Each week we recap the hot topics in freight and compile them into one place so you can easily stay up to date on the industry. Check back each Monday and start your week off in the know. TRANSFLO & GO!
The countdown is on: Starting Tuesday, Dec. 17, only ELDs that are registered with the U.S. FMCSA can be used for records of driver duty status. AOBRDs will no longer be allowed.
“Unlike paper and electronic logs, the differences between compliant ELDs and other electronic onboard recorders aren’t necessarily apparent,” says Doug Schrier, VP of Product and Innovation. “As the deadline for full ELD compliance nears, it’s important to make sure you’re using a device that meets all the requirements.” Read Transflo’s tips to ease the AOBRD-to-ELD transition in American Trucker.
A Swirl of Celadon Talk
Following last week’s news that two former Celadon executives were indicted for their role in a fraud scheme that enabled the company to hide tens of millions of dollars in losses, rumors swirled that a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing is imminent.
Over the weekend, Celadon drivers reported that fuel cards were being shut off and there was little or no communication from the company managers. Celadon, a publicly traded company, has not filed a WARN Act notice indicating its intent to shut down.
Celadon has been dogged by allegations of wrongdoing by executives who ran the business after founder Steve Russell retired in 2012. In July, Celadon said it secured $165 million in new financing, and in August it hired a consulting firm to help manage a turnaround. But the company has struggled to find its footing in a tough freight environment, clouds surrounding its finances have not helped.
Russell started Celadon in 1985, growing the company from a one-truck operation to a large, national, multi-service carrier with more than $1 billion in revenue, 5,000 tractors, and 4,000 employees. He passed away in 2016.
Teddy’s Trucker’s Association, a nonprofit aimed at improving the lives of truckers and their families, started the Celadon Closure Assistance and Jobs Facebook group to help stranded drivers find rides home and connect with recruiters.
CARB Gives Electric Trucks a Jump Start
The California Air Resources Board will hold public hearings this week on a proposal to require 3% of Classes 7-8 tractor sales be zero emissions in 2024, increasing to 15% in 2030. For straight trucks, zero-emission sales would have to be 7% in 2024, rising to 50% in 2030. A vote on the final rule is expected in 2020.
The Advanced Clean Truck Regulation would not force fleets to purchase zero-emission vehicles, nor does it require a specific technology, such as batteries or hydrogen fuel cells. It also would not provide funding or incentives for fleets to buy zero-emission vehicles, or for the development of fueling or charging infrastructure.
Truck OEMs, however, say a mandate for zero-emission vehicles is worth talking about.
“We’re real close with California, both the South Coast Air Quality Management District, as well as with CARB. I trust they will not push a rule that is not technologically achievable. I think they’re sane,” Roger Nielsen, president and CEO of Daimler Trucks North America, told Fleet Owner.
Convoy’s 2020 Vision
This week Convoy hosted a webinar that looks back at the key market forces driving the freight industry in 2019 and explores how unresolved questions from the past year might shape the market going into 2020.
Aaron Terrazas, director of economic research at the online freight broker, says many of the factors that held down freight demand in 2019—a reduction in manufacturing production, uncertain agricultural output, slowing global growth, and so on—are likely to ease, though not disappear entirely, in the months ahead.
“Indeed, there are some reasons to view the risk to demand and rates skewing modestly toward the upside,” he says.