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Delayed Tariff Increases & Electric Truck Requirements | Weekly News Update

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Trump to Delay Tariff Increases on Chinese Imports

On February 24, US President Trump tweeted that the US and China have made substantial progress in the trade negotiations and as a result, the US will delay the March 1 deadline for tariffs to increase.  The tariffs were set to increase from 10 percent to 25 percent on $200 billion worth of goods.  It was later reported that the new deadline would not have an official date as long as trade negotiations continue in a successful path.  President Trump and Chinese President Xi will plan to meet in the US to conclude an agreement if the talks progress.  According to President Trump, the two parties have seen progress on agreeing on intellectual property protection, technology transfer, agriculture, services, and currency.  These all are in the favor of the US and we have not heard about the compromises the US is willing to give for China.  Another key question is how the two countries will track compliance if a trade deal is agreed upon.  Despite the significant work that needs to be done to achieve a trade deal, crude oil and diesel prices rose throughout the past week on the progress made and the positive sentiment that a deal will be made in the near future.  Both sides are motivated to get a deal done as both countries have seen slower economic growth.

CARB Continues Quest for an Electric Truck Future

The California Air Resource Board (CARB) are working to increase the number of medium and heavy-duty electric vehicles on California roads.  The goal is to require a certain percentage of all trucks sold in the state to be electric or hydrogen fuel-cell trucks by the end of 2019.  The group is also considering to require original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to ensure that at least 2.5% of their overall sales are electric trucks beginning 2024 and potentially increasing it to 15% by 2030.  CARB believes that the state will reach 40,000 electric trucks by 2030.

In Other News

2/25

WSJ: Trump to Delay Tariff Increases on Chinese Imports

President Trump said Sunday he would delay an increase in tariffs on Chinese goods set to take effect at the end of this week, citing “substantial progress” on issues including intellectual property and technology transfer after a weekend of talks.  Also see, Trump’s Extension of China Truce Gives Xi Breathing Room on Slowdown

Reuters: Trump calls on OPEC to ‘relax,’ says oil prices are too high

U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday expressed concern about oil prices and repeated his previous calls on the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to keep prices steady.  Also see, Oil tumbles after Trump tells OPEC to ‘relax’

World Oil: US Production Reaches 12.0 mmbd for a New Record

Somewhat to its own surprise, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates that U.S. crude oil production averaged 12.0 MMbpd in January, up 90,000 bpd from December 2018’s level, and setting yet another all-time U.S. oil output record. This breaks the previous record of 11.91 MMbopd set in December.

WSJ: Saudis Likely to Push to Maintain Output Cuts Despite US Pressure

Saudi Arabia and others in OPEC are likely to back a continuation of oil-production curbs when the group meets in April, according to officials in the cartel, in defiance of U.S. pressure to keep crude prices low.  Also see, Despite Pressure from Trump, OPEC Stands Firm on Oil Curbs

Transport Topics: Bill to Reshape Colorado Oil, Gas Regulations Coming Soon, Democrats Say

Tighter rules on Colorado oil and gas development struck out at the ballot box in November and at the state Supreme Court in January. Now, Democrats, who control the Legislature, plan to introduce a sweeping bill to redefine the Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission’s mission to emphasize public health and safety.

WSJ: IRS Proposal Could Crimp Earnings for Manufacturers, Energy Companies

The tax overhaul fueled earnings for many companies. But a proposal about how to implement it could hurt some manufacturers and energy companies, by further crimping a key tax break.

WSJ: World Trade Slowed at End of 2018

World trade fell at the end of last year as imports to and exports from China plummeted, a sign that higher tariffs and the threat of more to come are cooling global economic growth.

NVG Journal: Wisconsin: biofuel project powers CNG vehicles across Midwest U.S.

