Viewing posts from: August 2017

Multiple Factors Drive Rise in Refrigerated Commercial Trailer Sales

Posted August 28, 2017 by Administrator

The refrigerated trucking industry is of critical importance to both the trucking industry and the U.S. economy as a whole. The refrigerated trucking industry hauled 520.1 million tons of freight in 2015, which was 5 percent of all truck freight. Refrigerated freight generates $14.3 billion in revenue annually, which is 1.9 percent of all truck revenue ($748.9 billion.)

The demand for refrigerated transportation has increased since 2014, according to ACT Research Co, a commercial vehicle transportation and research company. The growth can be attributed to several factors, including new federal food handling requirements that went into effect in March 2016, as part of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA.)

The primary driver of the demand, according to the ACT Research study, is the consumer demand for fresh food and eating out. Food service businesses and food carriers are scrambling to keep up with the demand. U.S. refrigerated trailers are scrambling to keep the pipeline full and transportation moving.

In 2014, a record 46,500 refrigerated trailers where shipped by U.S. manufacturers, which is the highest to date. Then, in 2016 46,000 reefer trailers were shipped, making it the second highest in refrigerated trailer sales.

ACT is projecting 43,000 refrigerating trailer units will be sold in 2017. Refrigerated trailer sales are expected to remain solid in the near future. In addition to food, the refrigerated transport market includes electronics, pharmaceuticals and ammunition, which are shipped in refrigerated trailers.

Cline Wood represents top trucking insurance carriers across the country. To learn more about the issues that concern commercial truck carriers today, trucking insurance coverage and risk management, contact us here.

This document is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation and should not be relied upon as such. Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC shall have no obligation to update this publication and shall have no liability to you or any other party arising out of this publication or any matter contained herein. Any statements concerning actuarial, tax, accounting or legal matters are based solely on our experience as consultants and are not to be relied upon as actuarial, accounting, tax or legal advice, for which you should consult your own professional advisors. Any modeling analytics or projections are subject to inherent uncertainty and the analysis could be materially affective if any underlying assumptions, conditions, information or factors are inaccurate or incomplete or should change.

Share on Google+Share on LinkedInPin on PinterestShare on RedditShare on TumblrTweet about this on TwitterShare on Facebook

Safety Tips for Storing Fuel on the Farm

Posted August 18, 2017 by Administrator

Improper handling of gasoline or diesel fuel can result in explosions, fires, and injuries on farms. Farmers can reduce these risks by taking the proper safety precautions when storing and using fuel. Below are several simple safety measures farmers can follow.

  • Do not allow children near fuel.
  • Keep fuel storage containers far from buildings and structures on the farm.
  • Perform regular maintenance on fuel containers and address any corrosion or leaks.
  • Only store fuel in appropriate containers. Do not use containers meant for food or beverages.

Farmers and farmhands can avoid most fuel-related accidents by utilizing the above safety tips. However, there are other fuel-related hazards farmers need to address as well. These include the handling of flammable liquids, refueling equipment, and managing fuel storage.

Flammable Liquids

Gas, diesel fuel, and paint solvents are just some of the flammable liquids found on farms. Individuals need to take the following precautions when handling these kinds of liquids to avoid fire or explosions.

  • Store flammable liquids far away from uncontained fires or motors that spark.
  • Be cautious with empty containers that previously held a flammable liquid. Lingering vapors can still combust. Keep these containers away from fires and sparks as well.
  • Take pains to ensure all fuel containers have accurate labels and follow all directions for using the containers.

Refueling Tractors and Gas-Powered Equipment

Proper storage and transport of fuel are useless if there is a lapse in safety protocol when refueling. Farmers and farmhands need to exercise caution when refueling. Some safety recommendations for this process include:

  • Avoid spilling fuel on skin. It can cause irritation.
  • Avoid breathing in fumes as it can result in dizziness and headaches.
  • Turn off the engine and allow it to cool before refueling.
  • Dispense fuel slowly and avoid overfilling.
  • Refuel small equipment in the open. Refueling in a small enclosure can result in fume inhalation.

Fuel Storage

There are several safe storage solutions for farmers. For example, aboveground fuel tanks are cost effective, easy to relocate, and are unaffected by minor flooding. Below are some additional fuel storage safety suggestions.

  • Keep fuel storage containers and facilities out of direct sunlight. Farmers can either use canopies or make use of natural shade. If a farmer cannot avoid sun exposure, he or she can invest in a pressure-vacuum relief valve to minimize evaporation.
  • Keep fuel storage areas clear of trash and weeds to reduce the risk of fire.

While farms may present several hazards, farmers do not need to fall victim to them. Making use of the above safety tips will reduce the risk of explosions and fires. To learn more about protecting your farm, contact the experts at Cline Wood.

This document is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation and should not be relied upon as such. Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC shall have no obligation to update this publication and shall have no liability to you or any other party arising out of this publication or any matter contained herein. Any statements concerning actuarial, tax, accounting or legal matters are based solely on our experience as consultants and are not to be relied upon as actuarial, accounting, tax or legal advice, for which you should consult your own professional advisors. Any modeling analytics or projections are subject to inherent uncertainty and the analysis could be materially affective if any underlying assumptions, conditions, information or factors are inaccurate or incomplete or should change.

Share on Google+Share on LinkedInPin on PinterestShare on RedditShare on TumblrTweet about this on TwitterShare on Facebook

ELD Exemption for Truckers Transporting Agricultural Goods

Posted August 10, 2017 by Administrator

Many fleets are busy ensuring their trucks are compliant with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) new electronic logging device (ELD) regulation. However, one sector of the trucking industry is at an impasse. Truckers that transport livestock or agricultural goods are under different time constraints than those who transport non-perishable cargo. It is not a simple matter of delivering goods on a certain timetable; the animals’ welfare and produces’ spoilage rate affect delivery as well.

