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Hino and EV Start-Up Make Deal for Electric Trucks

Hino and EV Start-Up Make Deal for Electric Trucks

Hino Motors, which is a subsidiary of Toyota Motor, is collaborating with an Israeli electric vehicle start-up. The goal is to develop electric trucks, buses, and commercial vehicles.

REE Automotive is the Israeli Electric Vehicle Start-Up

Based in Tel Aviv, REE Automotive has what is being called a different approach to develop electric vehicles. Moreover, this approach centers around technology. It is what packs built into the wheels of a vehicle. Thus, this approach allows customers to come up with distinct layouts for the vehicle cabins.

Hino Has Special Layouts and Capabilities

The choice to develop commercial vehicles with special layouts and capabilities may be critical. This is to win over customers in a commercial vehicle market. Thus it has become very competitive for electric vehicles.

Almost every automaker is targeting commercial vehicles for growing their EV platforms. In fact, that would include General Motors, Ford, and Volkswagen — which are targeting commercial vehicles for growing their EV platforms.

Hino and REE: Joint Prototypes

Next year, Hino and REE are probably expected to develop their first prototypes. Though it’s not clear when the commercial vehicles from the partnership may, in fact, be on the public streets. Possibly it will happen in the future.

New Value in Commercial Mobility

“REE is a visionary company. Moreover, I am confident that this business alliance will become a driving force for Hino. Therefore, this will occur as we take on the challenge. It will be to generate new value in commercial mobility,” said Hino CEO Yoshio Shimo.

Merging via a SPAC with 10x Capital Venture Acquisition Corp in March, REE hopes to disrupt the automotive industry. This will be by offering drive-by-wire systems for vehicles. However, the Drive-By-Wire technology will use electronic systems.

In fact, the drive-by-wire technology uses electronic systems to replace traditional mechanical controls.

Therefore, the company believes in putting its technology between the wheel and the chassis. This enables the floor of its commercial vans and trucks to be totally flat. This allows for much more flexibility in design and can be adjusted to meet particular specifications.   

“In terms of its global reach and scale, this business alliance is a unique opportunity,” said REE CEO Daniel Barel. “It can position us as a strong leader in the commercial and mobility-as-a-service segments.”

Embark Trucks Partners to Create an Autonomous Driving Ecosystem

Embark Trucks Partners to Create an Autonomous Driving Ecosystem

Embark Trucks, a self-driving startup, is seeing and believes a central role in an autonomous ecosystem is run by fleets and logistics operators who know trucks the way Embark says it knows software.

Embark Developing Autonomous Technology

The company says it wants to stick to developing autonomous technology. Moreover, then leave what they call the ins and outs of trucking to those in the business that know it best. The start typically runs freight loads in autonomous-enabled trucks with a safety driver to Los Angeles to Phoenix.

Embark: Partnership with Various Companies

There is launch taking place with Partner Development Program. It includes Werner Enterprises, Mesilla Valley Transportation, and Bison Transport. Moreover, the goal is to improve the speed, reliability and the safety of robot trucks. The result is giving like more flexibility for the human drivers.

A refinement with Embark’s software would take place. Thus create support services to enable carriers to own. Moreover, operate its equipped trucks on certain U.S. freight lanes.

Ecosystem Approach

What is central to the ecosystem approach is the company called Drive system. In fact, Embark would go ahead and license the software on a per-mile basis. This would allow the safe navigation of a carrier-owned. As well as its equipped truck from its place of origin to its destination. This would mean carriers would be able to send out. Therefore manage a fleet of autonomous trucks from within their current networks.

TuSimple Monetizes Autonomous Truck Software

TuSimple, which is an Embark competitor, has laid out a similar approach. It would be as one of two ways it, therefore, is planning to monetize its autonomous software. It will be embedding in an International Class 8 truck from Navistar International Corporation in 2024.

Universal Interface

Creating a universal interface that is plug-and-play capable on Class 8 trucks from Freightliner, Volvo, International and Peterbuilt is what Embark is doing.

