Archive for January, 2010

Port of Dover to Priviatize, Biggest RORO Port Wants to Build New Hub, trucking loads, freight carriers

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

The port of Dover has been in the news this winter as bad weather has played havoc with the English Channel tunnel, diverting freight carriers and cars alike to the traditional ferries that call Dover home. While most ports are privately owned in Britain, Dover is publically owned, working under a “trust port” charter issued by King James I in 1606; yes, that’s the King James Bible guy.

However, that 17th-century charter makes it harder to raise 21st-century capital, so the port is looking for permission to privatize, so they can sell stock and thus raise the funds needed to modernize the port. The Chunnel seemed to have made the port of Dover somewhat moot, but the problems of last month point out that Dover is far from being an antique.

Even in the Chunnel era, there is still a place for the RORO service out of Dover; the ferry is still economical and some types of trucking loads are ill-suited for sending through a long tunnel. Dover wants to build a second six-ship hub to handle cross-Channel traffic; that will help fend off the kind of backlogs that had Operation Stack kick in to park the trucks on the incoming highway.

The question that the Dover management might be wondering is how best to get that capital. An existing port management firm like Hutchison Whampoa or DP World might be interesting in buying the port, or Dover might opt for an IPO and sell stock to the investing public. An improving stock market makes an IPO much more viable than it would have been a year ago.


New Freight Terminal With Old Roots, British rail freight, freight carrier, container transport, bulk trucking

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

Bulk trucking firms use to bring freight to the old coal loading facility in Rugby, England, today trains run in and out of the old coal yard delivering goods to supermarkets in Scotland. The old coal yard was transformed into a rail freight terminal that currently services one train per day, but plans are on the drafting board to increase the amount of trains running through the Rugby Terminal to as many as three trains per day. If designers are able to complete the job of increasing the capacity of this rail terminal to handle up to three trains per day the Rugby Terminal should be able to handle about 50,000 containers per day. No firm dates have been given for any additional transformation to the Rugby Terminal to help increase the capacity to about three trains per day.

All around the world humans are trying to find ways to make use of things that we would normally just throw away or tear down, rather than find away to recycle or reuse something that still has value and usefulness, as long as we use a little innovation and elbow grease. The transformation of the old rail yard in Rugby into a container transport terminal is one example of a new way of thinking in both the United Kingdom and the rail freight carrier industry as a whole. The freight industry of Britain deserves a pat on the back for making use of an asset that normally would have been ignored.

In the future we’ll be seeing a lot more use of assets that in better times might have been ignored or left to rot, such as the old coal yard in Rugby. In fact, expect to see assets in the United States that normally would have been forgotten, used in innovative ways such as this in the future.…l/id/15044.html

Ferry Pirates of Penzance, Preservationists Fight New Terminal, Freight carriers, trucking loads

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

An interesting story of development-versus-quaintness is going on in Britain, where locals are fighting over a ferry terminal in Penzance in Cornwall in the far west of England and whether trucking loads will be offloaded elsewhere or allowed into the new terminal. Contrary to what Gilbert and Sullivan fans might think, the only Pirates native to Penzance in real life are the city’s rugby team.

What is native to the beach in downtown Penzance is a historic Battery Rocks, where fortifications were posted in the 1700s to fend off the French from the other side of the English Channel. The proposed terminal would not only bring a RORO ferry terminal to that site, but some of the vehicles rolling on and off would be trucks.

Preservationists are hoping to scrap plans for the new terminal or at least keep the trucks away, routing their ferry service to the neighboring Isles of Scilly 40 miles up the road to Falmouth. While the friends of Penzance would like the business from the tourists coming to and from Scilly by car, the freight carriers aren’t as welcome; the truckers wouldn’t be likely to stop and shop in town and the negative externatlities of the trucks help ruin the quaint mood of the town.

This isn’t just a British problem. Many small towns in the US market themselves to tourists are aren’t all that interested in economic development, especially noisy trucks and trains, and will strive to keep their quaintness, even if it means surrounding areas are growing slower.


Hours of Service Rules Changes?, Freight trucking, Trailer Trucking, Trucking services

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

The trailer trucking industry’s reaction to the driver hours-of-service rules that have been in use have been luke warm, with the majority appearing to be in favor of the present rules and a smaller percentage opposed to the present situation. The industry has said that the new hours-of-service rules were working, but they need to be altered a bit to make it better for truckers. The reaction obviously wasn’t what the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration was hoping for, because they appear to have firmly decided to head down the road to revisions of the current hours-of-service rules in place. This is great news for the the trucking transport industry, which has been asking for changes to the rules that would give them greater ability to control the hours that drivers sleep in berths.

