Tying Logistics Software Together Would Be Revolutionary

On Oct. 26, a revolutionary event in the history of transportation technology may have taken place at the Food Distributors International trade show in Nashville, Tenn.

At that place and time, David Bunk, transportation manager for Alliant/Atlantic Foodservice of Manassas, Va., witnessed a demonstration of Randtec Inc.’s UltraYard 2.1 yard and dock management program working for the first time in conjunction with other two logistics packages.

So what was the big deal?

Feds Float Reporting Proposal

The federal government wants to retain financial reporting requirements for nearly 3,000 of the nation’s largest trucking companies, but it also may give carriers a way to keep the information private.

Nearly two years after initiating a review, the Bureau of Transportation Statistics last week issued a proposed rule that keeps in place reporting requirements for carriers with annual revenue over $3 million.

Oregon’s Meredith Goes National

Michael A. Meredith, the long-time president of the Oregon Trucking Assns., has joined American Trucking Associations to help guide and strengthen ATA’s relationship with the state associations in the next century.

Mr. Meredith will be vice president of state relations. He fills the position vacated when Daniel F. McCormack became senior vice president and chief of staff at ATA.

The job has added responsibilities, due to ATA’s reorganization of how it deals with its state trucking affiliates.

IBM to Handle CF’s Data Services

Consolidated Freightways is the first trucking company to outsource a large segment of its information technology operations to IBM Global Services, a unit of International Business Machines Corp.

IBM Global said it will take over most of CF’s data services business under a five-year, $110 million “strategic technology partnership” that runs through 2003.

It will handle CF’s data center management; network, voice and data management; desktop management; help desk support services; and business recovery services.

Shippers, Technology and the Net

NEW ORLEANS — Freight distribution systems can be optimized electronically no matter what the size of the trucking or shipping company, a pair of experts told the Oct. 26 general session of the ATA Management Conference.

“We use technology to redefine how we service the customer,” said Robert Synowicki Jr., executive vice president and chief operating officer at Werner Enterprises in Omaha, Neb. “Shippers are pushing us more and more everyday. We try to see how technology can increase our efficiency and decrease our costs.”

NLRB Withdraws Deal With New Mexico Teamsters

ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — A union representing most United Parcel Service drivers in New Mexico failed to comply with a settlement of a case in which eight workers tried to leave the union.

So, the National Labor Relations Board said it withdrew the settlement with the Teamsters Local 492.

A complaint was filed on behalf of the eight workers who tried to resign from the union during a UPS strike in the summer of 1997 so they could continue working.

Union Pacific to Hire Nearly 60,000 Workers by 2010

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Union Pacific Railroad expects to hire nearly 60,000 workers over the next 12 years to replace retiring workers and respond to increased business at the nation's largest railroad, according to a published report.

The hiring push — the Omaha-based railroad's biggest since the 1970s — will come after Union Pacific estimates it will have hired about 6,500 people this year alone, the Omaha World-Herald reported Sunday.

Suspect Arrested in Atlanta Slayings

ATLANTA — A traffic stop near Memphis last Saturday led to the arrest of man on murder charges in the slayings of four hotel guests, including three men from the trucking industry who came to Atlanta to watch a football game.

The driver, Harry Lee Johnson, was nervous and evasive when he was stopped by sheriff's deputies who clocked him driving 12 mph over the speed limit, the authorities said. A search of his car turned up a .45-caliber pistol and credit cards belonging to the shooting victims, all of who were killed with a .45, officials said.

Boyd Moves West With Acquisition

Flatbed carrier Boyd Bros. Transportation is going west.

The Clayton, Ala., company, which operates in the eastern two-thirds of the U.S., plans to acquire Houston-based Ruel Smith Transportation Services and a freight brokerage affiliate for $4.5 million in cash and stock.

Miller Welborn, acting chief executive officer of Boyd Bros., said the acquisition is a "strategic step" in the company's growth.

Revised Medical Form Could Add Tests to Driver Physical, ATA Says

The Federal Highway Administration is proposing changes to driver medical examination forms that trucking interests say would let physicians perform additional tests at their discretion.

Although the agency is not calling for specific changes to the medical qualifications, American Trucking Associations said the new forms would open the examination to "optional" procedures, which could include electrocardiograms, exercise stress tests and chest X-rays.

Ohio Turnpike Tolls to Rise Jan. 1

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — Tolls on the Ohio Turnpike will increase as scheduled Jan. 1, despite suggestions by one turnpike official last winter that the extra money may not be needed.

To travel on the turnpike from Toldeo to Youngstown, for example, trucks will pay $13.25, up $1.10 from current rates and a $6 increase from 1995.

In February, Ohio Turnpike Commission Chairwoman Ruth Ann Leever had said the commission was looking for ways to avoid the increase.

Reid Narrowly Wins in Nevada

Incumbent Sen. Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat, narrowly won re-election today, defeating his Republican challenger, Rep. John Ensign, by 459 votes.

The race was the last of 34 Senate races to be decided in Tuesday's elctions. Trucking had targeted Mr. Reid for defeat following his abortive attempt to include a ban on triple-trailer trucks in the highway bill signed into law in June.