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Trucker Tools, J.J. Keller form strategic partnership

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RESTON, Va. and NEENAH, Wis. — Trucker Tools and J.J. Keller & Associates have formed a strategic partnership the two companies say will provide faster, more accurate and comprehensive shipment location information to freight brokers and shippers from independent truckers and fleet operators.

The companies have launched a platform integration that allows J.J. Keller Encompass customers the option to share load-specific truck location data from their J.J. Keller electronic logging devices with the Trucker Tools Load Track automated shipment tracking software.

Additionally, J.J. Keller’s customers will gain access to timely information about available loads from the Trucker Tools broker community via the Smart Capacity portal, or through the Trucker Tools Mobile Driver App, according to Tom Reader, senior director of marketing at J.J. Keller & Associates.  Both access points will enable users to quickly locate available loads from participating brokers and securely bid on them, he said.

Trucker Tools has dozens of freight brokerage firms utilizing its Load Track automated shipment tracking software, as well as its Smart Capacity visibility, predictive freight-matching and carrier relationship management platform.  The software is integrated with the GPS-enabled, smart-phone-based Trucker Tools Mobile Driver App, which has been downloaded by more than 550,000 truckers and is actively used by 110,000 small fleet operators. J.J. Keller has over 600,000 customers using its safety and regulatory compliance products and services, backed by 66 years of knowledge and expertise in the transportation market.

“Pursuing this strategic initiative with Trucker Tools allows our ELog customers the option to share their truck location data with potential brokers and 3PLs to secure available loads in a timely and accurate manner – which translates to additional revenue opportunity for them,” Reader said. “It’s a win-win for shippers, brokers and drivers across the industry who are exploring more efficient ways to secure and move freight.”

Prasad Gollapalli, founder and CEO of Trucker Tools, said as well that integrating with J.J. Keller’s ELD products deepens the pool of shipment visibility data for Trucker Tools Load Track users.

“Connecting with a proven, real-time ELD platform like J.J. Keller adds to our system another resource for in-transit shipment information, providing a more complete picture of a truck’s precise location and progress to destination,” he said. “That gives our broker-customers a more accurate view of when and where trucks become available, so they can make faster, more informed decisions matching available trucks with loads. And for truck operators, it eliminates manual work such as ‘check calls’ into brokers; location updates are done automatically.”

Trucker Tools, based in Reston, Virginia, is a provider of trip planning, shipment visibility and freight matching solutions for the transportation industry.

Its ground-breaking Smart Capacity platform uses accurate, real-time data and powerful algorithms to optimally match freight by predicting when and where capacity will become available, days in advance. The company’s popular driver smartphone app has been downloaded by over 550,000 owner operators and small-carrier drivers to access information and services conveniently while on the road. Load Track is a robust feature in the app that connects drivers with carriers and freight brokers to eliminate manual check calls.

For more information visit www.truckertools.com or contact the company directly at sales@truckertools.com.

Since its beginning as a one-man consulting firm in 1953, J.J. Keller & Associates, Inc. has grown to become the most respected name in safety and regulatory compliance. Now over 1,400 associates strong, J.J. Keller serves over 600,000 customers — including over 90 percent of the Fortune 1000 companies.

For more information, visit JJKellerEncompass.com.

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Business

DAT: Spot rates weaken as weather clouds a sunny forecast

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This chart shows that both van and reefer rates were down based on a seven-day average compiled on March 16. (Courtesy: DAT)

PORTLAND, Ore. — Just when spot truckload rates and demand seemed ready for an upward swing, they took another hit last week.

With weather disruptions on vital truck routes in the Midwest and Rockies, van and refrigerated load-to-truck ratios slipped during the week ending March 16, said DAT Solutions, which operates the DAT network of load boards:

  • Van: 1.6 loads per truck
  • Reefer: 2.9 loads per truck
  • Flatbed: 22 loads per truck

The DAT load-to-truck ratio measures the number of loads moved on the spot market relative to the number of available trucks. National average rates declined as well compared to the previous week:

  • Van: $1.86/mile, down 2 cents
  • Reefer: $2.19/mile, down 2 cents
  • Flatbed: $2.34/mile, unchanged

Van trends

Spot van volumes remain ahead of March 2018 levels but so far this month demand for trucks is no better than it was in February 2019. Capacity is abundant and spot van rates are drifting: On DAT’s top 100 van lanes last week, pricing fell on 53 and rose on 36. Eleven lanes were neutral.

