User-agent: Mediapartners-Google* Disallow: Trucks World News: February 2012

Feb 29, 2012


* GM may buy 7 percent Peugeot stake

Paris,France/Detroit,MICH,USA -Bloomberg News, by Aaron Kirchfeld, Jackie Simmons, Jeff McCracken and Zijing Wu -February 28, 2012: -- PSA Peugeot Citroen may announce as soon as this week plans to sell a stake of about 7 percent in the French carmaker to General Motors Co. as part of a development alliance, people familiar with the matter said... The deal would involve a standstill agreement by which GM would not take a greater holding in the Paris-based carmaker without permission, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private. Financial daily, Les Echos, cited unnamed sources saying that GM might initially take a stake of under 5 percent in PSA Peugeot Citroen... A GM-Peugeot alliance may include developing engines and building vehicles together in the region, a person familiar said last week... GM, the world's largest carmaker, is looking for ways to turn around its unprofitable Opel brand, while Peugeot is seeking to stem a growing debt load. Peugeot's 2011 sales in Europe plunged 8.8 percent to 1.68 million vehicles. GM's dropped 1.9 percent to 1.17 million. Auto executives expect deliveries in the region to shrink in 2012 for a fifth year... No final agreement has been reached on the alliance and the size of the stake could change, the people said...

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* Emerging Market trucks: revenues set to soar

Boston,MASS,USA -The Financial Times (UK), by Keyur Patel -February 28, 2012: -- The US may have been the world’s fastest growing big car market in 2011 - but according to the Boston Consulting Group, it looks like emerging markets will continue to dominate the global truck industry over the next decade... In a report released on Tuesday, the US-based management consultancy said it expected truck sales in the Bric markets to grow to almost five times their 2000 level by 2020, What’s more, low-cost trucks will lose their dominance, replaced by a rapidly growing ‘midmarket’ – meaning that manufacturers should see their revenues surge... In 2010, the Brics accounted for almost three quarters of global truck sales – up from a third just 10 years earlier. That’s set to slip to 64 per cent by 2020, as other EMs and mature markets both make small gains, but still represents a sizable majority... At present, the global truck market is dominated by two broad segments: low-cost and premium. As you’d expect, low cost truck sales are concentrated in emerging markets; premium sales in mature markets... That structure is set to change. Increasingly, Bric customers are demanding improved comfort, safety and efficiency – but not at premium prices – prompting the growth of a tier of truck between the traditional categories. The report forecasts that 70 per cent of truck sales in the Brics – and 44 per cent of the world’s total – will come from this midmarket by 2020... And truck makers stand to benefit. Revenues in India and China are projected to grow at at least twice the pace of sales volumes...



* Detroit car makers race to keep up with demand as experts predict another hiring boom in 2012

(Photo: Assembly line: A Ford Motor employee works on the underbody of 2012 Ford Focus vehicles at the Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Michigan on December 14, 2011)
Detroit,MICH,USA -Associated Press/The Daily Mail (UK) -28 February 2012: -- Auto sales are growing so fast that Detroit can barely keep up... Three years after the U.S. auto industry nearly collapsed, sales of cars and trucks are surging. Sales could exceed 14million this year, above last year's 12.8million... The result: Carmakers are adding shifts and hiring thousands of workers around the country... Carmakers and parts companies added more than 38,000 jobs last year, with industry employment averaging 717,000 for 2011. And automakers have announced plans to add another 13,000 this year, mostly on night shifts... And, if sales hit 15million by 2015, as some experts predict, the three Detroit automakers could hire another 20,000 people...



* California - Motiv Power’s Electric Drive Kit Could Electrify US Truck Fleet. It may beat the cost of diesel by 50 percent.

Mountain View,CAL,USA -Green Tech Media,by Herman K. Trabish -February 28, 2012: -- A $1.16 million California Energy Commission grant will allow Motiv Power Systems to create a prototype assembly line for the installation of its Electric Powertrain Control System (ePCS) on four Detroit Chassis truck frames.  The Motiv system is a “mix of hardware and software” that “controls the electric power train" ...  The Motiv kit can used with almost any new truck maker’s chassis or for an older truck retrofit. This will take the experimentation done on such systems by GE Global Research into the marketplace...

