Latest industry News Briefs Courtesy of PMTA
ATA Hails Senate Passage of CHIPS Act
Washington, DC… The American Trucking Associations praised the United States Senate for passing the CHIPS Act of 2022 to boost domestic semiconductor manufacturing and urged the House of Representatives to quickly follow suit and send the bill to President Biden for signature.
“Semiconductors and computer chips make our economy and industry run – right down to the trucks we drive – and we have seen the consequences of decades of neglecting domestic manufacturing of these critical components,” said ATA Executive Vice President for Advocacy Bill Sullivan. “Even in an extremely polarized environment, the Senate vote proves our leaders can still come together in a bipartisan fashion to pass critical legislation.”
The CHIPS Act would provide more than $50 billion in direct and indirect investment domestic chip manufacturing passed the Senate earlier today by a 64-33 vote.
“We urge the House to follow the Senate’s lead and pass this important bill so that President Biden can sign it and we can begin the hard work of rebuilding our capacity to manufacture semiconductors here in America – shoring up our national security, shortening supply chains and reducing costs for businesses across the economy,” Sullivan said.
ATA Truck Tonnage Index Increased 2.7% in June
Washington, DC… American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index increased 2.7% in June after rising 0.3% in May. In June, the index equaled 120.1 (2015=100) versus 116.9 in May.
“June’s jump tells me a couple of things: first, the transition in the freight market from spot back to contract continues. ATA’s tonnage index is dominated by contract freight, so while the spot market has slowed as freight softens, contract carriers are backfilling those losses with loads from shippers reducing spot market exposure," said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. "Essentially, the market is transitioning back to pre-pandemic shares of contract versus spot market.
“Second, and perhaps equally important, while economic growth is expected to be soft overall in the second quarter, the goods-economy wasn’t as bad as feared," he said.
May’s increase was revised down from our June 21 press release.
Compared with June 2021, the SA index increased 7.9%, which was the tenth straight year-over-year gain and the largest since June 2018. In May, the index was up 3.5% from a year earlier. During the third quarter, the index rose 1.1% from the previous quarter and 4.6% from the same quarter in 2021.
The not seasonally adjusted index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by fleets before any seasonal adjustment, equaled 124.5 in June, 4.2% above the May level (119.5). 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 10.23 billion tons of freight in 2020. Motor carriers collected $732.3 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.
TCA, NITL Places Renewed Focus on Voluntary Guide to Business Relations for Shippers, Receivers, Carriers, and Drivers to Retain Workforce
ALEXANDRIA, VA… Most recently, Congress and the Biden Administration, through their bipartisan support of the Ocean Shipping Reform Act, have recognized the need for more balanced coordination to better facilitate relations between shippers, receivers, motor carriers, and professional truck drivers.
The Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) and The National Industrial Transportation League (NITL) are pleased to contribute to this effort with a recently revised version of its Voluntary Guide to Good Business Relations for Shippers, Receivers, Carriers, and Drivers.
This informative guide, written in September of 2000 and revised in 2013 to better reflect a more complex operating environment, emphasizes reasonable and common-sense treatment of the four primary parties involved in truck transportation, and outlines mutually desirable business practices that TCA and NITL believe responsible shippers, receivers, carriers, and drivers should adopt. As supply chains face increased disruptions, we believe this guide is more relevant now than ever.
The guide has been endorsed by the Food Shippers of America (FSA) and the American Trucking Associations (ATA), highlighting the industry confidence in these best practices.
To develop this guide, TCA and NITL relied on the expertise and experience within its membership to ensure the recommendations were impactful, feasible, and based on real challenges across all operational levels.
“This guide can serve as an effective blueprint for those within trucking and in government to collectively improve the driver experience to strengthen efforts to recruit and retain professional truck drivers more effectively,” said TCA President Jim Ward. Ward, formerly the president of D.M. Bowman, Inc., based in Williamsport, Maryland, served as the co-chairman of TCA’s Carrier/Shipper Relations Committee in 2000 when the guide was written.
