Truck News

Feature

Have we finally turned the corner?

It's been a busy month. One day I was visiting HGC (The Harmon Group)'s new 45,000-plus sq.-ft. terminal, shop and warehouse in Caledon, Ont. which was built on land purchased during the Great Recessi...




It’s been a busy month. One day I was visiting HGC (The Harmon Group)’s new 45,000-plus sq.-ft. terminal, shop and warehouse in Caledon, Ont. which was built on land purchased during the Great Recession.

President Jas Shoker was excitedly talking about the company’s growth strategy, including the launch of an LTL division and new direct service into Mexico. He boldly predicted his fleet would grow by 25% this year.

And then there was my day trip to B&C Truck Centre in Port Colborne, Ont., where Claire’s Delivery was receiving 12 Mack Pinnacle day cabs so it can service a major contract it recently landed with Pinty’s Delicious Foods.

The fleet lost a major customer when John Deere shut its local factory, but it rebounded in a big way by landing the Pinty’s contract, which necessitated the purchase of a new fleet of Mack trucks with the latest emissions-free engine technologies.

Also this month, I had the chance to test drive a couple of new Kenworth T700 tractors -one with the Cummins ISX and the other with the all-new Paccar MX engine -in the Seattle area. Within days, word arrived that US mega-fleet Steven’s Transport placed an order for 500 of these trucks. The day I left Seattle, Kenworth delivered its first MX-equipped truck to Costco’s private fleet.

My Inbox has been busy as well. Just minutes before writing this column, I received notice that Volvo and Mack have collectively received orders for 10,000 Class 8 trucks with SCR.

A week or so earlier, Daimler issued a press release noting it had received orders for more than 21,000 SCR-equipped trucks and was recalling 540 workers to build the trucks.

For its part, Navistar was heralding major supply deals with Heartland Express and J.B. Hunt.

Growing optimism has worked its way west. TST Overland Express announced a major new terminal in Calgary that will triple its capacity in western Canada. It then trimmed delivery times to Calgary and Vancouver from the southern US.

TransCore’s latest Canadian spot market freight index arrived in my Inbox today. It shows a 59% improvement in spot market freight availability compared to a year ago and an 11% gain over the previous month.

Drivers I’ve spoken to recently say they’re busy, finally getting the mileage they were enjoying before the economic turmoil of the last few years. There seems to be growing optimism on all fronts. Are we completely out the woods? Maybe not yet.

But there’s been a palpable shift in driver, fleet manager and manufacturer attitudes for the better.

After three years of writing pr e domi n a nt l y about layoffs, survival strategies, downsizing and company bankruptcies, it’s a refreshing change of pace.

Yes, it’s been a busy month. Keep it coming!

-James Menzies can be reached by phone at (416) 510-6896 or by e-mail at jmenzies@trucknews.com.You can also follow him on Twitter at Twitter. com/JamesMenzies.


Print this page


Have your say:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*