Agricultural Exemption Specifications

To address these issues, the FMCSA granted certain exemptions to these truckers for one year. The FMCSA granted this extension in order to collaborate with producers to find a workable solution. The primary exemption is for truckers transporting livestock. They do not need to track their Hours of Service (HOS) with an ELD for the duration of the one-year delay. Current FMCSA HOS regulations encompass an 11-hour driving limit, a 14-hour on duty limit, and a 60-hour limit for the entire workweek.

The FMCSA granted drivers delivering agricultural commodities an exemption as well. If the trucker can conduct his or her hauls within 150 air miles, he or she does not need to log their driving time or mileage. However, once the driver goes beyond the 150 air mile zone, he or she must use their ELD and follow all HOS rules.

The FMCSA allowed these exemptions and one-year delay to avoid crippling the agriculture industry. The U.S. DOT agency plans to work with truckers transporting agricultural goods to draft new regulations tailored to their needs. Managing an agribusiness is difficult under the best of circumstances. This delay can help agricultural transporters stay in business while developing safety improvements. To stay up to date with the latest regulations affecting agribusinesses, contact the experts at Cline Wood.

This document is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation and should not be relied upon as such. Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC shall have no obligation to update this publication and shall have no liability to you or any other party arising out of this publication or any matter contained herein. Any statements concerning actuarial, tax, accounting or legal matters are based solely on our experience as consultants and are not to be relied upon as actuarial, accounting, tax or legal advice, for which you should consult your own professional advisors. Any modeling analytics or projections are subject to inherent uncertainty and the analysis could be materially affective if any underlying assumptions, conditions, information or factors are inaccurate or incomplete or should change.

Share on Google+Share on LinkedInPin on PinterestShare on RedditShare on TumblrTweet about this on TwitterShare on Facebook

Is Natural Gas the Future Fuel of the Trucking Industry?

Posted August 3, 2017 by Administrator

The importance of natural gas in the marketplace is growing, especially in the trucking and shipping industry. For the past decade, companies that use large amounts of fuel, such as FedEx, UPS, Southwest Airlines and cruise ship companies have been concerned about the lack of a national energy policy as well as the increasing dependency of the country on imported petroleum.

In 2005, the U.S. Energy Security Leadership Council was formed to develop a long-term, comprehensive policy to reduce U.S. oil dependence and improve national energy security. The Council identified three recommendations for the nation to secure America’s future energy safety.

  1. Produce as much of our own energy in the United States as possible
  2. Reduce energy consumption, and
  3. Develop alternatives to imported petroleum.

The U.S. has a massive supply of natural gas that will meet our needs far into the future. Natural gas has recently received renewed attention as an alternative fuel for the trucking industry.

Natural gas is a naturally occurring hydrocarbon gas mixture that consists primarily of methane. Natural gas is found in natural rock formations deep underground. About 88 percent of the natural gas consumed in the U.S. is found in the U.S. Most of the rest is found in Canada (10.5 percent). A very small amount (1.5 percent) is imported as liquefied natural gas. Since most of our natural gas resources are domestic, the potential economic impact of converting fleets to natural gas is extremely positive compared with importing millions of barrels of oil from overseas, as is currently the case.

Besides the obvious benefit of improving our economy and increasing national security, there are other benefits of natural gas. The U.S. Department of Energy has found that natural gas vehicles emit lower emissions. Natural gas vehicles produce significantly lower amounts of harmful emissions when compared with vehicles fueled with conventional diesel.

Natural gas fueled vehicles have been shown to have reduced emission rates of:

  • nitrogen oxides
  • particulate matter
  • toxic and carcinogenic pollutants, and
  • greenhouse gas carbon dioxide.

Converting even a small percentage of current trucking fleets to natural gas could significantly impact the U.S. in a positive way.

In addition to reducing fewer emissions, natural gas saves money on fuel. Currently, the cost of diesel is above the $4 per gallon mark. Natural gas currently costs about $1.89 per gallon. This is less than half of the cost of diesel. The trucking industry consumes about $53.9 billion gallons of fuel a year. If these trucks all switched to natural gas, they’d save about $108 billion.

Natural gas as fuel for the transportation industry seems too good to be true. It’s inexpensive, and its emissions are significantly lower than those emitted by petroleum. But there is a catch; any methane gas that escapes instead of burning is much more impactful than emissions from petroleum bases fuel. When it comes to air quality, more research needs to be done to understand and find a practical, sustainable solution.

In order to further study and explore solutions, The Environmental Defense Fund is conducting research to measure methane leaks at various stages of refueling as well as operations.

Natural gas is a domestic resource that can reduce fuel costs, decrease our dependence on overseas oil purchases and improve our environment. With continued collaboration and commitment to high performance standards, natural gas will be a win for future generations of shippers and motor vehicle fleets.

Cline Wood represents top trucking insurance carriers across the country. To learn more about the issues that concern commercial truck carriers today, trucking insurance coverage and risk management, contact us here.

This document is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation and should not be relied upon as such. Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC shall have no obligation to update this publication and shall have no liability to you or any other party arising out of this publication or any matter contained herein. Any statements concerning actuarial, tax, accounting or legal matters are based solely on our experience as consultants and are not to be relied upon as actuarial, accounting, tax or legal advice, for which you should consult your own professional advisors. Any modeling analytics or projections are subject to inherent uncertainty and the analysis could be materially affective if any underlying assumptions, conditions, information or factors are inaccurate or incomplete or should change.

Share on Google+Share on LinkedInPin on PinterestShare on RedditShare on TumblrTweet about this on TwitterShare on Facebook
Copyright © 2017 Cline Wood.