US Shale Growth & Heavier Truckloads | Weekly News Update

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US Shale Output Growth Should Offset OPEC Cuts in 2019

US crude oil production continues to surge and is expected to outweigh the production cuts set by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).  The Energy Information Agency (EIA) forecasts the US to increase production by 1.18 million barrels per day (mmbd), which is almost equivalent to the 1.2 mmbd that OPEC and supporting countries pledged to reduce.  The combination the pledged cuts and the continued growth of US production will allow the US to continue to take more of the global market share for crude oil.  Current US oil production is pushing a record of 11.7 mmbd.  In the EIA’s Short Term Energy Outlook, the EIA is projecting the US to average 12.1 mmbd in 2019.

Frozen Road Rules Start to Take Hold, Allowing for Heavier Truckloads

Some Midwestern states are allowing truckers to haul shipments over the legal weight limit during the winter months.  When the ground freezes, the roads can handle more weight without excess damage.  Minnesota increased the legal limit 10%, resulting in the max weight increasing from 80,000 pounds to 88,000 pounds.  Additionally, the maximum weight jumps up to 98,000 pounds for trucks hauling logs, salt, or sand in Wisconsin when at least 18 inches of ground is frozen.

In Other News


EIA: Short-Term Energy Outlook: U.S. to average 12.1 mb/d in 2019.

The EIA said in its latest Short-Term Energy Outlook that the U.S. should average 12.1 mb/d in 2019, up sharply from a 10.9 mb/d average this year. Notably, the production estimate is mostly unchanged from previous months, even though oil prices have crashed.

NGT News: CA RNG Project to Replace 1.25 Million Gallons/Year of Vehicle Fossil Fuels

DVO Inc., a Wisconsin-based designer of anaerobic digesters, has outlined its plans for a California dairy biomethane project.

JOC: ELD Rule to Boost Canada Transloads, Truck Rates

When it takes effect, Canada’s electronic logging device (ELD) mandate will hit delivery of containerized goods from Montreal to the Toronto area hard, spurring shippers to transload cargo to mitigate rising delivery costs on that route and other legs. US shippers took a similar hit when the US ELD mandate disrupted truck capacity in inter-city lanes last December.

JOC: How to be a ‘Strategic’ Truck Shipper

There has been a lot of buzz this year around being a “shipper of choice”, but companies that thrive don’t only apply these principles when capacity is tight and drop them when conditions improve – they innovate for the long term.

Reuters: Shareholders Call on ExxonMobil to Set Greenhouse Gas Reduction Targets

A number of institutional investors in ExxonMobil Corp have said they will file a shareholder resolution which calls on the world’s largest oil company to set targets for lowering its greenhouse gas emissions.

FreightWaves: Driver Shortage Not Just About Pay, Year-End Report Says

The National Transportation Institute’s year-end roundup contained one surprising data point after another. The report’s conclusion, however, didn’t come as much of a shocker. Klemp and NTI’s COO Leah Shaver dug into some of the data showing how fast and by how much driver pay is increasing — and how the dollar signs still aren’t closing the gap between driver demand and supply.

CCJ: Fleets Not Eyeing Speed Increase to Catch ELD-Induced Efficiency Losses

While hours of service (HOS) rules didn’t change with a national rollout a year ago, the ELD removed a driver’s ability to fudge a paper logbook and often resulting in fewer miles driven and the addition of a day to a one-day job previously.

NGT News: California Switching to Zero-Emission Transit Buses by 2040

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) voted to set a statewide goal for public transit agencies to transition to 100% zero-emission bus fleets by 2040, representing a first-of-its-kind regulation in the U.S.


JOC: Tariffs Driving US-Bound Production Out of China

Manufacturers of US-bound foods are moving production out of China to avoid being caught up in the trade dispute – currently on pause for 90 days – that has roiled the trans-Pacific shipping market for much of the second half.

FreightWaves: SAP Unveils New Software that Provides Intelligence and Predictive Maintenance to Fleets

SAP SE has unveiled SAP Intelligent Asset Management (IAM), a suite of solutions that brings collaborative asset intelligence, planning, prediction, and simulation to equipment maintenance and operation. IAM is disrupting the conventional method of planned maintenance by developing machine learning algorithms that utilize data drawn from equipment to create predictive analytics, enabling SAP’s clients to maximize productivity.

