CHARLESTON, W.Va. Truck drivers from across West Virginia will be starting their engines this weekend in the Capitol City.
The event was scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Charleston Civic Center. As part of it, the competitors take three tests: a written test, a pre-trip safety inspection test and then a field test behind the wheel.
West Virginia Trucking Association President Jan Vineyard said she likes watching the drivers improve.
This is what they do everyday, and they want to be safe, professional drivers and I m thrilled every year to get to know them better and see just how involved they are in doing what s right and being the best they can be, said Vineyard.
The drivers will compete in nine classes that include everything from smaller box trucks to those with sleeper cabs.
The winners advance to the American Trucking Associations National Truck Driving Championship, also called the Super Bowl of Safety, in August in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Vineyard said the trucking industry is vital to West Virginia and this event is vital to the industry s drivers.
Trucking is so important to West Virginia. Almost everything that you have comes by truck. This is good for the drivers, the trucking image and it s just very important overall, said Vineyard.
BLOOMINGTON, Ont. — A strong environment for trucking got even stronger in April, as FTR s Trucking Conditions Index (TCI) rose another 0.7 points to a reading of 13.8. The TCI is designed to summarize a full collection of industry metrics, with a reading above zero indicating a generally positive environment for truckers. Readings above 10, as they are now, signal that volumes, prices, and margins are likely to be in a solidly favourable range for trucking companies.
FTR officials say modest rate increases are expected to resume as freight enjoys reasonable volume growth alongside the reduced trucking productivity due to increased regulations (It is forecast that new regulations will take at least 3% out of trucking capacity, according to FTR). A soft fuel market will keep overall freight rate increases (rates including fuel) below normal recovery levels, the report says. However, FTR expects a significant increase in base prices due to the effects of Hours-of-Service and other rulings negatively impacting trucking capacity.
Recent data point to a fragile manufacturing sector. This is a concern as industrial movements account for a significant portion of truck freight. Despite the concern I believe that manufacturing is pausing rather than starting a downturn. As long as the modest economic growth continues, trucking should be able to show further growth in 2013, said Jonathan Starks, director of transportation analysis for FTR.
The bigger concern is how the industry reacts to the fast approaching Hours-of-Service starting on July 1. The markets have been in supply and demand equilibrium since late in 2011. As such, rates have been very stagnant amid a strong TCI reading because the market tends to react to changes in market conditions. We believe that our expected 3% hit to productivity is enough to break that equilibrium and generate substantial rate improvement by the end of the year.
YAKIMA, Wash. Accidents are an unfortunate side of Yakima Valley’s busy streets and highways. They can be even more terrifying when it involves a big rig or tractor trailer.
“It takes a while getting used to driving a truck out on the highway, said Thomas Marrow, a truck driver of 22 years. I have experience witnessing some fairly bad accidents over the years.”
Tom tells KIMA he thinks accidents can happen anywhere. But he said it happens most often to drivers who become too comfortable or distracted. He said experience seems to help drivers become more responsible.
Tom said he’s driven through every state except for maybe four or five. And, he says this area of the country is known as one of the trickier places to drive through.
“Heavy rain, snow, creates some trouble through the passes, Tom said.
KIMA pulled the numbers on commercial vehicle accidents over the past three years. Every year, Kittitas County saw the most accidents, averaging about 80.
State Patrol says it s likely because of heavy traffic on Interstates 82 and 90.
Yakima County was second, averaging about 60 accidents per year. Officers say it’s likely because of the Agriculture industry. Counties like Benton and Franklin averaged between 20 and 30 a year.
Overall, commercial vehicle accidents increased in most counties in our area between 2011 and 2012. Benton County saw 15 more accidents. Franklin saw an increase of 8 accidents. Yakima jumped from 48 to 67 accidents.
Tom said the numbers don’t surprise him based on how many trucks are actually on the road.
“I think the accident rate is low compared to that, Tom said.Still, it’s a rate that most would like to see driven down.
published: 2013-06-07 17:12:09
If there’s one thing History’s Ice Road Truckers1 has taught us, it’s that trucking ain’t easy. And in frigid climates, it’s especially dangerous. The History Channel has had success with an unscripted series about the trucking industry, and now it looks like Showtime may be giving the topic a whirl with a new drama in development.
