Trucking Biz Buzz

Truck NAFTA value reaches highest in at least 12 years

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics reports that in March trucks moved more than 63 percent of NAFTA freight – with trains, planes, ships and pipelines picking up the rest. Four of five modes experienced an increase in freight year to year. By value, trucks carried the most cross-border since at least January 2006.

The value of freight hauled across the borders rose significantly by 12.6 percent compared with February, when freight dropped by nearly 3 percent from the previous month. Compared to March 2017, freight was up 5.5 percent. This marks the 17th consecutive month of year-to-year increases.

March 2017 had the largest month-to-month increase (16 percent) since March 2011, when NAFTA freight was up more than 22 percent compared to February 2011. NAFTA freight declined by nearly 11 percent in July 2017, the largest decline for the year.

In March 2017, the index reached more than $100 billion for the first time since October 2014 before going back below that mark in April. That landmark was revisited in October and maintained through November before dipping below the $100 billion mark again in December. March marks the first month in 2018 to reach beyond $100 million.

August, November and December were the only months to have a year-to-year increase in 2016, at 0.7 percent, 3.3 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively. August was the first year-to-year increase since December 2014, when freight increased by more than 5 percent.

Trucks carried nearly $67 billion of the nearly $106 billion of imports and exports in March, the most in terms of value since at least January 2006. Data on the Bureau of Transportation Statistics’ website only goes as far back as January 2006.

Year-to-year, Canada truck freight increased by 3.8 percent and Mexico freight rose by 4.4 percent. Top truck commodities were computers and parts, motor vehicles and parts, electrical machinery, plastics, and measuring/testing instruments.

Freight totaled $105.767 billion, up nearly $12 billion from the previous month and an increase of more than $5 billion from March 2017.

Vessel freight accounted for the largest increase at 42 percent after an increase of 45 percent in February. Trucks accounted for an increase of 4.1 percent. Truck freight experienced increases of 9 percent in February and 10.2 percent in January.

More than 57 percent of U.S.-Canada freight was moved by trucks, followed by rail at 17 percent. U.S.-Mexico freight went up by nearly 6 percent compared with March 2017. Of the $51.865 billion of freight moving in and out of Mexico, trucks carried more than 68 percent of the loads.

One20 to end ELD operations

Truck drivers, who have been using One20’s F-ELD to comply with the electronic logging device mandate, will soon need to find an alternative provider.

One20 has announced it will cease operations on June 18.

“Your One20 apps (One20 maps, My One20 and One20 F-ELD) will not continue to work,” the company posted on its website. “We won’t be doing any updates or offering any support. We’ll miss you and hope that you all continue to support each other the way you always have. Who knows, maybe we’ll meet again down the road.”

Land Line’s attempts to reach One20 for comment on Monday, May 21 were unsuccessful.

On May 17, TruckThat Holdings announced in a news release that it had acquired several One20 entities. The acquisition, which was for an undisclosed amount, included Online Tire MN (operating as One20 Tire), One20 BNK, One20 Strong, One20 Trucking, CLS Developments and TruckThat.

Christian Schenk, who was the president and CEO of One20, is also the founder and CEO of TruckThat.

“The consolidation of companies will set up TruckThat Holdings for more sustainable growth, create a unified member experience, increase operational efficiencies, and offer more benefits and services under one organization than any other well-established trucking community,” Schenk said in a news release.

One20 launched the F-ELD product in 2017 and made a splash by offering free beer to truck drivers at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Ky. The company also was known for its edgy advertising campaign, which included images of a hand holding up a middle finger next to the words “We can’t put our finger on it. But the ELD mandate just doesn’t feel right.”

In February 2017, Rand McNally filed a lawsuit that accused One20 of defamation and orchestrating “fake” Twitter accounts to make customers believe the longtime company was going bankrupt. The lawsuit, which was set for trial in 2019, also specifically named Schenk. 

