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Jul 29, 2016

MACK TRUCKS * USA: AN APPRECIATED REFUSE FLEET

* New York City's trash is Mack's treasure


--- Mack Trucks and the New York City Department of Sanitation are in talks to test out dimethyl ether (DME) as a new alternative fuel for its massive refuse fleet, but in the interim the truck maker brought reporters to the Big Apple to understand some of the processes involved in cleaning up after more than 8.5 million residents... With a fleet of more than 7,000 vehicles, of which more than 90% of the 2,500 refuse trucks are Mack, DiRico said most heavy-duty sanitation trucks have a lifespan of about 7-10 years. Interestingly, all refuse trucks double as snow plows during the winter. A plow is simply attached to the front of the truck. Drivers even work the same routes be it summer or winter... The department has access to labs where it tests alternative fuels such as DME, which can provide up to a 95% CO2 reduction compared to diesel when produced from biomass or biogas. Mack even has a DME-powered Pinnacle truck ready for testing. Perhaps most importantly, DME can be made from waste with the right infrastructure in place... A timeline for testing DME has yet to be established. Currently, the refuse fleet runs on a B20 biodiesel blend... 
(Photo: A Mack garbage truck show at the NYC Central Repair Shop)  --  New York, NY, USA - Today's Trucking, by David Nesseth - Jul 27, 2016

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DAIMLER TRUCKS * USA: First electric truck

* Oregon - Daimler brings industry’s first electric-powered truck

--- Daimler Trucks, parent company of Freightliner and Western Star, introduced Wednesday the industry’s first take on an electric-powered truck... Daimler Trucks rolled out this morning its Mercedes-Benz Urban eTruck, the first fully electric truck with a total weight of up to 28 tons... Daimler Trucks has already demonstrated the day-to-day suitability of the fully electric truck in the light distribution segment with its Fuso Canter E-Cell, which has been in customer trails since 2014... The Mercedes-Benz Urban eTruck is based on a heavy-duty, three-axle short-radius Mercedes-Benz distribution truck but developers revised the drive concept. The entire conventional drivetrain was replaced by a new electrically driven rear axle with electric motors directly adjacent to the wheel hubs... The cost of fully electric drives systems, coupled with their low mileage range, has made the venture prohibitive until recently. Daimler Trucks expects the costs of batteries to lower by a factor of 2.5 between 1997 and 2025 – from $550/kWh down to $220/kWh. At the same time, performance is forecast to improve by the same factor over the same period – from 80 Wh/kg up to 200 Wh/kg... 
Portland, ORE, USA - Overdrive - July 27, 2016 

* Daimler says battery advances make electric trucks viable

--- Daimler has unveiled an electric truck capable of transporting up to 25 tonnes, putting zero-emission vehicles on a par with conventional-engine variants in terms of payload and performance... So far, the weight and cost of batteries as well as their limited power have prevented electric drives from being used to transport heavy loads... Daimler, which owns the Mercedes-Benz brand, said on Wednesday electric trucks could be production ready from the start of the next decade, thanks to major advances in battery technology... The higher energy density of batteries has opened the door for new players to enter the truck market... The Mercedes-Benz Urban eTruck has an electrically powered rear axle with electric motors directly adjacent to the wheel hubs. The power is supplied by a battery pack consisting of three lithium-ion battery modules resulting in a range of up to 125 miles – enough for a typical daily delivery tour. The batteries are housed in a crash-proof location inside the frame, with a total capacity of 212 kilowatt hours provides an operating range of up to 200 kilometres, Daimler said... 
 Portland, ORE, USA - Reuters, by Edward Taylor & Mark Potter - Jul 27, 2016

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MERCEDES BENZ VANS * USA: New Sprinter assembly plant

* South Carolina - Mercedes-Benz Vans breaks ground on $500M US Plant

--- Prompted by growing North American demand for its vans, Mercedes-Benz Vans broke ground Wednesday on a new $500 million U.S. assembly plant in South Carolina... The site is next to an existing plant where, for the past decade, the company has put Sprinter vans made in Germany back together after being disassembled and shipped to this country because of the high duties on importing finished vehicles... During the past decade, Mercedes-Benz Vans has been gauging the North American market for its vans and sales have been growing. Last year the company delivered 28,600 vans to customers in the United States, an increase of 11 percent over 2014... The new plant will add more than 1 million square feet to the existing 400,000 square-foot facility. It is expected to employ 1,300 workers and the company says it should mean 400 additional jobs for parts suppliers in the area...
(Photo: Mercedes Benz Sprinter) -- North Charleston, S.C., USA - AP/The NYT - July 27, 2016

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Jul 28, 2016

BATTELLE's * USA: Special pickup truckmaker

* Ohio - U.S. Special Ops orders new batch of low-profile pickups from Battelle

--- Battelle has landed a second contract to supply U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) with stealthy, armored trucks built to blend into the background in potentially hostile environments... Similar to the commercial security vehicles that Battelle builds, the trucks were designed to maintain their stock appearance while providing military-grade levels of protection... The non-profit R&D outfit has been modifying Toyota Hilux pickups for SOCOM under a contract for “Non Standard Commercial Vehicles” that began in 2013. It will add foreign market Toyota Land Cruisers and Ford Rangers as the partnership is extended over the next five years through a $170 million deal for several hundred trucks... 
Columbus, OH, USA - FoxNews, by Gary Gastelu - July 27, 2016

