Here's a little fun!! Today, American Trucking Associations and ATA's Safety Management Council kicked off the driving portion of competition at the 82nd annual National Truck Driving Championships and Step Van Driving Championships, held at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. Some of the trucking industry's best drivers – 427 men and women from all across the country – are putting their knowledge of the industry, safe driving ability and vehicle readiness awareness to the test to see who will emerge as the 2019 National Truck Driving Championships Bendix Grand Champion. "There is a lot of energy and competitive spirit in Pittsburgh this week as we sort through a strong field of competitors to crown a grand champion," said ATA Chairman Barry Pottle, president of Pottle's Transportation. "It is a testament to the entire trucking workforce that hundreds of truck drivers were more than willing to put in thousands of hours of driving practice and study in order to compete for the grand champion crown. We can't wait to see which drivers, companies and states emerge as champions on Saturday night and are thankful for all the effort that has gone into setting up this fun and friendly competition." NTDC action began Wednesday when drivers were escorted onto the course for a timed walkthrough in which they saw the driving problems for the first time. Competitors also sat down for a written examination, which is one of the three scored phases of competition. Over the next two days, competitors will take part in a vehicle pre-trip inspection to test the drivers' ability to detect vehicle malfunctions and a driving skills test where competitors are graded on their ability to operate a truck through a series of obstacles. The first round of competition wraps up on Friday afternoon. Finalists for the championship round of competition are announced Saturday morning. After the five finalists in each of the eight vehicle classes and one step van class are announced, the finalists will compete on a championship course to determine the nine class national champions and overall 2019 Bendix Grand Champion, who will be announced Saturday night. Over four days, 427 competitors from all 50 states, including 32 "rookies" competing at any level of truck driving championship for the first time. The driving competition is the main event, but NTDC attendees can also explore the course-side Exhibit Hall, test their driving abilities in the ATA Interstate One truck driving simulator, shop at the official NTDC Marketplace, and spend time with friends and colleagues in the industry. Before competition kicked off on Thursday, ATA hosted the Breakfast of Champions for competitors and their families in attendance. Competitors heard from ATA President and CEO Chris Spear, Administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Ray Martinez, ATA First Vice Chairman Randy Guillot and 2018 National Truck Driving Championships Bendix Grand Champion Scott Woodrome, a professional truck driver for FedEx Freight. The Breakfast of Champions was sponsored by PrePass Safety Alliance. Fans are also encouraged to follow the competition online by tracking the #NTDC2019 hashtag on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. ATA is posting Facebook Live video streams of various stages of the competition including a course walkthrough, announcement of finalists, and the announcement of awards Saturday evening. For information on upcoming Facebook Live broadcasts, follow ATA's official Facebook page. Members of the media are invited to attend Media Day on Friday, when individuals can drive ATA's Camo Mack Anthem through a mock driving course (with supervision from professional truck drivers) and learn more about the competition from past champions. ATA's Safety Management Council is hosting this year's National Truck Driving Championships with Premiere Sponsor ACT 1. Dozens of industry professionals serve on the National Truck Driving Championships committee and volunteer at the event. To find out more about the competition, visit the official NTDC website. ATA continues to develop relationships with key industry partners looking to promote the elite, dedicated drivers who lead the trucking workforce. As such, ATA thanks NTDC Corporate Sponsors AAA Cooper Transportation, ABF Freight System Inc., FedEx, FedEx Express, FedEx Freight, FedEx Ground, Old Dominion Freight Line Inc., PITT OHIO, PrePass Safety Alliance, UPS Freight, and Walmart Transportation LLC. ATA also recognizes Bendix as the Grand Champion award sponsor. American Trucking Associations is the largest national trade association for the trucking industry. Through a federation of 50 affiliated state trucking associations and industry-related conferences and councils, ATA is the voice of the industry America depends on most to move our nation's freight. Follow ATA on Twitter or on Facebook. Trucking Moves America Forward. SOURCE American Trucking Associations
