Trucking Biz Buzz

Internet Truckstop has changed its name to Truckstop.com

Online freight-matching service Internet Truckstop is now Truckstop.com.

In conjunction with a new logo and brand identity, Truckstop.com will be a part of the larger entity Internet Truckstop Group. Also within the group are uDrove, Real Time Freight, ITS Financial Services, D&S Factors and Roady’s Truck Stops.

According to a press release, the only visible changes will be the name and the “fresh coat of paint.” Chief Marketing Officer Brent Hutto described the beginning of the company 20 years ago as “just a load board” that has grown much larger in the past two decades.

 

Espar is now Eberspaecher

Espar, the German vehicle technology company, will assume the name of its parent company Eberspaecher, the company recently announced. Celebrating its 150 year anniversary, Eberspaecher has decided to bring Espar under its namesake.

Established in 1973, Espar was the North American subsidiary of Eberspaecher specializing in compact fuel-operated heaters. Eberspaecher develops and supplies exhaust technology, vehicle heating and air conditioning systems.

 “Espar” will still be used as a legal business entity.

 

Average spot market rates reveal improvement for flatbeds

Flatbed freight rates increased while van and reefer rates showed little or no change for the week ending Saturday, March 21. This is compared with the previous week, according to DAT Solutions, which operates the DAT network of load boards.

Van rates remained stagnant at $1.94 for the second consecutive week. Chicago experienced rates as high as $2.11. Rates for the month of February were down 2.6 percent from the previous month and declined 5.1 percent since February 2014. Load-to-truck ratios decreased 16 percent to 2.9 loads per truck. Only three states – Idaho, Maine and Vermont – have a ratio of 5.5 or greater, unchanged from the previous week.

Reefer rates dropped a penny to $2.15 compared with the previous week. Green Bay rates were as high as $2.80. Lakeland, Fla., had the low rates of $1.70. Compared with February 2014, reefer rates are down 3.7 percent. Load-to-truck ratios went down by 19 percent to7.8 from 9.6 in the previous week. Thirteen states have ratios of 12 or more, with seven states West of the Mississippi River and the remaining six towards the northeast.

Flatbed rates increased 3 cents to $2.18. This marks the second consecutive week of higher rates after several weeks of unchanged rates. Harrisburg, Pa., had a high rate of $3.65. Phoenix marked a low rate of $1.69. Rates are down 3.6 percent for the month and 3.2 percent in the last 12 months. There were 16.4 loads per truck for flatbeds, a 10 percent increase from the last week. Eleven states across the country have a ratio of 18 or higher, unchanged from the previous week.

 

Biodiesel imports declined 36 percent in 2014

Biodiesel and renewable diesel imports went down 36 percent last year, despite achieving record levels just the previous year, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The EIA has identified two driving forces behind the decline.

Hesitation of proposed Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) targets for 2015 and the lack of a surge of imports from Argentina late in the year have been considered by the EIA as reasons for the decline in 2014 volumes.

As defined by the EIA, RFS “requires EPA to set annual requirements for the renewable content of liquid fuels that may differ from a set of targets specified by law.”

Under the 2014 RFS projections, obligations for biomass-based diesel were expected to remain unchanged from 2013. However, advanced biofuels were projected to decrease to 2.2 billion gallons from 2.75 billion gallons the previous year.

Last year’s RFS targets proposal was released in November 2013. Targets for 2015 have yet to be released. Insecurities stemming from last year’s low projections and this year’s lack of projections have caused problems for refiners to meet RFS targets.

A major contributor to 2013’s record volumes was Argentina. In response to a European Union five-year tariff for selling biodiesel in the EU below cost, Argentina exported oil typically destined for Europe to the United States, according to Bloomberg. Argentine biodiesel imports fell 57 percent the following year.

In a late-January article in Bloomberg, biodiesel makers had issues with the Environmental Protection Agency allowing imports from Argentina. Complaints about imports came as the government failed to comply with laws that encourage domestic production.

Additionally, tax credits for biodiesel usage have been inconsistent. A $1 per gallon biodiesel tax credit expired at the end of 2013. The tax was not reinstated until the end of 2014. Higher prices kept the blending and production of domestic biodiesel economically feasible, thus reducing the need for imported fuels.

According to the EIA, demand for alternative diesel fuels has been increasing since 2012, largely due to raising RFS targets and biodiesel tax credits.

 

J. J. Keller mushers dominate 2015 Iditarod

Dallas Seavey, age 28, has won the 2015 Iditarod, and his father, Mitch Seavey, age 55, has captured second place. Both are sponsored by James and Rosanne Keller, representing J.J. Keller & Associates.

According to a J.J. Keller press statement, Dallas Seavey used his unique training regimen and group of Iditarod veteran dogs to win the 43rd annual Iditarod Alaskan sled dog race on Wednesday, March 18, at 4:13 a.m. local time. He finished in 8 days, 18 hours, 13 minutes and 6 seconds with 10 dogs.

They competed in temperatures as cold as minus 45 F and winds gusts of over 40 mph with many windblown trails and periods of heavy snow, overcoming frostbite to beat out 78 other registered mushers. Due to snow conditions, this year’s route started in Fairbanks, Alaska. The revised route added around 600 miles of river ice.

Mitch Seavey, in his 22nd Iditarod, came in second place. He finished at 8:22 a.m. Wednesday morning. He finished in 8 days, 22 hours, 22 minutes and 56 seconds with 10 dogs.

Both Kellers were at the finish line.