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* France - First Euro VI tractor delivered

Saint-Vallier,Drôme,France -Fleet Owner, by Brian Straight -Feb 28, 2012: -- Norbert Dentressangle has taken delivery of the first truck to meet Euro VI emissions standards, a Mercedes-Benz truck with a BlueTec 6 engine. The engine reduces particle emissions by 50% and nitrogen oxide emissions by 77%, Mercedes-Benz said... Euro VI standards are the next step in European emissions standards. They will be required for all new trucks beginning Jan. 1, 2014. Norbert noted that 90% of its fleet meets Euro IV and Euro V standards now. Compared to Euro V standards, Euro VI marks require a 66% reduction in particle matter and 77% less nitrogen...



* DC - Congress Drops Tax Break for Truck Buyers

Washington,DC,USA -Transport Topics -21 Feb 2012: -- Congress last week declined to extend a tax break that was credited with dramatically boosting truck sales in 2011, but a Democratic lawmaker said the incentive could return later this year... President Obama’s proposed 2013 budget included the measure, which allowed businesses that bought new equipment in 2011 — anything from trucks and trailers to machines and computers — to depreciate 100% of the purchase price in that tax year... To stimulate investment and help manufacturers struggling in the latest recession, Congress raised the first-year depreciation break to 100% for purchases made between Sept. 8, 2010, and Dec. 31, 2011. On Jan. 1, the 100% single-year depreciation reverted to 50%, but businesses, truck makers and dealers are pressing Congress to extend the 100% break through 2012... The bonus depreciation has proved so popular that the U.S. Treasury estimated it will cost taxpayers $55 billion in the 2011 tax year, but Treasury officials said when the program began that taxpayers would recoup much of the loss in subsequent years when corporations do not have depreciation to write off...



* Virginia - For-Hire Truck Tonnage Dipped 4 Percent in January

Arlington,VA,USA -The Journal of Commerce Online, by William B. Cassidy -Feb 28, 2012: -- The freight tonnage carried by for-hire trucks fell 4 percent in January from December, when it surged 6.4 percent, the American Trucking Associations said... The ATA’s monthly, seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index still rose 3.6 percent year-over-year, underscoring trucking’s freight gain since the recession... ATA Chief Economist, Bob Costello, said the drop in tonnage probably reflected a larger than expected gain in December, rather than a real slowdown in freight... The ATA revised its for-hire tonnage increase for 2011 down a tenth of a percentage point to 5.8 percent, which matches trucking’s tonnage gain in 2010...

* DC - NAFTA Surface Trade Up 11.6 Percent in December

Washington,DC,USA -The Journal of Commerce Online, by Joseph Bonney -Feb 28, 2012:   --   U.S. surface transportation trade in December with Canada and Mexico totaled $74.2 billion, an 11.6 percent increase from a year earlier, according to the Transportation Department... Trade with the United States’ North American Free Trade Agreement partners, rose 27 percent from December 2009 and 40.3 percent above the recession levels of December 2008...  Surface transportation includes freight movements by truck, rail, pipeline, mail, and through foreign trade zones. In December, 85.5 percent of U.S. trade by value with Canada and Mexico moved via land, 10 percent moved by vessel, and 4.5 percent moved by air...  U.S.-Canada trade totaled $44.2 billion, an 11.2 percent increase. U.S.-Mexico reaching $30.0 billion, a 12.1 percent increase. The value of cross-border trade decreased 3.2 percent in December 2011 from November 2011. Month-to-month changes can be affected by seasonal variations and other factors...


STRIKE * India

* Strike Cripples Operations at India's Port Nehru

Mumbai,India -The Journal of Commerce Online -Feb 28, 2012: -- Operations at the Port of Jawaharlal Nehru (Nhava Sheva) were severely disrupted Tuesday after dock workers at India’s largest container gateway joined a 24-hour nationwide general strike... Unionized dockers also walked off the job at other major state-owned ports, including Mumbai, Chennai, Cochin and Kolkata... The Trade Union Coordination Committee, representing 11 major labor federations, launched the latest strike to exert pressure on the government to review its proposed changes in public-sector organizations, particularly covering divestment of state ownership and increased foreign direct investment in the banking, retail and insurance sectors. Other grievances included burgeoning inflation and the lack of social security in the unorganized sector...