Tesla Semi is now Unlawful in Australia, so it’s Lobbying to Make Changes

Tesla Semi is now Unlawful in Australia, so it’s Lobbying to Make Changes

Tesla Semi trucks will not be seen on any of their trucks on local roads in Australia. That should be if regulations stand and stay in place. Moreover, Tesla does have something to say about that, moreover. Its own comments have been submitting during a regulatory review process which begun by the country’s National Transport Commission last year. Dated December 3rd, 2020, there is a document (PDF) but was in fact publishing in March. Changing local regulations, Tesla argued in favor of that and to ensure its electric semi-truck can operate on Australian roads.

Tesla Semi is Wider than Current Regulations Allow

Any vehicle wider than 2.5 meters (roughly 8.2 feet), right now. It cannot operate on local roads. Moreover, the Tesla Semi is up to two inches wider. This is more than current regulations will allow. Unfortunately, that is where the problem comes in.

Missing Out on the First Generation of Electric Heavy Vehicles

“Australia will more than likely at this time miss out on the first generation of electric heavy vehicles like the Tesla Semi because of this,” the automaker wrote in its submission to the public records. The U.S. allows vehicles up to 8.5 feet wide. Even the European Union (chock-full of narrow roads) green-lights vehicles up to 8.4 feet wide.

Australia’s Inconsistencies

“In comparison to global markets, Australia is small in size. There are inconsistencies like this between Australian regulations and the larger markets will delay or leave out vehicles coming to local markets,” Tesla argued further. Underscoring climate change, the company spent quite some time. Local effects had it on Australia. This is particularly on the catastrophic bush fires in early 2020. Moreover, Tesla has positioned itself as a way to help the country decarbonize the transportation sector. Underscoring this topic its entry would cause competitors to start the sale of electric heavy-duty vehicles. There was a public comment period on the proposed changes. It is to allow wider vehicles on local roads closed last year. Moreover, NTC plans to show its final recommendations this coming May.

Weather is a Factor in February’s Decline in Trucking Jobs

Weather is a Factor in February’s Decline in Trucking Jobs

Bad weather may have contributed to the decline in February of U.S. trucking employment from January, which is in the opposite direction of most January to February changes. The director of economic research at Convoy, the conclusion of Aaron Terrazas. He on a regular basis comments on the monthly unemployment report.

Trucking Jobs Declined

For February, the employment report reported that in fact seasonally adjusted trucking jobs declined to 1,475,700 jobs. This is a drop of 4,000 from January. Moreover, the January report was revising upward by 4,300 jobs from what was reporting last month. Therefore, the end result is that the number of trucking jobs in February 300 jobs more believing in January jobs. That is when they were reporting four weeks ago.

Weather Adjusted Job Losses

“Moreover, trucking firms lost 4,000 (seasonally adjusted) jobs. Though that is probably overstating by about 1,500 due to weather-related distortions and weather-adjusted job losses in the trucking industry close to 2,500,” Terrazas said.

With the U.S. gaining 379,000 jobs, even with a strong overall number, Terrazas said the weather impact deeming real. “Potentially to the tune of tens of thousands of jobs, winter storms across much of the country in mid-February clearly weighed on the labor market,” he wrote. “So any long-term implications of today’s report should be read with due caution, these weather effects are transitory.”

Data on Subsector Basis

A professor of supply chain logistics at Michigan State, Jason Miller, has dived into the data on a subsector basis. When total employment in the trucking and transportation sector previously greater than it is today, looking at where employment is comparing to January of last year. It was 1,522,800 in January 2020 versus 1,475,700 today. Moreover, Miller said that LTL employment from the first month of 2020 is down 1.8%. It’s 3.8% less, in the long-haul truckload sector. It’s down 3.7%, in the long-haul specialized sector.

“These lines have stayed somewhat parallel on the chart, thereby suggesting carriers aren’t strongly adding employee drivers in these sectors,” he said.

In the general freight, he added that employment in the local carrier’s classification is up 1.6% from January 2020.

Truckers are Prospering as Companies Reset Supply Chains

Truckers are Prospering as Companies Reset Supply Chains

Truckers in the trucking industry are important to retail and industrial supply chains are in fact on a roll as the COVID-19 pandemic-driven boom in online shopping reshapes U.S. distribution maps.

