Trucking Biz Buzz

First Love’s location in northern Iowa features 80 parking spaces

The year is almost over, but Love’s Travel Stops hasn’t stopped opening new locations for 2016. Love’s has recently opened a location in northern Iowa in the city of Floyd.

Truckers in northern Iowa can stop at U.S. Highway 18/218 and Monroe Street and fuel, eat and shop at the new Love’s location in Floyd, Iowa. The travel stop is approximately 20 miles east of Interstate 35 on Highway 18. According to a press release, Love’s did not have a location in northern Iowa or on Highway 18 prior to the Floyd location.

In addition to 80 new parking spaces, the Floyd location will include a Subway and Godfather’s Pizza restaurant, five showers, RFID cardless fueling, Cat Scales and other driver services. This will be the sixth Love’s travel stop in Iowa.

For more information, visit Loves.com.

DAT Solutions: Spot market ends November on a high

As expected, the number of available loads on the spot truckload freight market surged last week compared with the previous week, which was shortened by the Thanksgiving holiday.

Less expected was the high load volume on the MembersEdge board during the week ending Dec. 3: a 64 percent jump in the number of available loads and a 13 percent increase in the number of posted trucks.

Unseasonably high ratios: The spot van load-to-truck ratio is the highest since June 2014; the refrigerated ratio is at its highest since March 2015:

  • Van L/T: 4.7 (up 61 percent)
  • Reefer L/T: 8.2 (up 36 percent)
  • Flatbed L/T: 18.8 (up 27 percent)

Rates rise: With demand on the upswing, rates rose across all three equipment types:

  • Vans: $1.74/mile, up 8 cents
  • Reefers: $1.96/mile, up 1 cent
  • Flatbeds: $1.91/mile, up 2 cents

Fuel prices up: The average price of on-highway diesel gained 2.4 percent compared to the previous week at $2.48/gallon. Spot rates include a fuel surcharge.

Van loads soar: The number of van load posts soared 80 percent and truck posts increased 11 percent week over week. Spot van rates stayed strong in key regional markets:

  • Chicago, $2.09/mile, unchanged
  • Dallas, $1.57/mile, up 2 cents
  • Charlotte, $2.02/mile, up 5 cents
  • Buffalo, N.Y., $2.12/mile, up 10 cents
  • Los Angeles, $2.16/mile, down 3 cents

Reefers cooling: Reefer load posts were up 49 percent last week, and truck posts increased 9 percent. With holiday produce on the move, the national average rate for November was 6 cents higher than October’s average. But prices are now tailing off in produce markets:

  • Crops out of Green Bay are mostly finished and prices on some lanes fell hard. Green Bay-Joliet, Ill., was down 36 cents to $1.97/mile
  • Out of California, loads on the Ontario-Chicago lane paid 20 cents less last week at $1.71/mile, and Fresno-Boston slipped 17 cents to $1.91/mile
  • Miami rates slipped after big gains in the previous week. Miami-Boston fell 22 cents to $1.63/mile, and Miami-Elizabeth, N.J., dropped 21 cents to $1.47/mile

Flatdecks bounce back: Flatbed demand bounced back after Thanksgiving. The number of flatbed load posts increased 59 percent, and truck posts gained 26 percent compared to the previous week.

Rates are derived from DAT RateView, which provides real-time reports on prevailing spot market and contract rates, as well as historical rate and capacity trends. All reported rates include fuel surcharges.

For the latest spot market load availability and rate information, visit OOIDA’s MyMembersEdge.com load board, tune in to Land Line Now, and join the conversation on Twitter with @LoadBoards.

More than 800 Freightliners recalled over issues with Goodyear tires

Daimler Trucks North America is recalling certain Freightliner trucks equipped with Goodyear G399A LHS 295/75R22.5 Load Range G tires. Affected vehicles can potentially experience tire tread separation.

More specifically, 2017 Freightliner Cascadia, Business Class M2 and 122SD trucks manufactured Jan. 24, 2016, to Oct. 10, 2016, with Goodyear G399A LHS 295/75R22.5 Load Range G tires are affected by the recall. Tires may have cured improperly, possibly resulting in a partial tread separation.

Owners will be notified, and affected tires will be replaced for free. Recalls are slated for Jan. 6, 2017. Questions can be directed to DTNA customer service at 800-547-0712 with the recall number FL-728.

