News, Interviews, and Happenings From The Trucking World
Seven drivers named as TCA's Highway Angels
Travel advisories and restrictions announced for Midwest weekend storm
Friday Short Haul - Senators demand GPS app updates, Jason's Law survey, ATA applauds USMCA, FMCSA's truck crash survey
Research group recommends a national autonomous truck policy
A glimpse into driving long-haul in China
Friday Short Haul - Court blocks AB-5, SBTC vs. FMCSA, Can Opener Bridge
Loses appeal: Walmart ordered to pony up $54 million to drivers
WIT and Walmart seek nominations for Female Driver of the Year
Friday Short Haul - Sweatshop on Wheels, judge exempts truckers from AB-5, Fleetwood closes doors
Trucking Truth's top stories for 2019
Random drug tests of drivers to double in 2020
Friday Short Haul - New EV semi, tonnage down, turnover up, Grapevine fatality, runaway truck tires demolish car
Trucking industry goes out of its way for Christmas charitable giving
Fuel card provider hit with FTC lawsuit
Friday Short Haul - Driver coercion, zero emissions, driver fatalities
Hard enforcement for ELD compliance now in effect
State CDL agencies get reprieve from drug & alcohol clearinghouse deadline
Friday Short Haul - JB Hunt's Wreaths Across America, Plus.ai butter run, states look for zero emissions
Carriers muster to pick up Celadon drivers, employees
Will Amazon's pay-per-day plan influence the industry?
Freight volume and rates downturn turns into a 'bloodbath'
Friday Short Haul - Independent contractors getting booted out of CA, winter weather resources, ransomware attack
Knowing when to say goodbye to an unprofitable shipper
Schneider donates trucks; Congress considers women-driver-friendly bill
Friday Short Haul - CTA files lawsuit against California, Highway Hero nominations sought, video of "Move Over" crash
Tesla announces new electric Semi model
Not everyone happy with potential FMCSA clearinghouse delay
Friday Short Haul - AI taking driving jobs, CRV scam, Truckers protest AB-5, ELDs quit working
Investigators cracking down on truck accident fraudulent lawsuits
So you want to start your own trucking company?
Friday Short Haul - FMCSA emergency exemptions, snow plows, FedEx employee bribery charges
Human smuggling via big rigs on the increase
Carriers, drivers look at ways to deal with California's AB-5
Friday Short Haul - Millennials and trucking, Truckers Christmas Group, Navistar settlement
Too many drivers still don't know to "Move Over"
Are trucker strikes a thing of the past?
Friday Short Haul - Passenger car drivers, spotted lanternfly, women drivers
OOIDA makes final push for better HOS rules
Car-truck crash fatalities continue to increase
Friday Short Haul - Amazon's fleet of day cabs, legislator's disclosure, WTA petition
ATA chief takes on truck-accident lawyers
Lonely on the road? Get a furry friend
Friday Short Haul - Lab-grown meat, fraudulent freight brokering, FMCSA HOS committee, FMCSA Clearinghouse
UPS takes giant leap in its drone delivery program
Female drivers are safer bet for trucking companies
Friday Short Haul - Embark gets financing, FMCSA announces safety grants, Covenant exits Mexico routes, and trucking statistics
Emissions standards battle heats up between the EPA and California
Smog checks in the future for California truck drivers
Friday Short Haul - Volvo Dynamic Steering, Meals for 18 Wheels, speeding crackdown, OOIDA opposes legislation
Telematics could be insurance-premium-saving boon for fleets
54 percent of survey respondents still not impressed with telematics technology
Friday Short Haul - Walmart video, it's churn, not shortage, California's independent contractor bill, hemp drivers plea
TCA honors three Highway Angels
Now they're talking about "smart" trailers
Friday Short Haul - Detention-time comments, truck orders decline, diesel fuel shortage
Berkeley study says reducing independent truckers can alleviate climate change
Clearing up concerns about the drug and alcohol clearinghouse
Friday Short Haul - Hurricane Dorian, Speed limiter bill, Thank a Driver campaign
Georgia jury awards $280 million for truck-driver-caused multi-fatality
Friday Short Haul - New eCascadias, Top cities for truck driver jobs, Push against driverless trucks
Decision on California drivers' employee/contractor status coming down to the wire
UPS jumps on autonomous bandwagon with TuSimple investment
FMCSA publishes proposed HOS rule changes
Fleets, drivers coming to like automated manual transmissions
CVSA asks for new truck crash study
Friday Short Haul - HOS revisions delayed, AEB mandate proposed, Koch sued for sex discrimination
Kodiak Robotics takes lead in autonomous truck industry race
New York City combats rash of cyclist/truck clashes
Friday Short Haul - CRST wins lawsuit, OOIDA opposes insurance hike, UPSNav
Mechanics shortage equals driver shortage in intensity
DOT announces almost 1$ billion in grants to fix infrastructure
Friday Short Haul - DOL on sleeper pay, UPS drone delivery, Geowiz ELDs
FMCSA takes a look at assault, harassment of female and minority drivers
It's hot out there, what's a trucker to do? Can't idle.