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CUMMINS * USA: New heavy-duty truck engines

* Indiana - Cummins unveils new generation of heavy-duty truck engines

--- With an eye to increasing demands for fuel economy and stricter environmental regulations Cummins Inc. is launching a new line of heavy-duty truck engines... The new diesel engines, unveiled Saturday at the Transportation Research Center’s proving ground in East Liberty, Ohio, include two 15-liter motors and a smaller 12-liter medium duty engine... The Columbus, Ind., engine manufacturer said the new diesel engines will exceed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 2017 greenhouse and fuel efficiency standards. The EPA regulations take effect in January 2017... The new 2017 engines will offer a 3 percent fuel economy improvement over its 2016 engines, said Mario Sanchez, Cummins’ spokesman... The X series offers two new heavy-duty engines designed for fleets and the owner-operator market, while Cummins’ previous ISX platform only offered one 15-liter engine... 
(Photo: Cummins - Cummins worker assembles an engine at the manufacturer's Jamestown Engine Plant)   --  Columbus, IND, USA - Trucks.com, by CLARISSA HAWES - July 25, 2016

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FIAT-Chrysler * USA: Trucks factory in Detroit

* Michigan - Fiat Chrysler shifts Detroit-area plant from cars to trucks

--- Fiat Chrysler says it will sink $1.5 billion into a suburban Detroit factory as it retools plants to make more trucks and SUVs and stops producing small and midsize cars... The investment is part of a series of moves to increase Jeep and Ram production and cease manufacturing of smaller cars. Eventually, that plant will be retooled to produce the Jeep Wagoneer or Grand Wagoneer, an SUV that's larger than the Jeep Grand Cherokee... The moves come as the U.S. auto buyers continue to shift away from cars toward trucks and SUVs. Trucks and SUVs accounted for almost 58 percent of U.S. sales, while cars were 42 percent. The truck and SUV market share is two percentage points higher than a year ago... 
(Photo: Fiat Adds 800 Workers at Chrysler 200 Factory in Sterling Heights, Michigan)  --  Detroit, MICH, USA - AP/The Star Tribune - Jul 26, 2016

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SELF DRIVING BIG TRUCKS * USA: "Otto" branded

* California - Ex-Googlers building the self-driving big rig trucks of the future

(Video from Otto - May 16, 2016: Meet Otto, the company behind new self-driving trucking technology. Join us for the journey) 

--- Ex-Googler, Lior Ron, latest professional turn involves helping fit some of the 4.3 million trucks on U.S. roadways with the technology kits his new startup Otto is developing that can turn those hulking rigs into completely autonomous trucks. Because while commercial trucks may be something of an unsexy progression coming from software engineering at a place like Google, they nevertheless represent a potent technology challenge for the team at Otto, a young startup with abundant ambition that operates out of a space in San Francisco’s SoMa neighborhood... Anthony Levandowski, was also a co-founder and technical lead for Google’s self-driving car project... The rest of Otto’s 40-strong team comes from companies like Google, Tesla and Apple. It’s a contingent of talent racing toward the same autonomous future that big tech companies want to hasten with their myriad self-driving car efforts... Safely, of course, being the operative word, at a time when concern has mounted over autonomous driving technology thanks to a recent Tesla fatality. Ron, though, insists the data is on Otto’s side... Where Otto breaks ranks with some supporters of semi-autonomous driving technology — where humans, essentially, can take the wheel if needed — is in Otto’s insistence that it’s safer for humans not to be involved at all. If a driver isn’t actively engaged in the act of driving, Otto believes that driver shouldn’t be expected to jump on the wheel with possibly a split-second’s warning, Ron said... So far, Otto has outfitted four trucks with its kit and has been testing the self-driving capabilities on highways in California. Otto’s technology includes sensors it’s built that sit on top of the truck, in addition to self-driving software... The company says its in-truck computer system and software are able to executive real-time driving decisions based on readings from the sensors...
San Francisco, CAL, USA - BGR, by Andy Meek - Jul 25, 2016

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RECALLING 30,000 TRAILERS * USA - Troubles: Bendix spring valves

* DC - Massive recall affects more than 30,000 trailers with parking brake issue

--- Trailer manufacturers are recalling tens of thousands of trailers due to an issue with Bendix spring valves. Approximately 10 manufacturers have recalled a total of more than 30,000 trailers in response to an equipment recall Bendix announced in June... On June 8, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration sent out a recall notice regarding an issue with nearly 195,000 Bendix SR-5 trailer spring brake valves. According to NHTSA, brake valves were improperly machined without a radius on the internal check valve seat, causing a delay of application of the spring brakes while parking... More than a month later, NHTSA has sent out a recall notice with specific makes and models of trailers affected by the recall... The SR-5 valve is a reservoir-mounted trailer valve that can control four spring brake actuators during parking or emergency applications, a NHTSA safety recall report explains. A trailer will have an audible air leak from the dash mounted park control valve or red gladhand when it is disconnected, prior to decoupling when a slow-to-park situation occurs. This leakage will continue until the trailer reservoirs and spring brake chambers are depleted of air pressure... Remedies for this recall are still under development... (Photo: Truck and Trailer Recalls) -- Washington, DC, USA - Land Line mag - 26 July 2016

