Latest Industry News Briefs Courtesy of PMTA

January 2021

ATA Congratulates Members for Winning 2020 SmartWay Excellence Awards

 Arlington, VA… The American Trucking Associations congratulates 26 member fleets and shippers for winning SmartWay Excellence Awards from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

“EPA is pleased to honor these SmartWay Partners with a 2020 Excellence Award,” said Karl Simon, director of EPA’s Transportation & Climate Division.  “These Awardee recipients continue to lead through these challenging times, working diligently to manufacture products, manage shipments and deliver to our families the goods and supplies we need each day, while contributing to a healthier, more sustainable future for our children.”

“The SmartWay Transport Partnership continues to be a model for cooperation between the business community and government to advance our industry’s sustainability efforts,” said Glen Kedzie, ATA vice president and energy and environmental affairs counsel. “We are proud that so many of our members participate in this program and that many of them have been recognized for their participation with one of these awards.”

The ATA members honored with SmartWay Excellence Awards are:

* ABF Freight System Inc.

* J.B. Hunt Transport Inc.

* Duncan and Son Lines Inc.

* Professional Auto Transport Inc.

* UPS Small Package

* CRST Dedicated Services Inc.

* CRST Expedited Inc.

* Doug Andrus Distributing LLC

* Hub Group

* Nussbaum Transportation Services Inc.

* D. M. Bowman Inc.

* Meijer Logistics LLC

* Van Eerden Trucking Company

* Prime Inc.

* Wilson Logistics Inc.

* Old Dominion Freight Line Inc.

* Werner Enterprises

* Lindenmeyr Munroe

* Freymiller

* Alan Ritchey Inc.

* Lone Star Transportation, LLC

* OutWest Express LLC

* Cheema Freightlines LLC

* Georgia-Pacific Consumer Products LP

* Roehl Transport Inc.

* Bison Transport Inc.

EPA’s SmartWay Transport Partnership is a market-driven initiative that empowers businesses to move goods in the cleanest, most energy-efficient way possible to protect public health and reduce emissions. Demonstrating a commitment to environmental responsibility and freight efficiency through SmartWay provides for a more sustainable and competitive business environment.

EPA Announces $1.16 Million in Grants to Support Innovative Approaches to Source Reduction

 PHILADELPHIA, PA… The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the selection of 11 organizations across nine states receiving $1.16 million in grant funding to support pollution prevention activities. The announcement coincides with the 30th anniversary of the Pollution Prevention Act and continued focus on national pollution prevention efforts.

Three Source Reduction Assistance (SRA) grants were presented to colleges/universities within the Mid-Atlantic Region: Delaware State University, Dover, Delaware; Slippery Rock University, Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania; and Northampton Community College, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

The grants will fund innovative, cost-effective, replicable source reduction approaches enabling grant recipients and others to save energy and water, reduce pollution and improve public health.

“We are glad to award these institutions of higher learning funding to research innovative ways to preserve our environment,” said EPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Cosmo Servidio. “Their research leads to best practices that can be shared with organizations nationwide to save our natural resources, spur economic growth and assist in reducing waste in years to come.”

“When the groundbreaking Pollution Prevention Act was signed 30 years ago, EPA was given a simple charge: work to prevent pollution before it happens,” said EPA Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention Assistant Administrator Alexandra Dapolito Dunn. “By providing our partners with essential tools, resources and information, we have taken a strategic approach that has yielded millions of dollars in savings and avoided the use of tens of thousands of pounds of hazardous chemicals. I’m looking forward to seeing the contributions of EPA’s 2020 source reduction grantees to our national pollution prevention effort.”

EPA’s individual SRA grant awards range from $43,000 to $174,000 for a two-year funding period. For these grants, EPA prioritized funding for projects that support research, education, and/or training of innovative source reduction techniques. The grantees will document and share source reduction best practices that are identified and developed through these grants so that others can replicate these practices and outcomes.

