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Latest Industry News Briefs Courtesy of PMTA

August, 2017

CBSA Reviewing AMPS Penalties Associated with System Outages

The introduction of monetary penalties for ACI AMPS has been an ongoing compliance issue for cross-border carriers over the last several months. Most recently, carriers have been challenged by system outages and HYPERLINK “http://cantruck.ca/cta-achieves-truck-turnaround-plan-as-alternative-to-major-aci-amps-penalties/”substantial monetary AMPS penalties associated with the filing of ACI data.

This led to discussions between CTA and CBSA regarding the fairness of the penalties. As a result, CBSA has agreed to review all AMPs penalties associated with system outages. The penalties being reviewed are ones that occurred on the shoulder period of one hour before an outage occurred and two hours following the correction of the outage. If CBSA believes that an AMPS penalty was issued unfairly to a carrier during an outage period, the penalty will be refunded. CTA has been told that refunds are already flowing back to the industry with the possibility of more to follow in the coming weeks.

CTA will also be working with CBSA over the next six months on reviewing the issues surrounding AMPs compliance and system outages. We will search for solutions and mitigation strategies that work for both industry and government.

“CTA appreciates this constructive approach by CBSA in reviewing previously-issued AMPS penalties and working with our members to develop a compliance regime that respects the needs of CBSA and the trucking industry,” said CTA’s Lak Shoan.

Carriers interested in learning more about the AMPS review system should contact their local association for more information.


ATA Backs Major Conclusions from Study of CSA Effectiveness - National Academies of Science Report Validates Industry Concerns

Arlington, VA… American Trucking Associations officials said they are pleased to see that the long-awaited review of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Compliance, Safety, Accountability safety monitoring system substantiated many of the concerns ATA has raised about the program.

“We appreciate the work the National Academies of Science has done in helping motor carriers, FMCSA and the general public learn about the limitations of CSA,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “This report has confirmed much of what we have said about the program for some time: the program, while a valuable enforcement tool, has significant shortcomings that must be addressed and we look forward to working with FMCSA to strengthen the program.”

Specifically, ATA noted the NAS study validated the trucking industry’s concerns about the inclusion of certain types of violations in the CSA system, that geographic enforcement disparities can have a significant impact on carriers’ scores and that the collection and use of clean inspections is critical to the accuracy of the program.

“We strongly agree with the National Academies’ conclusion that CSA should be based less on the ‘subject-matter expertise’ of enforcement and more on the empirically validated data,” said ATA Director of Safety Policy Sean Garney. “We also see great potential in the Academies’ recommendation that FMCSA overhaul the current CSA methodology in favor of a new, more adaptive, data-centric model with the potential to address serious flaws in the system.

“To maximize CSA’s potential, there is an urgent need to address issues regarding data sufficiency and accuracy - specifically when looking at crash and carrier exposure data,” Garney said. “Until more study - and correction - of these issues is complete, ATA strongly believes FMCSA should continue to keep CSA scores out of the public domain.”


Truckload Turnover Rate Rises Slightly in First Quarter

Arlington, VA… The turnover rate at U.S. truckload fleets rose slightly in the first quarter of 2017 while remaining at historically low levels.

“The slight uptick in turnover, despite weak freight volumes in the first quarter, may be indicative of a tightening in the driver market,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “The situation bears watching because if the freight economy picks up significantly, turnover will surely accelerate - as will concerns about the driver shortage.”

In the first three months of the year, the annualized turnover rate at large truckload fleets - those with annual revenues greater than $30 million - rose three percentage points to 74%. Despite the increase, it remains at near-historic lows and is 15 points lower than at this time last year.

The turnover rate at small truckload fleets rose two points to 66%, 22 points lower than at this time in 2016.

The turnover rate at less-than-truckload carriers, typically very low, remained so, rising two points to just 10%.


Central Freight Lines Opens New Division For Owner Operator Teams

Waco, TX… Texas-based Central Freight Lines is one of the leading carriers for owner operator opportunities. The company just announced its newest division for owner operator teams called the Expedited Elite Fleet. To fill the team spots in this new division, Central Freight Lines is contracting team drivers in Fontana, Calif.; Houston, Texas; Atlanta, Ga.; and Orlando, Fla.

“Central Freight Lines is excited to expand our fleet to add this new division for owner operator teams,” said Betsy Waldrop, recruiting director for Central Freight Lines. “We’re pairing a pay increase and excellent miles with solid freight lanes drivers can rely on.”

