Tropical Storm Barry Makes Landfall | Weekly News Update

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Tropical Storm Barry Makes Landfall in Louisiana

Tropical Storm Barry made landfall on Saturday, bringing heavy wind and rain on the Gulf Coast and marking the first hurricane of the Atlantic season. Although severe flooding was anticipated, Barry began losing steam when it touched down on the Louisiana coast and was eventually downgraded from a tropical storm to a tropical depression.

According to the US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, nearly 73% of crude oil production in the U.S.-regulated areas of the Gulf of Mexico was cut because of the storm, removing 1.38 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil from the market. This translates to 283 platforms shut in by oil producers in the region. In response, crude rose, with Brent prices up 3% to $66.82 and WTI up 4% to $60.21 week-over-week.

With the immediate threat to production and refinery operations abated by Barry’s continued movement northward, Louisiana refineries – including the Phillips 66 Alliance refinery that was shut on Friday due to flooding fears – will resume normal operations. Five refineries in the region remained in operation over the weekend, and are expected to continue production.

First Volvo Electric Truck Expected This Year

As part of a multi-partner initiative in California, Volvo is developing battery-electric haul trucks for use in drayage from the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to inland warehouses. A major tenet of Volvo’s Low Impact Green Heavy Transport Solutions (LIGHTS) program, the initiative will partner with various stakeholders in the electric vehicle ecosystem in California. This includes NFI, a third-party logistics hauler, and Southern California Edison which will oversee infrastructure requirements, assessing charging equipment and minimizing potential impact to the power grid. The location of the project in California is a strategic choice, with grant funds available from the state’s cap-and-trade program that can be used toward improving freight and warehouse efficiencies and reducing emissions. Volvo plans to begin selling the electric trucks on a larger scale in California beginning in 2020.

In Other News


WSJ: Logistics, Transport Hiring Bounced Back in June

Transportation and logistics companies added jobs at a strong pace in June, in a rebound from weak hiring this spring and a sign of growing confidence in U.S. freight demand.

EIA: U.S. Crude Oil Production Surpassed 12 Million Barrels Per Day In April

U.S. crude oil production reached another milestone in April 2019, totaling 12.2 million barrels per day (b/d), according to EIA’s latest Petroleum Supply Monthly. April 2019 is the first time that monthly U.S. crude oil production levels surpassed 12 million b/d.

WSJ: The U.S. Is Overflowing with Natural Gas. Not Everyone Can Get It.

There’s a big twist in America’s natural gas boom. Parts of the country are coping with gas shortages even as production reaches record levels. The result of a big gap between output and the ability to transport the fuel where it needs go.

Argus Media: Iran Calls UK Seizure of Tanker ‘Threatening’

Iran has described the UK’s detention of a tanker carrying Iranian crude off the coast of Gibraltar last week as “threatening” and “illegal”, and has once again called on UK authorities to release the vessel.

CCJ: New Figures from Labor Department Show Trucking Employment Upswing in Recent Months

New data released by the Department of Labor on Friday presents a rosier picture of trucking employment through the first half of 2019 than originally indicated by earlier, preliminary data.

JOC: UP to Penalize Missed Intermodal Deliveries

Intermodal shippers will feel pressure to be on time after Union Pacific Railroad said it would tighten standards on appointments and the timely removal of containers and levy new penalties for those who fall short.


Argus Media: Blackout Shuts PdV’s Main Refining Complex

Venezuelan state-owned PdV’s 940,000 b/d CRP refining complex remains shut down because of a blackout on the Paraguana Peninsula.  The incident is likely to exacerbate an already severe shortage of motor fuel and further curb import and export operations that have been pummeled by US sanctions in recent months.

Reuters: U.S. Crude Oil Output Seen Rising to Record High In 2019

U.S. crude oil production will rise to an all-time high of 12.36 million barrels per day in 2019 from a record high of 10.96 million bpd last year, the Energy Information Administration’s Short Term Energy Outlook (STEO) said on Tuesday.

NYT: 24 Governors Call on Trump to Halt Rollback on Rules for Clean Cars

Two dozen governors from across the country, including three Republicans and governors of four states that voted for President Trump in 2016, urged his administration on Tuesday to halt one of his biggest climate policy rollbacks: the weakening of federal clean car rules.

