Any trucks that do not meet the requirements are no longer allowed to travel to and from VFPA ports, including Deltaport at Roberts Bank...


FUEL COST SOLUTIONS WORLDWIDE * Indonesia - It would withdraw from OPEC

Fundamentals of supply and demand no longer apply to oil markets. According to the U.S. government, the law of supply and demand is no longer working when it comes to oil markets

Yakarta,Indonesia -Reuters/Land Line Magazine/Bloomberg/The New York Times -May 29, 2008: -- ... Most OPEC members would like to see lower prices, but there is little they can do as the market is responding to factors beyond supply and demand, a senior Gulf OPEC source told Reuters... If those fundamentals dictated the price, oil would cost around $60 to $70 a barrel, the source said... The Wall Street Journal reported that fresh information from the U.S. Department of Energy shows that the amount of oil shipped by the world’s top exporters actually fell by 2.5 percent last year. At the same time, global demand was up sharply, and the price of oil shot up nearly 60 percent... On Thursday, May 29, oil prices were falling in New York trading while the price of diesel remained at a national average of $4.74 a gallon, unchanged from Tuesday... Also on Thursday, Indonesia’s energy minister, Purnomo Yusgiantoro, was scheduled to sign a decree withdrawing his country from OPEC, according to media reports. Indonesia was the only Southeast Asian country in OPEC. The country will save about $3.1 million in annual membership fees, but that isn’t the primary reason for its withdrawal... Bloomberg reported that aging oil fields and declining production have combined with increasing demand to tip Indonesia’s oil import-export equation to the import side. The nation, a member since 1962, has been considering leaving the body for the past three years...

* Philippines - VAT on oil to stay – DOF. Instead, they have decided to look for other ways to cushion the impact of rising oil prices on consumers

Manila,Philippines -The Philippine Star, by IRIS GONZALES -27 May 2008: -- Finance Secretary Margarito Teves and other economic managers have rejected a proposal to scrap the value-added tax (VAT) on oil. Instead, they have decided to look for other ways to cushion the impact of rising oil prices on consumers... The Department of Finance (DOF) estimates that VAT on oil will yield an additional P18 billion this year if the price of oil continues to hover at $100 per barrel... Economic managers want to allocate the estimated P18-billion "windfall" collected from VAT on oil this year to various sectors, Teves added... Teves said among the proposals being considered is to use the revenue to subsidize transport groups or to fund food subsidies for the poor...


TRUCKING INDUSTRY NEWS * USA - Frozen Food Express Lowers Top Speed of Its Trucks

Dallas,TX,USA -PRIME NEWSWIRE -May 29, 2008: -- Frozen Food Express Industries, Inc., a nationwide transportation company offering service in the temperature-controlled truckload and LTL, dry truckload, and brokerage / logistics markets, announced today that it has reduced the maximum speed of its company-operated truck fleet from 65 to 62 miles per hour in an effort to mitigate the impact of rising fuel costs. FFEX expects that most of the independent contractors who provide it with trucks will take similar steps to reduce their expenses...

* Trimac Turns To Bendix For Trucking Safety Technology

Elyria,OH,USA -Truck Net, by Craig Zwiener -May 29, 2008: -- North America’s largest bulk commodities fleet has enhanced its award-winning safety program with braking technology from Bendix Commercial Vehicles Systems LLC... Trimac Transportation has added the commercial vehicle industry’s most comprehensive stability control technology – the Bendix® ESP® Electronic Stability Program – to its fleet of tractors... Trimac added the Bendix ESP full stability technology through the purchase of Kenworth® trucks, which include Bendix ESP functionality as a standard option with a delete credit on many of its highway tractor configurations...

* Amendment in defense bill includes surcharge provision - Independent truckers praise vote

Grain Valley,MO,USA -Land Line Magazine, by Craig Zwiener -May 23, 2008: -- The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) is grateful an amendment that will protect truckers and tax payers from being exploited by intermediaries in the trucking industry has been included in the Defense Authorization Bill... The amendment stipulates that for any Department of Defense contract for truck transportation or service using fuel, the motor carrier or broker must pass any fuel surcharge on to the person responsible for paying the cost of the fuel and to disclose that surcharge...


BUREAUCRATIC AFFAIR * USA - CARB drops sticker rule for port trucks

Following OOIDA objection

Sacramento,CAL,USA -Land Line Magazine, by Charlie Morasch -May 29, 2008: -- The California Air Resources Board recently deleted several requirements from its proposed port drayage truck rule, including unpopular conditions that each truck entering a California port have a CARB-approved emission sticker and submit maintenance logs to the environmental agency... CARB announced the changes Wednesday, May 28. The agency’s board approved the port rule in December, but CARB’s multi-tiered regulatory approval process includes several opportunities for changes before a final version is adopted... The revised port rule no longer requires truck operators to have an emission “compliance label” affixed to their truck, but requires all trucks to have 1994 or newer engines that meet or exceed 2007 model year engine emission standards by Dec. 31, 2009. Trucks must meet 2007 engine emission standards by Jan. 1, 2014... Also, CARB deleted its requirement that truck owners maintain a maintenance log for verified diesel emission control strategy retrofits...


