Diesel Fuel Pump

Connecticut Diesel Tax to increase 9.1 cents per gallon

Under Connecticut law, the per gallon diesel tax is adjusted up or down effective July 1 of every year, depending on a couple of factors. This year, the rate will increase to 49.2 cents per gallon, up from 40.1 cents per gallon.

The state diesel tax rate is comprised of two components. One is a base rate of 29 cents per gallon. The second component is calculated annually and is based on the average wholesale price per gallon of diesel fuel from the period of April 1 through March 30, and the applicable gross receipts tax rate on petroleum products. The combination of these factors has resulted in the announcement by the Department of Revenue Services (DRS) that the per gallon diesel tax rate will increase by 9.1 cents per gallon, to 49.2 cents per gallon, effective July 1.

A letter from Department of Revenue Services (DRS) Commissioner Boughton announcing the new diesel tax rate can be seen here.

diesel guage

Biden to call for three-month suspension of gas, diesel taxes

From Transport Topics.

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on June 22 will call on Congress to suspend federal gasoline and diesel taxes for three months — a move meant to ease financial pressures at the pump that also reveals the political toxicity of high gas prices in an election year.

The Democratic president will also call on states to suspend their own gas taxes or provide similar relief, the White House said.

At issue is the 18.4 cents-a-gallon federal tax on gas and the 24.4 cents-a-gallon federal tax on diesel fuel. If the gas savings were fully passed along to consumers, people would save roughly 3.6% at the pump when prices are averaging about $5 a gallon nationwide.

But many economists and lawmakers from both parties view the idea of a gas tax holiday with skepticism.

Barack Obama, during the 2008 presidential campaign, called the idea a “gimmick” that allowed politicians to “say that they did something.” He also warned that oil companies could offset the tax relief by increasing their prices.

Biden energy adviser Amos Hochstein pushed back June 22, saying consumers could save about 50 cents per gallon if Congress and the states heed the president’s call.

“That’s not a gimmick,” Hochstein, senior adviser for global energy security at the State Department, said on CNN. “That’s a little bit of breathing room for the American people as we get into the summer driving season.”

It was not immediately clear if the White House has the votes in Congress to suspend the federal tax.

American Trucking Associations President Chris Spear called on leaders in Washington to get serious about lowering energy prices and reducing inflation, rather than considering a proposal to temporarily suspend the federal fuel tax.

See the complete article online at Transport Topics.

trucks parked in lot

Tonnage jumps 3.7% in May

From Transport Topics.

Truck tonnage jumped 3.7% in May compared with year-ago levels, marking the ninth consecutive year-over-year gain and the largest since April 2021, American Trucking Associations announced.

The ATA For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index equaled 117.1 last month, compared with 113.3 a year ago. The May result also represented a 1.4% gain over 116.5 in April. For purposes of the index 2015=100.

ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello said the freight market is shifting amid a busy environment for loads.

“The transition in the freight market continued in May, with the index hitting the second-highest level since the pandemic started,” he said. “The traditional spot market has slowed as freight softens, but these contract carriers are backfilling any losses in freight with loads from shippers that are reducing spot market exposure. Essentially the market is transitioning back to pre-pandemic shares of contract versus spot market.”

The ATA index is dominated by contract freight, he noted.

Across the first five months of 2022, tonnage is up 2.7% compared with year-ago levels even as the U.S. economy battles inflationary headwinds. Costello noted there were some warning signs for trucking in the May results.

“Overall, economic indicators that are important to trucking slowed in May, including retail sales, housing starts and manufacturing output,” he said.

According to ATA, trucking represents 72.5% of tonnage carried by all modes of domestic freight transportation, including manufactured and retail goods. Trucks hauled 10.23 billion tons of freight in 2020, and motor carriers collected $732.3 billion, or 80.4% of total revenue earned by all transport modes, ATA said.

See the complete article online at Transport Topics.

World’s largest truck maker says it’s facing enormous supply chain pressure

From CNBC.

Supply chain disruptions are still rippling across the globe, and the head of the world’s largest truck maker has warned that parts shortages are slowing the production of thousands of its vehicles.

Daimler Truck CEO Martin Daum told CNBC on Wednesday that the current supply chain squeeze is among the worst he’s seen in his more than 25-year career, resulting in major bottlenecks across the company’s suite of brands.

“We are facing enormous pressure on the supply chain,” said Daum, whose trucks are used for other vital industries such as logistics and construction.

“I would say it’s one of the worst years ever in my long career in trucking, where we sometimes have to touch a truck three, four times to add the missing parts,” he added.

The Mercedes-Benz Truck maker said earlier this month that there were signs that a prolonged chip shortage appeared to be easing. Microchips, or semiconductors, are a critical component of modern auto manufacturing, and they fell into short supply during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic and resultant factory closures.

But Daum said that shortages of other parts are also continuing to slow the production of thousands of trucks across its international network of factories.

“We have, in a couple of factories, more than 10,000 trucks where one or two parts are missing and we desperately search the world for those parts,” he said.