Some of the advertisements posted on the One20 website included a photo of a Rand McNally device with the header “Is your nav provider going bankrupt? Don’t get stuck without a warranty!”

One20 contended that the statements highlighted in Rand McNally’s complaint didn’t meet the requirements of defamation.

Compliance check-up – OOIDA can help

Trucking is notorious for the paperwork required not only of truckers, but motor carriers. The alphabet soup of permits alone can make your head spin.

OOIDA’s Permits and Licensing Department is here to help.

The team members work to educate members about authority and permits. On the authority front they can assist members who need to apply for or update authority. Beyond that they can also assist with reinstatements, name and address changes, biennial updates, and your BOC-3.

As if that’s not enough, on the permit side of things they can assist OOIDA members with Unified Carrier Registration, weight-distance permits, intrastate permits, International Registration Plan, IFTA, 2290 – you name it they can help.

While all of the filing services are priced depending on what’s needed and the scope of the motor carrier operation, compliance is the main focus.

“The most important service we provide is helping our members make sure they have everything they need,” said Crystal Minardi, permits and licensing department supervisor. “That’s why we encourage them to call in and go over everything as part of their membership and make sure that they are in compliance.”

ATRI seeking info about operation costs for annual report

Each year, the American Transportation Research Institute releases its Operational Costs of Trucking report. ATRI is currently collecting data for the next report and needs truckers to submit their information.

ATRI is seeking data from for-hire fleets in the areas of driver pay, fuel costs, insurance premiums and lease/purchase payments. Carriers should submit cost per mile and/or cost per hour data for the full year of 2017.

Once all data has been collected and analyzed, ATRI will release the results, which will include 10 years of trucking cost data, 2008-17. The real-world data may be beneficial to carriers and government agencies for investment decisions, according to ATRI’s news release.

All data should be submitted by Friday, June 22. Forms are available at TruckingResearch.org. Information provided will be kept confidential. Participants will receive an advanced copy of the results before they are released to the public.

Scholarship fund donations helps OOIDA kids, grandchildren get a higher education

OOIDA welcomes contributions to the Mary Johnston Scholarship Fund.

The OOIDA Mary Johnston Scholarship Program has been assisting the children, grandchildren and legal dependents of OOIDA members in their efforts to gain a higher education since 1998.

OOIDA annually awards one $2,000-per-year scholarship and four $1,000-per-year scholarships. The students are selected in a blind evaluation conducted by the Scholarship Advisory Committee.

Scholarship awards are transferred directly to the student’s selected institution and can be renewed for a total of four years. The funds can be used for tuition or any legitimate school-related expenses. Applications and all required materials must be postmarked no later than Feb. 1.

You can find an application on the OOIDA website.

Tax-deductible donations to the OOIDA Mary Johnston Scholarship Program can be sent to this address:
OOIDA Foundation Inc.
1 NW OOIDA Drive
Grain Valley, MO 64029

If you would like additional information about the OOIDA Mary Johnston Scholarship Program, you may email us or write to us at this address:
Andrew King
OOIDA Mary Johnston Scholarship Program
P.O. Box 1000
1 NW OOIDA Dr.
Grain Valley, MO 64029

This is a link to the 2018 scholarship winners.

FR8Star’s new Price Lock feature books open deck freight in less than 5 minutes

FR8Star.com has recently announced its new Price Lock feature that guarantees a fair market rate for flatbed and open deck freight in under five minutes.

Shippers can enter their open deck freight details and agree on an all-inclusive prices. FR8Star will then match and book that shipment to a qualified carrier. According to a news release, the guaranteed rate is fully transparent with detailed line items for permits, linehaul and any third-party fees.

FR8Star has worked with each state’s transportation department to obtain precise permit requirements.

