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ATA truck tonnage index down 0.2 percent in February

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Despite the February decline, the index was 5.4 percent higher than February 2018. (The Trucker file photo)

ARLINGTON, Va. — The American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index was down 0.2 percent in February after increasing 2.5 percent in January. In February, the index equaled 117.4 (2015=100) compared with 117.6 in January.

“After a strong January, I’m pleasantly surprised that the index didn’t fall much last month,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “I continue to expect tonnage to moderate like other indicators, including retail sales, manufacturing activity and housing starts. Additionally, the level of inventories throughout the supply chain have increased, which is a drag on truck freight.”

January’s reading was revised up slightly compared with our February press release.

Compared with February 2018, the SA index increased 5.4 percent, down from January’s 5.8 percent gain. In 2018, the index increased 6.7 percent over 2017, which was the largest annual gain since 1998.

The not seasonally adjusted index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by the fleets before any seasonal adjustment, equaled 106.9 in February, 5.7 percent below January’s level (113.3). In calculating the index, 100 represents 2015.

Trucking serves as a barometer of the U.S. economy, representing 70.2 percent of tonnage carried by all modes of domestic freight transportation, including manufactured and retail goods. Trucks hauled 10.77 billion tons of freight in 2017. Motor carriers collected $700.1 billion, or 79.3 percent of total revenue earned by all transport modes.

ATA calculates the tonnage index based on surveys from its membership and has been doing so since the 1970s. This is a preliminary figure and subject to change in the final report issued around the 5th day of each month. The report includes month-to-month and year-over-year results, relevant economic comparisons, and key financial indicators.

 

 

 

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Dennis Dillinger named president and CEO of Cargo Transporters

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From left, Dennis Dillinger is the new president and CEO of Cargo Transporters, Jerry Sigmon Jr. is now chief operating officers, Jerry Sigmon Sr. is executive vice president and Adam Heavner is the new vice president of sales. (Courtesy: CARGO TRANSPORTERS)

CLAREMONT, N.C. — John Pope, chairman of Cargo Transporters, said Monday Dennis Dellinger had been promoted to president and chief executive officer.

“Dennis has served the company for over 30 years in various capacities,” Pope said. “Year after year, he has proven to be an outstanding leader in our organization as well as the industry. He has a vision for what his operation should be and how to achieve those goals.”

Dillinger joined the company in 1986 at which time Cargo Transporters operated 36 tractors.  Previously, he held the office of president, vice president, director of operations, fleet leader, among others position.

Along with his current duties at Cargo Transporters, Dillinger serves on the board of directors and is a past chairman for the North Carolina Trucking Association. He is first vice chairman and sits on the board of directors for Truckload Carriers Association. He holds two positions within the American Trucking Associations — vice president at large on the board of directors and vice chair of the Safety Policy Committee. He also sits on the advisory board of The Trucking Alliance.

Dennis Dellinger, in his newly appointed position as president and CEO of Cargo Transporters announced multiple promotions within the company.

Jerry Sigmon Jr. is now the chief operating officer. Sigmon joined the Cargo team in 2000. He is responsible for all the-day-to day operations, including the staff, equipment and operating systems. He has six direct reports, and is responsible for operations, recruiting, customer service and logistics. In addition to his role at Cargo Transporters, Sigmon serves on the board of directors for the North Carolina Trucking Association, where he currently holds the office of chairman.

Adam Heavner has assumed the role of vice president of sales. Heavner began his career with Cargo in July 2008 after attending University North Carolina at Charlotte. Heavner will have four direct reports and is responsible for accounts receivables, pricing, rating and billing. He has previously been involved in all these areas.

Jerry Sigmon, Sr. will continue, in the role of executive vice president. He will be responsible for general operation analytics, strategic planning, budgets, models and macro pricing. He began his career with Cargo Transporters in 1982 as one of the original employees of the truckload carrier and was the company’s first manager of operations.  He and his wife, Janice live in Claremont. They are the parents of two sons, Jerry Jr. and Scott and the grandparents of four.

Cargo Transporters is a truckload carrier operating 525 trucks serving the continental U.S. Based in North Carolina, the company operates terminals in Claremont, Charlotte and Rocky Mount. The company employs over 700 people.

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Celadon Group disposes most assets used in its Logistics business division

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Paul Svindland, Celadon chief executive officer, said the sale of the carrier’s Logistics division markets another important milestone in executing Celadon’s strategic plan to simplify its business and reduce debt. (Courtesy: CELADON GROUP)

INDIANAPOLIS — Celadon Group said Monday that it had disposed of substantially all of the assets used in its Logistics business division in an all cash transaction.