“With so many disruptions in the supply chain, whether it be rail, ocean or highway, The League is very pleased to continue to work alongside the TCA to update this best practices guide,” said NITL Executive Director Nancy O’Liddy. “League members have long embraced these recommended practices, which enhance working relationships between shippers, brokers and carriers as they work to meet their mutual goals.”
Although the guide was initially developed by TCA and NITL for their respective members, both organizations believe it is applicable to many, if not all, segments of the truck transportation industry and their customers. The organizations are encouraging other entities, such as food shippers, warehousing organizations, the retail industry, etc., to adopt these voluntary guidelines.
The guide will be discussed during TCA’s Fall Business Meetings and Call on Washington set for September 12 and 13, 2022. To learn more about the event or to register, visit www.tcafallcall.com.
For questions or copies of the guide, contact [email protected] or call (703) 838-1950, or contact [email protected] or call (703) 524-5011.
Proper Tire Inflation: Don’t Roll On Low Pressure
If you’re looking to increase the chances of tire failure, consume more fuel, and reduce the effectiveness of your truck’s safety equipment, then running on improperly inflated tires will do the trick.
We don’t recommend it.
Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC (Bendix) aims to remind North America’s fleets and owner-operators just how much tire pressure matters to safety on the road.
“Those air disc brakes you invested in? Improperly pressurized tires can hurt their performance,” said TJ Thomas – director of marketing and customer solutions – Controls Group at Bendix. “Same goes for advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), from full stability up to collision mitigation: They can’t fully deliver on their potential to enhance safety if they are riding on incorrectly inflated tires. Fuel efficiency, tire life, downtime – they’re all impacted by tire pressure on your tractors and trailers.”
Pressure Monitoring Made Easy
Pre-trip checks and inspections during breaks are good for spotting signs of rapid tire leaks, but using a gauge to measure each tire’s pressure at every stop isn’t a practical solution – and still might not alert you to slow, gradual leaks. A tire pressure monitoring system is one of the most effective safety tools for protecting tires from underinflation.
“Without a gauge, it’s unlikely that even a sharp-eyed driver can tell by looking whether a tire is properly inflated to 105 psi or underinflated at 95 psi,” said Mark Holley – director of marketing and customer solutions – Wheel-End at Bendix. “And that relatively small difference can have a big impact. Industry research has shown that just 10% underinflation can reduce fuel economy by 1.5%, and about 90% of tire blowouts are the result of underinflation, since it leads to increased stress and higher running temperatures.”
Additionally, 20% underinflation leads to an approximately 30% reduction in tire life. And on dual-tire wheel-ends, uneven pressure can cause premature wear even if there’s a difference of just 5 psi between two tires on the same wheel-end – since the lower-pressure tire will drag, while the higher-pressure tire carries a greater share of the load.
Holley noted that the SmarTire® Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) by Bendix CVS and the SmarTire® Trailer-Link™ TPMS by Bendix CVS for trailers use wheel-mounted sensors inside the tires, as opposed to exterior-mounted sensors on the valve stem. This enables SmarTire to continuously monitor both temperature and pressure, meaning the system can provide a deviation value showing the amount of overinflation or underinflation from the tire’s cold inflation pressure (CIP), automatically taking into account any increase in pressure due to temperature, and providing early alerts of tire pressure issues. Tracking a tire’s internal temperature may also help mitigate potential tire fires, since it helps alert the driver to potential wheel-end issues, such as dragging brakes.
Fleet Data and Uptime
“TPMS can also provide valuable information that enables fleets to more effectively plan maintenance and tire management,” Thomas said. “With a tool like SafetyDirect® by Bendix CVS, for instance, you can analyze TPMS information in near real time, and use the information to optimize scheduling already planned, lowering your total cost of ownership (TCO) – to say nothing of helping to avoid the hassle and additional expense that comes with a tire failure on the road.”
Thomas emphasized that Bendix safety technologies complement safe driving practices. No commercial vehicle safety technology replaces a skilled, alert driver exercising safe driving techniques and proactive, comprehensive driver training. Responsibility for the safe operation of the vehicle remains with the driver at all times.
