User-agent: Mediapartners-Google* Disallow: Trucks World News: April 2009

Apr 28, 2009


Briefing Weekly News

from Freight Forwarding

* Germany - K+N's margins rise despite plummeting revenue
Kuehne + Nagel has published its results for the first quarter of 2009, providing an insight into the extent of the global economic slowdown. Read Full Brief Here

* Saudi Arabia - Saudi JV logistics company Wared launches operations
Wared Logistics, a new Saudi Arabia-based provider of logistics services for the Middle East and North Africa region, has formally launched its “comprehensive” offerings. Read Full News Here

* Germany - Deutsche Post DHL previews Q1 2009 results
Deutsche Post DHL yesterday (April 22) reported it had seen volume declines increase across all products and divisions in the first quarter of this year compared with the fourth quarter of 2008. Read Full News Here

from Contract Logistics

* USA - Harsh downturn in logistics profits as UPS searches for recovery
Memphis-based rival FedEx may think the US and global economies have hit the bottom but there is little sign yet of recovery in UPS’s latest figures announced yesterday (April 23). Read Full Brief Here

* USA - Menlo launches programme for Bayer MaterialScience
Menlo Worldwide Logistics has reported the launch of an integrated transportation planning, optimisation and management programme for Bayer MaterialScience. Read Full News Here

* UK - Retailer BHS selects K+N for furniture deliveries
Kuehne + Nagel announced last week that it had been chosen by UK retailer BHS to handle furniture deliveries to customers’ homes. Read Full News Here

* USA - Boeing expands supply chain management contract with Ryder
Ryder System this week announced that The Boeing Company had selected it to manage the global aerospace group’s freight bill payment and audit process. Read Full News Here

from Express & Mail

* Germany - DHL and UPS fail to agree on US air express co-operation
Talks between DHL and UPS over using UPS aircraft for DHL’s US express business have been terminated and DHL is to move its main hub back to Cincinnati. Read Full Brief Here

* Germany - DHL spotlights "significant growth" in SE Asia road express services
DHL has reported that businesses in South East Asia are widely embracing road-based express services, encouraged by a requirement for reliable but cost-effective transport solutions. Read Full News Here

* The Netherlands - TNT Post workers reject proposed labour agreement
Trade union members have rejected an in-principle agreement on a new three-year collective labour deal for TNT Post operations staff in the Netherlands. Read Full News Here

from Road Freight

* USA - Ryder reports 22% drop in total revenue
US-based freight transport, logistics and supply chain management solutions provider Ryder System has published its results for the three-month period ended March 31, 2009. Read Full News Here

from Air Cargo

* Germany - DHL notifies ATSG of intent to reactivate Cincinnati facility
DHL Express has informed ATSG subsidiary ABX Air that the express company is to move its US gateway from Wilmington, Ohio, to Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport. Read Full News Here

* Switzerland - ATA reports continued decline in air cargo traffic
The Air Transport Association of America has reported a 21% year-on-year decline in cargo traffic, measured in revenue ton miles, for February. Read Full News Here

* Italy - Reborn Cargoitalia confirms planned start-up next month
Cargoitalia - an Italian all-cargo airline being relaunched under new ownership - has finalised its initial management line-up and confirmed plans to start operations in late May. Read Full News Here

from Shipping/Ports

* China - Southern China shippers protest over planned new shipping line charge
Shipper organisations in the southern China region have joined forces to fight plans by Hong Kong-based global container shipping line OOCL to implement a new charge. Read Full News Here

from Intermodal

* Australia - Asciano provides update on sell-off plans
Leading Australian rail and port operator Asciano yesterday (April 21) issued an update on progress with the group’s previously-announced plans to sell off some or all of its businesses. Read Full News Here


Toll Roads * USA - Bills filed to stop ‘double dipping’ on private toll roads ones

U.S. senators have filed a pair of bills to stop private-sector toll operators from double dipping into the pockets of taxpayers

