American automobile manufacturer Ford Motors is the latest company to throw its hat into the fold in the race to build autonomous vehicles. This announcement comes as a surprise as it shows the company’s undoubted commitment to developing autonomous vehicle technology and a business around it. The subsidiary of Ford Motors will be known as Ford Autonomous Vehicles LLC. Ford has been interested in developing autonomous vehicle technology, so this consolidation of its departments into a new company was a logical decision. Continue reading “American Car Manufacturer Ford Motors Throws its Hat into the Autonomous Vehicle Ring”
The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s annual Operation Safe Driver Week has commenced as of July 16th, 2018 and will persist throughout the week. During this week law enforcement will be monitoring for commercial motor vehicles practicing unsafe driving behaviors. The types of practices that qualify as unsafe driving behavior that law enforcement will be looking out for throughout Safe Driver Week are acts such as; speeding, failure to use a seat belt, distracted driving, failure to obey traffic control devices, improper lane changes, and more. The purpose of this operation is to try to promote attention to the primary causes of crashes. The operation’s goal is to combat these unsafe practices through stricter enforcement of these rules on the road. Continue reading “Rates Rise and Capacity Struggles During Operation Safe Driver Week 2018”
The flatbed trucking industry has experienced rising rates throughout the month of June with a major contributor to rising rates being fuel prices, but also in part due to the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance Roadcheck that occurred in North America from June 5th to June 7th. This is the first roadcheck to occur during the era of ELD. The roadcheck comes just two months after April 1st where Electronic Logging Devices would begin to be strictly enforced. Flatbed shipping companies have struggled this month to secure trucks for reasonable rates, if they could book a truck at all. Continue reading “June Flatbed Rates Hit Record Highs as 2018 Roadcheck Enforces New ELD Mandates”
The trucking industry has been dealing with driver shortage for several years now. In recent times the driver shortage in the flatbed shipping industry has been pushed to the forefront as the trucking industry attempts to manage this issue. Bob Costello, the chief economist at the American Trucking Association stated that the country was experiencing a shortage of drivers by a number estimated to be 51,000 in 2017. The 2016 numbers indicated the shortage to be around 36,000, indicating a drastic increase that is only expected to continue Costello predicts. The reason this issue is so prevalent in the transportation industry is because a shortage of active drivers means there will be less trucks on the road to transport freight. The shortage of available trucks to transport freight combined with the increased demand for trucks by businesses has combined to create a perfect storm in flatbed hauling. Continue reading “The Trucking Industry’s Driver Shortage and its Implications”
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Des Moines-based Ruan Transportation will add at least five Tesla semis to its fleet in 2019. The company plans to test the vehicle prototypes in California before they’re delivered.
“These new trucks stand to revolutionize interstate transport and change the way we do business. Ruan has always been a leader in efficient transport and logistics, so it makes perfect sense to explore what these trucks could do for us and our customers,” James Cade, vice president of fleet services for Ruan, said in a news release.
Ruan officials say they’ve been in touch with Tesla throughout its development process leading up to CEO Elon Musk’s November announcement of the Tesla Semi prototype.
Ruan will pay about $180,000 per vehicle. For comparison, most diesel-powered tractors cost about $100,000. Tesla predicts the electric vehicle will pay for itself within two years due to savings in fuel, aerodynamics and reliability.
Lowa trucking company reserves five Tesla electric semi trucks
PORTLAND, Ore., DATE — Spot truckload freight availability rebounded in March, to set a new 20-year record for the DAT North American Freight Index. The 38 percent increase in volume, year over year, was due largely to extraordinary demand for flatbed equipment to move industrial cargo for energy and construction.
The Freight Index, a monthly measure of demand for spot market freight, is published by DAT Solutions, which operates North America’s largest load board marketplace.
Flatbed freight rates also set a record in March, at $2.53 per mile, including fuel. Flatbeds got a 16-cent increase month over month, and were paid a full 50 cents more than the average for March 2017.
Van rates rose 3 cents compared to February, and 52 cents year over year. Rates for refrigerated (“reefer”) cargo were down 1 cent at $2.40 per mile month over month, but reefer rates rose 53 cents compared to March 2017.
Rates continued to rise sharply through the first week in April, which is not typical after the close of a fiscal quarter. Van rates are on track to exceed their previous record high of $2.24 per mile, achieved in January, and flatbed rates continue to reach new heights, as well. Reefer rates are lagging, however, because spring produce harvests have not reached their peak.
“Economic growth, particularly in the energy sector, supports heightened demand for truckload transportation, and capacity is not keeping up with that demand,” said DAT industry analyst Mark Montague. “Unless something changes, we can expect rates to continue rising at least until the end of June.”
Established in 1978, DAT operates a network of load boards serving intermediaries and carriers across North America. For more than a decade DAT has published its Freight Index, which is representative of the dynamic spot market.
Referenced rates are the averages, by equipment type, based on $45 billion of actual transactions, as recorded in DAT RateView. Reference rates per mile include fuel surcharges, but not accessorials or other fees. The DAT Freight Index reflects load posting volume on the DAT network of load boards, and 100 on the Index represents the average monthly volume in the year 2000. Additional trends and analysis are available at DAT Trendlines.
DAT Freight Index: Spot Market Truckload Volume Sets Record in March, Driven by Demand for Flatbeds
Apr 1 – 7 – There’s often a lull following the end of Q1, but spot market rates for vans, reefers and flatbeds roared in the first week of April, compared to the March averages. Last week was the first week in which trucks would be placed out of service for not having an ELD, and load-to-truck ratios rose for vans, reefers, and flatbeds, indicating tight truckload capacity. The flatbed ratio hit an all-time high of 111 loads per truck.
DAT Trend Lines
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National average spot market rates for the past four weeks, including fuel surcharges, are shown in the above graph. Weekly rate snapshots reflect averages for the month to-date, from DAT RateView.