News

Print

Werner Enterprises is key in linking Chinese tile to Omaha kitchen

on .

By Paul Goodsell
WORLD-HERALD STAFF WRITER
Source:
omaha.com/article/20121125/NEWS/711259933/1697

SHANGHAI — Andy and Shellie Nelson's tile floor was born here in a sweltering, dusty factory, fashioned out of Chinese clay and fired in a furnace as long as a football field.

Before it reached the Nelsons' suburban Omaha home, the tile traveled thousands of miles across ocean, mountains and plains.

In fact, it took an international bucket brigade of trucks, ships and trains more than a month to bring the tile to an Omaha factory, where it was assembled into a unique, interlocking flooring product and eventually sold at Nebraska Furniture Mart.

The Nelsons' tile floor is an example of the interconnected world economy — the result of Nebraska innovators who joined forces with a Taiwanese tile vendor, a Malaysian-owned tile maker outside Shanghai, Canadian machine toolers and American factory workers in Michigan, Wahoo, Neb., and Omaha.

But the tiles' journey from China to Omaha itself is a story of global connections with a local twist: the worldwide logistics company run by Sarpy County's Werner Enterprises.

With its headquarters near the Sapp Brothers coffeepot at Interstate 80 and 144th Street, Werner is best known for its trademark blue trucks that help the company pull in about $2 billion in annual revenues. That's enough business to rank Werner third-highest in the nation among publicly traded trucking companies.

Increasingly, however, Werner's revenues come not from hauling goods in blue trucks but from the company's logistics services — helping customers manage shipments of goods through their supply chains.

“It's been very successful for them,” said Donald Broughton, a senior transportation analyst and managing director for Avondale Partners in St. Louis. “It's been an engine of growth.”

Werner Global Logistics employs 75 people at the company's Omaha headquarters, a workforce that has more than tripled in four years.

China is a key part of Werner's $500 million logistics business. The company entered the China market in early 2006 and now has 50 employees in its Shanghai and Shenzhen offices.

“We went into China with a very clear understanding of our customers' needs for transparency, efficiency, a fact-based supply chain,” said Craig Stoffel, global logistics vice president.

Basically, Werner helps companies like Omaha's SnapStone Tile arrange efficient shipments and track them through the transportation process. If there are problems, Werner can help resolve them.

Without logistics coordination, shipments from, say, a Chinese vendor to a U.S. company can fall into a “blind spot” for weeks — leaving the customer unsure whether the product actually left the overseas factory, if it has made it onto a freighter at the Chinese port, and when it might reach a U.S. port... Continue reading...

 

Source: omaha.com/article/20121125/NEWS/711259933/1697

Print

Mileage Rises, Prices Decline for Used Trucks, Analyst Says

on .

By Seth Clevenger, Staff Reporter
This story appears in the Nov. 26 print edition of Transport Topics.

Used heavy-duty truck prices softened in October at the same time the average mileage of used tractors climbed to an all-time high, ACT Research said last week.

October was the second straight month that used truck prices declined from the corresponding month a year earlier, said ACT Vice President Steve Tam. Prior to September, prices had increased year-over-year for 30 consecutive months, he said.

The average price of a used Class 8 truck sold by retailers, wholesalers and auctioneers declined to $38,496 in October, down 3.5% from $39,874 in September, and 7.3% from $41,522 in October 2011, according to ACT’s preliminary figures.

The average mileage of a used truck sold in October was 570,570, “the highest we’ve seen since we started collecting used truck data,” said Tam, who described the rise in mileage as the main driver of the pricing decline. Average mileage was up from 559,901 in September and 533,166 in October 2011, he said.

“The used truck buyer is buying the remaining life in that truck, so if there’s less remaining life, he’s not going to pay as much for it, all other things being equal,” Tam said.

Despite the recent downturn, the average used truck price for the first 10 months of 2012 was $42,250, up 9% from the same timeframe last year.

Although new truck buyers have been holding on to their equipment for extended cycles, there are signs that they may begin to ramp up replacement, Tam said.

“The preliminary net-order numbers for October were very strong, so that suggests that it’s time to get the replacement ball rolling,” he said.

Truck makers received 23,200 new Class 8 orders in October, the highest total since January, ACT reported earlier this month (11-12, p. 1).

Tam said he wasn’t sure if October’s figure was the high-water mark for average mileage, “but we’ve got to be fairly close.”

