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Latest Industry News Briefs Courtesy of PMTA

By PMTA

November, 2018

ATA Statement on North American Trade Agreement

Arlington, VA… Leaders of the American Trucking Associations praised the governments of the United States, Canada and Mexico for coming together on a framework for continued free trade between the three North American nations. 

“ATA is pleased that the United States, Canada and Mexico will continue their nearly 25-year-long tradition of free and open trade among North American neighbors,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “The wide-ranging pact is a positive step for the nearly 50,000 Americans working in jobs directly connected to cross-border trucking – as well as the more than seven million Americans working in trucking-related jobs.”

“ATA congratulates the Administration and the negotiators from all three countries on coming up with a deal that will continue to strengthen our collective economies and improve our relations,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “Trucks move nearly $385 billion in goods between the U.S. and Mexico, and $336 billion in trade across the Canadian border – continuing to have free trade between our three countries will only help our industry well into the future.”


Bestpass Launches National Pay-by-Plate Toll Solution for Trailer Rental and Leasing Companies

ALBANY, N.Y. – Bestpass, a company that provides single-source payment and streamlined toll management services to commercial fleets, today announced a new trailer pay-by-plate solution to help trailer rental and leasing companies avoid costly and time-consuming violations while also facilitating the seamless management of incurred toll costs, including the built-in capability to rebill toll to their customers.

“For companies that rent or lease trailers to commercial carriers, processing violations and other toll charges on behalf of their customers is time consuming and can cost them money,” said John Andrews, president and CEO of Bestpass. “We designed this new trailer plate solution, coupled with Bestpass Rebilling capability, to ensure that toll transactions are assigned to the right vehicle and company while also mitigating the impact and cost of violations and unmanaged toll.”

Rental and leasing companies that sign up for the Bestpass trailer plate solution will be able to upload and manage a complete record of all of their trailer plates, as well as be able to rebill toll from across the United States to their customers, thereby creating a solution that removes costs and accurately allocates toll expense. Instead of spending significant time processing and assigning transactions, the transactions will automatically flow through the Bestpass service.

Traditionally providing single-source payment and streamlined national toll management service to commercial trucking fleets, Bestpass launched its Leased Equipment Toll Solution (LETS) in March 2017 as a transponder-based solution for leased equipment providers, including not only tractors, but also other vehicles of all shapes and sizes. This new toll-by-plate solution further extends the company’s reach, adding rented and leased trailers to the more than 450,000 Bestpass transponders already on the road.


Bridgestone Issues Voluntary Noncompliance Recall for Certain Commercial Truck Tires

NASHVILLE, TN… Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations and Bridgestone Canada (Bridgestone) collectively are issuing a voluntary noncompliance recall of approximately 2,700 certain all position, wide base radial commercial truck tires in size 425/65R22.5. The recall includes the following tires:

Firestone FS818 tires in size 425/65R22.5 with Department of Transportation (DOT) date codes 2318 and 2418;

Bridgestone M854 tires in size 425/65R22.5 with DOT date codes 2418 and 2518;

Bridgestone M860A tires in size 425/65R22.5 with DOT date code 2518;

Bridgestone M864 tires in size 425/65R22.5 with DOT date codes 2318 and 2418.

All tires covered under this recall were manufactured on specific dates between June 10, 2018 and June 30, 2018, and sold in the United States, Canada and Mexico. Firestone FS818, Bridgestone M854, Bridgestone M860A and Bridgestone M864 commercial truck tires manufactured outside the affected production range meet regulatory requirements and are not part of the recall.

The affected tires may not comply with a specific endurance test requirement as prescribed under the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and similar applicable laws and regulations in Canada and Mexico. In affected tires, there may be a risk of exposure of steel body cords in the sidewall to the environment, which could lead to deterioration of the cords in that area. If a rapid air loss occurs due to that condition while the vehicle is operating, there may be an increased risk of a crash. This is a voluntary noncompliance recall and there are no known accidents or injuries.

Bridgestone is notifying regulatory agencies in affected regions in accordance with local laws. Bridgestone also is notifying potentially affected commercial original equipment manufacturers, national account fleets, authorized dealers, company-owned stores and end-user customers to recover and replace any tires that are included in the recall. Bridgestone will replace all eligible recalled tires with a comparable Bridgestone or Firestone all position, wide base radial commercial truck tire in size 425/65R22.5 manufactured outside the affected production range, or with a suitable replacement tire. These tires will be replaced at no charge to customers.

Consistent with the company’s longstanding commitment to safety, customer satisfaction and service, owners of tires subject to this recall are urged to contact their authorized Bridgestone tire dealer or company-owned service center to arrange verification and replacement.

To find an authorized Bridgestone dealer, visit the Bridgestone commercial tire website: https://commercial.bridgestone.com/en-us/index. Customers in the U.S. and Mexico with questions about the voluntary noncompliance recall may contact Bridgestone Technical Service at 1-800-847-3272. Customers in Canada may call Bridgestone Canada Technical Service at 1-800-267-1318; select option 7.


CTA Welcomes New Trade Deal; Starts Process to Determine Impact on Trucking Industry

The Canadian Trucking Alliance is pleased Canada and the U.S. were able to strike a new trade agreement this week. During a preliminary review, the Alliance highlighted how the pact could impact cross-border trade facilitation at various border crossing points and will continue to assess how the deal affects the industry and various segments of the Canadian economy as details become available.

“CTA firmly believes the Government of Canada delivered the best deal possible. Now it’s up to the supply chain to take some time to understand what this deal means to our businesses,” said CTA president Stephen Laskowski. “The US is by far our largest trading partner and with over 70 percent of that trade being moved by truck, CTA welcomes the certainty of a trade deal.”

