Each week we recap the hot topics in freight and compile them into one place so you can easily stay up to date on the industry. Check back each Monday and start your week off in the know. TRANSFLO & GO!
The U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement (USMCA) was approved in the U.S. Senate on Jan. 16 by an 89-10 vote. It’s the next step toward repealing and replacing the original North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
USMCA now heads to President Trump’s desk for signature. After all three countries ratify the trade agreement, USMCA is expected to go into full force sometime this year.
Trucking and trade groups had a hand in shaping the agreement and issued statements of support. They include: the American Trucking Associations, Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, and Transportation Intermediaries Association.
The final text approved by Congress affects trucking and logistics in several ways:
– The agreement establishes a new process to deal with complaints from U.S. carriers about unfair competition from Mexican truck fleets operating in the United States. It also requires the U.S. Dept. of Transportation to review all existing permits given to Mexican trucking companies. Additionally, they must review all pending applications for material harm or threat of material harm to U.S. carriers.
– Restrictions on the import of U.S. ultra-filtered milk into Canada have been removed, and U.S. producers will have access to an additional 3.6% of Canada’s dairy market.
– The total North American content of a vehicle must equal 75% (up from 62.5%), and part content will be divided up into core, principal, and complementary parts with content requirements of 75%, 65%, and 60%, respectively. A minimum of 45% of an automobile’s content must be produced using laborers earning a minimum of $16 an hour.
The revised trade agreement does not resolve the imposition of steel and aluminum tariffs and the associated countermeasures put in place by Canada and Mexico. The parties agreed to settle that matter outside the NAFTA negotiations.
Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores plans to open as many as 40 Love’s and Speedco truck stops and add about 3,000 parking spots in 2020. “We’ll open stores from coast to coast, continue to provide products and services that our customers depend upon and enhance our reputation as the company known for ‘Highway Hospitality,’ said Love’s president Shane Wharton.
Love’s Travel Stops sell the Transflo T-series ELD devices throughout its nationwide locations, adding telematics to its list of electronics offerings. The TRANSFLO Express network includes Love’s Travel Centers as well.
In 2019, Love’s hit a milestone when it opened its 500th location. This year, in addition to opening new facilities, the company plans to expand its selection of goods and services. The new locations also will include additional service centers for truck maintenance, and Trillium will broaden its offerings this year to include electric vehicle charging stations, solar panel installation and hydrogen fueling, as well as additional compressed natural gas (CNG) locations.
Fleet Owner continues its series on video in trucking this week and looks at how the technology will affect the development of fleet safety systems.
“You’re going to see the camera technology improve. You’re going to see better images. You’re going to see faster processing. All those things are going to rise,” according to T.J. Thomas, director of marketing and customer solutions for the control group at Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems.
He says success depends on having several technologies working together to produce more data and improve fleet operations. “When those next technologies do come out, they get translated into our industry a little quicker than before because the ROI is already proven,” says Thomas.
One example is when video systems incorporate telematics.
Video telematics combines vehicle data and driving data to provide more context around any incident footage while transmitting video evidence in real-time over a cellular network.
Telematics enhances the value of video in two important ways compared to a typical dash camera.
In the case of a collision, video telematics can help provide answers to who, what, where, when, and why.
Other benefits of video telematics:
– Immediate notification of incidents help you manage the direction of claims through early interception.
– Remote and instant access to video footage when needed by the claims department.
– Vehicle tracking and monitoring to match speed, behavior, and location data with the incident.
Fleet Owner is publishing a five-part series on how cameras and video are changing the nature of the industry for fleets and drivers.