Archive for April, 2010

Europe’s Air Freight Carrier Nightmare, Sit & Wait Approach, freight carriers

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

There’s an air freight carrier nightmare occurring in Europe right now that’s probably going to continue to cause disruptions and other problems, even weeks after flights resume, according to many air freight carrier professionals taking part in the current chaos. Reports are coming in from a few regions of the world of air freight carriers stopping taking orders and bookings and this of course is going to throw a wrench into the supply and demand chains of many industries.

Will this increase the cost of air transport for customers in the coming weeks? There are certainly a few that think this is a possibility, if not an absolute that can’t really be helped. This of course isn’t going to come as a surprise to most reading this article, but it certainly isn’t going to be welcome news for customers either, and it will obviously mean significant changes in the plans for many that need to use air freight services in their business operations.

One thing is for sure we’re getting to see firsthand the chaos that can occur when airports are closed for days at a time and the effect this has on air freight movements and the air freight industry of the regions affected as a whole. There’s also a lot of air freight sitting in warehouses and airports around Europe and other regions of the world at present and this is a situation might not be sustainable for an extended period of time. At some point something has to give, if pressure keeps building, and the resulting problems could be far beyond anything we might have imagined. This is probably a worst case scenario, but it’s certainly something that the agencies involved in this affair must take into account as they continue to ground planes in Europe and keep airports closed to traffic.

http://www.ifw-net.com/freightpubs/ifw/ind…20017768716.htm

New Shuttle Service Between Zeebrugge & Teesport, Shuttling Europe’s trailer trucks, trailer trucking, trucking transport, transport services

Friday, April 16th, 2010

Trailer trucking firms that have been hoping for an increase in transport services between the European ports of Zeebrugge and Teesport are about to get their wish. It was announced the other day that the providers of the current service are going to start a weekly door-to-door and quay-to-quay service between these two ports in a few days. Apparently, the company decided to increase services between these two ports in order to meet demand for the service from trucking transport firms using the service.

This is great news for Europe’s freight trucking industry that has had to deal with all kinds of problems during the past twenty months. Hopefully, the demand for freight trucking services continues to increase between these two ports and it begins to rub off on the other ports in the region. The good thing is that Teesport is centrally located, so it should make it a logical destination for firms that are moving freight in the region. In addition, transport services to Zeebrugge are going to allow for better coverage for Belgium, northern France and southern Germany, which should allow trucking firms to start competing in these markets a little better.

Once you look at this situation, it appears that Teesport and Zeebrugge are obvious choices for an increase in transport services for trucks that are carrying freight to destination that logically connect with these ports. In fact, if the volume of freight is as high as expected, we could see the company add even more runs between these two ports and other ports in the region as the volume of trucking loads that needs to be moved in Europe starts to increase.

http://www.ifw-net.com/freightpubs/ifw/ind…20017766245.htm

Looking for Space for Freight, The price of the business of freight, freight carriers, freight rates

Friday, April 16th, 2010

It appears there’s a crisis of sorts that has freight carriers dealing with unusually high air freight rates and a lack of available capacity for the demand for services. The crisis has some freight carriers looking under every available rock for another solution that costs a little less and allows them to get customers freight to destination in a more reliable and cost efficient manner. Freight forwarders and shippers have to get real creative in finding alternatives that in many cases are apparently including both sea and air freight options in order to find the best solution. This of course isn’t a surprise, since companies will do whatever is necessary in order to get the job done as efficiently and profitably as possible.

Things appear to be pretty chaotic at times lately in the freight markets around some parts of the world and this of course makes it difficult to accurately predict the future. If the air rates continue to be high and ocean freight capacity difficult to find for shippers though, it is probably going to make the job of some freight forwarders and shippers more difficult. Also, if demand exists to move freight the price isn’t going to be important for some shipments as others and the volumes of some type of freight are probably going to increase more than others. This is going to make some types of freight more attractive for companies and they might certainly look at more long term contracts with high volume freight less worried about the cost of transport.

http://www.ifw-net.com/freightpubs/ifw/ind…20017766232.htm

Container Transport Up in February and January, Volumes of containers increasing, container transport

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

Light the candles and break out the party hats, it could be time to celebrate an end to the bad times in the container transport industry and welcome back the goods times we remember. That’s if you think the latest container transport volumes for February are good enough to celebrate about? According to the European Liner Affairs Association (ELAA) the volume of westbound containers between Asia and Europe went up by over 50 percent in February as compared to the volume of containers reported in February of 2008. Does this mean we’re going to see container volumes continue to go up? This is exactly the question that most people in the container transport industry will be asking themselves after hearing about the increase in container volumes and if you have the answer to this question you could be rich over night and heralded as a genius by history.