Transport Topics: China Inks Deal with Shell, Majors as Xi Signals Open Trade

China signaled its openness for business with a raft of deals that’ll give oil majors, including Royal Dutch Shell Plc, new opportunities to develop fields in partnership with the nation’s biggest offshore explorer.

FreightWaves: New EU Truck Rule Could Raise Road Taxes, Squeeze Smaller Carriers

New European emission rules set to enter into force on 1 January 2019 will measure carbon emissions from heavy duty vehicles (HDVs) which will enable authorities to target the most polluting lorries with higher road usage charges, in a move that could hit smaller truck operators the hardest.

Electrek: EU announces deal to cut emissions from new cars by 37.5%, giving a boost to electric cars

The EU made official its deal to cut CO2 emissions from new cars by 37.5% by 2030, which should force automakers to sell more electric vehicles in Europe.  While the goal is aggressive and unprecedented for such a large market like Europe, it’s actually a compromise over a compromise.

FreightWaves: Low Carbon Standards Buoy Sustainable Jet Fuel Market

Deals with airlines and cargo carriers, along with state low carbon fuel standards, will propel a new sustainable biofuels processing plant to a smooth takeoff, the founders hope.

Port Technology: Autonomous Shipping Start-Up Gets $10 Million Investment

SeaMachines, a developer of autonomous technology for the marine industry, has announced it has raised US$10 million in Series A investment as it seeks to explore advanced perception and navigation assistance technology for container ships.


FreightWaves: Food Supply Chains Need to Reduce the Consumer-Retailer Disconnect

The dawn of globalization paved the way for food supply chains to become truly borderless. As businesses try to keep pace with the growing demands of the local populace, sourcing consumables from around the world requires being persistent with taut logistics run via punishing operational schedules. Many in the industry believe blockchain technology can help in this effort.

JOC: Brexit Supply Chains Shift to Crisis Mode

Trade tariffs with Europe, finding huge numbers of customs officers for cargo inspections at border crossings, and averting inventory shortages are shaping up as the greatest supply chain threats facing the United Kingdom as the country careens towards its European Union exit without reaching a deal.  Also see, Britain and EU Plan for Brexit Breakdown

Transport Topics: Frozen Road Rules Start to Take Hold, Allowing for Heavier Truckloads

Roads in certain portions of Midwestern states can accommodate heavier truckloads as seasonal weight increases gradually take effect. When the ground beneath a highway’s pavement freezes, the route can handle more weight. States such as Minnesota and Wisconsin issue regional load increase advisories, which allow truckers to haul heavier shipments.

WSJ: Fight Brews in Houston’s Port Over Energy Exports

U.S. energy exporters are wrangling with one of the country’s busiest ports in Houston, saying its recent move to accept larger container ships threatens to constrict the shale boom.

Reuters: US Shale Output Growth Should Offset OPEC Cuts in 2019

Surging U.S. crude oil production will offset OPEC’s output cuts aimed at rebalancing the market as soon as the end of next year – undercutting the group’s efforts as shale producers ramp up output regardless of the price environment, forecasts show.


WSJ: Uber to Resume Self-Driving Car Tests in Pittsburgh After Hiatus

Eight months after pulling its self-driving cars off the road following a fatal accident, Uber Technologies Inc. is putting the vehicles back into service.

Reuters: Oil prices tumble to lowest in more than a year as equities sell off

Oil prices fell about 5 percent on Thursday, hitting their lowest level in more than a year on worries about oversupply and the outlook for energy demand as a U.S. interest rate rise knocked stock markets.

WSJ: Saudis to Cut More Oil Than Planned as OPEC Drums Up Pact

Saudi Arabia plans to limit its oil output by more than it committed in a six-month OPEC pact, according to documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal that reveal the cartel’s efforts to be more transparent about its production.


Reuters: Oil hits multi-month lows as downbeat mood persists

Oil prices fell to their lowest since the third quarter of 2017 on Friday, heading for losses of 11 percent in a week, as global oversupply kept buyers away from the market ahead of the long festive break.

American Shipper: Concern Aired Over West Coast Container Dwell Time

The Pacific Merchant Shipping Association (PMSA) stated nearly 14 percent of all containers were sitting at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach greater than five days. This is twice as many containers left in port for more than five days than one year ago. The PMSA stated, “It is absolutely critical that containers continue flowing out of terminals in less than three days.” The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are, by far, the nation’s largest container ports, and handled nearly 1.5 million containers in the month of November.

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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