“Obviously this is an extremely complex agreement that impacts all sectors of the economy served by CTA members. This deal will introduce changes to our customer base and possibly our cross-border operations. Identifying all the changes will take time to unravel. In the meantime, CTA will work with the Canadian negotiating team to understand the finer elements of the agreement.”

CTA’s initial analysis of certain sections of the agreement identified some potential changes related to how goods cross the border:

•Potential revisions to the temporary admission of goods as it relates to movements in-transit

•Changes to promote trade facilitation through electronic submissions and potential changes to warehousing rules

•Express shipments and changes to the monetary value of goods to which import duties apply

•Enshrining that each country shall establish a single window or maintain a single window system no later than December 31, 2018 that enables the electronic submission through a single-entry point of documents and data

•Potential changes to the administration of customs penalties, and how they are imposed, including the treatment of “clerical” or “minor” errors

•Facilitating trade through programs designed to improve the movement of goods through ports of entry, including if feasible, alignment of hours of service, joint customs inspections and shared facilities

“When this process began, CTA met with its customs committee to develop a wish list we hoped would be addressed during the NAFTA discussions,” said Lak Shoan, CTA director, Policy and Industry Awareness Programs. “CTA will be reviewing the agreement’s text and following up with government to understand the complete impact of what was agreed upon.”

Over the next several weeks CTA will be updating its members on the agreement’s impact. For more information contact lak.shoan@ontruck.org.


CVSA Releases 2018 Operation Safe Driver Week Results

Greenbelt, MD… Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) enforcement personnel patrolled roadways during Operation Safe Driver Week, July 15-21, 2018, to identify CMV drivers and passenger vehicle drivers engaged in unsafe driving behaviors. Officers issued 57,405 citations and 87,907 warnings to drivers throughout the week. This safe driving enforcement and awareness campaign aims to call attention to driver behaviors, the main cause of crashes, and combat those behaviors through heightened traffic safety enforcement and educational outreach.

During Operation Safe Driver Week, a safety initiative of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA), 51,000 law enforcement officers made contact with 113,331 CMV drivers and passenger vehicle drivers and issued 57,405 citations. A total of 42,144 CMV contacts were made with 10,709 citations issued and 71,187 passenger vehicle contacts were made with 46,696 citations issued.

In addition to the citations that were issued to drivers throughout Operation Safe Driver Week, officers also issued a total of 87,907 warnings. CMV drivers were given 29,908 warnings; 57,999 warnings were given to passenger vehicle drivers.

The top five citations issued to CMV drivers were:

1. State/Local Laws – 6,008 citations

2. Speeding – 1,908 citations

3. Failing to use a seat belt while operating a CMV – 1,169 citations

4. Failure to obey a traffic control device – 754 citations

5. Using a handheld phone – 262 citations

The top five citations issued to passenger vehicle drivers were:

1. State/Local Laws – 21,511 citations

2. Speeding – 16,909 citations

3. Failing to use a seat belt – 3,103 citations

4. Inattentive and/or careless driving – 1,655 citations

5. Failure to obey a traffic control device – 739 citations

Speeding was the second most cited infraction for both CMV drivers and passenger vehicle drivers. A total of 16,909 passenger vehicle drivers were issued citations for speeding, versus 1,908 citations to CMV drivers. In addition, 17 CMV drivers and 714 passenger vehicle drivers were cited for driving too fast for the conditions.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2016, 18 percent of drivers involved in a fatal crash were speeding at the time of the crash and 27 percent of those killed were in a crash involving at least one speeding driver.

Failure to wear a seat belt was the third most cited offense for both CMV drivers and passenger vehicle drivers. Officers issued 3,103 citations to passenger vehicle drivers and 1,169 to CMV drivers for failure to wear a seat belt. As a percentage of the total number of citations, failure to wear a seat belt represented 10.9 percent of Operation Safe Driver Week CMV driver citations and 6.6 percent of the total percentage of passenger vehicle driver citations.

NHTSA research found that of the total number of people killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2016, 48 percent were not wearing a seat belt. Seat belts could have saved an estimated 2,456 people if they had been wearing one. For professional drivers specifically, safety belt usage by commercial truck and bus drivers was at 86 percent in 2016, according to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) survey data.

When it comes to distracted driving, 211 passenger vehicle driver citations during Operation Safe Driver Week were for texting; 20 texting citations were issued to CMV drivers. 127 passenger vehicle drivers and 262 CMV drivers were cited for using a handheld phone.

According to NHTSA, in 2016, 3,450 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers. NHTSA also estimated that of the total number of roadway deaths, crashes and injuries, 660,000 drivers were using an electronic device while behind the wheel. Of the total number of fatal crashes, 10 percent involved the use of a phone. And according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, each day in the United States, approximately nine people are killed and more than 1,000 injured in crashes reported to involve a distracted driver.

Operation Safe Driver Week results also of note:

* A total of 1,822 drivers (1,699 passenger vehicle drivers and 123 CMV drivers) were cited for reckless, inattentive and/or careless driving.

* 366 drivers were cited for possession/use/under the influence of alcohol or drugs or both. 42 of the citations were issued to CMV drivers; 324 were issued to passenger vehicle drivers.

* Specific to CMV drivers, 17 were cited for operating their vehicle while ill or fatigued, and 14 received citations for using/equipping their CMV with a radar detector.

