Ten trends trucking should watch in 2018

One of John Larkin’s annual “top ten” industry trend listings suggests automation may not arrive soon enough to stave off a major labor crunch.

There’s a lot of change going on in trucking right now, with the contentious imposition of electronic logging devices (ELDs) but one of the more salient examples.

Trying to keep track of all the trend lines affecting trucking, both inside and outside the industry, can be a daunting task but luckily John Larkin – managing director and head of transportation capital markets research for Stifel Capital Markets – takes a stab at it every year.

So, what should motor carrier executives keep their eyes upon as the New Year starts shifting into high gear? Here’s what Larkin thinks will be key in 2018.

  1. Automation and reduced regulation not occurring fast enough to keep pace with growing blue collar labor shortage and demand growth.

In the view of several executives Larkin has talked with, automation isn’t being applied quickly enough to eliminate what is evolving as a chronic blue collar labor shortage. “Truckers struggle to find compliant, drug free drivers. Truckers struggle to find technicians to perform maintenance work on their ever more complicated tractors and trailers,” he said. “Warehouse men, distribution center operators, and fulfillment center operators bellyache about the lack of competent, willing workers. The construction industry and the energy development industries face the same issue … and can’t seem to automate enough functions quickly enough to alleviate the worsening people shortage.

Photo: Aaron Marsh/Fleet Owner

Stifel’s John Larkin

Larkin thinks that within five to 20 years, depending on the task automation will be broadly enough applied across the global and national supply chains to eliminate, or at least greatly diminish, the current labor shortage. “However, growth of freight demand and additional factors constraining freight hauling and handling capacity could accelerate from here, extending the time frame required to ease the potentially problematical labor shortage,” he warned.

  1. E-commerce will continue to change the logistics playing field and raise the bar.

E-commerce currently serves roughly 13% of the broader retail market and analysts predict that e-commerce will control 17% of the broader retail market within five years and over 20% in 10 years.

“The dominant, brick and mortar store-based distribution model is gradually being replaced by a less forgiving e-commerce-based fulfillment model that provides less buffer inventory, that requires faster transit times, and that demands more precise pick-up and delivery times,” Larkin said. “There is little question that e-commerce requires a faster, more time-definite, and more tailored supply chain as well as forward positioned inventory that allows for two hour fulfillment, same day delivery, and next day delivery — all to the point of consumption.”

How will all of that affect trucking? Will different freight-carrying trucks be needed to meet more “last-mile” demand? Will smaller-sized trucks be operating on more frequent delivery schedules? Or will drones be performing this work? And how do those demands impact warehouse/distribution center development? In short, the impact of e-commerce on supply chain operations may only be starting.

  1. Amazon’s insourcing tendency could prove problematical over the longer term.

Amazon – which is in many ways the 900-lb. gorilla of the freight world – challenges its employees to think “outside the box,” said Larkin. “The result of that thinking, so far at least, within the realm of transportation and distribution sector, suggests that Amazon is increasingly supplementing its transportation services vendors with its own capacity,” he explained. “Already the company is building a $2 billion airfreight and parcel hub in Cincinnati. The company has bought its own trailers and contracted with smaller [motor] carriers to pull the freight. We have heard from unverified sources that Amazon will soon purchase its own tractors and will soon contract with major railroads for its own double stack intermodal trains.”

If some or all of that “base load” volume is pulled in house by Amazon, how might that impact broader freight volumes handled by truckers?

  1. Electric vehicles are coming and at a faster pace than many may expect.

While Larkin noted that while there is disagreement on the extent to which electrically powered vehicles are cheaper to operate than gasoline or diesel powered vehicles, there is agreement that they offer somewhat lower costs in aggregate. “Their motors have less moving parts, require less maintenance, and have a longer expected life,” he said. “And the cost of electricity is generally less volatile than the price of petroleum-based fuels. The challenge is to develop batteries with enough storage capacity to allow for extended runs between recharging opportunities and batteries that are light enough so as to not impinge on the freight hauling capacity of the truck or tractor-trailer.”

The key, Larkin thinks, will be linking electric propulsion with autonomous vehicles. “Environmentalists and cost mavens alike may both support electric trucks, particularly if they are paired with driverless technology,” he said.

  1. Technology is transforming trucking at an accelerating rate – and will continue to do so.

“There was a time during the earlier stages of my career when virtually no venture capital firms cared about companies operating in the transportation and logistics space,” Larkin said. “My, how times have changed. There are a now plethora of venture capital firms looking to fund companies attempting to bring technology into the broader transportation and logistics space.”

He stressed, though, that the technologies under development – that are currently creating all the “buzz” in the venture capital community – are often focused on automating labor intensive processes such as freight matching, rating, billing, network optimization, fleet management, dispatch, maintenance planning, driver management, and the like.

  1. The tax bill will be a huge shot in the arm for business overall and for trucking in particular.

One indication is that many motor carriers are currently raising their driver pay 5% to 10% or more, in some cases, even before locking in the rate increases needed to pay for such pay increases. “By the way, the driver shortage/turnover problem is as severe as we have ever seen it, and we have been tracking the industry since the early 80’s,” Larkin added.

On top of that bonus depreciation will incentivize the purchase of more capital equipment and the accelerated replacement of aging trucks, with the new lower effective tax rates most likely harnessed to pay drivers more, renew fleets, and to fund merger and acquisition activity.

“While not many domestic transportation companies will benefit from the repatriation of foreign profits directly, their customers may invest more in the U.S., pay their employees more, and hire more workers as capital comes back to the U.S.,” Larkin said. “Any or all of those initiatives would likely be good for increased freight hauling demand.”

  1. Industry consolidation is poised to accelerate.

Expanding on his earlier merger and acquisition point, Larkin said consolidation within the freight transportation industry has accelerated in recent years, though, on balance, most sectors remain relatively highly fragmented – especially trucking. “The LTL sector is partially consolidated, while the truck brokerage, drayage, logistics, truckload, and contract logistics segments all remain relatively highly fragmented,” he said. “We would expect operating firms to continue consolidating their industry sectors and/or diversifying their range of services offered in 2018 and beyond. The cost of debt and equity capital remains very low, by almost any reasonable standard, while organic growth is challenged by the lack of qualified, compliant blue collar labor. Plus, customers are becoming increasingly comfortable dealing with fewer, larger, more diversified providers of full logistics solutions.”

