Today’s Pickup: What midterm elections may mean for transportation funding

(Image: Shutterstock)

Good day,

FedEx (NYSE:FDX) CEO Frederick Smith called out President Donald Trump for his views on global trade at an event in Singapore, calling his perspective “quite rare.” It wasn’t a compliment.

FreightWaves Markets Managing Editor Mark Solomon reported the story, noting Smith said the U.S. and the world are in a tug-o-war between the forces of free trade, which provide the best opportunity to pull millions out of poverty, and those of “mercantilism and nationalism” which seek to restrain will be self-defeating.

FedEx is not dramatically affected by the trade tensions between the two countries because the traffic subject to tariffs make up a small percentage of its $70 billion in annual revenue.

Did you know?

Since 2014, annual venture capital investment in ‘TransportTech’ companies grew 24x to $2.68B year-to-date.


 “I’m very optimistic about the next few years. North America is coming back, but we also see opportunity around the world.”

—Justin Roberts, VP of corporate finance of Greenbrier, said during a presentation at Stephens New York Investment conference after several years of playing defense as the company cut costs and struggled with slowing orders

In other news:

Voters reject oil well setbacks as Colorado’s Proposition 112 defeated

Proposition 112, which would have made the half-mile buffer the law everywhere statewide except federal lands, failed. (Denver Business Journal)

Norfolk Southern land sold in Atlanta, paving way for HQ to leave Norfolk

After hours of public comment and debate, the Atlanta City Council voted to approve financing for a deal that would help Norfolk Southern relocate from Norfolk. (WAVY)

Stock markets are too happy with election outcome

For investors, the midterm election has been mostly a sideshow. But if there is one takeaway, it is that it may become harder for Washington to goose stocks. (WSJ)

The knowns and unknowns of U.S. Iran oil sanction waivers

The United States on Monday re-imposed sanctions against Iran’s oil exports to punish Tehran for its involvement in several Middle Eastern conflicts. (Reuters

Boeing issues warning on potential instrument malfunction after Indonesia crash

Airplane manufacturer Boeing said Wednesday that it has issued a bulletin to airlines worldwide warning of erroneous readings from flight-control software on its planes, after an almost-new Lion Air jetliner crashed into the sea soon after takeoff, killing the 189 people on board. (Washington Post)

Final thoughts:

While transportation was not a front-of-the-ticket issue for politicians in the midterm elections, FreightWaves Managing Editor Brain Straight reported on some significant developments when it came to funding, most notably in California.

Last year, the state passed a fuels tax hike that increased the gasoline tax 12 cents and the diesel fuel tax 20 cents. The increases are expected to generate some $5.4 billion a year. On Tuesday, voters were asked in a referendum, Prop 6, whether the state should repeal the tax as well as a $50 per vehicle registration fee hike.

The proposal was rejected by 55.3 percent to 44.7 percent of voters.

Hammer down, everyone!


Ashley Coker

Ashley is interested in everything that moves, especially trucks and planes. She covers air cargo, trucking and sponsored content. She studied journalism at Middle Tennessee State University and worked as an editor and reporter at two daily newspapers before joining FreightWaves. Ashley spends her free time at the dog park with her beagle, Ruth, or scouring the internet for last minute flight deals.