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  • Allen Czermak

Renewing Our Supply Chain Infrastructure To Run More Efficiently

So many variables need to get implemented to get crates, pods, and your holiday gifts to their final destinations on time this season. Even if the supply chain runs smoothly from a foreign country such as China there are still many more steps so that the supply chain is not held up at any point in the intermodal transportation system.

It looks like the backup of containers that had been waiting piled up at various United States ports has lessened for several reasons, one is that the shipping industry has declined somewhat and there have been additional ports added in the United States. After two years of frantic supply chain issues, some related to the pandemic, the shipping industry has increased its capacity and many of the problems are beginning to be resolved so that customers will not be confronted with the same delays in shipments as they did the last two years. Logistic and trucking companies are working together to make the intermodal industry more innovative and efficient. Cities such as Buffalo, New York are improving and building new ports of call for the container ships to dock and unload. The trucking industry is discovering new ways and ideas to bring our goods home to us by improving the trucking routes by adding new trucks, giving better driver incentives, and using more efficient gas and motor oil in those same vehicles.

Underused Ports Are Being Upgraded

For example, Buffalo, New York has recently opened up a new port of entry even though the winter season has already begun in the Northeast bringing a major snowstorm over there. Western New York where Buffalo is located is close to Canada and situated on the Great Lakes region so this new port project focusing on logistics is quite important according to Buffalo Mayor Byron W. Brown, “Anything that we can do to enhance the visibility of the city and do it in a way that we are recruiting a company in one of four targeted industries is a very, very positive thing.”

This author has made many car trips between metropolitan New York and Toronto, and I have noticed many large companies located on this route. Some of those are Carrier Air Conditioning which is probably the largest or one of the largest AC companies in the U.S. Corning, New York is where another huge home goods industry is located. This blown glass industry makes wonderful cooking products such as Pyrex and Corelle.

Each week large ships dock at New York Harbor and thousands of containers need to be unloaded by intermodal logistic companies onto huge trucks and send the goods as quickly as possible to their destinations all over America. This must be done as fast as possible since there are still more ships waiting in the wings to unload. What if a new transportation juncture along the Buffalo, New York waterfront could be accessed?

Buffalo is the third largest metropolitan region in North America which is called, “the horseshoe zone” ranging from Toronto to Rochester. A new trans-shipment site is being built here and the result will be that our shipping containers will be cleared locally and then reloaded with exports from local manufacturing plants both in New York and Toronto, Canada. The Buffalo Niagara region has the capability of becoming a strategic international gateway” for the Port Authority.

Trucks Need To Run On High Efficiency Mode

Every devoted trucker will travel easier when he or she knows confidently that their vehicle is in optimal working condition. One of the ways to improve the wear and tear of their long hauler’s motor is by using the best grade truck oil. The pressure is on for the long hauler truckers and their logistics leaders to get to their destinations as fast and safely as possible. The cold winter months are here, and the snowstorms have started to delay all types of transportation such as air travel and trucking. Buffalo, New York is starting to revive itself from its first big snowstorm of the season and cold cities such as this one knows that this is only the beginning of treacherous winter road conditions.

What can the owners and drivers of trucks do to help make this season a successful one? Well, the loaders of crates and overseas containers are hopeful that backups are decreasing so at least that is one problem that’s improving. However, the cost of fuel is skyrocketing so what can be done to help the drivers and their trucks work more efficiently?

If you are a regular citizen who drives a car or pickup truck you might not be that knowledgeable about the different types of fuel oil available on the market today, but if you are an intermodal trucking company you do know that there are different grades and types of fuel oil available for large, long haulers. When one of your driver’s change the oil light goes on during a long trip across the United States, does he or she know which fuel oil you want them to buy? Or are they aware of the consequences and advantages of the different priced fuel oils?

A key player in the performance of a truck is the type of truck oil that is used to lubricate the engine and protect it from damage. The lifetime of a truck can be lengthened or shortened because of the fuel oil that its owner is putting in. There are two main types of truck oil, conventional and synthetic ( there are also combinations with both).

When the engine parts of a truck rub together they produce friction which in turn produces heat which causes the parts to erode. When the motor oil is superior it lays a thin coating of oil to separate each part from the other. Additionally, the motor oil is pumped throughout the engine to keep the parts separate from each other. Motor oil has other functions as well, for example, preventing harmful deposits from forming, and taking away impurities to protect and keep the truck’s engine clean.

What is Conventional Motor Oil?

Since the combustion engine was invented, conventional oil has been in existence. This motor oil is made from crude oil which comes with certain inherent levels of impurities which directly affects the way a truck engine performs. The motor oil companies do incorporate additives to combat these impurities and the cost is lower than synthetic oil. Cars and family vans are fine with this type of motor oil but when it comes to trucks that are carrying heavy loads this type of oil will not work as effectively as the synthetic variety. Most trucks have heavy-duty diesel engines and in the past several decades motor oils such as 15W40, or in cold weather, 5W40, would keep the trucks working efficiently. During cold weather the 5W40 variety was used because it has a lower pour point but ultimately the engines were wearing out.

What is Synthetic Motor Oil?

Although synthetic oil is more expensive than regular motor oil, it helps improve the fuel economy of trucks. Synthetic oil lasts longer so the driver will not have to stop and change the oil as often and save money on gas. Synthetic motor oil is made through the chemical process called the Fischer-Tropsch process which was invented in Germany when the country was short on conventional crude oil during World War 2. This process causes a chemical reaction that changes carbon monoxide and hydrogen gasses into liquid hydrocarbons. Synthetic oil is made from a variety of more refined raw materials such as mineral oil which can withstand higher temperatures than conventional motor oil causing it to last longer especially with trucks towing heavy loads.

When a truck is driven in extreme heat it needs the protection of a quality motor oil and synthetic oil fits the bill. The same holds true when it's freezing outdoors as the truck travels from state to state in winter zones.

Final Words

With Thanksgiving Day 2022 a wonderful memory of spending time with family and friends, we now look to the next winter holiday season with hope that the gifts we have ordered will come on time. With new ports opening in the United States or ports such as Buffalo, New York being updated with a new transshipment facility there are positive vibes being born throughout the country. Yes, we still have a chance of a rail strike but with other intermodal transportation options we should do okay.

It’s extremely important for those lonely long distance vehicle operators to know that their superiors are doing their utmost to ensure that their long haulers are working as efficiently and safely as possible even under snowy, rainy, or freezing conditions. Using the cleanest and most refined motor oils is one important way to keep the trucking industry going this winter. Synthetic oil may cost more initially but in the long run will save money and gas repairs. Those loyal truckers also deserve to get back home in time for the holidays.

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