Freight News Roundup – Navistar Turnaround, Volvo VNX and Natural Gas Trucks

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Every week, we’re bringing the uShip community posts and articles about the transportation industry, transport policy and technology, and recent trucking news.

Navistar’s Clarke Talks Change, Opportunity, TurnaroundTruckingInfo.com
Navistar International’s new CEO, Troy Clarke jumped into the  Heavy Duty Manufacturers Association annual Breakfast Briefing at the Mid America Trucking Show panel with both feet Friday, March 22. Though Navistar has seen some troublesome days in the past two years (financial losses and failed attempts at acheiving emmissions tests without selective catalytic reduction), Clarke assured attendees “Navistar’s not going anywhere but up,” TruckingInfo reports.

Volvo introduces new heavy-haul tractor
 – CCJDigital.com

 


Volvo Tractor TrailerThe Mid America Trucking Show 2013 brought many manufacturers together with special products and upgrades for American drivers. Volvo rolled out the Volvo VNX, a new heavy-haul tractor designed for extreme gross weight applications. The company’s most powerful engine in North Amreica, the new engine and transmission was developed for up to 225,000 lb loads. The VNX features Volvo’s fullsize daycab  as well as standard safety features.
Find out about TNT Express cutting jobs,  the Goodyear Highway Hero Award Winner, and the industry’s hesitance on switching to natural gas fleets after the jump. >>

 


Jason Harte worthy of being called a Highway Hero  - LandlineMag.com
The 30th Goodyear Highway Hero Award was given to Jason Harte of Rogers, AK who is credited with saving the lives of a family of six in a catastrophic wreck involving a pickup colliding with a minivan and a car that sent all vehicles skidding off the roadway.

Harte credits his training as a volunteer firefighter and first-responder experience in his actions to save the family. At Harte’s arrival on the scene, he helped the mother, father and 6-month old baby out of the van fairly quickly. The other three occupants, all kids, were in severe condition. Harte directed bystanders in getting the children out of the minivan as quickly as possible.

Jason Harte

Photo Credit: LandlineMag.com

TNT to Sell Chinese Unit as Failed UPS Deal Prompts Job Cuts - The Washington Post
International courier TNT Express has decided to close it’s China and Brazil operations resulting in the loss of over 4,000 jobs after a deal with Atlanta-based United Postal Service fell through. The courier giant, based in Hoofddorp, Netherlands has crafted this plan after UPS cancelled a $6.7 billion bid in January. European Union regulators balked at the deal originally, generating enough heat for UPS to cancel the offer.

TNT is doing its best to stay positive, given the situation. There will be no “firings” but rather “job cuts.” The Washington Post reports, “TNT now plans to focus on efforts at improving profitability, though it would consider other takeover offers, Interim Chief Executive Officer Bernard Bot said.”
US Truckers Considering Natural Gas Over Diesel Say Transition Costs Still Too High - International Business Times
The switch from diesel fuelled trucks to natural gas trucks has stalled for most U.S. commercial carriers. Natural gas trucks cost $40,000 to $80,000 more than the usual $100,000 truck to purchase. Shippers are taking on the cost of finding natural gas filling stations, as there are still so few of them. Though natural gas fuel costs less than diesel fuel, the initial cost of upgrading existing trucks or buying new ones has hindered the industry’s decision to make the full switch to natural gas.

International Business Times reports, “President Barack Obama wants to begin a federal incentive program that would help pay for the new trucks. Big natural gas-producing states such as Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Texas already offer subsidies to get shippers to transform their fleets, as does California with its environmentally conscious programs.”

Companies are still afraid that these subsidies won’t cover enough of the cost to upgrade and that they will ultimately be stuck with the bill.

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