Washingtron,DC,USA -Land Line Magazine -April 27, 2009: -- Bills benefit highway users by eliminating subsidies for private toll roads... Senators: Bingaman, and Grassley, both members of the Senate Finance Committee, introduced bills to eliminate subsidies for privatized highways... The bill, S884, would stop states from receiving federal tax funding and private-sector money for the same toll road... The other bill, S885, would put a limit on the toll operator’s current ability to write off the cost of the asset over the long term. This would make it more difficult in the future for private investors to profit from subsidies, as happened with the privatization of the Chicago Skyway in Illinois. Private toll operator Cintra-Macquarie, a Spanish-Australian bank partnership, was allowed a 99-year tax write-off as part of the Skyway lease... The Bingaman-Grassley legislation urges Congress to tighten up the tax write-off criteria... (Photo: Chicago Skyway)


INFRASTRUCTURES * USA - Port of LA solar power project finally gets moving

City officials estimate the 10-megawatt project will produce several hundred jobs in construction, engineering and maintenance

Los Angeles,CAL,USA -The Press-Telegram Long Beach by Kristopher Hanson -27 April 2009: -- With more than 300 days of annual sunshine and enough open space to park tens of thousands of unsold cars, the world's largest megaships and more than a few shipping containers, the port seems to be a perfect place for a solar power plant... So far, workers have installed about half of the 71,000 square-feet of solar panels destined for the cruise ship terminal rooftop in the Port of Los Angeles. That installation marks the beginning stage of an ambitious project to provide enough clean energy to power 2,500 homes within six years... The port's solar initiative takes advantage of vast expanses of open space - including warehouse rooftops, terminal parking lots and empty road shoulders - to install 1.15-million square-feet of solar panels in coming years... The sun's energy will be used to power electric cranes and recharge electric container trucks and yard hostlers in coming years. Electricity will also be funneled to ships capable of plugging into dockside outlets while in port - cutting pollution levels from auxiliary engines... (Photo, by Daniel Figueroa)



* Isuzu revs up for stationary engines

Brooklyn,Victoria,Australia -ATN -28 April 2009: -- Isuzu Australia is preparing for a change of pace as it enters the stationary engine market... The new division, to be known as Isuzu Diesel, will offer a range of 50 different engines, from a base 14 horsepower unit through to the top of the range 530 horsepower model, available from 35 specialist dealers... Isuzu Industrial and Marine Engines Manager Dean Whitford says the new venture is already attracting plenty of attention from the market...

* Financial crisis hits MaxiTrans

Derrimut,Vic,Australia -ATN, by Michael House -28 April 2009: -- Trailer manufacturer MaxiTrans will be forced to cut jobs, slash salaries and reduce its operations as its profits plummet in the face of the worldwide recession... MaxiTrans is expecting a 75 percent drop in profits by June as a result of the global financial crisis, leading the company to institute a number of radical measures in an attempt to offset the loss... While some analysts saying the financial crisis has created a “window of opportunity” for operators to purchase equipment at lower prices, MaxiTrans is still struggling... It has been a rapid reversal in fortunes for the manufacturer, with MaxiTrans this time last year announcing record order intakes and sales...



* Police told to target 'illegal' B-doubles

Greenthorpe,NSW,Australia -ATN -28 April 2009: -- There are calls for NSW police officers to increase on-road enforcement activities after allegations surfaced of B-doubles speeding and operating on illegal routes... Greens spokeswoman on transport, Lee Rhiannon. has fired a shot at truck drivers carrying grain through the NSW region of Greenthorpe, saying they are putting lives at risk through reckless driving... Speaking to locals today, Rhiannon called on police to take immediate action in the central-west of NSW, saying “it is only a matter of time before there is a serious accident”...

