News from JOC
Intermodal Shipping: Building a Better Intermodal Ride1
Maersk Line and BNSF offer day-definite intermodal delivery from Los Angeles to five inland destinations
Maersk Vows to Defend Market Share Gains4
Maersk Line will not allow its renewed focus on profitability rather than cargo volume to eat into the significant gains in market share it achieved in 2011, the carrier said on Monday.
Cosco, China Shipping Consider More Vessel Sharing Pacts5
Cosco Container Lines and China Shipping Container Lines are looking to expand their vessel sharing agreements on China coastal and intra-Asia trade lanes to other routes, said Capt. Wei Jiafu, chairman of the Cosco Group.
Truck Volume Forecast to Grow 3.9 Percent in 20126
The trucking industry will outperform the U.S. economy this year, with truck freight growing 3.9 percent, greater than overall GDP, according to FTR Associates.
Asia-Pacific Airlines’ Freight Traffic7
Asia-Pacific based airline traffic in calendar 2011 declined 4.8 percent year-over-year as freight capacity inched ahead 0.1 percent. In contrast, January 2012 traffic plunged 13.7 percent and capacity declined 5.3 percent. The calendar 2011 cargo load factor was 66.6 percent, off 3.4 percentage points year-over-year, while January’s cargo load factor was 65.3 percent, off 5.7 percentage points year-over-year.
Chinese Manufacturing Expands on Export Order Rise9
Chinese manufacturing in February expanded at the fastest pace in five months, as export orders surged after a production lull caused by Lunar New Year celebrations.
Indonesia Poised for Major Logistics Growth 10
Indonesia will see rapid growth in logistics demand this year but needs huge investment in transport infrastructure to realize its true potential, according to one leading analyst.
Saudi Airlines Cargo to Fly to Saigon11
Saudi Airlines Cargo will launch a twice-weekly B747 freighter service to Saigon, Vietnam, on March 25, linking the Southeast Asian country to the Middle East and Frankfurt, Germany.
- ^ Intermodal Shipping: Building a Better Intermodal Ride (cl.s4.exct.net)
- ^ Logistics: Helping Shippers See More Clearly (cl.s4.exct.net)
- ^ Trucking: The Road to the Ocean (cl.s4.exct.net)
- ^ Maersk Vows to Defend Market Share Gains (cl.s4.exct.net)
- ^ Cosco, China Shipping Consider More Vessel Sharing Pacts (cl.s4.exct.net)
- ^ Truck Volume Forecast to Grow 3.9 Percent in 2012 (cl.s4.exct.net)
- ^ Asia-Pacific Airlines’ Freight Traffic (cl.s4.exct.net)
- ^ UASC Seeks Second GRI on Asia-Europe Trade (cl.s4.exct.net)
- ^ Chinese Manufacturing Expands on Export Order Rise (cl.s4.exct.net)
- ^ Indonesia Poised for Major Logistics Growth (cl.s4.exct.net)
- ^ Saudi Airlines Cargo to Fly to Saigon (cl.s4.exct.net)
The Truckload Carriers Association and co-sponsor Overdrive have announced three finalists in each of two Driver of the Year contests.
The six finalists will attend TCA s annual meeting March 23-26 near Dallas, where the winners will be announced for both the Owner-Operator of the Year and Company Driver of the Year awards. The two winners will be featured in subsequent issues of Overdrive.
The owner-operator finalists are:
- Thomas Miller, leased to Prime Inc., based in Springfield, Mo. Miller lives in Bunker Hill, Ill.
- Bryan Smith, leased to Art Pape Transfer, based in Dubuque, Iowa. Smith lives in Asbury, Iowa.
- Terrance Smith, leased to SLH Transport, based in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. Smith lives in Miramichi, New Brunswick, Canada.
The company driver finalists are:
- Reuben Dupsky, Fremont Contract Carriers, based in Fremont, Neb. Dupsky lives in Fremont.
- Jack Fielding, Bison Transport, based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Fielding lives in McKellar, Ontario, Canada.
- Allan Raffay, Prime Inc. Raffay lives in Hawley, Pa.
Overdrive always takes pride in highlighting the nation s successful owner-operators and drivers, says Brad Holthaus, vice president of sales for Trucking Media at Overdrive s publisher, Randall-Reilly. These finalists are clearly six of the best. I know whoever wins will serve the industry well as an example of safety, professionalism and service.
The finalists were selected based on safety, efforts to enhance the trucking industry s image, and contributions to their communities. Eligibility requirements included having driven one million consecutive, accident-free miles.
It is always such a privilege to be able to work with professional drivers of this caliber, said Tom Kretsinger, Jr., president of American Central Transport, Inc., Liberty, Missouri, and TCA s chairman. I wish we could give every one of them the title of Driver of the Year.