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DRIVERLESS TRUCKS * Australia: PAY OFF for FMG

* West Australia -Driverless trucks pay off for FMG

--- There’s nobody at the wheel at Fortescue Metals Group. And it’s paying dividends... The world’s fourth-biggest iron ore miner will today post a June quarter production report which analysts believe will beat expectations... FMG continues to cut costs, pay down debt... An important reason for the production gains, according to Fortescue boss Nev Power, is the empty driver’s seat in many of the company’s trucks... The 47 Caterpillar 793 trucks which Fortescue obtained from WesTrac are robotic — steadily plodding their way around mine sites as sensors send information to powerful computers for processing and new instructions for the 240-tonne workhorse... It is a development which analysts believe will drive Fortescue’s cost of getting ore on a ship down to a record low of $US13 a tonne... 
(Picture: Simon Santi - Caterpillar’s global mining head Denise Johnson in front of a 240-tonne 793 at the WesTrac facility in South Guildford) -- Perth, WA, Australia - The West Australian, by Ben Harvey - July 27, 2016

TRAILER ORDERS DOWN * USA - 50% from last year

* Indiana - June preliminary trailer orders down about 50% from last year, 8% from May

--- Preliminary June trailer orders dropped about 8 percent from the previous month and decreased fully 50 percent from June 2015, ACT Research reported July 21. ACT’s estimate for U.S. net trailer orders is 13,450 units, the company stated, adding that final June numbers will be published later in the month... “Seasonal patterns suggest a modest month-over-month increase in net orders from May to June,” he said. “The year-over-year comparison, against an extremely strong June 2015, shows net orders approximately half of last year’s volume” ... The final June net order number is expected to be within +/-5 percent of this preliminary estimate, Maly added... 
 Columbus, IND, USA - The Trucker - 26 July 2016

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TRUCK SALES * Latvia: Grow 32%

* Riga - New truck sales grow 32% in Latvia

--- Sale of new trucks that weigh over 3.5 tons increased 32% in Latvia in the first six months this year, as the Automotive Association informed LETA... Trucks that weigh more than 16 tons make up 96% of Latvian trucking market. In this segment, 708 new trucks were registered in Latvia in January-June, which is 39% more than in the first half of 2015... Two trucking companies received a large number of new trucks in Latvia in the first six months - Kreiss bought 153 new Volvo trucks, and Dinotrans - 71 new Volvo and Scania trucks... In the European Union, sale of new trucks weighing over 16 tons increased 18.5% in January-May... 
(Photo: A Volvo truck) -- BC, Riga, Latvia - The Baltic Course - 26 July 2016

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TRUCKERS TURNOVER * USA: Fell 13% 2016's 1st. quarter

* Virginia - Driver turnover at larger fleets drops 13% in first quarter


--- The American Trucking Associations (ATA) said Wednesday that truck driver turnover at truckload fleets fell in the first quarter of 2016... Turnover at large truckload fleets fell 13 points in the first quarter to 89 percent — the lowest it has been since the second quarter of 2015. For all of 2015, turnover averaged 93 percent... At smaller fleets — those carriers with less than $30 million in annual revenue — turnover dipped one point to 88 percent, the lowest point since the third quarter of 2015. For the entire year of 2015, small-fleet truckload turnover averaged 79 percent... Turnover at less-than-truckload fleet remained much lower than at truckload fleets, falling three points to 8 percent, the lowest point since the second quarter of 2013...
Arlington, VIR, USA - Trucking News - July 7, 2016

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FARREN INTERNATIONAL * USA: Merger with EZE Trucking

* New Jersey - Farren International goes nationwide with EZE Trucking merger

--- Farren International, a premier total logistics provider since 1959, has announced its merger with EZE Trucking out of Houston, Texas... Farren’s specialty in aerospace logistics will also be enhanced by servicing such key accounts as SpaceX, Lockheed Martin, Boeing and Airbus... This expansion will also strengthen Farren’s ability to further exceed customer service expectations with assets to exceed 300 tractors and 1,000 trailers, over 275 employees nationwide, a soon to be implemented state-of-the-art operating system that will be the nucleus for total communication, tracking, order control and scheduling for the Farren network... 
(Photo from Farren Trucking) -- Randolph, NJ, USA - Vertical Mag. - 25 July 2016 ... (P.N.: NOW ONLY LACKING THAT TRUCKS FLY)

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ANTS TRUCK FLEET * Russia: Ton of identical trucks

* Moscow - Reconstruction of Tver in the framework of the project "My Street"

Video by Dmitry Chistoprudov - Jul 26, 2016

---  Laying the top layer of asphalt concrete pavement on the street Tverskaya... During the day it was laid about 8000 tons of asphalt mix on the area of more than 32 thousand square meters... The works involved the order of 300 units. Asphalt on Tverskaya and Pushkinskaya

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FRONTLINE COMM. * USA: Special trucks maker