Feb 28, 2012


* Italy - Fiat to build Jeeps in Russian factories

Turin,Italy -Corriere della Sera (Italy)/The Detroit News (USA), by Bryce G. Hoffman -February 27, 2012: -- Fiat SpA has reached an agreement to with Sberbank Rossii to build Jeeps in Russia... Italian newspaper said Sberbank, which is controlled by the Russian government, has inked a letter of intent with Fiat to open two factories to assemble vehicles under the Jeep name... The paper said Fiat will own 80 percent of the joint venture, while Sberbank will own the remaining 20 percent... Fiat took control of the Auburn Hills-based automaker after Chrysler went bankrupt in 2009 as part of a deal brokered by the Obama administration... Marchionne said recently that much of Chrysler's growth in 2012 will come from expanding Jeep's overseas sales in markets where its name is already well known... Russia is Europe's fastest growing automobile market, and is set to pass Germany to become the region's largest...

* China - Mercedes-Benz Trucks has a strong position in

Tibilisi,Georgia -The Financial -27 Feb 2012: -- Within the framework of their partnership in China, Mercedes-Benz Trucks and the Chinese construction machinery manufacturer Zoomlion Heavy Industry are intensifying their cooperation... Last Saturday they signed a letter of intent for the delivery of 2,500 Mercedes-Benz trucks. The letter of intent concerns heavy-duty Mercedes-Benz Actros 3341 and 4141 truck models...  According to Daimler, the 2,500 Mercedes-Benz Actros vehicles will be manufactured at the truck plant in Wörth, where they will also be adapted to Zoomlion’s special applications for concrete pumps...

* China - FAW-GM set to build commercial light truck

Changchun,China -Automotive News China -28 Feb 2012: -- FAW-GM Light Duty Commercial Vehicle Co., General Motors' commercial venture in China, plans to start mass production of a light-duty truck in October. The truck, code-named L330, will be fitted with an engine that meets Euro 4 emission standards, according to FAW-GM. The vehicle will be built at FAW-GM's plant in the northeast China city of Harbin and sold under FAW's Jiefang brand. Further information about the truck is unavailable.

* South Africa - FAW breaks ground on 5000 unit-a-year truck plant

(Photo: FAW J6 tracor truck)
Port Elizabeth,Cape Town,SA -Enginneering News, by Irma Venter -28 February 2012: -- Fortune-500 company First Automobile Works (FAW/China) on Tuesday broke ground on its new truck assembly plant in the Coega industrial development zone, just outside Port Elizabeth, with production scheduled to start at the end of 2013... Production capacity would be 5000 medium- and heavy-commercial vehicles a year, and investment it's valued at R600-million (U$S 80M)... The trucks were destined for the local market as well as a number of African countries, with FAW sales in Africa currently at roughly 20000 units a year, said FAW South Africa MD Richard Leiter... Truck production was to be followed by light commercial vehicle and passenger car assembly to follow in a second phase, with the potential here for 30000 units a year... The U$S 70-billion FAW sold 2.6-million vehicles worldwide last year, and currently employed 134000 people...

* UK - New Longton Avia trucks coming to the UK soon

Longton,Stoke-on-Trent,EN,UK -Transport Engineer, by John Challen -29 Feb 2012: -- April 4 2012 will see the launch of the New Longton Avia Truck company, offering British-designed mid-range trucks using many UK sourced components...  The company reckons it's returning to British industrial roots and is aiming to provide transport operators with a flexible, robust vehicle – ultimately assembled in Stoke-on-Trent, probably in 2013...  Behind the new company is a partnership deal with Avia, Ashok Leyland, which is part of the Hinduja Automotive Group, and currently manufactures the vehicles at its Prague, Czech Republic...

