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Alcoa Acquires Australian Distributor

Alcoa has acquired Australian distributor Wheel Master Pty Ltd of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. The new entity, named Alcoa Wheel Products Australia, will continue to offer the same line of products formerly offered by Wheel Master, including Alcoa forged aluminum wheels, steel wheels, hubs, drums, and tire and wheel mounting services. Wheel Master opened for business in 1992 as a distributor for Alcoa and other truck component suppliers.

Coalition Forms to Help Fight Cargo Crime Representatives of 14 cargo-security groups have joined forces to create the Coalition for Cargo Security and Law Enforcement (CCSLE). The industry-wide coalition agreed to work with the American Trucking Associations (ATA) to rewrite legislation being proposed by the ATA so that it covers the full intermodal spectrum of cargo logistics. A committee will be appointed to accomplish this goal.

The group will compile a database to record and classify cargo thefts and share information to promote more effective background checks of prospective employees. NCSC estimates that cargo theft is a $10-billion drain on the United States economy.

CCSLE was founded at an August 2000 summit meeting of cargo security organizations held in Washington DC. Lou Tyska, an independent security consultant and chairman of the National Cargo Security Council (NCSC), said the NCSC will invite additional cargo-security groups to CCSLE's next summit meeting, scheduled for December 2000.

Canadian Trucker Threat For Real, Group Says Public and private enterprises in Canada should believe the threats of independent truckers to slow and even shut down that nation's national highway transport system to protest high diesel fuel costs, says a Canadian shipper organization.

Jeanette Rennie, executive vice-president of the Purchasing Management Association of Canada, said in a press release that trucks move 90% of the materials used by businesses and consumers north of the United States border. Therefore, disruptions in Canada's trucking industry - such as high fuel prices - will be felt throughout the nation's economy.

"Truckers have a stranglehold on the business and consumer supply chain" in Canada, she said. "In turn, freight brokers have a stranglehold on truckers. That means the (supply chain) system is highly vulnerable."

Rennie said one cause for the fuel price backlash among independent trucks could be related to broker contracts.

"The government hasn't given a lot of thought to the economic relationship between brokers and truckers," she said. "Broker contracts pass on fuel costs. I am not so sure that a lot of money is making its way to the trucker, who has to reach into his own wallet at the pump."

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