Today’s Pickup: Taxing times in Ohio; YRC’s rank-and-file get ready to rumble

( Photo: FreightWaves )

Good day,

Truckers who fill up in Ohio should take more than a passing interest in the recent goings-on at the statehouse in Columbus. Last Thursday, the Senate passed a bill containing a 6 cent per gallon tax hike on diesel and gasoline. The House, meanwhile, has already approved a 20 cent per gallon diesel tax hike as well a 10.7 cent per gallon tax hike on gasoline. The Senate version has reverted to the House for what is called “concurrence.” Should the House not concur, which according to reports appears likely, the versions will head to conference for reconciliation. The legislature needs to act fast; the bill needs to get to the Governor for his signature before the end of the month.

Did you know?:

The U.S. parcel market will double in size to 100 million packages annually by 2026, according to projections from FedEx Corp.


“It’s a car in a very small tunnel.”

-Michael McLaughlin, Virginia’s chief of rail transportation, speaking about Elon Musk’s The Boring Co. subterranean transport model, before members of the Commonwealth Transportation Board’s public transit subcommittee last Wednesday.

In other news:

I, Robot!:

The warehouse robotics market has entered a period of rapid growth, with the global installed base of logistics robots expected to increase to more than 600,000 units in 2023 from about 100,000 today. (Business Insider Intelligence)

Vietnam at a logistics inflection point

The country’s logistics market is projected to grow at 14 to 16 percent compounded annually through 2024, fueled by increased domestic and international demand, an increase in domestic consumption and a continued boom in ecommerce. (Research and Markets)

UPS eyes test for delivering home vaccines

UPS is readying a test of a home vaccination delivery service. UPS would package and ship the vaccines to its stores. There a home health nurse would collect the vaccine, transport it to residences, and administer it. (Reuters)

Tesla and the Zoox suit

Tesla has sued four former employees and self-driving startup Zoox for misappropriation of trade secrets involving warehousing, logistics and inventory control operations. Tesla alleges that the ex-employees took proprietary information when they left, and used that information after joining Zoox. (Wired)

Getting ahead of the Uber IPO

There’s plenty to love about the ride-sharing juggernaut,  but potential investors also need to understand the company’s challenges. (The Motley Fool)

Final Thoughts:

Very soon, union workers at less-than-truckload carrier YRC Worldwide, Inc.’s YRC Freight, New Penn and Holland units will get their first look at a tentative collective bargaining agreement negotiated by union leadership and announced on the evening of March 21. Maybe the language in the pact will go down easy, but the mortgage shouldn’t be bet on it. YRC workers have been through 10 years of hell. They saw their company almost disappear in 2009, and took massive pension reductions and significant pay cuts to save it. They accepted a continuation of the cuts in 2014 after management said there was no alternative. They are in no mood to accept less than an adequate snapback of wages and pensions. To allow for rank-and-file input, the union and the company agreed to extend the March 31 contract expiration date by two months. The subsequent 60 days should be a humdinger.

Hammer down everyone!

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Mark Solomon

Formerly the Executive Editor at DC Velocity, Mark Solomon joined FreightWaves as Managing Editor of Freight Markets. Solomon began his journalistic career in 1982 at Traffic World magazine, ran his own public relations firm (Media Based Solutions) from 1994 to 2008, and has been at DC Velocity since then. Over the course of his career, Solomon has covered nearly the whole gamut of the transportation and logistics industry, including trucking, railroads, maritime, 3PLs, and regulatory issues. Solomon witnessed and narrated the rise of Amazon and XPO Logistics and the shift of the U.S. Postal Service from a mail-focused service to parcel, as well as the exponential, e-commerce-driven growth of warehouse square footage and omnichannel fulfillment.

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