Friday Short Haul - Utah truck rollovers, aging truckers, lifetime CDL bans
Truck-mounted LED billboards coming under fire
Trucker 'drones on' with unique approach to teaching driving skills
Friday Short Haul - Rhode Island tolls, human smuggling, contractor vs employee status
ELD mandate deadline looming, many still not compliant
New "boot" device being deployed to threaten Walmart overnighters
Friday Short Haul - Prime Inc vs Amazon, mother fights HOS changes, truck drivers appreciation week
Proper way to fly the American flag on your truck this Fourth of July
Roundabouts are becoming popular; but are they best for trucks?
Friday Short Haul - Skills test proposal, driver shortage, hemp sentencing, driverless trucks
Experts warn of active wildland fire season
More states signing on to enlist truckers against human trafficking
Friday Short Haul - Shippers of Choice, insurance rates, wheel spikes, WIT award
Freight numbers not holding up to 2018's highs
Truck safety group urges purges of drug abuse drivers
Friday Short Haul - Self-driving certificate, truck platooning, trade war stacking up cargo
HOS waiver coming soon for fireworks haulers
FMCSA takes a further look at detention time
Friday Short Haul - Autonomous delivery, HOS rules changes, CDL retest
Roadcheck 2019 in effect this week
Hemp arrest prompts USDA memo
Friday Short Haul - Waymo big rigs, Move over sting, Under-21 comments
Severe weather prompts renewed emergency declaration
Memorial Day holiday is prime time for cargo thefts
Friday Short Haul - Hauling hemp, road rage fatality, new rules for autonomous vehicles
Autonomous trucks on USPS test run
Future era of cab-less trucks will be the end of HOS rules
Friday Short Haul - FMCSA under-21 comments, Tesla autonomous car crash, 24,000 drivers sign contract with YRC
Under-21 interstate drivers getting serious look by FMCSA
Trucker Buddy program matches drivers with a classroom; everyone wins
Friday Short Haul - Driver awarded $80 million, ODFL driver wins, loading dock black hole
Storm breaks out from Rockies, slams into Midwest, South
Capacity issues have shippers looking at private fleets
Friday Short Haul - HOS rules, dark skies, Falcon drivers
'Bug' permits now required for four eastern states
Simulator use is catching on for schools, carriers
Friday Short Haul - Thinking electric, Penske opens charging station, border crossing crisis, railroads taking trucking business
ELDs might not be the panacea that was hoped for
Truck drivers may soon see "phantoms" driving yard trucks
Friday Short Haul - Nikola big rigs, WIT welcomes Peterbilt, Oregon crashes, Border crossings
Carriers claim financial benefit of putting up drivers in hotels
Uber's IPO application reveals interesting data about its freight brokerage business
Friday Short Haul - CDL examiner arrested, tolls proposed for trucks, marijuana use on the rise
Smart Load Board will get carriers the loads they need
Huge lines and long wait times greet carriers at Mexico border
Friday Short Haul - Marijuana, ATA campaign, personal conveyance rules
Over-the-air downloads revolutionize parameter updates
Don't get scammed by skimmers
Friday Short Haul -- New Cascadias honored, motorist survey, U.S, Xpress awarded, rest stop parking
Legislators address underride collisions, propose more underguards for trucks, trailers
Motorists soon may encounter a different kind of truck convoy
Friday Short Haul -- Women in Trucking, irate motorist, FMCSA eases HOS, Safe-Cap
Recent survey shows cost of roadside repairs is rising
FMCSA announces drug and alcohol clearinghouse website
Friday Short Haul - Swift settlement, driver shortage myth, TCA Best Fleet award
The hidden danger of looking but not seeing
Accident scammers target trucks for financial payout
Friday Short Haul - Snow on the roof, bypassing toll road, Waze under fire
Retailers blame driver shortage for price increases
Drivers' smartphones may be clue to road roughness
Friday Short Haul -- Freight rates, HOS changes, tonnage reports
New tax changes hit drivers hard
FMCSA to implement under-21 interstate driver program for former military
Friday Short Haul -- Connecticut tolls proposed, hydrogen fuel-cell trucks, cell phone use
Congress committee looks at state of America's highways
Number of cargo thefts is down; but dollar value about the same
Friday Short Haul -- Crossing the border, CA sues FMCSA, Lobbying against larger trucks
Detention - A problem still in search of a solution
February Highway Angels honorees named
Friday Short Haul -- C.R. England announces pay raises, eCommerce impact on trucking, TCA announces best fleets
Is a guaranteed minimum pay the solution to the driver shortage?
Long CDL testing wait times cost economy billions of dollars; not helping driver shortage
Friday Short Haul -- Walmart hiring, Uber Freight App, Speed-limiter Law, America's Road Team
Cranking -- The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly
California survives challenge to its low-carbon fuel standards
Friday Short Haul - Highway robbery ... autonomous trucks ... new trailers
LithiumHub enters jump-starter market with Jumpbooster JP30
2019 Looks Good For The Transportation Industry
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Freight volume and rates downturn turns into a 'bloodbath'
Last Updated: Mon, November 25, 2019
There's a new buzzword appearing in trucking industry news these days.
