Author: Vitaliy Dadalyan

13 Jul by Vitaliy Dadalyan Tags:

Class Action Lawsuit Against Swift Re-Approved By Appeals Court

An Arizona Court of Appeals has overturned a previous superior court ruling, allowing a more than decade old class-action lawsuit against Swift Transportation to proceed.

In 2015, a trial judge denied the original approval of a class action lawsuit designation for the case, according to The Arizona Republic. The new ruling by the Court of Appeals overturns that trial judge's ruling.

In a court document, the Court of Appeals stated that Swift failed to show that the case would be unmanageable as a class-action suit and said that “Arizona law applies to the drivers' claim for breach of the duty of good faith and fair dealing.”

The new ruling does not decide in favor or against the actual claims made in the case, but states that based on the defense and accusations made so far in the history of the lawsuit, there is enough validity for it to continue forward to trial.

The original 2005 lawsuit claimed that Swift cheated its drivers out of compensation and involved as many as 80,000 truckers employed by the company at the time. Swift is accused of using the Household Mover's Guide, which produced mileage figures that are less than actual miles driven, to calculate mileage driven compensation and did so without disclosing that information to the drivers.

The lawsuit claimed that, in some cases, compensation was shorted by up to 10% compared to actual miles driven. While both sides have argued whether the drivers were adequately informed of Swift's decision to use the HHG mileage standard and if it constituted a breach of contract, at the center of the case still remains the question of whether the carrier was acting in good faith by using it in the first place.

Swift has denied in court any wrongdoing.

For the full Appeals Court opinion, click here.

Related: Lawsuit Against Swift Transportation Certified as Class Action

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13 Jul by Vitaliy Dadalyan Tags:

IronPlanet Adds Instant Financing Options

IronPlanet, an online marketplace for selling and buying used equipment and other durable assets, announced that buyers on IronPlanet, TruckPlanet, and GovPlanet can take advantage of instant express financing on equipment purchases when they want to bid.

Bidders can choose to get pre-approved for financing instantly via Express prior to bidding so they are confident in placing higher bids, or they can choose instant financing via Express after purchasing an item. Cat Financial, a trusted name in the industry, is also a partner with IronPlanet for equipment finance.

Buyers can pre-qualify for financing or get it at the time of purchase by clicking on the Express “power dollar” on IronPlanet equipment pages. IronPlanet buyers can take advantage of fast, competitive options for financing whether they are purchasing a crawler tractor on IronPlanet, a long-haul truck from TruckPlanet, or a Humvee (HMMWV) on GovPlanet.

“Express's ability to provide instant financing gives our buyers more purchasing power and greater transparency in their ability to make equipment purchases,” said Randy Berry senior vice president, operations & services for IronPlanet. “At IronPlanet we are committed to giving our customers the confidence to bid on big, heavy equipment that keeps their businesses running. From our IronClad Assurance, to our long-time partnership with VeriTread, and now our multiple warranty and financing options, online buyers have an integrated experience that lets them bid, buy, transport and put to work the used equipment they buy from us – all in one transaction from their office or jobsite.”

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13 Jul by Vitaliy Dadalyan Tags:

Spot Freight Rates Surge Over Past Week Following Best Month This Year

Spot truckload freight rates showed either a big improvement or turned in a disappointment over the past week while a monthly gauge of the market reveals its best performance of the year, according to DAT Solutions and its network of load boards.

The average van rate increased 8 cents to $1.70 per mile for the week ending July 9 compared to the previous week, while the load to truck ratio improved 5.8% to 3.5 available loads per truck, its highest ratio so far this year.

Usually the ratio goes down in July but some truckers may have taken an extended holiday last week, according to DAT, which may have made it harder for shippers and brokers to find trucks. It could also be a signal of an improvement in the freight market, but it will be until next week to see if a trend starts developing.

In the reefer category, the average rate surged 5 cents to $2.02 per mile, the first time it has been beyond the $2 per mile level since October. DAT said the boost could be due to late harvests in California, where they had a very rainy winter that caused a delay in planting of some crops.

The reefer load-to-truck ratio improved 0.9% to 6.5 loads per truck as reefer load posts fell 18% and truck posts dropped 19%.

In sharp contrast, the average flatbed rate plummeted 10 cents over the past week to $1.85 per mile after holding steady at $1.95 per mile for the month of June.

Flatbed load posts declined 20% last week, the expected decline in a holiday week that included 20% fewer work days due to the Independence Day holiday. Capacity also fell 20%, leading to a slight dip in the load-to-truck ratio, from 15.7 to 15.6 loads per truck.

June Freight Index Jumps

Meantime, DAT's monthly gauge of the spot market, its North American Freight Index, increased in June as seasonal freight added 28% to spot market load availability, boosting total volume to levels seen in 2013 and 2012, and only 12% below the level of a year ago. (See graphic below.)

“It is typical for freight volume to increase in June and decline in July, but this year's surge also jump-started volume and rates in July to-date,” said DAT.

Month-over-month by equipment type, dry and refrigerated vans enjoyed the biggest volume increases, up 49% and 39%, respectively. Both segments had seen only single-digit increases in June of the previous four years. Flatbed freight increased only 7.1%, a more typical increase for the month.

Average line haul rates followed the same pattern on the spot market in June, with an increase of 4.4% for vans and 3.6% for reefers, while flatbed rates rose only 0.6%, month-over-month. The average fuel surcharge also increased 10%, compared to May. The surcharge, which is pegged to the retail price of diesel fuel, comprises a portion of the total rate paid to carriers.

On a year-over-year basis, van freight volume increased 3.4% compared to June 2015, the first year-over-year improvement for vans, which comprise a large majority of for-hire trucks, in any month since December 2014. Reefer freight availability declined 5.4%, however, and flatbeds lost 28%.

Line haul rates were lower for all equipment types, falling 11% for vans, 8.9% for reefers, and 7.5% for flatbeds compared to June 2015. Total carrier revenue was eroded further by a 28%, or 8 cents per mile, decline in the fuel surcharge compared to June 2015.

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13 Jul by Vitaliy Dadalyan Tags:

Total For-Hire Shipments Rise Despite Trucking Decline

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Freight Transportation Services Index, May 2011 - May 2016. Graphic U.S. DOT

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Freight Transportation Services Index, May 2011 - May 2016. Graphic U.S. DOT

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A U.S. Transportation Department measure of the amount of freight carried by the nation's for-hire transportation industry rose 0.2% in May from April, the second consecutive monthly gain, and is just 1.5% below the all-time high level hit in December 2014.

In figures released Wednesday, The Freight Transportation Services Index (TSI) moved up to a reading of 121.8, it highest level since January. Also, the April index was revised upward to 121.5 from 121.1 while the March index was revised higher to 119.7 from 119.5 in last month's release.

The combined increase of 1.8% in the Freight TSI from March through May is the largest two-month increase since September to November 2014. Despite this improvement, May for-hire freight shipments are down 0.3% from the same month a year earlier.

The April to May Freight TSI gain was due to growth in all freight modes except trucking and air freight, according to the department.

The increase took place as the Federal Reserve Board's Industrial Production index declined by 0.4% in May, after rising by 0.6% in April. However, personal income, increased by 0.2%, led by personal consumption which increased by 0.4%, while imports of goods increased by 1.9%. Also, overall employment grew, and the ISM Manufacturing Index increased slightly, indicating accelerating manufacturing growth.

The Freight TSI measures the month-to-month changes in freight shipments by mode of transportation in tons and ton-miles, which are combined into one index. The index measures the output of the for-hire freight transportation industry and consists of data from for-hire trucking, rail, inland waterways, pipelines and air freight.

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