Global trade flows through shipping containers. Manufacturers depend on them to get raw materials in time and to ship finished products to market. IoT is being applied to monitor containers and make sure that their contents aren’t damaged or stolen. Inter-modal containers Containers have standardized dimensions, which lets transporters easily ship, stack and store them. There are over twenty million containers in motion right now. Containers are pre-filled which reduces the time that trucks need to get loaded. Their standard size allows them to be easily transferred between trucks, planes, ships and trains. Global supply chains based on containers enable manufacturers to minimize their costs with ‘just-in-time’ inventory. This makes it important to track containers’ location and the condition of their contents. The smart container Containers are made of steel and stacked several deep making communications a challenge. LoRa and WiFi are used for shipboard communication with sensors. Container sensors monitor several parameters: Monitoring the light and humidity as it harms the contents Door sensors to track where and when the container was opened and closed Acoustic sensors to detect possible motion or theft in the container Location and altitude sensors to track a containers precise location A local server first processes sensor data and sends key data to onshore facilities via satellite services such as Inmarsat. Continuous monitoring of containers enables port facilities to better plan for incoming shipments, storage and onward distribution. Pilot project Container 42 is a smart, connected container proof of to demonstrate the possible innovations that are now available through IoT and GIS. It is a joint endeavor between the Port of Rotterdam Authority, IBM, Cisco, Esri and Axians. A standard container that has been outfitted with sensors and cameras has left the Port of Rotterdam on a two-year multi-modal journey by ships, trains and trucks to raise awareness on new ways to drive out supply chain inefficiencies and reduce pollution attributed to global shipping. Geographic Information System (GIS) enabled IoT Transparency is critical in today’s connected, global supply chain as product and service demands increase across every geography and sector. Esri a leader in location intelligence solutions, delivers the GIS framework for Container 42. Based on the science of geography, GIS integrates many types of data and delivers insight on the transportation lifecycle to support data-driven decisions that contribute to higher performing supply networks while reducing shipping related pollution. Esri’s GIS technology enables producers, shippers, distributors and buyers to connect their entire supply network to better understand where its resources and products are everywhere in the supply chain –where they come from and, staying connected, what happens in near real time whether by sea, rail or road. Organizations can understand where assets are located (products, trucks, trains, containers), where they’ve been, what they are exposed to, and when compromises happen (contaminants, defects, conflicts, thefts) they can roll back to the origin of the fault for quicker remediation. Security The container is fitted with high-end Imbema lock that makes it easy to check when, where and by whom the container has been opened. The lock also makes it possible to personalize or block access to the container. With the help of geo-fencing, it is even possible to open the lock only at set locations (such as at customs). Power The roof of the container is mounted with HyET Solar Powerfoil which provides power to the battery system that powers the sensors. It ensures a steady supply of power during transit, so the batteries are continually charged and maintain power supply to in-container systems. Batteries Containers take long trips in harsh conditions. A safe and sustainable storage solution is needed. The container has lead crystal batteries from Betta Batteries that use a crystalized electrolyte. It provides the safety of gel batteries, price of a lead-acid batteries, and performance of Lithium batteries. Tracking Esri technology is used to locate, track, map, and provide contextual geographic information. It brings real-time data integration and spatial analytics with map visualization, agile developer tools for web and mobile application development, along with a global library of geographic, demographic, and business data. Logistics Intel’s Connected Logistics Platform provides near real-time supply chain visibility. It monitors the location, quality, and integrity of cargo at every stage of the supply chain, around the world. Companies, use this data to mitigate risk, improve operational efficiencies and reduce supply chain costs. Ports The Port of Rotterdam processes 470 million ton of goods and handles 30,000 ships and 120,000 inland vessels every year. It uses an IoT platform to collect and process data from sensors installed throughout the port area. This provides real-time information on the local infrastructure, water and air quality. Digitizing containers enables the port to offer even safer and faster services. Communications Cisco’s E-LAN, industrial routers provide Kinetic (Cloud) Services. It connects the Port’s sensor data and synthesizes it to automate port operations. and Operations Streamlined processing of containers require automated ports and smart ships that interact through digital handshakes. This project uses AWAKE.AI to optimize operations. Monitoring Container 42 is mounted with an array of sensors that continuously transmit its condition and location to a central dashboard that you can view at www.weare42.io. The efficiency of global supply chains is improving with IoT enabled containers. This will increase further with autonomous ships and automated ports.