* Florida - Frontline Communications trucks on scene of major events


--- For decades and many more years to come, you can say nearly every television news story -- starts here... In the middle of an industrial park in unincorporated Clearwater, is the largest manufacturer of broadcast and mobile command vehicles in the world... From the Pulse Nightclub shooting to the political conventions, everything you watch is either produced in or protected from trucks manufactured in Pinellas County... Today, broadcast news trucks make up around half of business, the rest comes from government agencies around the world. On the assembly line today, several command center trucks that can cost over $2 million dollars, are being built, for LAX, the City of Baltimore, and one is even set to be delivered to the Mesa, Arizona, Fire Department... Frontline at its Clearwater location, manufactures 250 trucks per year. Broadcast trucks typically take 90-120 days to produce while the more-sophisticated command centers take an entire year...
 (WTSP photo - Frontline Communicaitons of unincorporated Clearwater is the largest manufacturer of broadcast and mobile command vehicles in the world) Clearwater, Pinellas County, FL - WTSP, by Jonathan Petramala - July 26, 2016

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WEATHER TROUBLES * USA: FHA study about impacts

* DC - FHWA: Weather-related delays are costing trucking industry billions

--- The uncontrollable external forces of Mother Nature are costing the trucking industry a lot of money. A Federal Highway Administration study assessing the impacts of weather on freight estimates that weather events are costing the freight industry billions of dollars each year... A more detailed follow-up to a 2012 FHWA study that provided a national estimate of weather-related delay affecting the trucking industry, “Regional Assessment of Weather Impacts on Freight” took a close look at 13 regions. Within those 13 regions alone, weather events cost the freight industry $3.8 million a year... However, the selected regions account for approximately 1,500 miles, which is less than 1 percent of the National Highway System, according to the report. The initial 2012 national estimate was calculated at $8 billion to $9 billion annually. The most recent report suggests that estimate could be lower. However, several limitations – including not reporting on catastrophic events that shut down highways – should be accounted for... Categories of ice and snow, fog, flood, wind, rain and extreme temperature contributed to the vast majority of traffic speed decreases in connection with weather events. Ice and snow accounted for more than half of those speed decreases and are considered the most costly of the weather events... In the context of an individual weather event, the study found the largest impact on speeds within the first two hours of the event. Small decreases were found in the hours leading up to the event, with moderate decreases occurring up to four hours after the event... However, the overall effect of weather delays on spot market rates tends to go in favor of truckers, according to Montague. Although disruptions in shipping will lower rates in the short term, heightened demand once the storm clears moves rates up... 
Washington, DC, USA - Land Line, by Tyson Fisher - 25 July 2016

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BORDER CROSSING INFRASTRUCTURE * USA / Mexico

* Texas - Why Texas-Mexico trade corridors keep on trucking

--- Uncertainty over the future of the North American Free Trade Agreement has not stopped Texas from continuing to invest in freight routes across the Rio Grande, including two corridors seen as competitors for the Panama Canal... Increasingly, the state's transportation planners are trying to coordinate developments in Mexico with those in Texas in hopes of capitalizing on lucrative trade deals... "A greater awareness of Mexico's freight transportation policies and planned infrastructure improvements is needed to allow the public and private sector to effectively plan for anticipated growth in trade," according to the Texas Freight Mobility Plan issued in January by the Texas Department of Transportation... The advisory committee that wrote the report was led by Harris County Judge, Ed Emmett, and included Texas Secretary of State, Carlos Cascos, representatives of trucking, rail, energy and related industries, along with other local officials in key transportation cities... 
(Image from TTI - Delays in shipping across the congested El Paso-Juarez border have led to competing corridors in New Mexico and Arizona)   --   Dallas, TXS, USA - Bondbuyer, by Richard Williamson - July 25, 2016

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The new "SILK ROAD" * China: A trucking treaty for

* China joins UN trucking treaty, stepping onto new Silk Road


--- China has taken a major step towards establishing a speedy new "Silk Road" to Europe by signing up to a UN trucking treaty... Fifteen years after joining the World Trade Organization (WTO), China is hoping a revival of its ancient trading corridor to the west will help boost its slowing economy... Becoming a member of TIR, an international guarantee scheme that will enable Chinese freight containers to travel all the way to Ireland without being opened up for time-consuming customs checks, is a first step towards putting the legal framework of the plan into action... China's new Silk Road to Europe includes countries in Central Asia as well as Russia and Turkey, and potential maritime links to the Gulf and East Africa... Less than 10 per cent of Chinese exports to the European Union go by road, with most transported by sea or air...
 (Photo: Trucking the Silk Road) -- Geneva, Swiss - Trade Arabia - 21 July 2016

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TRUCKERS' STRIKE * Colombia: Demanding an increase in cargo prices

* Bogota - Striking truckers clash with police in 

--- Truckers have clashed with police in Colombia's capital as part of a strike now in its sixth week.. The demonstrators took control of a street Wednesday with the intention of disrupting Independence Day festivities underway in downtown Bogota. They burned tires and threw rocks before being dispersed by riot police... Truckers went on strike last month demanding an increase in cargo prices. One person died in clashes earlier this month... 
(Photo: Colombia truckers' strike) -- Bogota, Colombia - The Associated Press/The Trucker (USA) - 25 July 2016