TRUCKMAKERS' NEWS * USA - Daimler Trucks set to open in S.C.

Charlotte,NC,USA -The Business Journal of the Greater Triad Area -27 May 2008: -- The Fort Mill building that will house Daimler Trucks North America's new, 150,000-square-foot sales and marketing center is nearly ready for occupancy... Koll Development Co. has turned over the building to Daimler Trucks, which plans to relocate more than 300 employees to the site beginning in July, says Larry Wilson, president of Koll's Southeast division... Daimler Trucks announced last year that it would move its sales and marketing division to Fort Mill from the company's Portland, Ore., headquarters. Wilson says the company has an 11-year lease...

* Peterbilt's ComfortClass system debuts in 63-inch sleeper configuration

Denton,TX,USA -Truck News (CAN), by Adam Ledlow -29 May 2008: -- Peterbilt has begun full production of the Peterbilt ComfortClass system in a 63-inch sleeper configuration. The system is immediately available for order in Peterbilt Class 8 vehicles equipped with a 63-inch Unibilt sleeper... (Photo: The Peterbilt ComfortClass system is now available in a 63-inch sleeper configuration)


TRUCKERS' STRIKES WORLDWIDE * S. Korea - High oil prices forcing truck drivers out of business

Truckers’ union plans to strike unless the gov’t imposes prices controls on transport fares

Seoul,South Korea -The Hankyorek(Seoul,SK) -27 May 2008: -- Jeong Yeong-jeong, 37, who has been a truck driver for 15 years, says that he is in the worst situation he has ever had to face. Round-trip freight fares from Changwon, South Gyeongsang Province, to Seoul are about 600,000 won (US$ 571), but Jeong receives just about 50,000 won for the overnight trip, which takes two days and one night... The price of the diesel fuel needed to complete the trip has risen sharply to about 490,000 won, from a little more than 220,000 won in the previous year. He earns almost nothing after paying 50,000 won for the toll and 30,000 won for food. He also pays 200,000 won a month to the company and for insurance, and has to cover the cost of changing the oil or tires on his truck. Oil prices have skyrocketed to around 2,000 won per liter from 1,100 won in a year, but the freight fees have stayed almost the same, he says... For this reason, Jeong, an official of the Korean Transport Workers’ Union, said that he and about 180 colleagues, who are also truck drivers, had to stop working for eight days through May 26. Like Jeong, an increasing number of transport workers have had to stop driving or have gone on strike thinking that they would suffer even more losses by continuing to drive their trucks due to the hike in diesel prices. They are urging the company to apply price controls on transport fares based on the current price of oil and increase freight fees by 23.4 percent. LG Electronics-affiliate Hi Logistics recently suggested an increase of 6.6 percent, making negotiations difficult... About 100 companies across the nation are at odds with logistics firms over freight fares like this. More than 100 truckers belonging to the Gwangju branch of the truckers’ union, or Cargo Solidarity are waging a sit-in in front of a Samsung Electronics factory in Gwangju. Unless Samsung accepts their demand to increase transport fees, they say they will go on a strike sometime in the next month... But the high price of fuel is not the only problem the truck drivers face. There are some people who siphon fuel from the parked trucks at night, leading some of the drivers to sleep in their trucks. Highway toll fees are expected to increase soon as well, adding to their misery. The drivers say they are ready to go on a strike at the risk of losing their livelihoods entirely... Cargo Solidarity says that its members will go on strike in June, unless the government takes action... (Photo: Members of the Changwon branch of the Korean Transport Workers’ Union in South Gyeongsang Province are waging a strike due to the high price of diesel fuel)

* USA - Arkansas truck stop owner joins fuel protest

Little Rock,ARK,USA -Land Line Magazine, by Reed Black -May 28, 2008: -- The owner of an Arkansas truck stop has stopped pumping diesel and gas, saying he’s protesting prices along with truckers. Don Shamsie’s Blackwell Truck Stop is on Interstate 40 about 30 miles north of Little Rock... Shamsie added: “We’ve taken a stand to stop selling fuel to see if we can get the attention of the politicians who we felt have sold Americans out.”... Shamsie said he thinks most politicians are in the pocket of the oil companies that contribute to their campaigns... As for how he’ll survive without pumping fuel, Shamsie pointed out that at the price he’s been paying for fuel and for credit card transactions he wasn’t making money anyway...

