As COVID-19 slows down and we return to semi-normal, will the trucking industry return to their pre-pandemic training procedures as well? Driver training pre- COVID-19 was your typical in person event where drivers gathered in one location, had face-to-face training for days on end and then were able to begin their job. COVID-19 forced companies to change their ways of training drivers which in turn has been able to not only introduce them to the world of virtual training, but also save them money in the long run as well. Read More
As things return to a “new normal” across the country, there are still industries where safety precautions are going to remain in place for the foreseeable future. Many fleet and transportation companies provided their drivers with personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves, company branded masks, disinfectant and paper towels. While this prevents the spread of COVID-19, Stephan Kane, president of Rolling Strong, makes note that these measures also, “deter the spread of all kinds of viruses, not just COVID-19. Plus, a lot of people have turned these safety precautions into habits.” Read More
As the summer heats up, the question remains, will Americans eventually return to the office? And will the rush hour gas demand return?
According to Gallup, in April 2020 70% of Americans worked remotely. As of June of 2021, the number decreased to 56% of Americans working remote. According to a study by LaSalle Network, 70% of companies want employees back in the office in some capacity by this fall.
The world appears to be running on microchips. There is currently a microchip shortage that is affecting the manufacturing of many types of products. The simplest chips can be found in your coffee maker. The more complex chips perform functions such as the power windows in your car. They are also instrumental in the mass production of trucks and cars. The microchip shortage has increased the time required for ordering new vehicles and delivery dates are being pushed out further and further. Read More
Unless you have been living under a rock, it is no secret crude oil has been on a tumultuous ride. Crude has long been a commodity that follows up and down trends on traditional cycles. The seven-year boom followed by a year of bust broke cycle in 2015 and saw the oil and gas sector consumed with historic lows, layoffs, and bankruptcies. Oil struggled to regain its dominance at $100+/bbl and E&P Operators scrambled to be leaner and more efficient as $40 seemed to be the new $100.
Fast forward to 2019/2020 when oil finally seemed to find a balance. Exploration began to increase, and we saw some promise in drilling rig numbers. COVID-19 ravaged the world oil demand and we saw crude trade negative. COVID-19 kept a death grip on crude for the better part of a year, but 2021 is lining up to be a HUGE year for Crude. The roller coaster ride for crude leading up to 2021 has culminated into ripe conditions for an oil boom!
The API reported a crude draw of 8.537 million barrels far exceeding the 3 million barrel expected draw. While gasoline and diesel added inventories, the EIA reported less production. In the face of refined product inventory increases, prices held and, in some cases, climbed as the supply/demand curve signaled a stronger demand and tightening supply. Crude was trading at 32-month high of near $75 a barrel.
Crude has averaged $65/bbl in April, $68/bbl in May, and is holding above $70/bbl for June. Experts predict that crude will easily surge above $100/bbl and gas prices are likely to follow suit and increase as well. As supply continues to tighten and demand increases oil will continue to climb. The International Energy Agency began Friday urging OPEC to ramp up production while the Saudi Prince urged investors to back oil and gas exploration. Energy investors have been scared off and have shied away from backing E&P operators. The uncertainty leading up to June 2021 has led to less investing for exploration and drastically cut drilling budgets. Mergers and Acquisitions have pushed out many small operators and the larger operators are sticking to smaller and more lean operational footprints that focus more on efficiency and per foot costs.
The new super cycle of $100+/bbl crude is expected to come quicker than anticipated but also may last less than 18 months. Many factors could derail oil futures. New Covid strains that lead to lockdowns are a major concern. Government regulation and emissions standards are also sizeable threats. Despite the oil rally and a looming price explosion, many supers are still being ultra conservative in the Oil and Gas play. Navigating through the ever-changing crude and refined products market is less than ideal so talk to a Guttman sales representative today to secure your success for 2021 and into the future.
As more and more Americans are getting vaccinated and things start to get back to normal, the recovery of supply chain will be a long and daunting process with many expecting it to last into 2022 in some industries.
While overseas travel continues to be impeded by COVID-19 fears and travel concerns/regulations, domestic airway travel is seeing it’s largest surge since the depths of the pandemic. Travel enthusiasts are taking to the sky after more than a year of lockdowns and airliner travel is now only 30% lower than the same time in 2019. The third quarter numbers are projected to reach 1.47 million barrels per day which is 50% higher than expectations and an inviting indication for refiners who have struggled with tough margins during the pandemic. So, with jet fuel demand increasing and expected to surge this summer how does this all relate to recycled plastics, of all things? Read More
The narrative of the pre pandemic day’s is still the same regarding the trucking industry and being short on drivers. Many businesses and consumers are affected by the shortage making delayed deliveries the norm for many Americans. With an estimated 61,000 drivers short at the end of 2019, it goes without saying that COVID-19 in 2020 made that number worse, making it harder to train new unexperienced drivers. Read More
Over the past year, China has ramped up its energy production and committed to becoming a net-zero emission economy by 2060. While China has led all nations with renewable energy production, at the same time has increased coal production and offset the retirements in coal capacity from the rest of the world. The increase in coal production seems to have a strong correlation with the outcome of the COVID-19 pandemic and pushing China to retreat to easy and reliable fossil fuel. Read More
Facebook announced it will convert part of its Menlo Park, California headquarters into a vaccination clinic for under-served communities. Read More