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J.B. Hunt now offering trailer pool, drop-and-hook service

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J.B. Hunt’s 360box will introduce a pool of 500 additional 53-foot trailers that businesses can reserve for drop trailer purposes, with plans to accelerate the available units as market demand grows. (Courtesy: J.B. HUNT

LOWELL, Ark. — J.B. Hunt Transport Services is now offering a new trailer pool and drop-and-hook service, J.B. Hunt 360box, that the carrier says will improve the efficiency of freight operations for businesses and carriers.

Launching this summer, 360box will introduce a pool of 500 additional 53-foot trailers that businesses can reserve for drop trailer purposes, with plans to accelerate the available units as market demand grows.

Carriers will make offers to transport the trailers using Carrier 360 by J.B. Hunt, the company’s digital freight matching platform designed to help carriers save money, spend more time driving, and have an overall better experience. The new service is a part of J.B. Hunt’s continued effort to create the most efficient transportation network in North America, according to John Roberts, president and CEO.

“360box adds capacity to a customer’s supply chain while moving more freight in a way that’s efficient for both the customer and the carrier,” Roberts said. “Usually only large carriers with available resources can provide this type of drop-trailer service. By using our trailers, however, shippers with consistent freight can now connect with the power of small carriers and owner operators, which together represent 83% of all drivers.”

By eliminating the immediate need to load and unload trailers, 360box will prevent the loss in productivity that can occur during a live delivery such as dock door wait and detention, Roberts said. Drivers simply drop the trailer in a designated area and go on to their next load. The service offers shippers flexibility with their freight management, adds capacity to their supply chain, and provides access to one of the industry’s largest power-only carrier bases. For carriers, 360box eliminates the operational cost of maintaining trailers and increases driver productivity.

“As much as one-third of a driver’s day includes idle time and empty miles,” said Shelley Simpson, executive vice president and chief commercial officer of J.B. Hunt. “When considering there are 3.5 million drivers, that’s a lot of waste. 360box is designed to transform that inefficiency into productivity, keeping drivers on the move with full trailers.”

360box trailers will be equipped with technology that provides end-to-end load tracking and monitoring. The company completed installation of tracking technology on all 100,000-plus company trailers and containers in 2018.

“J.B. Hunt has a continued commitment to developing innovative solutions that address the supply chain’s evolving digital needs,” Simpson said.

In 2017, the company announced a five-year, $500 million investment dedicated to creating disruptive technology and enhancing operating systems and infrastructure. The investment is advancing J.B. Hunt’s ability to see deeper within the supply chain, add new automation capabilities, and draw top talent in technology, engineering, data science, and logistics.

For more information, visit www.jbhunt.com.

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ACT Research For-Hire Trucking Index: Weak finish to 2nd quarter

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The June Pricing Index at 43.8 (seasonally adjusted) recovered a good bit of last month’s sharp decline, up from 38.8 in May on a seasonally adjusted basis, the lowest in survey history. (Courtesy: ACT RESEARCH)

COLUMBUS, Ind. — The latest release of ACT’s For-Hire Trucking Index (June data) showed nearly across-the-board declines, with capacity again the lone exception.

The Volume Index dropped further into negative territory, falling to 43.2 (seasonally adjusted) in June from 46.7 in May.

The June Pricing Index at 43.8 (seasonally adjusted) recovered a good bit of last month’s sharp decline, up from 38.8 in May on a seasonally adjusted basis, the lowest in survey history.

“Volumes and utilization have been down seven of eight months, and the supply-demand balance has been loosening for eight straight months,” said Tim Denoyer, ACT Research’s vice president and senior analyst. “In line with several second quarter earnings warnings from truckload carriers this week, this is further confirmation of a weak freight environment. May’s Pricing Index looked a little anomalously bad, so it was good to see that pick back up, though still not a great level in June.”

Denoyer said volumes reached a new cycle low in June, likely due in part to rapid growth of private fleets, the slowdown in the industrial sector and some inventory drawdown.

“This coincides with most other freight metrics,” he said. “The supply-demand balance reading loosened to 41.4, from 42.1 in May. The past eight consecutive readings have shown a deterioration in the supply-demand balance, with June the largest yet.”

ACT is a publisher of new and used commercial vehicle (CV) industry data, market analysis and forecasting services for the North American market, as well as the U.S. tractor-trailer market and the China CV market. ACT’s CV services are used by all major North American truck and trailer manufacturers and their suppliers, major trucking and logistics firms, as well as the banking and investment community in North America, Europe, and China.

