Author: Vitaliy Dadalyan

3 Aug by Vitaliy Dadalyan Tags:

Wind River’s Mobile Exhibit

Vehicle software and its connections ot the Internet of Things (IoT) is something that at times is hard to describe. That's one reason why Wind River put together a mobile exhibit that it could take on the road to places such as the TU-Automotive Show in Detroit back in June, so it could show off its Helix chassis system designed to support next-generation connected vehicles as well as self-driving ones. (All photos by Sean Kilcarr/Fleet Owner)

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3 Aug by Vitaliy Dadalyan Tags:

Goodyear rolls out Workhorse tires

Two new models, designed for mixed-service fleets, help boost on- and off-road performance for vocational trucks.

The new Workhorse line of tires being rolled out by the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company is being at mixed-service applications, primarily vocational duty-cycles, where trucks need solid on- and off-road performance.

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3 Aug by Vitaliy Dadalyan Tags:

Earnings Watch: XPO Swings Into the Black, USA Reports Loss

Two trucking operations reported their second-quarter financials on Wednesday, with one reporting its first profit since purchasing less-than-truckload carrier Con-way last year, while the other reported a loss that was attributed to falling rates and freight volume.

XPO Sets Records as It Reports a Profit

Global trucking and logistics provider XPO Logistic Inc. (NYSE: XPO) announced net income of $42.6 million, or 35 cents per share, compared with a net loss of $75.1 million, or a loss of 89 per share, for the same period in 2015. Total revenue increased 202.9% year-over-year to $3.7 billion.

“In the second quarter, we generated $355 million of adjusted EBITDA, $261 million of cash flow from operations, and $170 million of free cash flow, all records for our company,” said Bradley Jacobs, chairman and CEO. "Our strong performance in the quarter was led by our North American operations for last-mile and less-than-truckload, and by our European supply chain operations.”

He said that while market conditions were sluggish overall, e-commerce was a major tailwind, driving margin expansion in last-mile operations and resulting in major contract wins in contract logistics on both sides of the Atlantic.

“In LTL, we increased operating income by 66% from last year's second quarter, pre-acquisition," referring to XPO's purchase of Con-Way Inc. nearly a year ago for $3 billion. XPO also purchased the French freight services provider Norbert Dentressangle earlier in 2015 for an even larger sum.

XPO's transportation segment generated total gross revenue of $2.4 billion for the quarter, a 180.9% increase from the same period in 2015. The year-over-year increase in revenue was primarily due to 2015 acquisitions, with contributions from growth in last-mile and truck brokerage, according to the Connecticut-based company.

Second-quarter operating income for the transportation segment increased to $153.2 million, compared with operating income of $23 million a year ago.

In the North American LTL business, XPO improved operating income to $115.5 million, a 66% increase from the same period a year ago, pre-acquisition. On an adjusted basis, LTL operating income increased 81%, excluding transaction-related costs and amortization related to the acquisition, according to the company. The increase in LTL operating income was primarily driven by yield improvement and overhead cost reductions.

The company's logistics segment generated gross revenue of $1.3 billion for the quarter, up 270.4% from $359.6 million for the same period in 2015. Operating income was $51.1 million, up from $4.3 million a year ago.

For the first six months of 2016, XPO had total revenue of $7.2 billion, a 276.7% increase from the same period in 2015 while net income improved to $22 million, or 19 cents per share, compared with a net loss of $90.3 million, or a loss of $1.11 per share, for the same period in 2015.

In announcing the results, XPO raised its target for adjusted EBITDA to at least $1.265 billion, from $1.25 billion and increased its target for free cash flow to at least $150 million, from a range of $100 million to $150 million. The company has reaffirmed its full year 2018 target of approximately $1.7 billion of EBITDA.

USA Truck Reports Loss Following Profit a Year Earlier

Meantime, trucking and logistics provider USA Truck Inc. (NASDAQ:USAK) moved from a profit to a loss in the second quarter of the year.

