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Today’s pickup: DTNA’s holiday delivery, online returns, peanut butter tariffs

(Photo: DTNA)

Good day,

Daimler Trucks North America brought a little Christmas cheer to Penske Truck leasing yesterday when it handed over a Freightliner eM2, the first vehicle in its Freightliner Electric Innovation Fleet. As part of a collaboration announced last summer, Penske will start installing 20 high-power charging stations across five of its California locations this month. Next year, Penske will deploy an additional nine medium-duty electric eM2 trucks and 10 heavy-duty eCascadia electric trucks in California and the Pacific Northwest.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are pretty happy with the delivery, too. Both contributed to a $16 million grant that helped fund the Freightliner Electric Innovation Fleet. The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach also chipped in.

Did you know?

Online returns are expected to total $37 billion for 2018 holiday season, according to a new CBRE report. The traditional return rate for stuff people buy in stores is around 8%. When they buy online, the rate jumps 15%-to-30%.


“Could he, say, put a tariff on peanut butter?”

Judge Claire R. Kelly of the United States Court of International Trade, referring to a legal challenge to President Trump’s use of national security to justify tarriffs. (NYT)

In other news:

It’s a bird. It’s a plane.

Drones strand thousands of passengers at Gatwick airport. (The Guardian)

Trade tensions not so good for securities market, eh?

Global trade developments dampen Canadian bond sales. (Bloomberg)

Where the deer and the antelope play      

The Trump Administration moved closer to opening up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling with the release of an environmental report for public review. (Anchorage Daily News)

A new market, cracked

Azerbaijan has inked a deal to export hazelnuts to the United Arab Emirates. (Azernews)

Pony up

Travelers on every SF Bay-area bridge except the Golden Gate Bridge will have to shell out a $1 more in toll fare starting January 1. Peak hour fees will go from $6 to $7. (ABC7News)

Final Thoughts

The Pickup didn’t really need more evidence of a certain e-commerce giant’s reach. But here it is. Wu Zhaohui, a professor of Supply Chain and Operations Management at Oregon State University, told us the business school was having a hard time selling undergraduates on a new supply chain academic option. Accounting and marketing, the students understood — logistics, not so much. That is, until Zhaohui and his colleagues hit upon a simple if elegant marketing scheme. “We say we’re like Amazon,” he said.  Now the program is growing, with more than 60 students enrolled. “It’s like Nike is sports marketing — Amazon is logistics,” said Zhaaohui. “Everyone can relate.”

 Hammer down everyone!

Linda Baker, Senior Environment and Technology Reporter

Linda Baker is a FreightWaves senior reporter based in Portland, Oregon. Her beat includes autonomous vehicles, the startup scene, clean trucking, and emissions regulations. Please send tips and story ideas to [email protected]