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October container traffic to set record despite port labor concerns, congestion

Posted on Oct 14, 2014 in Equipment, Finance

  Even as labor issues remain unresolved, import cargo volume at the nation’s major retail container ports is expected to see a final surge and set a new monthly record in October as the holiday season approaches, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates. “Increasing congestion at the nation’s ports as well as the ongoing West Coast labor negotiations are ongoing concerns and retailers are making one last push to make sure they’re stocked up for the holidays,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold says. “Retailers are working hard to make sure customers can find what they’re looking for regardless of what happens at the ports.” Import volume at U.S. ports covered by the Global Port Tracker report is expected to total 1.53 million containers...

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Average Diesel Price Moves Lower Again as Oil Plummets

Posted on Oct 14, 2014 in Finance

  Diesel fuel and gasoline prices in the U.S. continue moving lower with the national averages posting their largest weekly drops in quite a while. New U.S. Energy Department figures show a decline of 3.5 cents with the average cost of on-highway diesel falling to $3.698, marking the 15th consecutive week the price has fallen or been unchanged from the week before and hitting it its lowest level since July 2012. It has also fallen for five consecutive weeks. Compared to a year ago the price is 18.8 cents lower and a high so far this year of $4.021 in March. Prices declined over the past week in all sections of the country ranging from a little as 2.5 cents in the Gulf Coast region, for an average of $3.637 and the second least expensive average price in the...

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A Blog for Logistics, Supply Chain, and 3PL Executives

Posted on Oct 10, 2014 in Finance, Regulatory

  It’s been a crazy week here for me. I’ve been working on finishing up our omni-channel strategic report, scoping my soon-to-launch omni-channel market study, and took a quick two day trip to the Waldorf Astoria in New York City for SAP’s Retail Forum. It was a great conference with lots of great speakers and sessions (which you will most likely be reading about here in the coming weeks). So let’s get right to this week’s news. On Thursday, October 9, the National Retail Federation (NRF) sent a letter to the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) urging the two parties to conclude their contract negotiations. I have written about the issues with the contract here before, as retailers have been rushing to get holiday inventory into the US before a strike occurs, halting...

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Trucking Moves America Forward close to reaching funds goal

Posted on Oct 10, 2014 in Career, Finance

  The Trucking Moves America Forward campaign surpassed 80 percent of its $1 million fundraising goal, representatives of the industry-wide image-building campaign reported Tuesday at the American Trucking Associations annual MC&E conference earlier this week. The initiative – launched in March at the Mid-America Trucking Show – aims to inform policymakers, motorists and the public about the benefits of the trucking industry and to help build a groundswell of political and grassroots support to strengthen and grow trucking. “To be at 80 percent of our goal already is a remarkable achievement,” said Kevin Burch, vice chairman of TMAF and president of Jet Express, speaking at a “state of the movement” press conference. “We’ve made concentrated efforts to lay the foundation of a groundbreaking movement within the industry and are excited about reaching our one million dollar goal. We’ve had a great start,...

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Welcome projections for winter fuel prices

Posted on Oct 10, 2014 in Equipment, Finance

  So the Energy Information Administration (EIA) issued its Short Term Energy Outlook and Winter Fuels Update this week and if even half of the agency’s predications come true it’ll be a very merry (if not warm) winter for truckers – at least in terms of fuel prices. For starters, EIA projects average U.S. household expenditures for natural gas, heating oil, electricity, and propane will decrease this winter heating season – which runs from October 1 through March 31 – compared with last winter, which was 11% colder than the previous 10-year average nationally. Projected average household expenditures for propane and heating oil are 27% and 15% lower, respectively, because of lower heating demand and prices – contributing to natural gas and electricity expenditures that are 5% and 2% lower than last winter, the agency said. On top of...

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Lone Stars Truck Fleet Merges with Daseke Inc.

Posted on Oct 6, 2014 in Equipment, Finance

  Daseke Inc., of Addison, Texas, has announced that Lone Star Transportation is merging with the Daseke family of open-deck/specialty carriers. Lone Star, which is based in Fort Worth, Texas, is one of the premier open-deck carriers in North America, with nearly 500 tractors and 1,500 open-deck trailers. Combined with existing companies, Daseke Inc. now offers the industry more than 2,500 tractors and nearly 5,500 open-deck trailers. Existing Daseke companies include Smokey Point Distributing, E.W. Wylie, J. Grady Randolph Inc., Central Oregon Truck Co. and the Boyd Companies (including Boyd Bros. Transportation, WTI Transport, Mid Seven Transportation). “It’s very gratifying to welcome another top carrier into the fold of Daseke companies,” said Don Daseke, president and CEO of Daseke Inc. “With the addition of Lone Star, we’ve added to our capabilities, including a major presence in Mexico. It makes...

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