Today's Pickup: Iran accuses the U.S. of driving up oil prices

 (Photo: Shutterstock)

(Photo: Shutterstock)

Good day,

Iran, which is reeling from the aftermath of Trump pulling out of the Iran Nuclear Deal has accused the U.S. of driving up oil prices by cutting a deal with some members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to curtail production and jack up prices.

This sentiment was led by Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh, who felt that the U.S. is acting this way since the U.S. economy has shown growth with higher oil prices, while also increasing the federal tax that the government collects. Oil prices have been climbing steadily with Brent Crude oil prices going from $45 in June 2017 to $77.24 a barrel today, an increase of 72% in less than a year.

Bank of America Corporation has predicted that the collapsing oil production in Venezuela and a potential export disruption in Iran could push Brent crude prices to as high as $100 per barrel in 2019.

Did you know?

The number of spot market loads on the DAT network of load boards rose 1.3% and truck posts fell 1.0% during the week ending May 5, reflecting stronger shipper demand. National average rates for all three equipment types responded, moving higher compared to the previous week.

Quotable:

“When Uber disrupted the taxi business, it brought in additional capacity. Whereas when you come into the trucking space, where a common man can’t just get into a truck and drive, you are not adding additional capacity, which makes disrupting the space much more difficult.”

- Prasad Gollapalli, Founder, and CEO at Trucker Tools

In other news:

Spoiled relations: U.S. goods stuck at China ports as tensions heat up

Fruits are at risk of rotting, while Ford vehicles may now need to be disassembled for Chinese customs officials (WSJ)

Ohio paves way for autonomous vehicle testing

Ohio Gov. John Kasich is opening public roads in the state to autonomous vehicle testing in a bid to make Ohio a hub for smart vehicle technology. (Truckinginfo)

UPS to use futuristic-looking fleet of electric delivery trucks in London, Paris

UPS Inc. plans to deploy a small fleet of futuristic, boxy-looking all-electric delivery trucks as part of a pilot program in London and Paris by the end of this year. (Transport Topics)

Alphabet, FedEx, Uber to participate in DOT drone program

Ten local municipalities with private partners will develop drone pilot programs to help the Department of Transportation craft regulation for drone use. (Supply Chain Dive)

U.S., World Grain Stocks Shrink, Pushing Up Soybean Market Thursday

The stockpiles of U.S. corn and soybeans dwindle, due to increased global demand, according to the USDA. (Successful Farming)

Final Thoughts:

Tesla has been struggling with production problems, lawsuits, and Wall Street analysts being pessimistic about its chances of staying afloat without raising money again this year. At this juncture, news is breaking out that Tesla is rethinking its Tesla Semi strategy and might throw the project under the bus.

Ever since the announcement of the Semi, the project has run into a lot of issues, with it recently being at the centre of a lawsuit from Nikola Motor, which claimed that Tesla violated three of its patents while designing the Semi. Till date, the company has just received a paltry 2,000 pre-orders for the Semi, which might not be enough for Tesla to continue production.

Hammer down everyone!

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Vishnu Rajamanickam, staff writer

Vishnu is an engineer by education, with a couple of years experience in the construction industry. But he has long since moved on to work in different domains as an entrepreneur, copywriter and most importantly, as a journalist. He has also consulted for various travel, technology, and fashion brands as a content strategist and has considerable experience with covering tech startups, having interviewed dozens of CxOs over the course of his career as a technology journalist.