Here is a snapshot of the grantees’ projects from the Mid-Atlantic Region:

Delaware State University

National Emphasis Area: Chemical Manufacturing, Processing and Fabrication

EPA Grant: $43,536 

The grantee will work with several industry and agency partners to present a model for water and energy conservation in the agrochemical and pharmaceutical industry that includes facilitating pollution prevention education, informing local industry of the disparity between water supply and demand, creating a regional partnership network, and encouraging a culture of conservation. This project will employ real-time monitoring in manufacturing facilities to detect corrosion, microbial activity, salt content, and other contaminants that can adversely affect water and energy consumption.

Slippery Rock University

National Emphasis Area: Food, Beverage Manufacturing and Processing and Metal Manufacturing and Fabrication

EPA Grant: $72,146

The grantee will provide four food and beverage manufacturers within the greater Pittsburgh area with industrial assessments recommending actions that will minimize operating costs and reduce the use of water, energy, and hazardous substances in their processes. The grantee will also create a new intern pollution prevention program and will develop a best management practices training manual as part of this effort.

Northampton Community College

National Emphasis Area: Food, Beverage Manufacturing and Processing

EPA Grant: $72,146

The grantee will assist businesses in reducing their environmental footprint, operating expenses, and liability risk by promoting sustainable economic development, encouraging good corporate citizenship, and delivering a cleaner, safer environment. The grantee aims to demonstrate that providing for a healthy economy and a healthy environment are not mutually exclusive goals by promoting Pollution Prevention technical assistance as an effective business development strategy. The project will target businesses in Pennsylvania’s ozone nonattainment counties to decrease human exposure to pollutants that contribute to the severity of respiratory diseases.

Since the inception of the program in 2003, EPA has awarded SRA grants to state, local, and tribal government entities; non-profits; and university partners to work directly with U.S. businesses to develop and implement source reduction techniques. For instance, the University of Minnesota, using 16-17 SRA grant funds provided technical assistance to 45 businesses in Minneapolis to reduce air pollution in surrounding neighborhoods and cut electricity expenses. In addition, seven participating companies switched to environmentally-safer chemical alternatives in their sanitization and disinfection processes.

Bendix Commits To Halving Greenhouse Gas Emissions By 2030 And Achieving Carbon Neutrality By 2020

 ELYRIA, OH… Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC (Bendix), the North American leader in the development and manufacture of active safety, air management, and braking solutions for commercial vehicles, has stepped up its climate action plan by committing to cut its CO2 emissions in half by 2030, and to achieve carbon neutrality by 2021.

The goals are part of its renewed commitment to adopt the aggressive climate strategy recently launched by its parent company, the Munich, Germany-based Knorr-Bremse AG. Knorr-Bremse is the global market leader for braking systems and a leading supplier of other rail and commercial vehicle systems. The strategy is deeply aligned with the United Nations’ (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a set of 17 overarching environmental objectives promoting prosperity while protecting the environment. Two of the objectives – Responsible Consumption and Production (encompassed within SDG 12) and Climate Action (the focus of SDG 13) – have been at the core of Bendix’s sustainability efforts.

Over more than a decade, Bendix has made significant progress toward achieving both objectives. In the area of Responsible Consumption and Production, Bendix has implemented zero-waste-to-landfill projects and cultural changes across all Bendix manufacturing locations, to self-certify six manufacturing locations in 2020 as zero-waste-to-landfill facilities.

With the newest version of its sustainability strategy, Bendix is placing an even more heightened focus on climate action by implementing tactics to pursue climate neutrality in the near term, followed by an increased reduction in carbon emissions by 2030.

“Climate change is one of the greatest challenges facing the planet today, and we believe that – as a business – we are an essential part of the solution,” said Maria Gutierrez, Bendix director of corporate responsibility and sustainability. “We are running out of time to avoid the worst effects of global warming. That is why we are setting a bolder ambition to reach a net-zero future. Our journey to net zero has already started. Now, by adopting these goals, we are accelerating our efforts.”