See if you can spot it.
- The leading industry group for truck drivers has declared we're hurtling toward a trucking 'bloodbath' – Business Insider, Aug. 29, 2019
- Thousands of truck drivers have lost their jobs in 2019 as the transportation 'bloodbath' unfolds – Business Insider, Oct. 9, 2019
- Around 4,500 truck drivers lost their jobs in August as the trucking ‘bloodbath‘ rages on – Daily Stock Dish, Nov. 24, 2019
- The Trucking Industry “Bloodbath” Explained – Velocity Group USA
- Why Industry Experts Predict a Trucking Bloodbath in 2019 – Suppose U Drive
- Truckers are facing a ‘bloodbath’ in their industry – Raw Story, Aug. 21, 2019
These headline writers have made it easy in most cases to spot the new buzzword … obviously, apparently, the trucking industry is experiencing a "bloodbath."
If not a 'bloodbath', it's at least a recession
Business Insider's October article downgraded bloodbath to recession in its update to its August "bloodbath" article when it announced, "Another 4,200 truck drivers lost their jobs in September as a recession slams America's $800 billion trucking industry."
Following these headlines to the accompanying articles we see that there is no question that freight is down from the heydays during 2018 when commercial carriers were scrambling to find extra capacity, and experiencing a driver shortage with their need to put men and women behind the wheel to haul that expanded freight volume.
Freight revenue has definitely topped out from those days, especially for owner-operators and small carriers dependent on spot rates, and carriers are now experiencing the blowback from the 2018 surge. It is reported, for example, that USA Truck reported $2.5 million in earnings in the second quarter of 2018, which dropped dramatically to just $1,000 the same time this year.
According to Daily Stock Dish, in the first half of the year, around 640 trucking companies went bankrupt, compared to the number at the same time last year of about 175.
Numbers like 4,500 truckers losing their jobs in August, and 4,200 losing their jobs in September are seen in the news as carriers adjust for the downturn in freight volumes.
Many smaller to medium-size carriers go out of business.
Some notable recent bankruptcies include:
New England Motor Freight shut down in February. Once ranking 19th in the less-than-truckload industry, NEMF let more than 1,400 drivers go.
Falcon Transport announced in April that it would be shutting down, leaving more than 550 truck drivers without jobs.
Stevens Tanker Division, part of Stevens Transport, announced it would be shutting down its tanker division as of October, affecting some 576 tanker division drivers.
LME, another less-that-truckload carrier closed its doors in July. It employed more than 400 truck drivers.
And the list goes on.
Fluctuation in freight volumes, capacity and rates in the trucking industry is nothing new. Industry experts say carriers must make adjustments to hunker down during the periods of less freight and lower rates just as they made changes to build up during the surge last year.
And, perhaps when the thousands of drivers who have lost their jobs this year start contacting trucking companies that have been complaining about a "driver shortage" we'll begin to see a new buzzword appearing in truck industry headlines announcing the driver shortage is over.
One relatively small trucking company takes advantage of a profitable niche
John Wilbur, CEO of Roadmaster Group, a Glendale, Arizona, based specialty trucking company has discovered the "bloodbath" proof formula for having freight to haul, and for keeping drivers behind the wheel.
He, and his specialty trucking firm, was written up recently in American Trucker because of the unique cargo that keeps his trucks and drivers busy.
Roadmaster Group's specialty is delivering hazardous waste, time-sensitive and high-security cargo under the Tri-State banner. Their biggest customer is the United States military which has a large appetite for the kinds of freight that Roadmaster specializes in, meaning explosives in the form of bullets, artillery shells and grenades.
According to American Trucker, Wilbur says the special requirements to haul that kind of cargo gives them an edge over other fleets.
“It’s the reason we play in the pond that we play in,” Wilbur told American Trucker. “In this industry you either need to be very specialized, which we are, or very big. Everything we do is either hazardous, sensitive, highly valuable or difficult to do. So we’re constructing our own barriers.
“We don’t have the same competitive dynamics that you would find in general freight. For us we usually compete more on service than we do on price. What we deliver is service and capacity. Not a lot of people know how to do hazardous waste or commercial explosives. Everything we do is difficult to do. The tradeoff is if we can gain expertise like we have then we just don’t face the same competitive dynamics that a general freight carrier would. So we’re not tied to the economic cycle.”
Tri-States' drivers, who operate as teams, must have hazardous materials training and experience as well as a government security clearance.
Wilbur told American Trucker that their cargo details are classified, but that their supply chain includes large military bases like Camp Pendleton in California, Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, and forts Bliss and Hood in Texas. They also transport munitions to ports for overseas deployment.
“Anybody that lives near a military base that has a training component, you’re gonna hear and see a lot of that stuff being blown up every day, and that’s what we’re doing,” Wilbur told American Trucker.
Sources: Daily Stock Dish,
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