Argus Media: US Imposes Duties for Structural Steel Imports

The US Department of Commerce has ruled that duties should be imposed on fabricated structural steel imports from China and Mexico. The department is instructing the US Customs and Border Protection agency to collect cash deposits from importers of fabricated structural steel from both countries.

JOC: Freight ‘Funnel’ Narrowing At US-Mexican Border

The cost of cross-border trucking, which moved $424 billion in goods across the Southwest border last year, is predicted to rise as capacity within Mexico and at the border tightens.

JOC: US Shippers Retain Pricing Power Amid Truck Surplus

US shippers have their choice of carriers and trucks as the third quarter begins, but how long will that last? There’s more excess truckload capacity on US highways this July than at any time since the nadir of the last economic slow patch in 2016.


Reuters: BP Evacuates Staff, Shuts in Production at Four U.S. Gulf of Mexico Platforms

BP Plc on Tuesday began to evacuate and shut in production at four offshore U.S. Gulf of Mexico production platforms as a developing weather disturbance moves across the Gulf of Mexico, a company spokesman said.

Transport Topics: EPA: Day Cabs Can Qualify for SmartWay Designation

Day cabs — especially those with a high roof and pulling a box trailer — can qualify for SmartWay designation that signifies the equipment significantly lowers fuel use and reduces air pollution, the Environmental Protection Agency said July 9.

Argus Media: Singapore Bunker Premiums Surge

A shortage of fuel oil cargoes and tight barging schedules are pushing up delivered bunker premiums in the port of Singapore in the run-up to the IMO 2020 sulfur cap.

CBC: Quebec Joins Carbon Tax Fight To ‘Protect Provincial Jurisdiction’

The Quebec government is intervening before the Supreme Court in Saskatchewan’s challenge to the federal carbon tax. Quebec Premier François Legault said his government is in favor of carbon pricing, but it must be exclusively a provincial responsibility.

FreightWaves: Lack of Qualified Truck Drivers Being Felt Across U.S.-Mexico Border Region

Drivers of 18-wheelers, tractor-trailers, delivery trucks, freight trucks and tanker trucks hauled more than $671 billion in goods across the United States-Mexico border in 2018, however, there are around 50,000 unfilled driver positions throughout Mexico.


WSJ: U.K. Navy Thwarts Iranian Attempt to Block BP Tanker

A British warship trained its guns on three Iranian vessels that tried to block the passage of a U.K.-flagged oil tanker through the Persian Gulf, the country’s Defense Ministry said, a confrontation that comes amid heightened tensions between Washington and Tehran.

Reuters: New Tax Breaks Planned for Mexico’s Indebted Pemex

The Mexican government will propose an additional tax reduction for heavily indebted state oil company Pemex in the nation’s 2020 budget, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Thursday, the latest measure to strengthen the company.

Transport Topics: Incoming and Outgoing Leaders at Port Association Agree on Big Issues

The head of the American Association of Port Authorities is stepping down after more than three decades with the group, and is handing the reins to an industry veteran who believes that the importance of trade to the United States economy will win out amid ongoing negotiations with other countries.

Argus Media: Venezuela Talks Inch Toward Election Deal

The Venezuelan government and US-backed opposition are inching toward an agreement on holding new presidential elections in nine months, but closely watched negotiations are still far from unraveling the OPEC country’s protracted conflict.

Reuters: U.S. Oil Companies Slash Gulf of Mexico Production as Storm Bears Down

U.S. oil producers on Wednesday cut nearly a third of Gulf of Mexico crude output as what could be one of the first major storms of the Atlantic hurricane season threatened offshore oil production and began soaking Louisiana with heavy rains.


Reuters: IEA Sees Oil Market Oversupplied In 2019 On U.S. Production

Surging U.S. oil output will outpace sluggish global demand and lead to a large stock build around the world in the next nine months, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Friday.

Fleet Owner: Spot Rates Start July With A Bang

National average spot van and refrigerated freight rates shot higher last week as shippers looked for carriers to move freight during a holiday-shortened week, said DAT Solutions, which operates the industry’s largest network of load boards.

JOC: New Strategies of CMA CGM, Maersk Familiar, But Bolder

The ambitions of CMA CGM and Maersk to offer customers packaged solutions and integrated services, respectively, go beyond anything the container shipping industry has previously attempted.

Transport Topics: Perspective: ELD Data Can Help Fleets Improve Safety

Electronic logging devices are traditionally viewed as something fleets implement to comply with hours-of-service regulations, but they also hold the potential to improve driver safety.

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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