Dane County Executive Joe Parisi announced that Kwik Trip will be one of the primary dispensers of the renewable vehicle fuel generated by the county’s landfill biogas project.  When finished, the project will be able to turn trash and cow manure into renewable fuel and inject it into an interstate transmission pipeline, so it can be bought and sold to power fleets of CNG vehicles.

2/26

FreightWaves: Technology is Crucial for Bringing Transparency to Cold Supply Chains

The logistics ecosystem has left much to be desired in regard to transparency in trucking operations, with the industry still relying heavily on archaic five-decade-old electronic data exchange (EDI) technology that creates burdensome time lags in operations and prevents businesses from gaining real-time insights into the whereabouts of their cargo while in transit.

Transport Topics: Congressional Infrastructure Window 4-6 Months, Stakeholders Say

Memo to the transportation policymakers on Capitol Hill: If you are sincere about advancing a comprehensive infrastructure measure this year, you got to do it soon. That’s the message from a great number of stakeholders.

JOC: NVOs to Capitalize on Trans-Pacific BCO Frustration

Non-vessel-operating common carriers (NVOs) plan to capitalize on shipper frustration over carriers’ failure to honor their space and pricing commitments during the 2018 peak season by increasing their eastbound trans-Pacific contractual commitments with customers this year.

FreightWaves: Hapag-Lloyd Operating Profit Sees Slight Gain as Fuel Prices Take Toll

Hapag-Lloyd squeezed out a slightly better operating profit after a full-year of results including its acquisition of United Arab Shipping Company. But the ocean carrier still faces headwinds from fuel prices.

Transport Topics: Autonomous Advancements Present Opportunities for Drivers, Experts Say

Autonomous mobility experts said that the technology can open up new opportunities for drivers, noting that as progress on greater levels of automation expands over time, drivers will have chances to capitalize on that change.

2/27

CCJ: Bills in Congress Would Allow Drivers Under-21 to Operate Interstate

Introduced into both chambers of Congress on Tuesday was a bill that would allow CDL holders under the age of 21 to cross state lines and drive in interstate operations. Currently, federal law only allows CDL holders 21 and older to operate interstate.  Also see, New Colorado Law Lowers Age for Interstate Trucking.

WSJ: Oil Has Best Start to a Year Ever as OPEC Production Falls

Oil prices are off to their best-ever start to a year as fears of a supply glut cool, part of a 2019 recovery in risky investments from stocks to commodities. U.S. crude-oil futures have rebounded about 25% in the first two months of the year, according to Dow Jones Market Data, the best January-February performance in figures going back to 1984.

JOC: Fastest-Growing US Truckers Don’t Expect Slow 2019

Trucking companies that made double-digit revenue gains last year will find the feat hard to repeat in 2019, as the US economy is widely expected to slow. But the fastest-growing US motor carriers are still betting a combination of acquisitions, territorial expansion, and strong freight demand from their customers will help them raise their toplines even higher.

NGT News: Clean Energy Announces 100% Zero-Carbon Fuel Goal

Clean Energy is committed to reducing the carbon intensity of its fuel portfolio to zero-carbon by 2025. This is 20 years ahead of California’s 2045 goal of transforming the state’s power supply to 100% renewable energy.

WSJ: Venezuela Cushions Blow of Oil Sanctions with Non-U.S. Sales

Venezuela, under U.S. embargo, has shifted some crude exports from American refiners to India and Europe, according to the country’s oil minister and ship-tracking firms.  But it will difficult for President Nicolás Maduro’s government to generate a profit from these sales and counter U.S. pressure, analysts said.  Also see, U.S. Imposes New Sanctions on Venezuelan Regime.

JOC: Low-sulfur rule top threat to container shipping

Heading into the 2019 TPM conference, the chief worry for the container shipping industry remains what it has already been for months: that carriers will fail to pass through enough costs related to low-sulfur fuel and will be forced to withdraw capacity, seeking to get out of the spot rate what they could not get out of surcharges.