Public awareness and educational campaigns are also a major aspect of this initiative. CVSA offers resources on its website for CMV drivers, teen and novice drivers, driver’s education instructors and driver trainers. During Operation Safe Driver Week, 177 safety programs were downloaded and delivered to teens and CMV drivers. The safety programs target unsafe driving behaviors and aim to prevent crashes through effective education.

* The Teens and Trucks youth safe-driving campaign had 27 downloads.

* Defeat Distracted Driving, a commercial driver safety campaign, had 78 downloads.

* Improving Driver Behaviors resources for driver trainers had 72 downloads.

In addition to enforcement and education, 8,533 motorists were assisted during Operation Safe Driver Week, highlighting the dedication to service and safety by law enforcement.

As in prior years, FMCSA participated in 2018 Operation Safe Driver Week by directing federal safety investigators to focus on carriers with recent crash involvement and high percentiles in the driver-based Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Category (BASIC). Although investigative and enforcement data continue to be collected and analyzed, as of the date of this release, FMCSA completed 108 compliance investigations and cited more than 100 acute and critical violations.

“During Operation Safe Driver Week, law enforcement officers throughout the United States and Canada aimed to reduce the number of crashes on our roadways through an effective mix of education and enforcement of highway safety,” said CVSA President Capt. Christopher Turner with the Kansas Highway Patrol. “By improving the driving behaviors of all drivers operating in an unsafe manner, either in or around commercial motor vehicles, we are working our way toward the goal of zero roadway deaths.” 


Driverless Trucks Could Replace Many Of The Nation’s Best Long-Distance Trucking Jobs, While Shifting The Industry Towards More Low-Wage Gig Jobs

New study concludes that eroding job quality should be as serious a concern as job loss – and identifies public policies to ensure a future of good jobs in the industry.

Without action from policymakers, driverless trucks are projected to eliminate some of America’s best trucking jobs while also creating low-wage gig jobs, according to the first in-depth study of how autonomous trucks could be adopted by specific segments of the industry and affect wages and working conditions.

In Driverless?: Autonomous Trucks and the Future of the American Trucker, Dr. Steve Viscelli, a sociologist and trucking expert at the University of Pennsylvania, projects that under the adoption scenario that leading technology firms are working towards, autonomous trucks would primarily handle long-distance highway driving while human drivers navigate local streets. Specifically:

•Autonomous trucks could replace as many as 294,000 long-distance driving jobs.

•83,000 of the best trucking jobs, with stable careers and average annual earnings between $60,000 and $70,000, would be at high risk of automation.

•Another 211,000 lesser-quality jobs would also be at risk. Their annual earnings average between $46,000 and $53,000 and workers suffer from exploitative labor practices and high turnover.

•While new local driving and delivery jobs (with humans at the wheel) would be created, data suggests these jobs could pay just half as much as those lost through automation. These workers are also likely to be misclassified as independent contractors, without basic benefits, labor protections, or the right to organize for better pay and conditions.

“This is the first study to both forecast potential scenarios for how autonomous trucks could be adopted by specific segments of the trucking industry, and what that could mean for the quality of trucking jobs,” said author Steve Viscelli. “In contrast to earlier estimates that autonomous trucks would eliminate all 2.1 million trucking jobs, this approach tells a more nuanced story, where some jobs would be lost and others created, but with significant negative effects on wages, working conditions, and employment status.”

The report was jointly commissioned by the UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education (Labor Center) and Working Partnerships USA, and is part of a broader multi-industry research project on the impact of new technologies on work supported by the Ford Foundation, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and the Open Society Foundations.

“This report makes clear that it’s time to move beyond robots apocalypse thinking,” said Annette Bernhardt, director of the Low-Wage Work Program at the UC Berkeley Labor Center. “The real challenge of the next 20 years may be less about rampant job losses than about technology having the effect of degrading wages and working conditions and exacerbating already high levels of inequality.”

Driverless? identifies and analyzes six possible scenarios for how autonomous trucks could be introduced by industry, with different job and environmental impacts. The analysis was based on extensive background research and interviews with engineers, developers, trucking firms, and drivers about the direction the industry is heading.

“Right now, we’re on a path where tech developers and big companies decide what technologies get introduced, while workers and the public bear the cost of those choices,” said Derecka Mehrens, executive director of Working Partnerships USA. “If we want innovation to benefit all of us, we need a more balanced approach: one where workers and the public play an active role in guiding innovation, and those who profit from new technology also take responsibility for its impacts.”

The report proposes new policies to ensure that advances in autonomous driving technology benefit workers, the environment, and the public, including:

•Establishing a multi-stakeholder Trucking Innovation and Jobs Council to develop a shared innovation agenda, create career pathways, and support displaced workers.

•Laying the foundation for a 21st century freight industry by addressing the exploitative labor practices that currently prevail in the industry segments that are projected to grow.

•Promoting innovation with social and environmental benefits, such as electric local trucks and human-drone highway platoons.

Working Partnerships USA is a community organization bringing together the power of grassroots organizing and public policy innovation to drive the movement for a just economy. Based in Silicon Valley, it tackles the root causes of inequality and poverty by leading collaborative campaigns for quality jobs, healthy communities, equitable growth and vibrant democracy. WPUSA builds the capacity of workers, low-income neighborhoods and communities of color to lead and govern.

The UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education (Labor Center) is a public service project of the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment (IRLE) at UC Berkeley. IRLE connects world-class research with policy to improve workers’ lives, communities, and society. Since 1964, the Labor Center has produced research, trainings, and curricula that deepen understanding of employment conditions and develop diverse new generations of leaders.


Drivewyze Adds Six New Locations for Weigh Station Bypass in Missouri

DALLAS, TX… Drivewyze PreClear weigh station bypass has expanded its service along I-44 and I-70 through Missouri with the re-activation of six bypass sites. Those join two existing bypass sites the company already has operational near Joplin on I-44 east and westbound.

