By Staff Reports | October 01, 2009

THE CALIFORNIA Air Resources Board has sent an agreement to the South Coast Air Quality Management District that frees up $45 million in grant funds for truckers to replace diesel trucks operating at the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles. As of Jan. 1, owners throughout the state will need to upgrade their trucks under CARB’s Drayage Truck Rule, which requires particulate filters to be installed or old trucks to be replaced.

Freight index rises, but still low

The Freight Transportation Services Index rose 1.6 percent in July from its June level, the first monthly increase since February and the largest increase since January 2008, the U.S. Department of Transportation reported.

“The rise in the freight index for the first time since February is a sign that the economic recovery is beginning,” said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

The DOT’s Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the Freight TSI declined in nine of the last 12 months, but has stabilized in the last two. The July Freight TSI of 95.5 is a 1.6 percent increase from the recent low of 94.0 reached in May and June; during those two months, the index was at its lowest level since June 1997.

The Freight TSI is down 15.4 percent from its historic peak of 112.9 reached in May 2006. The 4.8 percent decline in the first seven months of 2009 was the second-largest in the last decade, exceeded only by the 5.9 percent decline for the first seven months of 2000.

The Freight TSI measures the output of services provided by trucking and other for-hire freight transportation industries.

— Staff reports

Oregon, Texas get diesel funding

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded $18 million for the SmartWay Clean Diesel Finance Program to Texas and Oregon entities.

The Houston-Galveston Area Council will receive $9 million for a revolving loan program to replace and retrofit Port of Houston trucks.

Oregon-based Cascade Sierra Solutions will get $9 million for revolving loan, lease or bond programs to replace older diesel trucks or upgrade them with fuel saving technologies.

The federal Recovery Act allotted $300 million for the National Clean Diesel Campaign, $30 million of which will fund SmartWay Clean Diesel Finance Program grants.

More information is available on the act’s funding at http://www.recovery.gov

— Jill Dunn

Small trucking company failures drop in 2nd quarter

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