Every week, we’re bringing the uShip community posts and articles about the transportation industry, transport policy and technology, and recent trucking news.
Biz Buzz: Shell, TA announce plans to develop LNG fueling centers – LandlineMag.com
Shell and Travel Centers of America LLC have agreed to work together on a nation-wide network of liquefied natural-gas (LNG) fueling centers. The agreement includes installation of at least two LNG pumps at up to 100 existing TA and Petro Shopping Centers across America. Shell has begun research to discover the best practices for installing the LNG lanes as well as storage facilities for the LNG.
States eye ways to keep rest stops open – OverdriveOnline.com
States are searching for ways in which to keep rest areas open and are turning to privatized donations for funding. New Hampshire and Louisana have advanced legislation that will permit private sponsorship of their rest areas. Louisiana’s House unanimously approved the bill April 18th, while New Jersey, Maryland and Washington legislatures have begun dragging their feet on the bill.
Washington legistators are discussing rest area demonstrations that would allow rest areas to exist in places where state rest areas do not. Private and non-profit groups would provide rest area service at no cost to the state and money received from these projects would be deposited into the state motor vehicle account.
Find out about the Panama Canal Extension, robot truck platoons and dropping diesel fuel prices after the jump.
Trucking’s ready for Panama Canal despite infrastructure issues, ATA rep says - CCJDigital.com
The Panama Canal construction project will be finished in 2015 and the U.S. trucking industry will be ready, said American Trucking Associations Vice Chairman Phil Byrd.
The expansion is said to double the amount of freight and cargo each year. While the ATA readies itself for the increase in production, the country’s infrastructure remains a problem with issues such as driver shortage, roadway congestion and difficulty for drivers getting in and out of ports. “Specifically, the impact of our crumbling infrastructure will have on handling increased traffic and freight demands,” Byrd said.
Robot truck platoons roll forward - BBC.com/Future
The science behind driver-less trucking is making headway in Japan. In February this year, four trucks lined up on an oval track in Tsukuba City to test “truck platooning” technology.
The general idea circles around a “train” of trucks that are all operated by the first. Each vehicle behind the first, do exactly as it does, without the need for its own driver. While under the command of the first truck, the drivers of the other convoy vehicles are free to do whatever they want: watch tv, drink coffee, nap or read a book. When the driver is ready to leave the convoy, he simply takes back control and exits.
Similar drive trains have been tested in Germany, Sweden and at UC Berkeley. “Platooning” could offer several benefits to highway congestion by reducing road space used by vehicles as well as improving fuel efficiency and cutting down on accidents.
Diesel prices are down for the seventh straight week – LogisticsMgmt.com
Diesel prices fell for the seventh straight week last week, according to the Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA). Following declines of 1.6 cents, 1.3 cents and 4.1 cents for the previous three weeks, diesel price per gallon last week fell 3.5 cents to $3.942 per gallon.
The price has declined a cumulative 21.7 cents for the last seven weeks. The EIA has since updated its energy outlook in accordance with the new diesel prices, predicting the average to be $3.90 per gallon in 2013 (down from $3,92) and $3.80 in 2014 (down from $3.82).