Saturday, May 31, 2008

Highway Safety Leaders Deliver Life-Saving Measures as Part of Nevada Truck Driving Championships

Life-saving highway driving tips were presented today as part of the American Trucking Associations' national Share the Road highway safety tour by top professional truck drivers and other safety partners. The Share the Road educational program also served as a kick-off to the 2008 Nevada Truck Driving Championships.

With families hitting the highways for summer vacations, sharing the road safely takes on special significance this month. Congressman Dean Heller, the American Trucking Associations, the Nevada Motor Transport Association, the Federal Motor Carriers Association, the Nevada Highway Patrol and members of the trucking community joined the elite group of drivers to discuss highway safety on Nevada highways and to give tips for safe summer driving. The Reno stop demonstrated to drivers how to share the road safely with large trucks.

"Highway safety is a way of life," said Clarence Jenkins, a professional driver for UPS Freight and 13-time State Truck Driving Champion. "The drivers competing here in Reno have dedicated their lives to being safe professional drivers. I hope my years of experience behind the wheel of a truck can help the motoring public be a little safer out on our nation's roads."

Featured at today's event were professional truck drivers Jerry Adams (C&S Wholesale Grocers) and Clarence Jenkins (UPS Freight). These drivers are members of an elite team of million-mile, accident-free truck drivers who deliver the trucking industry's safety messages across the country.

Nevada Motor Transport Association CEO Paul Enos said at the event, "The truck driving championships are a celebration of the industry's safety program. It is great to have another fundamental part of trucking's safety outreach - the Share the Road program - here to teach motorists how to share the road with tractor-trailers. Through efforts like the ones we are highlighting today, the trucking industry is working to make America's roads the safest they have ever been."

Today's presentation of Share the Road safety measures is important to area motorists because, according to statistics:

* An average of 400 people are killed each year on Nevada roads (Dept. of Transportation).

* Around three quarters of all truck-involved fatalities are unintentionally initiated by car drivers (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration).

* 35 percent of all truck-involved highway fatalities occur in a truck's blind spots
(Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration).

Following the safety demonstration today at the Nevada Truck Driving Championships, reporters, photographers and state legislators were given tractor-trailer rides. From the truck driver's perspective they viewed safe merging and stopping distances, and learned up close and personal some of the differences between how cars and large trucks operate on the highways. Today's demonstration was designed to teach specific skills in order for motorists to drive safely around other automobiles and around trucks on the highways, so that they arrive safely at their destinations.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

UPS Freight Workers in California, Oklahoma, Texas and Virginia Sign Cards to Become Teamsters

In Latest Victory, About 70 Drivers, Dockworkers Will Join Teamsters

An overwhelming majority of about 70 workers at UPS Freight terminals in California, Oklahoma, Texas and Virginia have signed authorization cards to become Teamsters, bringing the total number of drivers and dockworkers who have signed cards to nearly 11,100 since January 16, Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa announced.

The workers will be joining Local 171 in Salem, Virginia, which includes the terminals in Lynchburg and Roanoke; Local 381 in Santa Maria, California, which includes the Oceano terminal; Local 523 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and; Local 577 in Lubbock, Texas.

“The UPS Freight workers contribute every day to making their company successful and they deserve to be recognized for their hard work,” said Teamsters Package Division Director Ken Hall. “We are closer to our goal of organizing 12,600 UPS Freight workers.”

“We are proud to represent the UPS Freight workers who never gave up in their fight to become Teamsters,” said Rosie Via, President of Local 171.

“These workers were very energized to become part of the Teamsters. Their future is bright,” said Lynn Swenson, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 381.

“Tulsa is a small city and most of the freight drivers know each other and see each other in the course of the work week. They work together and they help each other. It is truly a brotherhood,” said Gary Ketchum, President of Local 523.

“These employees work a lot of hours and they don’t get overtime after working 8 hours. Now they will have the opportunity to gain a strong Teamster contract,” said Brian Ahearn, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 577.

In April, more than 89 percent of UPS Freight workers who are already Teamster members ratified a new contract, which improves wages, benefits and working conditions.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Teamsters to Participate in Trucking Security Program

The Department of Homeland Security has selected the HMS Company to receive a $15.5 million grant to provide program management, planning and support services for its Trucking Security Program (TSP).