Activation of the weigh station bypass sites began following the installation and calibration of new weigh-in-motion sensors embedded in the roadway.

“Missouri is a key state in the Drivewyze network, and with our sites now re-activated we’ve unlocked further coast-to-coast bypass opportunities for drivers,” said Brian Heath, president and CEO of Drivewyze. “This is great news for our customers, and for other carriers that have been anticipating the reactivation of the Drivewyze service in the state. The Drivewyze network offers bypass opportunities at more than twice as many sites as any other provider. For years, the bypass market was under-served; Drivewyze is on a mission to change that. There has never been a better time for carriers to adopt this high-value service or to switch from old transponder- based systems. If you do the math, it’s an easy choice. More bypasses not only improves a carrier’s bottom line, it makes a positive impact on driver’s lives.”

The six newly activated Drivewyze sites are located in Foristell, Mayview and St. Clair (both east and westbound). Foristell is on I-70 west of St. Louis (between St. Louis and Kansas City); Mayview is on I-70 east of Kansas City (between St. Louis and KC); St. Clair is on I-44 SW of St. Louis (between Spring Field and St. Louis).

The sites are located on the main arteries of Missouri, accounting for the majority of all truck traffic.

“We are pleased to have restored services in Missouri and will continue to fulfill the terms of our long-term partnership with the show-me state,” said Heath. “Missouri is a key state in the national transportation network and we know that restoring these sites back to full operation is welcome news for drivers and fleets.”

With the Drivewyze PreClear weigh station bypass service on their Drivewyze-enabled smartphones, tablets, and electronic logging devices customers can now receive bypass opportunities at more than 700 locations, in 43 states and provinces.

A significant amount of regional intermodal freight moves to and from the four intermodal facilities in Kansas City. Plus, more than 180 trucking companies call Joplin home with I-44 being one of two major routes connecting the Joplin region. Missouri is a major state for trucking and we are here to help them.”

The Drivewyze PreClear weigh station bypass application is available on a number of Drivewyze partner platforms, including Omnitracs, PeopleNet, Pegasus Transflo, Rand McNally, Zonar, and Platform Science. Fleets can request a free weigh station activity report to help them determine how much Drivewyze can potentially save them before activating the subscription-based weigh station bypass service. The application is also available for Android and iOS-based tablets or smartphones.

Drivewyze comes with a free Weigh Station Heads-Up service for real-time notifications at more than 1,200 weigh stations and inspection sites nationwide. To learn more about Drivewyze, please visit www.drivewyze.com.


Drivewyze Customers To Receive Weigh Station Bypasses in Oregon

DALLAS, TX… Truck fleets and operators using Drivewyze® PreClear weigh station bypass service will soon be able to receive bypasses at 21 weigh stations in Oregon through the Oregon Green Light (OGL) preclearance program.

The Green Light sites are automated weigh stations on U.S. Interstates 5, 82, and 84; U.S. Highways 30, and 97; and Oregon Highways 58 and 730. Drivewyze is integrating with the Green Light Program through its back office, so that customers can use their Drivewyze-equipped ELD, to access bypass opportunities. Activation of the new sites will take place over the next few months.

“Carriers and drivers using our weigh station bypass service won’t need to separately sign up for the Oregon Green Light program, install a separate transponder, or incur any additional cost,” said Brian Mofford, vice president of government experience for Drivewyze. “This is great news for Drivewyze customers travelling on Interstate 5.”

The integration comes as a win for the state of Oregon as the state has continued to grow its program while offering bypass opportunities to more trucks, said David McKane, safety program manager at the Motor Carrier Transportation Division (MCTD) at the Oregon Department of Transportation. Since its deployment in 2001, OGL has provided more than 25 million preclearance bypasses to nearly 4,000 participating truck fleets and operators. In cost savings, according to the OGL program, that equates to 2 million hours saved for truckers, and more than $250 million saved in operational costs.

“By seamlessly integrating our two systems and providing weigh station bypasses to Drivewyze customers, our agency can realize OGL’s full potential by offering even more bypasses to safe truck fleets and operators,” McKane explained. “With fewer trucks pulling in, traffic congestion in and around our state’s busiest weigh stations and ports of entry will be reduced.”

Agencies like the MCTD find that by reducing congestion at weigh stations, they can improve traffic safety, particularly in dense urban areas like Portland, Mofford said. Merging in and out of traffic to enter and exit a weigh station can create serious safety issues for drivers as they deal with changing lanes in bumper-to-bumper traffic or in traffic moving at widely varying speeds, he said. As traffic inside the weigh station piles up, a lineup of trucks can form. This can create even bigger problem for truck drivers and the motoring public when the lineup backs up into the highway or interstate before enforcement officers can temporarily close the station or wave trucks off.

“By keeping their compliant trucks traveling on the mainline, safe fleets and operators avoid burning more fuel while waiting at the scale house for unnecessary inspections or merging into traffic and getting back up to highway speed,” Mofford added. “Plus, enforcement officers can keep the stations open without creating or contributing to more congestion.”

With Drivewyze currently offering weigh station bypasses at more than 700 sites in 43 states and provinces, it operates the largest weigh station bypass network in the United States and Canada.

To learn more about Drivewyze, please visit www.drivewyze.com.


Kriska Transportation Group Acquires BTC Express

Prescott, Ontario and Brantford, Ontario… Kriska Transportation Group (KTG) is pleased to announce the acquisition of BTC Express (BTC) of Brantford, Ontario. BTC will continue to be led by the current management team including Jacob Bicz as General Manager.