  1. Transportation infrastructure investment remains sorely lacking.

The U.S. interstate highway system “literally changed the complexion of the nation’s economic development witnessed over the last 50 to 60 years,” argued Larkin. Yet little thought was given to the funding mechanism needed to enable this “spectacular civil engineering project” to be properly maintained and expanded over the ensuing decades, he said; thus the end result is a “poorly maintained system” that lacks sufficient capacity in certain parts of the country.

“The cost of this lack of funding is immense given the incremental wear and tear inflicted on vehicles operating over deteriorating pavements and the congestion that prevents the free flow of good and citizens for large portions of the day in and around many of our most important urban areas,” Larkin stressed. “Clearly the transportation network in the U.S. is the primary logistical backbone supporting the existing economy and any incremental growth. It is time for Congress to wake up and address this critical issue or it may run the risk of putting further negative pressure on our global economic competitiveness.”

  1. Demographic and population shifts will continue to impact freight transportation.

Ongoing population redistribution is creating new “demand patterns” for consumers and new business-to-business demand patterns that impact freight flow volumes and lane balance. In addition, such changes directly drive the need for incremental infrastructure spending. “Supply chain networks also must adapt to the migration,” noted Larkin. “Optimal locations for distribution centers, fulfillment centers, and flexible manufacturing centers, can all change over time as the population shifts. The optimal sourcing decisions for raw materials, parts, and components can also change as the migration pattern continues to evolve. Thus logistics companies, motor carriers, shippers, and receivers all need to be mindful of this slow but sure need to adapt their internal networks and asset allocations to match better match morphing population density trends.”

10. Peak urbanization may have already been reached.

“For many years we have written about the re-urbanization trend:  Young college grads and professionals preferring to work, live, and play in trendy neighborhoods close to our ‘urban cores.’ Apartment living was the norm as singles delayed family formation, avoided home ownership – and sometimes automobile ownership – while often prolonging their collegiate social behavior through their twenties.”

However, once “family formation occurs” and children enter the scene – albeit a smaller number of children per family unit than typically of prior generations – migration trends re-accelerate towards the suburbs.

“This accelerating suburbanization, if you will, puts a strain on highway systems and suburban infrastructure – especially in the modern urban regions where jobs are not disproportionately located in the central business district,” Larkin said. “With reduced population density in the suburbs, last mile delivery is complicated, by the increased distance between stops, the reduced number of parcels per stop, and worsening traffic congestion.”

Thus, just when re-urbanization was predicted to simplify and create last-mile delivery efficiencies while reducing peak hour demand on the transportation network as a whole, Larkin the “white picket fence dream” may be experiencing a revival – and thus foment yet another shift in logistics needs.

Needless to say, all of the above is a heady mix of trends that’s hard to absorb in one sitting. Thus we’ll revisit Larkin’s projections as the year progresses to see what ones gain speed and which ones veer from their expected paths.

Original Source: http://www.fleetowner.com/trucks-work/ten-trends-trucking-should-watch-2018

Original Author:

Written by: Sean Kilcarr

Published: Jan 09, 2018

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5 Ways JIT Transportation Can Help Your Business Succeed

Transportation for Business

Transportation is one of the most important factors needed for a business.  There are many different purposes and areas for which we need to use transportation companies that specialize in business to business transportation services like JIT, FTL, and LTL. Trucking companies offering transportation services often offer competitive rates, insured services, and customer service guarantees.  One of the most important benefits however is their assurance that your deliveries both coming and going will be delivered on time and with care.

Location Specific Delivery

Using a company dedicated to transportation services has become popular in business now-a-days.  This is especially true of Just in Time transportation services as it allows goods to be delivered at a desired location and time.  This allows your business to avoid the expense that comes along with carrying inventory such as warehousing by delivering goods to your location when they are needed.  This inventory strategy helps to increase the efficiency of your business while decreasing waste and reducing inventory costs.

No Large Inventories

Using JIT transportation services are different than other modes of business such as FTL and LTL as it requires producers to make use of forecasting techniques to ensure demands are met in an accurate manner.  JIT is a system where there is a shift from traditional strategies of warehousing large inventories to help meet demand.

The JIT logistics services have number of advantage as compared to the traditional models used. The production is short and that means that the manufacturers can easily move from one product to another.  At the same time the costs are eliminated when this method is used as the storage needs are eliminated. The companies spend less money on the raw materials.

Cost Effective

Companies today love to use the JIT method as it is cost effective way of holding stock. The main purpose is minimizing the goods which you hold at a time. It helps you in saving space. The turnaround of stock is fast and thus you don’t need any stage space and warehouse for holding and storing stock, storage costs are reduced, and you don’t need to buy or rent the warehouse. This savings allows you to invest that money in other parts of the business.

No Waste

The waste is reduced when the JIT transportation strategy is used. The turnaround of the stock is fast and thus the goods being damaged and stolen gets reduced as there will be no goods stored it will not be having issues with goods. This saves companies money.   This transportation method is a good choice for large and small companies alike. Companies do not have to have any funds for purchasing high quantity of stock as it will be taken when needed which will create a healthy flow of cash in and out of your business.

Learn more about Matrix Transportation and the transportation services they offer including: dedicated truckloads, JIT truckloads, less than truckload (LTL), same day expedited FTL and LTL, full truckload, warehousing, cross-docking, and trailer rentals at http://matrixtransportation.com/jit-truckload.php. To contact one of our trucking experts call toll free 888.896.2405 today.


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Trucking Remains One of the Nation’s Deadliest Jobs

Truckers occupy one of the nation’s deadliest jobs. Last year, 786 drivers were killed while working.