* China - Ford, Its JV Open New Assembly Plant "CFMA Chongqing Assembly 2"

(Photo from changanuk:  Changan CX30)
Chongqing,China -RTTNews -24 Feb 201: -- Ford Motor Co. and its joint venture Changan Ford Mazda Automobile, or CFMA, opened a new assembly plant, "CFMA Chongqing Assembly 2" or CQ2...  CFMA is investing $490 million in CQ2, which will increase its production capacity in China by 150,000 units - to over 600,000 vehicle units overall. This is CFMA's second assembly plant in Chongqing and its third in China...  Ford noted that the plant is ramping up production of the all new Ford Focus, and will have produced more than 150 prototypes for testing as it prepares for the market launch in the second quarter. The all new Focus is built on Ford's global C-platform, or mid-size vehicle chassis... At CQ2 and elsewhere, up to ten different kinds of vehicles will be produced on this platform, and the company will sell 2 million vehicles this year based on this platform...



* Chinese car and truck makers surge after foreign vehicles removed from official purchasing list

Beijing,China -Bloomberg/The Detroit News (USA) -February 27, 2012: -- Chinese automaker shares rose, led by Dongfeng Automobile Co. and FAW Car Co., after the government excluded foreign brands from a preliminary list for official- vehicle purchases... Dongfeng Automobile jumped 10 percent, in Shanghai. FAW gained 4.9 percent, in Shenzhen. Great Wall Motor Co. rose 3.6 percent, in Shanghai... All 412 models approved for purchase by state agencies this year will be limited to Chinese brands, according to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. The move will help local brands gain in the government fleet's 80 billion yuan ($12.7 billion) market at the expense of foreign carmakers such as Volkswagen AG, General Motors Co. and Toyota Motor Corp., China International Capital Corp. said in a report today...



* Indiana - Industry records best January for net trailer orders since 2006

Columbus,IND,USA -Truck News (CAN) -Feb 26, 2012: -- January marked the strongest first month of the year for net trailer orders since 2006, according to the latest data from ACT Research...  The industry analyst noted there were 26,000 net orders placed in January, down slightly from December 2011...  “The trailer industry is now entering its third year of the recovery cycle,” said Frank Maly, director, commercial vehicle transportation with ACT Research. “Rising backlogs and low levels of cancellation activity add to the strength of demand for trailers. Availability of component supplies will support slow growth in build in 2012, but quantum leaps in production do not appear to be in the cards at this time” ... 



* DC - DOT Urges More Mexican Truckers to Participate in Cross-Border Program

(Photo: Truck passing through USA-Mexican border in Texas)
Washington,DC,USA -Transport Topics/The San Diego Union-Tribune -27 Feb 2012: -- U.S. Department of Transportation officials have urged more Mexican carriers to apply for the cross-border trucking program... DOT officials said at a Friday meeting in Tijuana, Mexico, near the Otay Mesa, Calif., border crossing that more enrollment by Mexican truckers was critical to the program’s success... To date, just 21 Mexican companies have sought to join the program, said Marcelo Perez, a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration official. FMCSA is part of DOT... In November, a third Mexican carrier passed preliminary U.S. safety review to participate in the two countries’ cross-border trucking program...



* DfT reveals freight statistics for European journeys

London,EN,UK -TRL, by Nick Anderson -24 Feb 2012: -- The number of goods vehicles travelling from the UK to mainland Europe remained steady in 2011, figures show...  Published by the Department for Transport (DfT), data revealed 2.47 million of these vehicles made the journey last year - unchanged from the level seen in 2010...  While 660,000 of the vehicles were unaccompanied trailers, 1.91 million were powered motors - a one per cent growth on 2010...  The majority of powered vehicles travelled to mainland Europe via the Dover Straits Port Group, which includes the Channel Tunnel, while most unaccompanied trailers used the North Sea Port Group...  Earlier this month, figures from Accident Exchange revealed foreign lorry accidents in the UK cost around £57 million every year, while these trucks were 'at fault' in one in every 31 motorway accidents between December 2010 and the same time the following year...



