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What You Missed in the Biz Brief This Week: November 13, 2013

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 newest 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. So, What Is Big Data? 
    "Big data" is pretty much what it sounds like..... a lot of data. Big data refers to large quantities of data, typically more than 10 terabytes and often as much as several petabytes. A terabyte is the equivalent of the number of words that every single adult in the U.S., speaking at the same time, could say in five minutes. A petabyte is 1,000 times that size. While that seems like a huge amount of data, it is amazing to find how much data even a small business deals with on a daily basis. All of the data involved in customer information, interactions, inventory, supply chain, human resources, websites, and social media can quickly reach the level of "big data". Click here to read more >

  2. TravelCenters Releases 3rd Quarter Results 
    TravelCenters of America LLC has announced its third quarter and YTD financial results. While net profit dropped from $18.9 million in 2012 to $15.8 million for this year's third quarter, the company's EBITDAR (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization and rent) grew from $83.6 million to $87.8 million. TA sold nearly 511 million gallons of fuel in the quarter and $391 million in non-fuel salesClick here to read more >

  3. Shell To Install 2 LNG Lanes At 100 TAs 
    Shell Oil has announced an agreement with TravelCenters of America to install two lanes of LNG dispensers at up to 100 interstate locations. In addition to supplying the product, Shell will fund the construction of the lanes and storage facilities. This represents an important step in realizing the oil company's vision of elevating LNG to the level of a true transport fuel. Currently, there are only 42 facilities that offer LNG refueling to the public. Click here to read more >
  4. U.S. Fleets Accelerating Shift to Natural Gas 
    Some of the nation's largest fleets are accelerating their shift to natural gas, the Wall Street Journal reports. Last year, just one percent of trucks sold ran on LNG. Next year, it's projected that 5 percent of trucks sold will run on natural gas. Click here to read more >

  5. TxDOT Eyes Tolled Lanes for I-35 
    The Texas Department of Transportation proposes to build 15 miles of tolled elevated lanes over Interstate 35. The project, currently under environmental review, could be built by a private entity or by TxDOT, whose representatives say that all options are "on the table." Existing lanes would remain toll free. Click here to read more >

  6. $70 Crude Predicted By End Of Decade 
    A London-based commodities economist is predicting that crude oil prices will drop to less than $70 before the end of this decade. New technologies, such as horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, are leading to a glut of inexpensive shale oil on the global markets. Currently, only the U.S. and Canada are producing shale oil in commercial quantities, but it is merely a matter of time before other countries begin to utilize the technologies to produce shale within their own borders. Click here to read more >

  7. Smartphones Change Trucking's Economics 
    Traditionally, trucking companies have spent over $1,000 per truck on communications hardware and $50 a month or more in cellular charges in order to automate daily check calls and other routine communication with drivers. Today, smartphones can be used to manage the same data transfer incidents. In fact, smartphones are so commonplace in the trucking industry that there are over 40,000 trucking-specific applications available in the Google Play Store alone. Click here to read more >
  8. LNG Exports About To Get Cheaper 
    The expanded Panama Canal expects to handle 12 million metric tons of liquefied natural gas each year. LNG tankers will cruise the canal over 350 times per year. By using the Panama Canal, carriers anticipate reducing current transport cost by 24 percent when compared to the cost of using the traditional longer routes. A round-trip voyage from Louisiana to Japan will cost $8 million and take 43.4 days through the canal, instead of $11.4 million and 63.6 days around Africa. Click here to read more >

  9. The Soup's Hot! 
    Soup, which has been on the decline as a food service offering the past several years, is making a comeback. Sales are up 3 percent over the last twelve months, with chili leading the category. Click here to read more >

  10. President Eyes $9 Minimum Wage 
    According to Jason Furman, the Chairman of the President's Council of Economic Advisers, President Obama will push for an increase in the minimum wage to $9 per hour. While the action is given little chance of passing in the House, the President is receiving pressure from the more liberal wing of his party to make minimum wage a discussion point. The current federal minimum wage rate took effect in July of 2009.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.