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Month: September 2016

Safety a top priority in Ontario, province introduces mandatory training

Transcourt, Oakville, ON, Sept. 2016: To keep Ontario’s roads among the safest in North America, the province is instituting mandatory entry-level training for commercial Class A truck drivers.

Those seeking a Class A license effective July 1, 2017 must complete mandatory training before taking the road test. Individuals with the Class A license prior to this date will not be subjected to the training.

The training program is four to six weeks long; course fees will vary.

truck-training

The program is designed to improve road safety and qualify commercial Class A drivers who are looking to start their career.

New ‘HOT’ lanes coming to Canada

Transcourt, Oakville, ON, Sept. 2016: The province of Ontario has opened the country’s first High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lane this September. It’s a 16.5-kilometer travel option for 500 solo drivers that was a random draw and had to pay $180 for a permit to drive in the new lane sans passengers.

The HOT lanes are not open to truck drivers just yet. Lanes have a vehicle weight limit of 4,500 kilograms, or 10,600 pounds.

The lanes are on the QEW in both directions from Trafalgar Rd. in Oakville to Guelph Line in Burlington.

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Part of a pilot program, its expected to last anywhere from two to four years before decisions are made to implement HOT lanes elsewhere.

Should drivers be caught driving in the lane without a permit, a fine may be issued anywhere from $250 to $2,500.

 Diesel prices fall by 1%

Transcourt, Oakville, Sept. 2016: For the fourth week in a row, the price of diesel has fallen by 1 per cent, according to the Energy Department, settling at 2.389 per gallon at the pump.

The price is just over 10 cents cheaper than it was in this same week in 2015.

The price has gone down in all major regions. The West Coast and Gulf Coast have seen a larger drop at 1.4 cents. New England has seen the smallest drop in prices by 0.5 cents.

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Retention a necessity when hiring drivers for transport companies

Transcourt, Oakville, Ontario: With seasoned drivers retiring every year, there isn’t a lineup of young drivers ready to launch their careers as an over-the-road driver.

truck-driver-transcourtRecruiting new drivers for transport – while retaining them in the workforce – are two important aspects of the hiring process. Every company needs a strong workforce of drivers, and it begins with the recruiting stage.

The reason for the shortage in truck drivers is not only because drivers are reaching retirement age, but drivers are looking for work outside of transportation, wanting to spend more time at home and get better benefits.

A survey indicates that in order to improve retention, companies should invest in increased pay for drivers, and upgrade equipment. By implementing a rewards program or holiday bonuses, drivers are rewarded for their hard work and service.

Maintaining your tanker trailer

Transcourt, Oakville, 2016; No matter what product your tanker is designed to haul, its durability can be compromised if it’s not properly maintained or cared for.

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A continuous preventative maintenance program will improve the longevity of the equipment.

How a tanker trailer is maintained depends on the material being hauled.

Keeping pumps and valves cleaned, lubricated and serviced is important.

Gaskets, both internal and external gaskets, should be pulled and properly cleaned before reinstalled.

Work with your supplier and provide as much information as possible about the trailer, including geographic jurisdictions, what you’re hauling and how heavy.

2015 407 DOT SS Tandem sm

Transcourt can help your organization make better buying decisions by providing seasonal trailers, chemical and food grade stainless steel trailers, and compressed gas tankers.

Freightliner redesigns Cascadia, sees 8% better fuel 

Freightliner’s top-selling truck has been redesigned and introduced as the 2018 Cascadia.

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New Freightliner Cascadia 2018

The new truck was released this week. Thus far, 12 carriers that have spent over $9B US on 60,000 Freightliner Cascadias were the first to receive the new model Cascadia. A coast-to-coast trip from Detroit to Portland yielded an 8% fuel economy advantage with the new truck. This number exceeded the company’s expectations.

What makes this vehicle different in the redesign is the lowered engine; this offers better access to underhood components. The interior has also been redesigned with LED lighting (standard in the Cascadia) and dimmer switches to adjust bunk lighting.

The Cascadia also features a comfortable workspace and dining area with a fold away for a Murphy bed.

To curate an effective redesign, technicians were sought out for advice.

The new Cascadia will enter the market next year and will cost approximately US$15,000 more than today’s model. However, let’s not forget about the 8% fuel economy improvement, which will add fuel cost savings in the long-term.

Fleetowner.com, 2016

Top 50 Trucking Companies of 2015

SJ Consulting Group has released its list of the top 50 trucking companies of 2015 by revenue and primary service. United States Parcel of America was ranked in 1st place with over $29 B in revenue for the year, with Fedex coming in a close second at $19B in revenue.

Other public and private organizations made the list, with revenues in the millions. Holding the 50th spot on the list is USA Truck, with $508M.

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Ride up to National Trucking Week

Transcourt – Oakville 2016: September 4 to 10 is National Trucking Week.