That’s an increase of 5.5 percent from 2015, after falling the previous year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ annual census of fatal occupational injuries, published Tuesday.

Since 2011, the annual number of driver fatalities has jumped 17.3 percent.

Opinions differ on what makes trucking so deadly.

“The underlying theme is two-fold for commercial vehicle drivers, fatigue and inattentiveness such as distracted driving,” said Collin Mooney, executive director of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, a nonprofit coalition of North American government agencies.

“It’s hard to pinpoint it to one thing,” said Norita Taylor, a spokeswoman for the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, which represents more than 160,000 independent truckers.

Regulators focus on rules that aren’t safety related, Taylor said.

“We still don’t have enough training or crashworthiness testing,” she said.

As could be expected for an occupation that puts people on the road for days or weeks at a time, the vast majority — 80 percent — of heavy-duty truckers’ work-related deaths involved transportation incidents, according to the BLS.

The job is one of the 10 deadliest for the year.

In 2016, truck drivers had a fatal injury rate of 24.7 per 100,000 full-time employees. Other dangerous occupations include logging, with a fatality rate of 135.9 per 100,000; fishermen, at 86 deaths; and aircraft pilots and flight engineers, at 55.5, according to the bureau.

tractor deaths graph The agency’s data underscores other recent federal transportation safety agency findings of increased trucking-related crashes and deaths.

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration reported 722 truckers killed in traffic crashes in 2016. That’s up 8.6 percent from the prior year, according to the agency’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System annual census published in October.

The number of truckers who died in 2016 was 47 percent higher than in 2009, which registered the lowest number of fatalities since federal agencies began collecting fatal crash data in 1975, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s Highway Loss Data Institute.

All are possible outcomes of a booming economy that’s resulted in increased highway miles for vehicles of all types and surging demand for e-commerce that’s seen a steady rise in freight volumes.

In addition to work-related deaths, truckers are more likely than the average U.S. worker to get injured or sick on the job.

Workers across all U.S. private- and public-sector industries in 2016 sustained work-related injuries or illnesses at the rate of 3.2 per 100 full-time employees, according to separate BLS data on nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses published last month.

By contrast, long-haul truckers sustained work-related injuries or illnesses at the rate of 4.4 per 100 full-time employees. In 2016, regional drivers were injured or got sick at the rate of 3.7 per 100, and moving van drivers at the highest rate: 7.6.

Work-related injuries and illnesses led long-haul truckers to take off a cumulative 47,560 days from work in 2016, according to the BLS.

Drivers Feel Slightly Less Safe Than in the Past

The uptick in work-related deaths, injuries and illnesses could be one reason drivers feel slightly less safe on the job than they did six years ago, according to StayMetrics, a South Bend, Ind., driver-retention technology company that polls truckers on issues such as job safety.

On a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being “strongly disagree” and 5 being “strongly agree,” drivers’ average response to the statement “I feel safe on the job” was 3.88 in 2017, compared with 4.12 in 2012, StayMetrics found. The company’s 2017 data are based on responses from 9,575 drivers.

trucker Safety feelings“There is erosion on how safe drivers feel about the profession,” said StayMetrics Chief Executive Tim Hindes. “I can only surmise that increased traffic congestion and lack of access to safe, predictable parking would be leading causes.”

Within the industry, there’s widespread disagreement over how effective electronic logging devices will be in combating driver fatigue. Some believe fatigue contributes to unsafe conditions and leads to crash-related injuries and deaths.

A federal mandate requiring carriers and independent drivers to install ELDs in trucks to track driving time went into effect Monday. Regulators believe the devices will help enforce a federal hours-of-service rule limiting truckers to 11 hours of driving within a 14-hour workday.

Differing Opinions on ELDs’ Potential to Curb Crash-Related Deaths, Injuries

ELDs are “one approach to address the fatigue issue,” said Mooney.

Fatality rates should drop as a result of the new mandate, he said.

In addition to keeping truckers out of harm’s way, Mooney said ELDs will reduce non-trucker fatalities caused by truck-involved crashes.

In 2016, two-thirds of people who died in truck-related collisions were occupants of passenger vehicles hit by trucks, according to the IIHS’ Highway Loss Data Institute.

Truckers accounted for 17 percent of truck-related fatalities, and 16 percent were pedestrians, bicyclists or motorcyclists, according to IIHS.

A smartphone-obsessed society that’s led to more distracted driving-based crashes could be a contributing factor, Mooney said.

“Distracted driving is an issue for all drivers,” he said. “You see it every day; people are on their phones, they’re not watching the road.”

Better driver training and crashworthiness testing will do more to curb driver deaths and injuries than ELDs, said Taylor.

“I don’t think they’ll make a difference in terms of safety,” said Taylor, whose organization actively battled ELD implementation in the months leading up to the mandate’s start date.

ELDs track a truck’s movement and location and do nothing to address fatigue or ensure compliance with hours-of-work regulations, she said.

Original Source: https://www.trucks.com/2017/12/26/trucking-deadliest-jobs/

Original Date: Dec. 26 2017

Original Author: Michelle Rafter

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Trucking in 2017: Major fleet merger, 34-hour ‘restart rollback,’ anti-regs push, ELD compliance highlight busy year

Truck Driver on ELD

The ELD mandate and its December compliance date dominated headlines in 2017.

2017 started with President Donald Trump being sworn into office in January and ended with the electronic logging device mandate going into effect in December.

In between those two major events were plenty of headlines regarding both, along with other stories that affected the trucking industry in 2017, including the end of the Safety Fitness Determination rule, the end of some of 2013’s 34-hour restart regulations and more.

Below is a monthly look at the biggest stories of the year.


President Trump

President Donald Trump wasted no time putting a hold on new regulations after taking office in January.

Trump freezes regulations:In his first order of business as President, Donald Trump issued a regulatory freeze pending further review by him and his team. The order stifled a few trucking regulations in the works under the prior administration (see more on those below).

