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Don Daseke to retire as CEO and chairman of Daseke Inc.

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Don Daseke has led the development of Daseke, Inc. into the largest flatbed and specialized transportation and logistics company in North America with a fleet of approximately 6,000 tractors and 13,000 flatbed and specialized trailers, and a million-plus square feet of industrial warehousing space. (Courtesy: DASEKE INC.)

ADDISON, Texas — Don Daseke will retire from his roles as chief executive officer and chairman of the board of Daseke Inc., effective immediately, the company said Thursday.

He will continue as a member of the board of directors with the title of chairman emeritus.

Daseke is the largest flatbed, specialized transportation and logistics solution company in North America, the company said in a news release announcing Daseke’s retirement.

Daseke’s board has appointed Chris Easter, currently chief operating officer as interim chief executive officer.

Daseke will work with Easter in an advisory capacity to help ensure a smooth transition while the board conducts a search for a permanent CEO.

The company also said the board has appointed Brian Bonner as executive chairman.

Within the fleets of Daseke companies there are approximately 6,000 tractors and 13,000 flatbed and specialized trailers, and a million-plus square feet of industrial warehousing space.

Smokey Point Distributing, E.W. Wylie, J. Grady Randolph, Central Oregon Truck Company, Lone Star Transportation, Bulldog Hiway Express, Hornady Transportation, The Schilli Companies, Big Freight Systems, The Steelman Companies, The Roadmaster Group, TSH & Co., Moore Freight Service, Inc., Aveda Transportation and Energy Services, Builders Transportation and The Boyd Companies — including Boyd Bros. Transportation and WTI Transport — are the operating companies of Daseke Inc.

“I am incredibly proud of what we have built over the last decade,” Daseke said. “Daseke remains a truly unique company, with a platform designed to support future growth on both the top- and bottom-lines.  I am leaving the company in the hands of a very strong and deep leadership team across the organization.  Investing in people has always been my guiding principle and we have invested in this team, which makes me very confident that they will help Daseke achieve its full potential.”

Easter has been Daseke’s chief operating officer since January 2019. His background includes more than 30 years of operational leadership serving in key transportation and logistics roles with the United States Army, Walmart and Schneider National. For the past six years, he served as CEO of Keen Transport, a specialized transportation, warehouse and logistics company focused on serving the industrial equipment market.  During more than a decade with Walmart, he was responsible for overseeing the transportation of goods from around the world.

“We have an industry leading specialized and flatbed platform that is truly unique in the transportation industry,” Easter said. “I’m grateful to Don for his vision and leadership in building that platform. I am fully committed to this role as we pivot our strategy towards long-term operational excellence.”

Bonner has served as a member of the board of directors of Daseke since February 2015. He served as vice president and chief information officer of Texas Instruments, a publicly traded company, from January 2000 to May 2014. In that role, Bonner managed the business and technology aspects of IT operations and was a member of the company’s Strategy Leadership Team.  Over a 33-year career at Texas Instruments Mr. Bonner held a broad range of executive positions in business line management, global marketing, sales and new product development.

 

 

 

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FTR’s Shippers Conditions Index improves again in June up two point to 8.8

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The chart shows that the 2019 Shippers Condition Index is considerable higher that for the comparable period in 2018. (Courtesy: FTR)

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — FTR’s Shippers Conditions Index (SCI) rose to a good positive reading in June of 8.8, up two points from the updated May measure.  The June SCI reading is the strongest since February 2016.

Freight-related indicators are mixed, FTR said.

Manufacturing is growing very slowly, and construction is weaker. However, consumer spending remains strong.  Truckload rates are about 7.5% below 2019 with spot rates down nearly 18% whereas less-than-truckload rates have been higher this year.

Both are expected to decline in 2020.   Intermodal rates continue to be soft with rail expecting 5% growth in 2019.

“The relatively weak rate environment for truckload allows it to compete more effectively with intermodal,” said Todd Tranausky, vice president of rail and intermodal at FTR. “Intermodal volumes have been stymied by trade headwinds, changes in rail service offerings, overall rail service levels, and the weak truck market. International and domestic intermodal each struggled in June with weak results.”

The Shippers Conditions Index tracks the changes representing four major conditions in the U.S. full-load freight market. These conditions are: freight demand, freight rates, fleet capacity, and fuel price. The individual metrics are combined into a single index that tracks the market conditions that influence the shippers’ freight transport environment. A positive score represents good, optimistic conditions. A negative score represents bad, pessimistic conditions. The index tells you the industry’s health at a glance. In life, running a fever is an indication of a health problem. It may not tell you exactly what’s wrong, but it alerts you to look deeper. Similarly, a reading well below zero on the FTR Trucking Conditions Index warns you of a problem…and readings high above zero spell opportunity. Readings near zero are consistent with a neutral operating environment. Double digit readings (both up or down) are warning signs for significant operating changes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Descartes Systems Group acquires BestTramsport.com for $11.2 million

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BestTransport has been connecting shippers and carriers to streamline transportation processes for more than 15 years. (Courtesy: DESCARTES)

WATERLOO, Ontario — Descartes Systems Group, a global company that unites logistics-intensive businesses in commerce, said it had acquired BestTransport.com Inc. (BestTransport), a cloud-based transportation management system (TMS) provider focused on flatbed-intensive manufacturers and distributors.

