User-agent: Mediapartners-Google* Disallow: Trucks World News: October 2010

Oct 30, 2010

SAFE ROADS * UK - White van man tamed with satellite technology, says Masternaut

London,UK -Transport Engineer -29 Oct 2010: -- Allegedly notorious dangerous driving by 'white van man' may be on the wane, as tracking firm Masternaut reports 70,000 vehicles now in its sights on UK roads... With Masternaut telematics, driving performance is automatically monitored and alerted – and that includes recording vehicle speed against speed limit, as well as checking for excessive fuel consumption and rapid breaking or acceleration... Facilities management firm Romec says it has already reduced speeding by 82%, since installing Masternaut. Lee Russell, IS Business Partner at Romec, says that the system has also cut fines by 26% and reduced its road traffic accidents by 28%... And Total Foodservice Solutions, which uses the system in conjunction with the SAFED training programme, comments that it is saving 10% in annual fuel costs, according to Paul Nowell, operations manager...  (Photo: White van man tamed with satellite technology says Masternaut)


ELECTRIC TRUCKS SALES * UK - Ocado in trials of Isuzu electric five tonners

London,EN,UK -Transport Engineer -29 Oct 2010: -- Ocado, the online supermarket home delivery firm, is currently trialling two Isuzu Forward N-series electric five-tonne light trucks in London's White City area... Ocado in trials of Isuzu electric five tonnersBoth were built in partnership with Paneltex (Hull) – which manufactured the all-electric drive-train and refrigerated body – and are fully automatic. They operate without a conventional gearbox and take power from permanent on-board batteries that are charged overnight... Ocado went for the five tonners in place of its normal 3.5-tonne gvw vehicles for home delivery, to enable adequate payload, given the extra weight of the batteries... The firm also likes the hexapod design cab, because it doesn't compromise the vehicle's overall dimensions...


DRIVERS' SHORTAGE * Estonia - Road carrier: I would hire 500 drivers tomorrow

Tartu, Eesti,Estonia -Baltic Business, by Toomas Hõbemägi -29 Oct 2010: -- Estonian road carrier Hert-Transport that specialises in transport of new cars on special trailers says that the company's biggest problem is lack of workforce. The company's chairman and owner Tarmo Tschernjavski says that there are so many projects, but not enough workers to do them... Tschernjavski told Ärpäev that the company is ready to hire 500 people from Estonia to drive its car carriers. Hert-Transport serves large car factories such as Renault, Ford, Peugeot and Citroen and car distribution centres, mainly in Europe and customs warehouses in Russia, in particular in Moscow... According to Tchernjavki, the company has idle trucks since there are no drivers. On the upside, there are no leasing costs and owns have the fleet...    Says Aivar Pehme, founder of M-Partner, the demand for a few years is 500 drivers, adding that at present most drivers are Latvians, Lithuanians, Russians and Ukrainians... At present Hert-Transport has 80 employees. Estonia's largest road carriers are Parme Trans with about 150 employees and AS Linford that has 120 employees...


FREIGHT COSTS * Canada - Shippers See Broader Cost Increase

Freight cost index shows higher rates spreading beyond truckload sector

Toronto,ONT,Canada -The Journal of Commerce Online, by William B. Cassidy -Oct 27, 2010: -- Canadian shippers are paying higher truckload rates and cross-border and less-than-truckload prices are rising as well, the Canadian General Freight Index says... The latest update to the CGFI shows a 1.5 percent increase in overall freight costs for shippers in August from the previous month, and a 1.7 percent rise in base rates... It was the fourth consecutive monthly increase in the CGFI since it reached a low point in April 2010, according to Nulogx, which sponsors the index... Ground transportation costs in Canada were up 4.5 percent from a year ago in their second consecutive monthly year-over-year increase, the index said... The CGFI tracks changes in transportation prices paid by Canadian shippers, excluding bulk, liquid and other specialty transportation services... Nulogx is a Canadian freight payment and transportation management firm that handles more than $750 million in annual transactions...


