Archive for June, 2009

Ask the right questions, Interview Carrier

Monday, June 15th, 2009

Before selecting a freight carrier, auto transporter or specialized carriers (overdimensional) you should interview the carrier on their knowledge about hauling your particular product.

Ask the right question; all carriers have straps, chains, binders and tarps, but do they know how to properly secure your load. Not all carries specialize in freight all kind.

Example – If you need to move a load of pipe; make sure the carrier has pipe stakes, dunnage, chalks, chains or binders (drill pipe need chains – coated pipe need straps).

Example – If you need to move a specialized load; carrier should have knowledge on routing, permit requirements and trailer required (i.e. loads over 10′ high require double drop or RGN trailers, single piece (not reducable) that weighs more that 48,000 lbs needs additional axles)

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Something to look out for.

Friday, June 12th, 2009

This e-mail is to advise about a cash advance scam that is being worked off the West Coast with load posting on The Internet Truckstop (load posting web site).

We (P & A Freight Connection) posted a load from Anaheim to Cincinnati, OH on June 8th…A guy named Samuel called and booked the load;they put a truck in place that was double brokered unknown to us. The truck they put under our load had picked up and then they asked for a fuel com check advance for $1500.00, which we issue after truck was loaded. We found out Wednesday about the scam. This person named Samuel had faxed over carrier documents for a carrier out of Palos Hills, IL in the name of SMS Lines, Inc.,they also had a driver call for dispatch who was part of the scam. SMS Lines paperwork was changed by the phone number & Fax number..(Scam # 312-330-1052 & Fax # 312-473-2864). These people used another company name, F.A.K. to the carrier they double brokered to, they sent a confirmation to the carrier they had put under our load for a rate of $1000.00 more than they had agreed from our original rate. They also replaced the phone number & fax number same as above on the F.A.K. load confirmation.

So our losses at this point is $1500 for the com check scam and the carrier that they had put under our load still wanted the $1000.00 more than they had booked with the scam people in order for them to stay under our load and deliver our customer freight.

We have contacted the real SMS Lines, Inc.and notified them about the event. We also asked them to notify their insurance company about not issuing Insurance Certificates to any freight broker or shipper with out SMS lines okay or control in order to avoid these scam people from doing it again to another transport company. So far to date the real SMS Lines have not made contact with their insurance carrier to tell them to stop sending out their Insurance Certificate to avoid this problem from happening to other Brokers or carriers. Their Insurance carrier is Cottingham & Butler, Inc.

There was also a second company NFL, Inc. who fell under this same scam and was taken for $2600.00. So please beware of this scam and if you are contacted by SMS Lines, Inc. you can verify if they are the true SMS line by calling SMS Lines directly. – Dennis Morrison P&A Freight Connectgion, Inc.

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Quoting containers

Thursday, June 11th, 2009

When quoting containers always get proper information.
1. Will it be swung or on a chassis
2. where will the container be returned
3. standard container, high cube or open top
4. if open top you will need the hieght
5. hazardous or non-hazardous

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Auto Transport Industry Downsizes Along with GM

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

GM announced Tuesday that former Chairman and CEO of AT&T Edward Whitacre will become chairman of the restructured automaker later this summer.

GM plans to undertake a quick sale process that would allow a much smaller company to emerge from court protection in as little as 2-3 months.

The Auto Transport industry seems to be adjusting to widespread fallout from the bankruptcy of General Motors Corp., whose vision of a scaled-down company could further weaken car shipping markets.

“The GM and Chrysler bankruptcies, the proposed closures of up to 2,400 Auto Dealerships, and the summer shutdown of Auto Manufacturing Plants have affected the Car Shipping process as many companies have gone out of business or have significantly downsized their fleet.

Some manufacturers are interviewing Vehicle Transport and Logistics Companies to ensure that their cars will not be interrupted over the next couple of months.

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LA/Long Beach Clean-truck Program Ahead of Plan

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

Bill Mongelluzzo | Jun 9, 2009

Ports reaching environmental goals four years ahead of schedule

The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are on track to achieve many of the environmental goals in their clean-truck program almost four years ahead of schedule, thanks to an aggressive strategy for replacing old-polluting trucks.

Due to the cost of subsidizing truck replacements, however, clean-truck fees will probably be needed for the next 16 months, said Marcel Van Dijk, marketing manager at the Port of Los Angeles.

Motor carriers have introduced about 4,500 new clean-diesel and liquefied natural gas trucks into harbor service since the Southern California ports launched their clean-truck program on Oct. 1, 2008. The clean trucks, which meet the emission standards set by the federal Environmental Protection Agency for 2007-model trucks, handle about 40 to 45 percent of the drayage moves in the harbor.

Van Dijk told the annual conference of the Agricultural Ocean Transportation coalition that a harbor fleet of about 9,000 trucks will be needed to handle the current cargo volume, according to a study by the Boston Consulting Group.

At least 5,000 trucks now operating in the harbor will be banned on Jan. 1, 2010, because they are pre-1994 models or they are 1994-2003 trucks that are not retrofitted with pollution traps.

If those trucks are replaced by an equal number of clean-diesel or LNG trucks, the ports by Jan. 1 will have a sufficient number of compliant trucks to handle cargo volumes. When the program began last October, the ports projected it would take five years to achieve that goal.

Also, the clean-truck program is supposed to reduce truck pollution in the harbor by 80 percent over five years, but it looks like the pollution reduction will be met by the end of this year, Van Dijk said.

The ports had assumed that massive subsidies would be needed to help motor carriers purchase compliant trucks, but so far all but about 250 of the new trucks have been privately financed. Although the ports are willing to help motor carriers with up to 80 percent of the cost of a compliant truck, subsidized trucks incur a fee of $35 per-TEU every time they call at marine terminals.

In order to avoid paying the fee, cargo interests have agreed to pay higher freight rates to motor carriers that operate compliant trucks that are exempt from fees. Since most truck purchases have been privately financed, cargo interests now question the need for clean-truck fees.

The ports in 2009 are implementing a new strategy of encouraging motor carriers to purchase LNG and electric trucks by waiving the cargo fee for all such vehicles, even if they are purchased with port subsidies.

Alternative-fuel trucks cost at least twice as much as clean-diesels and the ports therefore anticipate that motor carriers will seek subsidies for those vehicles. Under this scenario, Van Dijk said the clean-truck fees will probably be needed for at least the next 16 months.

Contact Bill Mongelluzzo at bmongelluzzo@joc.com.

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List of GM Dealer closures

Friday, June 5th, 2009

General Motors  has informed approximately  1100 car and truck dealers that its contracts with them will end in October 2010. Those dealers slated to continue as ongoing GM businesses were told this week they must sign a 24 page legal agreement by June 12 or their dealerships, too, would close next year.

John McEleney, chairman of the National Automobile Dealers Association  objected to GM’s terms before the Senate committee Wednesdaysaying

“If I sign (the participation letter), I’ll be committing my business to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars that I know about today and committing to millions of dollars of potential financial obligations in the future. I will also be subjecting my business to sales performance standards that are not specified in the contract,” he told the committee. “Even worse, GM can alter the terms of these requirements at any time at its sole discretion. The final blow, I must waive any right of protest to any action taken by the manufacturer.”

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UTi Worldwide Reports Fiscal 2010 First Quarter Results

Friday, June 5th, 2009

LONG BEACH, Calif., June 4, 2009 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — UTi Worldwide Inc. (Nasdaq:UTIW) today reported financial results for its fiscal 2010 first quarter ended April 30, 2009. Results in the fiscal 2010 first quarter were adversely impacted by continued weak freight and logistics volumes, partially offset by lower transportation and operating costs.