* Stevo's Haulage dissolved

Melbourne,VIC,Australia -ATN, by Samantha Freestone -28 April 2009: -- Stevo’s Haulage in Melbourne has gone into liquidation after a personal matter and declining freight levels forced directors to shut down the company last week... A representative from the company says “the industry and with the way freight is at the moment” was the final straw in leading to the company's demise... However, it is not yet known whether Stevo's will be split up or sold as a singular asset... A well known presence on Australian roads, Stevo’s Haulage has worked primarily for Concord Park for some time...

* No extension for investment allowance

Canberra,Australia -ATN, by Michael House -28 April 2009: -- The Federal Government will not extend the timeframe for its 30 percent investment allowance despite pleas from manufacturers... Sections of the trucking industry called for the deadline to be revised, saying trucking operators needed more time to gain finance to purchase new equipment... But a spokesman for Treasurer, Wayne Swan, says the Government will not budge on the June 30 phase-out date...


Higher charges * Australia - will push industry 'over the edge'

“It is going to push people over the edge,” Williams says

Sydney,Australia -ATN, by Brad Gardner -28 April 2009: -- The Rudd Government is being urged to abandon plans to increase heavy vehicle charges or risk sending already struggling trucking operators to breaking point... The Transport Workers’ Union (TWU) has slammed the proposed 3.2 percent increase in registration fees and the road user charge from July 1 this year... Hughie Williams from the TWU’s Queensland branch claims the charges will have serious ramifications on the industry, which is struggling under the weight of the global financial crisis... B-double operators will be hit with an almost $3,000 increase in registration fees, while a 0.7 percent increase in the road user charge will reduce the fuel tax credit to 16.4 cents... Williams has questioned the reason for the increase, saying governments may be overcharging the industry... The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) has backed the 3.2 percent in registration fees, with ATA Chairman, Trevor Martyn, saying it is justified because governments are investing more funds in the road network... The ATA, however, has so far remained silent on whether it supports the increase in the road user charge... ATA Chief Executive, Stuart St Clair, says the peak lobby group has not yet looked at the reasoning for the proposed increase and will make its position known once it determines if the 0.7 cent increase is necessary.. (Video from YouTube, from eads90 - Trucks in Aus": Just some of the trucks in outback Australia)


Employee Incentives * USA- Can help fleets meet an array of objectives

Washington,DC,USA -Truck News -27 April 2009: -- Driver compensation is usually measured in terms of an hourly wage or a rate based on travelled distances, but an array of additional incentives can play an important role in helping your fleet retain workers, lower fuel bills, and reduce accident claims... In a recent study, for example, the US Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) concluded that safety incentives helped studied fleets reduce insurance claims, workers' compensation claims and crashes by 65%... Traditionally, fleets pay safety bonuses equivalent to a cent per mile, but some will pay more than two or three cents, says Ray Barton, co-author of Incentive Programs for Enhancing Truck Safety and Productivity, a Canadian study into the issue...


Fatal Crashes * USA - Involving Large Trucks, Lowest In 10 Years

Tallahassee,FL,USA -WJHG -Apr 27, 2009: -- Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) Secretary, Stephanie Kopelousos, announced that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the National Highway Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) indicates that the number of fatal crashes in Florida involving large trucks, greater than 10,000 lbs., is the lowest since 1997... This is the first time in recent history the fatal crash rate for Florida is below the national average... Said Rose A. McMurray, Acting Deputy Administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), “We are encouraged by the significant reduction in truck-related fatalities in Florida and applaud the FDOT for their tireless efforts to ensure the safety of our nation’s highways. It is vitally important that federal and state governments continue to work closely with the motor carrier industry to improve truck and bus safety and save lives.”... FDOT’s Office of Motor Carrier Compliance (OMCC) credits the substantial reduction in large truck crashes to the four E’s of Traffic Safety — Education, Engineering, Enforcement and Everyone else, including the drivers of these big rigs and other motorists...