The news that the volume of containers being moved between Asia and Europe went up by such a spectacular amount is obviously good news. The real question we’ll all be asking is whether it’s just a blip on the radar screen or something that indicates a true pull back of the recession. The volumes recorded for January and February are apparently comparable to the volumes of containers that were transported in the same months in 2008. What this exactly means for the future is the question?

We certainly should stop for a moment to toast to the improvement in container volumes in January and February, but we should still be wary of a return to the volumes of old in the months ahead. We need to try to keep business rolling forward and get some momentum behind the business of freight in the world, now that the volumes of containers has started to increase and return to the levels of old.

http://www.ifw-net.com/freightpubs/ifw/ind…20017766238.htm

Trailer Trucking Industry in Transition?, The evolution of trucking services, trailer trucking, trucking services, trucking transport

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

The trailer trucking industry of America has been waiting for about three years now for the recession to start pulling back and the business of trucking services firms to begin to recover. The problems of unstable fuel prices and low freight volumes have been the main problems in the freight trucking industry during this time, but there certainly could be underlying reasons for the problems in the trucking transport industry that we just haven’t clued into yet. At the moment, many in the freight trucking industry professionals believe that a majority of the trucking firms operating in America have begun to re-evaluate their business operations after the past three years. Does this mean that these companies have decided that the freight trucking industry has changed and it’s not going to be returning to pre-recession levels? It appears that there’s a belief in the trucking industry that this could be a fact and according to many freight trucking industry professionals, many trucking firms have begun to do business with this idea as a fact.

If the trucking industry isn’t going to be returning to the levels of old, this could mean that some trucking firms are going to be making some tough choices in the months ahead, in order to control their costs, and get the company ready for a possible transition to a different freight trucking industry in the future. Does this mean that some workers in the freight trucking industry could be working less in the months ahead? This is certainly the question for the workers in the freight industry that are aware of the current changes in the way trucking firms do business. A question that must have some of them uneasy at the moment and considering the conditions in the freight trucking industry, one could hardly blame them for being a little apprehensive at the moment.

http://fleetowner.com/management/news/tran…-underway-0406/

Grants for Trailer Truck Manufacturers, Developing green technologies for trucks, trailer trucking, trucking transport

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

The trailer trucking industry of the United States is currently in a transition of sorts from technologies that are carbon based to innovations that emit less carbon and help the trucking transport industry reduce its carbon wheel-print on the roads of North America. In order to help the trucking industry of America make the transition to technologies that emit less carbon or are totally carbon free, the US Department of Energy (DOE) has been spreading around a little money in the form of grants to the manufacturers of light and heavy trucking services units. The money handed out is to help trucking manufacturers develop new technologies to reduce the fuel consumption of these types of trucks, while making sure emission standards stay the same or are better.

This is obvious good news for the trucking industry and light and heavy duty truck manufacturers doing business in America. At present it’s estimated by trucking industry analysts that heavy truck transport accounts for about 20 percent of the current fuel consumed by trucking transport in America, while they only make up a 4 percent of the total amount of transport trucks in use. This means that reducing the amount of fuel consumed by heavy-duty transport trucks is going to mean a much more significant reduction in carbon emissions for the trucking industry of America.

The US Department of Energy has made funding available for nine different projects aimed at improving the fuel efficiency of the heavy and light duty transport trucks operating on the roads of America. The nine different projects delve into areas such as increasing fuel efficiency of Class 8 tractor trailers by as much as 50 percent within 5 years, technologies to reduce idling, and all sorts of amazing combustion innovations.

It will be a few years before the trucking industry gets to take advantage of any developments out of these nine projects, but this is a nice turn down the road to using less fuel for the trucking industry of the United States. This is likely just the first step in a plan that will eventually see America and the world begin to turn to technologies that are totally carbon free as the trucking industry travels further into the century of the environment.

http://fleetowner.com/green/archive/doe-grant-program-0112/

Recession Starting to Pullback?, Increase in air freight in Hong Kong, freight carrier, freight carriers

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

The increase in air freight carrier movements to Hong Kong in the last month or so has many in the freight industry thinking that the recession could be starting to recede and the world economy starting to pick up speed. The truth of this belief is of course the question and one that will be keeping many people in Asia up at night. The volume of air freight being taken to destination by air freight carriers traveling to Hong Kong did increase last month and it has continued to go up according to sources. Does this mean that the recession is starting to lessen? This is a good question, but one that we don’t really appear to have the answers for yet. The only thing we really can say is that there are more customers that want to move air freight to and from Hong Kong.

The fact that air freight volumes have been going steadily up in Hong Kong is of course probably not a surprise to many, since Hong Kong is part of China. China has been spending huge amounts on increasing their air freight carrier industry of late and this is certainly going to have had an effect upon the volume of air freight traveling through Hong Kong.