Trump orders “two for one” on regsFollowing his first order to freeze new regulations, Trump issued another order that directed federal agencies to eliminate two existing regulations for every new one put into place. The move was intended to help small businesses, Trump said. This order seemingly hasn’t yet affected the trucking industry.

FMCSA uses new techniques for on-site compliance reviewsThe U.S. DOT began expanding how it conducts on-site compliance reviews of trucking companies by expanding the number of interviews performed with carrier employees and checking carriers’ social media accounts.


18-Wheeler on Highway

The speed limiter mandate that had been considered by FMCSA was likely put to bed with Trump’s regulatory freeze.

FMCSA clarifies ELD ‘grandfather’ clauseCarriers using older ELDs that don’t meet the compliance requirements of the mandate were given two more years to fully comply with the mandate, FMCSA clarified in February.

Trump’s regulatory freeze likely kills speed limiter mandateJoe Rajkovacz, head of regulatory affairs for the Western States Trucking Associations, said he believes Trump’s order to freeze new regulations would be the end of any potential speed limiter mandate in the works. Rajkovacz was proven right later in the year, when FMCSA did place the speed limiter rule on the backburner, though it did not rescind the rule outright, meaning it could resume work on the rule at any point.

ELD compliance all about the dataWhile complying with the ELD mandate from a device standpoint may not be too difficult, knowing what to do with the data is another story for carriers.


Safety Fitness Determination Rule

The Safety Fitness Determination rule was withdrawn in March.

34-hour restart regulations permanently rolled backA study by the DOT revealed the some of the changes instituted by the 2013 hours-of-service rule showed no additional safety benefits. The results of the study meant truckers’ 34-hour restarts no longer required two 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. periods and would not be limited to just once a week — the conclusion of a saga four years in the making.

FMCSA withdraws Safety Fitness rule: The Safety Fitness Determination rule meant to revamp FMCSA’s carrier rating system was withdrawn in March. The rule had drawn concern over its reliance on the Compliance, Safety, Accountability program’s Safety Measurement System.


ELD Buyers' Guide

CCJ’s ELD Buyers’ Guide was a comprehensive guide to give fleets information on ELDs.

CCJ’s ELD Buyers’ GuideCCJreleased its comprehensive guide to give fleets the information they need to purchase the right device for their operation.

Swift, Knight announce mergerTrucking giants Swift Transportation and Knight Transportation announced a merger that would give Swift shareholders 54 percent of the company and Knight shareholders the remaining 46 percent.

FMCSA issues update on split sleeper berth flexibility studyFMCSA’s Kelly Regal told attendees at the Managing Fatigue conference the agency’s study on split sleeper berth flexibility would likely enter the data collection phase in 2017.


Uber Freight Mobile App

Uber Freight entered the trucking industry with its load matching app in May.

Covenant subsidiary asks courts to limit liability in cargo theft claimCovenant Transportation Group’s Southern Refrigerated Transport asked a federal judge in May to reconsider a judgment that put the carrier on the hook for $6 million for a claim against a stolen load of pharmaceuticals.

Supreme Court to decide whether or not to hear ELD lawsuitThe Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to hear its lawsuit against the ELD mandate. The nation’s high court, as noted below, declined to hear the lawsuit, leaving in place the lower court’s ruling to uphold the mandate.

Uber launches Uber Freight brokerage appThe ride-sharing giant launched officially entered the trucking industry with a freight matching app aimed at the owner-operator market with a focus on dry van and reefer loads.


ELD on Dashboard

The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a case in June against the ELD mandate, handing a major win to the DOT.

Supreme Court declines to hear OOIDA’s ELD lawsuitThe U.S. DOT earned another victory in June in the ongoing ELD saga when the U.S. Supreme Court decided not to hear OOIDA’s case against the mandate, upholding the mandate’s Dec. 18 compliance date.

Department of Labor rescinds memo affecting owner-operators: The Trump administration rescinded a 2015 memo that classified leased owner-operators as employees, allowing carriers to classify them as independent contractors.

Class-action lawsuit over pre-employment reports stallsA class-action lawsuit brought by six truckers against FMCSA and the pre-employment reports it distributes to carriers was refused by the U.S. Supreme Court. The lawsuit alleged FMCSA shared too much information about drivers’ violation history to prospective employers in the Pre-Employment Screening Program reports.


Trucker with Sleep Apnea

DOT’s July regulatory calendar update indicated it would not further pursue a sleep apnea rulemaking for truckers.

Legislation introduced in House to delay ELD mandateTexas Rep. Brian Babin filed the ELD Extension Act of 2017 that, if enacted, would delay the ELD mandate for two years until December 2019. The bill ultimately saw no action in 2017.

House bill shields carriers from court-ordered payouts to driversThe U.S. House unveiled a bill that would, if passed, prohibit states from requiring carriers to give drivers paid meal and rest breaks, as well as exempt livestock and insect haulers from the ELD mandate. Congress will likely resume work on the bill in the upcoming months.

Trump administration backs off of speed limiter, sleep apnea rulemakingsThe U.S. DOT signaled it would no longer pursue a rulemaking to mandate the use of speed limiters for the trucking industry. The DOT’s regulatory calendar update in July also hinted at the end of a sleep apnea rulemaking that had been in the works. The agency later rescinded the sleep apnea rulemaking, though it did not rescind the speed limiter rule, meaning the DOT can resume work no it at any point.


Walmart Truck

Walmart began charging extra fees for loads delivered early or late in August.

Walmart institutes new fees for early, late deliveriesWalmart began a new policy in August called “On-Time, In-Full” in which carriers will be charged extra fees for deliveries that are late, mispackaged or delivered earlier than the scheduled delivery time.

Navistar ordered to pay fleet $31M over MaxxForce enginesNavistar was ordered by a Tennessee jury to pay trucking company Milan Supply Chain Solutions $30.8 million in damages related to alleged defects in the company’s MaxxForce engine line. The jury concluded Navistar violated consumer protection laws by selling the engines without proper testing.

FMCSA holds impromptu meetings on trucking regsFMCSA began a three-stop tour to gather input from the industry on regulations, including CSA, ELDs and more, without informing the public the meetings would be taking place. Questions swirled around whether the agency had given proper legal notice for the meetings.


