Your Jan. 15 Pre-Trip: U.S. Xpress boosts driver pay 13.5%

Here are five things worth knowing today:

1. U.S. Xpress announced a 13.5% pay increase for its over-the-road solo drivers who have remained accident and ticket free, with no CSA violations, for 12 months, the company said. Raises go into effect on March 1. The move, according to the company, is to ensure it recruits and retains the “industry’s most elite and safe drivers.” U.S. Xpress has more.

2. According to The Wall Street Journal, low fuel prices and increased availability of trucks will keep transportation costs down for retailers and manufacturers, but they will burden the freight and logistics industry. Analysts say due to growth in freight volumes, shippers are having an easier time finding trucks to hire. “That’s giving them power to demand cheaper rates, reversing the dynamic seen for much of 2014 and early 2015, when trucking companies could charge higher prices because they knew shippers had few alternatives,” according to the report. WSJ has more.

3. Amazon has already made its move into trucking and air freight, now, according to USA Today, it’s turning to the ocean freight market. According to the report, Amazon China has registered with the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission to become a licensed ocean freight forwarder. This appears to be the company’s first move into ocean shipping. USA Today has more.

4. Georgia’s Department of Transportation just announced a $10 billion, 10-year transportation plan, Construction Equipment reports.  Part of the plan includes an 18-month list of road and bridge repairs projected to cost $2.2 billion.

5. CSX, a Florida-based transportation company, announced plans to develop a major freight rail infrastructure project in the Triangle, the Charlotte Business Journal reports. The company said it believes the project will spur economic growth in North Carolina and help position the region as a major transportation logistics hub, according to the report.

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