 Achieving a New Level of CO2 Reductions

Under its climate strategy commitment, Bendix will halve its greenhouse gas emissions from the 2018 baseline by 2030 in accordance with science-based targets and the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement.

The reductions will occur across two scopes representing emissions from its own operations (Scope 1), and emissions generated from the use of external energy sources (Scope 2). Beyond this, Bendix also commits to achieving carbon neutrality across all global operations from 2021 onwards, to help combat the worst impacts of climate change. This will be accomplished by increasing the share of renewable energy and by offsetting remaining emissions with high-quality certificates.  

Bendix will achieve the new level of CO2 reductions via three main tactics: continued energy efficiency projects, on-site generation of renewable energy, and procurement of green energy combined with carbon offsets to aid the reach of carbon neutrality from 2021 onward.

To this end, Bendix is investing in key energy efficiency projects, and on-site or its own generation of renewable energy. These include on-site solar energy generation at the Huntington, Indiana, campus, beginning in October 2020 with a finish date of June 2021. The seven-figure investment is expected to yield a 4% reduction in CO2 emissions for Bendix Huntington, along with estimated annual energy savings of $142,000.

Another energy efficiency/CO2 reduction project is also now underway at the Acuña, Mexico, campus, with an anticipated completion of December 2020. This project includes lighting-efficiency upgrades, compressed air management systems, and an energy submetering system enhancement, leading to an estimated 4% CO2 reduction.

Building on a History of Climate Strategy

Bendix’s current climate strategy builds upon a decade of work from the previous ECCO2 initiative that ran from 2009-2019. During that effort, Bendix exceeded the combined goals to reduce energy consumption by 30% from its 2009 baseline, by achieving a 42% reduction over the past 10 years. The company also saved more than 27 million kilowatt-hours of energy – and an estimated $2 million – over that time frame, through projects focused on more efficient use of lighting, HVAC, and compressed air.

      In July 2019, Bendix joined the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Buildings, Better Plants Program and committed to improving energy productivity in U.S. facilities by 25% over 10 years. Additionally, Bendix’s Bowling Green facility received ISO 50001 Ready recognition from the U.S. Department of Energy in October 2019. The program recognizes facilities and organizations that establish ISO 50001-based energy management systems.

      “Previously we announced our support of Knorr-Bremse’s new climate strategy by realizing absolute reductions of energy consumption,” Gutierrez said. “Now, we’re following up on that commitment, and on our history of progress, by stepping up our climate action plan and outlining the plan we’re taking to achieve this more aggressive strategy.”

ATA Truck Tonnage Index Fell 6.3% in October

 Arlington, VA… American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index decreased 6.3% in October after gaining 5.7% in September. In October, the index equaled 106.8 (2015=100) compared with 114 in September.

“While there are indications that the economy is losing momentum, I believe October’s tonnage softness was more of a seasonal issue during a pandemic than anything else,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “Typical seasonality is off this year and it was a reason why October was down so much. Not seasonally adjusted tonnage was down a fraction as much as normal over the last five years during September, leading to a big seasonally adjusted gain. However, that means October’s not seasonally adjusted tonnage grew less than half as much as it typically does, leading to a big drop in the seasonally adjusted figure. There are plenty of carriers still saying that tonnage, retail tonnage in particular, is good.”

September’s gain was revised down to 5.7% from our October 20 press release.

Compared with October 2019, the SA index contracted 8.7%, the seventh straight year-over-year decline. Year-to-date, compared with the same period in 2019, tonnage is down 3.9%.

The not seasonally adjusted index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by the fleets before any seasonal adjustment, equaled 114.4 in October, 2.7% above the September level (111.4). 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 72.5% of tonnage carried by all modes of domestic freight transportation, including manufactured and retail goods. Trucks hauled 11.84 billion tons of freight in 2019. Motor carriers collected $791.7 billion, or 80.4% 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.