Car Wreck

The NTSB determined both the Tesla driver and the trucker involved in a fatal crash were at fault.

Attempt to delay ELD mandate flops in HouseAn amendment to a 2018 appropriations package to stall the ELD mandate for at least 10 months was voted down by the House, therefore it was not added to the package. Rep. Brian Babin filed the amendment as a follow-up to his standalone bill from July.

Natural disasters lead to suspension of hours regs in 26 statesFMCSA suspended hours-of-service regulations for truckers in 26 states hauling gasoline, diesel, aviation fuel, propane and other home heating fuels in the wake of Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Louisiana.

Trucker partly to blame in fatal 2016 Tesla crashThe National Transportation Safety Board determined that while the Tesla driver’s reliance on the autonomous driving mode was mostly to blame in the high-profile crash, the trucker had also failed to yield the right-of-way to the oncoming car.


Glider Kits in Warehouse

The EPA rescinded its glider kit emissions regulations in October.

Week-long inspection spree set to beginCCJ readers in October were on top of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s annual Operation Safe Driver Week, which ran from Oct. 15-21. During the week, enforcement officers were watching for speeding, distracted driving, seatbelt usage and more.

EPA to rescind glider kit emissions regsThe Environmental Protection Agency proposed in October to repeal the emissions regulations placed on glider kits. The regulations would have forced glider kit manufacturers to dramatically change their operations to meet the new standards.

Fleet involved in deadly human smuggling operation shut downPyle Transportation, based in Schaller, Iowa, was shut down by FMCSA following a compliance review that was triggered by a grisly human smuggling operation that left 10 people dead in San Antonio in July.


Tesla Class 8 Tractor

Tesla unveiled its Semi Class 8 tractor in November, boasting up to a 500-mile range fully loaded.

FMCSA announces ELD violations won’t ding carriers’ CSA scores until AprilThe agency that oversees the trucking industry announced in November that carriers hit with violations of the ELD mandate would not have points recorded against them in the CSA rating system until April.

Babin asks Trump directly for ELD mandate delay: Rep. Brian Babin was still fighting with just over a month before the ELD mandate took effect, as he wrote a letter requesting President Trump issue an executive order to delay the mandate until at least April 1.

Tesla Semi unveiledThe Tesla Semi made its debut in November at an event in Hawthorne, Calif. Tesla promises a range of up to 500 miles at maximum weight and highway speed.


Livestock Hauler

FMCSA delayed the ELD compliance date for livestock and other agricultural commodities haulers for 90 days.

Truckers rally in opposition to ELDsOwner-operators and other drivers gathered as part of a so-called “ELD Media Blitz” two weeks before the mandate took effect. The rallies were held across the country in an attempt to bring attention to what drivers said were security, economic and safety issues associated with the mandate.

FMCSA clarifies personal use of trucks with ELD mandateFMCSA released a proposal to alter guidance issued to carriers and drivers involving the use of their truck as a personal vehicle to travel home or to restaurants and motels along their route. The key change in the personal conveyance guidance is the removal of the requirement that trucks be unladen to be used for personal conveyance.

FMCSA issues waiver to delay ELD mandate for ag, livestock haulersThe U.S. DOT granted drivers hauling livestock and other agricultural commodities a waiver from compliance with the ELD mandate until March 18. The extension gave these drivers an extra 90 days to comply and gave FMCSA extra time to consider other ELD-related exemptions requested by drivers in the ag industry.

Original Source: https://www.ccjdigital.com/trucking-in-2017-major-fleet-merger-34-hour-restart-rollback-anti-regs-push-eld-compliance-highlight-busy-year/

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Driver Turnover at Big Trucking Firms Jumps to 95 percent

Big motor carriers are having trouble holding onto drivers.

The pace of driver turnover at big motor carriers rose to 95 percent in the third quarter of 2017, up 14 percentage points from the same period a year earlier.

The third quarter turnover rate is up five percentage points from 90 percent in the second quarter of this year, according to the American Trucking Associations’ latest report.

Turnover at small trucking fleets — those with less than $30 million in annual revenue — increased two percentage points from 82 percent to 84 percent for the same period in 2016. However, the rate dropped one percentage point compared with the second quarter of this year.

The turnover rate is a “reflection of the current state of the driver market,” said Bob Costello, chief economist at the ATA.

“When turnover rates are lower, that tells us that the driver market is not as tight, that drivers are not in as high of demand,” Costello told Trucks.com.

“Since bottoming out at the end of 2016, the turnover rate at larger fleets has steadily risen — a function of an improving economy, rising demand for freight transportation and fierce competition for drivers,” he said.

The driver shortage could increase to more than 50,000 drivers by the end of 2017, the ATA said. Click to Tweet

The increasing churn rate may be attributed to truckers jumping from fleet to fleet as carriers offer sign-on bonuses to attract drivers.

“Fleets continue to tell us that competition for good, safe and experienced drivers is fierce, pushing wages higher in hopes of attracting the best talent,” Costello said. “However, unless steps are taken to make it easier for individuals to pursue careers in trucking, demand for drivers will continue to outstrip supply — eventually even leading to supply chain disruptions.”

In an effort to attract more drivers, the ATA suggests “lowering barriers to entry by creating a graduated licensing regime beginning at age 18 for commercial drivers, taking steps to make it easier for veterans to turn their practical military experience into a CDL, reaching out to underrepresented communities who may not have previously considered trucking as a career and continuing to increase pay and benefits as fleets are already doing,” Costello said.

Trucks move 70 percent of the domestic freight tonnage annually, according to the ATA.

Original Source: https://www.trucks.com/2017/12/18/driver-turnover-trucking-firms-jumps/

Original Date: Dec 18 2017

Original Author: Clarissa Hawes


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There’s still a big demand for truckers, according to one Top 10 jobs list

Trucking, a big jobs engine for the Inland Empire, remains a top career option for people without four-year college degrees, according to CareerBuilder.

