Author Archives: ReedTMS

USDA declares disaster for 19 Florida counties

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has issued a natural disaster declaration for 19 Florida counties, acknowledging widespread damage by Hurricane Irma.

The declaration lets farmers and ranchers in those areas seek support, including emergency loans, from the Farm Service Agency, according to a news release.

“I thank U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue for taking action to support Florida’s farmers and ranchers still picking up the pieces from Hurricane Irma,” Florida agriculture commissioner Adam Putnam said in the release Oct. 13. “Our preliminary estimates peg the total damage at more than $2.5 billion, but it’s important to recognize that the damage is still unfolding.

“Today’s disaster declaration provides much needed support, and I will continue working with (Florida Gov. Rick Scott) and our leaders in Washington to get Florida agriculture the relief it needs to rebuild,” Putnam said.

Citrus industry losses have been projected at $760 million.

The USDA released its first citrus crop estimate last week, but industry members say the department grossly understated the extent of the damage from Irma.

Story by Ashley Nickle @ Thepacker.com

Spot Freight Rates for Vans, Reefers Rise Sharply

Spot truckload rates hit multi-year highs during the week ending Oct. 7, according to DAT Solutions and its network of load boards, as the number of available loads fell.

The 3% decline in freight availability following the close of the third quarter and generally tight capacity kept spot load-to-truck ratios elevated:

  • Van: 6.7 available loads per truck
  • Flatbed: 46.7 loads per truck
  • Refrigerated: 12.4 loads per truck

National average spot truckload rates, which include fuel surcharges, jumped significantly compared to the previous week:

  • Van: $2.09 per mile, up 12 cents
  • Flatbed: $2.31 per mile, up 4 cents
  • Reefer: $2.37 per mile, up 14 cents

The market for van freight remains solid despite a 6% decline in volume and 1% increase in truck posts last week, according to DAT. In Seattle and the Pacific Northwest, higher reefer load counts in the region contributed to tighter van capacity, meaning that fewer reefer trucks were competing for van loads. Rerouted port traffic from Houston to Seattle after Hurricane Harvey may have added to demand for trucks in the area.

In the spot reefer market, both load posts and truck posts were unchanged from the previous week. The national average reefer rate moved higher due to seasonal demand and relief efforts following Hurricanes Irma and Harvey.

The number of flatbed load posts dipped 1% and truck posts increased 6%, with rebuilding efforts in Florida and the Gulf Coast driving demand for flatbed capacity.

Story by Evan Lockridge at truckinginfo.com

Truckload Earnings Expected to Be Mixed for Third Quarter, but Brighter Times Are Ahead, Insiders Say

Wall Street analysts expect truckload carriers to report mixed third-quarter earnings, despite a boost in business related to hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

Six of the 16 publicly traded truckload carriers are expected to see 3Q profit growth, while three could have diminished returns, according to a Bloomberg News consensus analyst forecast. USA Truck is forecast to lose money for the seventh consecutive quarter, but will likely climb closer to the break-even mark than during any point of 2016.

Celadon Group and Roadrunner Transportation Systems won’t report earnings, due to ongoing audits into financial discrepancies. Schneider and Daseke Inc. don’t have year-over-year comparisons available because they began trading on the New York Stock Exchange earlier this year. Patriot Transportation and PAM Transport Services have no industry analysts covering them.

Werner Enterprises, which ranks No. 16 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest for-hire carriers in North America, is expected to have their second consecutive strong quarter. After growing profits 27% year over year in the second quarter, forecasts call for a 14% rise to $21.6 million in the third quarter. Earnings per share could rise a nickel year over year to 31 cents.

Conversely, the newly created Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings — the companies closed their merger on Sept. 8 could announce that profits in the third quarter fell about 10% to $34.5 million or 33 cents, the analysts predict. The year-over-year comparison would be evaluated against the combined profits of the two companies one year ago. Swift and Knight rank Nos. 7 and 30, respectively, on the for-hire TT100.