How shippers book loads with FR8Star’s Price Lock:

  • Provide FR8Star.com with load specifications, origin, and destination.
  • Obtain an instant rate with itemized costs including all permits and third-party costs.
  • Choose FR8Star’s Price Lock option to secure shipping at the agreed upon guaranteed rate.
  • FR8Star matches shippers with a qualified carrier and manages the pick-up, delivery, paperwork and payment processing.

FR8Star.com is a marketplace for moving open deck and oversize/overweight loads. FR8Star has over 4,000 active open deck carriers with 50,000 available trucks.

TA & Petro honors five truckers as 2018 Citizen Drivers

WALCOTT, Iowa – For Ingrid Brown, being named a 2018 TA & Petro Citizen Driver is the culmination of years of hard work on the road.

“I’ve had lots of milestones. I’ve been so blessed. I never went looking for any award,” she said. “This one right here … it’s shown me that my success and my accomplishments have paid off because of hard work.”

An OOIDA member from Mountain Stone, Tenn., was one of five truckers to receive the prestigious honor from TravelCenters of America. Three of the five drivers honored in 2018 are women.

“It’s wonderful to be able to see the accomplishments of everyone around me,” she said. “Because it actually makes me realize that maybe I’m doing something right. Maybe, just maybe I’ve gotten where I am because I’ve done what they’ve done.”

About 100 people attended a ceremony to announce the 2018 Citizen Driver honorees on Tuesday night at the Iowa 80 Trucking Museum.

Barry Richards, president of TravelCenters of America, which operates TA & Petro Stopping Centers, said the impact of trucking on the average American is “largely unknown and underappreciated.”

The purpose of the Citizen Driver awards is to change that.

“Our wish is to show the public that truck driving is a profession to be respected as an essential service that attracts people of character and integrity,” Richards said.

The program launched in 2013 to honor hardworking, professional truckers. The award places a premium on being positive role models within their communities. Now in its fifth year, the Citizen Driver program seeks to exemplify the good in the trucking industry by honoring drivers with exemplary records of safety, leadership and public service.

Honorees get the TA or Petro of their choice renamed in their honor, complete with a full unveiling ceremony and celebration for their families and friends. A plaque recounting their stories and service is displayed in each facility.

In addition to Brown, these are the other 2018 Citizen Driver honorees:

  • Roland Bolduc, East Longmeadow, Mass.
  • OOIDA members Danny and Cindy George, Henderson, Colo.
  • Carol Nixon, Buffalo, Mo.

Brown has chosen the Petro in Oklahoma City, Okla., to be renamed in her honor. Bolduc has selected the TA in Branford, Conn. The Georges have chosen the TA in Wheat Ridge, Colo., and Nixon will have the TA in North Bend, Wash., named in her honor.

The winners were selected from a field of 17 finalists. Nearly 70 drivers from the U.S. and Canada were nominated this past year.

Todd Spencer, president of OOIDA, was one of the seven judges.

The five-member class of 2018 Citizen Driver honorees brings the total number of winners to 31. Nominations for the 2019 Citizen Driver awards are expected to begin in June.

2018 OOIDA Mary Johnston Scholarship recipients announced

The OOIDA Mary Johnston Scholarship, which started in 1998, has already awarded more than $300,000 to students who are the children, grandchildren or legal dependents of OOIDA members.

During April’s OOIDA Board of Directors meetings in Grain Valley, Mo., the scholarship committee added to that total by announcing a new batch of scholarship recipients.

Each year, one $2,000 scholarship and four $1,000 scholarships are awarded. An alternate is also named each year. The funds are transferred directly to the student’s selected institution and can be renewed for a total of four years.

