Truck in Tunnel

Economy, commercial-vehicle markets recovering but path forward will be choppy, ACT says

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COLUMBUS, Ind. — More people and politicians are taking the threat of COVID-19 more seriously is resulting in a “choppy” economic path forward, according to the Commercial Vehicle Dealer Digest released by ACT Research July 27. The monthly report, which combines ACT’s proprietary data analysis from a variety of industry sources, paints a comprehensive picture of trends that impact the transportation and commercial-vehicle markets. The report includes a high-level forecast summary, complete with transportation insights, and reviews top-level considerations such as for-hire indices, freight, heavy- and medium-duty truck segments, the total U.S. trailer market, used truck sales information and a...
USA Truck web

USA Truck notes some losses, balanced by modest improvements, during second quarter of 2020

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VAN BUREN, Ark. — USA Truck Inc. (USAT) reported a consolidated operated revenue of $123.7 million for the second quarter of 2020 compared to $133.6 million for the second quarter of 2019, according to a report released by the company July 27. The company’s base revenue, which excludes fuel surcharge revenue, was $113.2 million compared to $116.7 million for the 2019 period. A net loss of $0.9 million, or 11 cents per diluted share for the second quarter of 2020 and an adjusted net loss of $0.5 million, or 6 cents per diluted share, was reported. During the same quarter in 2019,...
US Xpress Enterprises web

U.S. Xpress’ second-quarter report shows $8.6 million increase in operating revenue over same time...

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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — U.S. Xpress Enterprises Inc. reported overall improvements for the second quarter of 2020, according to a report released July 28. “I am very pleased with our second-quarter results, as we are beginning to see the tangible, financial benefits of our strategic initiatives focused on utilizing technology to improve our processes, accelerate the velocity of our business, improve our customers’ and drivers’ satisfaction, and lower our costs,” said Eric Fuller, the company’s president and CEO. “The approximate 500 basis points of sequential margin improvement we achieved exceeded normal seasonality,” he continued. “The successful launch of our digital fleet, ongoing success...
Semi at Sunset

Spot truckload rates rose amid supply-chain imbalances during week ending July 26

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BEAVERTON, Ore. — Spot truckload freight rates continued to increase last week, bucking typical trends for late July, according to the DAT Spot Truckload Market Summary for the week ending July 26. The summary is produced by DAT Solutions, which operates DAT One, the industry’s largest load board network. The number of spot dry van, refrigerated, and flatbed loads on DAT One decreased 3% during the week ending July 26 while the number of trucks posted increased 2%. Spot rates, which usually taper off during July, have been elevated as shippers and freight brokers turn to the spot market to...
ACT web

Latest reports from ACT Research show month-over-month improvements in June for freight index, truck...

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COLUMBUS, Ind. — As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a negative impact on the global economy, reports from ACT Research (ACT) for June show continued rebounds in the North American trucking industry after shutdowns in March, a “dismal” April and slight improvements in May. ACT has created a COVID-19 Market Watch webpage to track noteworthy high frequency macroeconomic and transportation-specific market indicators. FOR-HIRE TRUCKING INDEX The latest release of ACT Research’s For-Hire Trucking Index, which includes data for June, shows continued, significant improvement in the diffusion index measures tracked. The volume index rose to 70.4 in June, up from 19.3 in...
LaQuenta Jacobs

XPO Logistics appoints LaQuenta Jacobs as chief diversity officer

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GREENWICH, Conn. — XPO Logistics, Inc.  has appointed LaQuenta Jacobs to the newly created position of chief diversity officer, effective August 3, 2020. Jacobs will provide cultural leadership and strategic direction as an advocate of diversity, equity, and inclusion at XPO. She will report directly to the chief executive officer. According to a news release from XPO, Jacobs is a progressive human resources executive with 23 years of experience leading organizational development initiatives for global public companies. She joined XPO in 2018 as head of human resources for the company’s last mile business unit, with responsibility for HR and recruiting operations in the United...
Class 8 Trucks

Major OEMs’ second-quarter reports reflect continued impact of COVID-19

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Financial reports for the second quarter of 2020 (April-June) recently released by four major OEMs — Daimler, Navistar, PACCAR and Volvo — reflect the continuing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on commercial-vehicle sales. DAIMLER TRUCKS Daimler, a German manufacturer of passenger vehicles, buses, and light-, medium- and heavy-duty trucks, reported in a July 23 statement that the group’s total unit sales for all categories saw a 34% drop compared to the second quarter of 2019. In addition to the Freightliner and Western Star commercial trucks that are commonly used in North America, Daimler produces Mercedes-Benz, FUSO and BharatBenz trucks; Mercedes-Benz and Smart...
Coronavirus Graph