As part of this program the International Brotherhood of Teamsters was selected as the subcontractor to provide outreach and training to Teamsters in the transportation industry and others throughout the country. This new program will enhance and continue the TSP through updated training and communications.

The TSP will administer an anti-terrorism and security awareness program for highway professionals in support of the National Preparedness Guidelines. The training and awareness program will develop and launch training modules for different communities and different threats as they emerge.

The Teamsters provide unique insight since they work in and around areas not typically covered under other programs. Not only are Teamsters on the nation's highways but in and around our nation's critical infrastructure every day.

Another subcontractor partner is the Owner Operator Independent Driver Association (OOIDA). This will provide a unique opportunity for the Teamsters to work with OOIDA in a collaborative effort between the two memberships and build a cohesive organizational structure for recruitment and training into areas of transportation they have not traditionally visited.

"I am looking forward to working with the HMS Company and to participate in helping to protect our nation's security," said Mark Johnson the Teamsters National Training Director.

Deutsche Post's U.S. express ops to tie-up with UPS in air freight

Deutsche Post World Net AG. said the loss-making U.S. operations of its DHL express unit will tie up in domestic and international airfreight shipments with United Parcel Service Inc. and will launch a cost-cutting program.

The 10-year contract with UPS is still to be finalized, but the outsourcing of air shipments to UPS will begin later this year, the company said.

The German mail and services company said it expects annual cost savings of about $1 billion and underlying earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) to improve by $800 million in 2010 and by $1 billion in 2011.

It said the turnaround program will cost $2 billion.

DHL's U.S. operations have posted unspecified losses since it entered the market in 2004.

Since it entered the market, the company faced tough competition from peers UPS and FedEx Corp., its market share being estimated at below 10 percent.

Deutsche Post said it will reduce excess capacities of its U.S. express linehaul network infrastructure by some 30 percent to adapt it to shipment volumes. It said less than 4 percent of shipments will be affected.

Deutsche Post chief executive Frank Appel said during a press conference some 4 percent of the company's employees in the United States will be affected, as well as an unspecified number of employees at contractors and cooperating airlines.

Deutsche Post said the U.S. Postal Service will deliver shipments to sparsely populated areas on behalf of DHL.

In 2008, the company expects an underlying EBIT loss of $1.3 billion in the United States.

It said it is targeting the U.S. express operations to reduce losses to $900 million in 2009, $500 million in 2010 and $300 million in 2011.

Deutsche Post now sees 2008 underlying EBIT at its express division at 400 million euros from 500 million previously, and group EBIT at 4.1 billion euros.

It previously expected full-year EBIT before one-offs at 4.2 billion euros.

ABF Endorses American Trucking Associations Sustainable Future Program

ABF Freight System, Inc., today announced its support of a sustainability program to reduce both fuel consumption and emissions. Introduced by the American Trucking Associations, the far-reaching program of initiatives is designed to provide essential freight transportation services to the North American economy while reducing societal impact under the banner "Trucks Deliver a Cleaner Tomorrow."

"Because ABF implemented many of the program's initiatives more than 30 years ago, we can attest to the numerous benefits that accrue from widespread adoption of these measures. Since 1976, ABF has voluntarily limited the maximum speed of its trucks, which reduces fuel consumption and emissions, partially offsets fuel economy degradation of the newer engines, and contributes to our impressive safety record. Beginning in 1994, when the technology was available to prohibit discretionary engine idling, all new equipment purchases included computerized idle shutdown, another step to insure ABF's long-standing no-idling policy was observed. As a participant in SmartWay since 2006, we are pleased and proud that the ATA is recommending these common sense practices for all carriers," says ABF President and Chief Executive Officer Bob Davidson. "This program will ensure that the trucking industry continues doing its part to reduce its environmental impact. And ABF will continue to lead the way, adding to its already best-in-class records in highway safety and cargo care."

"By limiting our trucks to a maximum speed of 62 mph, each ABF truck annually emits 33.5 fewer tons of carbon dioxide than identical trucks operating at 68 mph," says Gary Hunt, ABF vice president, equipment and maintenance. Moreover, ABF has reduced fuel consumption and enhanced its operational efficiency with practices that include a strict equipment maintenance schedule and an aggressive equipment replacement program. "The average age of our road tractors is one and a half years. This new equipment produces dramatically fewer emissions of particulate matter and oxides of nitrogen than older equipment," Hunt continues. "In fact, estimates indicate that it would take 60 tractors with 2007-compliant engines to equal the sulfur-derivative emissions of one 1988 model tractor."