 

 

 

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Oil price rises on Mideast tensions, stock markets cautious

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After six weeks of declines that totaled 13 cents, the price of a gallon of diesel went up 1.3 cents a gallon for the week ending July 8 but dropped four tenths of a penny last week. (©2019 FOTOSEARCH)

BANGKOK — The price of oil rose on Friday after the U.S. said it had destroyed an Iranian drone near the Persian Gulf, where a lot of the world’s oil is shipped through. Stock markets were largely stable as investors monitor earnings and the ongoing trade talks between China and the U.S.

Energy prices were ratcheted higher after President Donald Trump said a U.S. warship had downed an Iranian drone that had been threatening. While Iran denied the incident, it’s the latest incident to increase tensions and uncertainty in the region, where oil tankers have been attacked or threatened.

About 20% of all oil traded worldwide passes through the Persian Gulf, so investors are aware of the potential for disruptions to ship traffic.

The U.S. benchmark for crude oil advanced 71 cents, or 1.3%, to $56.01 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent, the international oil standard, picked up 98 cents, or 1.6%, to $62.91 per barrel.

Obviously, the price of on-highway diesel is an outgrowth of the price of oil.

Diesel has gone down seven of the last eight weeks.

After six weeks of declines that totaled 13 cents, the price went up 1.3 cents a gallon for the week ending July 8 but dropped four tenths of a penny last week.

Stock markets were mixed, with Britain’s FTSE 100 shedding 0.1% to 7,484 and the CAC 40 in Paris falling by the same rate to 5,543. In Germany, the DAX rose less than 0.1% to 12,236. Wall Street looked set for small gains, with the future for the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 0.2% and the future for the S&P 500 adding 0.1%.

Reports that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer spoke with their Chinese counterparts as planned, with more talks to come, helped ease some concerns over the deepening trade war between Washington and Beijing.

The standoff over China’s longstanding trade surpluses and its policies aimed at building up advanced high-tech industries has added to concerns over slowing demand and weaker Chinese growth.

Expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve will move quickly to cut interest rates have also helped buoy sentiment recently.

Comments by the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, John Williams, suggesting central banks need to “take swift action” when conditions turn adverse, have whetting investors’ appetites for buying, analysts said.

“Investors are highly sensitive to dovish comments from Fed presidents these days, as they are trying to figure out whether the Fed would lower its interest rates by 50 basis points by the end of this month,” Ipek Ozkardeskaya of London Capital Group said in a report.

“Given that a 50-basis-point cut would trigger a further rally in global equities, any remark of dovish nature translates immediately into higher asset prices,” she said.

In Asian trading, Japan’s Nikkei 225 index jumped 2% to 21,466.99 while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng climbed 1.1% to 28,765.40. The Shanghai Composite index rose 0.8% to 2,924.20, while in South Korea, the Kospi added 1.4% to 2,094.36. India’s Sensex slipped 1.3% to 38,390.88. Shares rose in Taiwan and Southeast Asia.

Investors are looking ahead to corporate earnings.

So far, in the U.S. the results have been mixed, though only about 13% of S&P 500 companies have reported, according to FactSet. Analysts expect profits to fall 2.4% overall by the time all reports are tallied.

In currencies, the dollar rose to 107.60 Japanese yen from 107.30 yen on Thursday. The euro weakened to $1.1239 from $1.1279.

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ACT Research: Industry currently astride Class 8 demand inflection

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This chart shows the Class 8 North American build out backlog and the backlog to build ratio. (Courtesy: ACT RESEARCH)

COLUMBUS, Ind. – According to ACT Research’s (ACT) latest State of the Industry: Classes 5-8 Report, June’s Class 8 orders broke the string of falling order volumes with the opening of 2020 order books, garnering a 19% rebound.

While better orders slowed the rapid backlog decline, the situation is temporary, as coming months represent the seasonally weakest order period of the year, suggesting rapid backlog declines should continue in the near-term, according to Kenny Vieth, ACT Research president and senior analyst.

“The industry is currently astride the Class 8 demand inflection,” Vieth said. “On one side of the ledger, weak freight volumes and rates will increasingly pressure carrier profits, thereby moderating demand for new equipment. On the other, significant new capacity additions and steadily increasing inventory volumes suggest current build rates are unsustainable.”

Vieth said medium duty metrics remained in-line with expectations again in June, with most metrics close to their prevailing trends, if displaying some fraying at the edges.”

ACT Research is a publisher of commercial vehicle truck, trailer, and bus industry data, market analysis and forecasting services for the North American and China markets. ACT’s analytical services are used by all major North American truck and trailer manufacturers and their suppliers, as well as banking and investment companies.

More information can be found at www.actresearch.net.

 

 

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