David Cullen

Executive Editor

David Cullen offers his take on how actions taken by government agencies, industry suppliers and other trucking stakeholders impact truck fleet owners.

Court rejects FedEx Ground’s driver business model
A federal appeals court decision yesterday came down hard on FedEx Ground, ruling that the package-delivery firm had misclassified 2,300 drivers as independent contractors instead of employees
Used trucks costing fleets more

Average prices for used medium- and heavy-duty trucks in the first month of this year’s third quarter ran higher than they did in Q3 a year ago, per the “Commercial Truck Monthly Report” for July on the vehicle-resale market just released by The Truck Blue Book (TBB).

GE Capital: Trucking’s on the sunny side of the street

A decidedly upbeat take on the road ahead for motor carriers through the rest of the year is sounded in an extensively documented ‘Research Update’ on truck transportation prepared by GE Capital.

“Given strengthening freight trends coupled with still very tight industry capacity, the supply/demand equation continues to favor” motor carriers, points out the report’s author GE Capital senior research analyst Michael Zimm.

From sci-fi vision to on-road reality 

When attempting to grasp the full measure of a technology’s promise, the best place to start may not be at the beginning.  At times, greater insights may arise by starting in the future.  Not in the future that begins tomorrow, but rather one envisioned in days gone past.

Eye of the beholder 

If everyone views trucks merely as machines highly engineered to accomplish very specific tasks, then why does anyone care what they look like?  Thirty-odd years ago, when I started covering this business, I didn’t give any thought to what most fleet trucks looked like.  Mainly because they looked pretty much the same as the ones I’d seen as a boy.  Their look was wholly utilitarian.  They were no-fuss “rolling stock,” which was how fleets invariably referred to them.

DAT: Strong finish for July spot market

The spot market ended July on a high note, with truckload volume rising sharply and truckload capacity tightening during the week ending August 2, according to DAT Solutions, which operates a network of load boards.

DAT found that the overall number of loads posted increased 7.5%, compared to the prior week, while the number of available trucks decreased 7.4%.

Platooning trucks: A virtual reality

At least one Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) technology firm is confident trucking will soon benefit from its system for virtually “platooning” trucks.

To platoon trucks is to efficiently operate them on a highway in close proximity-- one following after another at a pre-set distance via radar and wireless communication to form a virtual “road train.”

ATRI: How states enforce rules can damage CSA scores

The disparate enforcement of commercial motor-vehicle (CMV) safety rules at the state level creates “uneven safety playing fields” for motor carriers, contends the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI).

DAT: Spot rates downshifted last week

On the spot market, both truckload demand and capacity slipped across the board during the week ending July 26, according to DAT Solutions, which operates a network of load boards.

In that last full week of July, DAT found that the national average spot-market van rate declined 3 cents (1.4%) to $2.07 per mile, including fuel surcharge).

Economy bounces back: GDP grew 4.0% in Q2

The real gross domestic product (GDP) of the U.S. grew at an annual rate of 4.0% in the second quarter, per the "advance" estimate released this morning by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA).

TBB, ACT reports signal used-truck market strength

Used-truck prices in this year’s second quarter remained higher than those recorded for the first quarter, per the

Transplace: Impact on carrier finances and driver productivity key to gaining preferred-shipper status

How a shipper impacts a motor carrier financially and affects driver productivity will go a long way in determining whether a carrier will assign them “preferred shipper” status, per results of a survey conducted by Transplace of its own preferred-shipper program.

Transplace, a leading non-asset 3PL provider, explained that the study was conducted to gain insight into best practices for achieving preferred status with carrier partners. It drew on data from over 75 motor carriers.

ATA sees solid growth for “entire freight economy” out to 2025

Overall U.S. freight tonnage will rise nearly 25% and revenues from that freight will surge above 70% over the next decade, per the latest long-term freight forecast released by the American Trucking Assns. (ATA).

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