Welcome to the WHAT THE TRUCK?!? newsletter. In this issue, CMA CGM delivers the Statue of Liberty’s little sister; a city rethinks its parking ban; meth is found in peanuts; Elon goes to court; and more.

A win for truck parking?


Feeling Minnesota — Logic may prevail in Minnesota as a City Council committee rethinks increasing the scope of its bans on truck parking. According to FreightWaves’ John Kingston, the ordinance at issue would extend that ban to all commercial areas and increase fines for violation. John Hausladen, president and CEO of the Minnesota Trucking Association, said the number of Minneapolis residents of East African descent who also are truck drivers, and who were parking in the city, was a “surprise” to a lot of council members. Now they may be taking the issue to heart.

But we can’t just say, “Don’t park here” and not have a thought about where the trucks are going to park, because we want the goods delivered. — Steve Fletcher, a member of the City Council

A national issue — According to ATRI’s top trucking industry issues report 2020, truck parking climbed two spots to No. 3 as the main issue drivers face. In fact, 98% of drivers reported having issues finding parking. Darrin Roth, vice president of highway operations for the American Trucking Associations, told American Trucker, “Whereas 38% of truck tonnage is in 32 urban areas, just 8.5% of truck parking spaces are in these areas.” A report from the Federal Highway Administration noted that between 2014 and 2019, there was a 6% increase in public truck parking spaces and an 11% increase in private parking spaces. Just like with freight, capacity needs to meet demand, and insofar as parking goes we are lagging far behind. 

SONAR: Blue – total tractors from for-hire market / Orange – total tractors from private fleets

No free parking — The INVEST in America Act has cleared a lane for $1 billion in grants to enhance states’ resources for truck parking. While the legislation itself faces heavy Republican opposition, Rep. Mike Bost, R-Ill., is driving forward the highway bill’s parking provisions. “I think everybody’s come to the realization with the studies that’ve been done, that it’s time to make that investment and send that money to the states,” said Bost in an interview with Transport Topics. There’s still a long way to go for drivers to not have a long way to go in order to find parking. Or as one driver told me, “I’ll ******* believe it when I see it.”

A Little Liberty


Meet your big sister The French steamer Isère arrived in New York 136 years ago carrying the Statue of Liberty. Now she has been joined by her little sister. Sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi’s enduring tribute to freedom has stood tall as a welcoming beacon to immigrants the world over since the 19th century. In fact, its location on Bedloe’s Island in New York Harbor was selected for its visibility to passing ships entering the land of opportunity. 

The CMA CGM Group is pleased to have provided the shipping and logistics for this historic symbol of liberty, freedom, peace and friendship. CMA CGM took care of the ocean transport for the Statue of Liberty’s Little Sister while subsidiary CEVA Logistics handled ground transportation, delivery, dismantling and setup on both sides of the Atlantic. Together, we successfully executed the mission with utmost care and surgical precision. — Ed Aldridge, president of CMA CGM and APL North America

Modern logistics Little Liberty buzzed Ellis Island and her big copper kin while aboard the CMA CGM Nerval as she made her way to Washington. For ground transportation, CEVA Logistics did the honors. Monday she was installed at the French ambassador’s residence in time to celebrate Bastille Day. The bronze statue was cast from the original 1878 mold, weighs over 1,000 pounds and stands 9 feet tall. (Big sis is 142 feet taller, something we hope doesn’t become a point of contention between the two siblings.)

In a nutshell


Mr. Peanut died for this? — Peanut shells can be a wonderful thing. Not only do they act as a natural packaging but due to the time it takes breaking them open they can stop you from consuming glovefuls of the fatty legumes. However, they can also be used to conceal meth. According to FreightWaves’ Noi Mahoney, “Hundreds of grams of methamphetamine were found stuffed inside peanut shells at an express consignment hub in Memphis, Tennessee, officials said Monday.”

Narcotics in fruit, nuts, baked goods, shoes, toys and all kinds of other items disguised as gifts or other legitimate shipments fly through the express consignment world. These days you can get a gram of methamphetamine at half the price of what cocaine costs and at twice the potency. — Michael Neipert, CBP’s New Orleans port director

Hey, man, got any nuts? — CBP nabbed the rogue shipment after an X-ray revealed some peculiarities. The officers’ suspicions proved correct as once the shells were cracked open, 489 grams of methamphetamine were discovered. Agents suspect that each peanut shell was pried open, the nuts removed and then the drugs were inserted. While the operation sounds tedious, the street value is not. The meth “would be worth between $9,780 and $29,340” on the street, Matthew Dyman, a CBP spokesman, said. That’s some spread. 

Twisted metal

Osceola County Fire Rescue

Close call — A portion of the Florida Turnpike in Osceola County was shut down on Monday morning after two semis crashed into one another. Despite the trucks going up in flames and a 250-gallon fuel spill, the drivers only sustained minor injuries in the wreck.

From ‘SNL’ to Solar City


Elon’s day in court — While Elon Musk defended Tesla’s $2.6 billion acquisition of Solar City in 2016, he let slip the reason behind one of the internet’s most recent mysteries: why the third-richest man on Earth officially changed his title to “Technoking of Tesla.” “I think I’m funny,” the Tesla CEO told the Delaware Court of Chancery on Monday when asked about the decision, Fox Business reports.

Please use as intended


TikTok teeth Brush, floss and use a Magic Eraser? That what TikToker Heather Dunn claims is the secret to her pearly whites. The social media micro-influencer also advises her audience to avoid fluoride and instead to “oil pull.” Dr. Benjamin Winters, an orthodontist from Plano, Texas, said, “Like, she’s afraid of fluoride but she’s cool with using a Magic Eraser on her teeth. A Magic Eraser is actually made of melanine foam. It’s basically foam that’s hard as glass and acts as a really abrasive sandpaper, meaning, yeah, your teeth are white because you scrubbed all the enamel off.” Is there a vaccine for this type of viral video?

WTT this week

Register for free at live.freightwaves.com

Autonomous & Electric Vehicles Summit — We’re coming to you live from FreightWaves’ latest virtual event this Wednesday. The summit begins at 9 a.m. ET and includes a topical live hour of guests with expertise in autonomous trucks including Plus Chief Operating Officer Shawn Kerrigan on WHAT THE TRUCK?!? Registration is free.

Friday — We’re back at our normal time of noon ET with Brett Suma, chief executive officer at Loadsmith; Robert Kaferle, director of safety at Reliance Partners; and Graig Morin, president of Brown Dog Carriers & Logistics.

Catch new shows live at noon ET Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays on FreightWavesTV, FreightWaves LinkedIn and Facebook or on demand by looking up WHAT THE TRUCK?!? on your favorite podcast player.

Now on demand

Freight’s greatest horror stories

Biden vs. ocean and rail

Pride in logistics

Freight goes mainstream — We loved DHL Supply Chain’s Jon Cox’s answer to the question of why students should consider a role as a solutions designer in supply chain.

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