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Ryder System’s Ruth Lopez named winner of Influential Woman in Trucking award

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Ryder system’s ruth lopez named winner of influential woman in trucking award
Ruth Lopez, center, of Ryder System, accepts the ninth annual Influential Woman in Trucking award from Ellen Voie, left, president and CEO of Women In Trucking, and Kary Schaefer, general manager, product marketing and strategy at Freightliner Trucks. WIT and Freightliner sponsor the award. (Courtesy: WOMEN IN TRUCKING )

DALLAS — Ruth Lopez, director, transportation management, Ryder System has been named the ninth annual Influential Woman in Trucking award winner by Freightliner Trucks and the Women In Trucking Association.

The award was presented during the WIT Accelerate! Conference & Expo here during the panel discussion “How Remarkable Women Unleash Their Leadership Potential.”

The panel was facilitated by Angela Eliacostas, president and founder of AGT Global Logistics and 2018 WIT Influential Woman in Trucking.

The award was presented by Kary Schaefer, general manager, product marketing and strategy, Daimler Trucks North America.

“This is the second year I’ve had the pleasure of presenting the Influential Woman in Trucking award, and I have to say the caliber and contributions of all the nominees have left me in awe,” Schaefer said.

Lopez was among six finalists for the award. The other finalists included Niki Bolton, senior truck auditor and executive projects officer, American Truck & Rail Audits; Kristy Knichel, CEO, Knichel Logistics; Kellylynn McLaughlin, OTR training engineer and professional driver, Schneider; Jodie Teuton, chairwoman, ATD/vice president, Kenworth of Louisiana; and Lidia Yan, CEO and co-founder, NEXT Trucking.

“I am honored to present this award to Lopez whose leadership and influence in the transportation industry exemplifies everything that Women In Trucking is trying to accomplish,” Schaefer said.

The Influential Woman in Trucking award recognizes women in the trucking industry who make or influence key decisions, have a proven record of responsibility, and mentor and serve as a role model to other women. The award was developed in 2010 as a way to honor female leaders in trucking and to attract and advance women within the industry.

“As we receive more nominations each year, the process of choosing a winner gets progressively more difficult. All of these finalists are very deserving of the recognition and, we hope, thrilled to know they are among the top influential women in transportation,” said Ellen Voie, WIT president and CEO. “Ruth Lopez is an impressive and accomplished woman. This award is our way of thanking her for her commitment and service to the industry.”

Lopez’s career with Ryder System spans 20 years. She currently serves as director of transportation management, leading teams in the U.S. and in Mexico. The teams are comprised of transportation planners executing lowest-cost/time-compliant shipments in accordance with the expectations of 56 external clients. Lopez, along with her team, creates specific execution plans with comprehensive strategies for Ryder’s key customer segments and new client implementations.

Lopez has served as a co-chair for Ryder’s Women’s Leadership Forum, whose mission is to support the attraction, retention and development of women. She also was named a Supply Chain Excellence Award recipient for work recognized within the Supply Chain Solutions (SCS) division, which has over 8,000 employees.

Lopez also received a Ryder Outstanding Award Recognition (ROAR) award.  It is given each quarter to an employee or team who consistently goes above and beyond in their duties and truly exemplifies the Ryder guiding principles. “The greatest recognition is when people say I have changed their lives,” Lopez said.

The message Lopez gives to women in this industry is simple.

“Passionately invest in others. Set aside time to do this and make it a priority. Spend the time to nurture them, teach them, and support them.  This, in turn, will allow you to reflect on investing in yourself.  Stay true to yourself and always do the right thing,” she said.

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Georgia seaports set new record cargo volumes in 2019

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Georgia seaports set new record cargo volumes in 2019
Georgia's seaports are reporting record cargo volumes that moved across their docks in the 2019 calendar year. (Courtesy: Georgia Port Authority)

SAVANNAH, Ga. — The amount of cargo moving through Georgia’s seaports reached record levels in the past year, in part because of continued growth fueled by larger ships traversing the expanded Panama Canal, the Georgia Ports Authority’s top executive said Jan. 28.

The state-operated ports in Savannah and Brunswick handled a total of 38.5 million tons of imports and exports in calendar 2019, the agency reported. That’s an increase of 4.3% compared to last year.

The number of cargo containers, large metal boxes used to ship goods from consumer electronics to frozen chickens, moving across the docks at the Port of Savannah also reached record highs last year. The port handled 4.6 million container units through December, up 5.6% from 2018.

Griff Lynch, the port authority’s executive director, attributed much of the 2019 growth to the expansion of the Panama Canal that opened nearly four years ago. He said shippers are still increasing the size of the vessels using the route, funneling more cargo to the East Coast.