American Truck Dealers did not yet have pricing data for October, but said the average retail price of a used Class 8 sleeper in September was $48,740, down from $49,627 in August and $49,049 in September 2011. ATD is a division of the National Automobile Dealers Association.

Chris Visser, senior analyst for ATD/NADA, said the pricing of used 2010 and 2011 models has depreciated the most.

“I think the market has finally put a bit of a ceiling on the newer model years as to what people are willing to pay,” Visser said. “The price just got high enough where people are either making the jump to new or deciding to live with an older tractor.”

ACT said the sellers it surveys sold 1,563 trucks in October on a same dealer basis. That total was up from 1,238 in September, but down from 1,766 in October 2011.

Year-to-date, those dealers have sold 15,434 used trucks in 2012, down from 18,065 in the same timeframe last year, ACT said.

Used truck dealers are still having a hard time moving 2008 and 2009 models, said Rick Clark, president of the Used Truck Association.

“Most people are looking at ’07s and ’10s,” he said. “Inventory hasn’t really flipped, and I don’t think dealers are writing them down, overall.”
 
Clark, who also is vice president of National Truck Protection, Cranford, N.J., said the mileage is “way up” on his customers’ trucks.

“We’re putting warranties on ’07s with 800,000 or 900,000 miles,” he said. “We see a spike in that, and it’s rare to see them in the 400,000s and 500,000s.”

Clark said he expects to see higher warranty sales, which mirror used truck sales, in areas where equipment was damaged by Superstorm Sandy.

“Once everyone gets their insurance taken care of, I would expect within the next couple weeks we’ll have a pretty large [sales] spike in the Northeast,” he said.

Louis Pinheiro, a salesman at the Arrow Truck Sales dealership in Elizabeth, N.J., said its used truck lot was spared by Sandy, and customer traffic jumped following the storm.

“Most of the guys who are coming into our store have flooded trucks,” he said. “It seems to be moving pretty quickly with the insurance adjusters getting to the trucks and telling these guys if it’s total loss or not.”

Chris Visser, senior analyst for ATD/NADA, said the pricing of used 2010 and 2011 models has depreciated the most.

“I think the market has finally put a bit of a ceiling on the newer model years as to what people are willing to pay,” Visser said. “The price just got high enough where people are either making the jump to new or deciding to live with an older tractor.”

ACT said the sellers it surveys sold 1,563 trucks in October on a same dealer basis. That total was up from 1,238 in September, but down from 1,766 in October 2011.

Year-to-date, those dealers have sold 15,434 used trucks in 2012, down from 18,065 in the same timeframe last year, ACT said.

Used truck dealers are still having a hard time moving 2008 and 2009 models, said Rick Clark, president of the Used Truck Association.

“Most people are looking at ’07s and ’10s,” he said. “Inventory hasn’t really flipped, and I don’t think dealers are writing them down, overall.”

Clark, who also is vice president of National Truck Protection, Cranford, N.J., said the mileage is “way up” on his customers’ trucks.

“We’re putting warranties on ’07s with 800,000 or 900,000 miles,” he said. “We see a spike in that, and it’s rare to see them in the 400,000s and 500,000s.”

Clark said he expects to see higher warranty sales, which mirror used truck sales, in areas where equipment was damaged by Superstorm Sandy.

“Once everyone gets their insurance taken care of, I would expect within the next couple weeks we’ll have a pretty large [sales] spike in the Northeast,” he said.

Louis Pinheiro, a salesman at the Arrow Truck Sales dealership in Elizabeth, N.J., said its used truck lot was spared by Sandy, and customer traffic jumped following the storm.

“Most of the guys who are coming into our store have flooded trucks,” he said. “It seems to be moving pretty quickly with the insurance adjusters getting to the trucks and telling these guys if it’s total loss or not.”

Print

ATA’s Summit on Natural Gas to Focus on Alt-Fuels for Fleets

on .

By Jonathan S. Reiskin, Associate News Editor
This story appears in the Nov. 26 print edition of Transport Topics.

American Trucking Associations this week will convene a two-day, public conference on the industry’s use of natural gas, a development that several executives said may significantly alter U.S. trucking operations by displacing much of the diesel fuel the industry burns.

The sold-out ATA Summit on Natural Gas in Trucking will run Nov. 28-30 in Arlington, Va., and has attracted more than 500 attendees, more than twice the number the trucking federation originally thought would attend.