* Arkansas - Double Whammy: Mandating Electronic Onboard Recorders Takes Two Routes

Little Rock,ARK,USA -EOBR for safety/Arkansas Trucking Report, by Lane Kidd -27 Feb 2012: -- Requiring an electronic onboard recorder (EOBR) in all commercial trucks could become a reality this year. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has announced that it wants to mandate their installation in virtually all trucks and buses within five years... Supporters of the EOBRs applaud the dual regulatory and legislative efforts, saying the current practice of paper log books allows drivers and their employers with ample opportunity to cheat and exceed their on-duty hours. They claim EOBRs will make these drivers and their employers abide by the rules and that will ensure rested drivers and fewer accidents, a fact now supported by research data showing that carriers having more hours-of-service violations also have more accidents... The Arkansas Trucking Association Board of Directors first voted to support an EOBR mandate on all commercial trucks. The American Trucking Associations is expected to announce its endorsement of an EOBR mandate later this spring...The Canadian Trucking Alliance is once again urging its members to support electronic onboard recorders...  However, not everyone in trucking supports a mandate. The Owner Operator Independent Driver Association (OOIDA) strongly opposes the mandate on a variety of grounds while some owners of smaller trucking companies fear that an EOBR mandate could put them out of business. OOIDA, representing independent contractors and owner/operators, said the rule won't improve highway safety and stacks the deck against tiny operators who can least afford the costs... But supporters point to a growing number of studies and antidotal evidence that truck drivers routinely exceed their maximum driving hours. A recent survey of about 1,400 long-haul drivers by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that one in eight had dozed at the wheel in the previous month. More than one in three had driven while sleepy in the previous week...

* DC - ATA says: ‘No Tanks’ to tank truck definition, who adds complexity and cost to shipping

(Photo: A Scania, tank truck)
Washington,DC,USA -The Journal of Commerce Online, by William Cassidy -Feb 25, 2012: -- Not every truck carrying tanks of liquid or gas should be considered a “tank truck” and regulated in the same way as a bulk tank-trailer, a trucking group says... The American Trucking Associations wants federal truck safety regulators to change a new definition that expands the types of vehicles classified as tank trucks. The ATA asked the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to amend a definition adopted last May that includes vehicles “patently not tank trucks” ... Question are tractors hauling dry van trailers containing empty or filled cylinders and intermediate bulk containers forliquids and gases, the ATA said Feb. 22. Under the new definition, those vehicles are tank trucks, even when the containers are only loaded and shipped once and unloaded with their contents still inside... The new definition includes all vehicles carrying tanks with more than 1,000 gallons of capacity, whether or not those tanks are temporarily or permanently attached. The definition should be changed to define tank trucks as vehicles with permanently attached tanks with an aggregate capacity of over 1,000 gallons, said the ATA...

*  DC - Trucking, rail groups call 'truce' over big trucks. ATA, AAR urge passage of House transportation bill as approved by T&I committee

Washington,DC,USA -The Journal of Commerce Online, by William B. Cassidy -Feb 10, 2012: -- The trucking and rail lobbies are calling a truce in their battle over truck size and weight limits, hoping a measure of intermodal unity will help push a controversial multi-year surface transportation bill through the House of Representatives... The bill originally included a provision allowing states to permit trucks weighing up to 97,000 pounds and triple-trailer combinations on highways. The current gross vehicle weight limit is 80,000 pounds, and use of triples is restricted to a few states... The AAR and rail suppliers, safety advocates, state police, Public Citizen, the Teamsters union and AAA responded with a political blitzkrieg. When the T and I committee approved the bill on Feb. 3, the trucking provision was gone... In its place, an amendment was added that would require a three-year study of the damage heavier trucks could cause to roads and bridges...


Feb 25, 2012


Briefing Weekly News

* Report Reveals Top Retail Supply Chain Concerns for 2012
- In the latest report published by eyefortransport, findings reveal that 44% of retail supply chain executives do not expect industry growth in 2012. Read more

* UPS acquisition may question the status of TNT Airways
- The acquisition of TNT by UPS has thrown up what could evolve into a highly ironic situation. Read more

 * APM Terminals doubles productivity in South America
- APM Terminals has announced that since assuming control of the North Terminal at the Port of Callao (Peru) on July 1, 2011, now operating as APM Terminals Callao, crane productivity has more than doubled to 26.57 moves per hour per crane. Read more

* Wincanton strengthens relationship with Chevron
- Wincanton has signed two separate contracts with different divisions of the US energy and manufacturing giant Chevron. Read More

* SEKO Logistics selects GT Nexus
- GT Nexus has announced that it had been selected by SEKO Logistics to provide a cloud-based technology platform. Read more

