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FREE DOT Inspections

AKRON, Ohio — In response to the economic impact from COVID-19 and to help keep fleets on the road to deliver essential products, Goodyear Commercial Tire & Service Centers are offering free Department of Transportation (DOT) inspections, a value up to $120. These government-mandated inspections include a full review of the tractor and trailer, including brake systems, tires and wheels, exhaust systems, lighting and more.

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Necessity is the Mother of Invention – A Positive note!

The Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) has both challenged and changed the world’s perception of individualism, materialism, greed, organization, and the many uses of technology. This pandemic has driven people to avariciously hoard items that are needed by EVERYONE in the world, and to vainly attempt to make money from others dire privations.

I am, however beginning to see a dim pulsating light at the end of the tunnel. People are beginning to realize that there is a “Smarter” way of living and that humanity is at a point where it desperately needs a course modification geared toward togetherness and teamwork. We are at a place on our road of existence where we should seriously consider which direction we plan to take.

Do we continue straight on, driving our planet into oblivion, or do we take the road less traveled, and save our world and society from recklessness?

“The world has enough for everyone’s need, but not enough for everyone’s greed,” Gandhi.

The last few years have demonstrated how anger, hostility, greed, and prejudice can drive a wedge between friends, families, communities, and even countries! The last few weeks have shown us that these “wedges” and “differences” are useless when fighting this new invisible enemy (COVID-19).

Materialism and greed have created a society driven by a need for the latest and greatest with the insatiable urge to have everything and anything. Materialism, desire, and hoarding are now a big part of our society. Human beings are social beasts, and this need to “socialize” and possess more has driven us to engage with our peers via new and exciting communication channels based on the developing technology available. Businesses and educational institutions now utilize on-line options for courses in-lieu of in-house meetings and classroom activities.

Ironically, there are always several silver linings to every cloud. This cloud is a giant, evil black monstrosity called COVID-19, an invisible enemy, that not even a murderer or criminal can evade. In many ways, we’ve already adopted the concept of “social distancing” during the era of social media and technology. Yet this ability to distance ourselves socially may be our saving grace. With no vaccines available, you are safest at home in front of your computer or smartphone in your hand.

Unification of families is now a reality brought on by COVID-19! Crime is down because of the mass hysteria that the streets are not safe. Restaurants and grocery outlets have more efficient delivery and pick up services, which minimizes travel, and therefore accidents. Doctors are once again making house calls to elderly patients who are too frail to take on this new invisible enemy. Society is on a path to healing from an enemy that we cannot yet embrace.

Yes, we can survive as individuals, even in quarantine, and still, be part of a caring community. In this globalized world, our lives are so intertwined that we need to view ourselves, as individuals, as communities, as nations, and as a uniquely privileged species. It has taken a virus to show us that only through togetherness we at our most reliable, most alive, most human and that we understand what is most important. We are all bound together as part of a miraculous web of life on planet Earth!

A final thought though…Will society remember this most-important-lesson learnt after the virus is no longer the enemy, or will people, communities, and countries go back to business as usual?

By Marold Studesville & Alyson Stasek

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911 for Truckers

911 for Truckers!! We have read several posts on Facebook and the truck drivers getting upset. A lot of fast food, restaurants and dining rooms are closed, with signs indicating that they are serving only via the drive thru. So they walk up to drive through and they won’t wait on them via the window indicating that they need to be in a vehicle. The driver says they are driving an 18 wheeler that will not fit in the drive-thru lanes the response has been from the restaurant that they don’t care. Hopefully truck stops and drive in’s will be more prepared to support truckers! Truckers are the backbone of this country and with the current pandemic we need to have support, sustenance…Post on www.eTruckBook.com (name of restaurant/location) if you find an eatery that is able to pamper the truckers as they deserve to be!

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IMPORTANT INFORMATION – FMCSA Issues HOS Relief for Coronavirus Assistance

https://www.ttnews.com/articles/fmcsa-issues-hos-relief-coronavirus-assistance-hauls

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COVID-19 and TFSMall

The team at TFSMall are thinking about our clients, and all members in the transportation industry.  We are in a unique and vulnerable situation.  The transportation industry is the backbone of the United States.  Within the current health epidemic across the world, logistics will become even more important.