New COVID-19 cases threaten economic, commercial-vehicle recovery, ACT says

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COLUMBUS, Ind. — The tug of war between positive and negative influences on the business environment and trucking industry reached a pivotal juncture at the end of June, but a sharp escalation in new COVID-19 cases since mid-June threatens to abort the fledgling recovery. That’s according to ACT Research’s recently released Transportation Digest. “The sudden shock of the COVID-19 recession pushed the market off the edge of the cliff in March and April, but almost as swift and sharp was the rebound in the economy and in freight in May and June,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT’s president and senior Analyst. The...
Diamond State Logistics Truck

Alabama-based carrier acquires Arkansas’ Diamond State Trucking

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — PS Holdco LLC (PS Logistics) announced July 21 that it has acquired substantially all assets of Diamond State Trucking Inc., RDA Tractor LLC and RDA Trailer LLC (collectively, Diamond State Trucking). Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Diamond State Trucking, headquartered in Malvern, Arkansas, was founded in 1928 and has an exemplary safety record. The company has established a base of long-term customers and has a goal of delivering personalized and professional cost-saving service to those customers. Diamond State Trucking operates a state-of-the-art, well maintained fleet, allowing for reduced downtime and better fuel economy. The...
Loading Freight Into Trailer

June saw improvement in ATA’s Truck Tonnage Index, but numbers lag 1.3% behind 2019

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ARLINGTON, Va. — The American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index increased 8.7% in June after falling 1% in May. In June, the index equaled 115.3 (2015=100) compared with 106.1 in May. “Not surprisingly, as more states lifted restrictions in June, truck tonnage was robust,” said Bob Costello, chief economist for ATA. “While the gain in June was the single best month since January 2013, the solid gain was not enough to put tonnage back to pre-pandemic levels, but it is close,” he continued. “I am hearing good anecdotal freight reports for July, but I am concerned that...
ArcBest ABF Freight

ArcBest awarded Samsara’s 2020 Top Fleet award for Fleet Innovator

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FORT SMITH, Ark. — ArcBest, a provider of supply-chain logistics solutions, has received a 2020 Top Fleet award for Fleet Innovator from Samsara, a provider of Industrial Internet of Things (IoT) solutions. The Fleet Innovator award is given to a fleet that offers technology-forward solutions using telematics and API (application programming interface) integrations to improve operations. Companies receiving this recognition must demonstrate the use of at least two different Samsara products to leverage real-time data and make a quantifiable impact on business operations. “At ArcBest, we have a focus on technology, data, processes and efficiency, as well as using tech to...
New Class 8 Trucks

June sees rise in Class 8 truck production, but sales still lag behind

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June U.S. sales of new Class 8 trucks rose 42.7% over dismal May sales figures but didn’t come close to matching June 2019 numbers. According to ACT Research, 13,567 Class 8 trucks were sold on the U.S. market in June, far behind (43.2%) the 23,900 sold in June 2019. Kenny Vieth, ACT Research’s president and senior analyst, credits the increase to production levels. “April, with only 2,504 trucks built, was the lowest production month since we started keeping records in 1979,” he told The Trucker. That number represents trucks built throughout North America, not just in the U.S. Manufacturing closures and slowdowns,...
Roadrunner Truck

Roadrunner Freight to expand network with three new service centers

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DOWNERS GROVE, Ill. — Roadrunner Freight, a national less-than-truckload (LTL) provider, plans to expand its network in August with the opening of three new service centers in Chicago, Philadelphia, and Riverside, California. The new facilities will add 169 dock doors to the carrier’s network. “These network changes are part of a broader effort within Roadrunner Freight to significantly invest in service,” said Frank Hurst, president of Roadrunner Freight. “We have seen a surge in demand since beginning our ‘Ship It Like You Own It’ commitment in October last year, and we are excited to continue growing our network to benefit...
Loading Freight on Trailer

Convoy’s dedicated freight makes it easier for owner-operators, small fleets to find loads

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SEATTLE — Digital freight network Convoy now offers nationwide dedicated freight through its mobile app, allowing carriers to bid on dedicated freight contracts that can last up to six months. The new feature is designed to reduce the time carriers spend securing individual loads, enabling smaller carriers and owner-operators to focus on driving and generating revenue. “Small fleets and owner-operators comprise the vast majority of carriers in the U.S. and we are proud to provide them with access to the same dedicated freight opportunities that larger fleets have enjoyed for years,” said Amir Pelleg, senior director of product for Convoy. “With...
Truck at Warehouse 1

May Trucking Conditions Index numbers bounce back sharply from April low, but still negative...