OOIDA’s Todd Spencer Seeks Top Spot At FMCSA

Grain Valley, MO… The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association’s president and CEO, Todd Spencer, formally notified President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team that he is interested in serving as the next Administrator for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The FMCSA is an agency in the Department of Transportation that has regulatory oversight of the trucking industry.

“Representing our nation’s small-business truckers has been my life’s work,” said Spencer in the letter. “I still aspire to do this for many years to come, but sometimes we are compelled to make a difference in other ways,” he added.  

FMCSA’s primary mission is to reduce crashes involving large trucks, something that Spencer believes he can help accomplish. 

“There are more regulations in place today than ever, and there is more enforcement and compliance with those regulations, yet highway safety isn’t improving,” said Spencer.  

Throughout his long career, Spencer has pointed out that regulations often exclude input from those who actually drive trucks for a living. He is also a critic of the regulatory regime because rules are too rigid and not tailored to reflect the operational diversity in trucking.  

Spencer has a commercial drivers license and knows what it is like to make a living behind the wheel of a truck. He has worked directly with FMCSA and predecessor agencies such as the Interstate Commerce Commission. He’s testified before Congress, served on the Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee since its inception several years ago, and was recently selected as a Top 10 leader in transportation by media outlet Business Insider. 

HB 2296 Now Requires Commercial Drivers To Notify Employers Of Moving Violations

On November 25, 2020, Pennsylvania Governor Wolf signed House Bill 2296 into law. This new law will require ALL drivers of ANY commercial motor vehicles holding a PA Driver’s License, to report the conviction to their employer within 15 days of the conviction.

This Bill had the support of PMTA as all of us that employ drivers know the surprises we received when we ran our drivers MVR or PSP reports annually only to find out then that our employees received speeding tickets or other violations during the preceding year. So please notify your drivers that they are required by State Law to notify you of any conviction they receive whether it’s in the personal vehicle or a commercial truck they are operating. Failure to notify you of any convictions can carry up to a $300.00 fine for the driver depending on severity.

Below is the current federal standard.

49 CFR §391.27   Record of violations.

a. Except as provided in subpart G of this part, each motor carrier shall, at least once every 12 months, require each driver it employs to prepare and furnish it with a list of all violations of motor vehicle traffic laws and ordinances (other than violations involving only parking) of which the driver has been convicted or on account of which he/she has forfeited bond or collateral during the preceding 12 months.

Pennsylvania is permitted to establish criteria that is more stringent than the Federal Regulations. 

“I anticipate the Federal Regulations will be amended in a similar fashion at some point," PMTA Safety Director John Rigney said. "In my professional opinion, most companies that support a safety culture require drivers to notify their managers within 24 hours of the receipt of a traffic citation. In these days of 'nuclear verdicts' it is paramount that motor carriers protect themselves by eliminating the detonators."

TRI’s Annual List of Top Trucking Industry Issues

The American Transportation Research Institute, the trucking industry’s not-for-profit research organization, released its 16th Top Industry Issues report, which identifies a number of the industry’s key concerns including the driver shortage, truck parking, driver compensation and retention and for the first time since 2005, insurance costs.

“For a number of reasons, 2020 has been a tremendously challenging one for our industry and our country, but as ATRI’s survey lays out, there are a number of issues we must address in addition to the ones put in front of us by this pandemic,” said ATA Chairman Randy Guillot, president and CEO of Southeastern Motor Freight and Triple G Express Inc. “From finding and keeping qualified drivers to the increased costs of insurance and burdens imposed on our industry by unwarranted lawsuits, ATRI has identified the issues our industry cares most about and outlines plans for how we can solve them.”

For the fourth year in a row, the driver shortage was the top industry issue overall, as well as topping the motor carrier list of concerns, highlighting the challenges fleets face in recruiting new talent and keeping their current drivers. In fact, driver retention was carriers’ number two issue, and sixth on the combined list.

Among the 1,000+ truck drivers who responded to the survey, truck parking, driver compensation and detention issues were their top concerns.