The 11 sessions draw together executives from trucking, truck and engine manufacturing, truck stops, natural-gas producers and vehicle maintenance. There will also be representatives from the U.S. Energy Department, an environmental advocacy group and several policy groups, and two members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
 
 “This is a cutting-edge symposium,” said ATA Chairman Michael Card. “ATA is very concerned about the environment, engine exhaust and reducing our carbon footprint.”

“We also need our country to be more energy self-sufficient, and this has the potential to help America’s energy security,” said Card, who is also president of Combined Transport Inc., Central Point, Ore.

“We couldn’t be happier with the quality of the speakers we have attracted,” said ATA President Bill Graves.

“We’ve moved past the question of whether natural gas is viable as a fuel for trucking. It certainly is, but now we have to go fleet by fleet and look at the details,” Graves said.

In talking to fleet executives during the year, Graves said he has seen carriers fit into three groups: those that are already very involved with CNG or LNG — compressed or liquefied natural gas — and have already generated results; those that are seriously inclined toward using natural gas but aren’t entirely sold; and those that are pessimistic and far from being sold.

There will be information in this summit that is relevant for people in all three camps,” Graves said.

Among fleets with a demonstrated interest, Ryder System said Nov. 15 that it now owns 215 CNG tractors and 35 powered by LNG. Collectively, the vehicles have racked up more than 6 million miles, displacing 923,000 gallons of diesel that would have been burned last year and this year.

Ryder, based in Miami, ranks No. 10 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest U.S. and Canadian for-hire carriers and works in full-service truck leasing and dedicated contract carriage.
Ryder Vice President Scott Perry will speak at the summit about maintenance and shop considerations, along with executives from Navistar Inc., Exxon Mobil Corp. and supermarket chain Giant Eagle Inc.

If the use of natural gas spreads, it will be particularly important for truck stops.

“There’s a lot of discussion about this among truck stop operators. This could be the next big fuel,” said Lisa Mullings, president of Natso Inc., a trade group representing truck stop operators.
Mullings said many members of her industry have changed significantly in their attitude toward natural gas over the past 12 months.

“More and more of them are starting to put in natural gas. There’s a lot less uncertainty about this than there was a year ago,” she said.

Graves will moderate a panel discussion early in the program featuring top executives from three of the largest truck stop chains: Jimmy Haslam, CEO of Pilot Flying J; Tom O’Brien, CEO of TravelCenters of America; and Frank Love, president of Love’s Travel Stops.

All major North American heavy-duty truck and engine makers plan to send a representative to the panel moderated by Transport Topics Publisher and Editorial Director Howard Abramson. Executives from Freightliner Trucks, Kenworth Trucks, Navistar and Volvo Group will talk about their approaches to natural-gas power.

Joining them will be representatives from the three companies that currently make or adapt engines to run on natural gas: Cummins Inc., Westport Innovations and a joint venture of the two companies, Cummins-Westport.

Print

New Members Appointed to ATRI Research Advisory Committee

on .

Arlington, VA – The Board of Directors of the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) recently appointed 17 new members to its Research Advisory Committee (RAC).  The RAC is charged with annually identifying the trucking industry’s top research needs.  RAC members represent a diverse group of industry stakeholders including motor carriers, industry suppliers, academics, government, driver groups and law enforcement.  The new members, along with 16 reappointed members, will serve a two-year term starting January 2013. 

The ATRI Board also appointed Steve L. Niswander, Vice President of Safety, Policy and Regulatory Relations for Groendyke Transport in Enid, Oklahoma as Chairman of the Research Advisory Committee.  Niswander has been a member of the RAC since 2009 and he will serve as Chairman of the 2013-2014 RAC. He will be responsible for leading the group’s identification, review and prioritization of the industry’s research agenda. 

Newly appointment members of the ATRI Research Advisory Committee:

Duane Acklie

Chairman

Crete Carrier Corporation

Chris McLoughlin

Cargo Risk Manager

C.H. Robinson

Kirk Altrichter

Vice President, Maintenance

Gordon Trucking, Inc.

Robert Moseley, Jr.