Where Rates Were Up: With freight markets in the Midwest struggling with unusual weather, there was a ripple effect for supply chains. For instance, the challenge of getting freight into Denver last week led to an 18-cent increase in the average rate from Seattle to Salt Lake City ($1.90/mile). On the other hand, the extra West Coast trucks in Salt Lake City caused rates on the lane from there to Stockton, California, to decline.

What to Watch: Expect a boost in flatbed pricing as the demand to move heavy machinery and construction materials into the region picks up. High demand for flatbeds in the coming weeks may cause van availability to tighten on some lanes.

Reefer trends

The national average spot reefer rate has declined in seven of the last eight weeks. On the top 72 reefer lanes, 26 lanes moved up while 43 lanes fell and three were neutral. We’re waiting on California and Florida produce to pull rates higher.

Where Rates Were Up: Sacramento, California, to Salt Lake City jumped 40 cents to $2.35/mile, possibly due to trouble getting into Denver. In the Midwest, two lanes from Grand Rapids, Michigan, rebounded from last week:

  • Grand Rapids to Madison, Wisconsin, increased 22 cents to $2.58/mile
  • Grand Rapids to Atlanta added 21 cents to $2.71/mile

Where Rates Fell: Many of the prior week’s gainers came back to earth, including Elizabeth, New Jersey, to Boston (down 38 cents to $3.81/mile) and Philadelphia to Miami (off 22 cents to $1.96/mile).

DAT Trendlines are generated using DAT RateView, which provides real-time reports on spot market and contract rates, as well as historical rate and capacity trends. The RateView database is comprised of more than $60 billion in freight payments.

DAT load boards average 1.2 million load posts searched per business day.

For the latest spot market load availability and rate information, visit dat.com/trendlines and follow @LoadBoards on Twitter.

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ACT: Current Class 8 story is big backlogs, slowing orders

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ACT says heavy commercial vehicle markets continue to benefit from key triggers and new technologies, (Courtesy: VOLVO TRUCKS)

COLUMBUS, Ind. — In the release of its Commercial Vehicle Dealer Digest, ACT Research said that recently softer Class 8 orders are attributed to backlogs that are still out about 10 months.

Many of the orders normally booked in the year’s first quarter were actually placed in the rush to get into the queue in the second half of 2018.

The report provides monthly analysis on transportation trends, equipment markets, and the economy.

“The rolling-over of ACT’s dashboard guidance suggests today’s order weakness will transition from ‘too much backlog’ to an equipment supply-freight demand imbalance in the near future,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT’s president and senior analyst. “That said, heavy commercial vehicle markets continue to benefit from key triggers, including still-strong freight rates (being marked-down from record levels) and new technologies, like better fuel efficiency and safety technologies, as well as increased demand generated in the trailer segment for drop-and-hook to keep drivers moving.”

ACT Research is a publisher of commercial vehicle truck, trailer, and bus industry data, market analysis and forecasting services for the North American and China markets. ACT’s analytical services are used by all major North American truck and trailer manufacturers and their suppliers, as well as banking and investment companies.

More information can be found at www.actresearch.net.

 

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ATA truck tonnage index down 0.2 percent in February

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Despite the February decline, the index was 5.4 percent higher than February 2018. (The Trucker file photo)

ARLINGTON, Va. — The American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index was down 0.2 percent in February after increasing 2.5 percent in January. In February, the index equaled 117.4 (2015=100) compared with 117.6 in January.

“After a strong January, I’m pleasantly surprised that the index didn’t fall much last month,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “I continue to expect tonnage to moderate like other indicators, including retail sales, manufacturing activity and housing starts. Additionally, the level of inventories throughout the supply chain have increased, which is a drag on truck freight.”

January’s reading was revised up slightly compared with our February press release.

Compared with February 2018, the SA index increased 5.4 percent, down from January’s 5.8 percent gain. In 2018, the index increased 6.7 percent over 2017, which was the largest annual gain since 1998.

The not seasonally adjusted index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by the fleets before any seasonal adjustment, equaled 106.9 in February, 5.7 percent below January’s level (113.3). In calculating the index, 100 represents 2015.

Trucking serves as a barometer of the U.S. economy, representing 70.2 percent of tonnage carried by all modes of domestic freight transportation, including manufactured and retail goods. Trucks hauled 10.77 billion tons of freight in 2017. Motor carriers collected $700.1 billion, or 79.3 percent of total revenue earned by all transport modes.

ATA calculates the tonnage index based on surveys from its membership and has been doing so since the 1970s. This is a preliminary figure and subject to change in the final report issued around the 5th day of each month. The report includes month-to-month and year-over-year results, relevant economic comparisons, and key financial indicators.

 

 

 

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