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Average on-highway price of gallon of diesel drops 1.5 cents

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This week's price is 14.9 cents a gallon lower than the comparable week last year.

WASHINGTON — The average on-highway price of a gallon of diesel dropped 1.5 cents a gallon to $3.136 for the week ending June 3, according to the Energy Information Administration of the Department of Energy.

All told the price has dropped 3.5 cents during the past four weeks.

All regions of the country declined, led by California at 2.5 cents, followed by the total West Coast (Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Arizona and California) and 1.8 cents a gallon in both the Rocky Mountain states (Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Utah and Colorado) and the Gulf Coast (New Mexico, Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama).

This week’s price is 14.9 cents a gallon lower than the comparable week last year.

 

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May North American Class 8 orders take a tumble

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May Class 8 orders were down a significant 70% from year-ago May. (Courtesy: DAIMLER TRUCKS NORTH AMERICA)

Preliminary North America Class 8 net order data released by the two commercial vehicle organizations that track information both show a sharp decline in Class 8 orders for May.

FTR reports preliminary Class 8 orders for May scraped the bottom of the order cycle, coming it a lowly 10,400 units, or 29% below the slow April activity.

This is the lowest volume for Class 8 orders since July 2016 and the weakest month of May since 2009, reflecting a minus 71% year-over-year comparison. Class 8 orders for the past 12 months now total 360,000 units.

ACT Research showed the OEM industry booked 10,800 units in May, dropping 27% from April, but down a more significant 70% from year-ago May.

FTR’s Don Ake, vice president of commercial vehicles said May 2019 is basically the final period for ordering trucks to be built in 2019 and the low numbers indicate that fleets are simply trying to find any scarce build slots left for the year.  Backlogs should fall to the 220,000 range, just where they were a year ago when the fervent ordering for 2019 began.

“May’s low orders were consistent with it being the last month in this year’s cycle. The 2019 order pattern was pulled ahead by three months, so May’s orders are similar to what you normally would see in August,” he said. “Ordering for 2020 is expected to begin in June, with several OEMs expected to start taking orders for next year.”

OEM build rates remain at robust levels, Ake said.

“The economy and freight growth are expected to ease throughout the year, applying some downward pressure on the truck market in the second half.  Orders for the next couple of months should be a good indicator of fleet confidence about 2020.”

“Fraying freight market and rate conditions along with a still-large Class 8 order backlog contributed to the worst NA Class 8 net order performance since July 2016,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT’s president and senior analyst. “May saw NA Class 8 orders fall below the 15,900 units averaged through the year’s first trimester, and year-to-date Class 8 net orders have contracted 64% compared to the first five months of 2018.”

For more information on FTR visit .

For more information on ACT Research, visit .

 

 

 

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FreightWaves acquires StakUp Inc., TCA inGauge’s software platform

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ALEXANDRIA, Va. and CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — FreightWaves, a data and content source for the freight markets, has acquired StakUp Inc. as part of a multi-faceted partnership with the Truckload Carriers Association that will build on a previously per a data and marketing agreement established in November 2018.

StakUp is the developer of the “inGauge” online benchmarking platform used exclusively by the TCA Profitability Program (TPP) to compare and contrast financial and operational performance. As the exclusive software service provider for TPP, StakUp has built a significant database of carrier and brokerage profiles since its founding in April 2014 by then TCA Chairman Ray Haight and StakUp President Chris Henry.

As of June 1, Henry will have dual roles. He will continue as TPP Program Manager and also serve as FreightWaves’ vice president of carrier profitability. In this role, he will enhance the data and features offered through the FreightWaves SONAR freight intelligence platform, promoting SONAR features specifically for North American truckload carriers. Jack Porter will remain as TPP managing director, and will work closely with Henry to achieve growth targets, enhance group meeting content, and strategic direction.

