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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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ATA Truck Tonnage Index surges 6.6% in July, 7.3% higher than July 2018

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Compared with July 2018, the SA index surged 7.3%, the largest year-over-year gain since April. (Courtesy: AMERICAN TRUCKING ASSOCIATIONS

ARLINGTON, Va. — American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index increased 6.6% in July after falling 1.2% in June. In July, the index equaled 122.7 (2015=100) compared with 115.1 in June.

“Tonnage in 2019 has been on a rollercoaster ride, plagued with large monthly swings, which continued in July as tonnage surged after falling significantly in May and June,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “However, take out the month-to-month noise, and you see that truck tonnage is still on a nice upward path. It is important to note that ATA’s tonnage data is dominated by contract freight, which is performing significantly better than the plunge in spot market freight this year.”

June’s reading was revised down compared with our July press release.

Compared with July 2018, the SA index surged 7.3%, the largest year-over-year gain since April.

The not seasonally adjusted index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by the fleets before any seasonal adjustment, equaled 122.8 in July, 4.5% above June level (117.5). In calculating the index, 100 represents 2015.

Trucking serves as a barometer of the U.S. economy, representing 70.2% 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% 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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Average price of gallon of diesel drops below $3 for first time since February

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WASHINGTON — The average on-highway price of a gallon of diesel declined 1.7 cents a gallon to $2.994 for the week ending August 19, according to the Energy Information Administration of the Department of Energy.

It marked the first time since the week ending February 11, 2019, that the price has been below $3, and it marked the sixth consecutive week of a decline.

All regions of the country showed a drop led by a 2.5 cent a gallon decline in the New England states (Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island) and a 2.4 cent a gallon drop in the Midwest states (North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio and Michigan). California declined 2.2 cents a gallon.

The price for the week ending August 19 was 21.3 cents a gallon for the comparable week in 2018.

For a complete list of prices by region for the past three weeks, click here.

For a list of the states by region, click here.

https://www.eia.gov/petroleum/gasdiesel/diesel_map.php

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July trailer sales up slightly, but below last year; used Class 8 sales fall again

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Both ACT Research and FTR reported trailer sales in July as being up slightly over June, but still far below the same month one year ago. (Courtesy: GREAT DANE)

The nation’s two organizations that track and analyze data about the commercial motor vehicle market both note that trailer orders were up in July as compared to June but were still far below when compared with the same month last year.

One of the two organizations reported used Class 8 sales fell for the fourth consecutive month.

ACT Research said preliminary estimate for July 2019 net trailer orders is 9,900 units. Final volume will be available later this month. This preliminary market estimate should be within +/- 3% of the final order tally.

FTR reported preliminary trailer orders for July at 9,000 units, up 61% from dismal June numbers but 68% below July 2018. FTR said trailer orders continue to show weakness during the summer months after experiencing a record run in the second half of last year, noting that van fleets already have their orders in for 2019 and have not started ordering yet for 2020. Although currently, production remains robust at near-record levels, some easing of build rates is expected as backlogs fall significantly to where they were at the start of 2018, FTR said. Trailer orders for the past 12 months now total 324,000 units.

“While net trailer order volume improved significantly from June’s dramatically disappointing results, the industry’s year-over-year performance continued to be extremely weak. While net orders jumped 65% versus an amazingly weak June, they were 66%  below this point last year, a tough comparison to the first month of the record-setting order run-up of last summer and fall,” said Frank Maly, ACT’s director of CV transportation analysis and research. “While some fleets made investment commitments in response to the opening of some 2020 order boards, their overall response was lackluster. A few months ago, there was strong interest to push commitments into next year, but uncertainty over the economy, freight volumes, and capacity has now caused many fleets to move to the sidelines as they re-assess their true needs for either replacement of older equipment or additions to fleet capacity next year.”

On a positive note, Maly said the cancellation pressures of recent months appeared to ease a bit in July. However, any cancels are likely impacting fourth quarter production slots, so there is still some churn in order board occurring before year-end.

“That results in a fairly soft foundation for early next year. Also worth noting is that production continued at a solid pace in July, although OEMs definitely slid back from June’s frantic pace,” he said.

Don Ake, FTR vice president of commercial vehicles, said trailer orders should stay subdued in August but start to revive in September, as fleets determine their needs for next year. The environment remains uncertain, with freight growth slowing and the tariff situation in flux.

“The July order volumes continue to demonstrate a possible return to normalcy in the equipment markets. The low total is representative of a typical slow summer order month, and is very close to the July 2016 number,” he said.

As for the used truck market, Steve Tam, ACT’s vice president of research, said preliminary used truck sales fell 2% month-over-month, the fourth consecutive sequential drop.

Other data released in ACT’s preliminary report included sequential comparisons for July 2019, which showed that average prices fell 4%, while average miles climbed 2%, and average age was up 4%.

“Used truck prices are the hottest topic in the industry right now,” Tam said. “Many dealers are experiencing significant softening in prices, but the erosion is not uniform. Depending on a host of factors, experiences vary and a few factors that impact prices include customer, equipment specifications, location, and vehicle condition.”

ACT’s Classes 3-8 Used Truck Report provides data on the average selling price, miles, and age based on a sample of industry data. In addition, the report provides the average selling price for top-selling Class 8 models for each of the major truck OEMs – Freightliner (Daimler); Kenworth and Peterbilt (Paccar); International (Navistar); and Volvo and Mack (Volvo).

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