* DuraStar, Workstar add Bendix Electronic Stability system

Warrenville,ILL,USA -Fleet Owner -Apr 27, 2009: -- International DuraStar and WorkStar medium-duty and severe service trucks now include the Bendix ESP Electronic Stability system to mitigate rollover and vehicle under- and over-steer driving situations... ESP monitors the vehicle and if it determines a critical stability threshold is about to occur, the system will intervene to assist the driver by selectively applying the brakes or de-throttling the engine... (Photo: - ReedCity Michigan Large Chassis: International DuraStar)

* Kenworth adds new medium-duty rear suspensions

Kirkland,WA,USA -Fleet Owner -Apr 24, 2009: -- Kenworth Truck Co. has announced that its AG210L single-axle and AG400L tandem-axle rear suspensions are available for ordering on its medium-duty truck models... The 21,000-lb. rated AG210L is a highway rear suspension for T270 Class 6 and T370 Class 7 models. The two-bag, rear air suspension is available for straight trucks in dry van, flatbed, service body, utility crane and van applications, and for tractors in dry van and flatbed applications... The 40,000-lb. rated AG400L is a four-bag suspension for highway rear air suspension systems, is disc brake compatible and suited for over-the-road and P&D applications. It is also available in a variety of straight truck and tractor applications... (Photo from Coke's Kenworth truck big)

* Mack SCR garbage trucks in field testing

Phoenix,AZ,USA -Fleet Owner -Apr 27, 2009: -- Republic Services, a commercial, industrial and municipal waste hauler operating in 40 states, is field testing four Mack Trucks diesel SCR-equipped, pre-production, garbage truck. The company is also testing a hybrid truck... The SCR trucks are in operation in Denver, Eden Prairie, MN, Lakeland, FL, and Ft. Lauderdale, FL... The hybrid truck, the first American-built hybrid garbage truck, according to Mack, uses diesel-electric technology that can boost fuel economy by 20% while cutting greenhouse emissions. The engine also charges an onboard energy storage system that powers an electric motor and energy is also captured during braking using regenerative braking... (Photo from Mack's green sunset garbage)


Trucking Industry's Analysis * USA - Hard times aren't hard enough?

Things are bad in the trucking industry, but they're not bad enough, an analyst said

New York,NY,USA -Associated Press/Forbes -27 April 2009: -- Donald Broughton, an analyst with Avondale Partners, said 480 trucking companies went out of business in the first quarter. While that seems like a big number, Broughton said that many more truckers still need to fail to improve demand for the remaining players... Those companies held a total of less than 1 percent of the country's total trucking capacity... And even the remaining truckers are idling less of their fleets. Less than one-third the number of trucks were turned off in the first three months of the year than in the same period a year ago. Broughton believes that lower fuel prices saved many companies from going under... Some trucking companies have been forced to slash their prices because there are still too many trucks going after too little freight... Broughton estimates that more than 5 percent of trucks need to be plucked off the road before prices will stabilize, and trucking companies can see business get better...

* Recession rocks trucking earnings

Atlanta,GA,USA -Fleet Owner, by Sean Kilcarr -Apr 27, 2009: -- It's not much of a surprise that the ongoing economic turmoil – globally and domestically – is hurting both the revenues and earnings of a wide variety of freight transportation companies. What is interesting is that many are managing to stay in the black, albeit by making large cost cuts in operations, capital spending, and a myriad of other areas... Scott Davis, chairman & CEO of United Parcel Service noted that UPS is maintaining its small package margins, has expanded its market share both domestically and overseas, and continues to generate strong cash flow. However, it is scaling back 2009 capital spending by an additional $200 million, bringing the total to just below $2 billion, he said... (Photo from UPS-hybrid)


