Large U.S. trucking companies are ratcheting back expansion plans after declining freight volumes cut into fourth-quarter profits. The lower earnings reported by half a dozen carriers this week confirmed that companies were weighed down late last year by uneven retail sales, high inventory levels and a manufacturing slowdown. Based on their 2016 guidance, they expect more of the same over the next few months.
Several trucking companies and large retailers on Jan. 26 announced plans to donate and truck in tens of thousands of bottles of water for residents and schoolchildren of Flint, Michigan, to assist the community that is experiencing a drinking water crisis.
Jet Express Inc., one of the carriers who initiated a local campaign to help Flint, raised donations of more than 17,000 bottles in the first 24 hours of their effort, said Kevin Burch, president of the Dayton, Ohio-based motor carrier.
Trucking executives say they still expect growing business from Amazon.com Inc., even as the company takes steps to move some of its own freight. The Seattle retailer said in December it would roll out thousands of branded semi-trucks, one of several recent moves by the company to take more control of its shipping routes. The announcement sent shudders through the trucking industry, which ships millions of packages a day between Amazon distribution centers and the warehouses belonging to home-delivery carriers such as FedEx Corp. and United Parcel Service Inc.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has ordered a New York trucking company to pay a fired employee more than $45,000 in lost wages, damages and fees after finding he was illegally terminated for notifying regulators of a workplace safety violation. An OSHA investigation found that Meridale, New York-based Brindi Trailer Sales and Services Inc. and owner Robert Urbina Brindi violated the anti-discrimination provisions of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act, according to an agency news release issued Thursday. The 1982 legislation protects employees who file complaints about unsafe operation of commercial motor vehicles.