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Jul 27, 2016

TESLA TRUCKS * USA: Electric truckmakers news

* California - Tesla to enter the semi truck business, starting next year

--- Probably the biggest surprise to come out of Elon Musk’s ‘Master Plan Part 2’ is that Tesla is developing a semi truck set to be unveiled next year. Although completely in line with its mission to accelerate the advent of electric transport, it’s still a whole new business for Tesla... Tesla simply investing in this sector is a good sign of where they are in term of battery technology and where they aim to be. Carrying cargo takes a lot of energy and doing it with only electricity is a challenge... On the other hand, Tesla made it clear that it would only make all-electric vehicles and it will likely hold up for trucks, despite the challenge... Tesla also plans to bring to market a pickup truck, which Musk referred to as ‘a new kind of pickup truck’. Based on the phrasing, it sounds like the pickup is in a more advanced stage of development than ‘Tesla Semi’... 
CAL, USA - Electrek, by Fred Lambert - July 20, 2016

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MACK TRUCKS * USA: Production shutdowns

* Pennsylvania - With slumping demand, Mack Trucks plans production shutdowns

 --- With heavy-duty truck demand sagging, Mack Trucks has scheduled several weeklong production shutdowns at its Lower Macungie Township, Pennsylvania, assembly plant... The shutdowns, or temporary layoff weeks, will idle a significant portion of Mack Lehigh Valley Operations' approximately 1,500 employees. Some employees, depending on department, classification and shift, may be required to work during any temporary layoff week, the announcement notes... News of the shutdowns came on the same day that Mack's parent company, Volvo Group of Sweden, reported decreased second-quarter truck orders in North America. The company also again cut its full-year forecast for heavy-duty trucks in North America and promised to further reduce truck production in North America...
(Photo: Mack Trucks lehigh valley factory) -- Lower Macungie Township, PENN, USA - Transport Topics - 20 July 2016

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GM & ISUZU * USA: Stop developing pick-up trucks

* Michigan - GM, Isuzu end pick-up truck tie-up

--- General Motors Co and Isuzu Motor Co have agreed to stop working together on developing midsize pick-up trucks made in Asia, as the U.S. automaker focuses on the higher end of the market while the Japanese firm sticks to selling vehicles for everyday commercial purposes... The automakers said on Friday they had cancelled their pick-up truck deal struck in 2014, the latest under a joint product development arrangement which began in 2006... GM's revamped strategy is especially pronounced in Thailand, where the automaker is now launching sleeker pick-up trucks... Isuzu and Mazda Motor Co earlier this month announced that Isuzu would produce next-generation pick-up trucks for Mazda outside North America... 
(Photo: General Motors Co and Isuzu Motor Co have agreed to cease collaboration on the development of midsize pick-up trucks made in Asia)   --  Beijing, China /Tokyo, Japan - Reuters, by NORIHIKO SHIROUZU & NAOMI TAJITSU - Jul 22, 2016

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GREENHOUSE EMISSION * Europe - Reduction targets

* European Commission unveils greenhouse gas targets

--- The European Commission on Wednesday unveiled binding greenhouse emission reduction targets for every European Union country from 2021-2030, including for the U.K., which could be out of the bloc by then... The commission on Wednesday also announced it will come up with legislation aimed at spurring car manufacturers to switch to low and zero-emitting vehicles. Europe’s land transport represents 34% of all energy consumption and 96% is oil-based... Currently, only 0.7% of Europe’s cars and lorries are low- or zero-emitting and if policies continue unchanged, that is expected to rise to only 7% by 2030 and 17% by 2050. As the bloc has expressed the ambition of moving toward mostly zero-emitting cars by 2050, a market share of up to 19% would be needed by 2030... The commission in the next few months plans to come forward with fuel efficiency standards for lorries and buses and a series of other proposals, including a revamp of electricity market rules to allow for buildings to be hooked to the system and function as fueling stations for electric cars... Advocacy group Climate Action Network expressed skepticism that the current proposals will allow for the goal of limiting the rise in global temperature below 2°C, as agreed at the Paris climate conference... Others said that while CO2 standards for cars, vans and trucks were important, trains, ships and planes should also be covered...
Brussels, Belgium - The WSJ, by VALENTINA POP - July 20, 2016

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CARGO THEFT * USA: Up 7% from 2014

* DC - Theft of cargo is constant worry for trucking


--- This Days before Fourth of July celebrations, trailers loaded with SweetWater Brewing Co.’s 24-pack bottles of beer were stolen from its brewery; its Summer Variety Packs due for pick up in early morning... The Atlanta-based company said the majority of its two trailers of beer stolen June 21 was found June 29 with help from Georgia authorities. That was the good news... The bad news, the company said: “Unfortunately, the return of the stolen brews does not mean the product is able to be sold or consumed — every bottle will be destroyed.” ... Incidents of cargo theft occur all too often across the nation and are a constant worry for trucking... CargoNet, a theft prevention and recovery network, reported 906 thefts last year valued at $100.5 million. It said food and beverage thefts led the way, accounting for 29%, followed by electronics at 13% and household goods at 12%... That’s up 7% from 2014, when 844 thefts valued at about $90 million were reported...
(Photo: Coors Beer is hauled across the South with a sheriff in hot pursuit)  --  Washington, DC, USA -  Transport Topics - 19 July 2016