* Dachser joins Lufthansa Cargo’s Global Partnership Program
- Dachser Transport of America Inc. (Dachser USA), has signed an agreement to become the newest member of Lufthansa Cargo's Global Partnership Program. Read more

* GT Logistics announces agreement with Cokinos Energy
- GT Logistics (GTL) has announced that it has signed a marketing agreement with Cokinos Energy Corporation (Cokinos) that will enhance the services offered at its GT OmniPort located in Port Arthur, Texas. Read more

* Norbert Dentressangle establishes subsidiary in Ireland
- Norbert Dentressangle has established a new subsidiary company in order to grow its business in Ireland. Read more

* NOL renews contract with Union Pacific
- NOL Group has renewed its contract with Union Pacific for US rail transport of containerized cargo. Read more

* DPD opens new logistics centre in Estonia
- DPD Eesti, DPD's Estonian subsidiary, has announced the opening of a new logistics centre in Rae Industrial Park, located 15 km from Tallinn. Read more

* MercuryGate enters Asian market
- MercuryGate International, a US-based provider of transportation management solutions (TMS), has announced that it has entered into a partnership with JFE, a Singapore-based supply chain solutions provider, to create MercuryGate Asia. Read more

* Goodman announces half year operating profit increase of 34%
- Goodman Group has announced its results for the half year ended December 31, 2011. Read more

* Gebrüder Weiss establishes joint venture with Tegeta Motors
- Gebrüder Weiss has established a joint venture with Tegeta Motors in Tbilisi, Georgia, with Gebrüder Weiss holding a majority stake. Read more



* Santa Catarina - GM invests $415 Million in New Transmission Plant

(Photo: Brazilian Chevrolet Montana 1.4L EconoFlex)

Florianapolis,SC,Brazil -GM, Media (CAN) -23 Feb 2012: -- General Motors do Brasil will invest R$710 million (U.S. $415 million) to build a new vehicle transmission plant with initial capacity to build 150,000 transmissions a year, half for local use replacing imports and half for export to Europe... The new plant, will begin production in 2014 of a high-efficiency six-speed transmission with improved torque capacity to cover a variety of uses. The new plant will be constructed on the same site where GM is already building a Powertrain plant... The new plant will create 350 jobs in the first phase. It will have a 50,000 m2 (538,196 sq ft) construction area and there is a R$200 million ($116 million) per year revenue forecast...

* Brazil / Belgium: Scania to invest in parts distribution

( Photo: Chassis assembly line at Scania do Brasil in São Bernardo do Campo)
Södertälje,Sweden -Automotive World -February 24, 2012: -- Scania has announced new investment in Belgium and Brazil, geared at supporting its component distribution capacity. The company will spend a total of SEK400m (US$60.3m) to extend its current warehouse in Opglabbeek, Belgium and to set up a new component warehouse in Brazil. Work on both projects should be completed by the first quarter of 2013...  In Brazil, Scania is moving its parts supply facility from Sao Paulo to the municipality of Vinhedo in the Campinas region. Here it will set up a 16,000sq-m building, offering a 60% increase in capacity. The Campinas region has developed into an automotive and air transport logistics hub...

* Sao Paulo - Mitsui enters Brazil auto parts market with $58.5 mln buy

São Paulo,SP,Brasil - Nikkei/Reuters, by Chandni Doulatramani (Bangalore/India) -Feb 22, 2012: -- Japanese trading company Mitsui and Co bought Brazil's Veloce Logistica SA for 4.7 billion yen ($58.5 million) to expand into the South American country's auto parts distribution business... Veloce Logistica manages parts transportation, runs distribution centers and handles deliveries in Brazil and Argentina for local plants of General Motors Co and other major automakers...   In Brazil, Mitsui expects to tap demand from Japanese car makers including Honda Motor Co Ltd and European rivals like Renault SA and Volkswagen AG... 