STRIKE * Canada - Truckers Threaten Strike at Vancouver

Two companies balk at trip rates; 140 drivers set to walk out next Monday

Vancouver,BC,CAN -The Journal of Commerce (USA), by Courtney Tower -Apr 27, 2009: -- Approximately 140 owner-operator container truck drivers are threatening a strike as early as May 4 at Port Metro Vancouver, as contract negotiations with two trucking companies have broken off, the Canadian Auto Workers union said today... A strike removing that many trucks could cause a major slowdown at Port Metro Vancouver, the first serious labor issue since a crippling six-week walkout in mid-2005 by independent operators. That breakdown led to licensing of trucking companies under terms setting out pay and benefits requirements for truck drivers, and banding of independent operators into the CAW and other unions... The 140 owner-operators at Port-Team Transport and Pacific Truckings, two companies owned and operated by veteran trucking company operator Bob Simpson, voted Sunday to “strike if necessary,” said Stu Shields, CAW national representative, in Vancouver...


Clean Truck Program * USA - Federal judge overrules parts of ports' one

Los Angeles,CAL,USA -The Press-Telegram Long Beach, by Kristopher Hanson -27 April 2009: -- A federal judge has shot down portions of the ports' landmark clean-truck program, ruling that provisions like an employee-driver mandate and restrictions on where trucks can be parked cannot be enforced until a full court hearing is held... U.S. District Court Judge, Christina Snyder, said Monday that while environmental mandates on truck emissions may stand, other provisions embedded in the plan will need to be argued in court in coming months... The ruling upends protections sought by labor and environmental groups and provides a victory to trucking groups and independent truck drivers whose long-standing business model had been threatened under the plan... The American Trucking Association, backed by retailers and exporters, Sued the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles in August, saying certain provisions - but not the environmental mandates - violated Federal law and placed an unfair burden on their industry... The elements that would probably be enjoined according to her preliminary ruling are:
  • The Los Angeles requirement that all drivers be employees.
  • The Los Angeles and Long Beach requirements regarding preferential hiring, financial capability, routes and parking, and concession fees.
  • The Long Beach requirements for companies to advise drivers about health insurance opportunities.


OPINION * USA - Trucks don't need shortcuts

Auburn,NY,USA -The Citizen/Auburn Pub, by Carole Estabrook -April 27, 2009: -- Finger Lakes region residents will have one last opportunity to officially voice their opinion as part of an ongoing effort to establish regulations that would limit long-distance truckers from using seven specific rural, upstate routes, including 41A between Homer and Skaneateles, as shortcuts... And why shouldn't people come out in support of these regulations?... Research from Cornell University has shown that long-haul truck traffic on rural roads doesn't save the trucking companies any money. In fact, studies show that rural routes slow drive time and can sometimes add as much as an hour to a trucker's journey. Even avoiding tolls doesn't compensate for an extra hour of travel, especially considering fluctuations in fuel costs... The study also addresses the literal impact that truck traffic has on state roads that were not designed to handle the weight, speed and size of these vehicles. Big rigs also pose a threat to motorists and pedestrians, as large trucks can't maneuver adequately on narrow state streets, whereas the interstate was designed to handle heavy trucks and heavy truck volume... And then there's the noise and unpleasant odors, which are mild offenses in comparison... (Photo from TRUCKER RALLEY)


Apr 27, 2009

INFRASTRUCTURES FUNDS * Australia - Governments agree on $30bn transport investment

Canberra,Australia -ATN -28 April 2009: -- More than $30 billion will be injected into vital road and rail projects, after the nation’s governments agreed on a massive infrastructure program to boost productivity and meet demand... Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Anthony Albanese, says the agreement is a vital step in ensuring Australia’s transport network continues to play an important part in strengthening the economy...