John Larkin, analyst at Stifel, Nicolaus and Co., noted that spot markets are up 15% and contract rates in the second half of the year were up 5% to 10% year over year, which will eventually spur earnings growth.

For Epes Carriers Inc., revenue and operating income rose low-to-mid single digits versus last year, according to the company, based on data through August. The Greensboro, N.C., dry-van carrier ranks No. 81 on the for-hire TT100.

“The past quarter has been very robust. We find ourselves in most areas most every day. And since the hurricanes, which was unfortunate for the country, things have picked up even more. We’re at a point where we’re extremely busy right now,” said Scott Fulton, ‎Epes senior vice president of sales.

Big G Express president Randy Vernon said it’s been the busiest he’s seen conditions since late 2014. Vernon is re-approaching shippers for rate increases because he believes pricing hasn’t bounced back to 2015 levels, even after the latest capacity crunch.

“It’s better to be us now than it was 12 months ago. There isn’t any capacity right now and I don’t see it changing in the next two to three quarters,” he said. “A year ago, we were relying on brokers for about 6% to 7% of our business, whereas now broker business is probably about 0.1% or 0.2% in the last 60 days.”

For Nussbaum Transportation, a dry-van carrier in Hudson, Ill., volume and revenue were up about 14%, which founder and CEO Brent Nussbaum credits to the strong economy.

“Demand is up significantly from last year. Freight rates are up. Every industry we work with is up. This appears to be a result of housing, commercial construction, mining of commodities, business investment and consumer confidence [all] going up,” he said.

Flatbed carriers in particular have capitalized on increased residential and commercial construction in 2017. The Institute for Supply Management manufacturing index climbed in July, August and September to 56.3, 58.8 and 60.8, respectively. During the same period last year, the numbers were 52.3, 49.4 and 51.7. A total above 50 is expansion and below 50 is contraction.

Melton Truck Lines, based in Tulsa, Okla., reaped the rewards as revenue per truck per week rose 4.8% in the quarter.

“If you put our freight levels graph on the same chart as the ISM, the two are highly correlated. So last month when the ISM was over 60 — smoking hot — conditions are very, very strong for us. The entire year as a whole has been very robust,” Chief Financial Officer Robert Ragan said. “Our conditions, in some ways, are tied to how steel is doing and the steel industry is much healthier than it was a few years ago.”

Business has not been as favorable in the refrigerated truckload market in 2017.

Twin Falls, Idaho-based Giltner Inc., and Los Angeles-based White Arrow summarized the third quarter as flat. White Arrow CEO Chris Ceausu said per-mile rates were about the same as a year ago, while Giltner General Manager Mark Durfee described the last three months as marginal.

“Capacity was well-matched to the volume until about the last three weeks of the quarter when things got very tight. Everyone we talk to wants us to give them trucks, but we’re completely booked up and all of our trucks are manned with drivers,” Durfee said. “But when you put all three months together, it was break-even at best. We’re looking forward to the fourth quarter as hopefully good for us, given the recent capacity crunch.”

Story by Ari Ashe @ Transport Topics

Quarterly Rockstar And September Employee of The Month

Congratulations to Maritza Garcia, ReedTMS Logistics’ Quarterly Rockstar and Pat Lyman ReedTMS’s Employee of the month for September. Pat and Maritza have routinely gone above and beyond their own job responsibilities to help the team in whatever way possible.

 

Some of the comments as to why they were nominated are as follow:

“Pat had a team member leave this month and took on many different roles including building, scheduling, rating, track and tracing.”

”Pat came into the office during the hurricane, to cover 2 problematic loads that were uncovered. He also worked with the carrier team to provide spot rates. The guy has a tremendous attitude that is contagious to the rest of us”

“Pat went out of his way to present oppurtunities for ReedTMS to expand its brand in our local community. He helped to spearhead the donation drive for Lockhart Elementary school and attended the school to present the gifts.”

“Maritza just simply works non stop in incredibly high volume areas.”

“Maritza’s region was greatly affected by hurricane Irma, but she put her head down and made no excuses.”