CLEAN TRUCKS * USA - Port of Oakland Enrolls 5,000th Truck in Security Program

Secure Truck Enrollment Program designed to reduce pollution, improve security

Oakland,CAL,USA -The Journal of Commerce Online, by Bill Mongelluzzo -Oct 28, 2010: ... The Port of Oakland Thursday celebrated a milestone in its Secure Truck Enrollment Program. There are now 5,000 trucks enrolled in the system... The STEP initiative is a component of Oakland's Comprehensive Truck Management Program, which is designed to reduce pollution and improve security in the harbor trucking sector... STEP was funded through Proposition 1B, a measure passed by California voters in 2006... (Photo from Map of San Francisco and the Port of Oakland)


Truck Trailer Orders * USA - Nearly Triple in September

Equipment demand, tonnage increased in September after falling in August

New York,NY,USA -The Journal of Commerce Online, by William B. Cassidy -Oct 29, 2010: -- Commercial truck trailer orders nearly tripled from a year ago in September and rose 19 percent from order levels in August, according to ACT Research... Net trailer orders were at their highest volume since May, when a surge in inventory restocking by retailers and corporate spending accelerated shipping demand... Vieth said, orders jumped 182 percent from a year ago...  The sequential increase, in particular, seems surprising, as the economy has been seen as slowing and freight volumes slipping in recent months... The surge in orders may represent demand for equipment to replace older units. The trailer market suffered its worst year in the past five decades in 2009... Heavy truck orders also surged in September, typically a weak sales month. Net Class 8 truck orders rose 23.2 percent from August and 37 percent from a year ago... The increase in truck and trailer orders tracked an increase in for-hire truck tonnage in September reported by the American Trucking Associations... The ATA's seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index rose 1.7 percent in September after dropping in August and was up 5.1 percent from a year ago... The tonnage gain reflects an economy that is "barely growing," said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. Truck volumes leveled off over the summer, he said... (Photo by seriousaccidents: Semi Truck)


Basic Fatigue Management * Australia - Allow split rest breaks as of right, ATA says

Canberra,Australia -ATA The Friday Facts -29 October 2010: -- Truck drivers working under Basic Fatigue Management should have more ability to split their long rest breaks, so they can focus on resting when they are fatigued, ATA Chief Executive Stuart St Clair said today...  Truck drivers accredited to work under Basic Fatigue Management are required to take a long rest break of seven hours in any 24-hour period. Truck drivers can mount a court defence for not taking this break if they instead took a six-hour break and a separate two-hour break in the same 24-hour period; for example, as a result of having to move their truck... Stuart said truck drivers should be able to split their long rest break into a two-hour break and a six-hour break as of right, provided they did not split their rest on two consecutive days... Stuart said the availability of split rest as a defence in court was not working, because drivers feared that defending a split rest breach would be costly and time consuming... He said the NTC’s preferred approach – to continue allowing the possibility of split rest breaks under Advanced Fatigue Management – would also not help, because AFM was simply beyond the reach of many drivers and companies... The ATA submission recommends that drivers using BFM should be able to work on a 14-day cycle, provided it included two full days of rest with sleep largely during night hours. The two rest days would not need to be consecutive... The submission supports the NTC’s recommendation that the night rest period under BFM should start at 9.00pm rather than 10.00pm, to accommodate drivers in rural areas who often commence work very early in the morning... It also calls on the NTC to take rapid action to resolve the problems caused by state road transport agencies using different time counting rules...  (Photo from Australian's trucks convoy)

* Australian Government announces improved rest areas in Victoria

Melbourne,Victoria, Australia -ATA Friday Facts -29 Oct 2010: -- In the coming months, six rest areas along the Hume Freeway will be rebuilt and seven bridges within Victoria’s Green Triangle will be made strong enough to carry the recently announced innovative combinations that will run on the roads... Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister, Anthony Albanese, said the projects will be funded as part of the second and final round of the Government's $70 million Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program... The $8.19 million in funding for the projects within the Green Triangle and along the Hume Freeway supplement the $11 million already committed by the Victorian Government... In conjunction with the announcement, VicRoads has released its new rest area strategy, which seeks to reduce fatigue-related incidents on the road by taking a holistic approach to the construction and location of rest stop areas across Victoria... (see here: Location of rest area and bridge upgrades - Photo from roadtraffic-technology: 1 Hume Freeway)


OPINION * Australia - Is this the start of something big?