* New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria will be the big winners from the scheme, with each receiving $8.6 billion, $6.8 billion and $4.4 billion respectively.
* Western Australia will collect $2.8 billion, South Australia $1.7 billion, Tasmania $800 million, the Northern Territory $590 million and the ACT $200 million. * The largest investment will be in the Pacific Highway, where $2.5 billion will be spent... (Photo: outback-australia-travel-secrets: Red Roads)



* Truck Tonnage Drops 12.2% in March

Washington,DC,USA -Transport Topics -27 April 2009: -- Truck tonnage decreased 12.2% in March compared with a year ago, falling to the lowest level since March 2002, American Trucking Associations said late Monday... The decline in the group’s for-hire seasonally adjusted truck tonnage index was the second-worst year-over-year decrease of the current cycle... The index fell 4.5% from the previous month, erasing the 4.5% increase it had made in the two months prior... ATA Chief Economist, Bob Costello, said he wasn’t too surprised about the March index. “Many fleets were telling us during March that freight was getting a little better,” he said...

* Celadon Reports Fiscal Third-Quarter Loss - Loss Is First in More Than Seven Years

Indianapolis,IN,USA -Transport Topics -27 April 2009: -- Truckload carrier Celadon Group lost $2.1 million, or 10 cents a share, in its fiscal third-quarter, compared with a profit of $100,000, or 1 cent, a year ago... The loss was the carrier’s first in more than seven years, said Chief Executive Officer, Steve Russell...

* Universal Truckload Services’ Income Drops

Warren,MI,USA -Transport Topics -27 April 2009: -- Universal Truckload Services said its net income plunged 95.8% to $100,000, or 1 cent per share, from $3.3 million, 21 cents, a year ago... Revenue fell 32.4% to $115 million, the company said in a statement...


Corruption * Kenya - Lack of trucks ensure axle load limit headed for failure

A year after Uganda joined Kenya in banning four-axle trucks on its roads, the policy is headed for failure as corruption and bribery take their toll

Nairobi,Kenya -The East African, by DAVID MALINGHA DOYA -April 26 2009: -- Industry sources and officials from the Ministry of Works and Transport say low trucking capacity in the country and feeble supervision has created a large bribery industry... Overloading benefits both freight companies and their clients as lower transport costs result in significant profit margins and lower prices... Sources in the Ministry of Works, and in private transport companies, confirmed that overloading is prevalent in sectors in which transport is a significant cost factor, particularly cement, steel and beverages... Transport and Works Minister, John Nasasira, says intelligence information indicates that corrupt officials wait for trucks a kilometre or so before the weighbridge to negotiate a bribe... Thereafter, they call their partners at the weighbridge with registration numbers and details of who has “co-operated”. “A truck that has paid a bribe will have no difficulty in driving past the weighbridge,” he said... Sources familiar with the racket said discriminatory enforcement of load limits is not just about roadside extortion but is a “organised and institutionalised corruption” involving prominent business people and highly placed bureaucrats in the ministry. They are paid hundreds of millions of shillings for their “co-operation.”... (Photo by ANTHONY KAMAU - A lorry at a weighbridge in Athi River, Nairobi. Many vehicles cross from Kenya into Uganda when they are already overloaded)


TRUCKING INDUSTRY NEWS * Australia - Lindsay Australia to grow despite recession

Brisbane,QNLD,AUST -QBR, by Michael House -28 April 2009: -- Queensland trucking, logistics and supply chain operator Lindsay Australia has announced it expects a massive rise in profits of over 50 percent at the end of the financial year... The company has projected a full year consolidated after tax profit of between $3.6 million and $4.1 million, thumbing its nose at the global financial crisis... Despite sections of the industry experiencing a credit shortage and a fall in growth, Lindsay expects to build upon its $2 million profit announced for the same period last year... Lindsay Chief Financial Officer Graham Johnston says while it is difficult to forecast such a prediction given the global financial crisis, it is based on the businesses trends over the last nine months...

* Government cuts speed limit on highway

Brisbane,QNLD,AUST -ATN -28 April 2009: -- The Queensland Government will reduce the speed limit on a key road freight route in an effort to slash the number of accidents... As part of a number of safety initiatives being undertaken by the Department of Main Roads, the speed limit on the Mount Lindesay Highway will be revised from 100km/h to 90km/h... The 10km/h drop follows an analysis of the highway, which determined a drop in speed would cut the likelihood of accidents...(Picture from


TRUCKING ANALYSIS * Australia - Truckers advised to lower speeds, maximise capacity

Logistics is facing further obstacles this year following a particularly tough 2008...