In all, ATRI received responses from 3,122 truck drivers, motor carriers, and other industry stakeholders – an all-time record for the 16-year-old survey.

“Having such a robust sample gives us a very accurate picture of what issues are of most concern to the trucking industry,” said ATRI President and COO Rebecca Brewster. “With this information, the industry can best target its resources to address trucking’s concerns.”

This year, for the first time since 2005, insurance cost and availability appeared in the top concerns – hitting fifth in the combined top 10 and fourth in the carrier concern list. In addition, tort reform appeared in the survey’s top 10 for the first time since 2011 – hitting seventh in the combined list and fifth in the carrier list.

“The impacts of litigation and growth of nuclear verdicts in the trucking industry was really apparent in this year’s list of concerns,” Brewster said. “Earlier this year, ATRI quantified the growth in nuclear verdicts in the trucking industry, but even without that critical research, the fact that tort reform and insurance issues have resurfaced in the survey are a clear sign the industry is being impacted by rising costs related to litigation and insurance.”

The complete results of the annual survey were released as part of 2020 American Trucking Associations’ Management Conference and Exhibition. The full report can be found at ATRI’s website – here.

ATRI is the trucking industry’s 501(c)(3) not-for-profit research organization. It is engaged in critical research relating to freight transportation’s essential role in maintaining a safe, secure and efficient transportation system.

Sherri Garner Brumbaugh Elected 76th ATA Chair Garner Transportation Group President and CEO to Become Second Woman to Lead Federation

 Arlington, VA… The Board of Directors of American Trucking Associations elected Sherri Garner Brumbaugh, president and CEO of Garner Transportation Group, Findlay, Ohio, the 76th chair of the nation’s leading trucking industry association.

“I am humbled and honored to be chosen by my fellow truckers to be chair of ATA,” Garner Brumbaugh said. “Despite the unprecedented challenges we face, I look forward to representing ATA and telling the country just how important and essential our industry is. The past seven months have shown just how much our country relies on trucking, and that is a message I want to shout loudly and proudly as your chair.”

Garner Brumbaugh succeeds Randy Guillot, president of Triple G Express Inc. and Southeastern Motor Freight Inc.

“Sherri has been tireless booster of trucking, not just in Ohio, but across the country,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “As a second-generation trucker and ATA leader, she has deep roots in our industry and association and I congratulate her on this honor.”

Garner Brumbaugh is the second member of her family to be elected ATA chair, following her father Vern Garner who led the federation from 2002-2003. In addition to her work with ATA, she has been active with the Ohio Trucking Association, Truckload Carriers Association, Truckers Against Trafficking and Wreaths Across America.

The Board also elected Harold Sumerford Jr., CEO of J&M Tank Lines Inc., Birmingham, Alabama, as ATA first vice chairman and Dan Van Alstine, president and COO of Ruan Transportation Management Systems, Des Moines, Iowa, as ATA second vice chairman. In addition, the Board named Andrew Boyle, co-president of Boyle Transportation, Billerica, Massachusetts, and Darren Hawkins, CEO of YRC Worldwide Inc., Overland Park, Kansas, as ATA vice chairmen. In addition, the Board re-elected John M. Smith, chairman of Admiralty Holdings Inc., as secretary and John A. Smith, president and CEO of FedEx Freight, as treasurer.

OOIDA Presents At National Coalition On Truck Parking Meeting - Update On Bipartisan Support For Association Efforts

 Grain Valley, MO… The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association provided an update on its efforts to address the national truck parking crisis during a meeting of the National Coalition on Truck Parking. 

“Today’s meeting gives us an opportunity to update the coalition about our work on Capitol Hill to find a solution to the truck parking shortage,” said Bryce Mongeon, Director of Legislative Affairs. “We’ve been educating lawmakers on the dangers of the national truck parking shortage, the challenges and stress it creates for truckers, and most importantly, what they can do to help solve the problem,” he added. 

OOIDA has been building support for the Truck Parking Safety Improvement Act in Congress. Also known as H.R. 6-10-4, the bill was introduced by U.S. Representatives Mike Bost (R-Illinois) and Angie Craig (D-Minnesota). This legislation would dedicate hundreds of millions of dollars in existing highway safety funding for truck parking projects through the creation of a competitive grant program. This program would focus funding exclusively on expanding parking capacity, for example, by constructing new truck parking spaces or converting existing space at weigh stations and rest stops. 

The coalition is spearheaded the by Federal Highway Administration and includes stakeholders who have an interest in solving the parking crisis, including other associations from the trucking industry and representatives of state governments and law enforcement.

 FHWA will also present findings from its 2019 Jason’s Law Survey, which will be an update of its 2015 report. The Jason’s Law Survey provides a nationwide assessment of truck parking capacity. 

“The 2015 Jason’s Law Survey has been a critical part of our outreach as it has helped members of Congress understand the extent of the truck parking shortage in the states and regions they represent,” said Mongeon. “We look forward to the updated 2019 survey. But we already know, from what we hear loud and clear from small-business truckers, that the parking shortage is still a serious problem.”

Industry Cites Truckers’ Essential Role In Vaccine Distribution And National Supply Chain

 Arlington, VA… The American Trucking Associations called on policymakers to remember the trucking industry’s essential status as a national vaccine distribution strategy is being formulated by officials across various levels of government. In letters sent to the White House, the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, President-elect Biden and the National Governors Association, ATA asked that the trucking industry’s workforce be included in prioritized access pools along with other essential workers.

“Our workforce represents a central and critical link in the nation’s supply chain and will play an essential role in the imminent COVID-19 vaccine distribution process,” wrote ATA’s executive vice president for advocacy, Bill Sullivan. “As the trucking industry is called upon to deliver vaccines across the country, it is imperative that truck drivers have prioritized access to the vaccine to minimize the potential for supply chain delays and disruptions.” 

Since the onset of the pandemic, the trucking industry has been crucial throughout all phases of the national response effort, providing direct and indispensable support to workers of every category across the frontline – from healthcare professionals and first responders to grocers and pharmacists. This invaluable role now expands further as the nation begins mobilizing for the largest vaccine distribution campaign in our history. 

The letters cite the industry’s designation as essential by the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, noting that more than 80% of U.S. communities rely exclusively on trucks to receive necessary goods. 

FMCSA Extends Emergency Declaration

 FMCSA announced that they have expanded and extended the Emergency Declaration that was set to expire on December 31st. This extension includes the same regulatory relief for motor carriers and drivers providing direct assistance in support of relief efforts related to COVID-19, as included in the September 11th modified and extended declaration. The primary change with this current declaration is the inclusion of vaccine transportation.

The expanded declaration published today is limited to the transportation of:

1. Livestock and livestock feed;

2. (New exemption) Medical supplies and equipment related to the testing, diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19;

3. Vaccines, constituent products, and medical supplies and equipment including ancillary supplies/kits for the administration of vaccines, related to the prevention of COVID-19;

4. Supplies and equipment necessary for community safety, sanitation, and prevention of community transmission of COVID-19 such as masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, soap and disinfectants, and;

5. Food, paper products and other groceries for emergency restocking of distribution centers or stores.

Please note, this expanded declaration became effective at 12:00 A.M. December 1st and expires on February 28th, 2021.

As with previous declarations, emergency regulatory relief is provided from parts 390 through 399 of the FMCSRs, including the hours-of-service regulations.

Emergency relief does not include certain FMCSR’s related to the safe operation of CMVs, such as controlled substance and alcohol testing, financial responsibility requirements, CDL requirements, operation of a CMV while ill or fatigued, size and weight requirements, and additional FMCSR’s which are outlined in the declaration.

You can check out the applicability, restrictions, and limitations which are included in the exemption posted on FMCSA’s website.