Global Oil Supply and Volvo Trucks | Weekly News Update

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Global Oil Supply Hits a Record as OPEC Boosts Production

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) increased crude oil production in August, despite the declining Iranian supply.  In result, global oil supply hit a record high of 100 million barrels per day (mmbd).  The leaders in the production increases for OPEC are Libya, Iraq, Nigeria, and Saudi Arabia.  The collective group increased crude production by roughly 458,000 barrels per day (bpd), which is the largest month-to-month increase in over two years.  Libya’s production alone, surged by 256,000 bpd according to OPEC’s September Monthly Report.  However, Libya will continue to be considered a high geopolitical risk area as civil unrest continues to occur, including the attack on their state oil company last week.  Despite the increase in production, OPEC remains below their original production quota set in nearly two years ago.

Volvo Trucks Developing Autonomous Electric Vehicle

Volvo unveiled a concept of a fully autonomous class 8 heavy duty truck with no cab.  The truck’s name is Vera.  Vera will be a part of a platform that consists of the autonomous, connected, electric vehicles and a transport control center.  According to the President of Volvo Trucks, Claes Nilsson, “The transport system we are developing can be an important complement to today’s solutions and can help meet many of the challenges faced by society, transport companies and transport buyers.”  The ideal concept intended for these trucks are for relatively short distances, large volumes of goods, and high delivery precision.  The maximum range of the vehicle is 187 miles.  The control center will continuously monitor the shipment on a cloud service to track the vehicle’s position, remaining capacity of the battery’s charge, shipment contents, service requirements, and multiple other parameters to ensure a safe and efficient shipment.

In Other News


Bloomberg: Libya Forces Quash Gunmen After Attack on State Oil Company

Libya’s National Oil Corp. will carry out operations as usual across the country after security forces quashed a deadly attack on the state company’s headquarters in the capital Tripoli, the NOC’s chairman said.

WSJ: Iran Develops a $5 Billion Weapon to Fight Sanctions

Iran is using a $5 billion fund to make investments that could counter the U.S.’s tightening economic noose on Tehran.  The fund, called the Foreign Investments Co., has dozens of investments and cash accounts in 22 countries and prioritizes assets that give it access to services, goods and technologies that it is at risk of losing under U.S. sanctions

Journal of Commerce: Tech Offers Salve to Mexican Truck Capacity and Security Pain

Avantida, an INTTRA company based in Belgium, last week began offering a platform in Mexico through CMA CGM and Hapag-Lloyd that helps manage and coordinate match backing – the exchange of an empty import container for use by a trucker that needs it for an export delivery.

Platts: Refinery Margin Tracker: US Crude by Rail Makes a Comeback

Crude by rail is making a comeback as North American crude production outpaces takeaway pipeline capacity in the Permian and lower rail costs make Bakken margins attractive to both US Atlantic Coast and US West Coast refiners.

FreightWaves: House committee urges Senate to advance self-driving vehicle legislation

One year after the U.S. House of Representatives passed the bipartisan SELF DRIVE Act, House Energy and Commerce Committee leaders called on the Senate to advance automated vehicle legislation.


Reuters: EIA Cuts Forecast for 2019 U.S. Crude Production Growth

U.S. crude oil production in 2019 is expected to grow at a slower rate than previously forecast, according to a monthly U.S. government forecast. U.S. crude production is expected to rise by 840,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 11.5 million bpd next year, lower than a previous expectation for it to rise 1.02 million bpd to 11.7 million, according to a report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Transport Topics: Truck Makers Move Closer to Commercial Electric Vehicles

U.S. truck makers, new startups and independent engine manufacturer Cummins Inc. have helped generate the early buzz on electrified trucks, cleaner emissions and less reliance on diesel fuel. Now, that buzz is generating buzz. That buzz includes equipment-related specifics, prototype products and initial field tests — often with an eye on how similar technology overseas is developing.


Reuters: OPEC Sees Slower 2019 Oil Demand Growth, Warns on Economy

OPEC further trimmed its forecast for 2019 global oil demand growth and said the risk to the economic outlook was skewed to the downside, adding a new challenge to the group’s efforts to support the market next year.