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Jul 25, 2016

COUNTERFEIT GOODS * Europe: TRUCKING INVESTIGATION

* France - Road transport against counterfeiting


--- Road transport is not immune to counterfeiting, first when shopping for truck parts. But it can also be involved unwittingly in the transport of counterfeit goods, hence the importance of controlling loads... The counterfeit is not just about cigarettes or luxury brands. The market for vehicle parts is also affected whether mechanical parts (bearings, ...) of spare parts (filters, ...) or articles body (headlights, ...). Counterfeiting accounts for 5% to 10% of the vehicle parts market... The Official Carriers reported on this phenomenon, but it is also interested in the other part of counterfeiting in the road freight transport: carriers are often the target of mafia networks that use their trucks for transport of illicit goods... Each month, the Customs seize counterfeit goods during truck inspections. To avoid these disappointments, it is better to read the shipping documents and ensure the loading and unloading operations... 
(Photo, by Francis ROCHE: Contrôle Tachigraphe Crédit photo Douane Française) --  Paris, France - WK Transport et Logistique - 25 July 2016

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Jul 21, 2016

VOLKSWAGEN: TRUCK BUSINESS ACQUISITION ? * Germany

* Munich - Navistar Corp or Paccar Inc as possible acquisition targets

--- Volkswagen is ready to make an acquisition for its trucks business in North America if the right opportunity comes along, despite the rising cost of its "dieselgate" emissions cheating scandal, the head of the trucks division told Reuters... Andreas Renschler said in an interview that VW was under no pressure to do a trucks deal in the United States, adding it was important "to pick the right moment to take the right step"... He also declined to discuss potential deals. Analysts have suggested Navistar International Corp or Paccar Inc as possible acquisition targets or partners... Renschler said a public listing for VW's trucks business was not a top priority at the moment, though all options were being kept open to that end, he added, without being more specific... The trucks business made 24.4 billion euros of sales in 2015, out of a VW group total of 213.3 billion... 
 Munich, Bav, Germany - Reuters/The Daily Mail, by By Andreas Cremer and Irene Preisinger - July 20, 2016

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DANGEROUS HACKERS * USA: Truckmakers issues

* Michigan - Car and truck manufacturers look to confront cybersecurity issues

--- As manufacturers pack cars and trucks with electronics and wireless connections, security experts are increasingly worried about the potential for hackers to take control of vehicles... Already, hackers have demonstrated how they can take control of a Jeep Cherokee and drive it into a ditch... Police in Houston are investigating a series of unsolved vehicle robberies that may be the work of hackers... The hacking of the Jeep Cherokee forced Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to recall over 1.4 million vehicles using its Uconnect infotainment system... Nissan, meanwhile, had to disable a smartphone app developed for its Leaf battery-electric vehicle because hackers could gain personal information and possibly control some vehicle functions, such as charging... Automakers are looking for ways to get a step ahead of cybercriminals, in some cases turning to “white hat” hackers... Fiat Chrysler Automobiles last week announced it was partnering with Bugcrowd, a San Francisco-based start-up that claims to crowdsource cybersecurity solutions by turning to a network of 32,000 hackers. FCA will offer a “bug bounty” of up to $1,500 to anyone who can identify a potential vehicle “vulnerability” ... 
(Photo Taranfx/Flickr - Secured hacked green screen)   --  Detroit, MICH, USA - Trucks.com, by PAUL A. EISENSTEIN - July 20, 2016

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DANGEROUS TRUCKER * UK: For him, not traffic light

* England - Truck driver's dangerous mistake shows why you should always be careful on the road

--- In astonishing footage – shot by a fellow motorist in America – a truck driver casually cruises along a busy avenue... For him it's just another day, another dollar transporting goods... No red, amber or green as the traffic light is dragged along by the lorry... But what the silly trucker doesn't realise is that he's picked up a little accessory on the journey – a traffic light... In the video baffled motorists stop their cars and watch on as the lorry continues on its journey as if nothing is happening... He even turns left at a junction with the light still hanging over the top of the vehicle... 
 (Photo: TURNING: The witless driver makes a left turn with the traffic light hanging off his lorry)   --  London, EN, UK - The Daily Star, by Andrew McDonald - 20th July 2016

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UBER FOR TRUCKS * France: "Convargo"

* Paris - "Convargo" wants to connect shippers with truckers

--- A new startup is de-cloaking today. Convargo, launching in France, is the latest attempt to bring Uber-like convenience to the shipping industry, by connecting shippers with truckers... what exactly the startup does. Operating a model that sounds similar to U.S.-based Trucker Path and Cargomatic, Convargo’s platform connects shippers with local carriers, including facilitating the booking process... It claims to let you get a quote and book a shipment in just 3 clicks, while giving you access to thousands of local carriers. Through the app you can track the position of your goods in real time, and receive immediate proof of delivery upon arrival... For the carriers themselves, the startup promises to send them more business and reduce overheads as it’s effectively a cheaper middle person, with lower overheads itself. The usual online marketplace play, you might surmise. Interestingly, I’m told that 90 per cent of carriers in Europe have fewer than six trucks, so it’s a highly fragmented industry... 
(Photo: Uber for Truckers_France. Launching in France, Convargo)   --  Paris, Ile de France, France - TechnoCrunch, by Steve O'Hear - Jun 19, 2016