This new partnership between TCA and FreightWaves further fuels TCA’s membership growth and enhances active participants in the TCA Profitability Program, according to TCA Chairman Josh Kaburick, who said the outlined goal is to increase TPP participants to 2,000 by the end of 2025. In addition to the value of a larger pool of participants, especially for the curation of best practices and new initiatives, TCA and FreightWaves will be emphasizing the importance of increased technological sophistication of member companies.

In addition, FreightWaves and TCA will conduct research to improve the efficiency and profitability of North American trucking companies and their related supply chain partners. Quarterly research objectives will be established to leverage FreightWaves’ growing datasets and its data scientists. TCA’s gvernment affairs team will work closely with FreightWaves staff to establish the research objectives.

Also, the two organizations have developed an incentive program, exclusively for TPP participants, to use the FreightWaves SONAR platform free for six months (limit of one SONAR seat per member, non-API access) that began June 1 and will end November 30. Carriers that join TPP after June 1, will receive access to SONAR beginning on their join date, and ending on November 30, 2019. Current TPP participants are strongly encouraged to activate their trial in order to maximize their evaluation period before the November 30 deadline.

“Having previously established a close working relationship with TCA, this acquisition and partnership was the logical extension to build on each other’s strengths,” said FreightWaves’ Founder and CEO Craig Fuller. “TCA has established the premier benchmarking and knowledge-sharing platform in trucking. Our goal is to add features, services and data to enhance the value for current and future TPP participants. If you are a truckload carrier, this service is a no-brainer.”

“FreightWaves has carved out a unique position in the North American transportation industry as the data and content provider of choice,” said Kaburick, who is CEO of Trekker Group of Companies. “The TCA Profitability Program is an exceptionally valuable service for participating carriers. Just like any other business, it is imperative that TPP stays relevant, and expands its services available to carriers of all sizes.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Study notes significant increase in pace of carrier pay increases

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Newsal Transportation Institute’s quarterly study  notes that some recruiters are beginning to take the viewpoint that guaranteed pay and transition bonuses are a better reflection of a driver’s value. (Courtesy: NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION INSTITUTE)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Newsal Transportation Institute (NTI), which following compensation trends in the trucking industry, says it has noticed a significant change in the pace of pay moves by carriers and historic mileage pay rates within the findings shared in its Newsal Survey of Driver Wages report (NSDW) for the first quarter of 2019.

Featuring a process that includes proprietary research tracking more than 70 unique attributes, the NSDW is distributed exclusively to NTI subscribers.

In its quarterly study of key driver compensation categories for over-the-road and regional fleets, NTI said it found that, while the acceleration of pay moves has decreased, the pay changes that were made do rank as substantial.

According to NTI, the trends from first quarter of 2019 point to the continued difficulty in attracting and keeping highly qualified drivers.

Those findings make note that the industry is reaching unchartered territory in the area of mileage pay, with rates of up to 65 cents per mile for solo drivers.

LEAH SHAVER

GORDON KLEMP

“Our subscribers tell us that, while freight has dropped and driver churn has increased, the need to monitor driver pay attributes that produce desired outcomes remains especially high,” said NTI COO Leah Shaver. “Some of these outcomes include referrals, safe, productive driving and fair compensation for down time. We’re in a market with near full employment, and driver expectations are raised after a record year in 2018. In these conditions, the driver situation changes rapidly.”

The NSDW also reports on trends related to guaranteed pay and sign-on bonuses.

While the sign-on bonus continues to hold a traditional spot in the driver recruiting toolbox, the first quarter NSDW notes that some recruiters are beginning to take the viewpoint that guaranteed pay and transition bonuses are a better reflection of a driver’s value.

“Our observation is that in first the size of signing bonuses continues to decrease, although the number of carriers offering bonuses continues to remain fairly high. At the same time, carriers that are utilizing some form of guaranteed pay are seeing a positive impact on turnover and hiring,” said NTI CEO and founder Gordon Klemp.

The 2019 Q1 Newsal Survey of Driver Wages report is available through a subscription.

To learn more about the report and how to subscribe, visit .

 

 

 

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