Bloomberg: Iran Resorts to Storing Oil in Fleet of Supertankers. Again

Iran is starting to store oil on its fleet of supertankers again as impending U.S. sanctions force the Persian Gulf country to revive a strategy it deployed under previous curbs.

WSJ: OPEC Sees Boost in Oil Production Ahead of Iran Sanctions

OPEC’s total oil production climbed last month, in a sign the oil cartel is sticking with a decision to begin pumping out more barrels of crude this summer after more than a year of holding back output.  Also see, OPEC September Monthly Report.

CCJ: 11 states waive trucking regs ahead of Hurricane Florence; S.C. reverses highway lanes

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster on Monday ordered a mandatory evacuation for residents of the South Carolina coast in preparation for Hurricane Florence, which warrants the reversal of several highway lanes. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has also issued a regional emergency declaration for 11 East Coast states and Washington, D.C.

Journal of Commerce: US Refrigerated Shippers Turn to Trailer Rail Transport

One of US intermodal’s big surprises this year has been the strong growth in trailers, but what does it mean? Are trailers acting as a safety valve for lack of domestic container capacity? Is increasing e-commerce driving the trend? Both factors are contributing, but analysis indicates there may be a strong temperature-controlled component.

CCJ: Volvo Trucks Developing Autonomous Electric Vehicle for Transport

Volvo Trucks is developing a new type of transport solution for repetitive transports involving high precision between fixed hubs – a platform that consists of autonomous, connected, electric vehicles and a transport control center.


WSJ: Global Oil Supply Hit a Record High in August as OPEC Ramps Up Production

OPEC oil production surged last month, more than making up for a decline in Iranian supply due to U.S. economic sanctions, the International Energy Agency said Thursday.  Also see, IEA Oil Market Report

FreightWaves: Maersk Changes Course, Will Install IMO 2020 Scrubbers

Maersk shifting its official position on scrubbers should be part of an accelerating maritime industry adoption of the technology. Ship & Bunker reported that in May 2018, the total number of vessels that had either ordered or installed scrubbers totaled 817 vessels, a spike of nearly 300 vessels in just a few months.

Transport Topics: Continued Testing, Cleaner Fuel Proposed for Diesel Engines

Diesel fuel still has a large role to play in achieving greater emissions reductions in heavy-duty trucks, experts said during a recent conference in San Francisco. They urged more in-use testing of engines to verify the gains, and increased use of renewable diesel, which is chemically like petroleum diesel, but cleaner.

Platts: Refining Summit Sees IMO 2020 Shipping Pollution Requirements Boosting Diesel, LSFO Demand

The International Maritime Organization’s global marine fuels sulfur limit is set to drop from 3.5% to 0.5% at the start of 2020, forcing shipowners either to switch from burning high sulfur fuel oil to cleaner, more expensive alternatives like distillate-based fuels, or to install scrubber equipment on each vessel to clean emissions on board. A sharp change in refined product price spreads can be expected with an almost overnight shift in the bulk of marine demand from HSFO to lower-sulfur alternatives.

Bloomberg: Uber to Invest Over $150 Million in Toronto Driverless Car Hub

Uber Technologies Inc. said it will spend more than $150 million in Toronto to support driverless car research.  The five-year investment includes opening an engineering hub in Canada’s biggest city in early 2019 and an expansion of its Advanced Technologies Group, the unit that’s developing much of the company’s autonomous vehicle technology.


CCJ: Oklahoma grocers set to deploy fleet of autonomous vans for final-mile deliveries

A small group of Oklahoma-based grocers will be among the first to fully deploy autonomous delivery vehicles (ADV) as a normal part of their everyday operation.  Udelv will supply Oklahoma City’s largest local chain of grocery stores –Uptown Grocery, Buy For Less, Buy For Less Super Mercado and Smart Saver – with 10 customized self-driving electric delivery vans to service online deliveries in the metro area.

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

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