Better known and celebrated (presently) for his poetry, Tony Tost2 has already made the transition from poetry to TV writing with a few episodes of Longmire. And today, Deadline3 reports that he’s developing a drama for Showtime4 called Heartland Trucking. The project would be a scripted look at the world of truckers in middle America, centering on a family run business that serves truckers along with its own criminal agenda.
I’ve often wondered what it was like to be a trucker. I blame Over the Top for my interest in the subject (as well as my curiosity about the world of competitive arm-wrestling). There’s so much traveling involved, so much time spent on the highways and managing that huge vehicle on the road, moving things from A to B. Stopping at rest stops. Spending time away from home. There’s potential for a drama in that kind of lifestyle, though it sounds like Tost’s project focuses on a family run business, so it’s unclear how much of the show would take place on the road. Either way, the concept seems interesting. We’ll have to wait and see if this one moves forward, and if so, who’s cast in the lead.
In addition to Tost’s involvement, the project is being developed by Television 360 (Game of Thrones) and Fox 21.
Ocean Freight Shipping Rates Increase for Asia to U.S./Canada Imports
Posted by Annette Leahy on Fri, Jun 07, 2013 @ 02:00 PM
As of Monday, July 31, 2013, United States & Canada manufacturers, retailers and wholesalers importing cargo from the Far East will incur an across-the-board general rate increase (GRI), as announced by freight shipping carriers.
The confirmed freight shipping rate levels for ocean containers consisting of standard and refrigerated cargo, embarking from the Far East and imported into the United States and Canada are as follows:
United States and Canadian West Coast:
- US$320 per 20-foot shipping container
- US$400 per 40-foot shipping container
- US$450 per 40-foot HC shipping container
- US$505 per 45-foot shipping container
IPI via the West Coast:
- US$480 per 20-foot shipping container
- US$600 per 40-foot shipping container
- US$675 per 40-foot HC shipping container
- US$760 per 45-foot shipping container
United States and Canadian East Coast via All Water or Intermodal:
- US$480 per 20-foot shipping container
- US$600 per 40-foot HC shipping container
- US$760 per 45-foot shipping container
To some freight shipping customers this may seem like just another in a long series of continuously rising ocean shipping rates. And while there have been steady increases over the years, the fluctuating nature of freight shipping rates is ongoing, with prices rising and falling depending upon factors such as supply and demand, freight shipper competition, and cargo capacity management.
Bill Mongelluzzo, Associate Editor of the Journal of Commerce1 (JOC) wrote an article last year titled Ocean Carriers Flex Their Pricing Power2, which was prefaced with “Trade growth is dragging and capacity is increasing. So why are shippers paying so much more?” This is in apparent reference to the fact that only the shipping industry seems to defy the basic business principles of supply and demand.
Through our freight shipping3 network, we will continue to negotiate with our cargo carrier partners to mitigate these freight rate levels, and keep you up to date on all the latest developments and progress as it happens. If you have any questions, please contact us toll-free at (800) 383-3157.
At ETC International, our overseas freight shipping network has been serving companies in need of commercial and industrial cargo imports since 1984, and we are committed to keeping our customers abreast of the latest shipping industry changes so that they may make the most informed decisions when it comes to import and export freight shipping considerations.
With nearly 30 years experience in overseas import and export freight shipping, we have an expert understanding of all the ins-and-outs of commercial ocean vessel transport. As a result, we are able to provide invaluable information to our commercial clients to help them make the most of their shipping dollars. We provide all the details a company needs to effectively import and export consumer goods and industrial distributions.
We are happy to provide a no-cost, hassle-free rate quote on overseas freight import and export shipping for manufacturers, retailers and wholesalers, and to discuss additional considerations of the overseas shipping process, so your business can reliably ship goods to paying customers or receive goods from overseas freight importers.
You can get your convenient online rate quote right here with just a few clicks:
As part of its Blue Power campaign and strategy to finding alternative fuels for the trucking industry, Volvo unveiled June 6 a new alt fuel option for the North American trucking market dimethyl either (DME).
Volvo says DME mirrors..qualities and energy efficiency of diesel and burns clean without producing any soot. The fuel is a sustainable fuel, Volvo says, and can be made from several different sources, including natural gas.
