Overdrive Extra

OMG! SaDIP my dataQ

The CSA 2010 webcast assaulted listeners with more acronyms per square inch than is legal under EPA or OSHA regs.

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Jobs in transition — in more ways than one

As with the 2001 recession, there’s been much talk of a “jobless recovery.” It peaked with two reports in early November: Productivity increased 9.5 percent in the third quarter, while unemployment rose to 10.2 percent in October. Not all explanations for the productivity gain, one of the three biggest in the last 30 years, carry equal weight. New computer systems or factory-line robots or low-wage workers in India could have taken over duties formerly done by ...

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Manufacturing sustains its hot streak in November

Manufacturing monitor ISM issued a good news, bad news report today, but the good outweighs the bad.    The sector expanded in November for the fourth consecutive month, says the Institute for Supply Management. The downside is that the rate of growth is less than a month ago, and less than analysts expected.    “The signs are still encouraging for continuing growth as both new orders and production are still at very positive levels,” says Norbert Ore, ...

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Dollars and Sense

Peer-to-peer lending has evolved to an Internet-based system that uses technology similar to eBay to match parties seamlessly and anonymously.

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Truck dealers analyze a year’s anemic sales

It still appears to be a buyer’s market for Class 8 trucks, according to a report from the truck dealers’ trade group. It’s been “a year of heavy depreciation for the highway sleeper market,” says the ATD/NADA Official Commercial Truck Guide. Considering the depressed conditions, prices could have dropped even lower, says Chris Visser, editor of the guide. "Anecdotal evidence suggests that an extremely active export market helped keep the domestic supply of used trucks at ...

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How to make the roadway fly by

If you still have any doubt about how dangerous texting while driving is, a new study offers some comparisons. A post from the Poynter Institute, a journalism education group, notes that 26 percent of teens admit to poking out messages while they’re behind the wheel, according to a Pew study. I bet the reality is higher than that, but what’s really scary are results from a Car and Driver magazine experiment. Using a deserted air strip, an ...

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Dollars and Sense: Call a Business Meeting

When was the last time you have a business meeting with yourself?

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Chalk it up as a decent quarter

There was a mixed bag of trucking-related economic reports Friday, though the good seems to outweigh the bad. The American Truck Dealers, citing trade press reports, notes that third-quarter earnings reports from fleets show freight volumes appear to be rising, though revenues aren’t keeping pace. Also, U.S. truck tonnage fell 7.3 percent in September from the same month last year. That’s not good news unless you consider that it was the best year-to-year monthly showing since ...

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Landstar optimistic in spite of lower earnings

Landstar System Inc., reported its share of lower revenue and income numbers in its third-quarter earnings statement, but the nation’s largest owner-operator carrier also sees a turnaround taking shape. The company earned $20 million from revenue of $501 million in the quarter that ended. Sept. 30. Comparable net income a year ago was $33 million from revenue of $733  million. The good news/bad news, from Henry Gerkens, president and CEO: “Notable 2009 third-quarter over 2008 third-quarter revenue ...

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Trucking experts expect very slow rebound

“The economy has bottomed out, but it is going to be slow going in the months ahead.” That was the consensus of speakers at this week’s annual management conference of the American Trucking Associations, in Las Vegas, says ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello in his weekly newsletter. One of those speakers, Sara Johnson of HIS Global Insight, predicts a contraction of  2.5 percent this year, followed by an increase of 2.0 percent in 2010 and then ...

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