(Video from YouTube, by tgilesau -28 Oct 2010: This A-double combination was built for Woods to run at 30 meters and 79 tonnes into Brisbane Port from Toowoomba. It's the first PBS vehicle of its type in Queensland)

Brisbane,Queensland,Australia -eTruck, by Tim Giles -October 29, 2010: -- This week the Performance Based Standards (PBS) scheme got a shot in the arm with the unveiling of three A-double combinations at O’Phee’s Trailers in Brisbane. They will run at 79 tonnes and 30 metres long hauling two 25 tonne containers at a time from Toowoomba on the Great Dividing Range down to the port in Brisbane. Currently the job is done with single trailers, the number of truck movements of grain in this particular application will be halved... Victoria do have quite a few extra long tipper and dogs on the road. There are also quite a few super B-doubles on severely restricted routes around Melbourne and Brisbane ports. These are hardly going to change the shape of the transport industry... Of course there will be problems and it certainly won’t progress anything like as fast as the trucking industry wants. New South Wales are still very negative about really useful innovation, but when operators there see the gains made the pressure will increase for change... As a cynic it is easy to believe this is yet another proof this extremely expensive and complex scheme will be wasted, getting just a few well designed and highly productive niche operations up and running while the rest of the industry have to continue to battle with overly restrictive prescriptive road rules and ever increasing compliance costs. It’s one of those ‘glass half full, glass half empty’, we have to hope the outlook seems bright but sometimes its is sometimes difficult to remain positive as state and local authorities seem to be forever nitpicking and raising last minute objections...


Oct 29, 2010

News Analysis * USA - Sensationalized wreck report skims surface, hurts trucking industry

The trucking industry takes bullets about safety every day without having to deal with media reports that just skim the surface

Justice,ILL,USA -The Trucker -28 Oct 2010: -- Sadly, there’s been another horrific fatal crash involving a tractor-trailer, and once again, the mainstream media is calling attention to the safety record of big rigs, in this case we feel with somewhat sensationalized information and quotes from an organization more than willing to jump on the industry’s driving record... Late Sunday about 11 p.m., a big rig owned by Globe Carrier of Justice, Ill., slammed into a line of seven vehicles stopped on Interstate 26 near Asheville, N.C.... In reporting the accident, both the Asheville Citizen-Times and The Associated Press noted that Globe Carrier had been cited for safety violations 21 times in the past 30 months... That is accurate, but what both media failed to report is that during that time period, 10 of those violations occurred during one inspection in Pennsylvania last January... What’s more, it failed to report that two of those violations were for regulations that no longer exist and five could easily have been “stacked,” according to a reliable commercial vehicle inspections source... On the Pennsylvania inspection report, there were three entries for an “inoperable required lamp,” which could and should easily have been lumped into one entry, the source said... In addition, the driver was cited twice for operating a CMV without periodic inspection, which meant that the driver wasn’t carrying the proper inspection papers on both the truck and trailer... The driver was also cited for no pre-trip inspection and not having a driver vehicle inspection report... Both of those requirements were wiped off the regulations 10 years ago, the source said... By the way, we checked the records of a major carrier with one of the best safety records in the industry, and during a one-week period in September, the company had 21 violations of FMCSA regulations, including bad brakes, logbook violations and bald tires... Oh yes, the company’s drivers had over 300 moving violations during the past 30 months...   (Photo from The Asheville's Citizen Times, by Margaret Hester - A wreck on I-26 caused the closure of both lanes of traffic late Sunday evening, early Monday morning. Workers work to clear the I-26 East lane. 25 Oct 10)

* But do those violations make that company unsafe?