According to the belief of many in the industry the long term prospects for air freight business to continue to grow in Hong Kong and the surrounding regions is also excellent and many in the industry expect to see the demand for air freight services to continue to rise. Hopefully, these forecasts are correct and at the same time air freight traffic in the other regions around the world starts to increase as well.

http://www.ifw-net.com/freightpubs/ifw/ind…20017766618.htm

Cummins Engines Going Green, The trailer trucking units of tomorrow, trucking transport

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

Trailer trucking firms that are planning on investing in the future with the purchase of new units with Cummins Engines will be happy to hear that the US Department of Energy (DOE) is going to fund two projects at Cummins Engines to help build a greener generation of Cummins Engines. This means Cummins Engines could be putting out a few engines in trucking transports in a few years that could be a leader in green technology for Class 8 tractors, which is being called a SuperTruck by the OEM. The SuperTruck as it’s called will implement both a highly efficient and clean diesel engine and an advanced waste heat recovery system, paired with a Peterbilt tractor trailer combination, plus a fuel cell auxiliary power unit to reduce engine idling.

This is great news for the trailer trucking industry of North America and the world. The next generation of Peterbilt Class 8 tractors could be running an engine that’s regarded as one of the best in the business for helping reduce a trucking firm’s carbon-wheel print. Only the first step down the road to maybe one day not using carbon based fuels at all in the trucking industry, but a good first step for Cummins Engines. The question in the end for truckers will be just how efficient and useful will any new engines be for reducing carbon emissions, while still allowing the business of trucking freight to grow and prosper in the future.
Cummins would like to improve the mileage of the new engine by about 40 percent through this initiative in partnership with the US Department of Energy and hopefully go far beyond the current 2010 EPA emissions requirements for new diesel transport trucks.

http://fleetowner.com/green/archive/cummin…-projects-0111/

EPA Determing Fuel Economy Regulations?, EPA taking over for DOT?, trailer trucking, trucking services, owner operator trucking

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

There’s a battle brewing between the trailer trucking industry and the US Senate bill that would change the landscape for trucking services in America and maybe erase all of the work and experience that the freight trucking industry has gained through its relationship with the Department of Transportation. Owner operator trucking professionals have joined the battle to oppose the bill as well and it appears that plans to hand over the job of determining future fuel economy regulations for medium and heavy duty trucks to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Will we see more parties in this affair come on board as opposed to the idea of transferring authority for determining fuel economy regulations to the EPA? This is certainly possible considering the problems that many in the freight trucking industry think this idea could cause for American’s trucking industry in the future. Many think that the timing of this move is terrible and that making a change at this time could increase fuel costs for trucking firms during a time when they need it least. The truth of this belief is of course going to be in doubt for many in government and even around other sectors of the worldwide freight industry, but this could certainly become reality if the transfer isn’t quite as seamless as they hope.

The government hasn’t really been forthcoming with any reason why they want to make the change at this time, but they must have a reason, and hopefully the reasons they have turns out to be correct and the parties that oppose this idea wrong. The plans of the government to transfer authority to the EPA hasn’t been completed as yet, so if enough opposition comes on board, the government might decide to take another look at this idea, before heading forward with the idea. Concerned parties might be well-served to see if they can contact somebody in government to let them know there are also concerned about the possible transfer of authority to the EPA. The government needs to hear from everybody that thinks this idea is probably not a good idea at the present moment, if we want them to take another look.

http://fleetowner.com/regulations/oppositi…l-economy-0412/

Diesel Prices Return to “Normal”, Prices at Nov. 2008 levels, $2.90/gallon, freight carriers, container shipping, container trucking

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

Diesel prices hit their highest point since November of 2008 last week, as the average price nationwide rose to $2.90/gallon. That’s mostly bad news for freight carriers, who have to try to pass those higher costs on to suppliers or see their profits diminish. It’s hard to tell what is “normal” in the fuel market given the volatile nature of fuel prices in the last two years, but things are returning to pre-financial-meltdown levels.

That increase is a measure of economic activity driving fuel prices higher; container shipping traffic is forecasted to grow during 2010. The added amount of container trucking will add to the demand for diesel as we go forward.

Trucking logistics firms will need to look at fuel-saving alternatives in this high-diesel-price environment. Intermodal transport becomes more of a factor, especially if the railroads in an area are electric; they will both be less affected by the increased price of diesel and used what gas they do use more efficiently. Since most ships run on diesel, moving things onto the seas isn’t a huge advantage, although shipping is more fuel-efficient, albeit slower.

If the increase in diesel is deemed to be normal and we’re going to be stuck with these prices, alternative fuels are going to get a big push. Biodiesel will get a long look as a fuel additive at $3/gallon levels, and electric trucks might get more of a push; range is a factor, but if you can make a Porsche muscle-car electric, you’ll have a shot at making a interstate transport truck electric as well.

Sources: http://www.truckinginfo.com/news/news-deta…_category_id=42
http://www.thetrucker.com/News/Stories/201…entinMarch.aspx