Here are the winners for 2018:

  • Rahul Paul is the son of member Aji Paul from Pearland, Texas. Rahul graduated from Robert Turner College and Career High School as the salutatorian in May 2017 and is attending the University of Houston with a major in biology.
  • Andrew Inda is the stepson of member Richard Duncan from Rossville, Ill. Andrew was scheduled to graduate from Maroa-Forsyth High School in May. He has applied to six colleges with the intention to major in biology and pursue either a field in health or teaching. 
  • Chase Huelle is the son of member Myron Huelle from Stanley, N.D. Chase was scheduled to graduate from Stanley High School in May. He has already been accepted to North Dakota State University, where he intends to major in pre-law. 
  • Hanna Ward is the daughter of member Lonnie Ward from Basin, Mont. Hanna graduated from Riverside High School in 2017 with a 4.0 grade-point average. She is attending Montana State University as a full-time student with a major in civil engineering.
  • Tony Rice is the son of member Gerald “Jerry” Rice of Mount Pleasant Mills, Pa. Tony graduated from Midd-West High School and is majoring in agribusiness management at Pennsylvania State University.
  • Cheriton Renee Johnson is the daughter of member Freddie L. Johnson Jr. from Orangeburg, S.C. Cheriton was scheduled to graduate from Orangeburg Wilkinson High School in May. She has been accepted to Winthrop University, where she plans to major in computer science.
Take advantage of OOIDA research on issues facing the trucking industry

Many issues face the professional truck drivers represented by the Owner-Operators Independent Drivers Association.

Because of that and also because the greatest strength of OOIDA is its informed and vocal membership, the OOIDA Foundation has published white papers and one-pagers on key topics facing the professional trucking industry.

A recent white paper is titled The Challenges of Automated Vehicles in the Trucking Industry. You may download the 20-page PDF to read and study or choose another of dozens of topics.

The one-pagers address topics such as Truck Driver Shortage, The Trucker’s Perspective of Autonomous Trucks, and The Dangers of Lane Restrictions. There are more than 20 one-pager topics listed.

The OOIDA Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, incorporated on March 28, 1991. It was organized to fund and sponsor research concerning economic and safety issues affecting the motor carrier industry. The OOIDA Foundation is unique in that research and safety issues are viewed from the professional driver's perspective.

The mission statement of the Foundation is to fight for the rights of all truckers.

Trucking suffers largest monthly job decrease in two and a half years

For the 15th consecutive month, transportation jobs overall scored gains in April, but just barely. The transport sector netted only 400 jobs to the economy, the lowest increase since the last monthly loss in January 2017. Trucking jobs experienced its highest monthly decrease since October 2015 after experiencing two consecutive month of three-year-high increases.

The truck transportation subsector experienced a decrease of 5,500 jobs in April after the industry gained 7,200 in March and 3,000 in February. This marks the highest monthly employment decrease since October 2015, when 5,700 trucking jobs were lost. Numbers for April and March are preliminary and are likely to change in the coming months.

Couriers and messengers experienced the largest increase with 6,300 more jobs, closely followed by warehousing and storage at 6,000 additional jobs. Trucking experienced the largest loss in April.

In 2017, the transportation and warehousing sector had a net gain of more than 3 million jobs. In every month except January there was a job increase compared to the previous month. September accounted for the largest one-month increase, with more than 25,000 jobs in the sector added to the economy. For the year, the trucking subsector had a net gain of 9,400 jobs in 2017.

Average hourly earnings for the transportation and warehousing sector were $24.26 for April – a 4-cent decrease from March but up 63 cents from April 2017. Hourly earnings for production and nonsupervisory employees experienced an increase of 4 cents to $21.76 from the previous month and a 63-cent increase year to year. Average hourly earnings for private, nonfarm payrolls across all industries were $26.84, a 4-cent increase from the previous month. Compared with a year ago, average earnings have gone up by 2.6 percent, or 67 cents.

According to the report, the unemployment rate for transportation and material-moving occupations dropped significantly to 4.4 percent, compared with 5.7 percent in April 2017, and down from 5.2 percent in March. The overall unemployment rate fell to 3.9 percent after staying stagnant at 4.1 percent for six months. The number of long-term unemployed remained at 1.3 million, accounting for 20 percent of the unemployed.

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