Justice,ILL,USA -The Trucker -28 Oct 2010: -- Just as the reported violations against Globe Carrier do not necessarily make that company unsafe... By the way, the accident probably has put Globe out of business... The company apparently had only one truck and trailer... There won’t be an investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board, a spokesman there said... Don’t get us wrong... We were horrified and saddened upon hearing about the North Carolina accident...
That means since June 2009, 26 people have died in big rig accidents that involved five or more fatalities... That’s 26 more than have died in commercial aviation accidents... Two of those accidents involved trucks that plowed into the back of traffic stopped because of an accident... But as members of the media, we must dig deeper into the facts and report more than just surface numbers, which inflame the public and fire up the big rig wreck attorneys... And bring on fiery anti-trucking editorials such as the one that appeared in today’s Citizen-Times... The trucking industry takes bullets about safety every day without having to deal with media reports that just skim the surface... (Photo from A wreck on I-26 caused the closure of both lanes of traffic late Sunday evening, early Monday morning. The wreck in the eastbound lane of I-26 involved multiple cars)



* USA - Class 8 truck demand to improve next year

Columbus,OH,USA -Truck News (CAN) -Oct 26, 2010: -- An annual fleet study conducted by CK Commercial Vehicle Research in the US indicates there will be strong demand for Class 8 trucks in 2011... The fleet survey shows a 47% increase in the number of fleets who plan new Class 8 and medium-duty power unit purchases in 2011 compared to those who planned to buy in 2010... The survey included 68 representatives from US fleets operating a total of 45,000 Class 8 and 12,000 medium-duty trucks... (Image from supposeudrive: Refrig Truck Fleet)

* Canada  - Is Ontario fleet optimism wavering?

Toronto,ONT,CAN -Truck News -29 Oct 2010: -- The majority of Ontario fleets responding to the Ontario Trucking Association's Q4 Business e-Pulse Survey are still optimistic, but some are less optimistic than they were just three months before...   The Q4 survey of 70 Ontario carriers shows 62% of respondents are optimistic about the trucking industry's prospects for the next three months, an 11% drop compared to the Q3 survey...   More than a quarter of respondents said they were "unsure" what the fourth quarter would bring. The OTA says optimism may have peaked in the last quarter for the time being as economic growth slows to a crawl...   Sixty per cent of fleets surveyed said their freight volumes have increased compared to a year ago with 21% reporting increases greater than 10%. However, a softening of freight growth has been noted in the second and third quarters...   Just 36% of fleets reported southbound US freight volumes had improved over the past three months, making the southbound market the "weak link" in terms of volumes, the OTA reported. Of the four markets examined (southbound, northbound US, intra-Ontario and interprovincial), southbound freight growth is the weakest. In fact, 21% of fleets reported southbound volumes had decreased over the past three month...   Fifty-four per cent of fleets said they will be hiring company drivers in the next three months, up 10% from the last quarter. Forty-two per cent said they will add owner/operators. Most fleets, however, will not be adding to their net fleet size. Just 44% of fleets indicated they would be adding tractors to their fleet... (Photo from irwinloy: Mail delivery trucks courtesy of the kind folks at Canada Post)

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Driving Distractions * USA & Canada - Cell phone restrictions in a dozen states, provinces

Seven states have hand-held cell phone bans in place -  Most Canadian provinces have now forbidden the use of hand-held cell phones

Grain Valley,Missouri,USA -Land Line Magazine. by Keith Goble -27 Oct 2010: -- For the past several years, efforts to reduce driving distractions for everyone have been a popular topic among elected officials. Various states and provinces have responded by putting in place outright bans on holding a cell phone up to your ear while driving... Seven states have hand-held cell phone bans in place. The states are California, Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Oregon and Washington... The District of Columbia also outlaws the use of hand-held cell phones while driving. In Delaware, a hand-held ban takes effect Jan. 2, 2011. Illinois bans the use of cell phones while driving in highway work zones and school zones... Violations in each state and DC are a primary offense, except in Maryland... Most Canadian provinces have now forbidden the use of hand-held cell phones. The provinces are British Columba, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland/Labrador... There are no states or provinces that ban hands-free cell phone use for all drivers... (Picture from free-press-release)


RULES * USA - Load securement lawsuit pits driver against shipper

Motor carriers aren’t the only party responsible for load securement, the shipper may be held responsible too