Transportation Group Lead

Smith Moore Leatherwood

Andrew Boyle

Executive Vice President

Boyle Transportation

Scott Mugno

Vice President, Safety and Maintenance

FedEx Ground

Michael Conyngham

Director of Research

International Brotherhood of Teamsters

Vidya Mysore

Manager, Systems Traffic Modeling

Florida Department of Transportation

John Freeman

Vice President Sales

Pilot Travel Centers

Richard Plewacki

Partner

Benesch Friedlander Coplan & Arnoff

Matt Hart

Executive Director

Illinois Trucking Association

Webb Shaw

Vice President, Editorial Resources

J.J. Keller & Associates

Sanford Hodes

Senior Vice President and

Deputy General Counsel

Ryder System, Inc.

Frank Southworth

Principal Research Scientist

Georgia Institute of Technology, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Keith Klingenberg

Senior Vice President, Logistics Practice Group Leader

Wells Fargo Insurance Services USA

Keith Tuttle

President

Motor Carrier Services, Inc.

Michael Kray

Principal Planner

Atlanta Regional Commission

 

 

ATRI is the trucking industry’s 501(c)(3) not-for-profit research organization.  It is engaged in critical research relating to freight transportation’s essential role in maintaining a safe, secure and efficient transportation system.

Print

OSHA Urges Hurricane Recovery Workers to Protect Themselves

on .

US Labor Department’s OSHA urges hurricane recovery workers to protect themselves against hazards

BOSTON – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration is urging workers and members of the public engaged in Hurricane Sandy cleanup and recovery efforts in New York, New Jersey and the New England states to be aware of the hazards they might encounter and the steps they should take to protect themselves.

“Storm recovery workers are working around the clock to clean up areas impacted by the storm,” said Robert Kulick, OSHA’s New York regional administrator. “We want to make sure that workers are aware of the hazards involved in cleanup work and take the necessary precautions to prevent serious injuries.”

OSHA field staff members are providing safety assistance, technical support, and information and training to those involved in the recovery efforts. For more information about unsafe work situations, workers and the general public can contact OSHA’s toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742).

For more information about protecting workers during Hurricane Sandy recovery, visit http://www.osha.gov/sandy/index.html. This comprehensive website offers fact sheets, concise “quick cards,” frequently asked questions, safety and health guides, and additional information in English and Spanish.

Cleanup work can involve restoring electricity, communications, and water and sewer services; demolition activities; removal of floodwater from structures; entry into flooded areas; cleaning up debris; tree trimming; structural, roadway, bridge, dam and levee repair; use of cranes, aerial lifts and other heavy equipment; hazardous waste operations; and emergency response activities.

Inherent hazards may include downed electrical wires, carbon monoxide and electrical hazards from portable generators, fall and “struck-by” hazards from tree trimming or working at heights, being caught in unprotected excavations or confined spaces, burns, lacerations, musculoskeletal injuries, being struck by traffic or heavy equipment, and drowning from being caught in moving water or while removing water from flooded structures.

Protective measures include evaluating the work area for all hazards; assuming all power lines are live; using the right personal protective equipment (hard hats, shoes, reflective vests, safety glasses); conducting exposure monitoring where there are chemical hazards; following safe tree cutting procedures to prevent trees from falling on workers; and using fall protection and proper ladder safety when working at heights.

For additional information on grants, cleanup efforts and recovery resources, visit the Labor Department’s Hurricane Recovery Assistance Web page, which is being continuously updated at http://www.dol.gov/opa/hurricane-recovery.htm. Also, a checklist of activities to be undertaken before, during and after a hurricane is available from the Federal Emergency Management Agency at http://www.ready.gov/hurricanes.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information about the agency, visit http://www.osha.gov.

Print

The Lonesome Road - America’s trucking industry faces driver shortages

on .

Source: comstocksmag.com/Articles/1012_F_t
ransportation_thirty_million_gamble.aspx

(scroll down for the article)

The trucking industry is facing a significant driver shortage as baby boomers retire and younger people are unwilling to replace them. The shortfall eased a bit during the recession as fewer trucks took to the road, but with the economy recovering, industry leaders say the shortage is becoming problematic.

The American Trucking Associations predicts the industry will be short approximately 110,000 drivers by 2014, while other estimates peg the figure up to three times higher. That deficit has been paying dividends for those who remain.

“Driver salaries are on the rise,” says Michael Shaw, a spokesman for the California Trucking Association. “Demand is outstripping supply.”

That is good for drivers but not so much for consumers: Most industry experts believe the increased driver costs will ultimately mean higher prices for the goods they deliver.

