Your Dec. 9 Pre-Trip: The evolution of freight transportation

Here are five things worth knowing today:

1. Could autonomous trucks end up rewriting the rules for freight transportation? The answer is yes, according to a recent Forbes report. The freight industry is working on developing driverless trucks that could help resolve the truck driver shortage in the U.S. and significantly cut costs for freight companies. Self-driving technology could also help fleets save on fuel and is said to be safer than human drivers in terms of accidents. Forbes has more.

2. On Tuesday, federal regulators proposed a plan to include crash-avoidance and pedestrian safety measures to the current National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s crash test ratings, the Examiner reports. The proposed crash test ratings would transition to a multifaceted ranking from the current one to five star rating. According to the report, the proposed rating would examine a more in-depth reading of forces and would allow for half stars. The Examiner reports that making the test more difficult would encourage higher vigilance from manufacturers.

3. Three former civilian employees at the Marine Corps Logistics Base in Albany, GA, and a former employee of a military contractor have been sentenced to prison after pleading guilty to bribery and conspiracy, WFXL Fox 31 reports. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the four individuals were charged for their handling of military trucking contracts and theft of surplus military equipment. Read more at WFXL.

4. The Trucker reports retail container ports are expected to see increased volume as stores bring in the final round of merchandise for the holidays. According to the report, the Global Port Tracker repots from the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates forecasts a 3.7% increase in holiday sales this year over last. The Trucker has more.

5. Wabash National has rolled out its first line of Class 6 and 7 dry and refrigerated truck bodies, according to Fleet Equipment Magazine. The new line was constructed using bonding assembly technology and a composite panel that the company said provides up to a 25% improvement in thermal efficiency.

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