Philadelphia,PA.,USA -Land Line Magazine, by Charlie Morasch -27 Oct 2010: -- If the shipper loaded the cargo and the driver has brought improper load securement to the shipper’s attention, should shippers be held responsible for truck wrecks caused by shifting loads? ...   The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit ruled Oct. 18 that motor carriers aren’t the only party responsible for load securement, and said the shipper may be held responsible...   The ruling reversed a summary judgment decision by U.S. District Judge, Sylvia Rambo, who had ruled that FMCSA regulations require the motor carrier exclusively to safely secure cargo to prevent shifting...   The appeals court concluded in its October ruling that the “primary duty to assure that a load does not shift in transit generally rests with the carrier and its driver,” the three-judge panel wrote... (Picture from cathedralgrove: Loaded Trucks Leaving Log Dump)


REGULATIONS * Canada - Sets its own truck efficiency standards

Gatineau,QC,Canada -Land Line Magazine, by David Tanner -27 Oct 2010:  --  Following an announcement in the U.S. that would create the first ever fuel economy and emissions standards for medium- and heavy-duty trucks, the government of Canada has issued its own set of targets...   Jim Prentice, minister of Environment Canada, issued a “regulatory framework” that targets greenhouse gas emissions and fuel consumption in new heavy duty trucks. Like the U.S. proposal, it targets emissions and fuel consumption for model years 2014 through 2018...   The announcement by Prentice is part of a greater federal initiative in Canada to reduce emissions by 17 percent from 2005 levels by the year 2020. The framework issued by Prentice on Monday, Oct. 25, also calls for increased efficiency for cars... Click here to review the regulatory framework of the Canadian proposal. Canadian leaders would like a final regulation in place by December 2011...  (Picture from Canadian Securiguard's staff on duty)

* Canada - CAN I SEE YOUR LICENCE? ...

Toronto,ONT,CAN -Truck News -2 Nov 2010: -- Ontario fleets that aren't running quarterly licence status verifications on their drivers may soon have good reason to do so. Bill 126, The Road Safety Act, 2009, has received Royal Assent and will allow police to impound for seven days any vehicle operated by a driver with a suspended licence. Losing your licence is easier than ever in Ontario; it can be yanked for falling behind on child support or for blowing over 0.05, even though the legal limit is 0.08. In these instances, a driver may show up for work and continue to drive rather than risk repercussions at work... Proposed amendments to the rule provide commercial vehicle owners with some leeway, provided they can show "evidence of a quarterly licence record check" within 48 hours. The OTA and VerX Direct both offer driver licence verification services. Compared to the costs of having a truck and a load impounded, regular status checks may be a pretty good investment...



* Germany - Daimler Posts 3Q Profit; Truck Sales Jump 44%

Stuttgart,Germany -Transport Topics -28 Oct 2010: -- Daimler AG said its third-quarter worldwide truck sales jumped 44% from a year ago and that its truck unit would post a profit before interest and taxes of more than $1.5 billion for the full year...   It sold 94,813 trucks in the quarter, up from 66,071 a year ago, the company said Thursday. Truck revenue rose 47% to $8.9 billion...   Earnings before interested and taxes at the truck unit were about $700 million, compared with a loss of $175 million a year ago...   Daimler AG’s overall net profit for the quarter was $2.2 billion, compared with $78 million a year ago...   Overall revenue jumped to $34.8 billion, from about $26.8 billion a year ago. Germany-based Daimler reports its earnings in euros...

* Sweden - Truck maker Volvo returns to profit in Q3

Stockholm,Sweden -Associated Press/The Detroit News, by Louise Nordstrom -October 22. 2010:  --  Swedish truck maker AB Volvo said Friday it returned to a profit in the third quarter, helped by strong demand in Brazil, India, China and Russia as well as a rebound in its mature markets... The Goteborg-headquartered group reported a net profit of 2.8 billion kronor ($421 million) in the quarter, in contrast with last year's loss of 2.9 billion kronor. Revenues soared 32 percent to 64 billion kronor from 48.5 billion kronor... Still, the share fell 0.7 percent to 95.10 kronor ($14.31) in midday trading on the Stockholm stock exchange. Some market watchers blamed the fact that some of the profits were not related to the group's core business, but rather to other operating income such as trading gains... Volvo said almost half of its total sales came from outside its traditional markets, including Brazil, India, China and Russia, but that both North America and the European truck market were performing well, too...