Truckers and its Companies are Expanding

Companies are, in fact, expanding as businesses try to make their supply chains more malleable. In an effort to catch up to quickly shifting consumer demands. Therefore, that is driving more freight into less-than-truckload operations. This is where trucking companies carry shipments from various customers on a single trailer. It can increase revenues and pricing leverage for the carriers. Surely this won’t impact certain companies in a negative light.

New Service Centers

The second-largest operator in the sector after FedEx Corp.’s, Old Dominion this month said it has added nine service centers to its U.S. network. This is since the start of 2020. It plans many additions this year.

Operators in the greatly competitive sector are gaining as businesses trying hard to meet rushing e-commerce demand from shoppers who are ordering literally everything from paper towels to furniture online.

“LTL gives retailers and e-commerce providers a lot more pliability in their supply chain,” said Tony Brooks. He is the president of XPO Logistics Inc.’s less-than-truckload business. “They’re holding more just-in-time inventory that needs the shorter notice and lead times. Therefore, they’re more and more turning to LTL companies to ship products faster.”

The acceleration of online shopping is the biggest COVID-19 pandemic-driven change to the business at the trucker, where retail accounts for between 25% and 30% of revenue. This information is according to Adam Satterfield, a chief financial officer at Old Dominion. Therefore, as companies add smaller facilities closer to consumers, he said, what could have been a huge truckload of goods now needs to be a few pallets of product brought in more regularly.”

U.S. B2B spending Increased as 2020 Closed out, a Report Says

U.S. B2B spending Increased as 2020 Closed out, a Report Says

U.S. business-to-business (B2B) activity has made a strong recovery from the troughs of April and May. However, due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the rebound has a vastly different tenor about it.

U.S. Business Spending was Different in 2020

In fact, American consumers have spent differently in 2020 than any time before. Moreover, they spent more time at home. In fact, less time in stores and restaurants. They traveled very little, at best, and had scare concerts, plays, or ballgames to go to. In fact, they conducted an unparalleled amount of business with e-merchants. This is a trend while not expected in the coming years to be as frenetic as it was in 2020, still has solid legs to it.

U.S. Annual B2B Spending Which Cortera Collects and Analyzes

Cortera, in a report published last Thursday reported that spending in December was at the highest it’s been all year. The company is a firm that collects and analyzes $1.7 trillion in annual B2B spending based on supplier invoices and receivables across 45 categories.

In fact, spending had surged 10.7% over December 2019 levels. The spending by big consignees jumped 13.8%. The “supply chain continued to be consumed by what is described as “monsters,” said Greg Johnson, chief operating officer of the Boca Raton, Florida-based firm.

As recently as October, small to midsize businesses’ (SMB) spend patterns were flashing negative. They ended up the year with 6.4% as November and December spending went into overdrive.

B2B Spending Fell Year-over-Year

When B2B spending fell 13.6% year-over-year, this was a far cry from May. Virtually everything outside the home shut down. The consignees pivoted quickly to support e-commerce. It was not in the traditional in-location environment, the firm said. The spending by SMBs dropped 17.1%, while large-company spending fell 11%.

Massive Shift in Consumer Behavior

There was a massive shift in consumer behavior in 2020 which had taken place. This was a surprise to Cortera folks. In fact, virtually everyone else in the data-collection and analysis field. No one expected it, said Johnson.

Daseke: New Year, New CEO. Pending Board Changes

Daseke: New Year, New CEO. Pending Board Changes

Daseke, the flatbed truckload company, has announced many changes on Tuesday. This includes its CEO’s resignation, changes to the board and an in-line financial update.

Daseke CEO Retires

According to the press release, CEO Chris Easter retired on December 31st to attend to family obligations. Current board member Jonathan Shepko was put into the company. He is a managing partner at a private equity firm Stonehollow Capital. He is there to fill the role on an interim basis while a national search is done.