ABF was previously recognized for its outstanding environmental performance by SmartWay Transport Partnership, a voluntary partnership between the Environmental Protection Agency and various freight industry sectors. The SmartWay program creates strong market-based incentives for motor carriers and shippers to improve their environmental performance by becoming more efficient in their fuel usage. "In our first year in the program, the EPA awarded ABF a fuel efficiency/environmental performance score of 1.25 -- the highest score allowed. It was affirmation of the program that we already had in place," says Hunt. By 2012, the SmartWay initiative aims to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by up to 66 million metric tons and nitrogen oxide emissions by up to 200,000 tons per year.

The ATA is committing itself to a series of measures that together can reduce fuel consumption by 86 billion gallons and CO2 emissions of all vehicles by 900 million tons in the next 10 years. Details of the ATA's Trucks Deliver a Cleaner Tomorrow program are available online at

US Revamp By DHL May Have Little Impact On Rivals

The long-awaited plans by DHL to shrink its U.S. package delivery unit, which has lost around $3 billion over the past four years, are expected to provide little short-term lift to rivals.

The global logistics group, part of Germany's Deutsche Post AG, will unveil the fate of its DHL Americas Express unit after a board meeting Wednesday.

Deutsche Post has, despite acquisitions and heavy investment, failed to loosen the grip of United Parcel Service Inc., FedEx Corp. and the U.S. Postal Service, or USPS, on the delivering of express documents and packages in the U.S.

DHL's market share in the domestic air express market remains below 10%, and is around 2% for ground services, despite the presence in major cities of its distinctive red and yellow delivery trucks.

While speculation since the start of the year has swirled around a possible sale of the U.S. express unit to FedEx or UPS, antitrust issues would make such a move tricky, according to analysts.

Industry insiders expect Frank Appel, Deutsche Post's new chief executive, to eschew selling or closing the U.S. unit in favor of shrinking its footprint and forging partnerships to serve the markets it exits, notably with USPS.

USPS declined to comment on expanding its existing ties with DHL, but a senior executive said it was in a position to expand rapidly after recently securing regulatory approval to offer commercial pricing and contracts to business customers.

"Yes, we have the capacity to take extra volume," said Gary Reblin, vice president for expedited mail at USPS.

DHL declined to comment ahead of Wednesday's announcement, but industry expectations are that it will close as many as a quarter of its 400 U.S. air and ground terminals.

FedEx and UPS are expected to take up the slack of carrying priority documents and packages to and from airports for shipment, and then on to USPS terminals for "last-mile" delivery to businesses and homes.

Some analysts believe DHL could lose as much as a third of its U.S. business from such a move as customers switch providers to avoid a fragmented supply chain. However, even such a scenario would add only 1% to the expected 2008 earnings of FedEx and 1.2% at UPS, according to analysis by Ed Wolfe at Wolfe Research.

Deutsche Post's Happel has already moved to stabilize the loss-making North American express business, last month appointing Ken Allen to head the operation.

Happel has already indicated that the company plans to retain a substantial U.S. presence to support a global logistics and delivery business that ranks as the largest in the world by revenue.

His comments are validated by a new five-year deal with the Teamsters, covering 10,000 U.S. staff. DHL Express Americas also started offering shipping services last month from Walgreen Co. stores, and plans to expand to cover almost all of the company's U.S. outlets by the end of the year, doubling its retail presence.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Soaring Fuel Prices Take a Withering Toll on Truckers

As his logging business expanded in the pine and hardwood forests of eastern Georgia, Jesse Hendley got into trucking. He scraped together the cash gradually to acquire seven tractor-trailers so that he could not only sell timber to mills in the south, but also charge the mills for delivery.

Today, though, all seven rigs are parked. The soaring price of diesel fuel — over $4.50 a gallon from $2.50 a year ago — has stripped the profit from hauling.

If diesel prices do not decline and make that side of the business viable, Mr. Hendley says, he will have to sell his trucks, or try to sell them. That is just what thousands of other truckers are doing as they shed used rigs in what appears to be the biggest shakeout since trucking was deregulated in 1980.

“Most truckers are one major breakdown — a broken axle or a damaged engine — away from bankruptcy,” said Mr. Hendley, who laid off his last driver this month and turned to independent operators to ship his logs. Full Story.........