Daimler, Volvo launching fuel-cell joint venture next week

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Trucking news and briefs for Friday, April 23, 2021:

Daimler, Volvo launching joint venture next week
Volvo Group and Daimler Truck AG on April 29 will officially launch the previously announced cellcentric, a fuel-cell joint venture.

During a digital event, Volvo Group President and CEO Martin Lundstedt, and Chairman of the Board of Management Daimler Truck AG & Member of the Board of Management Daimler AG Martin Daum, will – for the first time since the initial partnership announcement in April 2020 – together outline the aims and ambitions of the new 50/50 joint initiative. 

The companies will also elaborate on the necessary deployment of truck-suitable hydrogen fueling infrastructure and a policy framework that makes zero-emission technologies the best option for truck customers.

[Related: Daimler, Volvo complete formation of fuel-cell joint venture]

Illinois-based fleet announces significant driver pay increase
GP Transco announced this week a major base pay increase for company drivers.

Previously, company driver base pay was 52 cents per mile for W2 company drivers, with the ability to earn more through a performance-based profit-sharing program. Starting today, GP Transco's company driver base pay is increased to 60 cpm, and 58 cpm for drivers who opt out of having an optional driver-facing camera; profit-sharing will no longer determine the total driver pay.

This large increase in base pay, along with the current average accessorial pay of 5 more cpm, as well as the company's fuel bonus program, means that W2 company drivers will now earn about 66 cpm and more during their first year with the company. The base pay increase also means that company drivers can now expect to earn $90,000 during their first year with GP Transco, with top-performing drivers earning over $100,000 after being with the company for 4 years (based on 2,700 miles driven on a weekly average, for drivers who qualify for raises based on performance, safety, and fuel utilization efficiency). Company team drivers also received the same base pay increase, going from 65 cpm to 75 cpm.

The company also announced 6-month raises to company driver base pay, which adds 1 cpm every 6 months to qualifying drivers. This means that after working at GP Transco for 4 years, top-performing over-the-road drivers will earn a base of 68 cpm, and combined with accessorial pay, it would put drivers roughly at 73 cpm.

Love’s partners with Cargill for renewable diesel production
The Love’s Family of Companies and Cargill have entered into a 50/50 joint venture to produce and market renewable diesel.

The venture is called Heartwell Renewables and will result in the construction of a new production plant in Hastings, Nebraska. The plant will have the ability to produce approximately 80 million gallons annually of renewable diesel.

As part of the partnership, Cargill will provide feedstock in the form of tallow. Once the diesel is produced, Musket, the commodity trading and logistics arm of Love’s, will transport and market the product in the United States.

Heartwell Renewables will be the only entity of its kind to both produce and market renewable diesel all the way to the retail pump.