Hey everyone! It’s time for your Tuesday Daily Trucker news update! I’m Isela Rios.
And I’m Carlin Stafford. We have a lot of news to cover today, including:
How LA’s Port is impacting the US…
Details about Pennsylvania’s proposed bridge tolls…
And which companies are facing lawsuits after a deadly crash in Ft. Worth
Anchor 1: So, let’s get trucking!
Carlin: The heavily congested port of LA is causing some major effects for the rest of the country. According to data from DAT – January contract freight volumes are up 1-percent year-over-year but SPOT volumes are up almost 50-percent! This imbalance has been a common theme the last 9 months… And it’s most likely going to keep happening thanks to the Port of Los Angeles congestion, which means a lot of shippers are actually going to ports along the Gulf and East Coasts. This is in turn causing rising container volumes at these ports, which leads to more opportunities to haul freight and make more money.
Isela: With more cargo on the roads – cargo thefts are also on the rise. According to CargoNet, there were almost 17-hundred thefts in the US and Canada in 2020 – that’s a 16-percent rise from 2019. But that’s not the only thing that rose – the costs of the stolen cargo also went up – averaging more than 1-hundred-66-thousand dollars, an increase of about 20-percent. Some of the thieves tactics include fake pickup locations, phishing emails, and using the identity of trucking companies that have gone out of business. Many experts recommend trackers in your trailers or hidden in the cargo itself can help you recover the goods if they’re stolen… But at the end of the day training and awareness are going to help reduce the risk of cargo theft. It’s also important to know what locations are most at risk – so do your research and make sure your dispatchers and drivers are aware!
Carlin: We know our infrastructure needs some TLC… And now leaders of the US House Transportation Committee are calling on Pres. Biden to fully utilize the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund. Thanks to Covid, it’s become even more apparent that our ports, much like our roads, are taxed beyond their limits. The letter, sent early Feb, says by releasing the roughly 10 billion dollars the Army Corps of Engineers would be able to deal with maintenance obligations and make needed repairs to the ports… Which in turn would have a immediate impact on the nation’s economy and infrastructure. Now, I’m sure you’re asking how does that impact me, the driver? Simple! Properly maintained ports can cut down on congestion, which means freight gets put on trucks faster and on the road quicker.
Isela: If you travel through Pennsylvania often – you may not like this next story… PennDOT announced the bridges being considered for tolls. This is all part of the Major Bridge P3 Initiative – which aims to raise funds to help repair and replace bridges. The bridges up for consideration for these projects include:
The I-78 Lenhartsville Bridge in Berks County
The I-79 Bridgeville Interchange in Allegheny County
The I-80 Canoe Creek Bridges in Clarion County
The I-80 Nescopeck Creek Bridges in Luzerne County
I-80 North Fork Bridges in Jefferson County
The I-80 Over Lehigh River Bridge in Luzerne and Carbon counties
The I-81 Susquehanna Bridge in Susquehanna County
The I-83 South Bridge in Dauphin Count
And the I-95 Girard Point Bridge in Philadelphia County.
Tolling would be electronic – and all funds would go back to the bridge where the toll is being collected to pay for any projects.
Carlin: I’m sure everyone have seen these pics… It shows the deadly crash that happened on I-35 in Ft. Worth on Feb. 11. The crash involved at least 133 vehicles… Six people were killed… And now at least 3 people have filed lawsuits against several transportation companies involved in the crash, claiming drivers were not being safe and made the pileup worse. The injured are asking for 1 million in damages from 5 companies: Fed Ex, GG’s Produce Transport, JB Hunt, Rich Logistics, and GO2 Logistics… The lawsuit claims the companies and their drivers were negligent and failed to take the road conditions into account – which led to the deadly accident.
Isela: Well, looks like the Nikola Corporation is making headlines again – this time it has revealed the timeline for the productions of its zero-emission hydrogen-powered fuel cell trucks. According to the timeline, we can expect low-production volume of the Tre model to begin in the second quarter from the still under construction plant in Arizona… However, despite revealing this timeline – the company gave no update on customer orders, sticking with the 14-thousan reservation number it’s been using since April 2019. The company has been in headlines a lot recently… The company went public in a reverse merger in June 2020, the company founder left in Sept 2020, and a manufacturing and equity deal with General Motors – which ultimately led to the cancellation of the hyped electric truck called the Badger.
That does it for today’s update!
Tune in tomorrow for more!
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