Queensland,Australia -Queensland Business Review -27 April 2009: -- Logistics is ranked seventh in the IBISWorld report of top-10 sectors feeling the pinch of the financial crisis... Freight volumes are falling sharply, resulting in an overly competitive market and tight margins... Trucking industry revenue is expected to fall a further 3.4 percent, while profit remains at around 0.2 percent... In addition, the report says approximately 5,500 jobs will be slashed... However, clamping down on trucking costs is listed as a top suggestion to protect margins... Operators should also aim to lower average speeds, follow less-congested alternate routes and reduce braking and acceleration... Taking advantage of capacity will ensure that costs per unit are reduced, while cutting back on the number of trucks in operation will also reduce excess capacity...
(Photo from Australian Truck: Melbourne, Adelaide)


TRUCKMAKER'S COMMENT * USA - Trucking Faces Core Changes

The entire North American trucking industry is in the midst of a fundamental reshaping, which will lead to flat tonnage levels for fleets and fewer truck manufacturers producing much more expensive vehicles and mostly in Mexico...

Oxon Hill,MD,USA -Transport Topics, by Jonathan S. Reiskin -27 April 2009: -- ... Said James Hebe, Navistar Inc.’s senior vice president for North American sales operations, at the American Truck Dealers’ annual meeting here on April 20 that, although the current recession started in late 2007, trucking’s downturn began a year earlier... He anticipates something of a truck sales surge during the second half of this year, but only so buyers can avoid more expensive 2010 trucks equipped with new emissions controls... Carrier managers, he said, are ever more selective about the freight they haul. Furthermore, he said, there might be fewer loads to haul... Hebe predicted higher federal taxes will cut consumers’ discretionary spending, resulting in slow growth or no growth in demand for trucking services... Owner-operators, Hebe said, will vanish because of high fuel and equipment prices and the anticipated rise of electronic onboard recorders. EOBRs are noteworthy, Hebe said, in that a key strategy for some owner-operators has been to run longer than federal hours-of-service rules permit... “That is the death knell for owner-operators. They can’t survive by running legal,” he said... As for the trucks being sold today, Hebe said they are of far higher quality than those made years ago, which means they last longer. Coupled with less freight and shorter routes, the result will be lower truck sales and production, leading to a contraction in truck manufacturing... “We will be a smaller industry"... Less production means fewer economies of scale and, therefore, higher per-unit costs. Adding in a prediction for a return of high inflation, Hebe said truck prices will rise sharply...

* Navistar Says Trucks Qualify for More CARB Vouchers

Warrenville,ILL,USA -Transport Topics -27 April 2009: -- Navistar International Corp. said Monday that it has received total hybrid vehicle certification from the California Air Resources Board, becoming the the first truck and bus manufacturer to do so... Under a program CARB approved Friday, purchases of commercial hybrid vehicles can receive incentives ranging from $10,000 to $35,000 per vehicle. But purchasers of Navistar hybrid trucks and buses will receive addition $5,000 vouchers, Navistar said... The CARB program sets aside $25 million for the incentive program, which is part of a California assembly bill aimed at deploying hybrid commercial vehicles, Navistar said...

* Wabash National Looks to Uncertain Future

Lafayette,IN,USA -Trailer Body Builders -Apr 20, 2009: -- Wabash National has expressed concerns about its viability in documents the company has filed with the Security and Exchange Commission... Wabash did not file the report until mid-April, a delay caused in part by efforts to renegotiate financial commitments... The trailer manufacturer said that it has limited liquidity and may need to arrange for additional liquidity on terms described as “unfavorable.”... The company also said that it likely will need to issue new equity or obtain additional sources debt...