The trucking industry is already in a recession. That isn’t good, when shipping is the lifeblood of the economy, moving goods along its tar-paved arteries. That poses a key question for investors: Does freight industry weakness presage a full-blown economic downturn? The answer: probably not. “The freight industry is currently experiencing a recession, which began in October 2018,” writes Aaron Terrazas, Convoy director of economic research, in a report published Thursday. (Convoy is a new digital marketplace trying to make the traditional truck brokerage industry more efficient, especially when roughly a third of all miles truckers drive are empty, Terrazas says.) Freight volumes have been falling since last fall, he adds. Fortunately for the stock market, freight recessions are relatively common, and freight weakness doesn’t necessarily mean a larger recession is on the way. “The freight industry has experienced 12 recessions since 1972, twice as many as the overall economy,” writes Terrazas. “Half of the times that the freight economy has shifted to contraction over the past four decades, the rest of the economy has continued to expand.” That’s good news for investors, who already are fretting about falling bond yields, the U.S.-China trade war, currencies, and political unrest—to name just a few of the current market risks. Importantly, the conclusion also flies in the face of some conventional wisdom that freight leads the economy. “[Freight recession] can be an imperfect leading indicator,” adds Convoy’s Terrazas. Of course, weak freight data impacts some—namely the logistics industry. And weaker freight volumes have been a drag on transportation stocks. The Dow Transportation Index is up 8.3% year to date, worse than the 11% gain of the Dow Jones Industrial Average. What’s more, the Transportation Index has fallen 8% in August, compared with the Dow’s 5% drop. Trucking components of the S&P 500 are up 5.6% year to date, lagging behind the 13% return of the S&P Index over the same span. Freight brokers operate in the huge U.S. freight business, which generates about $800 billion in sales to move $12 trillion worth of goods annually. Trucking, which, accounts for about 80% of total dollars spent moving freight, is fragmented with many independent truckers and many small shippers. Traditional brokers, such as C.H. Robinson Worldwide (ticker: CHRW), connects them both with cost-effective logistics solutions. C.H. Robinson’s sales and volumes were down again in July, although the company’s freight volumes still outpaced industry indexes, said C.H. Robinson CEO Robert Biesterfeld on his company’s second-quarter earnings call. He pointed to the trucking industry’s Cass Freight Index, where volumes declined mid-single digits in the second quarter. This suggests the turn in trucking and freight overall isn’t here yet. Still, after 10 months, the freight industry should be looking better, according to the Convoy report. But “the current economic climate does not suggest it is imminent,” writes Terrazas. A trade detente would certainly help the situation by boosting Chinese economic growth, but that still isn’t a panacea. “The slowdown in freight demand started last fall—well before the recent escalation in U.S. trade tensions,” Terrazas told Barron’s. No matter what the catalyst, it will take higher freight volumes for trucking stocks to close the relative performance gap with the rest of the market.
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Hot Shot Services? Or Hot Shot Trucking? Everybody is talking about it, throwing the terms around, but there may be some that still don't know what they mean. Well, here's a great definition from Overdrive.com.... "In trucking, the term hotshot commonly refers to either the truck or the freight – often both. In the former sense, it’s normally a Class 3-5 truck used in combination with a variety of trailers to run for-hire freight, whether for a single customer or less-than-truckload, though there are exceptions (check out this “hotshot on steroids,” for instance). The truck often will be one of the big three U.S. auto manufacturers’ three-quarter- to one-and-a-half-ton cab-and-chassis rigs or pickups outfitted for weight-distributing gooseneck- or fifth-wheel-type connections to a trailer. Hotshot freight is hauled for a single customer and needed in expedited fashion. Jeff Ward of the Atlanta area says the local and regional loads he hauls with his one-truck Brady’s Hotshot Hauling are “true hotshot freight.” That freight – often power company equipment to keep the electrical grid running – is needed as soon as possible to avoid a shutdown. Most agree the hotshot term originated in the Texas oilfields, where decades ago pickups delivered quickly-needed parts to offroad drilling and pumping operations. The niche survives to this day and has benefited from the growth in U.S. fracking operations." We here at Silverback Transport pride ourselves in being the best of the best when it comes to Hot Shot Service. Contact us today for a quote!
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