The Arkansas-based company reported a net loss of $1.3 million, or 15 cents per share, compared to net income of $2.8 million or 26 cents per share a year earlier.

Total revenue fell to $109.9 million compared to $133.6 million for the prior-year period while base revenue, which excludes fuel surcharges, was $99.5 million, compared to $117.2 million.

“USA Truck's results were negatively impacted by a rate environment that deteriorated markedly versus the prior year quarter [as] base revenue per loaded mile dropped by 17 cents or 9.1%, and by the lower volumes with certain dedicated customers,” said President and CEO Randy Rogers. “Despite the disappointing quarterly results, the company generated incremental progress from previously announced initiatives, and believes it can produce substantially improved results.”

He said these actions include: accelerated disposal of high cost equipment; expanded focus on cost control, including a reduction in force in the second quarter; continued refinement of its network to build greater density, aided by a lower fleet size; and continued growth of USAT Logistics market share as demonstrated by increased load count in the quarter.

For the first half of the year, USA Truck reported a loss of $3.2 million versus a $4.4 million profit a year earlier as total revenue fell to $220.5 million from $266.5 million. Base revenue also declined, hitting $201.5 million compared to $232.7 million a year earlier.

Included in this was $6 million in after-tax money relating to restructuring, impairment and other costs, as well as the severance charges

During the second quarter, USA's trucking business saw its average number of in-service tractors fall from 2,059 a year earlier to 1,834 with a decline by a similar margin in the first half of 2016 compared to the year before.

Trucking revenue fell from $75.4 million in the most recent quarter from $93.4 million a year earlier, resulting in an operating loss of $2.7 million versus a $2.6 million operating profit. For the first six months of this year, the operating loss totaled $7.1 million compared to an operating profit of $4.1 million a year earlier.

On the logistics side, things didn't improve, but were still in the black, with operating income of $2.2 million versus $3.3 million a year ago in the second quarter of 2016. Revenue during the period fell from $40.1 million a year ago to $34.4 million this past quarter, despite a load count that increased 12% while its gross margin was unchanged at 18.1% and increased slightly for the first half of the year from 2015.

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3 Aug by Vitaliy Dadalyan Tags:

High Cancellations Hurt July Class 8 Truck Orders

<img width="150" src="http://www.automotive-fleet.com/fc_images/news/m-t680-light-1.jpg" border="0" alt="

Photo: Tom Berg

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Photo: Tom Berg

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It looks like July was another off month for Class 8 truck orders as industry analysts are predicting some of the lowest numbers since 2010, according to preliminary numbers from ACT Research and FTR.

FTR is predicting Class 8 truck orders will come in at around 10,400 units while ACT Research is projecting 10,500 units for the month. Both forecasts are well below July 2015 orders and mark one of the weakest months since 2010. Compared to June, orders were down 19%, which FTR attributed to higher than normal order cancellations in the month.

“Usually there are a low number of cancellations in July, but not this year," said Don Ake, FTR's vice president of Commercial Vehicles. "The high cancellations are likely the result of fleets placing large orders at the end of 2015, for delivery a year out. OEMs are trying to confirm Q4 production, with some orders shaking out of the backlog as a result.”

Class 5-7 medium duty truck orders remained “on trend” according to ACT Research, which projects July's orders to hit 14,500 units. This is down from June's order numbers, which hit 15,200 units.

“In line with the two-speed U.S. economy of healthy consumers and weak industrial activity, the two-speed commercial vehicle story continued to unfold in July,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT's president and senior analyst. “Medium duty orders remained on trend, while Class 8 orders continued to soften.”

Related: Fleets Answer the Question, 'How's Business?'

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3 Aug by Vitaliy Dadalyan Tags:

FR8 Revolution Launches Online Freight Management Platform

<img width="150" src="http://www.automotive-fleet.com/fc_images/news/m-fr8-1-3.jpg" border="0" alt="

Screenshot via FR8.guru

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Screenshot via FR8.guru

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Provider of cloud-based, data-driven tools for the transportation industry FR8 Revolution has launched FR8.guru, a new platform and marketplace with routing, scheduling and tracking features.