* Germany - MAN raises outlook on global truck trade

Frankfurt,Germany -The Financial Times (UK), by Daniel Schäfer-Oct 29 2010: -- MAN has raised its full-year outlook for profits and sales after the German truck and diesel engine-maker beat analysts’ estimates in the third quarter... The group’s operating profit more than doubled to €324m year on year from July to September, as a sharp rebound in the truck business mixed with a small profit drop in the group’s diesel and turbo engine division...

* India - Ashok Leyland expects sales leap

Mumbai,India -The Financial Times (UK), by Joe Leahy -October 27 2010: -- Ashok Leyland, India’s second-largest truckmaker, is expecting a 50 per cent increase in sales this financial year as buoyant economic growth drives the country’s construction and transportation industries... Dheeraj Hinduja, the new chairman of Ashok Leyland, said the expected surge in sales from 63,000 in the 12 months ending March 31 this year to 90,000 to 95,000 by the end of next financial year, comes as the company is also looking to expand into Europe and eventually Latin America...

* India - 'M & M / Navistar JV is a potent combination'

Mumbai,India -The Economic India Times, by Lijee Philip -28 Oct, 2010: -- After initial hiccups, the Mahindra- Navistar joint venture is getting its act together by stepping up investments in innovation, product launches and services. Rakesh Kalra, managing director of the JV, in an exclusive interview with ET talks, about how the company is betting on 25 and 31-tonne trucks to be launched in the country this festive season to take on competition in the high-end commercial vehicle market...   Competition in India’s high-end commercial vehicle market is getting more fierce. How will your products differentiate in an expanding market? ...  We had some hiccups since the tie-up in 2005 — in terms of finding a suitable product for the domestic and the international market, understanding the customer needs, location of the project and short-listing dealerships — which did impact our launch plans. Now, we are ready with 25 and 31 tonne trucks. We have also managed to set up 60-odd dealerships for the trucks, supported by 30 of the existing M & M network. The products will use the best of technology, but are designed for the Indian market...   (Photo from motoroids: Mahindra & Mahindra's Xylo pick-up, new Scorpio SUV concept and Navistar engine based Maxximo truck)

* USA - Caterpillar-Navistar -NC2- venture starts up in Brazil and South Africa

Warrensville,ILL,USA -Fleet Owner -Oct 29, 2010: -- NC2 Global, the joint truck venture between Caterpillar and Navistar, has started operations in both Brazil and South Africa. The venture was set up last September to produce trucks for global markets under the Cat and International nameplates...   The company will be investing nearly $200 million in Brazil to purchase equipment and set up research and development in addition to hiring and training employees...   Production will take place in Navistar’s Caxias do Sul (RS) facility in the short term, but the company said plans call for the construction of a new assembly plant in the future...   RS has an agreement in place to develop and produce trucks with NC2 technology in one of the industrial units of Agrale, a Brazilian truck and tractor maker. A $10-million investment in the plant will create 150 jobs next year, the company noted...   The 2012 launch of the new COE trucks will include 15 models, ranging from 10 tons to 74 tons GCW with engines ranging from 180 to over 500 hp...   In South Africa, the company will do business as NC2 Trucks Southern Africa, replacing Navistar International Trucks Southern Africa. NC2 has acquired all the assets of that company... (Photo from roadtransport/big-lorry-blog (UK): NAV/CAT's NC2 model truck)


Oct 28, 2010

STRIKES EUROPE * France - Dockworkers to Strike Oct. 28

Nationwide protest ebbs, but ocean carriers cancel calls, reroute

Paris,France -The Journal of Commerce Online, by Bruce Barnard -Oct 27, 2010: -- French dockworkers will walk off the job for 24 hours Oct. 28 as part of a nationwide protest against pension reform that appears to be losing momentum... Ocean carriers are responding to the third 24-hour dockworkers’ strike this month by cancelling calls at French ports and advising shippers to re-route their French consignments through other ports in northwest Europe and the Mediterranean... A second port strike planned for Nov. 6 is in doubt, however, after the National Assembly voted Wednesday to raise the pension age to 62 from 60, paving the way for President Sarkozy to sign the controversial measure into a law within a couple of weeks... The government is now expected to focus its attention on the strike by dockworkers at Marseille over plans to partially privatize stevedoring at the port’s oil terminals...   Truckers were busy for several days, disrupting traffic on motorways around Paris, Lille, Rennes and Lyon. However, the fuel shortages might disable these activities...    (Photo from sea-seek: Air view, Port of Marseille,France)

* Europe - France isn't the only country with labour issues

Brussels,Belgium -eye for transport (UK) -26 Oct 2010:     -- While the French strikes may inspire shipping lines to call at other EU ports instead:

* A 24-hour strike in Belgium brought Eurostar trains operating between London and Brussels to a halt on Monday.