MAVTV begins airing in Canada Jan. 10

Owned and operated by Lucas Oil Products, MAVTV Motorsports Network is a U.S. television network with its roots deep in the automotive world. MAVTV is set to start airing its motorsports content, events and exclusive automotive reality shows in Canada on Jan. 10, 2017. 

MAVTV announced this week that a distribution agreement has been signed to make the network available to all 115 CCSA members across Canada. Media executive and partner Mike Garrow describes the agreement as a “winning combination for racing fans.” MAVTV’s Jan. 10 launch will coincide with the live broadcast of the 31st annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Midget Nationals, the largest indoor race in North America.   

MAVTVCanada is operated by REV Sports Entertainment Inc., a subsidiary of Neon Star Sports & Entertainment Inc.

Bob Patison, president of MAVTV said MAVTV Motorsports Network has been delivering the “best grass roots racing content” on television for many years. “Now our Canadian race fans will be able to enjoy our exciting shows and exclusive events.”

MAVTV Motorsports Network will feature exclusive automotive and motorsports programming such as The Dave Despain Show, Full Custom Garage, Stacey David’s GearZ and Speed Sport hosted by Ralph Sheheen in partnership with National Speed Sports News.

MAVTV Motorsports Network benefits from Lucas Oil Production Studios, which produces more than 300 hours of exclusive motorsports programming.

Truckers and speed sports fan alike are familiar with the name Lucas Oil. It was founded in 1989 by trucker and longtime OOIDA supporter Forrest Lucas and his wife, Charlotte. Lucas Oil Products Inc. is now a recognized world leader of high performance lubricants, additives and produces and markets more than 270 unique formulations in more than 40 countries. Products include engine oils, greases, gear lubes, problem-solving additives and car-care products. In the USA, Lucas Oil is sold in more than 30,000 auto parts stores and at every truck stop nationwide.

Women in Trucking online auction happening now

Holiday auctions online are fun, especially when the proceeds benefits truckers. The Women In Trucking Foundation is holding its third annual holiday auction through Saturday, Dec. 10, midnight Central Standard Time.

It’s an online public auction in which anyone will be able to bid on items like a custom handmade quilted ornament, a custom suncatcher handmade by OOIDA Life Member Sandy Long, a custom truck painting, four trucker therapy sessions from Buck Black’s Trucker Therapy, die-cast models of the Freightliner Cascadia Evolution, a UPS Feeder truck and a Walmart truck, plus a GPS from Rand-McNally, a rolling duffle bag from Ryder, crystal butterfly bracelets, a four-day stay at Florida’s Orange Lake Resort from Great Dane, and more.

Proceeds from the auction will support the WIT Foundation by providing scholarships to women and men to begin or advance their careers in the trucking industry. It’s not necessary to be a WIT member to apply for the scholarship.

Visit the auction at https://www.32auctions.com/WITholiday2016.

Averitt contributes $10,000 to Red Cross for Tennessee relief effort

In response to the recent wildfires and tornadoes in East Tennessee, employees of Averitt Express have contributed $10,000 to the American Red Cross to help the relief efforts in that area. Averitt Express is a privately owned transportation and supply chain management company based in Cookeville, Tenn.
 
The contribution comes from Averitt’s associate-driven charitable giving organization, Averitt Cares for Kids. Nearly 85 percent of Averitt associates are part of this group, giving $1 per week to make a difference in the lives of countless people.
 
“Our hearts go out to the people who have been impacted by the natural disasters in East Tennessee,” said Gary Sasser, Averitt’s chairman and chief executive officer. “We want to do what we can to help the relief efforts there, and we’re proud to partner with the American Red Cross as it continues its important work.”
 
According to Averitt, Red Cross disaster workers are currently assisting those who have lost their homes and possessions, providing relief and support services. This work includes operating three shelters in Tennessee to provide a safe place to stay, as well as providing necessities for evacuees.
 
Averitt has received numerous charitable awards for its corporate giving and has actively supported a growing list of groups such as Ronald McDonald House, American Cancer Society, Special Olympics, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity, and many more. For more information about Averitt associates’ charitable giving efforts, visit AverittExpress.com/AverittCares.

More than 1,000 trucking jobs added in November

Another strong month for transportation jobs in November as the sector added nearly 9,000 jobs to the economy, including more than 1,000 trucking jobs.