FR8.guru helps carriers schedule, route and load their trucks and offers real-time load tracking for shippers. Since receiving an $8.5 million investment from European truck manufacturer MAN Truck & Bus AG, FR8.guru has been in a closed beta with select carriers, shippers and brokers, undergoing finalizing and testing.

The platform gives small- and medium-sized fleet owners more control and oversight of fleets through an online dashboard. The software tracks a fleet of up to 500 trucks, providing carriers and shippers real-time notification of estimated arrival dates and times.

When fleets have excess capacity or backhauls to fill, FR8.guru can find freight to fill, improving fleet utilization and reducing wasted fuel and emissions from driving empty miles.

For drivers, FR8.guru has a companion driver mobile app that provides routing and schedule information, helps drivers establish a reliability track record, and gives drivers details on when they can expect to pick up additional shipments or when they will be home next. By giving drivers input and visibility into their schedule and an anonymous way to rate their experience with docks and shippers, FR8.guru aims to improve their lives on the road, noted the company.

“FR8 Revolution is building the operating system for the entire trucking industry,” said Matthew Kropp, CEO of FR8 Revolution. “Our beta test has been well-received and widely successful and we are excited to open up our platform to even more carriers.”

For more information, click here.

Related: German Truck Manufacturer Invests In Freight-Matching Startup

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3 Aug by Vitaliy Dadalyan Tags:

Cargo Thefts Decline, Average Loss Increases

<img width="150" src="http://www.automotive-fleet.com/fc_images/news/m-a5903fe0-82d7-4e29-8adf-80c06a129dbb-cnet-2016-q2-heat-map-clusters-black-1.jpg" border="0" alt="

Highlighted areas show incidents of the most cargo thefts in the second quarter. Graphic: CargoNet

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Highlighted areas show incidents of the most cargo thefts in the second quarter. Graphic: CargoNet

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A new report reveals the number of reported cargo thefts in the U.S. fell during the second quarter of the year compared to the same time in 2015, but the average value of the heists increased, according to the cargo theft prevention and recovery service CargoNet.

Its command center logged 297 reports of cargo theft, identity theft, vehicle theft and other criminal intelligence matters relating to the United States and Canadian supply chain. Of these incidents, 192 involved thefts of cargo, down 15% compared to a year earlier.

An estimated $39 million in cargo was stolen in second-quarter 2016, up $1.3 million from the 2015 second quarter. Sixty-one percent of incidents had a loss value recorded, averaging $330,339, up $63,243 from cargo theft incidents reported in second-quarter 2015.

Also in second-quarter of 2016, CargoNet recorded eight cargo theft incidents worth $1 million or more and one valued at an estimated $8 million.

During the most recent quarter, $14.6 million in electronics items were stolen in cargo thefts, the most costly category, but not the most frequently stolen commodity. Food and beverage items were stolen most often, though losses in the category decreased 17% year-over-year, totaling $3.81 million.

Warehouse or distribution center locations were the most common location for cargo theft, with 53 thefts. Unsecured yards were the next most common with 29 cargo thefts, growing 45% year-over-year.

Fifty-nine percent of unsecured yard thefts occurred in Texas and California, though the Lone Star State had a larger share. In contrast, cargo thefts were down 26% at truck stops and 36% lower at parking lots.

Many of the top states showed a decrease or little change in reported cargo theft when comparing the second quarters of 2015 and 2016. However, cargo theft incidents in California climbed 86%, from 37 reported incidents to 68 reported incidents, totaling $17.4 million in losses. Nineteen fictitious pickups were reported also in the state, eight more than in second-quarter 2015.

Across the United States and Canada, 139 trailers and 124 tractors were reported stolen in second-quarter 2016, down from 173 trailers and 143 tractors in second-quarter 2015.

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