Inflationary pressures, too, are weighing heavily on Daimler Truck’s production, as the costs of energy and raw materials are now significantly higher — with some price hikes easier to pass on than others.

See the complete article online at CNBC.

 

2022 Connecticut Truck Driving Championship Winners

The 2022 Connecticut Truck Driving Championship was held on Saturday, June 11 at FedEx Freight in Windsor Locks, Conn. Congratulations to all of the winners, and to this year’s Grand Champion, Roland Bolduc from FedEx Express! The following is a list of winners from all classes of competition.

Step Van

  • 1st Place: John Sanchez, FedEx Express
  • 2nd Place: John Reopelle, FedEx Express
  • 3rd Place: John Falkevitz, FedEx Express

Straight Truck

  • 1st Place: Karen Roderick, FedEx Ground
  • 2nd Place: Kenneth Lawton, FedEx Freight
  • 3rd Place: Drew Martin, FedEx Express

3-Axle

  • 1st Place: James Dixon, A. Duie Pyle
  • 2nd Place: Glen Cooke, FedEx Express
  • 3rd Place: Kasseme Smith, FedEx Freight

4-Axle

  • 1st Place: Dave Buonocore, Bozzuto’s
  • 2nd Place: Tom Griffin, XPO Logistics
  • 3rd Place: Aaron Sperry, A. Duie Pyle

5-Axle

  • 1st Place: John Lanty, Martin Brower
  • 2nd Place: Ed Carroll. Bozzuto’s
  • 3rd Place: Gerald Deshenes, Jr, A. Duie Pyle

Flatbed

  • 1st Place: John Brown, Scott’s Miracle Gro
  • 2nd Place: George Dragon, Frito-Lay
  • 3rd Place: Zach Huot, Herb Holden Trucking

Sleeper

  • 1st Place: Roland Bolduc, FedEx Express
  • 2nd Place: Donald Chieco, FedEx Ground

Tank Truck

  • 1st Place: Tony Spero, ABF Freight
  • 2nd Place: Rand Frazier, Soundview Transportation / East River Energy

Twin Trailers

  • 1st Place: Ernie Budlowski, XPO Logistics
  • 2nd Place: Joel Colonmercado, FedEx Freight
  • 3rd Place: Shawn Huff, FedEx Ground
US Capital

Congressional transportation leaders review trucking policies

From Transport Topics.

Efforts to enhance the trucking industry’s workforce and provide additional parking to those currently operating trucks nationwide recently captured the spotlight on Capitol Hill.

While gun control and supply chain policy debates are likely to dominate Congress’ attention over the next few weeks, it is worth noting transportation policymakers recently acknowledged two of the industry’s urgent needs.

At a Senate hearing this month that featured President Joe Biden’s nominee to lead the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, policymakers pressed for the continued implementation of a training program for truckers under 21 to operate commercial vehicles interstate. They also sought assurances on the goals and objectives of a soon-to-be-announced advisory board focused on women. The recruitment and retention of women is a priority for trucking industry stakeholders.

Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.), of the Commerce Committee, led the passage of the under-21 interstate apprenticeship pilot program, which was included in the $1 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. He shared his viewpoint June 8 with Robin Hutcheson, nominee to become the next FMCSA administrator.

“[The] pilot program will help address the driver shortage, provides new career opportunities for young Hoosiers and other Americans and helps us make the roads safer, all under the same apprenticeship program,” Young said. “Throughout the pandemic, America’s transportation and logistics sector stepped up to meet unprecedented challenges. And I know that because my state has a significant logistics presence.

See the complete article online at Transport Topics.

ATA’s Spear touts issues-first approach to infrastructure bill

From Transport Topics.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — American Trucking Associations President Chris Spear praised the bipartisan work that carried a federal infrastructure package across the finish line, and stressed that his group will always put issues ahead of politics

“It wasn’t a difficult decision for us to support that bill,” Spear said of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act during a wide-ranging address at the 2022 Recruitment and Retention Conference, held here from June 1-3 and hosted by Conversion Interactive Agency, ATA and Transport Topics. “Not just the funding, but the certainty it gives to states around the country that now have five years of certainty. The funding coming in is guaranteed. That 38% increase allows them to do major projects. Bypasses, bridges — major investments, not just patch and repair.”

The IIJA, signed by President Joe Biden last year, provided $1 trillion in funding for infrastructure projects such as rebuilding roads, bridges and rails.

Spear noted that addressing the needs of roads and bridges nationwide should not be a political issue.

“You have to be for something that helps our country and our industry grow,” Spear said. “I can think of no better issue than infrastructure. Roads and bridges aren’t political. They’re not Republican or Democrat. We all drive on them. Since when is a slab of asphalt a political threat?”

On the political front, Spear stressed that while ATA may not agree with the White House on every issue, the group will always place addressing the needs of motor carriers first.

“What are we supposed to do? Just sit back and take four years off, not work with these people? We let our issues drive our response, not the politics,” he said.