Truck driving tops the employment companies’ 2018 list of hottest in-demand jobs for people without bachelor’s degrees, as compiled by data company Emsi.

Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers earn a median salary of $19.26 an hour, according to the list. Total employment for 2017 was 1,966,281 drivers, with 107,845 monthly hires.

Transportation and warehousing accounted for 101,400 jobs in the Riverside/San Bernardino/Ontario metropolitan area in October, according to the California Employment Development Department.

The trucking industry, however, faces changes due to an impending requirement that drivers use electronic logging devices (ELDs). The rule by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is scheduled to kick in Dec. 18.

In the two years since the rule was published, many small fleets and independent truckers have resisted the switch from paper logs.

The average annual cost of an ELD is $495 per truck, according to a 2015 FMCSA estimate that is still being cited by the trucking industry.

Supporters say electronic monitoring will cut down on unsafe driving during long hauls.

“By using an ELD, fleet operations will be centralized, and fleet managers will be able to monitor their drivers’ activities in real-time,” BrightFleet, a driving technology company, wrote on its website.

Critics have organized to stop the rule. They say it is intrusive, that service fees could run up the price of ELDs, and that forcing drivers to rest when they’re not tired will make roads less safe.

They include Forrest Lucas, president of Corona-based Lucas Oil Products, who said in a phone interview he had met with Vice President Mike Pence on the matter.

The ELD rule will cull the trucker population, Lucas predicted.

“A lot of them are just going to quit. I’m quite sure of that. And that’s going to create a huge shortage.”

CareerBuilders’ Top 10

Heavy, tractor-trailer truck drivers: $19.26 median hourly salary

First-line supervisors, retail sales: $17.10

Food service managers: $19.82

Insurance sales agents: $23.17

Computer user support specialists: $23.81

Social, human service assistants: $15.33

Real estate sales agents: $17.92

Pharmacy technicians: $14.87

Medical assistants: $15.18

Tax preparers: $19.60

Original Source: http://www.pe.com/2017/12/04/theres-still-a-big-demand-for-truckers-according-to-one-top-10-jobs-list/

Original Author: Fielding Buck

Original Date: Dec 4 2017

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Tesla’s Electric Truck: Here’s What We Know

Electric vehicle maker Tesla is notoriously close-mouthed about its future products, preferring to tease out tidbits of information to generate interest. The company has stuck to that playbook when discussing plans to unveil a heavy-duty Tesla electric truck this week.

Still, some details have leaked and others can be intuited from what’s known of Tesla’s technology and design philosophy.

The prototype will be a futuristic, battery-electric, Class 8 tractor powered by Tesla-built electric motors, batteries and power electronics, all components the company already makes and can be scaled up for a heavy-duty truck.

Spy photographs indicate Tesla’s electric truck will look quite 22nd century — a tall, imposing cab inspired by the helmets worn by Imperial storm troopers in the “Star Wars” movies that Tesla’s designers watched growing up.

It will be gleaming white — or maybe Tesla red — with smoky black glass windows and curves and angles that slope up and back from a menacing, grille-less front end sporting LED projector headlamps and emblazoned with the company’s iconic “T” logo.

There won’t be a hood — no need in an electric truck. The power electronics and battery pack will be installed beneath the cab. The electric motors — and there will be two, based on Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk’s references to “motors” in tweets about the truck. They will likely be mounted on the rear axles, inboard of the wheels.

The basic design is intended to shout, “Here’s the future, and it is sleek, fierce, and powerful.”

Tesla Semi truck spotted

Potential Tesla semi-truck prototype. (Photo: Reddit)

Musk has promised that the truck’s torque will be best in the business, by far. In a tug-of-war with a diesel semi, he once boasted, Tesla’s semi — Musk calls it “the beast” — would pull its opponent uphill.

Based on Tesla’s cars, expect the cab to be plush and dedicated to making the driver as comfortable and operationally efficient as possible. That’s a Tesla trademark and one way the company helps justify the premium prices needed to pay for the lithium-ion batteries that power its vehicles.

The truck will have autonomous driving features to enable platooning and maximize fuel efficiency and safety. Tesla’s truck, as Tesla’s cars do already, will probably carry the hardware to become fully autonomous with a wireless software update when federal highway safety regulations allow driverless trucks.

Look for a day cab, intended for short- and medium-range work, with a range of up to 300 miles and, more likely, a range of somewhere between 150 and 225 miles. The batteries just get too heavy and too costly to pencil out economically after that, according to researchers at Carnegie Mellon University.

They found that the cost of current lithium-ion batteries alone would run between $160,000 and $210,000 per truck for trucks with 300 miles of range — more than the average $120,000 cost of an entire Class 8 diesel tractor. A 300-mile electric truck would require a battery pack capacity of 1,000 kilowatt-hours and would weigh almost nine tons, dramatically reducing cargo capacity, the study found.

A sleeper cab model for long-distance hauling is in Tesla’s future, but even if the cost and weight obstacles were overcome, the batteries available with today’s technology would require many lengthy, and thus costly, recharging stops — or the construction of a national network of battery swap stations — to keep the trucks rolling long-haul distance.

Rivals, including Toyota, General Motors, U.S. Hybrid and Kenworth, are working on fuel-cell electric trucks, from medium-duty models to over-the-road semis that use hydrogen fuel-cell technology to deliver longer travel distances and quicker refueling. Don’t expect that from Tesla. Musk is a vocal critic of fuel-cells.

Tesla Semi Truck Teaser

Tesla released this teaser of its upcoming electric truck. (Photo: Tesla)

Still, a Tesla drayage truck, designed to haul freight in 100-300 mile loops between port areas and freight hubs and regional warehousing and distribution centers, could be a big seller.

California and New York are big boosters of transitioning regional freight hauling and port truck traffic from fossil fuels to green technology.

The annual market for short-range, heavy-duty electric trucks in the U.S. will hit 15,000 units by 2025, Walter Rentzsch, a Michigan-based trucking industry analyst with consulting firm Roland Berger, told Trucks.com.

