Transport Intelligence s Cathy Roberson has done a brief round up of the major forwarders first quarter results and discovered a stagnant ocean freight market and depressed air freight. However, the Americas is starting to look brighter, especially for Panalpina and K+N.
Posted on | April 29, 2013 | Comments
Watch Political Empire to learn about how a Riverside County supervisor is promoting his effort to change food truck regulations and how local officials are blaming the state for higher crime.
So, the Low Emission Zone has now been in effect for three months and fuel prices are continuing to rise. The freight industry is most certainly in crisis as shown last month, when one haulage company presented a coffin representing the bankruptcy of many smaller firms and the loss of road haulage jobs to parliament. While LEZ has reduced the number of high emission haulage vehicles entering London (no surprise, considering the hefty fines required otherwise!) it certainly hasn t made our job any easier, and so there seems like no better time to review the London LEZ, congestion charges and similar schemes around the country.
The most major event to happen in the capital in the last few months was the ousting of Ken Livingstone as mayor of London. Boris Johnson won the May 1st election, and this should be treated with cautious optimism by us. It s no secret that Livingstone s policies weren t exactly hauler friendly, but will Johnson be any better? In his manifesto, he promised to review the London Low Emission Zone, and pay more attention to the views of the transport industry, and that does thankfully include us with jobs in the road haulage industry. He even described the LEZ as hastily implemented in an interview with Motor Transport, but haulage workers of London shouldn t celebrate just yet. It appears the anti-LEZ stance was a fairly recent development, and as recently as February, his website said will support the Low Emission Zone to improve air quality , so I wouldn t say we re home and dry just yet! If anything, we must continue to apply pressure to ensure he is true to his word and listens to us even if his mind if already made up.
Elsewhere, following the success of the London Low Emission Zone, Glasgow has become the next UK city to announce plans to introduce a similar scheme. Like London, the scheme is aimed to improve air quality and reduce congestion in the city center, but will also extend to ways of tackling vehicles idling by the roadside . It s still in the planning stage, so no costs have been announced, but Scots with road haulage jobs (or those who regularly take loads north of the border) should be prepared for more strain on their wallet. Although currently without a start date, the city had pledged to have a LEZ in place before the Commonwealth Games in 2014.
The good news is that incoming mayor Boris Johnson has scrapped the plan to charge high-emission vehicles a 25 per day central London congestion charge. That s a manifesto promise, so we have to make sure he sticks to it, but unlike the LEZ it is a promise he has made, so we have reason to be positive about this.
The general perception outside of the industry is that the central London congestion charge is working brilliantly, and there s talk of a similar scheme being introduced to the east midlands. Like the central London congestion charge, motorists would have to pay a fee to enter city centers during peak hours thus creating funds to promote other transportation methods. Likely to be included in the scheme are Derby, Leicester and Nottingham. Another city (though not in the midlands) to show an interest in the scheme is Norwich, but the council s plans to implement the scheme have stalled because the estimated revenue would not be able to fund sufficient transport improvements.
Hopefully a new study out this month will make these local councils reconsider. Researchers from King s College, London have come to the conclusion that 2003 s central London congestion charges have made no overall difference to smog in the city because more taxis and buses have taken on the strain of commuters who have abandoned their cars. The researches in charge also pointed out the congestion zone only covers 1% of the Greater London area, so it was unlikely to have a marked impact. The increase in buses resulted in ruling out any initial improvements made, although they pointed out that it reduced traffic down by 40,000 vehicles per day.
Against this backdrop, we have news that the price of fuel is going to continue to rise this year ( 1.50 per liter by autumn is one estimate), and we have to accept that it s going to be a tough time for those of us with road haulage jobs. The best we can do? Continue to look out for our fellow haulers, back the Road Haulage Association and be sure to keep petitioning the government and the new mayor. Boris Johnson has pledged to listen to us it s now time to see if he will keep his word.
Return of the Dart? The Dodge Dart was an iconic car of the ’60s and ’70s, but Dodge is bringing the name back, and who would have thought it would be based on Alfa Romeo DNA? Dart marks the Dodge brand’s re-entry into the compact sedan segment, and after teasing us for some time with detail photos, …
“Share and share alike” is a maxim shippers find hard to follow, especially if it means sharing zealously guarded supply chain resources. Few corporate secrets are as sacred as those involving the cost of bringing goods to market. There, the argument goes, lies critical competitive
As recently speculated, General Motors has gone forth and filed for its initial public offering, or IPO. This is a huge milestone for GM who was forced into bankruptcy and had to restructure their assets with the help of the U.S. Treasury. GM is hoping to raise at least $16 billion in its IPO, which could earn them the rank of second highest grossing IPO since Visa?s $19.7 billion IPO in 2008. The IPO will allow the U.S. Treasury to lessen its stake in General Motors and thereby returning the money to the government coffers. [ General Motors ]
See the rest here:
GM files for IPO
While GM has had to shed some of the markets it was in due to bankruptcy, they?re apparently evaluating the possibility of re-launching efforts in the minivan and small truck realms. While GM once had a solid small truck in the S-10, the replacement Colorado and GMC Canyon have been lackluster in the sales department. As for the minivan market, GM has always had difficulty gaining a solid foothold in the US. Apparently they will be trying again with a stretched version of the Opel Zafira. Not sure if going back into already saturated markets is the best strategy, but GM seems to be in a hurry to get back to its former stature. [ AutoBlog ]
Read the original:
GM looking to gravitate back towards minivans and small trucks