One week from today another industry will take part in the efforts to contain the coronavirus. Yesterday, Love’s Travel Stops announced starting July 29th all 520 of their locations are requiring customers to wear face masks before entering their stores. Love’s joins the growing list of other retailers who have implemented a mask policy. Love’s President Shane Wharton states, “We are joining other retailers by implementing a face-covering policy for customers, and will continue to follow the guidance of health officials and adjust our practices to help keep our customers and team members safe.”
If you woke up this morning in Texas, Florida, or other southeastern states, and noticed a hazy or vivid sunrise there’s no need to wipe your eyes. What you noticed was the effects of a giant dust cloud sweeping across the southern U.S. in what many experts have dubbed, “The Godzilla Dust Cloud”. NPR reports, “The technical name for the phenomenon is the Saharan Air Layer according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.” Regardless of the name, we’ve never seen a dust cloud of this magnitude since data was recorded using a MODIS satellite back in 2002. Atmospheric scientist, Michael Lowery of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, shared data captured from the MODIS satellite which puts this dust cloud into perspective.
Back in 2014 a large trucking company out of Enid Oklahoma was seeking ways mitigate rear-end collisions. Groendyke Transport who operates a tanker truck fleet was able to reduce rear-end collisions by almost 34% due to the installation of brake warning blinking light devices to the back of their tanker trailers.
While many sectors of the U.S. economy are reopening in the coming weeks, there are still concerns on how the economy will rebound. The trucking industry is seeking relief in a big way as they hope to push off the Federal Excise Tax (FEX) on new heavy-duty trucks and trailers through 2021.
Many obstacles have plagued the transportation industry during the last 18 months, including driver retainment and freight pay decreases. Those along with many other factors have contribattributed to hundreds of companies shutting down. Industry organizations including the American Truck Dealers believe the suspension of the 12% FEX will help bolster new truck sales as the industry recovers from the impact of COVID-19.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies agreed yesterday to cut production of crude oil by 9.7 million barrels per day (bpd) in May and June, 7.6 million bpd July – December, and 5.6 million bpd January 2021 – April 2022. The 9.7 million bpd is roughly 10% of the global supply. Reuters reports, “The cut by OPEC+ may be more than four times deeper than the previous record set in 2008 and overall oil supply may shrink by twice that with other measures, but the reduction remains dwarfed by a demand drop predicted by some forecasters to be as much as 30 million bpd in April.” It was not long ago in early January that Brent crude was trading above $70/barrel but with the relentless Coronavirus pandemic, that number dropped to a 20-year low of $21.65/barrel on March 30th.