Eric W. Kirchner, chief executive officer, said, “Results in the first quarter continued to be impacted by the macroeconomic conditions and lower than expected transportation and logistics volumes. Purchased transportation costs also decreased, mitigating to some extent the volume deterioration. We continued to respond to the volume declines by reducing our operating costs, although these reductions did not fully offset the decrease in net revenue. We are intensifying our sales efforts to improve revenue growth, particularly in freight forwarding, without sacrificing profitability. These efforts may take some time, but we remain fully committed to our goal of achieving long-term growth and margin improvement.”

The decrease in revenues in the 2010 fiscal first quarter compared to the prior-year first quarter was due to the significant decline in forwarding and logistics volumes, currency fluctuations, and the exiting of businesses last year through the company’s earlier cost reduction plan. On an organic, constant currency basis, adjusted net revenue declined six percent in the 2010 first quarter compared to the first quarter a year ago.

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Sector Snap: Logistics firms fall, Hub jumps

Thursday, June 4th, 2009

NEW YORK (AP) — An analyst with investment bank R.W. Baird said Wednesday that a recent strategic move by trucking and logistics company Hub Group Inc. should position it well for the future, while it will likely hurt business at rival Pacer International Inc.

Analyst Jon A. Langenfeld said in a note to clients that Hub Group is turning to railroad operator Union Pacific Corp. to carry most of its cargo — about 90 percent. Hub now ships about 60 percent of its rail freight with Union Pacific and the other 40 percent with fellow Western rail Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp. He thinks this move should allow Downers Grove, Ill.-based Hub Group to be more efficient and drive down costs.

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Air T posts higher earnings

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009

Air T Inc. reports earnings of nearly $4.4 million, or $1.81 per diluted share, for its fiscal year ended March 31. That’s up from net income of $3.4 million, or $1.40 per diluted share, a year ago.

Revenue grew 16 percent in the latest quarter to $90.7 million.

The company cites increased sales of ground equipment, higher billable labor rates and a growth in customers and service locations.

Maiden-based Air T (NASDAQ:AIRT) provides overnight air-freight service to the express-delivery industry. It also makes and services aircraft ground-support and special-purpose industrial equipment.

Air T is one of the largest small-aircraft cargo operators in the country.

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TSA Seeks Input on Motor Carrier Rules

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009

WASHINGTON – The Transportation Security Administration has announced a set of security recommendations for the transportation of certain quantities of hazardous materials across the nation’s highways.

The recommendations – while voluntary – will help to ensure the secure transportation of potentially dangerous materials that could cause a significant impact if used in an act of terrorism, the agency said.

The voluntary guidelines were developed over a three-year period by TSA’s Highway and Motor Carrier Division, in close collaboration with government and private sector partners. The resulting recommendations are structured to allow motor carriers and shippers to adopt measures best suited to their particular circumstances or operation.

“These recommendations will further enhance motor carrier security by helping the industry adopt security measures best suited for the size and scope of their organizations,” said William Arrington, general manager, TSA Highway and Motor Carrier Division. “TSA utilized a threat-based approach to develop security measures that are reasonable and effective for the industry as a whole.”

TSA developed security action items for general security; personnel security; unauthorized access; and en-route security. General security measures include conducting security threat assessments, security planning, protecting critical information and enhancing awareness of industry-security practices.
Personnel security and unauthorized access refer to practices affecting the security of a motor carrier’s employees, contracted employees and its property. En-route security refers to the actual movement and handling of motor vehicles transporting highway security-sensitive materials. A full list of recommendations can be found on TSA’s Web site under www.tsa.gov/highway.

TSA recognizes that no one solution fits all motor carriers and circumstances. Therefore, the security action items allow for implementation flexibility based on the assessed vulnerability of a particular process or operation. The goal of the affected motor carrier and shipper should be to implement these security action items to the fullest extent practical.

TSA said it will build on these recommendations by analyzing the effectiveness of the security action items and feedback the Highway and Motor Carrier Division receives from industry. TSA will consider the security action items for development as regulations. Questions and comments from industry may be sent to the TSA Highway and Motor Carrier Division at highwaysecurity@dhs.gov.

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