Work still continues on the desire to create a workable system to monitor the hours drivers spend behind the wheel using an electronic device installed in the truck, but at present the FMCSA hasn’t any definite word on this. They still have to finish working on the first similar decision they made awhile ago, so maybe this is just a continuation of a previous idea that didn’t quite get off the ground.

The industry wants the FMCSA to concentrate on using the available assets on teaching the trucking services industry about the effects of sleep disorder on drivers and monitoring drivers to make sure they aren’t suffering from the effects of sleep disorders. They also want them to work with organizations dedicated to implementing programs designed to teach drivers about the risks of fatigue on the job. The last item mentioned by industry professionals was the need for more truck stops on the busiest freight corridors in the United States and education of drivers on the availability of truck stops on all of corridors they’re using.

There were public meetings held on Friday, January 22 in Dallas to discuss the revisions that are planned to the hours rules and today in Los Angeles they’re holding a public meeting to talk about the rules. If you want to have your say or check out the changes they’re planning to make to the rules and live in Davenport, Iowa or are near this area on January 28, you can attend the public meeting being held to hear what the public has to say about the proposed changes to the rules.…s/hos/index.htm…s_category_id=3

British Freight Industry Results, British freight, Trucking Transport, Trucking Services

Monday, January 25th, 2010

Trucking services in the United Kingdom has been hit hard during the worldwide financial crisis and quite a few British firms have crushed beneath the fatal touch of the recession. The resulting loss of freight capacity in the British freight transport industry has changed the landscape and there are a few signs that the capacity of the industry is lessening and the cost of transporting goods and materials could be going up.

The British air freight industry has lost a few firms during the financial crisis, but the ocean freight industry has been pretty strong due to help from the British government. The trucking transport industry has been hit hard by the recession and things look like they’re going to get worse before they get better.

The message that the freight industry has been given off lately indicates the cost of transporting on the roads of the United Kingdom could be going up for firms that need to move goods as firms raise freight rates in order to compensate.

Companies transporting goods by truck in the British isles have reported that the present rates have them losing money and a change will have to be made.
The present problem has apparently been created by a change in the ratio of exports to imports that are being transported in and out of the United Kingdom.

The change in the ratio has apparently created an unbalanced equation between ocean freight and road freight and industry experts think a change in the rates will have to be made to help alleviate the problems created by the imbalance.

The loss of transport capacity created by the loss of several trucking transport firms during the financial crisis has made this problem worse. There will have to be a change in the industry rates in order to improve the financial picture for British road transport firms or we could be seeing a few more casualties.…ge-association/…#036;364451.htm

Snowstorm in AZ Shuts Down Trucks, Official Scramble for Trucker Shelter, Trucking logistics, freight carriers

Monday, January 25th, 2010

Trucking logistics in the Southwest are getting strained due to a winter storm hitting Arizona. You normally don’t think of Arizona and winter weather, but the northern part of the state, including Flagstaff, is at high altitude, so snow is not unheard of there. Snow has all-but shut down that part of the state. Further south in the state, the Phoenix area was hit by high winds, shutting down the Russo and Steele auction site in Scottsdale for Friday; the Barnett-Jackson auction was not affected, although vendor sites were closed on Thursday evening.

Flagstaff was hit with 21 inches of snow. Both I-40 and I-17 were closed, as was state route 89A between Flagstaff and Sedona. As a major east-west route, I-40’s closure disrupts a lot of cross-country truck traffic. Such closures mean that freight carriers will have to have their truckers come to a stop, and normal spots for trucks to light, like truck stops and rest areas, are at a premium in such situations. That was compounded by the closure of a number of rest areas for the winter.

In Flagstaff, the main truck stop was full, causing the city government to look for alternative parking spots for trucks, opening up the parking lots of a local mall and of Northern Arizona University for trucks. Elsewhere in the state, truck shelters were opened up to give truck drivers a place to get out of the cold and snow. Sleeper cabs in trucks aren’t well-designed for surviving a snow storm, so alternative measures needed to be taken.


Virginia Rest Stops Reopening, Freight moving through Virginia, trucking transport, Owner operator trucking, trucking loads

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

Owner operator trucking will be a lot easier to conduct in Virginia after a set of 19 designated rest areas are reopened to the public after being closed last year due to financial limits in the budget of the agency tasked with managing and operating the rest areas. The money has been found apparently to open and make these needed rest areas available for use. The idea is helped by the fact that they plan on using the services of bored prison inmates to work at the stops, who are being employed through the “Adopt a Rest Stop” program.