* A nationwide transportation strike in Italy that was originally planned for September 30th, now takes place today and tomorrow (October 21st and 22nd). Furthermore, Alitalia pilots plan a 24-hour strike on Monday October 25th, and a general transport strike is planned for Friday October 29th.

* In Spain, less than a month after a general strike, air traffic controllers in the Canary Islands planned to strike today despite threats of dismissal, affecting Gran Canaria, Tenerife sur Fuerteventura and La Palma airports.

* In Portugal, a general strike has been announced for November 24th.


TRUCKING INDUSTRY * USA & Canada - YRC Lenders Extend $325 Million Financing

* USA / Kansas - Banks would give trucker until Jan. 10 to win Teamster concessions

Overland Park,KN,USA -The Journal of Commerce Online, by William B. Cassidy -Oct 27, 2010: -- YRC Worldwide's lenders gave the company some financial wiggle room as the clock ticks down on a critical Teamster vote on wage and benefit concessions...   The lenders extended an asset-backed financing agreement with the trucker until Jan. 10 even if employees reject a restructuring agreement this week...   That ensures the $325 million financing agreement won't be yanked if the labor agreement is rejected and gives the company and union time to seek a second vote...   Earlier in the month, YRC's lenders extended the company's asset-backed loan until Oct. 19, 2011, if the Teamsters approve concessions...   The Teamsters are voting on a plan that would extend wage and benefit cuts approved last year and reduce company pension contributions 75 percent...  

* USA / Missouri - Trucking industry worries about new emission rules

Joplin,MO,USA -The Joplin Globe, by Andy Ostmeyer -October 25, 2010: -- Trucking company officials and drivers today said they don’t disagree with the goals of cleaner air and lower fuel consumption... But they worry about the impact that new rules being proposed out of Washington may have on their bottom line... Stockton, vice president for Con-Way Truckload, based in Joplin, also said his company buys 55 million gallons of diesel fuel a year, so lowering fuel consumption even by 10 percent means savings of millions of dollars each year... On the other hand, the trucking industry already has gone through three government-mandated phases in the last decade to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and each of those added thousands of dollars to the cost of trucks and hundreds of pounds of equipment... On Monday, the Obama Administration laid out its target of cutting 250 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually beginning with trucks made in 2014... (Photo by T. Rob Brown/Globe: Dave Corwin, of Melbourne, Iowa, a driver for Crete Carrier Corp., clears up his view Monday while refueling at the Flying J truck stop in Joplin. He said increased environmental regulations on the trucking industry are needed, but they come at a heavy price)

* Canada / Ontario - Robert Transport orders 180 LNG-powered Petes: ""This is a win-win for both the environment and our company."

Boucherville,QBC,CAN -Truck News -Oct 29, 2010: -- Robert Transport has placed an order for 180 Class 8 Peterbilt trucks fueled by natural gas...   The significant order comes in partnership with Gaz Metro, which will be installing three refueling sites along the 401 corridor between Quebec City and Mississauga, Ont. The trucks will be powered by Westport HD's 15-litre GX engine and will run off liquefied natural gas (LNG)...   "This is the single largest order for LNG Trucks powered by Westport HD," said David Demers, CEO of Westport Innovations. "It's evidence that natural gas is gaining momentum as a mainstream transportation fuel in Canada. With the imperative to reduce GHG emissions from heavy-duty transport and the Quebec government's incentives, companies like Robert Transport and Gaz Metro are helping deploy natural gas transportation solutions to help reduce emissions" ... (Photo from Robert Transport's truck)

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* USA - September Truck Tonnage Rises 5.1%. Month-to-Month Index Reading Improves 1.7%

