Your April 8 Pre-Trip: Coalition urges EPA to toughen standards for heavy trucks

Here are five things worth knowing today:

1. A coalition of food companies and retailers are urging federal regulators to crack down on reducing trucking emissions and increasing fuel economy, Sustainable Brands reports. Led by advocacy group Ceres, 12 companies – including General Mills, Ben & Jerry’s, Stonyfield Farm, Clif Bar, and Annie’s – wrote a letter to the EPA and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration asking them to resist efforts to weaken proposed trucking regulations. According to the report, the coalition seeks a 40% reduction in fuel usage from heavy fleets by 2025. The federal proposal seeks a 36% savings by 2027. Sustainable Brands has more.

2. New York is expected to lose about $50 million this year due to a court battle that overturned a controversial registration fee among out-of-state truckers. According to the Times Union, a lawsuit by the Owner Operators and Independent Drivers Association argued that a $19 fee collected every four years for truckers who pass through the state was illegal. OOIDA argued that the flat fees in New York were discriminatory, according to the report. Times Union has more.

3. A federal highway administrator is advising Nebraska and other Midwest states to plan ahead for a surge in freight traffic. According to the Lincoln Journal Star, traffic is expected to increase by 45% by 2045. Administrator Greg Nadeau visited Lincoln this week for roundtable discussion on the local freight economy and how it might benefit from federal funding.

4. The Wall Street Journal reports that share prices in truckload freight dipped sharply this week after analysts downgraded several operators. Analysts project that prices for long-haul trucking are expected to remain weak for the rest of the year. According to the report, the four companies targeted for downgrades are USA Truck, Hub Group, Marten Transport and Universal Truckload Services.

5. A fleet of nearly a dozen self-driving semi-trailer trucks finished a trip across parts of Europe this week, Computer World reports. According to the report, platooning in the U.S. is still four to five years out. The challenge was organized by the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment and included rigs from Volvo, Daimler and Volkswagen subsidiary Scania. They journeyed from Belgium, Denmark, Germany and Sweden to the port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands.

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