News Feature | February 18, 2014

Field Service IT News For VARs — February 18, 2014

By Amy Taylor, contributing writer

VAR Field Service IT News

In the news, 2013 ended with increased M&A activity, snow plow fleets are finding value in GPS tracking this winter, and diesel prices are forecast — now a little higher — for 2014 at $3.83. 

M&A Activity Increases In Q4

As reported in Fleet Owner, merger and acquisition activity in the global transportation and logistics industry saw a 57 percent increase in deal volume and more than a 100 percent increase in deal value during the fourth quarter of 2013. Acquisitions could be a trend in 2014. Max Safavi of Allegiance Capital Corp told Fleet Owner that larger fleets are more efficient, and “one of the most cost effective ways to build a large fleet is through acquisitions.”

Columbus Tracks Snow Plows Via GPS

WBNS, Local news in Columbus, OH, showcased the importance of tracking snowplows with GPS during recent snowstorms that plagued the Northeast. The analysis provided by tracking the plows allows city officials to assess possible salt shortages and address complaints about streets that remain snowed in.

Projected 2014 Diesel Price Increased By 2 Cents

The Commercial Carrier Journal reports The Department of Energy adjusted the projected 2014 average diesel price, up 2 cents to $3.83 per gallon. Even with this — and other recent increases — in the forecast, the price is still 9 cents less than the 2013 average. The average price of diesel in 2015 is forecast at $3.73 per gallon. This is based on the projected supply and demand of crude oil, according to the Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO) released on Feb. 11.

Field Service IT Talking Points

Kevin Jones says 2014 freight numbers are somewhat optimistic In a recent article for Commercial Carrier Journal he says lackluster GDP growth will predictably hold down freight volumes in 2014, but truck capacity will support current rates.

Brian Straight makes the case that “Trucking is waiting for a skilled technician workforce,” in Fleet Owner. The article cites a recent survey that shows a significant skills gap in the workforce.

For more news and insights, visit BSMinfo’s Field Service Tech Center.

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