As the world looks to become greener, the travel industry continues to look for alternative fuel sources. This week, Airbus unveiled their new concept for hydrogen powered commercial airliners, which would be the world’s first zero emission commercial aircraft. They released three visual concepts that they hope to have in use by 2035. The three concepts that were released are the; turbofan design, turboprop design and a blended-wing body. Guillaume Faury, the CEO of Airbus, said "This is a historic moment for the commercial aviation sector as a whole, and we intend to play a leading role in the most important transition this industry has ever seen. The concepts we unveil today offer the world a glimpse of our ambition to drive a bold vision for the future of zero-emission flight". He went on to discuss how the use of hydrogen has the potential to drastically reduce the industries impact on the environment.
Nearly one month ago, U.S. oil futures hit a historic moment, dropping below zero for the first time. At that time traders were scrambling to pay buyers to take off crude futures, while month end rolls were looming. This morning, U.S. oil futures climbed roughly 9% to $32 a barrel, a price that would allow some of the lowest cost oil wells in the United States to break even. Oil prices are roughly half of what they were to start the year, but the slight uptick in driving across America, has helped rally the oil prices. Currently, 87E10 gasoline pump prices are at an average of $1.88 a gallon in the U.S., about $0.98 less than last year.
During the holiday season millions of gifts are purchased and exchanged among family and friends however, the amount of merchandise that gets returned has increased exponentially over the last several years. According to CBRE and Optoro, Americans are projected to return $41.6 billion in online holiday merchandise this year, up from $37 billion returned last year. With the uptick in online shopping, consumers have more purchasing power than ever before. They can purchase any number of items from the comfort of their home while knowing they can return anything at no cost. This leaves retailers wondering how they can make up for lost profits on returned goods, as well as putting immense pressure on the distribution centers in charge of handling.
After many scattered rumors, today brought the official news of yet another major trucking outfit closing their doors. Celadon Group, the owners of about 3,300 tractors and 10,000 trailers announced that they would be filing for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection. This brings an immediate end to the 34 year run of the Indianapolis, Indiana trucking firm. More importantly, the news of Celadon’s closure will put nearly 4,000 employees out of work.
Make no mistake, winter plays a big part of our daily lives. When you are involved in the transportation industry, it can have a huge impact! Icy roads can cause accidents and delays, increasing the demand for carriers. Here in Southwestern Pennsylvania, with our first snowfall on record books, we can say that winter is coming.