* Holland - Dutch truckers honk horns in fuel price protest

The Hague,The Netherlands,Holland -Reuters, by Svebor Kranjc, Emma Thomasson, and Mary Gabriel - May 29, 2008: -- Dutch truckers called on motorists on Thursday to honk their horns to push for lower fuel taxes in the latest protest at soaring oil prices... Organisations representing logistic companies parked a huge truck outside parliament and handed over a petition to politicians calling on the government to reverse a diesel tax hike that is due to take effect on July 1... Truckers displayed illuminated road signs around the country urging motorists to honk their horns in solidarity... Separately, a group has collected more than 112,000 signatures online demanding the reversal of a tax that has been levied on fuel since a budget crisis in 1991... "We complain a lot but we do nothing. We should follow the example of the English truckers. And when the taxes rise in France, motorists block the streets. Then the politicians listen," organiser Robert Andringa told ... Bulgarian truck drivers rallied on Wednesday, following the lead of British and French truckers and French fishermen in a wave of demonstrations and blockades by groups which say fuel costs threaten their livelihoods... EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said on Wednesday euro zone finance ministers would not back such tax changes...


"CLEAN TRUCKS" PLAN * USA - Ports of LA/Long Beach put discussion on hold

San Francisco,CAL,USA -Logistics Management, by Patrick Burnson -27 May 2008: -- Members of the West Coast Marine Terminal Operators Agreement must wait until June 29 before resuming their discussions of the controversial “Clean Trucks” program. That’s the word sent down by the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC), which had required both ports to answer a series of precise questions about the pending deal. The ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles are also free to discuss security initiatives and other matters with antitrust immunity after that date... As reported here last month, the FMC put the agreement on hold, when it ruled that the 45-day review period be extended—much to the relief of many shippers. Had the FMC not interceded, talks between terminal operators and the ports would have commenced as early as April 1. And the FMC is still within its jurisdictional boundaries to challenge the agreement in federal court... Meanwhile, the agreement may be facing other legal challenges posed by the American Trucking Associations (ATA) and affiliate shipper’s associations. According to the ATA’s Intermodal Carriers Conference executive director, Curtis E. Whalen, both ports have rejected his overtures for a “meaningful meeting” to discuss the issues. If a lawsuit ensues, it will have the support of the National Industrial Transportation League (NITL)... Once the ports finally do meet with terminal operators, they can begin working on their plan to initiate the fee portion of their Clean Truck plans on October 1. At that time, both gateways will start collecting a $35-per-TEU (twenty equivalent units) fee for all trucks, with full or partial exemptions for those that comply with 2007 emissions standards. The ports and the terminal operators also plan to discuss ways of collecting a separate $15-per-TEU infrastructure fee set to begin on Jan. 1, 2009...


May 29, 2008

Environmental Groups * USA - To sue over Calif. emissions

San Francisco,CAL,USA -Bloomberg News/Detroit News -29 May 2008: -- An environmental coalition plans to sue the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today to force it to overturn vehicle-emissions limits for Southern California, charging the targets fail to address pollution faced by 1.5 million people who live next to freeways... In a petition to be filed in 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, the Natural Resources Defense Council is demanding comprehensive monitoring of air quality along freeways, including the Long Beach Freeway, where traffic averages 12,180 vehicles an hour...


STORY: This Old Truck * USA - One driver, 28 years, 3.75 million miles

Perrysburg,OH,USA -Road King, by Doug Donnelly -28 May 2008: -- When Bill Donnelly drove out of the parking lot of the Kenworth dealership in Perrysburg, Ohio, his new, long-nose, double-sleeper had five miles on it. Donnelly doesn’t take credit for those miles. He will, however, proudly take the credit for the other 3.75 million miles of smooth running on his 1980 chassis... Bill Donnelly is my father, and when he drove that 1980 Kenworth into our driveway for the first time I was crushed... Still, the 1980 Kenworth was a sight to see in our driveway — a model W900 with an extra long hood and a Cummins KTA 525 motor. The blue beauty had a 14-speed Spicer transmission. I missed the “doghouse” that I would sleep on when I was growing up, but walking around inside the cab, turning on the TV and having a place for the refrigerator had its advantages... So I warmed up to the Kenworth over time and became accustomed to watching Dad go through his usual ritual once he got home. He always believed in keeping up his outfit, figuring that as long as he was behind the wheel he wanted the best. After every trip, he would walk around the truck, put up the hood and look for spots of oil or loose bolts, check for hanging wires or cracked light covers. If something needed fixing — no matter how small — he fixed it right then... The miles have piled up over the years and odometers have been replaced. But, through logbooks and fuel permits, Dad is very aware of the miles he’s traveled... For years he ran across I-80, coast-to-coast. Then he began running more north and south routes in the Midwest. Whatever the location, Dad always stays by his rig. In truckstop restaurants he sits at booths where he can see the truck. I always respected him for caring about his truck like it was a member of the family. In a lot of ways, it is. Inevitably, conversations either start or end up centered around that Kenworth... Today, Dad lives in Illinois and makes a few trips a week to the south side of Chicago. The round trips are a lot closer than going from Sunshine Biscuit in Oakland, Calif., to Hunts Point in New York City — the places I remember so well from the road stories he told. But the miles still count. And keep adding up...