We are all at risk in contracting and being diagnosed with the COVID-19 (Corona) flu virus, so we wanted to share with you the guidelines directly from the CDC to reducing your risk.  This is the link that you need to follow to access the most up to date information.

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/guidance-business-response.html

Please be sure to work from home if you can, wash your hands more than usual and for an extended period, refrain from touching face and look after the more vulnerable such as the elderly and those with underlying ailments that could make them more susceptible.

Overall, do not panic.  Follow the guidelines and stay safe.

The team at TFSMall.com

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Cargo Not Affected as Trump Suspends Travel From Europe to US

Trump said the restrictions won’t apply to the United Kingdom, and there would be exemptions for “Americans who have undergone appropriate screenings.” It also wouldn’t apply to cargo. He said the U.S. would monitor the situation to determine if travel could be reopened earlier.

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USDOT Active in Response to Coronavirus, Joel Szabat Tells Senators

An update for you with reference to the lastest on the Coronavirus Flu

https://www.ttnews.com/articles/usdot-active-response-coronavirus-joel-szabat-tells-senators

Transportation officials’ supporting role to the COVID-19 outbreak includes daily coordination with aviation industry stakeholders, foreign counterparts and federal agencies, Joel Szabat, acting under secretary for policy at the Department of Transportation, told a Senate panel March 4.

Szabat, a member of the White House’s coronavirus task force, went on to explain the department is ensuring there is an active airbridge in place for Americans returning from affected areas. Also, DOT is ensuring airlines funnel passenger flights to domestic airports with the capability of screening passengers, and that air and sea cargo traffic between the United States and China continues.

Another priority is that protocols are in place to protect crews of aircraft traveling between the United States and foreign spots, as well as providing alerts about the coronavirus, he added.

Eugene Mulero

“Successful containment and mitigation of the virus to keep the American people safe will depend on the efforts of all levels of government, the public health system, the transportation industry and our communities,” Szabat said in prepared remarks to a subcommittee that oversees aviation. “The ability to sustain transportation services, move emergency relief personnel and commodities, and mitigate adverse economic impacts requires effective transportation policy decisions.”

Szabat’s statement preceded President Donald Trump’s comments at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Asked March 7 about the impact to the economy, the president indicated, “I like when people happen to stay in the United States and spend their money in the United States.”

Trump continued, “So I think people are staying in the United States more. They’re going to spend their money in the United States. And then this is ended. It will end. People have to remain calm.”

CDC is recommending avoiding nonessential travel to China, Iran, South Korea and Italy.

As of March 9, there were 35 states reporting cases of COVID-19, the disease occurring from the virus. Overall, CDC indicated there have been 423 cases of individuals with COVID-19, and 19 have died.

One of the individuals testing positive for the coronavirus is Rick Cotton, executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. The agency oversees the George Washington Bridge, home to the country’s top truck bottleneck. Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), who recently declared a state of emergency, explained to reporters on March 9, “He’s been at the airports, obviously, when many people were coming back with the virus.”

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USMCA Trade Deal Signed – How is it different from NAFTA

The USMCA Trade and how it compares to NAFTA.

There are a variety of articles which indicate where the changes are and how it will help US businesses.  Below are a few links for review.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2019/12/10/winners-losers-final-usmca-deal/

https://www.cnn.com/2019/12/10/politics/nafta-us-mexico-canada-trade-deal-differences/index.html

https://www.nbcnews.com/business/economy/trump-signs-usmca-trade-deal-replace-nightmare-nafta-n1125526

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Road Freight Transportation Services Market Procurement Intelligence Report | Increase in Technology Expenses Will Propel Service Providers’ OPEX | SpendEdge

This article and report is a must read for anyone who is a senior manager or owner of a transportation or logistics company.  Some great insight and ideas for companies to keep ahead of the game!

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/road-freight-transportation-services-market-153000458.html

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Trade Agreements May Bring Stability to Trucking

Trade Agreements May Bring Stability to Trucking

Link to original article in Transport Topics

GRAPEVINE, Texas — Trucking could be in for a period of improved conditions with the North American trade agreement updated and U.S.-China trade tensions eased, industry leaders said.

