Tesla boss Musk says Semi deliveries will start in December

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Trucking news and briefs for Friday, Oct. 7, 2022:

First Tesla Semi deliveries set for December 

The wait for delivery of Tesla’s long overdue Semi will soon be over… for Pepsi.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk Thursday night tweeted that production on his company’s “500 mile range & super fun to drive” electric tractor would soon commence with “deliveries” set for December 1. PepsiCo ordered 100 Semis in December 2017, just weeks after the truck made its debut and told CCJ at that time it would deploy the trucks across its snacks and beverage businesses. Pepsi expected to get 15 Tesla Semis last year before production was delayed again as part of the drink and snack company's Near Zero-Emission Freight Facility Project in Modesto, California.

Tesla's not offered formal updates on Semi in years, so it is not known how many of the 100 will be delivered in December, if Pepsi still holds reservations for 100 units, or why Pepsi was selected to get the first batch of trucks when they were not the first carrier to place an order. Tesla doesn't have a media relations department, so CCJ reached out to Musk directly via Twitter Thursday night. He did not reply as of Friday morning. 

Musk offered no details last night on how the tractor achieves its purported 500 mile range, which is about twice that of Volvo’s VNR Electric and Freightliner’s eCascadia - two models that have been in customer hands for two and three years, respectively.

Semi was originally set for production in 2019, and that date has been delayed at least three times in the past three years as legacy OEMs like Paccar, Volvo, Mack and Freightliner place multiple electric trucks with fleet customers. BEV upstart Nikola has also built and delivered upwards of 50 models and targets to have 500 out by year end. 

ATA, Canadian Trucking Alliance ask U.S. to end cross-border vax requirement

A joint letter from the American Trucking Associations and the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) calls on the U.S. government to remove all U.S. COVID-19 entry requirements impacting non-U.S. citizens, including the Canadian trucking sector.

The request follows Canada’s decision to end its cross-border vaccine requirement on Oct. 1. Last week, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association made a similar request of the Biden Administration.

In the letter, both trucking groups urged that officials in Washington announce reciprocal changes while highlighting that truck drivers have remained essential workers and were permitted to cross the Canada-U.S. border during the first part of the pandemic, delivering much needed products to both countries.

The joint correspondence also outlined that trucking companies would benefit from the removal of the U.S. border vaccination policy through a significant increase to their cross-border driver pools, and an improved ability to deliver U.S. exports to the benefit of U.S. businesses and commerce.

These facts were further reinforced to the Council of Governors and National Governors Association (NGA), with CTA and ATA asking these groups to support and echo their request to Washington to remove the U.S. border mandate to the benefit of the cross-border supply chain and economy.

With Canada being the number one export market for most U.S. states, and with most Canada-U.S. trade moving by truck, CTA reiterated that the reciprocity of these changes would add considerable freight capacity and allow the trucking sector to better service the constituents and businesses within many states the governors represent.

Iowa temporarily expands weight limits for certain ag haulers on non-interstate highways

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds recently signed a proclamation relating to the weight limits and transportation of grain, fertilizer and manure. 

The proclamation is effective through Oct. 30 and allows trucks transporting corn, soybeans, hay, straw, silage, stover, fertilizer (dry, liquid and gas), and manure (dry and liquid) to be overweight (not exceeding 90,000 pounds gross weight) without a permit for the duration of this proclamation. 

The proclamation applies to loads transported on all highways within Iowa, excluding the interstate system. 

PGT Trucking partners with Northeastern flatbed carrier to expand offerings

PGT Trucking (CCJ Top 250, No. 93) has entered into a strategic partnership with Navarro Trucking, a flatbed carrier in the Northeast, to expand its service offerings.

"PGT Trucking attributes its success over the last 40 years due in part to the solid relationships we have built with our professional drivers, staff, customers and vendors," said Chad Marsilio, PGT Trucking Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. "We are proud to have Navarro Trucking as the newest Integrated Fleet, as they share many of our core values and business objectives."

With the new relationship, PGT will expand their operational reach in the New England region, and Navarro Trucking, headquartered in Bristol, Connecticut, will gain support and access to PGT's diverse customer base, helping to grow their fleet. Together, the companies will continue providing quality transportation solutions with a strong commitment to safety.

PGT and Navarro are working together to cross-train staff at both headquarter facilities, setting operational and safety standards for the new partnership. Navarro Trucking also maintains a fully bilingual staff, and their rich cultural influence will help PGT diversify service offerings for drivers and customers.

DB Schenker names new Chief People Officer for the Americas

Global logistics provider DB Schenker has appointed Shauna Jamison as Chief People Officer for the Americas. In her new role, effective immediately, she is responsible for developing and executing the strategic direction of human resources across the region.

Jamison joined the organization with the acquisition of USA Truck, completed last month. She has been leading USA Truck's talent as their Senior Vice President and Chief People Officer since February 2022. Before that, she had 20-plus years of experience at Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., where she rose from store experience to talent development before becoming their Senior Director, Human Resources.

"This is such an exciting time for the DB Schenker teams. With our recent expansion of USA Truck, employees will be able to paint their career paths with broader strokes and work to reach their highest potential," Jamison said. "I plan to support all our teams over the Americas region to prioritize our people and build an inclusive culture that can shape a sustainable future to make the world a better place."