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Retail group says U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods will drive up prices, destroy jobs

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WASHINGTON — Newsal Retail Federation (NRF) today warned consumers that U.S. tariffs on $34 billion in Chinese goods set to take effect Friday will drive up prices for a broad range of products, destroy jobs and hit the public directly in the pocketbook.

“With tariffs against China taking effect, American consumers are one step closer to feeling the full effects of a trade war. These tariffs will do nothing to protect U.S. jobs, but they will undermine the benefits of tax reform and drive up prices for a wide range of products as diverse as tool sets, batteries, remote controls, flash drives and thermostats,” an NRF news release said.

The NRF urged President Donald Trump’s administration to abandon its plans for tariffs “on another $200 billion in Chinese imports,” which it said, “will destroy thousands of American jobs and raise prices on virtually everything sold in our stores.”

“Reining in China’s abusive trade policies is a goal shared by many countries, but a strategy based on unilateral tariffs is the wrong approach and it has to stop,” the release added.

NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association. Based in Washington, it represents discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries.

NRF says retail is the nation’s largest-private sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs — amounting to 42 million working Americans and contributing $2.6 trillion to the annual Gross Domestic Product or GDP.

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Freight moved among U.S., Canada, Mexico down in April from March

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Trucks moved $65.1 billion of freight among the U.S., Canada and Mexico in April 2019 compared with $67.4 billion in March 2019. (The Trucker file photo)

WASHINGTON — Total freight transported between the United States, Mexico and Canada totaled $104.5 billion in April, according to the Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

The figure represents an increase of 1.8% compared to April 2018, but a 2.5% decrease from March 2019 when $107.2 billion was moved among the countries.

The most used mode of transportation was trucking, which moved $65.1 billion of freight, down 1% compared to April 2018 and down 3.4% from the $67.4 billion moved in March 2019.

The second most used mode was rail, which moved $15.6 billion of freight, up 6.3% compared to April 2018, but down .04% from March 2019’s $16.2 billion of rail freight..

Trucks moved 62.3% of all transborder freight, broken down as follows:

  • U.S.-Canada: $28.8 billion (55.5% of all northern border freight)
  • U.S.-Mexico: $36.3 billion (68.9% of all southern border freight)

Trucks moved $67.4 billion in March 2019.

Compared to April 2018, U.S.-Canada freight was down 3.3%, U.S.-Mexico freight was up 1%.

The three busiest truck border ports (43.3% of total transborder truck freight) included Laredo, Texas ($15.3 billion), Detroit ($8.6 billion) and El Paso, Texas ($5.3 billion).

The top three truck commodities (48.9% of total transborder truck freight) included:

  • Computers and parts, $13.6 billion
  • Motor vehicles and parts, $9.9 billion
  • Electrical machinery, $9.5 billion

Those three categories also were the top three categories in March 2019.

 

 

 

Dwight Bassett named president of Boyd Companies

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The Boyd Companies include Boyd Bros. Transportation, WTI Transport, Mid Seven Transportation and Boyd Logistics. (Courtesy: BOYD BROS. TRANSPORTATION)

CLAYTON, Ala. — Dwight Bassett has been named president of the Boyd Companies.

Prior to this role, Bassett served as the  chief operations officer and chief financial officer for the Boyd Companies.

Bassett has an extensive background as a leader in the trucking industry.

DWIGHT BASSETT

Before joining the Boyd Companies, he served as the chief operations officer for Builder’s Transportation. In this role, he helped redesign the company’s information system which greatly improved productivity and accountability.

Prior to Builder’s, Bassett worked for M.S. Carriers for 16 years. During his tenure, he held various roles within the organization such as dispatcher, controller, vice president of operations, and chief accounting officer. Under his leadership, the company’s fleet grew tremendously from 300 trucks to 4,000 trucks.

“It is an honor to be named the president of the Boyd Companies,” Bassett said. “The people at Boyd make the difference. There is a mutual respect and admiration among all of us that is not easily replicated.”

Chris Cooper, CEO of the Boyd Companies, said, “Dwight’s leadership will be important to the Boyd Companies and the Daseke organization moving forward. Dwight has a unique, intuitive and tactical mind for transportation and logistics. This has been shown in his leadership over the past six years as CFO and COO of the Boyd Companies.”

The Boyd Companies include Boyd Bros. Transportation, WTI Transport, Mid Seven Transportation and Boyd Logistics.

The Boyd Companies is part of Daseke Inc., the largest flatbed and specialized transportation and logistics company in North America.

Boyd Bros. Transportation is the largest carrier in the Boyd Companies and is a flatbed truckload carrier that operates throughout the eastern two-thirds of the United States, hauling primarily steel products and building materials.

For more information about Boyd Companies or career opportunities at Boyd Bros. Transportation, visit or call 888-485-8717.

Trailer orders down in May; June seen as pivotal month

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An FTR executive said trailer orders should rise in June as OEMs begin taking orders for 2020, adding that June orders will be a good indication of how the larger fleets view the freight market for next year. (Courtesy: GREAT DANE) 

The two companies that collect, analyze and publish data pertaining to the commercial vehicle market reported what might be called a significant decline in trailer orders for May.

FTR reported preliminary orders for 11,700 units, the lowest total since May 2016.

ACT Research reported preliminary new U.S. trailer orders of 15,500, down 16% month-over-month, but after accounting for cancellations, said net orders slid to 10.5k units, down 28% from April.

FTR said orders for 2019 production have basically come to a halt, as most build slots for the year are already filled.  Trailer builds were hefty for the third straight month and should remain elevated in the short-term.

However, production numbers in the second half will likely moderate due to expected slower economic and freight growth. The flatbed segment is already showing signs of weakening due to easing in manufacturing and industrial activity.  Trailers orders for the past 12 months now total 356,000 units.

“Orders should rise in June as OEMs begin taking orders for 2020,” said Don Ake, FTR vice president of commercial vehicles. “June orders will be a good indication of how the larger fleets view the freight market for next year.  Carriers may be cautious as long as the tariff situation is disrupting freight flows and creating significant business uncertainty.”

ACT Research said year-to-date, net orders are 40% below last year, according to this month’s issue of ACT Research’s State of the Industry: U.S. Trailer Report. Near-record backlogs have filled 2019 build slots for many OEMs, and there continues to be resistance toward booking orders into next year, resulting in the order volume contraction.

“We’re now running into very difficult year-over-year comparisons, as OEMs are generally unwilling to accept orders for 2020,” said Frank Maly, director–CV Transportation analysis and research. “We hear that some OEMs may open their 2020 orderboards in June; if so, expect better comparisons in the months ahead.

“However, given market pressures of strong capacity growth in the face of a slowing economy and tariff uncertainties, the anticipated order surge may not be as robust as many may assume.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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