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Today’s Pickup: Truckers step up with hay deliveries for Midwest farmers

 Hundreds of truck drivers across the Midwest volunteered their time to deliver hay bails to farmers affected by flooding in the MIdwest. ( Photo: Farm Rescue )
Hundreds of truck drivers across the Midwest volunteered their time to deliver hay bails to farmers affected by flooding in the MIdwest. ( Photo: Farm Rescue )

Good day,

The recent flooding in the Midwest devastated some farmers, but good Samaritans came to the rescue, and that included trucking interests.

Dozens of trucks delivered rolls of hay on Tuesday in Platte County, Nebraska, and that has continued an effort that has gone on for the past two weeks across the Midwest.

“We are trying to help farmers up here; there are so many who need it (hay) because of the flood,” Charles Earnest, a driver for S R Farms out of Wilsonville, Nebraska, told the Henry Herald newspaper. “All of this is donated – the trucking and hay, just from different people around the (McCook) area. We are just out here trying to help out.”

Non-profit organization Farm Rescue has helped organize the Nebraska efforts, which is facing farm and ranch losses of up to $1 billion.

“We have heard from some folks that nearly 50 to 100 percent of their hay has been ruined or taken with the raging waters,” spokeswoman Talia Goes, told the Associated Press. “Also, many folks will battle damaged hay and pasture fields from the water and the debris.”

The hay efforts had their start in 2017 when Beyer Towing, in Fergus Falls, Minnesota, teamed up with Farm Rescue to move 14 tractor-trailers of hay following flooding in North Dakota that year. The effort has continued and this year included volunteers on social media looking for hay and trucks to fulfill needs.

Did you know?

 Xtra Lease plans to purchase more than 10,000 trailers in 2019, investing more than $300 million as it grows its trailer fleet to more than 85,000 units.

Quotable:

“This is a milestone for Covenant Solutions. In 2016 David Parker and Joey Hogan made a strategic decision to invest in the business. Since then we’ve grown 65 percent to over $100 million last year, and we have a great vision for this year and for growth after that.”

– Paul Newbourne, executive vice president and chief operating officer at Covenant Transport Solutions, at the opening of the company’s new Chattanooga brokerage office.

In other news:

Sears, after years of closures, is opening stores again

New locations will be fraction of the size of typical Sears and sell only hard goods such as tools and appliances. (WSJ)

Tesla shares fall 10% after deliveries miss by a wide margin

Tesla said on Wednesday that it produced 77,100 vehicles during Q1, delivering 63,000, consisting of 62,950 Model 3s and 14,150 older models. Analysts were expecting it to deliver about 76,000 cars. (CNBN)

XPO Logistics to go the last mile

XPO Logistics announces the launch of extensive last mile capabilities on its XPO Connect digital freight marketplace. (Seeking Alpha)

CEVA Logistics expands service with China trucks

The first CEVA Logistics truck from China to arrive in Europe happened recently, 16 days after it set out on its journey. (Handy Shipping Guide)

Mideast air freight volume falling

Air cargo demand in the Mideast is following global trends and dropping, reports the International Air Transport Association. (Zawya)

Final Thoughts

Xtra Lease announced plans to purchase more than 10,000 new trailers in 2019 as it seeks to capitalize on strong demand. This bodes well for the industry, although Xtra Lease, while saying the purchases would expand its trailer fleet to 85,000 units, did not say how many units would replace existing trailers or what that growth will be. Clearly, though, Xtra Lease anticipates demand, which is all anyone hauling freight needs to hear.  

Hammer down everyone!

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Brian Straight

Brian Straight covers general transportation news and leads the editorial team as Managing Editor. A journalism graduate of the University of Rhode Island, he has covered everything from a presidential election, to professional sports and Little League baseball, and for more than 10 years has covered trucking and logistics. Before joining FreightWaves, he was previously responsible for the editorial quality and production of Fleet Owner magazine and fleetowner.com. Brian lives in Connecticut with his wife and two kids and spends his time coaching his son’s baseball team, golfing with his daughter, and pursuing his never-ending quest to become a professional bowler.

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