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Employers add solid 196,000 jobs in March, but trucking loses 1,200

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The figures suggest that February’s meager job growth, which was revised to 33,000 from an initial 20,000, was a temporary blip and that businesses are confident the economy remains on a firm footing. (Associated Press)

WASHINGTON — Hiring rebounded in March as U.S. employers added a solid 196,000 jobs, up sharply from February’s scant gain and evidence that many businesses still want to hire despite signs the economy is slowing.

The Labor Department says the unemployment rate stayed at 3.8 percent, near the lowest level in almost 50 years. Wage growth slowed a bit, as average hourly pay increased 3.2 percent from a year earlier. That is down from February’s gain of 3.4 percent, which was the best in a decade.

The figures suggest that February’s meager job growth, which was revised to 33,000 from an initial 20,000, was a temporary blip and that businesses are confident the economy remains on a firm footing. Still, the U.S. faces several challenges, including cautious consumers, slower growth in business investment, and a U.S.-China trade war that is contributing to slower growth overseas.

For-hire trucking lost 1,200 jobs in March after gaining a meager 100 in February.

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Diesel prices continue to climb nationwide

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The average price for a gallon of diesel nationwide rose 2½ cents for the week ending April 15, to stand at $3.118 per gallon, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). The average price for diesel is now the highest it’s been since the week before Christmas.

The price increase was felt in every region of the country, although not evenly, as prices in the western third of the nation jumped considerably more than in the rest of the country.

The West Coast was hit the hardest, seeing diesel prices rise 6 cents, to end the week at $3.651 per gallon. California, which usually is responsible for the heft of price increases on the West Coast, actually had less of an increase, $0.057 per gallon, than the remainder of the West Coast, where the price jumped a nation-leading $0.063. California continues to edge closer to the $4 per gallon plateau. With this week’s increase, the average price for a gallon of diesel in the Golden State is $3.967 per gallon.

The Rocky Mountain region wasn’t far behind the West Coast, seeing a price increase of $0.054 per gallon, to $3.082.

Heading east, the price jumps are decidedly smaller, the largest being the Gulf Coast, where diesel rose 2 cents, to finish at $2.899. The Gulf Coast continues to hold its claim to the lowest diesel prices in the nation. It is now the only region in the country where diesel remains below $3 per gallon.

The Midwest and Lower Atlantic regions crept back over $3 per gallon during the past week. In both regions, diesel prices rose 1.7 cents, to finish at $3.010 in the Midwest and $3.015 in the Lower Atlantic.

Elsewhere on the East Coast, diesel rose $0.018 in the Central Atlantic, to $3.342, while New England saw the smallest increase of the week, $0.012, to finish at $3.205. The average price of diesel across the entire East Coast is now $3.153.

Despite this week’s increase, the year-to-year price comparison actually improved across the board, as diesel prices spiked 6.1 cents a year ago at this time.

After seesawing for a couple of days, crude oil prices started Tuesday on an upswing. Brent crude, the international benchmark for oil, was up 8 cents by 9 a.m. Eastern Time,  to $71.26 a barrel, while U.S. crude gained 25 cents, to stand at $63.65.

Click for a complete list of average prices by region for the past three weeks.

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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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