BestTransport has been connecting shippers and carriers to streamline transportation processes for more than 15 years.

Shipper and carrier customers leverage BestTransport’s platform to more efficiently manage numerous shipments each year across North America and Europe, according to Andrew Roszko, executive vice president of global sales at Descartes, adding that the company offers a full TMS suite of solutions from contract rate management through to load building, shipment execution and freight payment, with extensive capabilities for flatbed transportation moves.

“Moving goods in the flatbed market requires domain expertise and special equipment, and the associated transportation management processes have some unique characteristics,” Roszko said. “BestTransport has built a great business by creating a platform that addresses these unique characteristics with solutions available for both shippers and carriers.”

“BestTransport, like Descartes, sees the value in creating a common platform for multiple constituents to collaborate and manage the lifecycle of shipments,” said Edward J. Ryan, Descartes’ CEO. “By combining BestTransport’s platform with our Global Logistics Network, we can offer additional solutions to the community, such as Descartes MacroPoint Visibility and Capacity Matching. We welcome the BestTransport team of domain experts and community of customers to Descartes.”

BestTransport is headquartered in Columbus, Ohio. Descartes acquired BestTransport for $11.2 million, net of working capital, satisfied from Descartes’ existing line of credit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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ATA Freight Forecast projects 25.6% increase in tonnage by 2030

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ARLINGTON, Va. — The American Trucking Associations Wednesday released its latest ATA Freight Transportation Forecast: 2019 to 2030, an annual projection of the state of the freight economy, showing continued growth in the industry.

“America’s trucking industry, and the overall freight transportation industry, are poised to experience strong growth over the next decade as the country’s economy and population grow,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “Our annual Freight Forecast is a valuable look at where we are headed so leaders in business and government can make important decisions about investments and policy.”

Among the findings in this year’s Freight Forecast:

  • Overall freight tonnage will grow to 20.6 billion tons in 2030, up 25.6% from 2019’s projection of 16.4 billion tons.
  • Freight industry revenues will increase 53.8% to $1.601 trillion over the next decade.
  • Trucking’s share of total freight tonnage will dip to 68.8% in 2030 from 71.1% this year, even as tonnage grows to 14.2 billion tons in 2030 from 11.7 billion tons.
  • Truckload volume will have an average annual expansion of 1.5% a year through 2024 and 2.1% for 2025-2029.
  • Less than truckload volume will have an average annual expansion of 1.8% through 2024 and 2% for 2025-2020.
  • Private carrier volume will have an average annual expansion of 1.5% percent year through 2024 and 2.2% per year for 2025-2029.
  • In 2019, truckload will handle 71.1% of truck freight volume, LTL 0.9% and private truck 35.1%
  • Trucking and total rail transportation will lose relative market share, even as revenues and tonnage grows, while intermodal rail, air and domestic waterborne transportation will show modest growth and pipeline transportation will experience explosive growth – surging 17.1% in tonnage and 8.6% in revenue over the next decade.

As with any industry, forecasts are in part based on what’s happening with the U.S. economy.

The executive summary of the Freight Forecast notes that the forecast is being released when the U.S.  economy is experiencing some volatility as uncertainties mount.

“Despite prospects for solid trend-like growth in the U.S. in 2019, investor concerns over rising risks of a downturn after 2019, stoked by developments abroad and policy concerns, resulted in sharply worsening financial conditions in late 2018.

“Helped by a dovish pivot in Federal Reserve Board monetary policy, a recovery in financial conditions is now supporting Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth above trend. The second estimate of first-quarter 2019 U.S. GDP growth was 3.1%, up from 2.2% in the fourth quarter of 2018 and in line with the strong 2.9% economic growth for 2018. The healthy economy in 2018 resulted in a very strong freight market for the year.

“The robust first-quarter pace of 2019 economic growth is expected to be temporary, as it was driven by two sources of strength that could easily reverse later this year: inventory investment and net exports. Both components are volatile and rarely indicative of underlying momentum in the economy.

“Real 2019 GDP growth is expected to moderate beginning in the second quarter, and we look for a 2.7% increase for calendar year 2019. We predict annual real GDP growth will slow further to 2.1% in 2020 and 1.8% in 2021, with implications for slower growth in freight transportation demand.

“Freight Forecast clearly lays out why meeting challenges like infrastructure and workforce development are so critical to our industry’s success,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “It belongs on the desk of every decision maker in our industry and in the supply chain.”

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