The overall transportation sector gained 8,900 jobs in November, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. Since the beginning of the year, the transportation and warehousing sector has a net gain of nearly 5,000 jobs, up from a net loss of more than 4,000 in October. In January, transportation lost more than 20,000 jobs, the largest decrease since January 2011 when 38,000 jobs were eliminated from the economy.

The truck transportation subsector experienced an increase of approximately 1,100 jobs in November after the industry gained 3,000 in October and lost 3,600 in September. Year-to-date, the trucking subsector has a net loss nearly 4,000 jobs.

The couriers and messengers subsector experienced the largest increase with 5,700 jobs added to the economy, followed by warehousing and storage at 3,100. Air transportation experienced the largest loss with 1,000 fewer jobs, trailed by rail transport with 500 jobs lost.

Last year, the trucking industry suffered a loss in only two out of 12 months. Nearly 7,000 trucking jobs were eliminated last March and 4,000 eliminated in September. May’s increase of nearly 9,000 jobs was the largest in 2015 for the trucking subsector.

Average hourly earnings for the transportation and warehousing sector were $23.65 for November – a 9-cent increase from October. Hourly earnings for production and nonsupervisory employees increased 4 cents to $21.17. Average hourly earnings for private, nonfarm payrolls across all industries were $25.89, 3 cents lower from the previous month. Compared with a year ago, average earnings have gone up by 2.5 percent.

According to the report, the unemployment rate for transportation and material moving occupations is down to 5.7 percent from 6.8 percent last November, and just slightly down from 5.8 percent in October. The overall unemployment rate for the country was down to 4.6 percent, the second consecutive monthly decrease. Over the past five years, the unemployment rate each month has either declined or gone relatively unchanged. The number of long-term unemployed was little changed at 1.9 million, accounting for approximately one-quarter of the unemployed.

Professional Truck Driver Institute will move to Denver

The board of directors of the Professional Truck Driver Institute has voted to move the organization’s headquarters to Denver, Colorado. There it will be managed by Leading Associations.

Since 1996, PTDI has been managed by the Truckload Carriers Association. The decision to switch management was brought on by converging changes to both PTDI’s and the TCA’s missions.

PTDI said in a press release that the transition will take effect immediately. The phone number and website/email addresses will remain the same. Tim Blum of Leading Associations will be PTDI’s executive director.

NJPass allows truckers to bypass New Jersey weigh stations

Truckers traveling through New Jersey will have more options going through weigh stations. The New Jersey Department of Transportation has recently launched NJPass, allowing trucks to bypass weigh stations.

Trucks with NJPass will be able to bypass the three inbound stations located at Interstate 78, Interstate 80 and Interstate 295. NJDOT expects the new system to reduce backups at weigh stations and help truckers save money on fuel and decrease drive times.

All trucking companies are open to apply for the program. Trucking companies enrolled in the program will pay an annual fee based on fleet numbers and how long the company participates in the program.

For more information, call 866-903-0333 or visit NJPass.net.

NAFTA truck freight decreased in September

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics reports that in September trucks moved nearly 65 percent of NAFTA freight – with trains, planes, ships and pipelines picking up the rest. Rail and air freight were the only modes to experience an increase compared to last September.

The value of freight hauled across the borders decreased by more than 2 percent compared with August when freight was up more than 11 percent from the previous month. September marks the smallest year-to-year decrease since February when freight fell by 2 percent compared to February 2015.

Compared to September 2015, freight was down 2.3 percent, a return to a year-to-year decrease after August experienced the first increase since December 2014 when freight increased by more than 5 percent. Year-to-year, NAFTA freight was down every month since then.

Trucks were responsible for nearly $59 billion of the $91.1 billion of imports and exports in September. Rail came in second with more than $14 billion.

Vessel and pipeline freight when compared with last year contributed to the yearly decline in U.S.-NAFTA trade flow because of plummeting crude oil prices, according to BTS. Freight totaled $91.126 billion, down $2 billion from the previous month and a decrease of more than $2 billion from September 2015.

Vessel freight experienced the steepest decline at 6.8 percent, nearly half of August’s drop of 12.5 percent. Trucks had a 3.8 percent decrease, the smallest decrease followed by pipeline freight at 5.2 percent.
 
Nearly 60 percent of U.S.-Canada freight was moved by trucks, followed by rail at 16.4 percent. U.S.-Mexico freight went down by 0.04 percent compared with September 2015. Of the $44.9 billion of freight moving in and out of Mexico, trucks carried 70 percent of the loads.

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