Excise tax campaign meets roadblock

    17 Feb by Vitaliy Dadalyan Tags:

    SmartDrive Announces 94% Growth In 2016

    Driving performance solutions company SmartDrive Systems, announced its business results and operating highlights for its revised fiscal year reporting period that ended Dec. 31, 2016, and reported 94% organic subscription growth year-over-year and almost 400% over the past three years.

    According to the company, its Transportation Intelligence Suite, market leading usability, ongoing platform expansion and unmatched customer satisfaction were the key growth drivers.

    "As we look at the company growth rate over the last three years, it is clear that fleets are saying 'good enough is not enough,' first by investing in video safety and then by selecting SmartDrive's proactive programmatic approach that brings a new level of transportation intelligence to fleet safety and operations,” said the company's CEO Steve Mitgang.

    In the second half of 2016, the company grew its customer base by adding fleets like TMC Transportation, Interstate Distributor Co., Alabama Motor Express, BCP Transportation, Cincinnati Bell Connector, and more. It has also retained 98% of contracted units. The company has been ranked as one of the fasted growing companies by the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 for the past three consecutive years.

    Related: Video-Based Safety Systems: Worth A Closer Look?

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    17 Feb by Vitaliy Dadalyan Tags:

    Trucking Alliance Pulls Hard for Hair-Testing

    <img width="150" src="http://www.automotive-fleet.com/fc_images/news/m-j-b-huntdcsdriverdrivewyze-1-2.jpg" border="0" alt="

    J.B Hunt is among the member companies of the Trucking Alliance seeking an exemption to let them conduct hair-testing for pre-employment drug testing of driver applicants. Photo: Drivewyze

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    J.B Hunt is among the member companies of the Trucking Alliance seeking an exemption to let them conduct hair-testing for pre-employment drug testing of driver applicants. Photo: Drivewyze

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    The Alliance for Driver Safety & Security (a.k.a. “Trucking Alliance”) has submitted a set of detailed comments to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration that strongly support a petition calling for motor carriers to be exempt from having to use urinalysis to test for drug use by CDL driver applicants. Four of the six petitioners are member companies of the Trucking Alliance.

    If the exemptions are granted, the petitioning carriers will not have to wait for FMCSA to initiate and complete a rulemaking that would allow hair-testing in lieu of urinalysis or one that would mandate hair-testing instead of urinalysis.

    According to a Feb. 16 letter to FMCSA containing the comments (Docket FMCSA-2017-0002) and signed by Trucking Alliance Managing Director Lane Kidd, the petitioners seek to instead use hair analysis to meet federal drug test requirements for commercial driver job applicants.

    “Hair-testing is a more reliable (albeit twice as expensive) method for identifying lifestyle drug users, than the less expensive and less reliable urine exam,” states Kidd.

    Kidd notes in the letter that the Alliance “concurs with petitioners in their stated reasons for deserving an exemption, but adds that “in the broader context, the petitioners are utilizing a more reliable method [hair-testing] for identifying drug users than the vast majority of U.S. freight and logistics carriers.”

    He then contends that the petitioners are “deserving of an exemption and for the following public safety reasons:”

    The role drugs play in large-truck accidents. “'Lifestyle drug users' have no place in the commercial truck driver profession. Truck driving is an occupation that exposes the general public to possible safety risks, because motorists share the highways with thousands of commercial ...Read the rest of this story

    17 Feb by Vitaliy Dadalyan Tags:

    House Dem’s NAFTA redo would drop cross-border trucking provision

    DeFazio 'blueprint' calls for trade renegotiation to begin by June 1 If President Trump wants to rework the North American Free Trade Agreement, a group of House Democrats is ready and willing to provide the blueprint. Led by Rep. Peter DeFazio (D.-OR), the ranking member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, the resolution introduced Thursday includes a provision that would remove the cross-border trucking requirement—a long-problematic clause in the current trade deal.

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    17 Feb by Vitaliy Dadalyan Tags:

    Economic Watch: Leading Indicators, E-Commerce Sales Post Impressive Gains

    Three new economic reports add to increasing evidence the U.S. economy will have a better overall first quarter of the year than the final three months of 2016.

    The Conference Board's Leading Economic Index (LEI) for the U.S. increased 0.6% in January to 125.5, following a 0.5% increase in December and a 0.2% increase in November.

    "If this trend continues, the U.S. economy may even accelerate in the near term.”

    “The U.S. Leading Economic Index increased sharply again in January, pointing to a positive economic outlook in the first half of this year,” said Ataman Ozyildirim, director of business cycles and growth research at the private research group. “The January gain was broad-based among the leading indicators. If this trend continues, the U.S. economy may even accelerate in the near term.”

    The LEI is made of 10 components, including data from manufacturing, housing and consumer expectations. The January improvement was described by Well Fargo Securities as “'broad-based with only a single component subtracting from the headline figure, non-defense capital goods minus aircraft."

    E-Commerce Sales Jump

    A separate report from the Commerce Department showed e-commerce sales increased in both the fourth quarter of 2016 and for all of last year.

    They rose 1.9% in the final three months of 2016 from the third quarter. The fourth quarter 2016 e-commerce estimate was up 14.3% from the same time in 2015, far outpacing the 4.1% hike in total retail sales during the same period.

    Total e-commerce for 2016 was at $394.9 billion, an increase of 15.1% from 2015, while total retail sales in 2016 increased 2.9%. E-commerce sales in 2016 accounted for 8.1% of total sales, up from 7.3% in 2015.

    According to some analysts and recent reports, the increasing rise of e-commerce has already led to changes in how the trucking industry does business and is expected to bring ...Read the rest of this story

    17 Feb by Vitaliy Dadalyan Tags:

    House Dem’s NAFTA redo would drop cross-border trucking requirement

    DeFazio 'blueprint' calls for trade renegotiation to begin by June 1 If President Trump wants to rework the North American Free Trade Agreement, a group of House Democrats is ready and willing to provide the blueprint. Led by Rep. Peter DeFazio (D.-OR), the ranking member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, the resolution introduced Thursday includes a provision that would remove the cross-border trucking requirement—a long-problematic clause in the current trade deal.

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    17 Feb by Vitaliy Dadalyan Tags:

    TransVix, DAT partner to develop Trucking Futures Exchange

    TransVix and DAT Solutions announced the formation of their exclusive strategic alliance to create the “first and only” Trucking Futures Exchange which will list and trade contracts based on trucking line haul rates. The TransVix Exchange will list contracts that are financially settled using DAT's data for major freight lanes in the U.S.

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