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Not an entirely new phenomenon, the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) launched the celebratory week years ago in an effort to flash a spotlight on the hundreds of thousands of Canadians who work in the industry.

It’s an opportunity that brings the trucking community together to formally recognize the hard work that

Trucking week helps the industry raise awareness for road safety and sharing.

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Trucking associations, suppliers and carrier s are encouraged to facilitate celebratory activities in light of National Trucking Week.

In the past, provincial associations marked the occasion with contests, special promotions and events at roadside inspection stations.

 

Economic slowdown doesn’t stop growth

Last June 15th, in front of the members of the Yukon Chamber of Commerce in Whitehorse, Bank of Canada Governor Stephen S. Poloz stated that the Canadian economy is making progress in adjusting to low oil prices and recovering from the global financial crisis. This review of the outlook took into consideration the impact of the wildfires in Alberta last spring that affected oil sands production in Fort McMurray.

« While the energy industry continues to struggle, there are signs of strength in non-energy exports, even though the data have been volatile in recent months », explained Governor Poloz. « The past depreciation of the Canadian dollar is supporting exports, including tourism. Several categories are encouraging as many export sectors are operating near their capacity limits, which augurs well for future investment and job creation. Canadian households are remaining resilient, particularly outside resource-producing areas. Low interest rates and a solid job market have helped sustain consumer spending. »

For its part, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OCDE) projects Canadian economic growth to strengthen in 2016 and reach 2% in 2017. In its Economic Forecast Summary for June, 2016 the OCDE underlines that the contraction in the resource sector slows, activity in the rest of the economy is projected to gain traction and non-energy exports should continue to benefit from the earlier depreciation and strengthening export market growth.

Earlier this year, Steve Higgins, CEO of the North East of England Process Industry, wrote in The Chemical Engineer, a British magazine covering the chemical, biochemical and process engineering industries around the world: “The economic fallout clearly has a direct impact on the many countries that rely upon oil and gas as the major contributor for the well-being of their economy.” Does this mean that Russia, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador and Saudi Arabia are in trouble? Most probably so and you don’t have to go that far to see the effects of a slumping oil industry as right here in Canada, the entire country can feel the effects of what lower than ever oil prices have meant for the activities in oil fields in Alberta and Saskatchewan.

With more than 10 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) of ethylene, 6.5 mtpa of polyethylene, about 2.3 mtpa of propylene and about 6.67 mtpa of new methanol capacity expected to come on stream in North America by decade’s end, petrochemical producers are set to face more competition for both domestic and global market share. Controlling logistics and transportation costs and transit times will be key to North American petrochemical producers, especially to companies that will be exporting much of their production and need to offer very competitive prices and derivative export positions, amid a rising U.S. dollar, low oil and commodity prices, fluctuating profit margins and softening global economic growth.

Though feedstock and energy costs make up about 70% of producers’ operational expenses, it is logistics and infrastructure challenges along the supply chain that will present some of the biggest risks to regional and export development. The growth in production capacity will test: the North American rail infrastructure and packaging capacity; the road weight allowances; the supply of truckers, trucks, chassis and containers; and port capacity and operations, among others, particularly on the Gulf Coast. In this environment, companies’ marketing and distribution strategies will require more accurate demand and supply projections, price and export margin forecasting, careful costing of alternate logistics, and more flexible shipping options.

When the Canadian economy started its downward trend, many companies doing business here were caught off guard and have had trouble rebounding since. For Transcourt Tank Leasing, the Canadian leader in short and medium term rental and long term leasing of tank trailers of various configurations, the slumping economy simply accelerated its plan to reinforce its presence in Eastern Canada and start developing the United-States market. They have opened new locations in Montreal and Moncton bringing up their total to five in Canada and started its adventure south of the border by opening a regional office in Lansing, Illinois followed by pick–up locations in Pasadena & Houston in Texas and one more location in New Orleans coming soon.

Transcourt had been planning for many years to enter the U.S market and when the Canadian oil industry started to decline, the company decided the time was ripe to foray south of the border. The company’s success in Canada was based on its reputation of offering quality service and products and it is this recipe and Transcourt’s deep knowledge of the liquid and dry bulk transport industry that convinced American customers that the Canadian enterprise could be a great partner. Transcourt did not change its recipe when it started developing the U.S. market, it simply adapted it to American needs and set forth a marketing strategy to make its expertise better known.

Transcourt Tank Leasing was founded in 1997, specifically to meet the leasing and long-term rental needs of the liquid and dry bulk transport industry. Transcourt’s large fleet of tankers is available to customers across North America. A wide selection of tank trailer configurations is available to a variety of unique industry segments and includes new and used stainless chemical trailers, aluminum crude oil and petroleum tankers, pneumatic dry bulkers, aggregate crude oil and condensate tankers as well propane LPG units.

Other sources: U.S. Petroleum Supply Chain market outlook white paper.