Over the past year, President Donald Trump’s trade war with China led to economic uncertainty. But an agreement on a phase one deal signals a more stable outlook on trade as well as business expansion.

Before those agreements, trucking’s customers had gotten “skittish,” said Chris Spear, president of American Trucking Associations.

In 2019, general economic activity, freight tonnage and rates all softened. Exports took a hit. Investment slipped, manufacturing orders fell and production lines slowed.

“We want stability,” Spear said. “We want certainty in the market.”

That may be at hand, but the deals have timetables that will require time to implement.

Trump is expected to add his signature Jan. 29 to the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, which once agreed to by Canada, as expected, will establish detailed, phased-in updates to long-standing rules affecting trade in North America.

Trump on Jan. 15 signed the first phase of the China trade deal, after reaching a truce on the 18-month trade war between the two countries. The deal is projected to produce $33 billion in the first year and $45 billion in the second year from the export of U.S. manufactured goods, Spear said.

“We hope these agreements in place are going to bring the certainty that is necessary to bring manufacturing back online as an equal performer with construction and retail,” which make up the other pillars of freight movement, Spear said. “We look for probably as early as the latter half of 2020 to be a strong year for trucking.”

He made the comments at Heavy Duty Aftermarket Dialogue, during a discussion with Ann Wilson, senior vice president of government affairs at the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association.

Trucks move 76.5% of surface freight between U.S. neighbors — 81% and 72% of the border crossings with Mexico and Canada, respectively, Spear said.

For November alone, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s most recent data, trucks led transborder shipments with $62.7 billion in freight, down 4.1% from a year ago. U.S.-Canada freight movement was $28.3 billion while U.S.-Mexico accounted for $34.4 billion.

Freight moved across the borders by all modes of transportation tallied $99 billion in November, down 3.9% from a year ago, the agency said.

“We have a lot of work to do in terms of the implementation and to be certain [USMCA] is successful going forward,” Spear said.

That holds true for suppliers and manufacturers, too, said Wilson.

The goal with USMCA was not to change the underlying language of the earlier NAFTA agreement because if that had happened, “we were going to start back at zero,” and that would have prevented either keeping NAFTA or crafting something new, she said.

“As you look at this, I would make sure that there are people within your organization who understand where in the agreement the critical portions of the language are. You need to understand every single one of your tariff codes, where they fit in the agreement,” Wilson said. “And it’s mind bending. It looks like it is splitting hairs but, understand folks, that is how this agreement is put together. And that is how it is going to drive the content requirements and anything else that you do.”

A key aspect of USMCA, aimed at boosting manufacturing, requires vehicle manufacturers to ensure 70% of the steel and aluminum they use is purchased from North America, she added.

In part one of a two-part exploration of autonomous technology today, our latest RoadSigns podcast revisits conversations with CEOs Alex Rodrigues of Embark and Cetin Mericli of Locomation. Hear them explain what testing automated trucks and developing platooning technology has taught them about the road ahead — and get new perspective with host commentary. Listen to a snippet from Rodrigues above, and to hear the full episode, go to RoadSigns.TTNews.com.

The full benefits of the agreements will take time to ripple through the U.S., while growth is slowing in other global markets, said economists speaking at the event — with Germany already in an industrial recession.

Meantime, the U.S. economy is reverting to trend with GDP at 1.8% to 2%, amid “the longest economic expansion in U.S. history, 126 months of continuous growth,” said Bill Strauss, senior economist of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

How and who companies do business with is changing, and will continue to change, said Bob Dieli, economist at MacKay & Co., which presented the Heavy Duty Aftermarket Dialogue along with the Heavy Duty Manufacturers Association.

“We are in a trade war and supply chains won’t reset anytime soon,” Dieli said.

He suggested companies ask themselves three questions: How is your biggest customer doing? How is your biggest supplier doing? And how is your biggest competitor doing?

Also, a MacKay & Co. survey found top fleet concerns for 2020, respectively, are the technician shortage, the driver shortage and general economic activity.

The survey found wholesale distributors’ top concerns are general economic activity, the upcoming presidential election and tariffs.

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