Those sales will all be in states, such as California, with heavy financial incentives that will help truck operators offset the higher purchase costs of electric models, Rentzsch said.

Rentzsch and colleague Stephan Keese said that a short-haul electric truck with about 100 miles of range and a five-ton, 600 kWh battery — a lesser truck than the Carnegie Mellon study envisioned — could earn payback for its price premium in three to five years if that premium were no more than $60,000 over the cost of a comparably equipped diesel model.

That’s a conservative look at the financials.

Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas recently called the Tesla truck “the biggest catalyst in trucking in decades,” and predicted that its operating costs could be 70 percent lower than for a Class 8 diesel tractor.

Tesla’s Musk hasn’t been shy about pitching the truck. At a shareholder meeting in June he urged investors to “show up for the semi-truck unveiling, maybe there’s a little more [to it] than what we are saying here.”

Musk repeated that “more to it” claim in an Oct. 6 Twitter exchange with a follower. “Semi specs are better than anything I’ve seen reported so far,” he wrote.

One last thing: Tesla often promises release dates and production schedules that are revised multiple times before things actually start appearing on the road. Expect a lengthy gap from the Tesla truck’s introduction to commercial use.

Original Source: https://www.trucks.com/2017/11/13/tesla-electric-truck-whats-known/

Original Date: November 13 2017

Original author: John O’Dell

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How truckers can stop human trafficking

Human trafficking is a modern form of slavery that’s trapping hundreds of thousands of people, many of them children, into forced commercial sex and abuse. It is also big business, worth some $150-billion-a-year criminal market globally. Truck drivers and fleet owners, however, can play a big role in stopping this horrific enterprise. To that end, Steven Spencer, vice president of transportation solutions at background screening company HireRight, and Laura Cyrus, operations director for Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT), offer some tips to help spot and stop trafficking.

The red flags of human trafficking might not be obvious, at first. But, a closer look into the faces and activities at truck stops, highway motels and rest areas across the country can reveal the victimization of countless women, men and even children.

There’s the strung-out boy who never leaves the sight of a controlling older man. Or the teenage girl, branded with a tattoo on the back of her neck. Or simply a distressed face glimpsed peering out from behind a darkened window.

Trucking companies, truck stop personnel, and especially truck drivers themselves, are on the frontlines of this global epidemic. They frequent or work at the truck stops and rest areas where traffickers force their victims – some as young as elementary age – into prostitution and subject them to constant physical and sexual abuse.

Because they’re constantly traveling and stopping at destinations also used by traffickers, transportation professionals can make a difference. Already trained to be aware of their surroundings, when truckers know how to identify potential human trafficking victims and how to get them help, they save lives.

Modern-day slavery

Human trafficking is a modern form of slavery that’s trapping hundreds of thousands into a life of forced commercial sex and abuse. Victims may have been kidnapped or recruited, sometimes online or during face-to-face meetings at schools, shopping centers or the street.

Sadly, it’s big business, fueling a $150-billion-a-year global criminal market. This crime has exceeded the illegal sale of arms and is expected to outstrip illicit drug sales, according to statistics compiled by the International Labor Organization (ILO).

And its victims are often very young. Anti-trafficking organizations don’t agree on how many American children actually fall prey to human traffickers each year. But of the 18,500 runaways reported in 2016 to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, one in six were likely sex trafficking victims. Globally, the ILO says that 26% of the world’s 21 million human trafficking victims are children.

This crime can take place at any location, but it is not uncommon at truck stops and welcome centers, which can be isolated from the broader community and serve transient customers, according to the Polaris Project, which works to eradicate modern slavery. These secluded locations also make it difficult for victims to escape. That’s where truckers can help.

Truckers to the rescue

Simply knowing the signs of human trafficking can make all the difference. Truckers should be on the lookout for warning signs, trust their gut and jot down notes, such as descriptions of vehicles and people; specific dates and times; and the address when something looks suspicious.

Specific red flags that likely signal a human trafficking case include:

  • Any minor who appears to be engaged in the commercial sex trade.
  • Anybody who appears to be under the control of a pimp, regardless of that person’s age or gender.
  • Signs of branding or tattooing of the trafficker’s name, often on the neck.
  • Indications of other abuse or drug addiction.

Once truckers have recognized the signs and identified a potential victim, time is of the essence. Truckers should immediately notify the truck stop manager and call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888. The hotline is staffed 24/7 with trained operators who can relay information to local law enforcement and look for trends to turn over to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Truckers also can call 911.

In nearly a decade, the hotline has received more than 1,830 calls specifically from people who identified themselves as truck drivers. Those calls uncovered 525 likely cases of human trafficking that involved 972 victims. About a third of those victims were minors.

Training is critical

Since the inception of Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT) in 2009, more truckers and trucking companies are getting involved in the work to end human trafficking.

An industry training program, designed specifically for truckers and truck-stop employees, is at the core of TAT’s work. The program, which is free, available online and takes no more than 30 minutes, highlights those red flags and others, along with ways that truckers can help.

So far, more than 453,000 people have completed the program. And a growing number of trucking companies are requiring their employees to get TAT trained. Many are making it a part of new driver orientation or screening the program during regular safety meetings.

What’s more, lawmakers are recognizing the value of the trucking industry in the fight against human trafficking. Ohio, Arkansas, Texas, Washington and Kansas now use TAT training as part of the curriculum for licensing either entry-level or all commercial drivers in their states. Other states are considering similar requirements.

But, ultimately, the biggest heroes in this fight will be the truckers.

They’re men and women like Con-way Truckload driver Kevin Kimmel, who called authorities in 2015 because something didn’t look quite right at a Virginia truck stop where he had stopped one morning. Through the darkened window of a recreational vehicle, he saw the face of a distraught young woman and, later, watched a man enter the vehicle, which, he told media, started “rocking and rolling.”

Thanks to his observations and subsequent call, police rescued the 20-year-old woman, who had been kidnapped by a couple two weeks earlier from Iowa. Physically and sexually abused and forced into prostitution, the woman was not far from death because of the injuries and starvation she endured.

