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What You Missed in the Biz Brief This Week: August 13, 2014

Posted in: Industry Trends & News

In today’s information-overloaded business world, we often find ourselves deluged with literally hundreds of news items from dozens of sources. While it is likely impossible to read every article and remain productive, by not doing so we risk missing the one article that could change a key business practice or thought process. And that is where the NATSO Foundation’s publication, Biz Brief, provides assistance! The NATSO Foundation's Biz Brief is a daily collection of the most relevant business intelligence for truckstop and travel plaza operators. 

While we think the Biz Brief is a must-read every day, if you only read ten news articles this week, these ten most-clicked Biz Brief articles are the ten to read. 

  1. Diesel Thieves Target Travel Centers 
    A ring of thieves from Florida is targeting travel centers across the United States and has struck locations in 19 states. Police said an organized ring from south Florida has been traveling across the country for the past year in trucks. The thieves pull to the pumps, pay for a low amount of fuel and then bypass the pumps' fuel counter systems and continuously pump fuel into several semis lined up behind each other. The thieves have stolen thousands of dollars in fuel. Click here to read more >

  2. Working Travel Plaza Magic in Louisiana 
    On a recent trip through Louisiana, NATSO Vice President of Membership Darren Schulte had the good fortune of stopping at several Cash Magic locations. According to Schulte, "I was struck by the amazing service we experienced. I was greeted by a friendly Louisiana hello and sent off with a come back again departure salutation." The company has developed a suggestive selling program that is having impressive results. In conjunction with the operations team and its vendor partners, the company has created a strong sales increase in most of its locations. Vendor partners are seeing a 1,000 percent increase in everyday items such as Mentos, Reese’s etc. Click here to read more >

  3. Johnson's Corner Holds Truck Driver Appreciation Day 
    NATSO member Johnson's Corner, located just south of Loveland, Texas, will hold a Truck Driver Appreciation Day Aug. 20. The festivities will include food, games, prizes and fun. “Being a truck driver is often a thankless job,” said Chauncey Taylor, owner of Johnson’s Corner. “We want to show our appreciation for and thank truck drivers – after all, it is truckers that keep our country moving. Johnson's Corner has been serving drivers since its opening in 1952. Click here to read more >

  4. Kroger's Opens Diesel Fueling Stations 
    Kroger has announced the opening of a second Fuel Center in the city of Athens, Ga. The new Fuel Center will offer 10 diesel fuel pumps and eight gasoline lanes. Kroger is targeting the local trucking industry and automobiles powered by diesel. Click here to read more >

  5. Swift Transportation Improves Driver Pay, Sells Equipment 
    Swift Transportation outlined steps that it is taking to improve asset utilization in its second-quarter financial report. As a result of driver turnover, the company's unseated truck count grew during the quarter. Consequently, Swift has sold some of its road equipment to better match asset needs. Additionally, the company has announced an increase in driver pay. The report said, "Our goal is to clear the path for our drivers by helping them overcome challenges, eliminate wait times and take home more money. We believe we can accomplish this through improved productivity and enhanced pay packages." Click here to read more >
  6. Warren Buffett Gambles on Natural Gas 
    When Warren Buffett makes an investment, Berkshire Hathaway generally has performed extensive research on the future outlook of the product. That should bode well for natural gas. Buffett has more than $6 billion invested in companies heavily involved in natural gas production and distribution. Additionally, he recently announced that his company BNSF Railway is testing liquefied natural gas-powered locomotives. All of this is a strong indication that natural gas will keep growing as a transportation fuel alternative. Click here to read more >

  7. Clean Energy Opens 27 NG Stations 
    Clean Energy Fuels Corp. has opened 27 natural gas fueling stations in the first six months of 2014, nine of which serve trucks. The company also has increased capacity at 10 existing locations to better serve the growing natural gas transportation need. Clean Energy also announced the signing of several new supply agreements with fleets and government entities. Click here to read more >

  8. Road Building Industry Warns About Toll Roads 
    Equipment World, a business journal targeting the road building and heavy construction industry, is warning of the folly of toll roads and public-private partnerships. The journal compares the schemes that mortgage companies engaged in in the early to mid-2000's and the eventual impact it had on the home building industry with public-private partnerships and tolling. In the words of Equipment World, "If you think the highway construction industry can afford to take a 73 percent hit, as did the homebuilders from 2006 to 2009, by all means, support toll roads and creative financing schemes." Click here to read more >

  9. Family Dollar Distribution Centers at Risk 
    Dollar Tree recently announced plans to acquire competitor Family Dollar. The merger will make Dollar Tree the largest dollar store retailer in the country. Both stores currently have a national network of distribution centers. It is too early in the acquisition process to understand which distribution centers will be shuttered, but traffic patterns are likely to change as a result of the purchase. Click here to read more >

  10. "We’re trying to work with our 
local artisans. It is great to support your local farmers and growers and those that are trying to do something different.”
    Corey Berkstresser of Lee Hi Travel Plaza commenting on the use of regional specialties. 
    Click here to read more >

I might be biased, but I think if you aren't receiving Biz Brief, you are missing out! Not a subscriber? Be sure to submit a request to be added to the email list. Already receive it and have feedback for me? Be sure to email me at

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About the Author

Roger Cole

Roger Cole

Roger Cole serves as edior of the NATSO Foundation's Biz Brief. The Biz Brief is a daily e-newsletter created to provide readers with business intelligence tailored specifically for truckstop and travel plaza owners and operators. Cole shifts through hundreds of news sources daily, selects the most relevant and timely news and then editorially distills it into a must-read briefing.