Arlington,VA,USA -Transport Topics -27 Oct 2010: -- Truck tonnage rose 5.1% in September, the 10th straight year-over-year increase, American Trucking Associations said Tuesday... The upturn put the index at a reading of 108.7, with the year 2000 a baseline reading of 100, ATA said in its monthly seasonally adjusted for-hire truck tonnage index... Tonnage is up 6.1% for the year compared with the same period in 2009, the group reported... September tonnage improved 1.7% from August, turning around a previously reported 2.7% July-to-August decline that had been the biggest monthly drop in more than a year. ATA revised that decline to a 2.8% downturn...  Costello said that this month, the trucking industry is significantly smaller than it was prior to the recession, but as a result is better equipped to deal with slower-than-normal tonnage growth... ATA calculates the tonnage each month based on reports by its member trucking companies...

* USA - September a good month for spot market freight: TransCore

Portland,ORE,USA -Truck News (CAN)-Oct 26, 2010: -- TransCore's North American Freight Index remained strong through September, posting the highest spot market truck freight availability since 2005... The index was up 65% compared to September 2009. TransCore predicts year-over-year increases will be progressively less dramatic in the coming months, since volumes began their improvement in the fourth quarter of 2009... On a month-over-month basis, September's load volume was up 4.9% over August. TransCore notes much of the incremental volume materialized late in the month as shippers rushed freight out the door before closing their third quarters... TransCore's North American index also showed a slight uptick in truckload freight rates on the sport market... (Image from transcorefreightsolutions: spot market index)

* Canada - Ground transportation rates continue to rise

Toronto,ONT,CAN -Truck News -Oct 29, 2010:  --   Ground transportation freight rates in Canada posted a fourth consecutive month of increase in August, up 1.5% over July...  That marks the fourth straight month of increases since the Canadian General Freight Index (CGFI) reached a low point in April...   "Increases in overall freight costs for Canadian shippers continue to be driven by the domestic truckload sector," said Doug Payne, president of Nulogx. "While truckload is leading the way, we also now see a strengthening of the LTL and transborder rates" ..


TECHNO-NEWS * USA - Early Results Validate EOBR Initial Field Trial Objectives

NavStar Technologies, Inc. Update on Field Trial to Electronically Record Hours of Service to Comply With the US Trucking Industry Mandate

Anaheim,CAL,USA -MARKETWIRE via COMTEX -Oct 27, 2010: -- NavStar Technologies, Inc., a company focused on producing and commercializing products and services for tracking/monitoring and reporting on the location and condition of high value cargo and other assets, today announced that an extensive review of the data collected from the Electronic On Board Recorder (EOBR) East Coast trial has verified that current software applications and data collected will satisfy the EOBR mandate for reporting hours of service (HOS).The next step is to validate the report format with the Department of Transportation (DOT) and to totally understand their exact requirements... Another objective of the East Coast trial was to understand the hardware requirements, along with interface and connectivity challenges so that adjustments can be implemented on our NSTRAK tracking and monitoring devices. Early results would indicate that current hardware with minor modifications will meet all mandated requirements for EOBR while providing valuable productivity and efficiency tools for the individual trucking companies... (Photo from navstarinc: Fleet Management System -FMS-)

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Carbon Tax * UK - The government renamed and delayed carbon reduction plan

The Carbon Reduction Commitment

London,UK -The Financial Times -October 27 2010: -- Committing to austerity in the UK means breaking other commitments. Last week the government took Labour’s already renamed and delayed carbon reduction plan – the Carbon Reduction Commitment – and effectively killed it. Under the original rules the 5,000 businesses involved – with annual power bills of about £500,000 each – would pay a tax of £12 per tonne of carbon emitted, compete with each other to be the most efficient energy users, and trade associated permits. The best operators would receive a refund greater than the amount they had paid...   Now, renamed the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme, it will merely take the money raised – perhaps about £3.5bn over four years – and stash it in the government’s coffers. Sure, the Treasury needs cash, but it is baffling that the unique competition-based mechanism has been junked. As the scheme was revenue-neutral, keeping it would have made no difference to the chancellor. Now, an all-stick-no-carrot approach will raise costs for business, while killing the incentive for a company to reduce its environmental footprint...   (Picture from petrol)