Portugal has declared a nationwide energy crisis this week after all of their fuel truck drivers have gone on strike, threatening to cripple the infrastructure of the nation. The organization representing the interest of 700 of the 1,000 working in the sector, The National Union of Dangerous Goods Drivers, is demanding higher wages and recognition of its members’ special status.
Tri-State commuters, get ready for more toll increases. Starting March 31st. tolls will go up at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) bridges and tunnels. For travelers to New York, the most expensive toll on the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge will go up from $17 to $19. Tolls on the Bronx-Whitestone, Throgs Neck, Robert F. Kennedy bridges and the Hugh Carey and Queens-Midtown Tunnels will increase from $8.50 to $9.50 for tolls paid by mail. At $17 per trip, the 55-year-old Verrazzano is already ranked among the priciest crossings in the country. For reference, Virginia's 23-mile-long Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel increased to $18 in January.
This Friday, March 29th, will mark the launch date of the world’s first financially settled Trucking Freight Futures market. The market will be a partnership between Nodal Exchange, FreightWaves and DAT. The goal of this newly created market is to provide a way for carriers, shippers and 3PL providers to hedge their financial exposure to truckload spot rate volatility. According to Craig Fuller, CEO of FreightWaves “Nearly every industry with a commoditized product benefits from a futures market – except for trucking.” However, the questions posed are “why now?” and “if Trucking Freight Futures are such a good idea, then why hasn’t anyone done it before?” The answer is two-fold.
The newly signed tax bill, Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, has gone into effect and has significantly limited itemized individual tax deductions that are available to trucking companies and their drivers.
Dash cams have quickly become a growing trend in the transportation industry. Since their original use on police cars in the 1980s, they have evolved from bulky cameras requiring VHS cassettes to smaller, sleeker, high definition cameras available today. In fact, early dash cams were so expensive and provided such poor video quality, many police departments were not interested investing in them. In the early-1990s however, normal citizens began installing them and recording police officers in hopes to record any unlawful stops. Naturally, this prompted police departments across the country to adopt dash cams which in turn led to humorous shows such as Cops and World’s Wildest Police Videos. Dash cam usage increased even more once Russian citizens began capturing people throwing themselves at cars. The cameras would prove that the drivers were not at fault and avoid paying any damages. We now see taxis, buses, and trucking companies utilizing dash cams for a multitude of purposes.