“KTG is very excited to welcome BTC, and its employee’s, contractors and customers to the KTG family,” says KTG CEO, Mark Seymour, “BTC will compliment well with the other KTG operating companies who function in the temperature-controlled space. That is a big part of our value proposition on both assets and brokerage. BTC is a safe, well managed and family-oriented company. That fits perfectly with KTG values.”

“When my brother Jan and I decided it was time to sell our business, we carefully considered whom we wanted to align our people and our customers with,” expressed Jacob Bicz, “Jan will pursue other interests, but I wanted to stay and grow the business. KTG offers each of us what we wanted, including a culture that we see as a great fit. KTG will let us be who we have been, but help us be better. The future is bright for BTC with KTG, and that’s what we wanted.”

BTC is a second-generation family business that has been owned and operated by the Bicz brothers, Jacob and Jan, for the past ten years. They are an asset-based truckload company that specializes in refrigerated freight with 65 power units and 150 trailers covering all of Canada and the United States.

KTG and its operating companies welcome BTC into the family and are looking forward to future collaboration and growth.

Founded in 2014, Kriska Transportation Group (KTG) is a growth-oriented transportation and logistics company based in Prescott, ON. KTG owns a collection of independently operated asset-based companies, with a strong focus on cross border, truckload freight. KTG seeks to invest in companies with best-in-class safety, driver retention, and financial results, and that are based in Eastern Canada. KTG’s brands include Kriska Holdings Limited, Mill Creek Motor Freight LP, JMF Transport (1992) Ltée., Transpro Freight Systems Limited, Service Freight Systems and BTC Express.


NATSO Statement on Swipe Fee Settlement

NATSO President and CEO Lisa Mullings issued the following statement on the Visa, Mastercard Swipe Fee Settlement:

“NATSO is thoroughly reviewing the Payment Card Interchange Fee and Merchant Discount Antitrust Litigation document, but an initial review indicates that it does nothing to address the problems that merchants and their customers have with swipe fees.

For the past six years, merchants have continued to pay tens of billions of dollars in fees to credit card companies yet today find themselves without real reform to the credit card payment system.

This deal does not resolve merchants’ concerns about the ability of credit card companies to set inflated fees for all merchants accepting credit and debit card payments nor does it deal with the card company rules that prevent any type of competitive market from taking shape.

It’s disappointing that in the six years since merchants rejected the last settlement offer that we find ourselves asked to consider another proposal that does not address our core concerns.

The fact that merchants need effective, long-term relief from the crushing fees imposed by credit card companies has not changed.”


New Freight Forecast Projects Continued Growth for Trucking

Washington, DC… American Trucking Associations released the latest edition of its Freight Forecast – freight volumes are projected to increase 4.2% in 2018 and increase 35.6% by 2029.

“Freight Forecast is our look at the future of the freight economy – how it is growing, how it is changing and how it is both affecting and being affected by the economy at home and abroad,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “The movement of goods is such a critical component of our economy, and the growth we’re projecting in freight demand is a reflection of its strength.”

This edition of ATA Freight Forecast 2018 to 2029 was released at ATA’s second annual Economic Summit.

Among the report’s findings:

•Total tonnage transported will reach nearly 16 billion tons in 2018 – a figure that should rise 35.6% to 21.7 billion tons in 2029.

•Truck volumes are expected to grow 2.3% per year from 2019-2024 and 2.2% annually for the next five years.

•Changes in demand for commodities – notably commodities moved by pipeline – will alter trucking’s share of freight volumes. While in 2018, trucks are projected to move 70.2% of total tonnage, that share is expected to sink to 65.9% in 2029. Nonetheless, the trucking industry will remain the single largest mover of freight.

•The transport of freight by rail, including intermodal, will account for 12.6% of tonnage this year – but that figure is expected to drop to 10% in 2029 – again, due to strength in pipeline, not falling rail volumes.

“Projected increases in freight volumes demand we act now on important issues facing trucking and the rest of the supply chain like workforce development and infrastructure investment,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “More freight means we’ll need more trucks and more drivers to continue safely delivering our nation’s goods.”


New Report Finds Trucking Industry Revenues Topped $700 Billion

Arlington, VA…. American Trucking Associations released the latest edition its annual compendium of trucking industry data – ATA American Trucking Trends 2018 – highlighting the industry’s dominance over the freight market.

“Information, when presented properly and accurately, tells a story,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “The information in these pages highlights exactly what I tell elected officials, regulators and key decision-makers every day: trucking is literally the driving force behind our great economy. Safe, reliable and efficient motor carriers enable businesses throughout the supply chain to maintain lean inventories, thereby saving the economy billions of dollars each year.”

Among the findings in this year’s edition of Trends:

•Trucks moved 10.77 billion tons of freight, 70.2% of all domestic freight tonnage;

•The industry generated $700.1 billion in annual revenue in 2017, 79.3% of the nation’s freight bill;

•The industry moved 69.1% of all trade between the U.S. and Mexico, and 57.7% of Canada-U.S. trade;

•Roughly 7.7 million people were employed in jobs related to trucking activity, including 3.5 million drivers;

•Of those 3.5 million drivers, there were 1.7 million heavy and tractor-trailer drivers. Minorities account for 40.6% of all drivers and 6.2% of truck drivers are women.

“Trucking is a critical part of the economy and the supply chain,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “Trends allows policymakers and business leaders to see just how big that impact is while debating key issues like trade, infrastructure investment, workforce development and tax policy.”

American Trucking Trends is available for purchase at www.atabusinesssolutions.comor by calling 866-821-3468.