TRUCKERS' STRIKES * WORLDWIDE - Because higher fuel costs

* UK - Truckers jam London in petrol protest

London,UK -AP/Edmonton Sun (Alberta,Canada ) -28 May 2008: -- Hundreds of trucks rolled into central London yesterday, jamming a major route into the British capital in a protest against rising fuel prices... Around 300 truck drivers honked their horns and parked on a highway on the edge of the city... The truckers are protesting the soaring cost of fuel in Britain, where diesel fuel now costs around $2.35 a litre... They say thousands of trucking jobs are in jeopardy and are calling on Prime Minister Gordon Brown's Labour government to lower fuel taxes for trucking companies...

* Bulgaria - Truck and taxi drivers on strike in Sofia

Sofia,Bulgaria -The Sofia Echo, by Elitsa Grancharova -28 May 2008: -- On May 28, about 150 trucks took part in the rally against the high fuel excise duty in Sofia suburbs, while 15 cabs gathered to protest the same in Sofia’s centre... The truckers’ protest was organised by the Confederation of the Automobile Transport Associations, Bulgarian-language daily Dnevnik reported. Their main demand is for the Government to urgently intervene on the fuel market and to take measures against the speculative prices of fuels. They also insisted on re-payment of the excise duty that the transport companies pay and measures against any cartels being formed by fuel retailers... (Photo: Krassimir Yuskesseliev)

GREEN FLEET * Canada - Coke launches fleet of hybrid trucks that are nicer to the environment

Diesel-electric engines cut fuel consumption

Vancouver,BC,Canada -The Province, by Frank Luba -May 28, 2008: -- Green is joining red in Coca-Cola's corporate colours... The soft-drink giant announced yesterday that it's launching a fleet of heavy-duty, diesel-electric hybrid delivery trucks... The 22 trucks, 10 of which will be based in the Lower Mainland, cost 50-per-cent more than traditional vehicles but use 37-per-cent less fuel, produce 32-per-cent fewer emissions and run more quietly, the company said... While the trucks' 215 horsepower diesel engines run continuously, the 14,969-kilogram vehicles run primarily on electric power up to about 50 kilometres per hour, the company said... The diesel engine is engaged when more power is required and the batteries also recharge during braking... After Canada, Coke will start using the Quebec-built hybrids in the U.S. and hopes to add 120 vehicles there. The fleet of 142 will be the largest hybrid, heavy-duty distribution fleet in North America, the company said... (Picture by Jon Murray - The Province: Coca-Cola Canada president Kevin Warren, park board chairwoman Korina Houghton and Vancouver Mayor Sam Sullivan mark Coca-Cola's green-truck initiative)


STUDY * Sweden - Not all noise from trucks is bad

Experienced truck drivers prefer sound that provides them with information about how the journey is proceeding and they do not view information-bearing sound as a disruption

Goteborg,RG, Sweden -The Swedish Research Council/Informationsdienst Wissenschaft (Bayreuth,NRW,Germany) -28 May 2008: -- The sound in a truck cab should not be regarded simply as disruptive noise that should be suppressed when building trucks. Experienced truck drivers prefer sound that provides them with information about how the journey is proceeding and they do not view information-bearing sound as a disruption... This has been demonstrated by Anders Genell at the Division of Applied Acoustics at Chalmers University of Technology in Goteborg,RG, Sweden... He has carried out a series of tests using a model truck cab, where the subjects are exposed to different sound images and sometimes vibrations in the steering wheel and floor. The emotional reactions were examined using two test groups - experienced truck drivers and students... Examples of sound which the drivers want to hear is sound that indicates when the engine is working as it should when under pressure, such as on an incline or when accelerating. In addition, they want a discreet engine sound in order to be able to listen to talking books or music. They also want some sound from the tyres on the road surface, which among other things provides them with information about how slippery it is. The dissertation also shows that an overall approach to sound and vibrations must be taken in order to create a good working environment. If you influence one of the sources of sound or vibration then the perception of all the others is changed...