Short Tenure as CEO

In January 2019, Easter joined the company as a newly created chief operating officer role. This occurred as the company embarked on a restructuring plan. In fact, to improve operations after a decade of acquisitions. When founder, chairman, and former CEO Don Daseke stepped down quickly in August 2019, Easter then took the helm on an interim basis. In February, he became permanent CEO in February.

In-Depth Reasons why Easter has Left Daseke and the Impact he had During his Brief Tenure There

I have a number of family-related obligations that need my full attention, Easter explained. This is a very challenging decision for me personally. I made the decision to retire from Daseke at the end of the year because of that. Easter stated in the company press release.

We have prosperously accomplished a measurable turnaround in our performance while traversing through a global COVID-19 pandemic. The company’s strategy is solid, the business is performing admirably well. The team will continue forward with this drive.

The Addison, Texas-based company’s turnaround started with the addition of Easter. This is in addition to the board changes that included operationally steadfast leadership.

Therefore, the group has set its sights on integrating the roughly 20 acquisitions the company made since its 2009 beginnings. The consolidation of a separately operated network of carriers, divesting its oil rig transportation unit, disposing of underutilized equipment, and reducing headcount.

Daseke Turnaround Gets ‘Positive Outlook’ in 2020

Daseke Turnaround Gets ‘Positive Outlook’ in 2020

Daseke, a flatbed carrier, following a huge third-quarter earnings beat, has received ‘positive outlook’ designation from S&P Global Ratings.

Daseke is Rise is Very Impressive

The rating agency raised its outlook on Daseke from negative to positive. This is because of a recent improvement in the company’s operating performance and credit profile. Daseke has a positive outlook which reflects its better-than-expected operating performance. As well as from its credit metrics in 2020. They have an expectation for continued improvement in 2021, the report states. The credit ratings were affirming for Daseke’s “B-” as well.

The Company’s Rating Ascent Upward

In early 2019, the Addison, Texas-based company turnaround took place with the addition of a much more focused leadership with improved integration of the approximately 20 acquisitions the flatbed carrier had made in the decade following its 2009 founding. Its plan consists of the roll-up of its separately operated network of carriers. It divested its oil rig transportation unit. The company disposed of underutilized equipment and reducing headcount.

The third-quarter report reflects a 22-cents-per-share earnings performance that reportedly beat analysts’ calls for a slight loss. It was based on the work done to revamp the company. This result is set ahead of the prior-year loss of $4.25 per share. It would include more than $300 million in impairment charges. Asset valuations from past acquisitions were reduced to reflect the current market.

There was a 16% year-over-year decline in revenue through the first nine months of 2020, this was according to an S&P report. There is a noted improvement from the internal integration and cost-savings initiatives. They drove the adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, and depreciation. In addition to an amortization margin 590 basis points that higher year-over-year in the recent period.

Management was fast to caution analysts that the recent performance was not probable. It was not likely the new base off of which to build a linear progression. This took place on a third-quarter conference call.

On the third-quarter conference call, management was quick to caution analysts that the recent performance was not likely the new base off of which to build a linear progression.

   

Adam Miller has Just Been Named President of Swift Transportation

Adam Miller has Just Been Named President of Swift Transportation

Adam Miller Succeeds Kevin Knight as President of Swift Transportation

Adam Miller is the president of Swift Transportation. The nation’s largest truckload (TL) carrier, Knight-Swift Transportation made this announcement on Wednesday, November 18th. The appointment was effective last Friday, November 13th. Miller will succeed Kevin Knight. He was acting president at Swift following the 2017 merger between the two companies.

Kevin Knight’s Goal is Strategic Growth

Knight will remain as Knight-Swift’s executive chairman of the board “with the primary focus of strategic growth.”

Miller will continue to serve as Knight-Swift’s chief financial officer.

Kevin Quast is chief administrative officer of Knight-Swift. Most recently, he was COO at Swift, a role he took following the merger. Prior to the merger, he held a similar operations role at Knight Transportation.