Transport Topics: Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao Addresses Autonomous Tech, Infrastructure at AASHTO Briefing

Autonomous technology can take a variety of forms in transportation, from lane-departure warning systems and automated brakes to truck platooning. Automated technologies have, however, raised public concern over security and privacy.

2/28

WSJ: Daimler, BMW Team Up on Self-Driving Car Technology

Daimler and BMW, two of the world’s biggest manufacturers of high-end vehicles, are expected to unveil plans to expand existing cooperation to include the development of self-driving vehicle technology, a move that underscores how heightened competition is pushing longtime rivals to work more closely together.

FreightWaves: Freight Brokers Say Capacity Loose, Markets Stable

Freight brokers are still in their happy place – even with national volumes ticking up this week, capacity is still quite loose. Tender rejections have stayed near historic lows (OTRI.USA), and the Midwest is perhaps the only region of the country where markets have significantly tightened.

Transport Topics: Demand Remains Strong for Used Class 8s in January

Sales of used Class 8 trucks in January fell compared with a year ago, but the average heavy-duty truck brought 10% more money as customer demand remained strong amid a shortage of trucks, ACT Research Co. reported.

JOC: Rising Costs Have BCOs Weighing Hauling Options

As beneficial cargo owners (BCOs) enter trans-Pacific service contract talks, they must determine whether to choose generally cheaper but less reliable trucking transport contracted via container lines or shell out for more expensive but more predictable haulage they contract themselves. The decision is complicated by some container lines’ pulling back from door delivery exposure because of tighter capacity, while others are trying to handle the trucking leg for more customers.

FreightWaves: Growth Beat Expectations to Round Out 2018, But the Economy Continues to Cool

Growth in the U.S. economy slowed further in the fourth quarter of 2018 but came in well above expectations to round out an impressive year of growth. The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released long-delayed results for fourth quarter gross domestic product (GDP) this morning, showing that overall growth in the economy slowed to a 2.6 percent annualized pace.

Transport Topics: CARB Continues Quest for an Electric Medium, Heavy-Duty Truck Future

California environmental regulators are working on a plan to speed up the deployment of electric medium- and heavy-duty trucks operating on the state’s streets and highways. At a public workshop Feb. 25, California Air Resources Board officials said they are aiming to offer for approval by the end of this year the agency’s proposed regulation that would require a certain percentage of all trucks sold in the state to be electric or hydrogen fuel-cell trucks.

3/1

Transport Topics: AI in Trucking

The terms artificial intelligence and automation pepper discussions about the transportation industry’s future, often closely followed by mentions of autonomous vehicles. But while self-driving trucks are still in their infancy, AI already is influencing the back ­office’s digital transformation.

Argus Media: US Considers Next Steps on Venezuela Crisis

A month after the US administration imposed sanctions on Venezuela’s national oil company PDVSA, expectations for a quick power transition in Caracas have faded, leaving Washington to consider its next steps.

Reuters: US Oil Rig Count Falls to Lowest Since May 2018

US energy firms this week cut the number of oil rigs operating to the lowest in almost nine months as some producers follow through on plans to cut spending despite an over 20-percent increase crude futures so far this year.

FreightWaves: Fight Over Truck Size is a Fight Over Profits

Safety, pollution and highway wear and tear are the major discussion points when the debate over whether to extend the length of twin trailers heats up on Capitol Hill, but what’s also at stake for the major players is market share and profits.

Transport Topics: Chatbots Are Emerging as Powerful Tools for the Transportation Industry

The driver arrives at the warehouse, but the shipment is not ready. He sends a message asking about the timeline of the delay and, immediately, the driver receives a response about when the late load will be ready.

This weekly publication is designed to highlight relevant industry news to provide professionals in the transportation, supply chain, and energy sectors with up-to-date information in a rapidly changing marketplace. This update is purely a compilation of industry news and as such, does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Breakthrough. We do not warrant or guarantee accuracy or completeness of information. For additional information, please contact us at info@breakthroughfuel.com.

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