They’ll have to put in place safety plans to ensure that the inmates don’t take advantage of the situation to make a break for freedom. There can be opportunities for individuals to do a little illegal shopping as sensitive and important trucking loads come through the rest areas. They’ll also have to find the funds to keep the rest areas open into the future, which could be a challenge considering the budget limits being placed on governmental agencies these days. Still, the opening of these rest areas is a good sign for drivers and commuters traveling through Virginia, and will be a welcome event once people are able to make use of them.

There are lots of other rest areas that have been closed across North America that if opened would improve life for trucking transport drivers and all commuters traveling on the highways. Hopefully, this is the first in a series of openings across North America and a sign that the financial picture in the freight industry is starting to improve.…?wprss=getthere…to-save-money/1

Piracy Continues to Grow, Ocean freight, freight transport

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

Despite cries from all corners for something to be done about the problem with piracy on the open seas, there have been about 1,500 reported cases of ocean freight transport workers being held ransom by pirates. In many cases the workers spend only a brief period in the care of the pirates, but there have been cases where freight transport workers have been forced to enjoy the hospitality of pirates for months on end.
If passengers of air transport firms were taken hostage and held for ransom the reaction of the authorities would certainly have been more energetic and focused. Yet, ocean freight transport is vital to the economic and personal health of billions of humans and the protection of the water routes is essential to keeping the wheels of the global economy rolling.
There have been many stating lately that the international community is falling into a form of acceptance and complacency concerning the level of piracy, instead of doing everything they can to eliminate piracy. That the message being sent to pirates is that piracy is a viable business that they can get away with and at the same time make healthy profit. That the small risk involved with piracy is well worth the millions that they can gain in ransom payments, which is going to make piracy a lot more attractive to more individuals in depressed areas of the world where major shipping routes exist.
The level of military presence and protection being provided to the ships moving through areas where pirates operate has been insufficient to stop pirates from conducting business. The geographical areas involved are huge in scope and patrolling the vast stretches of water involved, is a difficult task to achieve at the best of times. Still, more needs to be done by all to help alleviate the problems that create the need to become a pirate, if piracy is going to be eliminated.

DHL Donates Ohio Air Hub, Freight Carrier

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

The air freight business has been rebounding as of late, but not soon enough to keep DHL from pulling out of the US domestic air freight carrier market. Part of the fallout of DHL’s retreat from the US market last year is the donation of their Ohio transport hub in Wilmington to the county port authority. DHL is moving what’s left of their Ohio operations to the Cincinnati airport in northern Kentucky.

The local port officials “acknowledged the generosity of DHL” but this might not have been all that generous, for in the absence of DHL, the property might not have been worth much as an air hub, given the closeness of Wilmington to both Dayton and Cincinnati. It might have been worth more as a tax write-off than a sale, given the depressed real estate market and even more depressed trucking and warehousing market.

Wilmington will be in the boat many towns have been when Air Force bases close, where they have an old military airport with questionable civilian applications. The Journal of Commerce piece mentions that the city wants to turn it into either a commercial airport or an industrial park. The former seems unlikely, but their might be a chance that the northeastern suburbs of Cincinnati could support a small commuter airport on the Ohio side of the river rather than taking a long drive around I-275 to the southwestern side of the metro area.

However, an industrial park that could use some of the warehousing space from DHL could be an option; they are not far from I-71 and could be developed by any number of companies looking for a southern Ohio locale. It might even be a good locale for a trucking services company to set up shop.


The Price of Moving Canadian Freight, Canadian freight, Freight Transport, Freight Carrier, Trucking Transport

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

The price of freight transport along the roads of Canada decreased a little in October, according to the Canadian General Freight Index (CGFI). This is a surprise after the costs went up in September, but is certainly a nice trend that they would like to continue. The price of freight transport using trucking transport in Canada went up eight of the first ten months of 2009 and increased by a total of 9.6 percent during this time. Hopefully, this isn’t just a temporary change and the costs will continue to move down, which will be a great help to firms during the current financial crisis.

The Canadian General Freight Index indicates that the overall industry results went down during October in Canada, despite an increase in base rates of 0.3 percent, which represents only the second increase in 2009. Industry experts think that the benefits of the increase in base rates was partially offset by the decrease in fuel surcharges, but resulted in overall costs that were less than previous months. Whatever the reason, this is good news and hopefully a trend that will continue to build momentum moving into 2010. Any decrease in costs will help firms deal with the future and problems that are coming down the track and will improve business. The Canadian General Freight Index is brought to us by Nulogx, an industry leader in Transportation Management Solutions. They help shippers and freight carriers improve services, make plans to help improve future business and make sure their customers sign business deals that are competitive.