Latest Industry News Brief Courtesy of PMTA
Truckstop and Bloomberg Intelligence Survey Shows Spot Market Reaching Boiling Point
Conditions have come to a critical point for truckers operating in the spot market as carriers show frustration over declining rates and rising costs, according to the latest Bloomberg | Truckstop survey, which polled owner-operators and small fleets.
“We remain optimistic that rates are near a bottom and poised to rise with a return to more normal seasonal trends and inventories,” said Lee Klaskow, senior freight transportation and logistics analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence. “Uncertainty about when rates will recover is making it increasingly more challenging for truckers to operate as independent carriers in the face of lower demand.”
The Bloomberg | Truckstop 2Q23 Truckload Survey shows:
* Spot market conditions outlook: The outlook for trucking demand in the spot market has taken a decided turn for the worse which is driving uncertainty over where depressed spot rates will head from here. The weak backdrop and rising costs may push more owner-operators to the side as profits become elusive, which in turn could be the catalyst to push rates higher.
* Rate pessimism declining: Carrier sentiment is mostly split on where spot rates excluding fuel surcharges are headed following the average 19% drop in 2Q. About 39% of respondents from the Truckstop survey expect spot rates to rise in the next 3-6 months, while 24% see a decline, 3 percentage points less than three months earlier. Carriers have grown less pessimistic on rates since their outlook hit a low in 3Q, when 38% said rates would fall.
* More professional truck drivers leave industry: Spot demand remained soft for carriers in 2Q with 55% of respondents noting load declines from a year earlier, which is about 7 percentage points higher than three months earlier. About 10% plan to leave the industry in the next six months, double the 1Q survey.
“Truckstop has enabled carriers to move freight efficiently in a high-trust marketplace for more than 28 years during all market conditions,” said Kendra Tucker, chief executive officer, Truckstop. “We remain committed to providing the technology they need to help save time, make more money and run their businesses on their terms.”
Truckstop is a trusted partner for carriers, brokers, and shippers, empowering the freight community through a platform of innovative solutions for the entire freight lifecycle to increase efficiency, automate processes, and accelerate growth. As one of the industry’s largest neutral freight marketplaces, Truckstop provides the customer service as well as scale of quality loads and trucks to give customers of all sizes, whether on the road or in the office, the transparency and freedom to build lasting relationships and grow their businesses. To learn how Truckstop is helping move the freight community forward, visit https://truckstop.com.
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 148, consisting of dry-van, flatbed, temperature-controlled and specialized/diversified carriers. Of the respondents, 62% operate just one tractor.
The complete survey is available to Bloomberg Terminal subscribers via BI.
Truck Freight Tonnage and Revenues Rise in 2022, According to Report
Washington , DC… Trucks moved more than 11.4 billion tons of freight in 2022, generating more than $940 billion – both increases from the previous year, according to the latest edition of American Trucking Associations’ American Trucking Trends 2023.
“While 2022 was a challenging year for trucking in many respects, the industry still posted growth in revenue, tonnage, employment and several other measures,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “In addition, by share of freight revenue and tonnage, trucking remained by far the dominant mode of transportation in the country.”
Among the findings in Trends, in 2022:
* Trucks moved 11.46 billion tons of freight – up from 10.93 billion tons the previous year.
* The industry collected 80.7% of the nation’s freight bill – generating $940.8 billion.
* Trucking employed 8.4 million people in industry-related jobs, up 405,000 from the previous year, including 3.54 million professional truck drivers.
* Women made up 8.1% of the nation’s drivers – an all-time high and the seventh straight annual increase.
* Trends detailed the racial/ethnic background of drivers, with 18.3% of drivers identifying as Black, 4% as Asian and 23.3% as Hispanic or Latino.
* Trucking remains a small business industry: 95.8% of fleets operate ten or fewer trucks, and 99.7% operate 100 or fewer.
* Trucks moved 61.9% of the value of surface trade between the U.S. and Canada and 83.5% of cross-border trade with Mexico, for a total of $947.92 billion worth of goods.
This year’s expanded edition of Trends includes several new datasets and topics, including annual data about America’s household goods movers, new chapters on the broader macroeconomy with a focus on drivers of freight volumes, and an overview of ATA’s driver compensation data.
“As government and business leaders make choices that determine the trajectory of our economy, the data found in these pages can help drive those decisions – that’s why Trends has a place on the most influential desks, providing actional insights to elected officials, regulators, industry insiders, and economic analysts,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “This is your guide to an industry that embodies the true meaning of essential.”
ATA American Trucking Trends is available for purchase now at www.atabusinesssolutions.com.
The Ohio Trucking Association Makes Largest Billboard Buy in Trucking Moves America Forward History for National Truck Driver Appreciation Week
Through a partnership between the Ohio Trucking Association, Trucking Moves America Forward, and sponsorships from Ohio Trucking Association members, six billboards have been purchased across Ohio for National Truck Driver Appreciation Week. These billboards, estimated to be seen by over 2 million sets of eyes daily, recognize the hard work that professional truck drivers do. This annual nationwide celebration, set to happen September 10th through 16th of this year, is a tribute to the dedicated drivers who play a vital role in moving the nation forward by ensuring the timely transportation of essential goods. The billboards and social media campaign will extend the recognition throughout September.
The billboards will feature two Ohio drivers, David Wolford from Continental Express, Inc. and Clint McBee from GetGo Transportation Co., L.L.C.
Wolford was crowned the 2022 Ohio Driver of the Year in March 2023 by the Ohio Trucking Association. The Driver of the Year is awarded to a reliable, safe driver dedicated to the industry. Wolford has been a professional driver for 19 years, 18 of those with Continental Express, Inc., driving over 2.4 million safe miles. At Continental Express, Inc., David is a driver trainer and is very active in mentoring new drivers. In addition, he is the host of their podcast, where he talks about industry events, tips, and safety and creates safety videos for the company’s YouTube.
McBee has been with GetGo Transportation Co., L.L.C., for over 20 years. He is a military veteran who was the sole provider for his family of five. Driving a truck gave him the ability to provide for them. McBee is employed by the current Ohio Trucking Association’s board of trustees chair, Tony Tomase. Tomase identified billboards to improve the industry image and thank drivers for their tireless work as one of the priorities of his tenure as chair. Tomase had the following to say about why he wanted the billboard campaign to happen, “Drivers are truly the good ones; they deliver for America by delivering the essentials of life. They go out every day knowing their job is one of the top ten most dangerous in the country, but they take on that responsibility to make sure they and everyone around them on the road gets home safely. We should all remember to thank truck drivers for what they do.”
A donation campaign by Ohio Trucking Association members and contributions from the Ohio Trucking Association and Trucking Moves America Forward fueled the over $40,000 buy. This collaboration has resulted in the most substantial billboard buy by any state trucking association in Trucking Moves America Forward’s history. The billboards have been strategically placed at locations around Ohio, including:
-I-75 in Toledo
-I-480 in Cleveland
-I-75 in Dayton
-I-75 in Cincinnati
-US-33 in Columbus
-Elida Road in Lima
OTA would like to thank all its members who contributed to this worthwhile campaign.
-Ace Doran LLC, a div. of Bennett Motor Express
-Alloy Employer Services LLC
-Arctic Express, Inc.
-Biscay Management LLC
-Bulk Transit Corp.
-Classic Carriers, Inc.
-ContainerPort Group, Inc.
-Continental Express, Inc.
-Cowen Truck Line, Inc.
-Express Delivery Services, Inc.
-Frantz Ward LLP
-Gateway Distribution, LLC
-GetGo Transportation Co. L.L.C.
-James Berg Trucking Company
-John Kauser Trucking Services, Inc.
-JRayl Transport, Inc.
-Thomas E. Keller Trucking, Inc.
-Marvin Johnson & Associates
-Midwest Automotive Trucking, LLC
-Ohio Intermodal Services, LLC
-Paramount Fleet-Safety Services
-Peoples Services, Inc.
-Pohl Transportation, Inc.
-Rush Transportation & Logistics
-Sanborn, Brandon, Duvall & Bobbit Co., LPA
-Walmart Transportation LLC
-Wooster Motor Ways, Inc.
-Young Truck Sales, Inc.
The Ohio Trucking Association is a professional trade association with over 800 members. Founded in 1918, the association promotes safety, innovation, and professionalism in the trucking industry.
The mission of Trucking Moves America Forward is to establish a long-term industry-wide movement to create a positive image for the industry, to ensure that policymakers and the public understand the importance of the trucking industry to the nation’s economy, and to build the political and grassroots support necessary to strengthen and grow the industry in the future.
Teamsters Applaud California Senate For Passing Autonomous Vehicle Bill, Demand Gov. Newsom Sign It
SACRAMENTO, CA… Teamster-supported legislation that would require a trained human operator in autonomous vehicles weighing over 10,000 pounds overwhelmingly passed the California Senate on September 12th with strong bipartisan support. California Assembly Bill 316 (AB 316), first introduced in January by Cecilia Aguiar-Curry (D-Winters), Laura Friedman (D-Glendale), Tom Lackey (R-Palmdale), and Ash Kalra (D-San Jose), received votes in favor from all but four state senators. It now heads to Governor Gavin Newsom.
“During the pandemic, Gov. Newsom thanked Teamster truck drivers for risking their lives to keep the economy afloat. But he actually needs to prove that he cares about workers by signing AB 316. If Gov. Newsom vetoes this bill, he is putting the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of truck drivers at risk, while jeopardizing public safety,” said Teamsters General President Sean M. O’Brien. “The Teamsters rightfully stand against such dangerous technology. We will fight to make sure AB 316 becomes law.”
The vote comes on the heels of new public polling showing that nearly three-fourths of Californians across party lines, gender, geography, and all other demographics support AB 316, which would help keep California roads safe and protect good-paying jobs. The poll also highlights that an overwhelming number of Californians are uncomfortable being on the road alongside driverless vehicles. The Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development recently voiced opposition to AB 316 via an agency letter, indicating that top officials in the Newsom administration aren't listening to the concerns of California voters.
The Teamsters planned rally in Los Angeles and Sacramento in mid-September, alongside thousands of labor allies, elected officials, and California public safety officials in support of AB 316.
“AV companies have lost billions of dollars in the self-driving vehicle space over the last few years and are now trying to appease their investors by imposing unsafe, inadequate products on the public. These corporate elites have no regard whatsoever for the safety or prosperity of the communities they will put in harm’s way. Gov. Newsom needs to do right by Californians — not these companies — immediately,” said Jason Rabinowitz, President of Teamsters Joint Council 7. "California voters, legislators, public safety officials, and workers all support this bil. This should be a no-brainer."
Collisions and accidents with self-driving vehicles continue to occur throughout San Francisco. Earlier in September, the California Public Utilities Commission approved the permits for autonomous vehicles companies Waymo and Cruise to expand driverless operations in San Francisco, even amid public outcry from local leaders and public safety officials. However, it only took a matter of days before havoc hit San Francisco, including a fatal accident where two Cruise taxis stopped on a one-way street and blocked an ambulance with a dying patient.
“AV companies do not care about the safety and wellbeing of Californians. There are hundreds of thousands of trucking jobs in jeopardy due to automation in our state, and that’s a real problem that needs to be addressed now,” said Lorena Gonzalez, California Labor Federation Executive Secretary-Treasurer. “AB 316 has seamlessly passed through the California Legislature with strong bipartisan support because safety and good jobs are issues everyone can get behind. It’s time for Gov. Newsom to sign AB 316 into law.”
“Opposition to AB 316 comes from a place of being woefully out-of-touch with middle-class Californians who are concerned about the impact autonomous vehicles will have on their safety and livelihoods. Over 200,000 Californians turn a key for a living, so where is the plan to protect them?” said Chris Griswold, President of Teamsters Joint Council 42. “The whole country knows California is facing a massive homelessness crisis right now. If Gov. Newsom doesn't want it to get worse, he needs to sign AB 316."
AB 316 is supported by the Teamsters and the California Labor Federation.
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.2 million hardworking people in the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico. Visit Teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and “like” us on Facebook at Facebook.com/teamsters.
Public Charging Issues May Short-Circuit EV Growth, J.D. Power Finds Volta, Tesla Supercharger Rank Highest in Respective Segments
TROY, MI… While automakers continue to introduce new electric vehicles (EVs) and experience growth in market share, the beleaguered public vehicle charging infrastructure has not kept pace. If anything, it is falling further behind. The recent move to open Tesla Superchargers to non-Tesla owners could improve the situation, but such effort might not be the answer that some suggest, as overall satisfaction continues to decline, according to the J.D. Power 2023 U.S. Electric Vehicle Experience (EVX) Public Charging Study,SM released.
Despite the increase in public charging stations across the United States, customer satisfaction with public Level 2 charging has declined to 617 (on a 1,000-point scale), 16 points lower than a year ago and the lowest level since the study began in 2021. Though purported to be the wave of the future, satisfaction with DC (direct current) fast chargers has declined even further, dropping 20 points to 654. More troubling is that satisfaction in both charging station segments has declined in nearly every attribute measured in the study. Since consumer skepticism regarding public charging availability is the primary reason vehicle shoppers reject EVs, this performance could prove to be a further hindrance to EV acceptance.
"The declining customer satisfaction scores for public charging should be concerning to automakers and, more broadly, to public charging stakeholders," said Brent Gruber, executive director of the EV practice at J.D. Power. "The availability of public charging stations is still a critical obstacle, but it isn't the only one. EV owners continue to have issues with many aspects of public charging, as the cost and speed of charging and the availability of things to do while waiting for their vehicle to charge are the least satisfying aspects. At the same time, the reliability of public chargers continues to be a problem. The situation is stuck at a level where one of every five visits ends without charging, the majority of which are due to station outages."
Tesla owners are relatively satisfied with the Tesla Supercharger network (745), but when they go outside the network to use other public charging options, satisfaction declines by nearly 200 points (550). “With greater adoption of the North American Charging Standard (NACS) pioneered by Tesla, it may provide a boost in fast-charging satisfaction among owners of EVs from other brands as they begin to use Tesla’s Supercharger stations,” Gruber said. “We’re monitoring whether the use of Tesla Superchargers by non-Tesla owners will affect satisfaction, but the move does help address charger scarcity and offer access to industry-leading reliable chargers. It’s just too early to tell if it can reach the satisfaction levels of Tesla owners who are already part of that fully integrated Tesla ecosystem.”
Following are key findings of the 2023 study:
* Satisfaction with charging speed declines: EV owners are increasingly dissatisfied with the amount of time it takes to charge their vehicles. The attribute for speed of charging has the most significant negative effect on overall Level 2 satisfaction, decreasing 36 points year over year to 455. Interestingly, those using DC fast chargers don’t fare much better as satisfaction with the speed of charging declines 30 points to 588.
* Public chargers must be placed in appropriate locations: The reasons EV owners cite for choosing a Level 2 or a DC fast charger and the time they spend at the charger clearly indicate that public chargers should be located where they will most effectively serve their customers. Convenience is desired by both Level 2 and DC fast charger users, but DC fast charger users indicate a planned road trip is also a key reason for selection. DC fast charger users spend approximately 30 minutes charging their vehicle, preferring to get back on the road as soon as possible. “The data suggests that DC chargers—which charge faster—should be located along travel routes, while Level 2 chargers—essentially used for convenience charging—should be easily accessible near places where EV owners may already be visiting such as retail venues and entertainment venues,” Gruber said.
* Non-charge visits remain an issue, and results differ by geographic location: The study finds that 20% of all users say they visited a charger but did not charge their vehicle. Reasons range from the charger being inoperable to long lines to use the charger. EV owners in the Miami-Port St. Lucie-Ft. Lauderdale Combined Statistical Area (CSA) had the worst experience in this regard, with 35% of visits failing to result in charging. The CSAs in Seattle-Tacoma, Denver-Aurora and Dallas-Ft. Worth each had 29% of visits failing to result in a charge. The Cleveland-Akron-Canton CSA had the lowest percentage of failed visits with a charging failure rate of 12%.
"The results of this year's study should be very concerning to all those involved in the transition from gas-powered vehicles to electric vehicles," Gruber said. “Although the majority of EV charging occurs at home, public charging needs to provide a much better experience across the board—not just for the users of today, but also to alleviate the concerns of skeptical future customers. A lot of work is underway to address these issues but there is certainly much more work to be done.”
Volta ranks highest among Level 2 charging stations, with a score of 665. Tesla Destination (661) ranks second and ChargePoint (618) ranks third.
Tesla Supercharger ranks highest among DC fast chargers for a third consecutive year, with a score of 739. It is the only DC fast charger brand to rank above segment average.
The study, now in its third year, measures EV owners’ satisfaction with two types of public charge point operators: Level 2 charging stations and DC fast charger stations. Satisfaction is measured across 10 factors (in order of importance): ease of charging; speed of charging; physical condition of charging station; availability of chargers; convenience of this location; things to do while charging; how safe you feel at this location; ease of finding this location; cost of charging; and ease of payment.
The 2023 U.S. Electric Vehicle Experience (EVX) Public Charging Study is driven by a collaboration with PlugShare, the leading EV driver app maker and research firm. The study examines consumer attitudes, behaviors and satisfaction, setting the standard for benchmarking the overall experience of public EV charging. Respondents included 15,079 owners of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). The study was fielded from January through June 2023.
For more information about the U.S. Electric Vehicle Experience (EVX) Public Charging Study, visit https://www.jdpower.com/business/automotive/electric-vehicle-experience-evx-public-charging-study.
The Mega Fleets’ Foolhardy Stance On Speed Limiters
By Jami Jones
Reprinted with permission from LandLine
Ahhh, here it comes. The Trucking Alliance, the mega fleet group. In all of its smugness, the group has weighed in opposing the DRIVE Act.
Quickly for those who need to catch up: Lawmakers are rallying together to prevent the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration from mandating speed limiters on all large trucks. It’s called the DRIVE Act.
The push for a speed limiter mandate has been led, not surprisingly, by the American Trucking Associations and a smattering of safety groups. Now The Trucking Alliance, with its whopping 11-member group, has weighed in on the fray in opposition to the DRIVE Act.
While not at all surprising on any level, these large fleet groups like to lob safety benefits as the motivation behind the mandate. What is surprising is that they are either too arrogant or too ignorant to expect someone to take a deep dive into their inspection data.
Senior Editor Mark Schremmer and I had a gleeful time doing so earlier this week. We looked up each of The Trucking Alliance members’ CSA Safety Measurement System inspection data. Specifically, we looked for speeding violations and crashes. We excluded crashes that were determined by FMCSA to be non-preventable, even though we know speed limiters could very well have been a contributing factor in that non-preventable crash. More on that in a minute.
The Trucking Alliance proudly claims that 98% of their members’ trucks are speed limited. OK, fine. That’s their choice. Now, let’s look at the numbers.
The Trucking Alliance is comprised of large fleets Maverick, Bison, Cargo Transporters, Dupré Logistics, J.B. Hunt, KLLM Transport Services, Knight Transportation, May Trucking Company, Schneider, Swift and U.S. Xpress. Over the past two years, they had combined totals of 3,406 crashes that were not determined non-preventable and 3,481 speeding violations.
Let me say this slowly.
Speeding. Is. Speeding. Period.
Speeding in a 50 mph or 60 mph speed zone is still speeding.
The reality is that these large fleets who neuter their trucks to speeds well below the speed limits in a number of states are creating an unsafe environment on the road.
Let me point out a couple of big ways these speed-limited trucks are a menace to society.
1. They are pissing off impatient passenger cars who lose their fool minds and perform unsafe maneuvers and interactions. All too frequently likely resulting in a non-preventable crash with the speed-limited truck. And guess what? That crash will probably also wind up being settled by the trucking company.
2. Most motor carriers pay by the mile. Speed limiters lead to fewer miles and less pay. That creates a negative incentive to speed in lower speed limit areas, like rural highways and construction zones, where crashes are more likely. Throw in the electronic logging mandate these large groups also advocated for, and it’s turned into a recipe for disaster.
Now these groups will most certainly point to their out-of-service records. All 11 motor carrier members of The Trucking Alliance are below the national average in all categories.
That’s the equivalent of being graded on the curve in school. You know, the one where the whole class flunks a test, but the highest F in the class gets an A for earning the distinction of being the best loser?
The reality is out there in plain sight on every highway around the country, every day. Wrapping arguments for things like speed limiters in a fuzzy safety blanket is just trying to hide the grim realities.
Speed differentials are dangerous, and people drive stupidly because of them. Heap on a healthy serving of distracted driving, and if every truck is speed-limited, I don’t even want to know the carnage that will result from passenger cars rear-ending trailers.
Fortunately, lawmakers are seeing these realities, and we have the DRIVE Act in play. Visit FightingForTruckers.com and encourage your lawmaker to sign on. Drivers, we have allies; we just need more.
New CDL Skills Test Will Be Implemented In Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced a new, modernized commercial driver's license (CDL) skills test will be implemented starting August 28, 2023.
According to PennDOT, the new test will waive outdated requirements that hold workers back. As new technologies emerge, PennDOT said, the modernized CDL skills test will ensure CDL drivers have the knowledge and skills to drive safely on the road.
The new test will be offered at all PennDOT Driver License Centers that offer CDL skills tests and at all third-party CDL driving skill testers.
According to PennDOT, the skills test has received a “much needed” update to reflect modern vehicle features. Applicants must pass the full CDL Skills Test – which includes pre-trip inspection, basic control and a road test – to receive their CDL. Prospective applicants scheduled to take the test after August 28, 2023, are encouraged to review and study the updated Commercial Driver License Manual to prepare for each portion of the knowledge and driver skills test.
The Vehicle Inspection (VI) test and the Basic Control Skills (BCS) test have also been updated. CDL applicants may be asked to identify up to 90 different components on the vehicle and describe what they are looking for to ensure it is safe and ready for use compared to the current requirement of more than 100 items. In addition, a checklist is now authorized to be used as a memory aid for this segment.
The BCS Test will require CDL applicants to demonstrate four maneuvers to demonstrate control:
* Forward Stop to demonstrate an applicant's ability to judge the front of the vehicle;
* Straight-Line Backing to demonstrate the applicant's ability to back the vehicle in a straight line;
* Forward Offset Tracking to demonstrate an applicant's ability to maneuver the vehicle around other objects while moving forward; and
* Reverse Offset Backing to demonstrate an applicant's ability to offset reverse and park the vehicle.
Applicants who have already completed portions of the skills testing prior to August 28 will need to complete current versions of CDL Skills Testing. These applicants should continue to review and study the current Commercial Driver License Manual to prepare for each portion of the knowledge and driver skills test.
“PennDOT is working to make our services more accessible and effective for the people of Pennsylvania," said PennDOT Secretary Mike Carroll. "As someone with a CDL, I know that technology in our vehicles has greatly evolved and improved, even in our commercial vehicles. This modernized test is another way PennDOT is enhancing its services to better serve our CDL applicants while still ensuring the safety of school bus passengers."
According to the Shapiro administration, this change was implemented specifically to address the school bus driver shortage. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has created a long-term waiver extension that allows a state to modify the Commercial Driver's License test for applicants looking to drive a school bus.
For example, PennDOT will waive the "Under the Hood requirement" for school bus driver applicants through November 27, 2024, which means that potential school bus drivers will no longer need to take the portion of the CDL test that requires them to identify engine components.
U.S. Department of Transportation Providing Hawaii $3 Million in ‘Quick Release’ Emergency Relief Funding for Traffic Management and Repairs to Infrastructure Damaged by Wildfires in Lahaina
WASHINGTON, DC… The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) announced the immediate availability of $3 million in “quick release” (QR) Emergency Relief (ER) funds, the current total QR requested by the Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT), to offset costs associated with traffic management services and repairs to infrastructure needed as a result of damage caused by wildfires in Lahaina on the island of Maui earlier this month.
“The nation watched with broken hearts as wildfires took lives and livelihoods in Maui – and the nation will stand with Maui as it rebuilds,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “This emergency funding will help residents get transportation networks?back up and running with traffic signal replacements, erosion control, guardrails, and more – and we will continue work to protect communities against these increasingly frequent climate disasters.” ?
“The Federal Highway Administration has been in close contact with HDOT and will remain so in order to bring the support needed in West Maui,” said Federal Highway Administrator Shailen Bhatt. “The quick release funding we are providing today will help emergency service personnel, police, and other first responders obtain the equipment needed for traffic management in Lahaina and the surrounding area, as well as resources for repairs to infrastructure in the future.”
Wildfires that started on August 8, 2023, resulted in catastrophic damage and loss of life in Lahaina. On August 10, President Biden declared that a major disaster exists in the State of Hawaii and ordered Federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by the wildfires.
The funding announced today will be used for various items that will aid in recovery or to replace damaged and destroyed infrastructure, including portable battery-operated traffic signals; traffic signals; erosion control of damaged areas; signs; guardrails; jersey barriers to reroute traffic and protect pedestrians and workers; and traffic management services by the police.
FHWA’s Emergency Relief program provides funding to states, territories, Tribes, and Federal Land Management Agencies for highways and bridges damaged by natural disasters or catastrophic events. These “quick release” Emergency Relief funds are an initial installment of funds to help restore essential transportation. Additional funds needed to repair damages to roads and bridges in Hawaii will be supported by the Emergency Relief program through nationwide funding allocations.
The FHWA Emergency Relief program complements the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law programs and provisions by encouraging agencies to identify and implement measures to incorporate resilience in the design, restoration, and repair of damaged infrastructure, so that it can better withstand future damage from climate change and future weather events.
More information about FHWA’s Emergency Relief program can be found online at https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/programadmin/erelief.cfm.
CVTA Joins USDOT National Roadway Safety Strategy Call to Action
Alexandria, VA… The Commercial Vehicle Training Association (CVTA) is announcing that it is answering the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) call to action to improve highway safety through the Department’s National Roadway Safety Strategy (NRSS).
In support of the National Roadway Safety Strategy, CVTA will be providing presentations to future drivers and industry stakeholders about the necessity of selecting high-quality training when pursuing a truck driving career.
Currently, the trucking industry seeks to bring in new drivers to address an ongoing driver shortage, but it is essential that entry-level drivers are safe and qualified drivers. Federal Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT) standards for the training of new drivers require a standardized industry-wide curriculum, but some substandard entities still operate within the training industry. It is imperative that prospective CMV drivers, regulators, and other stakeholders understand the importance of high-quality training.
CVTA’s presentations will be available for potential future drivers, including high school students and adults seeking new career opportunities.
CVTA presentations will also be available to key industry stakeholders, including public workforce development boards that distribute workforce funding, leaders of career and technical education programs, and state authorities that oversee licensure or registration of truck driver training providers.
The Association appreciates the commitment from USDOT and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to improving safety on our nation’s highways and looks forward to a strong partnership between our organizations in support of these critical goals.
More Than 7,500 Vehicles Transporting Hazardous Materials/Dangerous Goods Were Inspected During CVSA’s Unannounced Five-Day Inspection and Enforcement Initiative
Trained professional inspectors in Canada and the U.S. inspected 7,572 commercial motor vehicles transporting hazardous materials/dangerous goods (HM/DG) during the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) annual five-day unannounced HM/DG inspection and enforcement initiative.
Thirty-seven jurisdictions participated in this year’s HM/DG Road Blitz, which was June 12-16. A total of 8,395 packages were inspected, and inspectors discovered 2,578 HM/DG violations, of which 701 were HM/DG out-of-service (OOS) violations.
Vehicles that had out-of-service HM/DG violations were removed from roadways until those violations could be corrected. Vehicles that passed a North American Standard Level I Inspection without any critical inspection violations or specification cargo tank vehicle violations were eligible to receive a CVSA decal and permitted to continue to their destination.
The transportation of HM/DG demands rigorous training and heightened compliance requirements. For motor carriers and drivers, safely transporting HM/DG is imperative to the safety of the driver, the public and the environment. For inspectors, inspecting vehicles transporting HM/DG is a complex and detailed process that involves safely looking for any leaking materials or unsecured HM/DG cargo, and checking shipping papers, placarding, marking, labeling, packaging and loading compliance.
The annual unannounced HM/DG Road Blitz aims to:
* Spotlight the importance of the programs, processes and regulations associated with the safe transportation of HM/DG.
* Recognize safety-compliant HM/DG drivers, motor carriers, manufacturers, shippers, etc.
* Highlight the specially trained inspectors who prioritize transportation safety by inspecting vehicles transporting HM/DG and enforcing strict compliance regulations.
* Identify all shipping paper, placarding, marking, labeling, packaging and loading compliance violations.
* Remove vehicles with HM/DG out-of-service violations from roadways.
There are nine recognized classes of HM/DG. These classes designate HM/DG into categories, based on the materials’ specific chemical and physical properties, and describe the different types of risks associated with those materials.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, a hazardous material has properties that make it dangerous or capable of having a harmful effect on human health or the environment. Commercial motor vehicles transported the largest volume of hazardous materials through the U.S. transportation system, moving 1.2 out of 2.2 billion tons of hazardous materials. To minimize the risks associated with transporting hazardous materials, anyone involved in HM transportation is required to comply with the federal Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMRs). The HMRs govern the transportation of hazardous materials in interstate, intrastate and foreign commerce.
In the U.S., 6,123 vehicles and 6,722 HM packages were inspected during the five days of the HM/DG Road Blitz (2,658 non-bulk packages, 3,256 cargo tank packaging and 808 other bulk packaging). Inspectors identified 2,096 HM violations, of which 538 were out-of-service HM violations.
Inspectors also discovered eight undeclared packages. According to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, each year, approximately 1,500 transportation incidents occur when undeclared hazardous materials are shipped. Hazardous materials must always be properly classified, packaged, labeled, handled and stowed for transportation. This protects workers, emergency responders and the general public from the risks associated with HM transportation.
In Canada, a dangerous good is defined as any substance or material capable of posing an unreasonable risk to health, safety and property when transported in commerce. Shipments of dangerous goods number in the multi-millions annually. The federal, provincial and territorial governments enacted legislation to regulate the transportation of dangerous goods via the Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG) Regulations. Canada’s TDG Regulations prescribe safety standards and shipping requirements for dangerous goods, and communicate the nature and level of hazard and risk associated with those dangerous goods.
In Canada, 1,449 vehicles and 1,673 DG packages were inspected during the five days of the HM/DG Road Blitz (799 small means of containment, 690 highway tank packaging and 184 other large means of containment). Inspectors discovered 482 DG violations, of which 163 were out-of-service DG violations.
The HM/DG Road Blitz is an annual unannounced HM/DG inspection and enforcement initiative with participation from CVSA member jurisdictions in North America. It is supported by the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and Transport Canada. The initiative was adopted by the CVSA Hazardous Materials Committee, which provides technical HM/DG guidance and assistance to government and industry in an effort to reduce HM/DG incidents and encourage uniformity and consistency in the application of the regulations.
Clean Freight Coalition Blasts Effort Pressuring EPA to Implement California's Destructive Emissions Regulations
Washington, DC… Clean Freight Coalition (CFC) Executive Director Jim Mullen issued the following statement regarding the Democrat-led congressional letter to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael Regan. The letter encouraged the agency to adopt California’s regulations as the nation’s standards, a more stringent Heavy-Duty Greenhouse Gas Phase 3 (GHG 3) regulation mirroring California’s standards:
“The Clean Freight Coalition remains concerned that lawmakers and regulators continue to pursue a regulatory agenda that follows California’s mandates that will upend the nation’s supply chain while ignoring immediate, scalable solutions for reducing carbon emissions from existing and future fleets. It is disappointing that certain Members of Congress are pushing a one-size-fits-all environmental agenda that fails to understand the mass diversification of the commercial vehicle industry. Setting regulatory requirements relying on technologies that are either in early demonstration phases or not fully developed, and yet to be tested and validated in the various unique real-world applications will disrupt the nation’s freight network.
"Congress and regulators should pursue policies that will provide immediate emission reductions, allowing zero-emission technologies to mature and the supporting infrastructure to be built out. As examples, repealing the federal excise tax would incentivize truckers to refresh their fleets with modern greener and safer technologies, and policymakers should promote and incentivize readily available low-carbon fuel options, such as biodiesel and renewable diesel.
"The letter to Administrator Regan references an agreement between the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and the engine manufacturers as support for the unattainable regulations which promises manufacturers’ efforts to meet certain CARB regulations. This agreement is essentially irrelevant to achieving a decarbonized future. Without reliable power, fleets will be left with the options to purchase equipment that does not meet their performance needs or to hold onto their diesel equipment longer, negating the expected emissions reductions that California and EPA are expecting.
"The CFC and its members will continue to utilize decades of real-life experience across the trucking ecosystem offering solutions that make an immediate improvement to the environment. We will continue to advocate for sound public policies that provide a rational, sustainable, and affordable transition to zero-emission trucks. The stakes are too high to base the strategy on hope."
The Clean Freight Coalition is an alliance of truck transportation stakeholders committed to a clean energy future for America’s trucking industry. Participating associations span motor carriers of every size and sector, truck dealers, truckstop operators, and equipment manufacturers.
Learn more at cleanfreightcoalition.org
CFC Statement on Congressional Letter to EPA
Washington, DC… Clean Freight Coalition Executive Director Jim Mullen issued the following statement today on this bicameral, bipartisan Congressional letter sent to EPA Administrator Michael Regan on the agency's proposed GHG Phase 3 rule:
"The CFC would like to thank the members of Congress who signed and submitted this letter to EPA Administrator Regan. These members see the significant flaws in the GHG proposed rule and unresolved issues, which must be addressed to protect the nation’s supply chain and the millions of individuals working in the trucking industry.
"The CFC fully supports a sustainable and affordable transition to zero-emission trucks. That is why we are advocating for repeal of the Federal Excise Tax, sufficient funding for charging and fueling infrastructure, and policies that promote and incentivize readily available low-carbon fuel options—such as biodiesel and renewable diesel, which provide immediate emission reductions while longer-term solutions are realized.
"What CFC cannot support are regulations that set unachievable standards and force the trucking industry to transition to equipment that has not been fully tested, presents range and weight problems, and is unaffordable. At the end of the day, it is the consumer that bears the financial burden of these regulations."
The Clean Freight Coalition is an alliance of truck transportation stakeholders committed to a clean energy future for America’s trucking industry. Participating associations span motor carriers of every size and sector, truck dealers, truckstop operators, and equipment manufacturers.
Learn more at cleanfreightcoalition.org.
ATA Truck Tonnage Index Decreased 0.8% in July
Washington, DC… American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index decreased 0.8% in July after falling 0.3% in June. In July, the index equaled 112.9 (2015=100) compared with 113.8 in June.
“Headwinds for freight remained in July, pushing the truck tonnage index lower,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “As has been the case for several months, a multitude of factors have caused a recession in freight, including sluggish spending on goods by households as consumers traveled more and went to concerts this summer. Less home construction, falling factory output and shippers consolidating freight into fewer shipments compared with the frenzy during the goods buying spree at the height of the pandemic are also significant drags on tonnage.”
June’s increase was revised lower from our July 18 press release.
Compared with July 2022, the SA index fell 3%, which was the fifth straight year-over-year decrease. In June, the index was down 3.2% from a year earlier.
The not seasonally adjusted index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by the fleets before any seasonal adjustment, equaled 111.5 in July, 5.5% below the June level (118). 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 72.6% of tonnage carried by all modes of domestic freight transportation, including manufactured and retail goods. Trucks hauled 11.46 billion tons of freight in 2022. Motor carriers collected $940.8 billion, or 80.7% 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, USDOT Highlight Truck Parking Investments in South Dakota
Salem, SD… American Trucking Associations President and CEO Chris Spear, ATA Chairman Dan Van Alstine, and U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg visited South Dakota on September 12th, where they celebrated a new federal investment to expand truck parking capacity.
“There are countless ways to thank America’s hardworking truck drivers during National Truck Driver Appreciation Week, and today we are doing so by addressing a serious issue that consistently ranks as one of their highest concerns,” Spear said. “The funding being announced today will help to alleviate a shortage of truck driving spaces that too often puts drivers in a no-win situation. These projects being funded by the IIJA are an important step in the right direction, and we look forward to continuing to work with USDOT Secretary Buttigieg and FMCSA Administrator Robin Hutcheson to solve this challenge together.”
“We have stepped up our work on the truck parking coalition and our efforts to encourage states and other decision makers to make better use of infrastructure dollars to expand parking,” said Secretary Pete Buttigieg, noting a USDOT partnership with stakeholders. “Know that you will continue to have a partner in the U.S. Department of Transportation. And I'm really glad that we're able to be here to celebrate projects like this one, expanding truck parking nationwide.”
“The shortage of truck parking capacity is, first and foremost, a critical safety issue for drivers, the motoring public, and law enforcement,” said Dan Van Alstine, Chairman of ATA and President and COO of Ruan Transportation Management Systems. “The time that is wasted, and frustration and anxiety created, searching for safe parking, also leads to supply chain disruptions, reduces drivers’ compensation, and adds unnecessary congestion and emissions. Secretary Buttigieg is the first USDOT Secretary to award grants for projects that add parking spots. We appreciate his focus on this issue, and we will continue to support bipartisan efforts in Congress to secure additional dedicated funding for truck parking.”
The new truck parking spaces, funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, will be built along Interstate 90 in Salem and will help to meet the critical need to improve truck driver safety and increase the efficiency of the nation’s supply chain.
“The severe lack of truck parking has an enormous impact on drivers nationwide,” said America’s Road Team Captain Dean Kay, a professional driver for Ruan Transportation. “It touches almost every aspect of our profession, from quality of life to compensation, but more than that, the lack of truck parking is fundamentally a safety issue. We appreciate Secretary Buttigieg’s commitment to improving the lives of professional drivers by making truck parking a priority.”
There is currently only one parking spot for every 11 truck drivers on the road today. Consequently:
* A U.S. Department of Transportation report found 98% of drivers regularly experience problems finding safe parking.
* A staggering 70% of drivers have been forced to violate federal hours-of-service rules because of this common scenario.
* Truck drivers spend 56 minutes of available drive time per day looking for parking early rather than risking not being able to find parking down the road.
* This wasted time costs the average driver about $5,500 in direct lost compensation—a 12% cut in annual pay.
The ATA strongly advocated in favor of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which has already provided funding for hundreds of new truck parking spaces since its enactment in 2021. USDOT has provided guidance for states on funding eligibility requirements for truck parking projects under the law.
To build on this progress, the ATA also endorsed the Truck Parking Safety Improvement Act,introduced by Senators Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyoming) and Mark Kelly (D-Arizona), as well as Representatives Mike Bost (R-Illinois) and Angie Craig (D-Minnesota), which would authorize $755 million in competitive grant funding to expand commercial truck parking capacity across the United States.