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Werner (WERN) Enters Into an Agreement With Kodiak Robotics

To create an autonomous trucking lane, Werner Enterprises WERN inked a deal with Kodiak Robotics, an autonomous technology trucking company. Through this association, Werner aims to highlight that self-driving trucks can be used efficiently with a transfer hub model.

In August 2022, there was a week-long pilot program, marking the commencement of the association. In the pilot phase, a Kodiak truck, accompanied by a human safety driver, completed eight autonomous trips between Dallas and  Lake City, FL. During the pilot phase, the Kodiak self-driving truck covered 7,957 miles with a driving time of 152 hours  and achieved a 100% on-time delivery performance.

Werner also joined Kodiak’s Partner Deployment Programto ensure the daily smooth running of autonomous freight operations. The association also helps WERN integrate the Kodiak Driver into its fleet without any hassles.

Werner is benefiting from the improved freight market conditions in the United States. Against this backdrop, the association with Kodiak seems a prudent move. The improvement in freight conditions apart, efforts to reward its shareholders are encouraging.

To this end, Werner increased its quarterly dividend 8.3% to 13 cents per share in May. Other transportation players to have raised their dividend payouts this year include GATX Corporation GATX and Norfolk Southern NSC.

GATX raised its quarterly dividend 4% to 52 cents per share in January. Its commitment to rewarding its shareholders despite coronavirus-related disruptions is encouraging. The year 2022 marks the 104th consecutive year of GATX paying out dividend. It has been paying out regular dividends since 1919.

In January 2022, Norfolk Southern’s board announced a 14% increase in its quarterly dividend payout, taking the total to $1.24 per share. This was the third dividend hike announced by NSC in a year’s time. During the first half of 2022, NSC paid out dividends worth $591 million, up 2% year over year. It is also active on the buyback front.

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