“How often do we here the term first in, last out the office? Maritza is the definition of this cliché and is one of the few people I know that actually fits that description. Pleasure to work with her!”

Thank you for all you do for us Maritza & Pat we look forward to your continued success!

ReedTMS Logistics provides supplies for Lockhart Elementary

                                                                                                                                       Lee Elementary Magnet School students were moved to Lockhart Elementary Magnet School, which is less than a mile away from Lee. A devastating fire destroyed Lee Elementary and Hillsborough County Public Schools have developed a plan to keep students and staff together.

Beginning on Monday, Sept 18th 2017 students began to share Lockhart campus, which also is a magnet school at 3719 North 17th St., Tampa.

Lockhart Elementary has space for nearly 300 more students and is also located next to Young Middle Magnet School. For the first two to three weeks, the older students from Lee Elementary will temporarily be taught in classrooms on Young’s campus, while the district installs portable classrooms at Lockhart within a few weeks. About 329 students and 49 staff members were displaced.

ReedTMS Logistics jumped on the opportunity to help the children and teachers who lost entire classrooms worth of supplies. National Sales Manager Pat Lyman and Marketing Manager Andy Patel delivered the goods to the classroom on Friday, September 22nd. 2017. They also had the opportunity to spend some time with the children and help them on schooling activities such as division.

Story by : Andy Patel

Volvo eyes trucking’s future with 2017 product updates

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In a year that’s seen the company roll out two updated tractors and a futuristic concept tractor-trailer, Volvo Trucks North America said Monday it’s readying itself for the future of freight transportation. In a press update held at the North American Commercial Vehicle Show, Volvo recapped its busy year of updates, offering a bird’s eye perspective of what the new technology means for the trucking industry and its future.

The company unveiled this year a refreshed VNL tractor for the long-haul market and a new tractor, the VNR, targeting the regional-haul segment. In March, the company debuted its SuperTruck tractor-trailer, a $40 million venture built via a partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy.

The Volvo SuperTruck achieved a 12 mpg average, and Volvo brought features developed as part of the SuperTruck’s research and development to its current product line. Its 2017 D13 engine brings 7.5 percent better fuel efficiency than its 2014 predecessor, said Volvo’s Magnus Koeck, VP of Marketing. The engine leans on features like turbo compounding, a form of waste heat recovery, and wave pistons to achieve its fuel economy gains.

The long-haul tractor powered by the D13, Volvo’s new VNL, also “takes another step” in fuel efficiency, says Koeck. “This isn’t a 6 mpg truck anymore,” Koeck says of the sculpted aerodynamic unit. The VNL also features new exterior stylings, like an updated grille, and a refreshed and driver-focused interior. The company will be showing off the new VNL in a truck stop tour taking place between Oct. 3 and Oct. 14 in select truck stops across North America.

Take rates on the company’s powertrain package, which combines the D13 and the I-Shift automated-manual transmission, are close to 95 percent, says Koeck. Take rates on the I-Shift alone are upwards of 90 percent. “Those are strong numbers,” he said. “They’re hard to beat.”

Volvo also said it’s pressing to connect more Volvo trucks to its Remote Programming platform, which allows over-the-air software updates and engine repogramming. The system aims to cut downtime and make it easier for Volvo trucks and engines to maintain up-to-date software. Currently, about 135,000 trucks are connected to the system, says Volvo.

The company made its remote diagnostics system standard in 2012. It launched the remote programming element earlier this year.

Eyeing the future of transportation, Volvo’s Keith Brandis said the company is investing in three key technology areas — connectivity, electrification and automation — as well as the convergence of the three, which will create a “dramatical future,” says Brandis.

Such technologies are still in a fledgling state, says Brandis, and much work needs to be done in the public and private sector before these systems come to market. But technologies like electrification, automation and connectivity can solve some of transportation’s most pressing issues, such as congestion and gridlock, as well as safety.

“The future is coming and it’s coming fast,” says Volvo Trucks’ President Goran Nyberg. “We’re excited to find new ways to improve efficiency, safety and, above all, the productivity of the industry.”

Story by James Jaillet at ccdigital.com