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So it s Thanksgiving, but today I ve a couple for you that might better have figured in our Christmas-songs poll still ongoing1 a couple lesser-known gems, as it were. The first here is from Bill Weaver, who shared the new tune with us via Overdrive s Facebook page2. Characteristically humble, Bill: OK Folks, here is my latest hit single Christmas song for truck drivers, he wrote. Give a listen to it via Youtube vid of Weaver playing it live in the bunk below How the Truck Drivers Saved the Christmas Holiday tells the story of the year Santa got DOT d up in Fairbanks and, well, had to call on Bill and several friends to get the gifts hauled. (Weaver might well be singing about this particularly troubling year for the Claus operation.3)
(Yes, says Bill, your children can actually listen to this one. )
Next is one from the great Tony Justice4 whose new record is due out in mere weeks 5(catch it at the truck-stop racks, and stay tuned to OverdriveOnline.com for reporting on it and further listening opportunities6). This one s from his last record, On the Road 7 Bring Daddy Home is told from the point of view of a boy writing Santa with just one request: to bring his dad home for Christmas. Justice put together a video for the track, posted to MySpace earlier this year. Follow the link below for it.
And a big Happy Thanksgiving to all on the road and off today. Here s hoping for a great rest of the week.
- ^ might better have figured in our Christmas-songs poll still ongoing (www.overdriveonline.com)
- ^ Overdrive s Facebook page (facebook.com)
- ^ Weaver might well be singing about this particularly troubling year for the Claus operation. (www.overdriveonline.com)
- ^ Tony Justice (www.overdriveonline.com)
- ^ due out in mere weeks (www.overdriveonline.com)
- ^ listening opportunities (www.overdriveonline.com)
- ^ his last record, On the Road (www.overdriveonline.com)
- ^ Video File (myspace.com)
Courtesy Ronald Reagan Library / via Federal Highway Administration
President Reagan signs the Surface Transportation Assistance Act into law, sparking a fight with the trucking industry.
Automakers like General Motors, BMW, and Volkswagen are making a big effort to get more Americans into diesel-powered cars.
There are lots of reasons to love diesel cars1: They offer a ton of torque and excellent fuel economy, and they’re not as dirty and loud as they once were we were thrilled with the latest diesel Audis2.
But the fact remains that in the U.S., diesel is more expensive than the gasoline that powers nearly all our passenger vehicles and that’s an obstacle to growing its popularity.
Why is that the case, when the reverse is true in Europe?
The difference dates back to a bitter conflict between President Ronald Reagan, Congress, and the trucking industry, and unfortunately it’s not going anywhere.
Entering office in 1981, Reagan soon recognized the need to increase funding for the country s highway system: Four thousand miles of highway needed resurfacing and 23,000 bridges needed repair or replacement.
That need gave birth to the Surface Transportation Assistance Act (STAA) of 1982. Because trucks cause more damage to roads than passenger cars, the bill included a higher user tax on heavy trucks, along with a $.05 per gallon increase on gasoline and diesel taxes. At the time, the two fuels were taxed equally.
That fear was confirmed in a 1984 report4 from the Government Accountability Office (GAO), which estimated taxes on very heavy trucks (70,000 pounds and up) would jump from $1,506 to $1,742, or from $1.40 to $1.56 per mile driven.
And at least a quarter of that would have to be paid at the start of the fiscal year, adding an extra financial burden.
The powerful American Trucking Associations (ATA) was appalled by the proposal, according to a detailed account of the legislative battle5 by Richard Weingroff, an information liaison specialist at the Federal Highway Administration.
ATA President Bennett C. Whitlock, Jr. talked to quite a few senators,” he told the Washington Post at the time. “We’re asking them to vote against the conference report and to start over again in the next session of Congress in establishing new truck-use fees.
The heavy truck fees were supposed to take effect in July 1984. They never did.
A Tax Is Born
After losing the battle in the legislature, the trucking industry kept up its vocal opposition. Two days after the bill became law, the Washington Post ran a story calling the truck lobby one of the best-financed and strongest interest groups on Capitol Hill.
The article noted that the ATA s political action committee gave nearly $300,000 to 398 congressional candidates during the 1982 elections.
Rep. James J. Howard (D-NJ) told The Post he saw the ATA s loss as an aberration due to the fact there was a tremendous push for a jobs bill and a huge highway and transit bill.
In late January, the issue became violent. Despite opposition from the ATA and other industry groups, the Independent Truckers Association led a strike by drivers around the country, The New York Times reported7.