* Ohio - Eaton to buy Turkish hose manufacturer

Cleveland,OH,USA -Reuters -Feb 24, 2012: -- Diversified U.S. manufacturer Eaton Corp raised its 2012 profit target to account for an acquisition in Turkey that it expects to add to earnings... Eaton, the maker of electrical systems and truck transmissions, will buy Turkish hose manufacturer Polimer Kauçuk Sanayi ve Pazarlama AS for an unspecified sum, a deal that will help it grow in Central and Eastern Europe... The Turkish company, also known as SEL, makes industrial and hydraulic hose for construction, mining, and other uses. Its 2011 sales totaled about $335 million...


Feb 24, 2012


Carriers Give Incentives to Drive

New Jersey,USA -The Journal of Commerce Magazine, by William B. Cassidy -Feb 20, 2012: -- Truckload carriers are offering an array of incentives, including guaranteed pay, to haul in drivers... The battle to recruit and, just as important, keep truck drivers is getting fiercer among truckload carriers as freight demand steadily increases. Although that competition has yet to result in sizable increases in driver pay, motor...

* Solutions to driver shortage elusive

-DC Velocity, by Art van Bodegraven and Kenneth B. Ackerman -February 13, 2012: -- Higher pay and expanded training won't be enough. What we need is a comprehensive strategy and the committed engagement of industry and governmental players ... and maybe another look at immigration... But we don't know where to get them. And the factors that were limiting our ability to maintain a stable driver supply, let alone grow it, are still with us, in spades. They include the following:
* Pay is essentially piecework, so many cents per mile
* Traffic delays and wait time at pickup and delivery points consume a greater number of a driver's hours, reducing his (or her) mileage potential
* Federal HOS (hours of service) regulations, while well-intentioned, have the effect of reducing miles by capping daily work hours
* Quality of life: time away from family, diet and recreation on the road, long hours
* Wages that do not fully compensate for time and effort, leading drivers to change employers for trivial per-mile amounts—or leave the field altogether
* The investment (indebtedness) and payback involved in the owner-operator model
* A negative perception of the field, its current population, and the lifestyle—in short, the lack of an aspirational image that involves honest work by decent people for fair wages
* Late entry as the only option for getting in. The high school graduate has already been working some three years in another field before being eligible for consideration as an interstate driver. In addition, there are training requirements to consider in making a career shift.
* The CSA 2010 (Compliance, Safety, Accountability) program, the federal government's far-reaching initiative to remove unsafe commercial drivers from the nation's roads. This has not yet had a major negative effect on the driver supply, but it has reportedly caused some unease in the driver community.
* The added scrutiny of on-board monitoring systems. Some companies report that drivers like the systems, but it is another "eye in the sky" that can un-nerve independent spirits.



* Washington State - Nears reclassification of port truckers

(Photo:Terminal 5, 2006. Port of Seattle photo by Don Wilson)
Seattle,WASH,USA -Land Line, by Keith Goble -24 Feb 2012: -- A bill at the Washington statehouse to reclassify certain port truckers, including owner-operators, as employees is one step closer to passage... The Senate Labor and Commerce and Consumer Protection Committee voted to advance a bill that would deem drayage truck operators, as well as any owner-operators, going onto the ports of Seattle and Tacoma to be employees of any company that “directly engages the services”... House lawmakers already approved the bill. Soon be brought up for consideration on the Senate floor... The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association and other groups, including the Washington Trucking Association, oppose the maneuver... The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit confirmed that states cannot regulate the routes, rates or services of trucks engaged in interstate commerce...

* DC - Postal Service Plans to Close Centers, Cut Jobs to Rein in Costs

Washington,DC,USA -Transport Topics -24 Feb 2012: -- The U.S. Postal Service said it will close or consolidate 223 mail processing centers and eliminate up to 35,000 jobs as part of a cost-cutting strategy... The USPS has been losing billions of dollars each year as email chips away at mail volumes and as it faces massive annual payments to the federal government... In his proposed budget released earlier this month, President Obama called for ending Saturday mail delivery by the Postal Service, in an effort to cut costs...  Postal officials said in September they would study more than 250 of the 461 processing sites for possible consolidation with other facilities as part of a series of cost-cutting steps, and set plans to end next-day delivery to cut back on overnight work... No facilities would close before mid-May due to a temporary moratorium announced in December intended to give Congress time to pass legislation to help overhaul the agency, Reuters said...

