FTR expects implementation of ELDs coupled with moderate increases in freight to make for for a more quotfraught environmentquot for shippers while Yokohama is planning to hike its truck tire prices by 4 come September Photo Sean KilcarrAmeircan Trucker

FTR expects implementation of ELDs, coupled with moderate increases in freight, to make for for a more "fraught environment" for shippers, while Yokohama is planning to hike its truck tire prices by 4% come September. (Photo: Sean Kilcarr/Ameircan Trucker)

News from the Trucking Beat

Freight is flattening, Yokohama Tire plans on boosting prices, and Fyda Freightliner opens a new dealership in northern Kentucky.

Here’s a quick wrap up of some of the latest news being bandied around the industry.

The Shippers Conditions Index (SCI) for May – a freight metric compiled by research firm FTR Transportation Intelligence – is holding to a negative 1.9 reading, meaning that “only moderately favorable truck freight growth” and “continued weak contract pricing” is in the forecast, both of which offer mixed blessings for truckers.

“Shipper conditions continue to be mild. This is in part because the economy hasn’t received the boost from the new [President Trump] administration which many were hoping for,” explained Jonathan Starks, FTR’s COO, in a statement.

Photo: Sean Kilcarr/American Trucker

“We are back at the status quo, with moderate growth in both the overall economy and truck freight,” he added. “Contract pricing remains relatively favorable for shippers. It is only in the spot market, which continues to show strong results on both demand and rates, that we see the signs of changing conditions.”

Starks noted that spot market pricing has been rising year-over-year now for the last several months and that bolsters indications that the SCI will still experience “dynamic swings” over the next year, with shifts in overall capacity utilization and pricing taking effect as freight demand and regulations alter the landscape to differing degrees.

“We continue to expect implementation of ELDs [electronic logging devices], coupled with moderate increases in freight, to make for a more fraught environment for shippers,” he stressed. “The closer we get to cresting 100% capacity utilization, the more worrisome the problem becomes.”

Still, he pointed out that tighter capacity at the start of the New Year should eventually ease in early 2019 as regulatory drag slows.

Yokohama Tire Corporation announced today that it will implement a price increase of up to 4% on all of its commercial and off-the-road (OTR) tires sold in the U.S., effective September 1. Some in-line adjustments on consumer tires will also be implemented at the same time.

“We reluctantly took a first-step price increase in early 2017 in response to the escalation in operating and material costs that peaked in late 2016,” noted Jeff Barna, Yokohama Tire’s COO, in a statement. “That modest increase left us under-recovered, hence requiring us to take further action.”

The latest Fyda Freightliner dealership just opened, increasing its total network to seven facilities in three states. Its latest location, Fyda Freightliner Western Star of Northern Kentucky is now open in Walton, Kentucky. Sitting on 14 acres, the 46,000 sq. ft. full service truck dealership offers extended hours of operation six days a week. The parts and service departments open are open Monday through Friday 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Truck salespeople are available Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday 8 a.m. to noon.

“We chose the Northern Kentucky area in order to better serve our current customers within their home bases while expanding our services to a wider area where customers won’t have to deal with the delays associated with travelling to Cincinnati across the Ohio River,” noted Dan Ruhe, the facility’s general manager.

Fyda Northern Kentucky will carry a large inventory of new Freightliner and Western Star and all-makes pre-owned heavy- and medium-duty commercial trucks, while the parts department offers free parts delivery and carries approximately $1 million in Freightliner and Western Star OE parts, a full line of all-makes truck parts and components, and selected trailer parts.

The 24-bay service department is a certified warranty center for Freightliner, Western Star, Detroit, Cummins, Eaton, and Meritor, and features a chassis engine Dyno and a Hunter computerized alignment rack. Full maintenance and repair services are available for all brands of commercial and large recreational vehicles including diesel particulate filter (DF) and diesel oxidation catalyst (DOC) cleaning and maintenance.

Founded in 1954, Fyda Freightliner now operates dealerships in Columbus, Zanesville, Cincinnati and Youngstown, Ohio; Pittsburgh (Canonsburg) and Barkeyville (Harrisville), Pennsylvania; and Walton, Kentucky.

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