In addition to striking, opponents of the fee began attacking drivers who continued on their routes. One trucker, George Franklin Capps of North Carolina, was shot through the neck by a sniper and killed while driving. Seven other North Carolina drivers were shot at, according to The New York Times.
California trucker Howard N. Adams was shot in the chest and lived, and a 14-year-old girl was riding in a car near Pittsburgh when she was hit in the head with a brick that was apparently thrown at a truck from an overpass.
The strike did not last long and was never widespread, but the violence it kicked up highlighted the passion among truckers over the use fees.
It didn t take long for popular opinion to shift against the use fee. The month the bill became law, the Department of Transportation signaled it would be willing to see the truck fees replaced with an increased tax on diesel, the fuel used by large trucks and a few passenger cars.
By February of the next year, The New York Times was referring8 to the highly unpopular truck-tax legislation passed in 1982, and Secretary of Transportation Elizabeth Dole put forward a plan to reduce the fee and increase the tax rate on diesel.
The idea behind taxing diesel is that it s used by all trucks, but few passenger cars. That way, trucks still pay their fair share, in accordance with how much time they spend on the road and they re not hit with large fees they must pay up front.
In 1984, Reagan signed the Deficit Reduction Act (raising taxes by $50 billion) into law, sharply cutting the use fee and raising the tax on diesel from $.09/gallon to $.14/gallon. A report from the Joint Committee on Taxation explained the rationale:
Higher rates scheduled to take effect under the Highway Revenue Act of 1982 would have imposed a large tax on trucking operations which did not necessarily relate to the amount of business they might do, and that an alternative form of highway excise taxation should be devised which is more definitely correlated with the use of trucks. Therefore, Congress decided to substitute a high diesel fuel tax for a lower use tax.
Where We Are Now
GM introduced Chevy Cruze Diesel this year.
Since then, diesel has been taxed more heavily than gasoline. Today, the federal excise tax on gasoline is $0.184/gallon. For diesel, it s $0.244/gallon.
The 1984 law included a tax credit to help out owners of diesel-powered light vehicles. That tax credit no longer exists, though you do get a break if you buy diesel9 for use on a farm, a nonprofit educational organization, or an aircraft museum.
And while it s possible that kind of credit could be reinstated, there are more calls for raising fuel taxes than lowering them even from the trucking lobby.
The diesel tax is a fair way to account for the impact trucks have on the road, Darrin Roth, director of highway operations at the American Trucking Associations, said in an interview. We think it should be even higher than it is.
It s clear, he said, that there isn t enough money going into highways for necessary repairs and expansions, both of which help truckers.
Stephen Comstock, tax policy manager at the American Petroleum Institute, said he is starting to see strong interest in the idea of bumping up taxes. Former Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood called on Congress to raise the gas tax earlier this month.
You ve got to have a big pot of money. We don t have it now.
If those taxes do go up, there s no reason to believe they would suddenly be equaled.
There are other ways to get more funding to the Highway Trust Fund. Oregon has looked at taxation based on vehicle miles, Comstock said, but that s considerably more complicated than just taxing fuel.
And what about going back to the original idea of creating a fee for trucks and taxing gasoline and diesel equally?
We wouldn t be in favor of that, Roth, of the American Trucking Associations, said.
Sorry, automakers. That diesel tax isn t going anywhere.
- ^ lots of reasons to love diesel cars (www.businessinsider.com)
- ^ we were thrilled with the latest diesel Audis (www.businessinsider.com)
- ^ December 1982 New York Times article (www.nytimes.com)
- ^ confirmed in a 1984 report (www.gao.gov)
- ^ detailed account of the legislative battle (www.fhwa.dot.gov)
- ^ Reagan signed the bill into law (www.reagan.utexas.edu)
- ^ The New York Times reported (www.nytimes.com)
- ^ The New York Times was referring (www.nytimes.com)
- ^ you do get a break if you buy diesel (www.irs.gov)
- ^ he said at an event (mobilitylab.org)
- ^ according to The Washington Post (articles.washingtonpost.com)
- ^ according to Bloomberg (www.bloomberg.com)
The American Trucking Associations Monday pointedly took aim at a recently released study from the Universidade Estudual de Londrina in Brazil1 which suggested that drug and alcohol use among truck drivers2 worldwide is not uncommon by calling its findings inaccurate, adding that reports form U.S. media outlets about the study are sensationalized.
The study, which presents severely varying degrees of drug and alcohol use by truck drivers from country to country, says that about 30 percent of drivers worldwide admitted to using amphetamines, 20 percent to marijuana and 3 percent to cocaine.
ATA said in its rebuttal that the study s findings were based on self-reporting and limited biological testing of drivers from Latin America, Australia and (allegedly) the United States. The results stand in stark contrast to the ongoing data collected by U.S. authorities based on biological testing of U.S. truck drivers.