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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — FTR’s Trucking Conditions Index reading for May rebounded from its worst-ever level in April to a reading of -5.19. While much improved, May’s reading is still quite negative from a historical perspective. A sharp increase in freight was primarily responsible for the improvement, as rates and utilization were still weak. Consumers led the way as May brought the expected rebound in freight indicators. A less negative industrial production forecast is the main contributor to a firmer freight outlook for the balance of 2020. Details of the May Trucking Conditions Index can be found in the July issue of FTR’s Trucking...
Loading Freight

ACT Research’s freight, commercial vehicle forecasts for July show glimmer of hope

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COLUMBUS, Ind. — ACT Research’s July freight forecast and commercial vehicle outlook reports, released earlier this week, continue to reflect the impact of COVID-19 on the trucking industry, but both reports showed improvement. According to the July installment of ACT’s Freight Forecast, a 56-page monthly report, ACT’s Spot Leading Indicator showed a 10% year-over-year increase, according to Tim Denoyer, ACT’s vice president and senior analyst. He described the increase as “a sharply positive reversal.” The Spot Leading Indicator is a survey-based measure of the direction of rates, and the monthly Freight Forecast includes volumes and contract rates for the truckload, less-than-truckload...
Big Green Semi

Trucks moved almost 12 billion tons of freight across America last year, ATA report...

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ARLINGTON, Va. — The trucking industry generated $791.7 billion in revenue in 2019, moving 11.84 billion tons of freight, according to ATA American Trucking Trends 2020, the latest edition of American Trucking Associations’ (ATA) annual report produced by the association’s economic department. “Despite a challenging year, the data contained in American Trucking Trends shows the industry was in good shape entering the global pandemic,” said Bob Costello, chief economist for ATA. “Trends continues to be an indispensable, one-stop resource for decision makers to have the latest information about the state of the trucking industry.” Other findings in the report include: In 2019,...
Graph of DAT Rates July

DAT Truckload Volume Index: Spot rates surged across all equipment types in June as economic...

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PORTLAND, Ore. — Spot market rates and volumes increased across all equipment types as economic demand returns to seasonal trends, according to DAT Freight & Analytics, which operates the industry’s largest online marketplace for spot truckload freight. Van, reefer and flatbed numbers all ended up positive month over month, with rates and volumes trending higher. The DAT Truckload Volume Index, a measure of dry van, refrigerated (reefer) and flatbed loads moved by truckload carriers, rose 13.7 percent from last month, a 9.4 percent increase over June 2019. “The surge we’re seeing in spot truckload rates and volumes is consistent with summer trends, but consumer habits continue...
Purple semi on highway

Find out how to become an owner-operator through OOIDA’s ‘Truck to Success’ online business...

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GRAIN VALLEY, Mo. — Interested in the ins and outs of being an owner-operator? The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) has scheduled an online training series to help those interested in starting a small trucking business. “Truck to Success,” scheduled for Oct. 26-28, offers three days of intensive training classes to help professional drivers take their first steps toward becoming an owner-operator. The live video conferences will feature participant interaction with trucking experts who are dedicated to helping drivers become successful business owners. “For a variety of reasons, many businesses tend to fail within the first year of operating,” a July...
Werner Enterprises truck

Werner Enterprises granted temporary exemption on recordkeeping portion of FMCSA’s hours-of-service requirements

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OMAHA, Neb. — The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has granted a temporary exemption to Omaha, Nebraska-based Werner Enterprises on part of the agency’s hours-of-service (HOS) rules under 80 FR 78292 established Dec. 16, 2015. The exemption was finalized in a document published in the Federal Register July 7. The exemption, valid from July 7, 2020 through July 7, 2021, applies to the requirement that specific information fields be included in electronic records of duty status (RODS) on drivers’ electronic logging devices (ELDs). Werner requested the exemption, which applies to five elements required in RODS files, because of incompatibility...