OOIDA Applauds FMCSA For Recognizing That Truck Drivers With Diabetes Can Operate Safely 

Grain Valley, MO… For more than a decade, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association has encouraged the government to reduce the costly and unnecessary obstacles that prevent safe truck drivers with diabetes to operate in interstate commerce. Today, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced a final rule revising regulations permitting individuals with properly controlled insulin-treated diabetes mellitus (ITDM) to be qualified by a certified medical examiner for up to 12 months.

“It’s time that drivers were recognized for their commitment to safety and commitment to health,” said Todd Spencer, president of OOIDA. “This rule makes sense and we hope to see more like it.”

Previously, individuals with ITDM were prohibited from driving commercial vehicles in interstate commerce unless they obtained an exemption from FMCSA, which meant additional administrative and financial burdens. The final rule will eliminate the exemption program that requires those with diabetes to take on recurring costs to renew and maintain their exemptions.

“We hope to see more efforts like this from the agency, where the focus is on reducing red tape and regulatory burdens to keep safe drivers on the road. We look forward to working with FMCSA on other revisions to medical regulations,” added Spencer.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association is the largest national trade association representing the interests of small-business trucking professionals and professional truck drivers. The Association currently has more than 160,000 members nationwide. OOIDA was established in 1973 and is headquartered in the greater Kansas City, Mo. area.


OOIDA Says Increasing Tolls On Trucks Only In Indiana Is Punitive And Will Not Solve State’s Infrastructure Problems

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association sent a letter to Indiana governor Eric Holcomb, strongly objecting to his 35 percent truck-only toll increase on the Indiana Toll Road, as well as comments he recently made to justify his plan. OOIDA opposes the increase, calling it ineffective, punitive and discriminatory.

“A truck-only toll increase smacks of a betrayal of reasonable public policy,” said Todd Spencer, president of OOIDA. “We are also appalled at the lack of transparency associated with a proposal that will no doubt fail to solve the state’s serious history of financial problems and bad decisions regarding infrastructure and transportation.”

In the letter, the Association objected to recent comments by the governor that trucks cause “10,000 times” more damage to roads, and that truckers are “lucky they aren’t being charged 10,000 times more than cars.”

“Despite your absurd and unsubstantiated claims, truckers already pay more than their fair-share in transportation-related taxes. As much as the government likes to treat them as such, truckers are not rolling piggy banks!” said Spencer.

OOIDA often points out that trucking is an industry primarily comprised of small-businesses and that more than 96 percent of truck fleets have fewer than 20 trucks.

“They are the backbone of our economy and deliver billions of dollars of freight that supports every community in America. Tolls impose financial burdens on small-business truckers who are already operating on the smallest of margins,” said Spencer

OOIDA also expressed concern about truck traffic being diverted to other routes, disrupting those communities and increasing congestion.

“This undermines the financial viability of the toll road itself as demonstrated by the previous operator,” said Spencer. “Our Interstate Highway System was built to provide citizens of this nation with the ability to move about freely, including the ability to transport freight in an efficient and affordable manner for the benefit of all Americans and our economy. Indiana, through the leasing of the ITR, has unequivocally jeopardized this system.”


PA Ag Department to Businesses: Train Employees, Permit Vehicles to Ensure Uninterrupted Commerce with NY 

Harrisburg, PA… On the heels of New York announcing last week that it will ramp up actions to protect itself from the Spotted Lanternfly, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture is encouraging businesses operating within the commonwealth’s 13-county quarantine zone to train employees on how to identify and eradicate the invasive pest so as to not spread it inadvertently.

Last week, New York’s Department of Agriculture and Markets announced that businesses working in Pennsylvania’s quarantine area and moving products into New York without a permit may be issued a notice of rejection. Companies that receive three notices of rejection may be denied entry into New York. New York officials – as well as officials in neighboring New Jersey – have said they will honor Spotted Lanternfly permits issued to businesses by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.

The commonwealth has partnered with the Penn State Cooperative Extension to offer a training program that, upon successful completion, conveys a permit for businesses in order to comply with state quarantine orders to ensure shipments are not rejected at the border.

“When a business is moving in and out of the quarantine zone, whether transporting people or commodities, there is an increased risk of spreading Spotted Lanternfly,” said Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding. “By obtaining a permit, businesses signal that they’re committed to protecting Pennsylvania’s trade and commerce.”

New York’s quarantine restricts movement of regulated articles originating from or moved through a quarantine area for Spotted Lanternfly and into their state, unless the regulated article (which may include items stored outside, plants, green lumber, mulch, and other items):

•is accompanied by a certificate of inspection;

•has been loaded, handled, or shipped in a manner reasonably designated to prevent it from becoming infested with or harboring Spotted Lanternfly; and

•is accompanied by a waybill that sets forth its point of origin and intended destination.

Business owners, supervisors, or designated company representatives may take the permit training and exam at https://extension.psu.edu/spotted-lanternfly. Questions can be sent to slfpermit@pa.gov.

Find out more about Spotted Lanternfly at www.agriculture.pa.gov/spottedlanternfly, https://extension.psu.edu/spotted-lanternfly, and www.aphis.usda.gov/hungrypest/slf


PA Turnpike, Funding Partners Celebrate Opening of Interstate 95 Link

BRISTOL TOWNSHIP, PA… The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, along with its ground-transportation funding partners, recently celebrated the opening of a long-awaited interchange connecting Interstates 95 and 276 (the PA Turnpike) in Bucks County. The Pennsylvania Turnpike/Interstate 95 Interchange Project directly connect the two highways.

