Today’s Pickup: Biofuels have a moment; debunking the trucker shortage

Good day,

Biofuels are having a moment. Earlier this month the U.S. Department of Energy announced up to $51.5 million for research into innovative “gaseous fuels” technologies powering trucks and off-road vehicles. Earlier this week FreightWaves reported on international container ocean carrier CMA CGM. It has teamed up with the Port of Rotterdam, Ikea Transport & Logistics Services and biofuel company GoodShipping to test biofuels made from used cooking oil and forest product residues. Yesterday the Washington state House of Representatives passed a low-carbon fuels bill, and the Port of Seattle continues to ramp up its goals to deliver sustainable airplane fuel at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. “Seattle is an international community, operating at international scale,” noted Seattle Port Commissioner Courtney Gregoire during last week’s Sustainable Jet Fuels summit. “So when we talk about the future of aviation, if there is an opportunity to reduce emissions by 50 percent through sustainable fuels, why wouldn’t we seize that?” Carpe Diem.

Did you know?

China’s exports declined by almost 21 percent in February compared with the same month last year. Imports fell by 5.2 percent. The Chinese New Year celebrations may have had a distorting effect. China’s overall trade surplus for February narrowed sharply, to $4.1 billion.

-The Economist


“Americans’ love affair with the car is going to go away. If the automotive industry were a manufacturing plant you would shut it down today.”

 Tom Wilson, CEO of Allstate, the insurance giant, speaking at Fortune magazine’s Brainstorm Tech dinner

In other news:

Real estate giant Related Companies, the builder behind New York City’s trendy new Hudson Yards development, acquired Quiet Logistics

The new partnership puts Related Companies in direct competition with Amazon. (Fast Company)

R+L Carriers wins appeal over trucking terminal in Idaho

Neighborhood opposition wasn’t enough to derail a new terminal located next to a trailer park in Boise. (KTVB)

Busting the trucker shortage myth

A deep dive into trucker employment data reveals a pay deficit, not a driver shortage. (Barron’s)

Amazon slammed for high suicide rate among warehouse workers

Between October 2013 and October 2018, emergency workers were summoned to Amazon warehouses at least 189 times for suicide attempts, suicidal thoughts and other mental-health episodes. (TheDailyBeast)

Final thoughts

What a difference a week makes. Seven days ago Boeing was flying high on the announcement that it would begin offering airlines and operators the option of powering their new commercial jets with biofuel for the flight home. Alaska Airlines was the first taker, with its newly purchased 737-MAX airplanes. Then the bottom dropped out of the sky – a second 737-MAX airplane crashed, the 737-MAX aircraft were grounded worldwide and if people are talking about Boeing it’s not because of the manufacturer’s sustainable jet fuel initiatives. The push to advance the clean airplane fuel supply chain will continue, of course. But the timing for biofuels proponents could not have been worse.

 Hammer Down, Everyone!

Stay up-to-date with the latest commentary and insights on FreightTech and the impact to the markets by subscribing.

Show More

Linda Baker, Staff Writer

Linda Baker is a FreightWaves staff reporter based in Portland, Oregon. Her beat includes early-stage VC, freight-tech, mobility and West Coast emissions regulations.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *