Latest Industry News Brief Courtesy of PMTA
ATA Applauds Introduction of Senate Truck Parking Bill
Washington , DC… American Trucking Associations applauded the introduction of the Truck Parking Safety Improvement Act by U.S. Senators Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) and Mark Kelly (D-AZ). The legislation would authorize $755 million in competitive grant funding to expand commercial truck parking capacity across the United States. A companion bill in the U.S. House of Representatives was passed by the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in July.
“A chronic, nationwide shortage of commercial truck parking continues to strain our supply chain and jeopardize highway safety for all motorists. This carefully crafted legislation provides needed investments to remedy the problem while incentivizing public-private partnerships to further expand truck parking capacity," said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear.
"We thank Senators Lummis and Kelly for their strong leadership. Congress must ensure our nation’s truck drivers have safe and accessible places to park and rest so they can keep delivering for the American people," Spear said.
The industry says the parking shortage is having a costly, measurable impact on supply chain efficiency, driver health and wellbeing, highway safety, and the environment. When truck drivers are unable to find safe, authorized parking, they're stuck in a no-win situation—forced to either park in unsafe or illegal locations, or to violate federal hours-of-service rules that regulate their daily drive-time to search for safer, legal alternatives.
* A U.S. Department of Transportation report found 98% of drivers regularly experience problems finding safe parking.
* The same report found the truck parking shortage exists in every state and region and is most acute along major freight corridors.
* 70% of drivers have been forced to violate federal hours-of-service rules because of this common scenario.
* To ensure they can find a safe and legal space, truck drivers often park prior to exhausting available drive time, surrendering an average of 56 minutes of valuable drive time per day, according to the American Transportation Research Institute.
* The time spent looking for available truck parking costs the average driver about $5,500 in direct lost compensation — or a 12% cut in annual pay.
The Senate bill establishes new funding eligibility criteria, including considerations for drivers' personal safety. The lack of safe parking options is often cited as a serious deterrent to more women joining the industry. The bill also would make routine maintenance expenses eligible for funding, as state transportation officials often cite maintenance costs as a deterrent to expanding parking capacity.
Truckstop Proudly Supports The 2022 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree - “People’s Tree” Will Spread Holiday Joy On The Journey From North Carolina To Washington, D.C.
BOISE, ID… Each year, a different national forest provides a tree to light up the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol building for the holiday season. The National Forests in North Carolina, in partnership with nonprofit partner Choose Outdoors, will bring the 2022 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree from the Pisgah National Forest to Washington, D.C, with support from sponsors, including Truckstop, a trusted provider of technology solutions and services that empower freight professionals—carriers, brokers, and shippers of all sizes—to run their businesses from start to finish.
The 78-foot-tall Red Spruce will be harvested on the Pisgah National Forest in early November and prepared for the nearly 1,000-mile expedition. With the theme “From the mountains to the sea,” the journey will begin Nov. 5 from Western North Carolina Agricultural Center in Fletcher, N.C. and will include a series of outdoor community celebrations across North Carolina and Virginia before being delivered to the U.S. Capitol on Nov. 18. The tree will then be decorated with handmade ornaments and tree skirts specially created by North Carolinians. Smaller companion trees also will be provided to decorate offices inside the U.S. Capitol building and other sites throughout Washington, D.C.
Truckstop is proud to support the 2022 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree program along with this year’s chosen tree hauler, and Truckstop customer, Hardy Brothers Inc. throughout the 14-stop journey to the U.S. capitol and back home to Siloam, North Carolina.
“We are beyond grateful for the partners who play a vital role in bringing the tree to Washington. D.C,” said James Melonas, Forest Supervisor, National Forests in North Carolina.
“We are incredibly honored to be a part of the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree initiative, which provides the opportunity to celebrate the spirit of the season and the hard work of so many program volunteers both locally and nationally,” said Kendra Tucker, chief executive officer, Truckstop. “The opportunity to support Hardy Brothers, Inc. as they haul one of the most iconic symbols of the season to our nation’s Capitol is humbling and a testament to our core mission, which is to empower our customers with vital solutions to keep their business moving and improve their bottom line.”
“The annual journey is only possible with the help of strong community partnerships throughout North Carolina and beyond state lines,” said Bruce Ward, president of Choose Outdoors. “We’re grateful for the time and resources Truckstop is providing to help make this the best year yet.”
The initiative is made possible with cash and in-kind contributions from large and small companies and volunteers locally and across America who provide vital support of time and resources. For a list of 2022 sponsors, visit uscapitolchristmastree.com/sponsors.
For news, events, tour information and for a list of 2022 sponsors, visit uscapitolchristmastree.com.
Volvo and Pilot Company Partner to Build a National Public Heavy-Duty Charging Network
The Volvo Group and Pilot Company, the largest operator of travel centers in North America, have signed a Letter of Intent to develop a national, public charging network to support the scaling of battery-electric Volvo VNR Electric trucks. To accelerate development of the charging network, Pilot Company intends to install high-performance charging infrastructure at selected existing network of Pilot and Flying J travel centers across the U.S. and will be open to heavy-duty vehicles of all brands. The strategic partnership will provide fleets with a more seamless electromobility journey by addressing charging infrastructure accessibility and roadblocks, including long project lead times and high installation costs, that can otherwise delay scaled deployment of battery-electric vehicles (BEVs).
“As we work to build a more sustainable, decarbonized transport system, our team firmly believes that partnership is the new leadership. We look forward to working side by side with Pilot Company, and combining our unique industry insights, expertise, and resources to develop a comprehensive, nationwide charging network,” said Peter Voorhoeve, president, Volvo Trucks North America. “Our VNR Electric customers, as well as other fleets looking to adopt battery-electric trucks, will have peace of mind that they can access a reliable and robust, publicly accessible charging network strategically located along major transportation corridors, enabling them to extend their operating radius and decarbonize even more of their routes.”
Through its collaboration with Pilot Company, Volvo will help identify which of the existing Pilot and Flying J travel centers should be prioritized for high-performance charging infrastructure based on current and anticipated battery-electric truck deployment volume, customers charging needs and patterns, and the availability of federal and state funding to support capital costs. This partnership places Pilot Company and Volvo at the forefront of accelerating electrification adoption and developing sustainable and reliable transportation solutions for generations of battery-electric trucks to come.
“Pilot Company and Volvo are committed to developing transportation solutions that will guide and support the industry through the energy transition,” said Shameek Konar, CEO, Pilot Company. “Joining forces with Volvo, an expert in freight technology, aligns with our goal to support sustainable transportation infrastructure and to meet our customers where they are headed, now and in the future.”
The Volvo VNR Electric, which has a current range of up to 275 miles, was designed by Volvo Trucks North America to enable fleets to perform urban and regional distribution with zero-tailpipe emissions. To date, early adopters of VNR Electric trucks have utilized depot charging to support their daily routes, where trucks return to one location to charge. The introduction of public charging infrastructure that can accommodate medium- and heavy-duty fleets goes hand-in-hand with recent bipartisan support of the goal to increase BEV charging capabilities and reduce the carbon footprint of the transportation industry.
Pilot Company operates a network of more than 750 travel centers throughout North America, covering 44 U.S. states and six Canadian provinces. The company is focused on providing its guests with comprehensive amenities to make road travel easier — including restaurants, shopping, Wi-Fi, and restrooms — and the installation of high-performance charging infrastructure helps further extend the benefits offered to the trucking community.
To learn more about Volvo Trucks North America and the Volvo VNR Electric, visit the company website.
Truckstop and Bloomberg Intelligence Survey Shows Owner-Operators Facing More Challenging Conditions Ahead
BOISE, ID… Moderating economic activity and normalizing supply chains have reduced the need for capacity and are driving the outlook for rates and demand lower, leaving higher cost carriers worried about turning a profit in the coming months, according to the latest Bloomberg Intelligence | Truckstop survey of owner operators.
“Sentiment among survey respondents in the spot truckload market has turned significantly more bearish, according to survey respondents, about the prospects for demand and rates growth,” said Lee Klaskow, senior freight transportation and logistics analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence. “Current spot conditions may likely force a rebalancing, forcing higher-cost carriers to reassess their operations.”
The Bloomberg | Truckstop 3Q22 Truckload Survey shows:
* Pessimism among carriers has touched the pandemic lows seen in 1Q20: About 33% of respondents expect load growth to decline over the next six months, the lowest reading since 1Q20 and significantly higher than 3Q21 at 9%. Many carriers raised concerns over the strength of the upcoming peak season. Refrigerator carriers were the most optimistic, with only 10% of those surveyed projecting a volume decline in the coming months.
* Spot rates decline, impacting carrier sentiment: Spot rates excluding fuel surcharges have fallen 31% since peaking in late December, which has negatively impacted carrier sentiment. Only 26% of carriers expect the rates to rise in the next six months, the lowest level since 1Q20. About 38% of carriers expect a drop over the next 3-6 months.
* Total demand has taken a turn downward in 3Q: 74% of respondents noticed a drop from 2Q and about 57% said volume growth was down from a year earlier. The typical carrier reported an average decline of 30% in the number of loads available which is in line with the 37% drop in Truckstop’s Spot Market Demand Index.
“The most important thing to Truckstop is that we continue to provide the tools and resources our customers need to keep their businesses moving forward, regardless of market conditions,” said Kendra Tucker, chief executive officer, Truckstop. “Our platform and solutions help carriers perform the critical day-to-day functions needed to help ensure they can weather these types of market fluctuations and remain profitable.”
The Bloomberg | Truckstop survey of owner-operators and small fleets provides timely channel checks into the health of the spot market. The sample size was 128, consists of dry-van, flatbed, temperature-controlled and specialized/diversified carriers. Of the respondents, 64% operate just one tractor.
The complete survey is available to Bloomberg Terminal subscribers via BI .
Truck Freight Rebounded Slightly in 2021 According to New Report
Washington, DC… The trucking industry moved 10.93 billion tons of freight in 2021, generating $875.5 billion in revenue, according to the latest edition of American Trucking Associations’ American Trucking Trends 2022.
“The overall truck freight market bounced back in 2021 after falling in 2020,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “Trends is a valuable resource to track changes in our industry, and this year’s edition is no different. This year’s report found that despite a challenging environment, trucking did experience growth and maintained its position as the dominant freight mode.”
Among the findings in trends, in 2021:
* Trucks moved 10.93 billion tons of freight – up from 10.23 billion tons the previous year.
* The industry collected 80.8% of the nation’s freight bill, up slightly from the previous year, while generating $875.5 billion.
* Trucking employed 7.99 million people in industry-related jobs, up 340,000 from the previous year, including 3.49 million professional truck drivers.
* Women made up 7.9% of the nation’s drivers – an all-time high – and minorities account for 46.1% of truck drivers.
* Trucking remains a small business industry: 95.7% of fleets operate ten or fewer trucks, and 99.7% operate less than 100.
* Trucks moved 66.1% of the value of surface trade between the U.S. and Canada and 82.7% of cross-border trade with Mexico, for a total of $828 billion worth of goods.
“ATA believes in data-driven policy making, and Trends consistently provides accurate and up-to-date information so industry leaders can base their decisions on the best data available,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “Trends is a trusted source of information on our industry and the economy and that is why it is found on the desks of countless elected officials, regulators and industry executives across the country.”
ATA American Trucking Trends is available for purchase now at www.atabusinesssolutions.com.
PA Turnpike Makes it Easier for Customers to Pay
HARRISBURG, PA… The PA Turnpike Commission is making it easier than ever for customers to pay their tolls and save money every time they travel the Turnpike. A recent upgrade of the Turnpike’s Toll By Plate invoice now includes a QR code customers can scan to pay right from their devices. The invoice was reshaped to better guide Toll By Plate customers through the payment process, including new options to pay.
The QR code takes customers straight to the Toll By Plate website, where they can pay or convert to E-ZPass to save on current and future trips. By choosing “Convert to E-ZPass,” customer information automatically populates the form. Charges on the invoice update to reflect the lower rate being deducted from the prepaid EZPass account.
“Our Toll By Plate invoice shows customers precisely how much they can save by switching to E-ZPass. Now, with the streamlined conversion process, it’s easier than ever to switch and save up to 60%,” said PA Turnpike CEO Mark Compton. “E-ZPass remains the easiest, least-expensive way to pay. Most customers pick up an E-ZPass GoPak at one of more than 700 retail locations across the state, including 7-Eleven stores at PA Turnpike service plazas.”
To find a nearby retailer or learn more about purchasing an E-ZPass visit www.paturnpike.com.
For customers with the PA TOLL PAY app, scanning the QR code on the invoice will launch the app and take them directly to the Toll By Plate payment screen. The Turnpike’s “PA TOLL PAY” app enables customers to quickly review and pay invoices and manage and update E-ZPass accounts. Toll By Plate customers can use the app to sign up for AutoPay to receive a 15% discount on invoices.
“On top of the app and QR code, we continue to provide customers new, more convenient, ways to pay,” Compton said. “Our goal is to offer options that better reflect customer preferences.”
In addition to PA Turnpike options, non-E-ZPass customers and infrequent travelers may chose other ways to pay. Third-party mobile apps are available through several private vendors. A user registers in the apps by entering license plate, email, and payment information. Currently, PA Turnpike customers can use PayTollo, Uproad, and GoToll. These options may carry an additional cost; users should carefully read third-party terms and conditions.
Earlier this year, the Turnpike partnered with a nationwide cash payment network, enabling customers to pay invoices and replenish E-ZPass accounts with cash. More than 70,000 familiar drug, convenience, and discount stores participate in the network. Customers must generate a pay slip before visiting a participating store.
“Today, we offer E-ZPass and Toll By Plate customers six ways to pay: by mail, by phone, online, using a mobile app, through the cash-payment network, and by walk-in at our Harrisburg Customer Service Center,” Compton said. “In cases where customers refuse to take advantage of these options, we do all we can to collect every dollar owed. It’s good business and fair play.”
If the initial Toll By Plate invoice is not paid or resolved within 30 days, a past-due invoice is mailed. Past-due invoices include a late fee of $5 or 1.5% of the amount owed, whichever is higher. Invoices unpaid after 60 days go to collections. The PA Turnpike uses multiple collection agencies. These agencies use several methods to contact customers, including text messages. Since April, the response rate of the text-message program has been more than 4%, with monthly collections averaging more than $128,000.
Customers with PA registrations who accumulate $500 or more in tolls and fees (or six or more unpaid violations) are pursued for registration suspension as required under Act 165 of 2016. A person convicted of driving a vehicle with a suspended registration will receive a three-month driving privilege suspension.
“Legislation introduced in Pennsylvania — and likely to be considered later this month — would empower the Commission to chase more evaders by lowering the Act-165 thresholds for registration suspension to $250 or four or more violations,” Compton said. “The measure could result in 25,000 additional suspended registrations, prompting scofflaws to pay an estimated $18 million more in tolls and fees. We worked closely with lawmakers on this bill, and we look forward to its passage and implementation.”
The PA Turnpike uses several other enforcement measures to collect, including:
* working with local district attorneys to file criminal charges against egregious violators;
* filing civil charges against those with unpaid tolls up to $12,500 as well as filing civil and criminal lawsuits against commercial carriers;
* engaging neighboring toll agencies on reciprocity to provide mutual authority to pursue scofflaws in other states (such efforts are challenging since states have different toll-evasion laws and back-office procedures); and
* continuing to collaborate with state lawmakers on other ways to compel toll scofflaws to pay up.
In addition, the Commission continues to evaluate best practices in and outside the tolling industry as an active member of the International Bridge Tunnel & Turnpike Association’s Lost Revenue Task Force. The Task Force is charged with reviewing impacts of lost revenue and assessing best practices and improvements in collections and loss prevention.
“Regrettably, revenue loss is a fact of life in our industry, just like it is in the retail sector. It happened even when we collected cash,” Compton explained. “We successfully capture 93-94% of revenues, which compares favorably with other agencies. What remains uncollected is largely a human-behavior issue, not a technological one. Certain people simply refuse to pay their fair share. This behavior started in 1940 when the PA Turnpike first opened to traffic.”
Of the roughly 6% of transactions that do not realize revenue, Compton said 4% is due to customers receiving but not paying an invoice. Then, 1.9% is due to issues with obtaining address information i.e., the DMV cannot provide an address, the address is undeliverable, or the license plate is blocked or missing. Only 0.1% is due to collection-system ability to capture legible license-plate images.
OOIDA Calls “Trackers On Truckers” Orwellian Big Brother Control And Invasion Of Privacy
Washington, DC… The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association submitted comments to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regarding a controversial proposal that would require commercial motor vehicles to be equipped with unique electronic identification (UEI) technology, which would further implement “trackers on truckers.”
Excerpts of OOIDA’s comments as submitted to FMCSA:
“It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.” The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) does not support the erosion of privacy, nor the destruction of identity through surveillance and control. To ask for more surveillance and control in the name of safety on our highways is to venture into what George Orwell would call “doublespeak”. The term “Big Brother” has come to signify government control of and intrusion into truckers’ individual lives.
Perhaps the most concerning aspect of this proposal is FMCSA’s failure to address the shortcomings and security risks associated with previous technology-based regulations, including the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate. There is insufficient recognition of the concerns motor carriers and drivers have continuously expressed about privacy and data security and no indications FMCSA has taken any meaningful steps to alleviate these concerns. Barreling forward with a new mandate involving the transmission of sensitive information only intensifies concerns involving identity theft, cargo theft, security threats, and more.
OOIDA is unaware of any research demonstrating how implementation of a UEI mandate would improve safety. CVSA has claimed, without providing any evidence, that this proposal would incentivize motor carriers to engage in safe and legal operations. We disagree with this unfounded claim. Motor carriers, especially small fleets and owner-operators, are already incentivized to operate safely and legally because it is good for their business and personal safety. FMCSA assumes the incentive for motor carriers would include avoiding unnecessary roadside inspections, but these possible benefits are far outweighed by concerns involving privacy, cybersecurity, cargo theft, driver retention, and more. We strongly discourage the agency from advancing costly, burdensome, and wildly unpopular mandates based on nothing more than flimsy assumptions involving potential safety benefits
Additional technology requirements always come at a cost, which is especially difficult for small carriers and owner-operators. Purchase, installation, maintenance and service of devices would increase operating costs for all motor carriers, without any proven benefit to efficiency or safety. Truckers are already experiencing elevated operating costs. There’s absolutely no reason to raise those costs even higher.
OOIDA Applauds Bipartisan Bill to Expand Truck Parking
Washington, DC… The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) announced its strong support for the bipartisan Truck Parking Safety Improvement Act, introduced by U.S. Senators Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) and Mark Kelly (D-AZ), to dramatically increase designated parking for commercial trucks.
The lack of truck parking has been a problem for decades and is only getting worse as capacity has not kept pace with the increasing number of trucks on the roadways. There is currently only 1 parking spot for every 11 trucks, resulting in drivers wasting an average of one hour every day trying to secure parking.
“OOIDA and the 150,000 small business truckers we represent applaud the leadership of Senator Lummis and Senator Kelly in addressing the truck parking crisis that has been building for decades,” said Todd Spencer, President of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association.“70% of American freight is transported by truck, yet there is only 1 parking spot for every 11 trucks on the road. When truck drivers don’t have a designated place to park, they end up parking on the side of the road, near exit ramps, or elsewhere. This isn’t safe for the driver and it’s not safe for others on the road. Senator Lummis and Senator Kelly have heard from small business truckers and are taking meaningful steps to increase truck parking capacity.”
“Wyoming is home to three major interstates that carry thousands of tons of cargo a day. Without safe truck parking, truckers spend an unnecessary amount of time searching for a place to park putting truckers and Wyoming drivers at greater risk for accidents. This is easily solvable, and I am thankful to Senator Kelly for joining me in finding a commonsense solution,” said Senator Lummis. “People in Wyoming are still feeling the impacts of the supply chain crisis, and unreliable truck parking is another contributing factor to that. Fixing the parking problem will help ease this burden on consumers.”
“A lack of accessible and reliable truck parking makes our roads less safe. Our bipartisan legislation will expand freight truck parking to ensure that truck drivers can safely and efficiently move the goods that support our nation’s economy and supply chains,” said Senator Mark Kelly.
Drivers need the ability to rest in safe places to best operate on America’s roadways. Trucks parked on highway shoulders, exit and entrance ramps, vacant lots, and side streets create an immediate safety hazard for truck drivers and other roadway users. Additionally, the time drivers waste finding safe parking is time not spent getting goods to their destination, slowing the supply chain and raising the costs for consumers. Expanding truck parking capacity will improve road safety and supply chain efficiency.
The Truck Parking Safety Improvement Act would invest hundreds of millions of dollars in the creation of new truck parking spaces. Funding would be awarded on a competitive basis and applicants would be required to submit detailed proposals to the U.S. Department of Transportation. The primary focus would be to construct new truck parking facilities and convert existing weigh stations and rest areas into functional parking spaces for truck drivers. The bill is similar to legislation introduced by Representatives Mike Bost (R-IL) and Angie Craig (D-MN) earlier this Congress in the U.S. House of Representatives that unanimously passed the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.
CVSA Releases 2022 Operation Safe Driver Week Results
During this year’s Operation Safe Driver Week, which was July 10-16, officers in Canada and the U.S. pulled over more than 35,000 commercial motor vehicles and passenger vehicles and issued 26,164 warnings and citations to commercial motor vehicle drivers and passenger vehicle drivers engaging in unsafe driving behaviors, ranging from speeding to distracted driving.
Speeding, which was the focus of this year’s Operation Safe Driver Week, was the top violation – in warnings given and citations issued – for both types of drivers. Officers issued 8,586 citations and 7,299 warnings for speeding/violating basic speed law/driving too fast for conditions. Broken out, that amounts to 2,577 warnings to commercial motor vehicle drivers and 4,722 to passenger vehicle drivers. Citations were given to 1,490 commercial motor vehicle drivers and 7,096 passenger vehicle drivers.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), speeding has played a role in more than a quarter of traffic deaths – killing nearly 100,000 people – over the past decade. In 2020 alone, there were 11,258 speeding-related deaths in the U.S. In addition, the American Transportation Research Institute’s recently updated “Predicting Truck Crash Involvement” report found that when a commercial motor vehicle driver receives a speeding violation, that increases their likelihood of being involved in a crash by 47%. And according to Transport Canada, speeding/driving too fast was a contributing factor in 25.3% of fatal crashes in 2020.
In addition, this year, the U.S. Department of Transportation released its National Roadway Safety Strategy prioritizing safer speeds. The strategy report states that speeding may be addressed and discouraged through education and enforcement, which is the goal of Operation Safe Driver Week.
Operation Safe Driver Week is a seven-day, driver-behavior traffic enforcement and awareness and outreach activity of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA). CVSA’s law enforcement community participates in this voluntary week-long campaign to identify unsafe driving behaviors and target those unsafe drivers for intervention and education in an effort to reduce driver-behavior-caused crashes on our roadways.
Participating jurisdictions captured data on driver interactions, warnings and citations during Operation Safe Driver Week, and submitted that data to CVSA.
Top Warnings and Citations in the U.S. and Canada – Combined
Speeding/violating basic speed law/driving too fast for conditions; Failure to use seat belt; Failure to obey traffic control device; Reckless driving; Using a hand-held phone/texting/distracted driving;Improper lane change
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s latest Seat Belt Usage by Commercial Motor Vehicle Drivers Survey, the overall safety-belt usage rate for drivers of medium- and heavy-duty trucks and buses is 86.1%. For the average passenger vehicle driver, the seat-belt usage rate was 90.4% in 2021, according to NHTSA. However, during Operation Safe Driver Week, failure to wear a seatbelt was the second-most issued citation category – with 1,156 citations given to passenger vehicle drivers and 735 to commercial motor vehicle drivers.
Using a hand-held device/texting/distracted driving was also a top citation for drivers. It ranked fourth with commercial motor vehicle drivers, at 239 citations, and fifth among passenger vehicle drivers, with 257 citations. According to NHTSA, distracted driving claimed 3,141 lives in 2020. And Transport Canada reports that distracted driving was a contributing factor in 22.3% of all fatal collisions in 2020.
In addition to traffic enforcement, 3,531 motorists were assisted during Operation Safe Driver Week, highlighting law enforcement’s commitment to public service and roadway safety. Examples of motorist assistance may include an officer helping to fix a flat tire, providing gasoline for a stranded vehicle, checking on someone who may be pulled over, assisting individuals in distress or experiencing a medical emergency, jump-starting a vehicle, traffic control, etc.
This year’s Operation Safe Driver Week data, broken out by country:
In the U.S.:
* Law enforcement personnel pulled over 24,934 commercial motor vehicles and 9,053 passenger vehicles, for a total of 33,987 traffic-enforcement contacts.
* Passenger vehicle drivers received 7,445 warnings and 9,531 citations.
* Commercial motor vehicle drivers received 4,742 warnings and 3,104 citations.
* Speeding/violating basic speed law/driving too fast for conditions was the top violation for commercial motor vehicle drivers and passenger vehicle drivers, with a combined total of 7,172 warnings and 7,673 citations. Commercial motor vehicle drivers received 2,541 warnings and 1,305 citations. Passenger vehicle drivers received 4,631 warnings and 6,368 citations.
* Law enforcement personnel pulled over 313 commercial motor vehicles and 897 passenger vehicles, for a total of 1,210 traffic-enforcement contacts.
* Passenger vehicle drivers received 99 warnings and 855 citations.
* Commercial motor vehicle drivers received 112 warnings and 276 citations.
* Speeding/violating basic speed law/driving too fast for conditions was the top violation for commercial motor vehicle drivers and passenger vehicle drivers, with a combined total of 127 warnings and 913 citations. Commercial motor vehicle drivers received 36 warnings and 185 citations. Passenger vehicle drivers received 91 warnings and 728 citations.
* Mexico’s Ministry of Infrastructure, Communications and Transportation also participated in this year’s Operation Safe Driver Week by interacting with drivers and disseminating 14,316 flyers, which contained information about the dangers of speeding, in passenger terminals, at toll booths, and at fixed weight and dimension verification centers.
CVSA announced the dates of this year’s Operation Safe Driver Week in March and began accepting requests from inspectors and motor carriers for Operation Safe Driver Week postcards. CVSA mailed the complimentary postcards to inspectors to provide to motor carriers and drivers, and to motor carriers to distribute to drivers in preparation for the week. CVSA distributed more than 35,000 postcards in the weeks leading up to Operation Safe Driver Week.
In addition, CVSA worked with the CBS television network to produce a multi-platform public awareness campaign to educate passenger vehicle drivers about safely sharing the roads with large trucks. The campaign included a public service announcement video, digital ad banners, and video and static awareness ads, which were featured on websites, CBS’s digital streaming channels and on social media. The digital campaign delivered just under 17.6 million impressions.
The goal of CVSA’s Operation Safe Driver Program is to improve the driving behaviors of all drivers – commercial motor vehicle and passenger vehicle – and reduce the number of crashes on our roadways through educational and traffic-enforcement strategies. Operation Safe Driver Week is supported by law enforcement agencies in Canada, Mexico and the U.S., the motor carrier industry, and transportation safety organizations.
Next year’s Operation Safe Driver Week is scheduled for July 9-15, 2023.
CTA Welcomes Long Awaited ELD Mandate; Here is What Jan Enforcement Looks Like
TORONTO… Truck drivers and commercial trucks – already safest vehicles on Canadian roadways – will soon become even safer in most provinces as the long-awaited introduction of the third-party ELD mandate comes into force on January 1.
The rule applies to all federally regulated carriers and provincially regulated carriers in some jurisdictions, that are already required to operate a logbook.
“CTA applauds those provinces that are set to begin enforcement on January 1. Electronic logbooks change nothing about the current hours of service rules, but simply make enforcement of the rules more robust. Compliance is coming for fleets and shippers who have been operating outside of the rules,” said CTA president Stephen Laskowski.
CTA is encouraging the supply chain to review and consider the impact of hours of service compliance on routes and shipments.
The provincial trucking associations that form CTA have compiled a chart which explains what to expect in each jurisdiction as of January 1. Click here.
“In addition to improving public safety, third-party certified ELDs will also provide more efficiencies for drivers and fleets versus paper logbooks. Everyone wins – the driver, carriers, and the motoring public. The only ones who will be negatively impacted by ELDs are fleets and operators who have been breaking the law,” said Geoff Wood, CTA Senior VP, Policy.
For more information on specific provincial rules, please contact the relevant association directly.
CTA: Let’s Accelerate Twinning of Hwy 185
TORONTO, CANADA… A recommendation put forth by the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA), as part of the National Supply Chain Task Force initiative launched earlier this year, was to complete the twinning of Highway 185 that serves as the primary highway connection between the provinces of New Brunswick and Quebec.
“Hwy 185 is critical artery to the Central and Eastern Canadian supply chains. CTA would like to see the project expedited in light of it being included in one of the National Supply Chain Task Force Report’s key and more immediate recommendations,” said Geoff Wood, CTA’s Sr VP Policy.
According to the National Supply chain Task Force Report, funding has been set aside to address the twinning of the highway. Once completed, this project will bring tremendous benefit and efficiencies to the Eastern Canadian supply chain and allow long combination vehicles (LCVs) to travel uninhibited between the Port of Halifax and Windsor Ont.
The current configuration of the highway presents operational challenges as LCVs must be disassembled and reassembled to transit a short distance on the highway that has not been twinned and approved for LCV operations.
“We applaud Minister Alghabra and the National Supply Chain Taskforce team for their focus on this issue. Let’s make the Highway 185 project a regional priority for Canadians to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of our domestic and international supply chains that move goods over the road between the Atlantic Provinces, Quebec and Ontario,” Wood said.
CTA Calls on Feds to Action Task Force Recommendations and Prioritize Supply Chain Stability
TORONTO, CANADA… CTA is echoing calls for the Government of Canada to slow the implementation of Bill C-3 and consider a phased-in approach to the 10-day medical leave policy.
The CTA supports modernizing labour standards and protecting workers, though it has become abundantly clear that the government needs to proceed with a more balanced and less hasty approach, reflecting the current state of the Canadian economy and its supply chains.
CTA is asking for the government to delay the introduction of the new provision and to begin with five-paid days in the first year and an additional five days in the second. This approach would balance the need to support workers while considering the undisputable fragile position of the supply chain by allowing industry some flexibility to relieve backlogs throughout the interim.
While there global factors outside of the Government of Canada’s control are undoubtably contributing to supply chain fragility and inflation, the Government of Canada has also contributed to the situation through the introduction of constraining factors, which the supply chain will need to further absorb. With the introduction of paid medical leave expected to be finalized imminently, the industry is once again warning that the decisions being made will have a direct impact and potentially unforeseen consequences when it comes to capacity, supply chain reliability, the cost of transportation and ultimately the availability of goods.
“As CTA has repeatedly communicated to the Government of Canada, this plan could effectively equate to 300,000 trucks being shut down for an additional 10-days each, on an unplanned and unscheduled basis next year,” said CTA president Stephen Laskowski. “The impact this could have on just-in-time shipping, overall capacity, seasonal availability, and service reliability for customers and Canadians is expected to be severe.”
It's not just CTA that sees the connection between a struggling supply chain, staffing shortages, and inflation. The Canadian public is also aware and feeling the effects. Public opinion polling conducted by Nanos Research earlier this year shows 63 percent of Canadians believe labour shortages in the trucking industry is a major factor contributing to inflation. In that same poll, over eight in ten Canadians said they were concerned that it is becoming more difficult to get goods because the supply chain is under stress.
Similar sentiments were also recently captured in the Bank of Canada’s October 26, 2022, statement on interest rates, noting “the demand for goods and services is still running ahead of the economy’s ability to supply them, putting upward pressure on domestic inflation. Businesses continue to report widespread labour shortages and, with the full reopening of the economy, strong demand has led to a sharp rise in the price of services.”
On January 25, 2022, Ministers Alghabra, O’Regan and Qualtrough, and CTA president Laskowski issued a joint statement, which mentioned the importance of ensuring our supply chain remains resilient. The Government of Canada stated:
“To reach this goal, and to bolster Canada’s economic recovery and long-term competitiveness, it’s important to tackle two major challenges facing industry – supply chain constraints and labour shortages.”
In the recently released report by the National Supply Chain Task Force, these same priorities are outlined in detail. As part of the Task Force’s recommendations for immediate action, implementing programs and policies that encourage attracting and the retention of truck drivers was a key endorsement.
In recent correspondence to Minister Qualtrough, CTA called upon the Government of Canada to signal to the industry that trucking, and supply chain stabilization, are priorities for the Government. CTA has called upon Ottawa to make both immediate and longer-term investments in the trucking sector to help ensure the supply chain has the workforce it needs.
“With the severe impact paid medical leave is expected to have on our sector – and while the Driver Inc. scheme is allowed to continue funnelling labour into the underground economy, we believe now is the right time to communicate to the industry that the Government of Canada and CTA are working together to find solutions to stabilize the situation,” said Laskowski.
CTA would like to thank the National Supply Chain Task Force for their understanding and focus on the labour situation in the trucking sector, and CTA looks forward to actioning many of the recommendations this important report highlights.
CTA Asks Human Trafficking Detection & Prevention Be Included in Truck Driver Training
TORONTO, CANADA… CTA, the provincial trucking associations and member carrier have spent the last year focused on assisting governments and law enforcement in combating human-trafficking.
Several companies across Canada have already engaged their drivers and operations staff in adopting human trafficking detection and prevention training. To fuel this momentum, the CTA board of directors passed a motion directing CTA staff to engage the Council of Ministers Responsible for Transportation and Highway Safety and associated organizations to expand this training by adding it to all entry-level training courses for new tractor-trailer drivers in Canada.
“With tens of thousands of truck drivers going through training each year to obtain their licences, it’s a perfect place to start having an immediate impact on the number of drivers who are trained to be vigilant and have that extra sets of eyes out on the road to help put an end to human trafficking,” said Geoff Wood, CTA Sr VP Policy.
Several options exist for the training, which is tailored specifically for truck drivers. It can be taken online, ranging from 30 minutes to 2 hours depending on the level detail covered. It provides drivers with instruction on how to spot the signs of human trafficking, how to assist victims who have been discovered and how and when to engage law enforcement.
Many jurisdictions have started the discussions on how to address this training. CTA and the provincial associations look forward to working with governments to see this effort through to completion.
ATA Truck Tonnage Index Slipped 2.3% in October - Index 2.8% Above October 2021
Washington, DC… American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index decreased 2.3% in October after rising 0.8% in September. In October, the index equaled 116.3 (2015=100) versus 119.1 in September.
“For-hire truck tonnage saw the largest single monthly decrease in October since the start of the pandemic,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “The decrease fits with the anecdotal reports of a muted fall freight season. It also coincides with a slowing economy. Housing is a weak spot in freight in addition to a slowing in personal consumption of goods. While factory related freight is holding up better than other areas, it is also decelerating.”
September’s increase was revised up slightly from our October 18 press release.
Compared with October 2021, the SA index increased 2.8%, which was the fourteenth straight year-over-year gain, but the smallest gain since April. In September, the index was up 5.7% from a year earlier. Year-to-date through October, compared with the same period in 2021, tonnage was up 3.9%.
The not seasonally adjusted index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by fleets before any seasonal adjustment, equaled 118.9 in October, 0.4% below the September level (119.3). In calculating the index, 100 represents 2015. ATA’s For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index is dominated by contract freight as opposed to spot market freight.
Trucking serves as a barometer of the U.S. economy, representing 72.2% of tonnage carried by all modes of domestic freight transportation, including manufactured and retail goods. Trucks hauled 10.93 billion tons of freight in 2021. Motor carriers collected $875.5 billion, or 80.8% of total revenue earned by all transport modes.
ATA calculates the tonnage index based on surveys from its membership and has been doing so since the 1970s. This is a preliminary figure and subject to change in the final report issued around the 5th day of each month. The report includes month-to-month and year-over-year results, relevant economic comparisons, and key financial indicators.
ATA: Driver Shortage Remains Near Record High
San Diego, CA… American Trucking Associations Chief Economist Bob Costello said the driver shortage has eased slightly, but remains near its all-time high.
“Based on our estimates, the trucking industry is short roughly 78,000 drivers,” Costello said. “That’s down slightly from 2021’s record of more than 81,000 – but still extremely high historically.”
ATA calculates the shortage estimates by determining the difference between the number of drivers currently in the market and the optimal number of drivers based on freight demand.
“The good news is rising pay and other factors have helped the industry attract new drivers” he said. “However, that influx is still not enough to make a substantive difference in the shortage – particularly in the long-haul, for-hire truckload sector, the part of the industry most acutely impacted by the shortage.”
ATA’s full shortage report can be found here, among the report’s findings:
* Based on current driver demographic trends, as well as projected growth in freight demand, the shortage could swell to more than 160,000 over the next decade.
* To keep up with demand, the industry must hire nearly 1.2 million new drivers over the next decade to replace those leaving trucking either through retirement or for other reasons.
* There are a number of causes of the shortage, which means there is no single solution. However, the shortage is having an impact on driver pay, pushing it up significantly.
* The shortage is not a phenomena unique to the United States – Germany, Italy, Argentina, Mexico, and China have all reported shortages of drivers in the past year.
ATA's full driver shortage report can be found here:
ATA President Says Federation Committed to Winning on Behalf of Industry
San Diego, CA… The American Trucking Associations President and CEO Chris Spear said the Federation was committed to continuing delivering wins on behalf of the trucking industry.
“Since taking this job, I’ve made it clear that your association’s primary objective is winning… winning on behalf of the members and this great industry, no matter who the electorate sends to Washington,” Spear said. “We don’t get paid to point fingers. Partisanship is not a crutch. You’re doing your job under the toughest circumstances.”
In his remarks, Spear cited ATA’s significant legal victories in federal court over the state of Rhode Island on the issue of tolling and over the Biden Administration on the government’s proposed employer-based vaccine mandate as evidence of ATA’s commitment.
“These two court victories are impactful and historic. No matter the size of your business – large, medium or small – had either of these two policies become reality, our industry and the countless businesses and consumers we serve… would have suffered,” he said. “We assembled the best team. We developed the best legal strategies. We exercised every option with patience and precision. And we won. That’s what you expect of your association, and candidly that’s what you deserve. This is why we fight.”
Spear also pointed to ATA’s role in helping to pass the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, including important investment in the nation’s roads and bridges as well as critical workforce development language like a pilot program of younger commercial drivers as significant wins for the industry.
“Leading up to its enactment, ATA testified 25 times before the House and Senate. Providing answers to questions, reams of ATRI reports and actionable data; and, a steady narrative that resonated with both Republicans and Democrats,” he said. “Good outcomes take time, and this bill was no exception.”
Looking ahead, Spear said the association would continue to fight on behalf of the industry, citing new efforts to increase the number of women in the industry, develop smart emissions standards and continue to fight against lawsuit abuse.
“With six states having already enacted lawsuit abuse legislation, the ATA federation is using its reach in every state to put the plaintiffs’ bar on defense,” he said. “We now have 11 more state associations preparing legislation that will further shape a landscape where jury decisions are driven by facts, not Powerball payoffs. The plaintiffs’ bar’s preoccupation with nuclear verdicts and putting companies and hardworking men and women out of a job is now strengthening the foundation and resolve of our federation.”