Miller and Quast are Talented and Proven Leaders

Commenting on the changes, Knight-Swift CEO Dave Jackson said, “Adam Miller and Kevin Quast are talented and proven leaders. They have earned the respect of our organization over their 18- and 24-year careers, at Knight and recent involvement with Swift. They have been influential, along with several other key leaders, in the unprecedented merger success at Swift with dramatic profitability improvements for America’s largest full truckload carrier.”

Swift Transportation’s Earnings well Ahead of Expectations

During the third quarter of 2020, the Phoenix-based company reported earnings results well ahead of expectations, increased full-year 2020 guidance and provided initial 2021 earnings guidance, a move normally reserved for the fourth-quarter release. The 2021 guidance outpaced consensus expectations by 14% at the time.

Most notable during the third quarter was the report that Swift’s adjusting operating ratio (OR) was 77.9%. Knight’s 80.1% adjusted OR. Many in the industry questioned if Swift would be able to reach operational parity with Knight following the merger. The two companies have operated within 30 basis points of each over the last 12 months.

Miller succeeds Kevin Knight, who was the acting president at Swift following the 2017 merger between the two companies.

Miller will continue to serve as Knight-Swift’s chief financial officer.

Kevin Quast is chief administrative officer of Knight-Swift. Most recently he was COO at Swift, a role he took following the merger. Prior to the merger, he held a similar operations role at Knight Transportation.

Miller and Quast Have Talent and are Proven Leaders

Commenting on the changes, Knight-Swift CEO Dave Jackson said, “Adam Miller and Kevin Quast have talent and are proven leaders. They have earned the respect of our organization over their 18- and 24-year careers, respectively, at Knight and recent involvement with Swift. They have been influential, along with several other key leaders, in the unprecedented merger success at Swift with dramatic profitability improvements for America’s largest full truckload carrier.”

During the third quarter of 2020, the Phoenix-based company reported earnings results well ahead of expectations, increased full-year 2020 guidance and provided initial 2021 earnings guidance, a move normally reserved for the fourth-quarter release. The 2021 guidance outpaced consensus expectations by 14% at the time.

Most notable during the third quarter was the report that Swift’s adjusting operating ratio (OR) was 77.9%. It was compared to Knight’s 80.1% adjusted OR. Many in the industry questioned if Swift would be able to reach operational parity with Knight following the merger. The two companies have operated within 30 basis points of each over the last 12 months.

Bank of America Freezes EDD Accounts for Suspected Fraud

Bank of America Freezes EDD Accounts for Suspected Fraud

Bank of America has froze nearly 350,000 accounts of thousands of Californians who get their EDD benefits through B of A debit cards. The account holders are struggling to get answers after the bank froze the accounts due to alleged fraud.

Bank of America is Dealing with Fraudsters

Channel CBS San Francisco first reported about the fraudsters draining the accounts of unemployed Californians.

Tatiana Solorzano’s Account was Before Hacked

“My heart dropped. I was scared, you know,” said Tatiana Solorzano, as she was hacked last month. “I thought they were going to do it again!”

A single mother, Solorzano, said a few weeks ago she noticed an unusual transaction on her account from another bank showing just zeros.

“It happened the second day, then again the third day. Once it was the third day they were finally able to hit my account for $1,003,” said Solorzano. “Rent was due October 2nd, you know, I was like, ‘Oh my God, that money went out right when my rent is due!’”

Bank of America has had 350,000 Debit Cars Frozen due to Suspected Fraud

350,000 debit card accounts had been frozen due to suspected fraud, the EDD office said. Since the attacks seem to have targeted ATMs all across the state, experts say this could be a large criminal enterprise.

“This is a massive operation. These are physical cards that have to be printed. Then somebody has to go to those ATMs everywhere,” said Steve Morang, a certified fraud examiner.

Criminals can buy PIN numbers on the secret web, Morang said. Regular debit cars, don’t have a chip. Therefore, EDD cards can make stealing personal information easier.

Hackers Have not Broken Into Their Systems or Stolen Their Data, Says Bank of America

Hackers have not broken into their systems or stolen their data, Bank of America said.

How could all of this money been stolen? The bank did not respond to the request for comment on this.

Anyone who has had their account frozen and hasn’t heard from EDD, should directly contact Bank of America to solve the issue.