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What You Missed in the Biz Brief This Week: July 23, 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. Truck Parking on Recycled Lots 
    Susser Holdings Corp. is testing a new environmentally friendly parking lot in its Stripes truckstop in Refugio, Texas. Stripes is using a new material to construct its truck parking lot that is an innovative technology called TRUEGRID, a product made from post-consumer recycled polyolefin. TRUEGRID is made of 100 percent recycled plastic, and can also be recycled itself. The parking lot gravel is made from post-recycled material and can support heavy vehicles. Click here to read more >

  2. Ban on Crude Exports Could Limit U.S. Production 
    The U.S. oil industry could be approaching a "day of reckoning," according to John R. Auers, executive vice-president of Turner, Mason & Co. Consulting Engineers. Auers said U.S. crude production is approaching a point at which it exceeds refining capacity to a degree that prices become so heavily discounted to comparable overseas grades that producers decide not to increase production further. Auers comments came during the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s 2014 energy conference. Click here to read more >

  3. Pilot Opens in Colorado 
    A new Pilot Travel Center has opened at Exit 26 on Interstate 70 in Grand Junction, Colo. The facility includes 12 gasoline and eight diesel fueling lanes with high-speed pumps, a McDonald’s and a store offering casual foods and beverages as well as other products. The facility employs 60 people and is expected to contribute more than $3.1 million annually in state and local taxes. This is the company's fourth Colorado location. Click here to read more >

  4. House Passes Short-Term Highway Patch 
    The U.S. House of Representatives voted 367-55 in favor of an $11 billion bailout of the Highway Trust Fund that also extends the current highway law until May 2015. The measure now moves to the Senate, where Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said that he hopes to take it up before the August recess. Click here to read more >
  5. Greater Chicago Truck Plaza Receives “Lung Health Champion Award” 
    Greater Chicago Truck Plaza in Bolingbrook, Ill., received honors from the Respiratory Health Association for its lung health efforts. Company President John Puthusseril accepted the Lung Health Champion Award on behalf of the travel plaza. The Greater Chicago Truck Plaza does not stock cigarettes, chew or other tobacco products. The location also promotes smoking cessation and offers fitness equipment for complimentary use by truck drivers. Click here to read more >

  6. Alternative Fuels to Hit 14 Percent of Truck Market by 2035 
    Fourteen percent of all medium and heavy-duty vehicles sold in the U.S. by 2035 will be powered by alternative fuels, according to a recent report from Navigant Research. The number of these vehicles sold is expected to double between 2014 and 2035. While diesel will still be the predominant energy source for medium and heavy-duty trucks, the percentage powered by distillates will drop to 76 percent from 79 percent by 2035. Click here to read more >

  7. EIA Forecasts Large Diesel Demand Increase through 2040 
    Economic growth coupled with increased vehicle miles traveled by trucks will push up energy demand by 42 percent over the next 25 years, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA). Gasoline demand, by comparison, is projected to decrease by 2.1 million barrels per day. These changes, combined with fuel economy improvements, could spur significant changes in the nation's refining strategy. Click here to read more >

  8. Excess Trucking Capacity a Thing of the Past 
    The trucking industry historically has employed a strategy known as "surge capacity" to provide trucks necessary to catch up after natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina. But that practice is no longer available as the trucking industry currently is operating near full capacity. According to FTR Transportation Intelligence, “When trucking is operating at 98 percent to 99 percent capacity utilization, as it is now, weather has a much greater impact and seasonal freight peaks cause problems as well.” Intentional productivity improvements as well as the ongoing driver shortage are causing this new reality. Click here to read more >

  9. East Coast Refineries Revitalized 
    The shale oil boom in Texas, Oklahoma and North Dakota has provided a renaissance for East Coast refineries. Many of these refineries were close to being moth-balled prior to the shale oil production growth, but now owners are reinvesting millions of dollars to bring them back into operation. East Coast refineries are much better suited to utilize the light sweet crude coming from this new production than are Gulf Coast refineries. This change in dynamics should impact rack pricing of diesel in many of the Northeast region's terminal. Click here to read more >

  10. American Express vs. Department of Justice 
    The outcome of the court battle between credit card company American Express and the DOJ could resonate throughout the truckstop industry. American Express’ “take it or leave it” policy is the primary issue of debate. When a customer pays with a credit card, the retailer pays a processing fee, generally between 2 percent and 3 percent of the purchase. American Express — which, according to the government, charges the highest merchant fees of any card network — forbids its merchant partners from offering customers incentives to use cards that are cheaper for the retailer. Because of American Express' 26 percent market share, the DOJ sees this practice as anti-competitive. 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 editor@natso.com.

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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.