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UBER FOR TRUCKS * Brazil: "CargoX" described as

* Sao Paulo - Goldman Sachs leads $10M investment in Brazilian trucking startup CargoX


--- CargoX, a Brazilian startup that has been described as “Uber for trucks,” is announcing that it has raised $10 million in Series B funding... The analogy is kind of irresistible, since Uber co-founder Oscar Salazary is one of CargoX’s investors — he’s certainly seen his share of “Uber for X” pitches, but he told me he sees a big opportunity here due to the fragmentation in the Brazilian trucking market... CEO Federico Vega said that Airbnb is probably a better analogy than Uber, but either way, the company works to connect businesses that need to ship freight with truckers who have excess capacity. Brazil reportedly has an excess of between 300,000 and 350,000 vehicles, with trucks running empty 40 percent of the time, so the goal here is to reduce the number of empty trucks on the highway, increasing revenue for truckers and reducing costs for freight owners... He added that CargoX has a network of 150,000 trucks. In some cases, truckers only contact the company if, say, they’ve made a delivery and are looking for freight to take on their return trip. Other truckers get all their freight from the company — “in an ideal world,” he said, CargoX would work with more and more truckers in that exclusive capacity... 
(Photo: CargoX CEO Federico Vega, with his director of logistics Alan Rubio)  --  São Paulo, SP, Brazil - TechCrunch, by Anthony Ha - 20 July 2016

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CATERPILLAR + AVID * USA: For highly efficient hybrid powertrain for heavy-duty trucks

* Massachusetts - AVID Technology and Caterpillar join forces to drive fuel efficiency standards

--- North East based automotive cleantech firm AVID Technology has secured a key position in a three year collaborative programme to develop more efficient vehicle powertrains with global OEM Caterpillar... In the project will collaborate to develop a highly efficient hybrid powertrain for heavy-duty on- and off-highway vehicles... The powertrain will utilise AVID’s advanced electrification technology for the engine’s ancillary devices to reduce the parasitic loads on the engine. Ancillary devices will be powered using waste heat energy that will be recovered from the exhaust... The system is expected to deliver significant fuel consumption reductions over real-world operating conditions...
This £5.2M, three year project encompasses software, hardware and control system design and development and will culminate with an on-engine demonstration using a Caterpillar-built Tier 4Final-compliant diesel engine... 
(Photo: A Caterpillar diesel engine) -- Burlington, MASS, USA - Automotive World - July 21, 2016

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TRUCKS SAVING FUEL * France - By up to 35 percent

* France - Adgero hybrid technology could revolutionise Australia’s trucking industry

--- World-first hybrid truck technology from Adgero could help Australian road transport operators cut fuel consumption by up to 25 per cent and radically reduce the trucking industry’s carbon footprint... The French transport technology company has developed the world’s first operational Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) for road transport to boost efficiency through fuel savings, extra power and reduced emissions for truck fleets... The UltraBoost system consists of an electrically driven axle mounted under the semi-trailer or rigid truck body, powered by a bank of graphene ultracapacitors and controlled by intelligent management software that automatically controls regenerative braking and acceleration boost... During braking the UltraBoost system harnesses kinetic energy and stores it in the ultracapacitors; that power is then delivered back to the axles in the form of a power boost during acceleration. Intelligent software management ensures smooth power delivery so drivers are only aware of the difference when checking their fuel consumption, which is maximised during start-stop traffic or traversing hilly terrain... 
(Photo: Adgero secures ultracapacitor technology)  --  Strasbourg, France - Automotive World (UK) - July 20, 2016

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Jul 20, 2016

VOLVO's news * USA: To lay off 300 workers -

* Virginia - Volvo Trucks to lay off 300 factory workers

--- Volvo Trucks North America plans to lay off 300 workers at its New River Valley Plant in Dublin, Va., in September... The Swedish truck company blamed sagging sales in the heavy-duty truck market for the cutback. It follows a layoff of 500 employees at the Virginia factory in February... Volvo on Tuesday also reported profits and sales fell in the second quarter. The company also lowered its industrywide 2016 North American market forecast to 240,000 units, down 10,000 trucks from its first quarter projection of 250,000. In the last quarter of 2015, Volvo had anticipated the industry would build 327,000 trucks for the North American market... Approximately 1,950 workers will remain at the plant, Mies said. It had employed about 2,800 employees at the beginning of 2016. The 1.6 million-square foot New River Valley Plant is Volvo’s largest truck manufacturing facility in the world... 
(Photo from Volvo: Workers assemble trucks at Volvo's New River Valley, Va., factory)  --  New River Valley, VA, USA - Trucks.com, by CLARISSA HAWES - JULY 19, 2016

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TRUCK RECALLS USA * Navistar's - ** PACCAR´s