After meeting Dallas Seavey in Seward, Alaska, in 2006, James and Rosanne Keller created the J.J. Keller Extreme Transportation Solutions sponsorship to celebrate one of the original forms of transportation and to salute trucking professionals who dedicate themselves to transporting needed goods.

 

Navistar and Women in Trucking’s 2015 Influential Woman in Trucking

President and CEO of Rihm Kenworth Kari Rihm has been named Navistar and Women In Trucking Association’s 2015 Influential Woman in Trucking. Rihm received the award during a recent ceremony at the Truckload Carriers Association annual meeting.

Rihm took over her husband’s business, Rihm Kenworth, after his death in 2010. Rihm Kenworth has been in the family in St. Paul, Minn., since 1932. In keeping with family tradition and entrepreneurship, Rihm, her two children and some employees took the three dealerships and expanded to five dealerships. In the last four years, Rihm Kenworth has won the Kenworth Truck Company Medium Duty Truck Dealer of the Year three times.

Currently, Rihm Kenworth is the only woman-owned Kenworth dealer in the United States. Certified by the Women’s Business Enterprise Network Council, Rihm’s business has been named a Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Magazine Family Business Honoree in 2013. Her business also received a National Association of Women-Owned Businesses local chapter Pioneer Award in 2014, and was honored with a 2015 nomination for American Truck Dealers Association Dealer of the Year.

The Influential Woman in Trucking award honors women “who make or influence key decisions, have a proven record of responsibility, and mentor and serve as a role model to other women” in the trucking industry. The award was initiated in 2010 by WIT and Navistar to recognize women leaders in the trucking industry and to entice more women to enter and advance in the industry.

 

Trucking freight index down first time in over 6 months

The Freight Transportation Service Index for January decreased by 0.2 percent from December to 122.9. January marks the second consecutive month of decreases, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

Rail carloads, rail intermodal and pipeline were the only modes to experience some growth in January. Production, orders and inventory all decreased for January. TSI has gone up 29.9 percent since April 2009, when the index was at a historic low of 94.6.

Trucking freight received its first decline in the index since June 2014.

Freight shipments are down 0.2 percent from January 2014, up 19.0 percent from five years ago, and increased by 7.6 percent from 10 years ago.

The Freight TSI measures the month-to-month changes in freight shipments by mode of transportation in tons and ton-miles, which are combined into one index. The index measures the output of the for-hire freight transportation industry and consists of data from for-hire trucking, rail, inland waterways, pipelines and air freight.

 

SuperRigs to be held June 11-13 in Selma, Texas

Circle June 11-13 on the calendar and head over to Selma, Texas. The 33rd Shell Rotella SuperRigs is slated for those days at Retama Park in Selma. This year’s theme is “Thoroughbreds of Trucking.”

In addition to glistening, working trucks, show goers can also catch some horse racing on Friday evening and Saturday night. Located approximately 20 miles northeast of San Antonio off of Exit 174-A on I-35, the racetrack hosts quarter horse and thoroughbred racing.

Twelve drivers will compete for a chance to be featured in the 2016 Shell Rotella SuperRigs calendar. More than $25,000 in cash and prizes will be awarded to truckers during the truck beauty contest. Valued at more than $50, entrants will receive a gift package.

Judging will take place between 7:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, June 11 and 12, and between 9 a.m. and noon on Saturday, June 13. Land Line Magazine Managing Editor Jami Jones will be back judging again this year.

Country musician Phil Pritchett will be performing for the crowd on Thursday, June 11. Friday night will include the truck parade on the race track followed by a fireworks display and another performance by Phil Pritchett. Games, classic cars, a barbecue cook-off, the Rotella Road Show and other events will also be held.

For updates, visit rotella.com or follow on Facebook at Facebook.com/ShellRotella and on Twitter at Twitter.com/ShellRotella.

 

Con-way Truckload joins charity to send free coffee to troops overseas

Con-way Truckload and military charity Holy Joe’s Cafe have teamed up to provide coffee to soldiers at military bases in the United States. Con-way Truckload is now a transportation sponsor of the charity.

Offering its services free of charge, Con-way will transport thousands of pounds of coffee to military bases. Coffee is also donated from suppliers.

Con-way began moving coffee for military charity Holy Joe’s Cafe last June. Transporting more than a dozen shipments, the donated service was valued at more than $50,000. This year, Con-way plans to increase the amount of shipments. Each truckload carries approximately 400,000 to 500,000 Keurig K-Cups along with a pallet of Keurig coffeemakers.

Once shipments arrive at various military bases, the coffee is sent to deployed troops. Soldiers in the Middle East are the main focus, with military personnel in 35 other countries also being delivered Keurig coffee.

Served by military chaplains at overseas bases, troops will have the opportunity to have conversations dealing with a variety of issues they may have to cope with while deployed. More than 150 military chaplains participate in this program.

For more information about Holy Joe’s Cafe and its services, visit their Facebook page.

 

Mack Trucks calendar contest accepting submissions

It may be March 2015, but it is not too early to start thinking about 2016 calendars. Mack Trucks announced this week that Mack owners now have the opportunity to see their truck in next year’s calendar.

Mack owners can submit photos to nominate their trucks at Mack Trucks' official Facebook page. Trucks being entered in the contest must be in current commercial operation. Any Mack model and year is eligible.

Fans of the Facebook page will vote on six trucks to be featured in the 2016 calendar. Currently, the Facebook page has more than 100,000 fans. Trucks that win the contest will receive a professional photo shoot that will be used in their spot for the calendar.

Mack is currently accepting submissions. All entries must be received by May 31.

 

 

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