* Navistar Keeps On Trucking

Warrenville,Ill,USA -Forbes (New York,NY), by Melinda Peer -28 May 2008: -- Truck and engine maker, Navistar, roared through analysts' full-year estimates, projecting record growth despite a weak North American truck market... On Wednesday, Navistar International projected 2008 sales of more than $15.0 billion on account of increased market share and increased shipments. The guidance exceeded the mean estimate of analysts polled by Thomson Financial for full-year sales of $13.0 billion... The Warrenville, Ill., based holding company's subsidiaries make commercial and military trucks, buses, chassis and diesel engines...

* Volvo unsure '08 US truck market will improve

USA -Reuters, by Nichola Groom & Peter Henderson -May 28, 2008: -- Some in the industry, including diesel engine supplier Cummins Inc and truck maker Navistar International Corp, have said the market will rebound in the latter half of 2008 as truckers buy equipment in anticipation of new clean- air rules that go into effect in 2010... Volvo, which has about 15 percent of the U.S. truck market, is not as optimistic... Still, Lorentzson said the company would not cut prices to spur sales... But he did not know whether there would be a price increase this year... Nevertheless, Volvo is resigned to the fact that high oil prices are now a fact of life...


FUEL SAVING * USA - Georgia Man Uses Tractor Engines in Regular Trucks

"The average full size pick-up in America gets like 13.4 miles a gallon, these are getting 42, 45 in that range"

Byron,GA,USA -WTVM, by Zaneta Lower -May 28, 2008: -- Gary Brown has been in the tractor business for more than 20 years, but as gas prices went up, his sales went down. So, he and a few friends came up with another way to use some of the old tractor parts. "We're just taking economical farm engines, farm tractor engines and putting them in pick-ups," Brown says... That's right, Brown says engines initially built for a hard day's work in the fields are perfect for trucks like a Ford F-150 meant for the road... What they did was work, and according to Brown, run more efficiently... "The average full size pick-up in America gets like 13.4 miles a gallon, these are getting 42, 45 in that range," says Brown... Seems impossible, right! ... The name of the business, Shade Tree Conversions, comes from an old, simple country concept... If you'd like more information on this idea or to find out which tractors are compatible with which vehicles, visit Brown will not sell the vehicles, he will however, sell people a copy of the plans for $50... Video: Local man swaps tractor engine to conserve fuel- (Photo: Brown says engines initially built for a hard day's work in the fields are perfect for trucks like a Ford F-150 meant for the road)-


WORLD OIL MARKET * Luxembourg - Challenges OPEC

Luxembourg,Europe -New Europe, by Kostis Geropoulos -26 May 2008: -- ... The sight of the US President begging in public view before the Saudi royal family, holding hands with them, literally, in the hope of persuading the kingdom to increase production to bring soaring oil prices down was humiliating to Americans around the world... It might well be that OPEC has decided to allow prices to go ahead and go up and start heading to that transitional way from an oil-based economy. If OPEC increases oil production by a million or two barrels per day in the long term, it could drive prices back down to, let’s say, USD 70 per barrel. If this reignites growth and usage and they know that they do not have any substantial increased capacity, and then what will happen in three to five years is a huge price spike, leading to peak oil, Ron Smith, chief strategist at Alfa Bank in Moscow, said... OPEC is right now practically the only source of all extra production. “If they don’t have it, it’s to their interest to make the peak oil not so much a peak but a plateau,” Smith said. “The earlier we enter the plateau — oil prices start to rise, moderate demand and encourage marginal production in small, expensive fields — the more likely we will have a gradual transition. Otherwise they can try to keep the prices down until the day we run out of excess capacity completely and then we will have a price spike far beyond what we have seen. The second will be dangerous.”... (Foto por CECILIA PUEBLA/ANA/EPA -May 23, 2008: OPEC Secretary General Abdalla El-Badri visits the oil station Bloque 15 in the Ecuadorian Amazon)


May 28, 2008

TRUCKERS' PROTEST * UK - Lorry drivers flex their muscles

Hundreds of lorry drivers converged on London yesterday to protest at rising fuel costs

London,Uk -Times On Line, by Fran Yeoman - May 28, 2008: -- ... Police closed a section of the A40 — one of the capital’s main arteries — so that it could be used as a massive lorry park... From there the drivers made their way to a rally at Marble Arch, where they told of jobs under threat, severe belt-tightening and family companies facing closure... Early yesterday morning, as the convoys set off from Kent, Essex and all points north and west, they were greeted with spontaneous applause from motorists, who are also feeling the pinch with petrol prices rising to an average of about 114p a litre and diesel to 126p... The hauliers were in good spirits, with horns blaring and banners waving, but by the time they reached Marble Arch — where a sign lamented “Dying for a rebate” — the mood was more sombre... A delegation will hand in a letter to Brown's office, calling for the immediate introduction of an "essential user" rebate of 20-25 pence per litre, allowing heavy goods vehicles to claim some of the fuel duty back... The rally organisers, TransAction 2007, had hoped for 1,000 lorries but seemed satisfied with the 200-300 parked in rows on the A40, and another 100 that joined a protest in Wales... (See Video) (Picture: Oil prices have risen by a third since the start of 2008)


