Here are five things worth knowing today:
1. U.S. lawmakers on Tuesday expressed concern over the potential vulnerability of U.S. ports to terrorist attacks, according to The Hill. Lawmakers cited reports of recent attempts to smuggle radioactive material by terrorists, The Hill reports. Democrats on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee are calling for an increase in the amount of cargo that is screened when it comes off of docking ships. The Hill has more.
2. Over-ordering and lukewarm sales have caused inventories to rise and the inventory-to-sales ratio to spike, according to an article in Seeking Alpha. Now businesses are trimming orders because they’re having trouble selling to the middle class, and it is ricocheting through the trucking industry. According to the report, truckload carrier Swift announced that it’s suffering high costs from the capacity increase and a decline in operating revenue, so it is cutting back. According to the report, engine makers like Cummins are also feeling the pain, with decreased revenues and earnings. The diesel-engine maker, according to the report, plans to cut 3.7%, or 2,000 employees, of its workforce due to the challenging conditions. Seeking Alpha has more.
3. Labor tension between Southern California port truckers and shipping companies has escalated once again after a group of drivers this week accused companies of wage theft, Reuters reports. According to the Teamsters, at least 50 drivers who work for the New Jersey-based Intermodal Bridge Transport hauling freight to and from California’s two ports are taking action, Reuters said. Picketing is expected to expand today to a major warehouse operated by California Cartage Company. Reuters has more.
4. Spurred by a 2011 accident in which two siblings were fatally injured in a rear-end collision with a stopped school bus, the state of Michigan is conducting a pilot program that places a Driver Alert Lighting System on the back of school buses. The 2011 incident prompted Michigan Representative Holly Hughes to collaborate with the Michigan Association for Pupil Transportation to introduce HB 5507, a bill that requires enhanced warning lighting on the rear door/backside of school buses. The result of the legislation is a pilot program being tested in 10 school districts. Safe Fleet Bus and Rail has provided 40 Driver Alert devices for the program. The device is installed on the rear door. The display flashes “Caution” and “Stopping” when the overhead amber lights are activated. Once stopped, the display flashes “Stop” and “Do Not Pass” after the bus is stopped and the stop arm is deployed. In addition to these functions, the device flashes “Caution Stopping” when the hazard lights are activated at railroad crossings and “Caution” when the bus is backing up.
5. The number of deaths on Nebraska roads is the second highest it’s been in five years, according to KETV. Law enforcement officials are especially worried going into Halloween this weekend, so the Office of Highway Safety is funding a number of special enforcements throughout the state. Police and safety officials are urging motorists to buckle up, use designated drivers and don’t drive and text.