“Motorists who travel in this area have been waiting a long time to realize the benefits this direct link will bring, namely reduced congestion on Bucks County roadways and improved traffic flow in the Philadelphia region and the entire east coast,” said PA Turnpike Commissioner Pasquale T. (Pat) Deon Sr. “At 1,900 miles, I-95 is the longest north-south artery in the United States and our most-used highway regarding vehicle miles traveled.”

The interchange, which will open to traffic for the Sept. 24 morning commute, is made up of two highway-speed (55 mph) connecting structures: One, 2,300 feet long, will carry northbound I-95 traffic onto the eastbound PA Turnpike (I-276). The other, 2,500 feet long, will carry westbound I-276 traffic onto southbound I-95.

“This new interchange — along with the re-designation of parts of the New Jersey and Pennsylvania turnpikes — will finally complete I-95’s missing link, making the interstate continuous from Florida to Maine,” said PA Turnpike CEO Mark Compton. “Its opening also marks the completion of the original Interstate system decades after the law that created the network of highways was signed in 1956.”

Upon opening of these “flyovers” — so named because they can be traveled at highway speeds — the PA Turnpike stretch in Bristol Township from the new interchange east to the New Jersey line will be re-designated as I-95. From the new interchange, northbound I-95 will be routed east along the PA Turnpike, across the Delaware River Bridge to the NJ Turnpike Connector, then on to the northbound NJ at Turnpike Exit 6.

“Without a doubt, a crucial project benefit besides congestion relief and mobility is the economic boost for Bucks County and the entire southeastern Pennsylvania region,” Commissioner Deon said. “The completed interchange could support thousands of new jobs in existing industries in addition to the more than 500 sustained construction jobs we’ve already seen. From a market attractiveness standpoint, we’re looking at employment growth of thousands of regional jobs along with hundreds of millions of dollars in new business sales.”

The re-designation of the PA Turnpike as I-95 east of the new interchange also necessitated a re-designation of a segment of I-95 from the PA Turnpike over the Scudder Falls bridge into New Jersey and terminating at U.S. Route 1 above Trenton. Earlier this year, I-95 in New Jersey was re-designated as I-295 North/South from U.S. Route 1 to the Scudder Falls bridge. After this change, I-95 was converted to I-295 East/West in Pennsylvania from the Scudder Falls bridge to the PA Turnpike.

“Collaboration and the use of technology have played large roles in the success of this project,” said PennDOT District 6 Executive Kenneth M. McClain. “Utilizing Dynamic Message Boards to alert motorists of construction activities along the corridor provided a tremendous safety benefit to drivers and construction workers alike. This continued partnership between PennDOT, the Pennsylvania Turnpike and the other agencies has given way to a seamless commute for those traveling Interstate 95.”

Approximately $450 million, split roughly evenly among FHWA and the PA Turnpike, has been spent to date on Stage 1 components.

“Interstate 95 is a vital transportation link which serves over 10 percent of the Nation’s land area connecting the major cities along the eastern part of the country which represents 40 percent of the population or roughly 110 million people,” said FHWA Division Administrator Alicia Nolan. “Extensive levels of teamwork and collaboration between many jurisdictions — local, State and Federal — and key stakeholders were required to achieve the construction of this critical project.”

The project included construction of different elements needed to make this connection a reality. They included:

•3 miles of new interchange flyovers and Interchange ramp reconstruction;

•14 new bridges in addition to the multi-span flyover structures;

•17 new interstate lane miles;

•environmental features including three acres of wetland mitigation; a half-mile of stream mitigation; new Red-bellied Turtle habitat enhancements in Silver Lake Park and along the Mill Creek Corridor; state-of-art highway runoff best management practices, including 31 stormwater management basins; three rain gardens;

•a high-speed, westbound cashless-tolling location, the first of its kind in the Commonwealth;

•a new, conventional mainline toll plaza at Neshaminy Falls with Express E-ZPass lanes;

•advanced Intelligent Transportation display and communication systems to notify motorists of conditions during construction, as well as a work-zone traveler information and incident notification system;

•more than 2.5 miles of retaining walls;

•more than 3 miles of new sound barriers; and

•roadway, traffic-signal and multimodal improvements to these adjacent roadways essential to the project: State Route 132 (Street Road), State Route 13 (Bristol Pike), State Route 413 (Veterans Highway), State Route 2049 (Durham Road), State Route 2023 (Galloway Road), State Route 2029 (Bristol-Oxford Valley Road), State Route 2035 (Richlieu Road) and State Route 2192 (Ford Road).

The construction schedule for Stage 2, which consists of the six remaining interchange movements between Interstates 276, 95 and 295, and Stage 3, a future Delaware River Bridge project, is largely dependent on funding.

 Tolling

Southbound Interstate 95 traffic using the connector will pay a toll (in place on Interstate 276 nearly three years now) as they enter Pennsylvania from New Jersey. This highway-speed cashless tolling point at the Turnpike Bridge over the Delaware River was implemented in anticipation of the connector. Neither toll tickets nor cash are accepted.

E-ZPass motorists pay $5 for a two-axle (passenger) vehicle; non-E-ZPass motorists pay $6.75 for a two-axle (passenger) vehicle via PA Turnpike TOLL BY PLATE, a cashless system that takes a photo of the license plate and mails an invoice to the vehicle owner. For commercial operators, each additional axle will cost an additional $5 for E-ZPass motorists and an additional $6.75 for non-E-ZPass motorists.

Pennsylvania is one of seven states where tolls are not currently charged for vehicles travelling on Interstate 95. Six states — Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, New Hampshire and Maine — today charge all I-95 vehicles a toll while two others (Florida and Virginia) offer optional, tolled express lanes to I-95 motorists.