Still, he noted the challenge of marshaling lawmakers’ attention and effort. “I can tell you, trying to educate our elected officials is getting harder,” Spear said. “Not because they’re not retaining what we’re telling them that they need to do. It’s generating the will to do something about it.”

See the complete article online at Transport Topics.

diesel guage

Average price of diesel hits record in US – $5.70 per gallon

From Freight Waves.

The weekly Department of Energy/Energy Information Administration average retail diesel price has a new record.

With a gain posted Monday of 16.4 cents, the new price of $5.703 a gallon easily surpassed the previous record of $5.623 a gallon set on May 9. It’s the first increase after three weeks of relatively small declines that took the benchmark price used for most fuel surcharges down just 7.5 cents a gallon.

The 16.4-cent increase isn’t even in the top three largest increases this year. If this were 2021, it would have easily been the biggest one-week gain for that year. But this year alone, the DOE/EIA price has gone up 74.5 cents, 40.1 cents and 34.9 cents.

Ultra low sulfur diesel (ULSD) prices climbed on the CME commodity exchange last week. While retail prices and futures prices do not move in tandem, the increase of almost 28 cents between the settlement of May 27 and last Thursday set the stage for the increase in the DOE/EIA price.

ULSD on CME is up 62.1 cents since a settlement of $3.7391 on May 20. Since that day, ULSD has risen 10 consecutive days, and since the year began, the price is up approximately $2.09 a gallon.

And diesel has once again taken the role of the biggest gainer in the petroleum market. On May 20, a barrel of diesel was worth between $44 and $45 more than a barrel of Brent, which is an enormous spread compared to historical relationships. On Monday, that spread was more than $61 a barrel.

That huge gap on Monday — which was surpassed only by big gaps at the end of April when the ULSD contract was being squeezed in the final days of the May contract — came as ULSD rose almost 8 cents to settle at $4.3601 a gallon, a jump of 1.86%. In contrast, domestic crude benchmark West Texas Intermediate dropped slightly, international crude benchmark was up 1.3% and RBOB gasoline, an unfinished gasoline product, fell 1.39%.

See the complete article online at Freight Waves.

FMCSA logo

FMCSA technology chief says automated truck proposal targeted for late 2022

From Transport Topics.

A top Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration official told safety executives attending a commercial vehicle safety conference that a proposed rulemaking for fully automated heavy trucks is targeted for later this year. However, he cautioned, “That’s our target date, but don’t hold me to it.”

Such is the nature of the rulemaking process, which can take years to complete.

“There’s so many hoops to go through, because we have to write it, it’s got to get out of our agency, it’s got to go to Secretary Pete’s office, then it’s got to go to the White House, and back and forth, and forth and back,” said Jeff Loftus, chief of FMCSA’s Technology Division, during a June 2 session of the Midwest Commercial Vehicle Safety Summit in Kansas City, Mo. (‘Secretary Pete’ refers to Department of Transportation head Pete Buttigieg).

FMCSA began seriously addressing autonomous trucks in 2017 with public listening sessions and recommendations from one of its advisory committees. In 2019, it issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking comment on how to safely regulate automated truck activity, including driver standards and maintenance programs.

Now, Loftus said, automated truck testing is ramping up fast, advancing to 28 states. Much of the testing is taking place in the Texas Triangle of Dallas, Houston and San Antonio, along Interstate 10 going from Los Angeles to Jacksonville, Fla, or in Arizona. Across these tests, more than 100 trucks have been retrofitted with self-driving technology, and all use safety drivers.

He noted, however that there has been some driver-out testing. For example, Loftus said autonomous developer TuSimple in late 2021 made seven 80-mile trips along open interstate between Tucson and Phoenix during overnight hours with no driver. There were, however, state patrol officers traveling nearby.

See the complete article online at Transport Topics.

trucks in highway traffic

Shipping boom expected after shanghai reopening

From Freight Waves.

Transportation capacity expanded for a second straight month in May after falling for nearly two years, according to a monthly survey. Overall activity in the supply chain remained firm during the month.

The Logistics Managers’ Index (LMI), a measure of overall supply chain conditions, dipped 2.5 percentage points from April to 67.1 in May. A reading above 50 indicates expansion while a reading below 50 indicates contraction.

The transportation capacity subindex jumped 7.8 points to 64.7. That was the sharpest rate of expansion in the data since October 2019, “as the logistics industry continues its regression towards the mean after nearly two years of rapid growth,” the report read.

The index is now 20.3 points higher than the February reading. The change is evident in FreightWaves’ Outbound Tender Reject Index. Loads being rejected by carriers have fallen to just 9% compared to readings north of 20% throughout 2021.

The capacity situation, however, has been bifurcated by carrier size. Small carriers dependent on load boards for freight have seen fundamentals tank as lower spot rates have been met by rising costs, notably fuel. Conversely, large fleets are still seeing contractual rate increases and many management teams say they could use additional drivers and equipment.

See the complete article online at Freight Waves.