There are many reasons for the shortfall. Younger people aren’t as interested in the field any more. In this era of health consciousness, the job is perceived as too hard on the body. And long-haul truckers can be required to be gone from home for weeks at a time.

The financial payoff is also questionable. Many large companies prefer to hire truckers who own a rig, which can be an expensive proposition for a potential driver. And new regulations in California related to greenhouse gas emissions have made it even more difficult for truckers to afford equipment.

However, there are other signs that workers are enlisting in the field because job prospects are so poor elsewhere. David Decker, director of education for the Western Truck School in West Sacramento, says he has seen a slight increase in the number of students willing to fork over the $2,000 to $5,000 needed to pass his training program. He says it is too soon to know if the spike is temporary, but he remains optimistic that the industry will eventually be able to fill its needs. For all its challenges, he notes, trucking has something many industries can’t offer these days: job security.

“It’s harder than ever to make a living now,” Decker says. “But I’m seeing a lot more people coming here now who have already had careers in other fields. They’re coming here because they just need a steady job.”

— Rich Ehisen

Source: comstocksmag.com/Articles/1012_F_transportation_thirty_million_gamble.aspx (scroll down for the article)

Print

U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree Festivities For November 15th

on .

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, Media Contact:
Chris Spinks
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , 214.978.4824
Ken Coffin, US Forest Service
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
, 970-878-6001

U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree Festivities Scheduled For November 15th At House of Blues Dallas

Dallas, TX (11/5/12) – On November 15, 2012, the U.S. Forest Service with help from their nonprofit partner, Choose Outdoors will be bringing the US Capitol Christmas Tree (CapitolChristmasTree2012.com) to Dallas, TX and invites all people young and old to come celebrate this annual holiday tradition.

On November 2, the 2012 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree was harvested in the White River National Forest, near Meeker, CO. The tree was then wrapped and will be transported to Washington, D.C. on a custom-decorated Mack Pinnacle model truck which will be driven by former U.S. Senator, Ben Nighthorse Campbell.


The U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree will to be on display at 4:00 PM, Thursday, November 15th at House of Blues Dallas. This stop will be one of many along the tree’s 23-day tour across Colorado and the country on its way to the nation’s capital. All festivities with the Tree are open to the public and free for all to enjoy.

As the Tree travels the country, it will carry a message about sustainable forestry as well as invite people to assist with raising funds for the Forest Restoration Challenge. This challenge was set up to help areas impacted by the massive wildfires which devastated areas near Colorado Springs and Fort Collins in the spring of 2012. Those interested in donating can text any dollar amount to 303-502-5858 then donors will then be ask for some basic information to complete the donation. In addition, Toys for Tots will be accepting donations of toys, and ROTARY will accept contributions of coats and nonperishable foods.


Festivities being held while the Tree is in town will include presentations by public officials, visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus, ornament decorating, and a free performance by Country singer, Lindsay Lawler, who is also the spokesperson for the Truckload Carriers Association’s Highway Angel program. Lawler will perform Standing Tall, the winning song from more than 300 entries in the Sing 4 The Trees songwriting contest.

Special events and opportunities to view the tree are being planned in every stop across the country. Santa and Mrs. Claus will also be traveling with the Tree so be sure to have the little one's bring their list so they can show Santa.


“We’re working with city officials and volunteers across the country to make the 2012 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree tour an unforgettable experience of both giving back and celebrating the holiday season,” said Bruce Ward, founder of Choose Outdoors.

Upon arrival in Washington, D.C., the tree will be placed on the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol and decorated with more than 5,000 ornaments handmade by Colorado children depicting the tree’s theme, “Celebrating the Great Outdoors.” In early December, a tree lighting ceremony will take place and will be available for public viewing throughout the holiday season.


Costs associated with the tree's transportation and tour events are made possible by contributions by individuals, corporations and local communities. Major sponsors include the Colorado Tourism Office, Mack Trucks and The National Association of Convenience Stores and Randall Reilly Publishing.

For more information on the Dallas, TX tour stop, visit hob.com/dallas. To track the tree’s route, visit CapitolChristmasTree2012.com or you can also follow the tree on Facebook (facebook.com/CapitolChristmasTree2012), Twitter (twitter.com/CapitolTree2012) and Pinterest (pinterest.com/capitoltree2012)