“On the container side, I think it still comes down to the expansion of the canal,” Lynch said. “We’re still enjoying the fruits of that.”

Savannah is the fourth-busiest U.S. port for shipping containerized cargo, behind only the Port of New York and New Jersey, and the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, California.

The Army Corps of Engineers is overseeing a $973 million deepening of the shipping channel that connects Savannah’s port to the Atlantic Ocean to make room for the larger ships. Work on the projects second half began in September and is expected to be complete by the end of 2021.

A boost in automobile exports also helped to grow Georgia’s cargo volumes last year. GM and Volvo began exporting vehicles through Savannah last year, with Volvo also shipping cars through Brunswick. Overall, the ports moved more than 657,000 cars, trucks and tractors, up 2 percent from 2018.

Lynch said tariff increases last year during the U.S. trade war with China likely slowed the Georgia ports’ 2019 growth.

Now he expects Georgia to benefit after President Donald Trump signed the first part of a new U.S.-China trade agreement in which China has pledged to buy more U.S. agricultural products.

“We think that’s going to be a big deal for us,” Lynch said. “We’re already seeing it. Poultry is starting to move again, and that has been flat for several years.”

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ATA Truck Tonnage Index increased 3.3% in 2019

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Ata truck tonnage index increased 3.3% in 2019
After falling 3.4% in November 2019, the Truck Tonnage Index recovered in December, posting a 4% monthly increase. (courtesy: ATA)

ARLINGTON, Vir. — American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index increased 3.3% in 2019, about half the annual gain in 2018 (6.7%). The increase was the tenth consecutive year in which the tonnage index has risen above the previous year.
The advanced SA For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index rose 4% in December after falling 3.4% in November. In December, the index equaled 118.2 (2015=100) compared with 113.6 in November.
“Last year was not a terrible year for for-hire truck tonnage, and despite the increase at the end of the year, 2019 was very uneven for the industry,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “The overall annual gain masks the very choppy freight environment throughout the year, which made the market feel worse for many fleets. In December, strong housing starts helped advance the index forward.” It is important to note that ATA’s tonnage data is dominated by contract freight.
November’s reading was revised down slightly compared with the December 2019 data. In December 2018, the SA index rose 3%, which was preceded by a 2% year-over-year drop in November.
The not seasonally adjusted index, which represents the change in tonnage hauled by the fleets before seasonal adjustment, equaled 112.7 in December, 2% below the November level (115.1). In calculating the index, 100 represents the index from 2015.
Trucking serves as a barometer of the U.S. economy, representing 70.2% of tonnage carried by all modes of domestic freight transportation, including manufactured and retail goods. Trucks hauled 10.77 billion tons of freight in 2017. Motor carriers collected $700.1 billion, or 79.3% of total revenue earned by all transport modes.

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ACT Research For-Hire Trucking Index: Rates slip amid strong holiday freight

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Act research for-hire trucking index: rates slip amid strong holiday freight
For-hire index rates slip, but signs of freight recovery in 2020 "encouraging" (©2020 FOTOSEARCH)

COLUMBUS, Ind. – The latest release of ACT’s For-Hire Trucking Index showed improvement in for-hire freight volumes and utilization. The data used in the Index included December. Respectively, the data indicated 55.5 and 52.3 diffusion index readings, both up four points from November on a seasonally adjusted basis. But even as for-hire capacity contracted again, the Freight Rates Index slid to 48.7 in December.
The ACT For-Hire Trucking Index is a monthly survey of for-hire trucking service providers. ACT Research converts responses into diffusion indexes, where the neutral or flat level is 50.
Tim Denoyer, ACT Research’s Vice President and Senior Analyst commented, “We see encouraging signs that the freight downturn is in its late stages and the market will rebalance in 2020. However, the ongoing rate pressure, even as volumes ramped into the holidays, is symptomatic of ongoing excess industry capacity. Our survey respondents clearly get it, and reduced capacity for a sixth straight month, so we can pretty easily deduce that private fleet capacity additions through year-end 2019 are the main factor continuing to pressure for-hire rates.”
The ACT Freight Forecast provides forecasts for the direction of truck volumes and contract rates quarterly through 2020, with three years of annual forecasts for the truckload, less-than-truckload and intermodal segments of the transportation industry. For the truckload spot market, the report provides forecasts for the next twelve months.
In 2019, the average accuracy of ACT’s truckload spot rate forecasts was 98%. The ACT Research Freight Forecast uses equipment capacity modeling and the firm’s economics expertise to provide anticipated freight rates, helping businesses in transportation and logistics management plan with confidence.

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