Volvo said it will begin producing trucks using DME power in 2015, and the DME option will be available in Volvo s D13 engine. The truck maker s proprietary I-Shift transmission will be standard equipment with DME-powered trucks, too, the company said.
As part of the Blue Power lineup, Volvo also has CNG-powered VNM and VNL daycab model trucks, and it plans to introduce an LNG option next year for VNL daycabs and sleepers.
As a follow up to its DME announcement, Volvo said it has partnered with Oberon Fuels and grocery store chain Safeway to test the DME-powered trucks. The test will use DME produced from biomass, and the project has received $500,000 from California s San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District.
Safeway will use two Volvo VNL model trucks equipped with DME-powered D13 engines. The fuel will be produced by Oberon. Volvo says Safeyway chose to take part in the testing because of its positive experience with Volvo trucks, as well as the company s focus on sustainability.
Understanding The Truck Driver Supply and Demand Gap And Implications For The Canadian Economy. That s the title of a comprehensive new Conference Board of Canada Report, commissioned by the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA), which throws this longstanding issue into high relief suggesting the driver shortage could reach 25,000 to 33,000 by 2020, with dire consequences for the trucking industry, consumer goods, and the economy.
I think what it does, it quantifies what many in the industry have already been feeling for a while, says Marco Beghetto, vice president, communications and new media with the Ontario Trucking Association (OTA).
The OTA suggests that, with $17 billion in GDP tied directly to the for-hire trucking industry, and the indirect impact far greater, there s little question a driver shortage could impact significantly on the economy, and, that, this issue is something we, as a nation, should think about.
Consider that in Ontario 90 per cent of consumer goods and food items are moved by truck, and the trucking industry supports almost 480,000 jobs in Canada, resulting in almost $24 billion in personal income.
The supply of truck drivers is predicted to nosedive over the next decade between older drivers nearing retirement, and young people not wanting to get into the industry. Sixty per cent of truck drivers are now over the age of 45, and almost 25 per cent are 55 or older. Meanwhile, only 12 per cent of truck drivers are under the age of 30, far lower than in other occupations.
Right now it s a bit sporadic, a bit sectorial, but the demographics are what they are, Beghetto says. The trucking industry does not appear attractive to young people.
The Report cites such dissuading factors as: employment opportunities in other sectors; poor compensation for drivers; rising operational costs; the demanding lifestyle and working conditions; increased traffic congestion and delays; and heightened border controls and safety requirements.
The Conference Board Report echoes the findings of last year s CTA Blue Ribbon Task Force identifying the truck driver shortage as the industry s biggest generational concern. The BRTF Report observed that the traditional piecework pay system makes compensation for truck drivers, no longer competitive with other industries.
While the trucking industry is still the second-largest employer of Canadian men, the OTA notes the industry won t be able to rely on its traditional source of labour going forward (farms, construction), and tomorrow s truck drivers will need to be better trained and more highly educated to deal with the new technologies being installed in trucks.
And while the Canadian Trucking Human Resources Council spreads the word through its Earning Your Wheels Curriculum and Accreditation Process, Career in Trucking booklets, pamphlets and website, and Career Path program, industry insiders cite the need to better educate high school students about the benefits of the trucking industry (freedom, for one), and more organized immigration strategies.
Don Wilson, director of the Alberta Motor Transport Association recently told the Edson Leader, trucking companies must, start thinking outside the box to address forthcoming shortages utilizing more foreign workers, husband and wife teams, and women behind the wheel.
Overall, Beghetto says it s a matter of improving professional, safety, and environmental standards, so the industry becomes more attractive to a wider group of people.
Improvements in technology and equipment have, in recent years, made trucking fleets greener and more fuel efficient (through features such as side skirts ).
The trucking industry has really done more than any other to reduce its environmental footprint and raise the bar, he observes.
And the CTA s website drivershortage.ca, is, the only website in North America, to my knowledge, dedicated to these issues.
KING CITY, Ont. — The Private Motor Truck Council of Canada has a formed a new group geared towards young professionals that are new to the trucking industry.
The PMTC Young Leaders Group (YLG) was formed in early 2012 with the endorsement of the PMTC board. Board members have since offered support to the group by providing meeting venues, ideas for the group s consideration, and recommending the participation of young people within their departments, according to group officials.