WASHROOM ROADS * Canada - Urine bottles found along N.B. highways

NB,Canada -CBC News -26 May 08: -- Highway officials say dozens of bottles of urine are being found along the sides of roads, tossed away by drivers who can't be bothered to find a washroom... Most of the so-called pee jugs are from transport trucks parked on exit ramps, according to the company responsible for the operation and maintenance of the Fredericton-Moncton highway in southern New Brunswick... He said drivers could be ticketed for littering if they continue throwing their jugs out the window...


FUEL COST, ONE SOLUTION * USA - Bill advances to close loophole blamed for energy speculation

The U.S. Senate overwhelmingly overrode President Bush’s veto of the Farm Bill last week, voting 82-13 to approve the bill that also aims to close a legal loophole championed by Enron, which allows energy commodities to inflate gas and diesel prices

Washington,DC,USA -Land Line Magazine, by Charlie Morasch -May 27, 2008: -- Any closing of the “Enron” loophole could have a profound effect on trucking. Energy industry insiders have estimated as much as a third of the per-barrel cost of crude oil is driven by investment speculation... The bill would close a loophole in market trading regs that currently allows for “over-the-counter” trading of energy futures – essentially allowing investors to gamble and reap large rewards on the escalation of oil prices... Hedge fund manager Michael Masters reportedly told a U.S. Senate committee last week that oil prices are being driven almost as much by speculators as they are by Chinese demand. According to Financial Post, annual Chinese petroleum demands increased 920 million barrels in the past five years, while demand driven by speculation tallied 848 million barrels... The Farm Bill isn’t likely to be the last legislation aimed at reforming energy trade... A statement from Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-OH, said the proposed act would: protect consumers from price gouging during an official “energy emergency;” would prevent traders of U.S. crude oil from routing transactions through off-shore markets without speculative limits; would allow the U.S. to enforce penalties against countries or companies colluding to set oil prices; and would roll back $17 billion in tax breaks for oil and gas companies...



Deutsche Post World Net has today announced a plan to restructure its DHL US Express business

USA -Transport Intelligence (Germany) -28 May 2008: -- Under the plan, DHL and UPS have agreed to develop a contract whereby UPS will provide air uplift for DHL Express US domestic and international shipments within North America. In addition, DHL will redesign its ground linehaul network. Management stated that the impact on service levels would be minimal with less than 4% of shipments affected... As one central part of its restructuring activities, DHL and UPS will pursue a contract to provide air uplift, creating a single airline partner for DHL Express in the US... DHL will continue to operate its courier and ground network as well as pickup and delivery services to customers across the country. The proposed agreement will extend for 10 years. The commencement of UPS service into the DHL network is expected to begin later this year...

* Truck Pre-Buy Unlikely in ’09 - Execs Confident in New Engines

New York,NY,USA -Transport Topics, by Sean McNally -May 26, 2008: -- Executives with four of the largest U.S. trucking fleets all said they are not planning to pre-buy trucks next year... The executives, speaking to investors and reporters May 20-21 here at the Wolfe Research Transportation Conference, said they were confident with the technologies that will be used to meet the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2010 diesel engine emission standards and that projected price increases on those models would be less than originally feared...



London,UK -Transport Intelligence -27 May 2008: -- Activity for the week of 20 May 2008

5/12: USA - Actionview International Inc. announced the acquisition of Jim Palmer Trucking, Inc., a reefer carrier based in Missoula, MT operating a fleet 350 tractors and 500 trailers in 44 states.? Jim Palmer had TTM revenue of $34.8 million.

5/14: Israel - Merhav Ampal Energy Ltd. announced the acquisition of 15% of Gadot Chemical Tankers & Terminals Ltd. for $15.5 million.? Based in Netanya, Israel, Gadot distributes edible oils and plastics, additives, alcohols, aromatic solvents, esters, minerals, pharmaceuticals, printing inks and textile fibers.

5/15: Japan - Commercial RE Company Ltd. announced the acquisition of Tenko Souken Co., Ltd., a warehousing company based in Atsugi-shi, Japan.? Terms were not disclosed.

5/15: Belgium - Benelux Port Holdings S.a.r.l. has acquired 57% of Westerlund Group NV, a provider of warehousing, transport and logistics services to the pulp and paper industry in Belgium, France, China, and the U.K.? Terms were not disclosed.

5/16: USA - A Clean Environment Company announced the acquisition of Perma-Fix Treatment Services, Inc., a hazardous waste processing facility located in Tulsa, OK, for $1.5 million in cash.