Kimmel also received Truckers Against Trafficking’s 2015 Harriet Tubman Award, which honors those in the trucking industry whose direct actions help save or improve the lives of human trafficking victims.

He’d pulled into that truck stop to sleep. Instead, by following his instinct and not turning a blind eye, his call resulted in the rescue of a young woman from an unimaginable situation.

Original Source: http://www.trucker.com/drivers/how-truckers-can-stop-human-trafficking

Original Date: Nov 1 2017

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LTL (Less than Truckload) shipping service is the most used method of shipping products using a truck. An LTL carrier is used to pick up several small shipments from customers that do not require a whole trailer to be used. In other words, they may be renting space in the back of the trailer. Once the company has turned all of their pickups for that day, they will bring the freight back to their port. It is also likely a terminal will receive delivery from other terminals that were indexed the last time. This space renting technique helps the truck owners to give a reasonable discount to customers while also making extra income from renting the space. This is extremely useful as there are companies or individuals only need to transport small goods, this saves them money as they do not need to pay for the whole truck which they might not be able to afford.

If you want to use LTL shipping for your goods, there are things you will need to consider and some steps you will need to follow. In this article, we will help you go through some of the steps to follow if you want to use the Less Than Truckload Service.

Perform extensive research

Find a shipping and delivery company that offers a wide variety of services and options to their customers.

  • Have a list of general transport requirements for your business, both immediate and potential needs in the foreseeable future.
  • Make a set of all providers you will like to work with.
  • Speak with an account manager at each one.
  • Get and check sources.
  • Make sure the companies you want to work with have the right license for the goods you want to transport.

After the research

It is important to note that not all LTL companies render perfect service, so it is important to spend more than enough time researching on the right LTL service to use. After you have found a company you feel is the right option, you will also need to how the company in particular works as different people have different ways of doing things. You will need to take these few necessary steps before the driver arrives at your end for pick-up to keep your business running smoothly:

  • Prepare your packaging: Appropriate packaging helps ensure trouble-free shipping. It also helps limit any possible damage coming from Trans loading the packaged freight. Most of the time you want your items on a pallet, but you can double check with the carrier.
  • Label every part clearly: Total names and addresses on each piece are needed to ensure that packages found in your shipment arrive undamaged.
  • Have a bill of lading: It is a legal contract between the shipper or possibly a 3rd Party Logistics Supplier (3PL) and the carrier. It contains details of what is being transported.
  • Order Placement: Depending on the time of your purchase, most companies bring a truck at the location that same day or usually the subsequent day at the most recent. Other hints needed will be made known to you by your carrier.
  • Contact your supplier/shipper to find out when your shipment was first shipped, what carrier that was directed at, and an approximate arrival date.
  • On arrival, inspect the shipment immediately for evident signs of damage.
  • Sign the delivery receipt if everything is fine by you.

Learn more about Matrix Transportation and the transportation services they offer including: dedicated truckloads, JIT truckloads, less than truckload (LTL), same day expedited FTL and LTL, full truckload, warehousing, cross-docking, and trailer rentals at http://www.matrixtransportation.com/ltl-truckload.php.  To contact one of our trucking experts call toll free 888.896.2405 today.

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50,000 drivers needed: Can technology save the trucking industry?

The trucking industry has a big problem: Millennials don’t want to drive trucks.

As a result, the industry could be short 50,000 drivers by the end of the year.

That’s according to Bob Costello, chief economist for the American Trucking Association (ATA), who this week presented findings from a report on the driver shortage.

“We experienced a freight recession last year, which eased the pressure on the driver market,” Costello said. “Now that freight volume’s accelerating again, we should expect to see a significant tightening of the driver market.”

The shortage comes as truck manufacturers are accelerating development of autonomous or semi-autonomous vehicles. If you’ve read any headlines about trucking recently, they’ve probably heralded the coming of the autonomous fleet.

Peterbilt and Freightliner are both developing self-driving technology for their tractor-trailers, as are a number of startups, such as Embark and Otto, which was purchased by Uber last year and is now part of the company’s Advanced Technology’s Group.

Elon Musk is set to unveil Tesla‘s electric semi in late October.

Freightliner received the first-ever license to test a semi-autonomous truck on the highway a few years ago, and just a few days ago a truck became the first autonomous vehicle cleared for regular use on an American highway–albeit at slow speeds.

It’s certainly a ripe market for early adoption of autonomous technology. The American economy relies heavily on trucks, which move 10.5 billion tons of goods each year. The industry employs about 3.5 million drivers.

At the same time, congestion costs the trucking industry more than $63 billion each year. There are also around 4000 deaths and 10,000 injuries attributed to trucks each year, with drivers faulted in the majority of cases. Autonomous vehicles could mitigate both problems.

Still, the shift will likely happen in phases, and fully autonomous trucks face stiff regulatory roadblocks.

I reached out to Brian Fielkow, president of Jetco Delivery and author of the book Leading People Safely, for some industry insight.

“Even though the technology is clearly here for self-driving trucks, I do not see self-driving trucks decreasing the demand for professional drivers any time soon.”

Fielkow envisions a rollout where technology gradually augments the human driver, making trucking safer and more efficient. Uber’s trucking solution, for example, still utilizes the driver for maneuvering off-highway and in high traffic situations, but automates the long lonesome highway portions of the trip.

“Tomorrow’s professional truck driver may be analogous to an airplane pilot, where the much of the function is automated but the human element still is critical.”

Fielkow does see technology as a possible way to alleviate the driver shortages, however. That’s because new technology in the cockpit may take strain off long hauls and make the job more comfortable.

“Technology, including advances that we cannot even see today, will continue to make trucking more efficient and safer. It will create a new experience for tomorrow’s driver, and I hope that will be a breakthrough for our industry’s ability to attract new drivers.”

Original Source: http://www.zdnet.com/article/50000-drivers-needed-can-technology-save-the-trucking-industry/

Original Date: Oct 24 2017

Original Author: Greg Nichols

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