YLG began with a kickoff event that was hosted by Molson Coors Canada in February 2012, a meeting attended by close to 20 Young Leaders. At the time, the group expressed an interest in developing the YLG into a sub-set of the broader PMTC membership with its own specific objectives. Broadly speaking, those objectives included hosting discussion groups with speakers to focus on career development; sharing the views of the YLG and their needs with the PMTC board of directors; and identifying ways in which the YLG can contribute to PMTC, and to the broader trucking community, according to YLG.
At present, YLG officials say the group has an active membership, having formed its own LinkedIn group, hosting a Breakfast Meeting at the PMTC conference in addition to other meetings throughout the year, assisting in the development of the new PMTC Web site and creating video content for the site.
PMTC and its board of directors are encouraged by the interest and enthusiasm of the Young Leaders Group, PMTC officials said in a release. Looking forward, PMTC feels that supporting the YLG is a positive step towards assisting new entrants to the industry and helping to ensuring the future of trucking.
Trucking industry groups accept more needs to be done to improve safety, after two fatal crashes in the eight days since a campaign was launched to reduce the number of people killed in truck accidents.
The two men killed in the accidents, at Kerikeri on Tuesday and on the East Coast last week, are the latest victims in an industry desperate to improve its safety record.
Both crashes were between two trucks.
First Union transport and logistics secretary Karl Andersen has called for an investigation into the cause of heavy vehicle accidents, saying many drivers are being put under pressure to drive for longer shifts.
Road Transport Forum chief executive Ken Shirley said the safety of the industry had drastically improved in the last 15 years but he admitted more needed to be done to crack down on the “three big causes” of crashes: speed, inattention and fatigue.
Mr Shirley said it was important for the reputation of the industry that companies and individuals continued to condemn the actions of drivers who broke rules by speeding or failing to keep strict log books.
“A vast majority of accidents aren’t caused by the truck, but a significant number are. Unfortunately, just as cars are involved in accidents, from time to time trucks are,” Mr Shirley said.
“It’s very regrettable, it’s very costly, it’s very expensive and often very tragic and we would all like to say there’ll be no more accidents.”
Since last week’s launch by police of the month-long Operation Austrans – targeting the heavy vehicle road transport sector on speed, fatigue and vehicle compliance – officers have inspected more than 1000 heavy vehicles and issued more than 400 infringements and warnings.
National road policing manager Superintendent Carey Griffiths said there had been only one warning about driver fatigue but “sadly it has been marred by two fatal crashes since the operation was launched”.
There have been multiple other serious crashes involving trucks in the last week, including a crash between two trucks that closed part of State Highway 4 near Mt Ruapehu yesterday.
Road Transport Association general manager Dennis Robertson said the trucking industry needed to “constantly improve” its safety record.
“The professional driving fraternity … take it very seriously.”
Mr Robertson said technology that tracked the speed and time that trucks were being driven was gradually being introduced by commercial companies, and would eventually result in most trucks across the country being monitored to ensure drivers were being safe.
He said most companies were “embracing this technology” to further ensure drivers met their responsibilities on the roads.
However, Mr Robertson said “sheer” physics meant any crash involving a truck was likely to be more serious than other crashes.
“If a truck is involved in a crash the chances are someone’s going to die. That’s a reality,” Mr Robertson said.
“I think you’ve got to stand back and say of course there’s going to be crashes where people are unfortunately going to be killed. All we can do is continue to get the safety message out there.”
– By Kieran Campbell, Andrew Koubaridis and the Gisborne Herald
More goods entering Southern California ports signals optimism about the U.S. economy and the trucking industry, Bloomberg News reported Wednesday.
Combined inbound-container volume at the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports rose 3.5% in the first four months of 2013 from a year earlier, according to Bloomberg data.
That follows total imports through the sister ports that rose 0.9% last year from 2011. The two facilities make up the largest U.S. port complex.
The activity suggests that an increase of 3% to 5% consistent with modest consumption growth is attainable this year, Bloomberg said, citing analysts.
An index of U.S. truck loadings rose 3.9% in April from a year ago, following a 4.2% gain the prior month, Bloomberg reported, citing data from FTR Associates, Bloomington, Ind.