* Illinois - Navistar recalls 1,200 trucks with defective Cummins Engines

--- Navistar Inc. is recalling 1,191 heavy duty diesel trucks in the U.S. equipped with defective Cummins engines that could increase the risk of a crash... The recall includes 2017 International ProStar, LoneStar, PayStar, HX and 9900 trucks produced between March and April... These vehicles are fitted with Cummins ISX15L engines equipped with a defective electronic system that could short circuit and blow a fuse. The engine could then stall and the driver would not be able to restart the truck, thereby increasing the risk of a collision... The engine can only be restarted once the ECM and fuse are replaced... 
(Photo: Navistar ProStar) -- Lisle, ILL, USA - Trucks.com, by CARINA OCKEDAHL - JULY 18, 2016


* Oregon - The same defect has sparked several other recalls by truck manufacturers

--- Paccar also recalled more than 3,000 Peterbilt and Kenworth trucks equipped with defective Cummins engines, and Spartan Motors USA recalled several vehicles as well... No injuries or crashes related to this issue have been reported...

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SCANIA´s * Sweden: Researching 40% weight reduction on trucks

* Stockholm - Scania of the future to be made of the right stuff

--- The use of composite materials in the structure of a vehicle’s chassis can reduce weight by up to 40%, according to new research from Scania and Stockholm’s KTH Royal Institute of Technology... New lightweight materials such as composites will play an increasingly large role in the heavy vehicles of tomorrow, particularly in city buses and distribution trucks... Working in association with researcher Magnus Burman from Stockholm’s KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Scania is investigating the potential for using lighter materials in both chassis structures and other load-bearing parts of vehicles... Reduced vehicle weight, or so called structural weight, means more cargo per transport shipment and, as a result, the potential for fewer runs. This light, self-supporting structures could replace the traditional frame... Scania has produced a vision for an integrated lightweight chassis made from carbon fibre composite-material and adapted for use in a long-range, completely electric vehicle... The light, self-supporting structure borrows materials and design concepts from the aviation industry. The battery is located in the space in the middle.represents a major opportunity both for the environment and for future electrified solutions of various kinds... 
(Photo: Scanias of the future will be made of composite materials) -- Stockholm, Sweden - Big Rigs (Australia) - 20th Jul 2016

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HIV & TRUCKERS * Africa - Truck drivers and sex workers

* Mozambique - Fighting HIV in two high-risk groups: Sex Workers and Truck Drivers


--- She's a sex worker. She's clutching a glass of beer. She's drunk and can barely stand up... She triumphantly declares she's going to sleep with 20 men tonight... The woman is one of the many sex workers in the city of Beira in Mozambique — and one of the targets of a new pilot program set up by Doctors Without Borders to prevent the spread of HIV. The initiative focuses on sex workers and another group at high risk of infection — truck drivers... This part of southern Africa has been hit harder by HIV than any place in the world. In Mozambique roughly 1 in 10 adults are infected with the virus. And according to UNAIDS sex workers are 10 times more likely than the general population to be HIV positive... The city is a relatively small gritty port on the Indian Ocean. Trucks constantly move in and out of docks hauling cargo in to parts of Malawi, Zimbabwe, Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo... Truckers spend weeks, even months, on the road ferrying loads of sugar, gasoline, auto parts and other loads of cargo between Beira and Central Africa. But it's not just cargo that moves along these transportation routes, it's also HIV... Not far from the Beira docks, there's a trash-strewn alleyway that at night becomes a hub of prostitution. Women and girls in tight skirts lean against a cement wall waiting for clients. Some of the sex workers are from Mozambique. But so many of them are from neighboring Zimbabwe... The Doctors Without Borders program offers weekly HIV testing and counseling for truckers all along the highway up to the border with Malawi. They also distribute free condoms at truck stops – and to sex workers... But just like the local trucker drivers, sex workers can easily move along the highway that extends from Mozambique into Central Africa...
 (Photo by Gianluigi Guercia/AFP/Getty Images - The alleyway known as the Beira "corridor" is part of the city's informal prostitution zone, where sex workers wait to meet clients) Beira, Mozambique - NPR.org, by Jason Beaubien - July 18, 20164

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HUNGRY Venezuelans ON THE BORDER WITH Colombia

* Colombia  - Sends 46 trucks to restock after 120,000 Venezuelans cross border to buy goods

--- After more than 123,000 Venezuelans entered Colombia over the weekend to buy basic goods, Colombian officials sent 46 trucks to restock the border town of Cucuta... Colombia's Foreign Ministry estimates 35,000 Venezuelans entered on Saturday, while 88,000 entered on Sunday. Venezuelans began queuing at the town of San Antonio del Tachira to cross the Simón Bolívar bridge to reach the Colombian town of Cucuta in the Norte de Santander province. Venezuelans also entered Colombia through the Pedro Maria Ureña international bridge... The Colombian National Police escorted the 46 trucks to Cucuta after fears of skyrocketing prices and scarcity due to unprecedented demand... 
(Photo courtesy of Colombian National Police - Colombian officials sent 43 trucks full of basic goods to the Norte de Santander province after more than 120,000 Venezuelans crossed the border into Colombia to purchase basic goods) -- Snatander, Colombia - UPI, by Andrew V. Pestano - July 18, 2016

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