5/19: UK - Cityspace Ltd. has acquired Kizoom Ltd., the UK's leading provider of intelligent travel information systems.? Terms were not disclosed.

STRATEGIC BUYERS - Domestic Transactions
5/22: USA - SuperShuttle International, Inc. has acquired Golden Touch Transportation of NY, Inc., a provider of passenger ground transportation to airlines, universities, hospitals and schools in the metropolitan New York City area. ?Golden Touch had TTM revenue of $27.0 million.

STRATEGIC BUYERS - Foreign Transactions
5/20: China - Changle Century Sunshine Paper Industry Co., Ltd. announced the acquisition of 48.8% of Changle Shenyi Transportation Co., Ltd. ("CSTC") for $0.8 million.? Based in China, CSTC provides general cargo transportation and domestic and international container transportation services.

5/21: Oesterreich - Oesterreichische Post AG has acquired 24-VIP Express Logistics Services d.o.o., a package delivery provider located in Bosnia.? Terms were not disclosed.

5/21: Oesterreich - Oesterreichische Post AG has acquired HSH Holding B.V.B.A., a specialist in non temperature-controlled pharmaceutical logistics based in Stekene, Belgium.? Terms were not disclosed.

5/22: China - China TransInfo Technology Corp. announced the acquisition of 53.3% of China TranWiseway Information Technology Co., Ltd. ("CTIT") for $0.9 million. ?CTIT develops applications for highway and street traffic monitoring projects in China.

5/22: Russia - JSC Sovcomflot made a mandatory offer to acquire the remaining 3.17% stake in Joint Stock Company Novorossiysk Shipping Company for $41.3 million.? Novorossiysk operates vessels for the transportation of container and bulk freight from its base in Novorossiysk, Russia.

5/14: USA - Wells Fargo & Company announced it is leading an investor group that will acquire IdleAire Technologies Corporation out of Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection for $385.4 million.? IdleAire, a provider of in-cab services to the heavy-duty trucking industry in the US, had TTM revenue of $34 million.

5/20: USA - The Carlyle Group has acquired ITS Technologies & Logistics LLC, a provider of intermodal terminal operation services based in Hazel Crest, IL.? Terms were not disclosed.


May 27, 2008

FUEL COSTS TROUBLES * WORLDWIDE - Soaring fuel prices have yet to dent demand for freight transport

* UK - Britain has become the latest country to experience public protests over fuel prices, with truck drivers yesterday (May 27) blocking major roads into London with their vehicles

London,UK -Transport Intelligence -28 May 2008: -- Trade bodies representing that country's road freight industry are urging the government to cut the tax on diesel. The British International Freight Association, for example, is demanding the abolition of a planned 2p (£0.02) increase in fuel duty this October and the introduction of an "essential user rebate". Britain has some of the most expensive fuel in the world, with prices now over US$9 a gallon... Public protests against fuel prices have also occurred in countries where fuel is cheaper than in Britain. In France, for instance, the government seems to be reacting to demonstrations by contemplating a reduction in VAT (sales tax) after fishermen blockaded French ports. That sort of action is thought likely to be about to occur elsewhere in Europe...

* USA - Soaring Fuel Prices Take a Withering Toll on Truckers

New York,NY,USA -The New York Times, by LOUIS UCHITELLE -May 27, 2008: -- ... If diesel prices do not decline and make that side of the business viable, Jesse Hendley of eastern Georgia says, he will have to sell his trucks, or try to sell them. That is just what thousands of other truckers are doing as they shed used rigs in what appears to be the biggest shakeout since trucking was deregulated in 1980... The squeeze on truckers’ profits from rising fuel costs is compounded by the slowing economy, which is reducing freight traffic. Truckers say they find it hard to impose fuel surcharges, in part because their industry has suffered for years from over-capacity as deregulation drew thousands of small operators into trucking... Still, 70 percent of the nation’s freight tonnage moves over the highways on trucks, much of it in the diesel-powered tractor-trailers of the nation’s 350,000 independent operators, each with a fleet of up to five vehicles, one usually driven by the proprietor. Profit margins, notoriously thin in good times, are minuscule now, and each rise in fuel prices pushes more truckers into the red... More than 45,000 vehicles, or 3 percent of the tractor fleet, have disappeared from the highways since early last year, according to America’s Commercial Transportation Research in Columbus, Ind.... That surpasses the last great shakeout, in the early 1980s, when deregulation, along with a recession, high interest rates and the second Arab oil embargo, took out 33,000 tractors... John Seibert, a research analyst at the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, whose members includes as many of the protesters, said the drivers “think that government should not permit a situation in which the market does not pay them for their work.” He added, “It would seem that they are demanding a return to some form of regulation.”... (Picture by Tami Chappell for The New York Times - Jesse Hendley with trucks he owns near his home in Millen, Ga. He says he will sell his trucks if fuel prices do not fall)