The different runs include Houston, Texas, to Orlando, Fla.; Orlando, Fla., to Houston, Texas; Houston, Texas to Charlotte, N.C.; and coast-to-coast runs from Fontana, Calif., to Atlanta, Ga.; and Atlanta, Ga., to Fontana, Calif. Teams in the new division will earn $1.15 base pay plus fuel surcharge. They can also expect dedicated lanes, terminal-to-terminal runs, two coast-to-coast options, and 5,000 miles or more per week. The Houston to Orlando and Houston to Charlotte runs have weekend home time and the southern runs have convenient routes along I-10 and I-20.

Interested owner operators must be at least 23 years old, have a minimum of one year OTR tractor-trailer driving experience and have a valid Class A CDL with Hazmat, doubles/triples and tanker endorsements. For more information about the opportunities at Central Freight Lines, visit HYPERLINK “http://drive4centralfreight.com/”drive4centralfreight.com.

Based in Waco, Texas, Central Freight Lines is a less-than-truckload carrier based in the Southwest that supports the logistical needs of North America’s largest manufacturing, retail and distribution enterprises. The company has a rich history of providing transportation to emerging businesses and Fortune 500 industry leaders since 1925. Central has earned numerous awards for safety and was named one of the Top 250 For-Hire Trucking Companies by Commercial Carrier Journal and one of the Top 50 Green Fleets in America by Heavy Duty Trucking. For more information about Central Freight Lines, please visit www.centralfreight.com.


TCA Opposes Potential Twin 33s Amendment

ALEXANDRIA, VA… On July 13, the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) sent a letter to the House Appropriations Committee opposing a potential amendment to the 2017 Appropriations Bill mandating Twin 33-foot trailers.

“This proposed mandate, which overrides the rights of states, will allow the supply chain to force truckload carriers to switch from single 53-foot trailers to double 33-foot trailers, due to their increased cubic capacity. There are more effective ways to meaningfully improve industry productivity,” states the letter written by TCA President John Lyboldt.

TCA encourages all member companies to call their representatives and express their concerns with, and opposition to, Twin 33s. To find the phone number for your representative, call the U.S. Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121.


Changes Coming To Ease Congestion Expected Around The Aug. 21 Eclipse

Motor carriers should expect delays and heavy congestion on major and minor highways in Oregon in the days around Aug. 21, when a solar eclipse will affect every part of the state.

Oregon’s Motor Carrier Transportation Division is taking steps to ease the expected congestion and wants to be sure all trucking operators are aware of highway conditions.

•No over-width loads will be allowed to operate anywhere in Oregon from noon Friday Aug. 18 to 12:01 a.m. Tuesday Aug. 22.

•Nearly all ODOT construction and non-emergency maintenance on state highways in the path of totality will be shut down Aug. 18-22 to ease the potential traffic impact.

•Other construction and non-emergency work will be curtailed depending on the expected traffic impact of the eclipse.

• With hundreds of thousands of additional visitors expected in Oregon, fire danger will be especially high. Motor carriers should be particularly wary of fire dangers.

• Most if not all fairgrounds are booked for events so there will be no large emergency parking areas available to commercial motor vehicles stuck in traffic due to roads blocked by crashes.

• With no hotel and motel rooms available, rest areas and even roadside pullouts may have people camping in place, which is a danger to safe highway operations and will exacerbate parking problems for commercial motor vehicles.

• Scale locations may be used for staging by law enforcement and emergency response vehicles and may not be available for use by commercial motor vehicles.

The path of totality will cover a 60-mile swath of the state, along a 338-mile path from the Pacific Ocean to Idaho. The eclipse will be at least 90 percent total everywhere in Oregon.

Of particular congestion concern are Interstate 5 and Interstate 84 and other major roads in the path of totality, including U.S. 26 throughout the state, U.S. 97, U.S. 20, U.S. 30, U.S. 101, U.S. 395, U.S. 95, OR 6, OR 18, OR 22, OR 126 and OR 58. 

Oregon is expecting as many as one million people to travel into the path of the eclipse. Large gatherings, some numbering in the tens of thousands, will watch the eclipse from parks, fairgrounds, wineries, ranches and stadiums throughout the state. Eclipse-watchers arriving before and departing after the eclipse could severely clog state roads.

To reduce congestion, Oregon is advising travelers to “Arrive early, stay put, and leave late.” Motor carriers also should plan ahead and take steps that could help them avoid major congestion problems.

Travelers may also create hazards by stopping along the road the morning of Aug. 21 as the eclipse darkens the skies. ODOT advises all motorists to avoid stopping along the roadway at the time of the eclipse, which could be hazardous.

If the projection of one million visitors bears out, communities could also see depletion of basic resources such as food and water, especially in rural areas. Motels, motels and campgrounds have been booked for months.

Like all travelers, motor carriers should plan for personal needs if stuck in traffic, for things like food, water and bathroom breaks.