* Iowa - DOT to outfit CMV inspectors with semi-automatic rifles

(Photo:  An AR-15)
Des Moines,IOW,USA -Land Line Magazine, by Charlie Morasch -23 Feb 2012: -- Is one state’s commercial vehicle inspectors buying 107 AR-15 rifles simply a case of being prepared for carjackings and smugglers? Or is it bringing a sledgehammer to a friendly logbook discussion?...  The Iowa DOT is preparing to receive bids for an order of 107 AR-15 long rifles to be used by its motor vehicle enforcement officers, who now are authorized to carry pistols... Mark Lowe, director of the Iowa DOT’s motor vehicle division, said peace officers working in commercial vehicle enforcement are sometimes the closest officers to a suspect or emergency situation... Lowe pointed to several incidents in recent months, including a carjacking chase from Missouri and an individual who killed his wife in Centerville, IA, before killing himself on Interstate 29 as a motor vehicle enforcement officer arrived on the scene... Lowe said the rifles are identical to those carried by other law enforcement officers in Iowa, including Iowa State Patrol officers...



* California / USA - Honda recalls Odyssey minivan so liftgate won't conk you

(CAPTION By Honda, Wieck)
Torrance, CAL,USA -USA TODAY, by Chris Woodyard -Feb 22, 2012: -- Honda is voluntarily recalling 45,800 Odyssey minivans to fix the struts that hold up the power liftgate in back so it won't accidently fall and conk people on the head, hand or some other body part... The recall covers 2008 and early-2009 Odyssey EX-L and Touring minivans. The problem involves two gas-filled struts that hold up the power liftgate. If the liftgate struts fail, it "may result in the tailgate closing under its own power, possibly unexpectedly, with the potential risk of injury and inconvenience to customers," Honda says in a statement...
That's a photo of the 2008 model, above. To give you an idea of what the liftgate looks like, we show the 2011 model at right that's not covered by the recall...

* Japan - Nissan recalls 250,000 for fuel system glitchby

(Photo: A Serena Minivan)
Nishi-ku,Yokohama,Japon -NHTSA/Reuters/Motor Trends (USA), by Jason Udy -February 23 2012:  --  Nissan is recalling certain global models including Juke crossovers built in Britain; Serena minvans, Infiniti M and QX models built in Japan; March/Micra hatchbacks built in India; and Tiida subcompacts built in China for a fuel system fix...  Fuel rails in direct-injection engines could have a “mechanical glitch” which in extreme cases could cause a fuel leak. On certain models, an insufficiently tightened fuel rail pressure sensor could gradually loosen contributing to the fuel leak. A fuel leak could lead to an increased fire risk possibly resulting in injury or death...  Nissan says as many as 250,000 Juke crossovers, Serena minivans, Infiniti M sedans, Infiniti QX SUVs, March/Micra hatchbacks, and Tiida subcompacts between August 2009 and January 2012 may be affected...

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SAFETY ROADS * Australia

* Australia - Issue defect notices to speeding trucks

Sydney,NSW,Australia -ATA Friday Facts -24 February 2012: -- The police should issue a defect notice to any truck found travelling on the flat at more than 100 kilometres per hour, ATA Chief Executive Stuart St Clair said this week... “Speeding is a major cause of truck accidents, and every trucking business needs to have a strong speed management policy. It’s a legal requirement, and also good business,” Stuart said... “But the police need to back up the operators that do the right thing with better on-road speed enforcement. Any truck found travelling on the flat at more than 100 kilometres per hour should be issued with a defect notice, because it must, by definition, have a defective speed limiter. Trucks found travelling at more than 115 kilometres per hour should be grounded until the defect is cleared" ...

* January Road Deaths Australia report

Sydney,NSW,Australia -ATA Friday Facts -24 Feb 2012: -- There were 1302 road deaths in Australia during the year ending January 2012. This was a 1.2 per cent decrease compared to the same period in the previous year... These figures are in the latest Road Death Australia report, released last week by the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics. The report summarises Australian road toll data up to and including January 2012... It reveals that January 2012 saw 103 road deaths Australia wide, with 29 of them occurring in Victoria- over double last January’s toll of 18. However, South Australia managed to halve their January toll, from 12 deaths in January 2011 to 6 in January 2012...

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