Trending Transportation Update: May 2022

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This month, we saw the national diesel average drop 4.2 cents, the House Panel approved the water bill, and truck tonnage levels trend down. In addition, the truck manufacturers group files a lawsuit to seek more time for new CARB regulations and more.

Check out April’s trending transportation update on the shipping industry if you missed it.

Diesel Price Slips 4.2¢ to $5.571 a Gallon

According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), the national average of diesel dipped for the second week, falling 4.2 cents. Thus, making the national average $5.571 a gallon. Compared to this time last year, a gallon of diesel is $2.318 more.

The EIA’s weekly survey showed diesel prices drop by single digits in most of the ten regions, with the Gulf Coast experiencing the most significant drop at 7.9 cents per gallon.

U.S. On-Highway Diesel Fuel Prices

The national average price for gasoline has increased by 10.2 cents a gallon, making the average cost per gallon $4.593.

Phi Flynn, an oil analyst with The Price Futures Group, told Transport Topics that gasoline inventories have declined while diesel inventories have risen slightly. As a result, refiners are ramping up production for diesel week-over-week, which can help prices go down.

“But the trajectory of prices are still high,” Flynn said. “There’s still a lot of upside risks. So I am looking for the market to get a little bit of a cooling-off period, hopefully after the Memorial Day holiday.”

Learn more about the recent drop in diesel prices.

Truck tonnage levels trend down in April, reports ATA

According to the American Trucking Association (ATA), truck tonnage declined in April. The Seasonally Adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index was 115.8, 2 percent lower than last month.

The ATA’s not seasonally adjusted (NSA) index is the change in tonnage hauled by fleets before any seasonal adjustment, which fleets benchmark their levels with, was 114.1, which is 7.4 percent lower than March NSA.

“After eight straight gains totaling 6.9 percent, for-hire tonnage finally slid back in April. However, despite being the largest sequential drop since August 2020, the index was still above where it started in 2022 and a year earlier,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello.

Learn more about April’s truck tonnage levels.

Truck Manufacturers Group Files Lawsuit Seeking More Lead Time for CARB Regulation

On May 27, the Truck and Engine Manufacturers Association (EMA) filed a federal lawsuit stating that California environmental regulators have failed to give manufacturers enough lead time to meet the state’s new emission standards.

The lawsuit states that the federal Clean Air Act requires that manufacturers be given “four full model years” of lead time before new emission standards become effective. However, the manufacturers said that the California Air Resources Board (CARB) only gave them two years.

EMA states, “On Dec. 22, 2021, CARB adopted the Heavy-Duty Engine and Vehicle Omnibus Regulation, a package of stringent emission standards, test procedures, and other emission-related requirements applicable to new heavy-duty on-highway engines and vehicles sold in California. “The Omnibus Regulation requires heavy-duty engine and vehicle manufacturers to comply with the new standards on Jan. 1, 2024, providing manufacturers only two years of lead time.”

This lawsuit ensures that CARB follows all the rules to allow enough time for engine manufacturers to redesign, test, and build the engines to comply with the new regulations, which will maximize the likelihood of a smooth and successful implementation.

Learn more about the lawsuit seeking more lead time for CARB regulations.

House Panel Approves Water Bill

On May 18, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the legislation that would authorize dozens of projects and studies under the purview of the Army Corps of Engineers, which is called the Water Resource Development Act of 2022.

This act would approve nationwide dredging, commercial navigation, and flood control projects. The Water Resource Development Act would authorize 16 shoreline protection and flooding projects. In addition, it will pave the way for 72 feasibility studies on corps projects on reservoirs, commercial corridors, and alternative sources of energy.

“I am pleased to pass a fifth consecutive, bipartisan WRDA bill out of committee — now headed to the House floor — to invest in our ports, harbors, waterways, and other key water resources infrastructure,” states Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio.

The Water Development Act of 2022 is said to help strengthen the power of our coastal communities, sustain U.S. jobs and provide critical improvements to corps projects. DeFazio says, “It will continue to provide federal resources to rural and urban communities and help communities most vulnerable to climate change to prepare for its impacts.”

Learn more about the approved water bill.

2022 State Truck Driving Championships Schedule

The 2022 State Truck Driving Championship is halfway done! Check out your state’s competition dates here.

The State Truck Driving Championships is when truck drivers compete against one another in parallel parking. The winners from each of the nine categories advance to the National Truck Driving and Step Van Driving Championships in Indianapolis from August 16th –20th.

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