Bill Graves, president and CEO of ATA, said the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration s data from 2011 showed drug use rates of truck drivers in the U.S. to be lower than 1 percent (0.9 percent), and data from 2008 showed alcohol violation rate to be even lower than that, 0.19 percent, he said.
ATA Chairman Phil Byrd, president of Bulldog Hiway Express, said the media outlets that published the story did not check it for accuracy and said the study is disrespectful to truck drivers.
I can think of nothing more disrespectful than being tarred as a drug user or drunk driver based on inaccurate reporting and a specious study, Byrd said. The outlets that ran with this story, and did not try to verify its accuracy with U.S. data, owe the millions of safe, dedicated drivers that deliver America s most essential goods every day a sincere apology.
- ^ recently released study from the Universidade Estudual de Londrina in Brazil (www.reuters.com)
- ^ drug and alcohol use among truck drivers (www.overdriveonline.com)
What s the real impact of hours of service rules on the drivers?
As a follow-up to last week s piece on a fleet panel s examination1 of hourly driver pay at the American Trucking Associations annual convention, there s this, also from the panel: The hours of service rule that took effect July 1 actually makes trucking less safe and is pushing out drivers in droves.
One of the panel s conclusions is that the 60-67 age group of drivers are moving on from trucking due to the new regulations and are the silent victims, says Werner COO Derek Leathers. Older drivers are also the most qualified drivers, he says, and it s concerning they re leaving driving.
Gordon Trucking COO Steve Gordon echoes the point, adding that while his fleet has worked to give drivers more home time, the current hours rule causes snags and lost time each week that undo the fleets work to make drivers schedules more manageable.
The point about detracting from safety came from Dave Osiecki, ATA s senior VP of policy and regulatory affairs, who said pushing the most experienced, safest drivers out of the industry isn t a good way to boost safety.
Gordon also said the driver health angle of the new hours rule is ludicrous, as taking money from drivers pockets (due to decreased mileage) and causing them to take arbitrary breaks probably isn t making drivers healthier.
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Support for this weekend s Ride for the Constitution1 billed variously as a shutdown, rally, buy-nothing protest and a series of convoys has been falling in recent days with growing perceptions of a lack of credibility among its organizers and an overall lack of direction and organization. Support among Overdrive readers2, too, has plummeted in recent days, falling to 35 percent midday Thursday3, down from 38 percent Wednesday and 43 percent Tuesday.
Capping the overall dissolution of the event was a D.C. convoy coordinator s public admission4 that the extreme elements of his plan to take over the Capital Beltway I-495 in the Washington, D.C., area Friday in an attempt to cause a traffic jam and then move to Capitol Hill and arrest members of Congress was simply meant to ruffle some feathers of national media, according to a report in The Washington Post5.
Those concerned with actually taking on over-regulation of the trucking industry have also expressed disappointment in the movement7, due to its broad and slightly outlandish array of demands such as removing President Barack Obama from office and lack of clear focus on industry issues8, like hours of service, unpaid detention time, etc.
Moreover, trucking advocacy associations like the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association and the American Trucking Associations both have expressed disapproval for the shutdown and convoy.
In a statement OOIDA says it opposes the movement and its threats and says the shutdown only stands to damage the image of trucking and truckers:
The individuals leading this particular effort have no direct affiliation with trucking and appear to be using truckers in order to gain media attention and air other political grievances. We do not support assembling in an unlawful, unpermitted manner, committing crimes, making threats on our lawmakers, or behaving in such a way to cast safe, professional truck drivers in a negative light.
The most effective way to effect change, OOIDA says in its statement, is to conduct long-term campaigns and encourage an open dialogue between truckers and their representatives.
ATA in its one-sentence statement says it does not endorse or condone the activities of these few individuals.
- ^ Ride for the Constitution (www.overdriveonline.com)
- ^ Support among Overdrive readers (www.overdriveonline.com)
- ^ falling to 35 percent midday Thursday (www.overdriveonline.com)
- ^ D.C. convoy coordinator s public admission (www.overdriveonline.com)
- ^ according to a report in The Washington Post (www.overdriveonline.com)
- ^ Questioning the logistics of the shutdown, convoy in the capital (www.overdriveonline.com)
- ^ have also expressed disappointment in the movement (www.overdriveonline.com)
- ^ lack of clear focus on industry issues (www.overdriveonline.com)
- ^ Kevin Rutherford on the protests: Use your head, don t shut down (www.overdriveonline.com)
- ^ Poll: Will you be participating at all in the Ride for the Constitution? (www.overdriveonline.com)
- ^ Related: Readers react to the Ride for the Constitution (www.overdriveonline.com)