Wednesday, July 11th, 2012 at
As the cost of oil – and its refined derivative, gasoline – continues to rise, many overland transportation companies are trying to find ways to cut costs and keep their balance sheets in the black. Since simply not driving isn’t an option for most auto shippers, as driving is the only way they get paid, many companies are looking at switching from diesel fuel to something a bit cheaper. But there are few alternatives to diesel fuel; aside from the power that diesel generates, it is the most readily-available and most cost-effective.
However, some new breakthroughs in natural gas has some auto shipping companies wondering if that might not be the next big thing. Natural gas as an alternative to crude oil isn’t necessarily new; plenty of power companies tap into underground natural gas reservoirs to supply power to customers’ homes. The same principle could theoretically be applied to long-haul trucking; unlike electricity, natural gas has enough oomph to propel an 80,000 pound truck at 55 miles per hour for eight consecutive hours. But the conversion would be costly right now, and even now there are few natural gas stations that they could stop to refuel at. These logistical problems could start disappearing if natural gas becomes the “next big thing,” though, so maybe some auto shippers will get ahead of the curve and start using natural gas to run their trucks.
As we’re fond of saying on this website, only time will tell.
Thursday, September 22nd, 2011 at
According to The Detroit Bureau, Saab has been given a 90-day reprieve by the Court of Appeals for Western Sweden, following a rejection of the reprieve by a lower court. The reorganization will follow a similar plan by American manufacturers Chrysler and GM, which should help the company considering it owes money to over 3,000 creditors and workers. Saab does plan to pay all their debts in full, but a timetable has yet to be given by the company. Auto transporters have noticed a sharp decrease in the number of new Saab vehicles being shipped – this is probably why.
Wednesday, September 7th, 2011 at
Goodyear is working on a new type of tire that will all but eliminate the idea of the spare tire, which is great news for auto transporters as flat tires and blow outs are a major problem for their large trucks. The new technology is called Air Maintenance Technology and actually puts a small pump inside the tire that will continually pump in air into the tire when needed to maintain optimal tire pressure. The new system will be able to keep people on the road for much longer and will prevent flat tires from almost all causes but a complete blowout or a really major leak. Prices have yet to be determined.
Sunday, August 28th, 2011 at
According to autonews.com, automakers, dealers and analysts are all cutting their projections for sales for later this year and some into next year. This comes at a time when the automotive industry was seeing major gains after the economic collapse in 2008 and the subsequent bailouts for Chrysler and General Motors, and, truthfully, comes as a complete shock to a lot of people, including this blogger. Automakers are noticing a relative lack in consumer confidence as of late, and in light of the recent stock market problems and talks of another recession, I can\’t really say I blame them. They\’re looking at losses of 20,000 units or more – 20,000 units going unsold is a huge problem for automakers, and dealers will be feeling the loss too – as will auto transport companies. Less vehicles being bought means less vehicles being shipped, which means harder times for everyone. As I\’m fond of saying when I talk about automotive news, only time will tell.
Monday, August 15th, 2011 at
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that lawmakers are pursuing a new idea – force vehicle manufacturers to manufacture vehicles that can travel 56 miles per gallon of gasoline. Automakers, however, countered with the fact that such an initiative would hike the price of their automobiles up considerably, which could mean higher auto transport costs and more strain on consumer\’s wallets. While many auto transport drivers want lower fuel costs and better fuel economy, thus lowering their overhead, the fact that more price hikes for the goods they transport would mean less people needing auto transport, which means less work and ultimately less money. The proposed plan wouldn\’t even take effect until 2025, and has since been tabled with tentative talks scheduled for 2020.