Report: Rail industry should do more to safely move crude oil, ethanol

The rail industry needs to repair track defects, upgrade tank-car design and increase training of emergency responders in order to improve safe transportation of crude oil and ethanol, says a new report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.

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FMCSA gives $70 million for driver training

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration recently handed out $70 million in grants aimed at driver training and safety programs.
The grants are meant to help states and commercial vehicle training schools:
• improve states’ safety efforts
• help states comply with FMCSA CDL regulations
• help train military veterans for commercial driving jobs
The agency awarded:
• $41.5 million in High Priority grants to enhance states’ commercial motor vehicle safety efforts, as well as advance technological capability within states. A full list of HP grants awarded by FMCSA can be found here.

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NY-NJ port urged to uniformly extend gate hours

A uniform increase in the gate hours of the major terminals at the Port of New York and New Jersey is needed to handle the expected surge in thousands of containers loaded on and off mega-ships, industry leaders argue. Although turn times have improved at the port, the terminals and trucking community will not be able to handle the container volume within the current gate hours at the port’s four main terminals, speakers told several hundred attendees at the Port of New York and New Jersey Port Industry Day on Monday. The terminals at present open around 6 a.m. and close between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m., local time, depending on the terminal and the type of cargo.
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FedEx rolls out 2018 rate increases

Transportation and logistics bellwether FedEx yesterday announced rate increases for various business lines, including FedEx Express, FedEx Ground, and FedEx Freight, which will take effect on January 1, 2018.

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U.S. Manufacturers Respond to Regulatory Plans

Manufacturers and wholesale distributors are optimistic about the perceived impact of the Trump administration’s plans for trade deregulation on their businesses, according to new research commissioned by business software provider Exact. Sixty-three percent of respondents anticipate that the plans will be beneficial to their businesses.

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Senate to Hold Hearing on Automated Trucks

On Sept. 13, Senator John Thune of South Dakota (R), will convene a Senate Commerce Committee hearing to examine the potential benefits and impacts of automated commercial vehicles.
Titled “Transportation Innovation: Automated Trucks and Our Nation’s Highways,” the hearing will look at the benefits of automated truck safety technology as well as the potential impacts on jobs and the economy. It will focus on trucks, buses and other heavy-duty vehicles as part of bipartisan efforts to draft self-driving legislation.

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Texas truck enforcement, size and weight rules effective Sept. 1

Texas lawmakers acted earlier this year to adopt changes to truck rules that include platooning, truck enforcement, and size and weights. The changes took effect on Friday, Sept. 1. One new law covers permits for oversize and overweight loads in Chambers County. State law already permits oversize and overweight vehicles along state Highway 99 between its crossing with Cedar Bayou and its intersection with Interstate 10.

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ELD delay efforts await Congress’ return from recess

When Congress returns from its August recess Tuesday, Sept. 5, there will be two pieces of legislation seeking a delay of the electronic logging mandate waiting on them. Rep. Brian Babin, R-Texas, has introduced both a standalone bill and an amendment to an omnibus appropriations bill seeking delays of the logging mandate.

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U.S. house prices to keep rising on supply constraints: Reuters poll

U.S. house prices are forecast to rise by a cumulative 10 percent over this year and next, driven by a scarcity of new homes, low interest rates and steadily-increasing demand, a Reuters poll of property market analysts showed.

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Dollar, commodities cheered by China, U.S. data

Investors rediscovered a taste for the dollar and commodities on Thursday, as upbeat Chinese and U.S. economic news whetted appetite for riskier assets globally, while tensions over North Korea simmered in the background.

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U.S. oil set for biggest monthly loss in over a year as floods hit demand

U.S. crude oil prices are on track to post the steepest monthly losses in more than a year on Thursday as concerns spread over falling demand in the world’s top oil-consuming country after storm Harvey knocked out almost a quarter of its refineries.

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U.S. consumer spending rises modestly; inflation retreats

U.S. consumer spending rose slightly less than expected in July and annual inflation increased at its slowest pace since late 2015, which could diminish expectations of an interest rate increase in December.

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