By: Ben Leffler
The United States is standing at the edge of a significant economic downturn which, according to many experts, will get worse long before it improves. Initiated by the subprime mortgage fallout, Wall Street experienced its biggest losses since the Great Depression, culminating the week of October 10th in which the Dow dropped 18.2%. The week closed with an unprecedented Friday where wild swings caused the index to seesaw back and forth over 1000 points before finally settling 128 points under the opening. Branching out beyond the housing sphere, the plunge affected every industry, caused bank shake-ups worldwide and the largest bankruptcy declaration in US history, as industry giant Lehman Brothers Holdings filed for $639B worth of Chapter 11 protection. While the effects will continue to reverberate though all sectors of the economy, trucking companies in particular will feel the strain due to an overall drop in consumer spending and prior issues with rising fuel prices.
Several current factors combine to mean many fewer Americans will be purchasing as liberally as they have been in recent years, decreasing the need for shipping. The largest declines are already being felt in industries that have traditionally accounted for large portions of freight shipments. Automotive manufacturers are seeing huge losses, with GM, Toyota and Ford leading the drop-off. For the first month in 15 years, vehicle sales in the US dropped under 1 million, checking in at 964,873 for September. Furniture, another category that accounts for large portions of freight shipments, has experienced similar decreases in sales as result of the housing bubble burst and registered a 13.4% decline in September. Other sectors that saw sharp decreases included consumer electronics and apparel. MasterCard’s Spending Pulse, which calculates consumer spending, registered the largest decreases since its 2003 inception, finding an overall decline in retail purchases of 7.7% for September 2008 when compared to 2007.
Neil Cavuto discusses oil prices with Kevin Kerr.
Clearwater, FL– UPS drivers are trying to save some gas by only making right turns. So, how do they do it? Tampa Bay’s 10 News reporter Dave Balut explains.
It may sound strange, but after years of research, UPS discovered that when its trucks made mostly right turns they actually delivered better gas mileage.
What’s the biggest difference with right turns?
Instead of wasting gas sitting in traffic, avoiding left turns keeps trucks moving and drivers have found they make deliveries faster by going right. It’s also good news for UPS’ bottom line. By turning right, the company says it saved over 3.3 million gallons of gasoline in 2007 alone. More from TampaBays10
The first random thought when I read this article was Clint Eastwood in “Any Which Way But Loose” saying “Right turn, Clyde”….. I’m not an expert in such matters so maybe some of our more mechanically knowledgable readers can comment? I always subscribed to the NASCAR “go fast, turn left” way of thinking.
Then again, maybe it’s one for the Mythbusters. Calling Adam and Jamie!
LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Truckers are telling Washington to do something about the high prices of fuel and quit blaming the oil companies and OPEC.
“The temporary solutions aren’t any good,” David Kilcoin, a truck owner-operator from Phoenix, Ariz., told WND at the Great West Truck Show going on now at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
“We don’t need a quick fix; what we need is to develop what we have offshore, in Alaska and from oil shale,” he said. More from WorldNetDaily
The itch to control the U.S. oil industry is spreading among Democrats in Washington, with Rep. Maurice Hinchey, D-N.Y., joining in the chorus to nationalize the energy assets.
“We (the government) should own the refineries,” Hinchey said today, according to a Fox News alert. “Then we can control how much gets out into the market.
WND earlier reported when U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., during a grilling of oil executives by a panel of U.S. House members, threatened to nationalize the industry if executives were unsuccessful in bringing pump prices for gasoline down. More from WorldNetDaily
The government controlling refineries? THAT’S scary…. Just look at how efficient the IRS, Social Security and your local driver’s license bureau is and it’s a prospect that will give you nightmares for weeks. Not to mention, it’s just pure Communism…..
Imagine if your state, local and/or Federal government issued the following statement:
“In an effort to cut ‘greenhouse gases’, all homes must turn off their air conditioning, heat, refrigerators and freezers each time the occupant leaves the premises.Except in a timeframe mandated by your elected officials, all lights, coffee pots and televisions must be turned off and unplugged under penalty of hefty fines.All businesses must turn off their main circuit breaker at the end of each workday as their employees depart and such can only be turned back on when the last employee arrives the following morning.”
Now imagine the outrage and protests from across the country from citizens who would rightly perceive this as an unreasonable intrusion of government into private life.
In Georgia, this is becoming a reality for truckers traveling through the state to deliver your food, fuel and other life’s necessities and luxuries. Georgia’s environmental regulators are proposing a new rule that would limit a big truck’s idling time to five minutes.While at this time the penalties for idling have not been lined out, it would be “cheaper to comply than pay the fine.” More from Family Security Matters
On the Spot (CNSNews.com) – Members of Congress interviewed by Cybercast News Service on Thursday were split on what to do about huge amounts of oil within U.S. territory that remains untapped because of U.S. laws and regulations.
A report released by the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) last month estimates there are 139 billion barrels of untapped, recoverable oil onshore and offshore in the United States.
Two Republican congressmen say they support removing regulations in order to drill for the oil, while two Democrats say they oppose immediate action.
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) told Cybercast News Service he was aware of the BLM report. More from Cybercast News Service
Rep. Mike Honda (D-Calif.) and, of course, House Ways And Means Chairman Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y), are opposed to domestic drilling. Apparently, they are on the take from the greenie-weenie special interest lobbyists.
They may not mind paying $4 a gallon for gas – oh, wait – they don’t pump or pay for their own gas, we are. Call your representatives today and demand we start domestic drilling and build more refineries. No more pathetic excuses from Congressmen and Senators on the take from the greenie-weenie lobbyists. Don’t care about the snail darter – we need our own oil.
After watching “Fuel Prices So High”, the latest orginial ATAW video, please visit AmericanSolutions.com and sign their petition to Drill Here, Drill Now!
As his logging business expanded in the pine and hardwood forests of eastern Georgia, Jesse Hendley got into trucking. He scraped together the cash gradually to acquire seven tractor-trailers so that he could not only sell timber to mills in the south, but also charge the mills for delivery.
Today, though, all seven rigs are parked. The soaring price of diesel fuel — over $4.50 a gallon from $2.50 a year ago — has stripped the profit from hauling.
If diesel prices do not decline and make that side of the business viable, Mr. Hendley says, he will have to sell his trucks, or try to sell them. That is just what thousands of other truckers are doing as they shed used rigs in what appears to be the biggest shakeout since trucking was deregulated in 1980.
“Most truckers are one major breakdown — a broken axle or a damaged engine — away from bankruptcy,” said Mr. Hendley, who laid off his last driver this month and turned to independent operators to ship his logs.
The squeeze on truckers’ profits from rising fuel costs is compounded by the slowing economy, which is reducing freight traffic. Truckers say they find it hard to impose fuel surcharges, in part because their industry has suffered for years from over-capacity as deregulation drew thousands of small operators into trucking. More from the New York Times