Trucking news and briefs for Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2022:

J.B. Hunt, Convoy, Uber Freight call for standardized freight scheduling standards

Convoy, J.B. Hunt Transport (CCJ Top 250, No. 3) and Uber Freight announced Monday the formation of the Scheduling Standards Consortium (SSC), which aims to solve transportation scheduling challenges by establishing the freight industry’s first formal set of appointment scheduling application programming interface (API) standards.

Today, scheduling system and interface fragmentation is a point of friction amongst carriers, brokers and shippers. As the industry turns increasingly to an integrated network of providers and solutions to manage the end-to-end lifecycle of each shipment, it has become increasingly important to define and share a consistent data architecture and API standard for the distribution of scheduling information, the companies said.

“Technology has ushered in a new era for transportation – new players, new apps, new platforms, new services. Yet, our industry remains extremely fragmented,” said Spencer Frazier, executive vice president of sales and marketing at J.B. Hunt. “We want to change that, starting today with the three of us and hopefully many more providers in the coming months.”

Frazier added that the goal is to “create an open exchange of data so that the numerous TMS and digital freight platforms can communicate at a level where we can help one another when needed,” adding that the “challenge is to make the systems they use daily work together to generate greater value and efficiency for their supply chains.”

The SSC’s objectives are to define an API standard for sharing scheduling information, implement those standardized interfaces to enable integrations in existing systems, and advocate for the standard across the industry. The standard will bring more cohesion and resiliency to the movement of goods, making it easier to book and manage appointments; optimize processes for drivers, shippers and receivers; and drive operational efficiencies for the industry at large.

SSC said adoption is critical for the effort to succeed. Its goal is to sign on other brokers or third-party logistics service providers, transportation management system and warehouse management system vendors, and others to help shape the future of supply chain efficiency. Initial SSC standards and documentation, starting with full truckload freight, will be available as early as Q1 2023. 

Meritor completes acquisition of Siemens’ commercial vehicle unit

Cummins announced recently that it, through its subsidiary Meritor, has completed the acquisition of Siemens’ Commercial Vehicles business, a global supplier of high-performance electric drive systems for commercial vehicles.

In May 2022, Meritor announced it had entered into an agreement to acquire the business for approximately $200 million enterprise value. Cummins subsequently completed its acquisition of Meritor in August.

Cummins said this acquisition adds key capabilities in direct drive and transmission-based remote mount electric motors, inverters, software and related services, which are critical elements in the next generation of electric powertrains. These capabilities, and their addition of nearly 200 employees primarily in Germany, China and the United States, will accelerate Cummins’ ability to offer global customers a wider array of electrified product solutions across commercial vehicle applications, the company added.

“We are excited to welcome Siemens’ Commercial Vehicles electric drive systems business into Cummins,” said Jennifer Rumsey, Cummins’ President and CEO. “By combining our collective, deep knowledge of our industry and how our customers use our applications, we will innovate and advance key technologies. This acquisition also reflects another key milestone in the execution of our strategy to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 in a way that is best for our customers and the planet.”

The acquired business will report through Cummins New Power business unit. 

Nebraska extends fuel-related HOS waiver

Acting Nebraska Gov. Mike Foley has extended an emergency declaration in the state waiving hours of service provisions for certain fuel haulers. Foley has been serving as acting governor of the state while Gov. Pete Ricketts has been out of the country on a trade mission to Japan.

Under the terms of the declaration, the hours of service (Part 395 of the federal regulations) are waived for drivers hauling gasoline or gasoline blends, diesel, fuel oil, ethanol, propane, and biodiesel in the state.

Foley in the waiver noted that multiple states, including Nebraska, “continue to experience fuel shortages due to high demand for petroleum products.”

“By facilitating increased fuel transportation, the order will help reduce delays at petroleum product terminals in order to make fuels more readily available to consumers,” a press release from Ricketts’ office said.

Drivers operating under the waiver are required to carry a copy with them at all times. The waiver is extended through Dec. 31.

Overweight relief extended for certain ag haulers in Iowa

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds in late November signed an extension of a proclamation relating to the weight limits and transportation of grain, fertilizer and manure. The proclamation is effective through Dec. 22.

It allows trucks transporting corn, soybeans, hay, straw, silage, stover, fertilizer (dry, liquid and gas), and manure (dry and liquid) to be overweight, up to 90,000 pounds, without a permit.

The waiver applies to loads transported on all highways within Iowa (excluding the interstate system) and those which do not exceed a maximum of 90,000 pounds gross weight, do not exceed the maximum axle weight limit determined under the non-primary highway maximum gross weight table in Iowa Code § 321.463(6)(b), by more than 12.5%, do not exceed the legal maximum axle weight limit of 20,000 pounds, and comply with posted limits on roads and bridges.