The carrier said the move was a continuation of its strategic plan to streamline operations, reduce total debt and focus on its core trucking business by completing the sale of logistics Monday with an effective financial transfer date of April 1, 2019.

The purchaser was TA Services, a PS Logistics, LLC. PS Logistics is said to be a rapidly growing full-service provider of asset-based transportation, brokerage, 3PL, and supply chain services.

The Celadon Logistics Division, which provides a full spectrum of freight brokerage, transportation management and warehousing solutions, contributed approximately $139 million in revenue to the company in the fiscal year ended June 30, 2018. The proceeds were used to pay transaction expenses, to reduce borrowings under the Company’s revolving credit agreement, and to provide additional liquidity.

Paul Svindland, Celadon chief executive officer, said the transaction will include an ongoing strategic relationship under which Celadon will have access to the logistics platform to continue to serve customers’ needs on a revenue sharing basis as well as a commitment for the Company not to conduct independent brokerage operations.

The transition of customer relationships, IT and other activities will be ongoing.

Jon Russell, Celadon’s president chief operating officer and former president of Logistics, will remain a member of the company’s senior management team, while serving as a consultant to TA Services through the transition process.

Post-transition, Russell is expected to become part of TA Services management team.

“The sale of Logistics marks another important milestone in executing our strategic plan to simplify our business and reduce debt,” Svindland said. “Over the past several quarters, we have divested the former Quality business, the joint venture with Element, our flatbed business, our West Coast dedicated business, A&S/Buckler and now Logistics. Giving effect to these dispositions, the go-forward Celadon has returned to its roots as an asset-based truckload carrier serving the North American market, with particular focus on the eastern half of the United States and cross border traffic with Mexico and Canada.  On a pro forma basis, we remain one of the largest industry competitors, with key locations in approximately a dozen states and provinces and a consolidated annual revenue run rate of approximately $550 million.

“From a leverage perspective, this transaction and our recent sale of our A&S Kinard and Buckler subsidiaries have reduced our outstanding borrowings and capital leases by approximately $185 million.  We continue to work with existing and new financing sources toward both an extension of our current facility and a longer-term capital structure that will support our ongoing operational and financial improvement efforts.”

Svindland said he expected that TA Services’ significant existing footprint and resources, combined with Russell’s expertise, would provide an excellent platform for Logistics’ continued growth and dedication to excellent customer service.

“We look forward to the ongoing strategic alignment between our companies and are confident in delivering continued value to our customers as well as an excellent new home for the Logistics employees.”

 

 

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Trailer orders year-over-year down, analysts report

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FTR said dry van orders were particularly low, with few build slots available left in 2019. (Courtesy: GREAT DANE)

Two U.S. companies that track, analyze and report data on the commercial vehicle industry both say preliminary data show trailer orders continue to be down year-to-date.

ACT’s preliminary estimate for March 2019 net trailer orders is 15,600 units. Final volume will be available later this month. Our methodology allows us to generate a preliminary estimate of the market that should be within +/- 3% of the final order tally.

FTR reports preliminary trailer orders for March 2019 at 13,500 units, plummeting to the smallest monthly total since September 2016 and the lowest March since 2008.  Recent comparisons were also very negative -43% month over month and -52% year over year.

Trailers orders for the past 12 months now total 371,000 units, FTR said.

“It appears that the industry entered a bit of a holding pattern in March, as order volume declined significantly from both the previous month and this time last year. Net orders dropped 35% from February and were approximately 48% below a year ago,” said Frank Maly, ACT’s director of CV transportation analysis and research. “Although current backlogs consume the majority of available build slots this year, particularly in the dry van and reefer segments, we continue to hear that OEMs are reluctant to fully open the 2020 orderboards. Their concerns center around materials and component pricing, which would obviously have measurable impact on future pricing. While some fleets appear to be willing to extend commitments, others might be waiting, monitoring current market conditions. Also worth noting, given extended backlogs, OEMs are pushing to deliver trailers as quickly as possible; preliminary information indicates production crossed the 30k unit mark last month for only the second time in industry history.”

FTR said dry van orders were particularly low, with few build slots available left in 2019.  Vocational trailer orders also continue to fall.  The low level of trailer order activity in March should result in backlogs finally beginning to move down from record levels.

“This low order number is not surprising,” said Don Ake, FTR vice president of commercial vehicles. “Backlogs had fallen little so far in 2019, and are at unreasonable levels. Fleets still need more trailers, based on the robust production, so demand has not changed in the short run. The weak orders are totally the result of the lack of available production openings. However, cancellations will continue to be a factor due to a large, fluid, backlog.”

For more information on ACT Research, visit .

For more information about the work of FTR, visit , follow on Twitter @ftrintel, or call (888) 988-1699 Ext. 1.  8

 

 

 

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