* USA - Tough times for truckers

Meriden,CT,USA -The Meriden Record-Journal, by Jason R. Vallee -26 May 2008: -- ... when he first started working in trucking a little more than 20 years ago, he would drive to the Berlin Turnpike to buy wholesale diesel fuel at 99 cents per gallon... Just last week, Brysh went to his wholesale distributor and found prices had spiked to more than $4.40 per gallon... Michael J. Riley, president of the Motor Transportation Association of Connecticut, said those prices have risen to $5 in some parts of the state during recent weeks... With no end to the excessive rates in sight, area companies, and particularly independent truckers, are looking for federal assistance to combat the higher costs. If no help is provided, Riley warns, the next action could be picking up the pieces of a shattered economy... These are just the fuel costs. The higher prices have led to closings and bankruptcy filings by independent truckers and small companies... (Photo by Dave Zajac / Record-Journal )

* USA - Fuel prices continue to take their toll; used U.S. trucks exported

New York,NY,USA -The New York Times (see above)/Land Line Magazine -May 27, 2008: -- An article in today’s looks at the impact of fuel prices on truckers... The Times cites a report by America’s Commercial Transportation Research group that says 45,000 tractors, or more than 3 percent of the nation’s tractor fleet, have departed from U.S. highways since early last year. That surpasses the last great shakeout, in the early 1980s, when deregulation – along with a recession, high interest rates and the second Arab oil embargo – took out 33,000 tractors... It also cites a Commerce Department report that says nearly 24,000 used, over-the-road tractors have been exported to other countries in the last year. The weakness of the dollar is one reason more trucks are going abroad. According to the article, many of the trucks end up in Russia, a strong outlet for the used trucks... Thousands of truckers have sold their used rigs because the soaring price of diesel has stripped the profit from hauling...

* USA - Truckers grapple with rising diesel prices

West Covina,CA,USA -San Gabriel Valley Tribune , by Kevin Smith -28 May 2008: -- Southern California motorists have been hammered by spiking gasoline prices - prices that have topped $4 per gallon at many stations... But as bad as that's been, trucking companies and independent truckers are facing even worse... On Tuesday, the average price for a gallon of diesel fuel in the Los Angeles/Long Beach region was $5.134, down from Monday's record high of $5.135 per gallon... A month ago, diesel was selling for $4.49 per gallon and a year earlier it was priced at $3.16 per gallon... "Every day it gets worse and worse," said Isidro Lombera, owner of Fast Freight Transportation in Santa Fe Springs. "I'm trying to raise my rates, but most customers won't let you. They want you to keep rates the same. Some of them have gone somewhere else. But if they can't find anything they come back ... then we try to negotiate a price."... JNC Transportation in Baldwin Park has hiked its rates out of necessity, according to owner Jim Cass... Cass' company uses 25 trucks that haul produce destined for export overseas... "I'm passing our cost increases along to customers," he said. "It's a 35 percent increase in delivery costs, but our customers understand perfectly well. I'm actually busier than I've been in a long time. I keep hearing about the economy going bad, but people still have to eat."... Julie Sauls, a spokeswoman for the California Trucking Association, said drivers are getting hit from all sides with increased fees, diverted tax revenues and rapidly escalating diesel prices... "Diesel prices have surpassed labor as the biggest expense for trucking companies," she said. "One of our members said they're seeing voluntary repossessions of equipment. Some drivers just can't afford the cost of fuel."...

* South Korea - High Diesel Prices Hit Merchants

Seoul,S.Korea -The Korea Times, by Kim Hyun-cheol -28 May 2008: -- The situation raises concerns of the possibility of another nationwide strike from cargo truck drivers... Last week, the Korean Transport Workers' Union (KTWU) threatened to go on strike next month unless the government comes out with countermeasures to help ease their hardship... The union went on strike in 2003 and 2006, asking for improved freight-operating systems and better working conditions... A cargo driver is paid 800,000 won ($770) for a round-trip between Seoul and Busan currently, but now the charge is not profitable as drivers spend nearly 600,000 won on diesel for the trip, the union says... The government discussed a series of measures at a ministers meeting on Wednesday including a subsidy extension... Cargo truck drivers currently receive a 287-won per liter subsidy for diesel they consume at work. Without the extension, the policy will expire next month... The union, however, is negative on the effects of the measure, saying that cannot be a permanent solution and the money falls well short of recent increases in diesel prices... "The subsidies come from the driving tax, and it means the government is doing nothing but burdening the common people with its policy failure," a KTWU official said...