The Pennsylvania Turnpike/Interstate 95 Interchange project management team includes Jacobs Engineering Group Inc., (design manager); KCI Technologies Inc. (environmental consultant); and Urban Engineers Inc. (construction manager). Designers are Gannett Fleming; Johnson, Mirmiran & Thompson; Louis Berger Group; McCormick Taylor; ms consultants, inc.; Pennoni Associates, Inc.; Rummel, Klepper & Kahl; and STV Inc.

To learn more visit http://i95link.com/.


U.S. XPRESS ENTERPRISES, INC. LAUNCHES “FULL RIDE”- A FIRST-OF-ITS-KIND COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM PROVIDING FULL TUITION FOR TRUCK DRIVERS AND THEIR DEPENDENTS

Chattanooga, TN September 10, 2018 – U.S. Xpress Enterprises, Inc. (NYSE: USX) (“U.S. Xpress” or the “Company”), a leading, national trucking company, today announced the launch of “Full Ride,” a college scholarship program for drivers and their families that is the first of its kind in the trucking industry.

Experience the interactive multichannel news release here: https://www.multivu.com/players/English/8386851-us…

The U.S. Xpress Full Ride scholarship program provides U.S. Xpress drivers the opportunity to earn a bachelor’s or master’s degree from an accredited school, Ashford University, at no cost in one of dozens of disciplines ranging from business and logistics to accounting or behavioral science. And, in a first for the trucking industry, children of U.S. Xpress truck drivers may earn their bachelor’s or master’s degrees from Ashford University as well, at no cost and courtesy of the company. Each driver may have a total of two family members enrolled in school at one time (either two dependents or the driver and one dependent). Dependents must be aged 17 to 26. The benefit will also be available to drivers working for Total Transportation of Mississippi, LLC, a subsidiary of U.S. Xpress Enterprises, Inc.

“U.S. Xpress is proud and excited to launch the Full Ride program and become the first national trucking company to offer drivers and their families the opportunity to earn a bachelor’s or master’s degree in the field of their choice,” said CEO Eric Fuller. “In addition to helping our company recruit and retain more drivers, this program offers our drivers and their families the life-changing opportunity to attend college at a time when it is becoming increasingly expensive and unattainable to many.

“Also, we believe the Full Ride program will attract people to our industry who may have not previously thought about driving a truck,” Fuller continued. “If your goal is to get an education without racking up debt, we can offer you a means to accomplish that goal. If you want a degree but are not interested in sitting in a classroom all day, we offer you the opportunity to see the country while completing your studies.”

Unlike traditional tuition reimbursement programs, the students participating in the U.S. Xpress Full Ride program do not have to front the money for college and then later seek reimbursement. The “Full Ride” program pays all costs directly to the university, including tuition, books and course materials, removing any financial barrier for U.S. Xpress drivers and their families.

Dr. Craig Swenson, Ashford University’s President and CEO, said, “We are proud to partner with U.S. Xpress to offer Ashford’s academic programs to the company’s roughly 7,000 drivers and their families. The university’s online model, flexible class format, and relevant degree programs fit well with the unique needs and schedules of transportation professionals. We look forward to welcoming U.S. Xpress’ drivers and their dependents into the Ashford community.”

Experienced professional truck drivers are eligible to participate as soon as they begin work with U.S. Xpress, and student drivers are eligible to start taking classes as soon as they have completed their behind-the-wheel training and are promoted to “first seat” driver. There is no obligation for drivers to remain with U.S. Xpress after they have earned their degrees.

“Driving a truck has been a pathway to a better lifestyle for millions of Americans, and we’re pleased to see that one of our members is taking that a step further,” said Chris Spear, President and CEO of the American Trucking Associations. “Providing a college tuition benefit is an excellent way to attract new drivers into our industry, as well as afford U.S. Xpress’ current drivers and their children an opportunity to further their education. We applaud U.S. Xpress for announcing this exciting new benefit.


Winners Announced in National Faces of Transportation Competition

WASHINGTON, DC… Two captivating photographs and three compelling videos won prizes in the 13th annual Faces of Transportation competition sponsored by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.

A photograph of a California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) worker giving a Make-A-Wish child a tour of a maintenance facility won the Grand Prize, while a photograph that captures the last working ferry system in Arkansas was selected the People’s Choice Award winner by online voters.

“We are thrilled that so many talented artists shared their perspectives on transportation in this year’s competition,” said Lloyd Brown, AASHTO director of communications and marketing. “The photos and videos nominated in this year’s competition highlight the often overlooked role that transportation plays in our communities and our overall quality of life.”

Sixteen transportation department employees from 24 states and five private citizens submitted 88 photographs and 16 videos for judging in this competition. An AASHTO team of judges selected the Grand Prize winner and a majority of the more than 6,000 online votes selected the winner of the People’s Choice award.

The Grand Prize award went to Caltrans Senior Photographer Scott Lorenzo. The People’s Choice Award was presented to Arkansas Department of Transportation Photographer Rusty Hubbard.

The videos competed for first, second, and third prizes and the Ohio Department of Transportation won first prize for its fascinating “Slow Down, Move Over” public education campaign video. Taking second place was Caltrans for its News Flash video detailing the department’s emergency response to a major mudslide in Santa Barbara County. Third place went to the Arizona Department of Transportation for its South Mountain Freeway Chuckwalla Relocation video, demonstrating the department’s commitment to wildlife mitigation.

Use the above links to see the videos and view the all the photo entries at the Faces of Transportation blog:http://www.facesoftransportation.org.