Bendix® SmarTire® TPMS and the SafetyDirect® system are part of Bendix’s ever-growing portfolio of technologies that deliver safety, vehicle performance, and efficiency, all backed by unparalleled post-sales support. Bendix lowers TCO and helps enhance highway safety across North America by helping improve areas critical to the success of fleets and owner-operators, and strengthening return on investment in advanced equipment that puts drivers behind the wheels of safer trucks.
To learn more about Bendix TPMS, call 1-800-AIR-BRAKE or visit bendix.com. For deeper insight on Bendix technology and the commercial vehicle landscape through podcasts, blogs, videos, and more, visit the Knowledge Dock™ at knowledge-dock.com.
New Active Side Guard Assist Improves Safety on Low-Speed Turns
DETROIT, MI… Detroit has announced the addition of Active Side Guard Assist (ASGA) to the Detroit Assurance suite of safety systems to improve safety in low-speed, passenger-side turns. Planned for production beginning Sept. 1, ASGA detects moving objects in the path of a right-hand turn at speeds below 12 mph and applies the brakes, which improves safety at intersections and in truck yards and freight terminals.
Detroit Assurance with Active Brake Assist 5 (ABA 5) uses always-on, fused radar and camera technology to monitor the road and mitigate potential collisions. ASGA is the first feature of its kind available in the industry.
“Detroit Assurance with ABA 5 is the most comprehensive suite of safety systems available in the industry and we are constantly looking for ways to make it even better,” said Mary Aufdemberg, general manager, product strategy and market development. “By alerting drivers to blind spot hazards and braking to mitigate collisions, Active Side Guard Assist adds another layer of protection for drivers and the public.”
The Side Guard Assist option was originally launched in 2020 to detect and warn the driver of moving objects along the length of the passenger side of the truck, but does not provide braking. With ASGA, when the side-mounted radar detects a moving object, such as a pedestrian or bicyclist, along the length of the passenger side of the tractor, the driver receives a yellow warning triangle in the right side A-pillar. If the driver sets a right-hand turn signal or begins a right-hand turn, the yellow warning triangle turns red, an audible alarm sounds and braking engages.
ASGA is an option on Freightliner Cascadia and Western Star trucks equipped with Detroit Assurance with ABA 5, including the newly released Freightliner eCascadia. Detroit Assurance with ABA 5 is the industry’s most comprehensive suite of safety systems and includes features such as Active Speed Intervention, Active Brake Assist 5, Brake Hold Mode, Adaptive Cruise Control to 0 MPH, Active Lane Assist and others.
For more information, go to DemandDetroit.com.
Intermodal Slows Decline in Second Quarter
CALVERTON, MD… Total intermodal volumes fell 4.3 percent year-over-year in the second quarter of 2022, according to the Intermodal Association of North America’s Intermodal Quarterly report. Domestic shipments held positive ground at 4.0 percent growth, while international containers dropped 8.4 percent and trailers, 25.2 percent.
“Despite this quarter’s losses, it was an improved picture relative to the first quarter,” said Joni Casey, president and CEO of IANA. “Q2 volumes exceeded Q1 by 7.4 percent.”
The seven highest-density trade corridors, which collectively handled more than 60 percent of total volume, were all down in the second quarter. The Midwest-Northwest led the losses with a 20.1 percent decline, followed by the South Central-Southwest at 14.5 percent. The Intra-Southeast, Southeast-Southwest and Midwest-Southwest dropped 7.8, 5.5 and 5.3 percent, respectively. The Northeast-Midwest dipped 3.1 percent, and the Trans-Canada corridor held losses to 2.2 percent.
Total IMC volume rose 1.3 percent year-over-year in Q2, with intermodal traffic down 7.4 percent and highway loads, two-thirds of total IMC volume, up 6.3 percent.
FHWA Announces Final Rule to Reduce Roadway Fatalities in Dark Conditions by Improving Visibility with Retroreflective Pavement Marking
WASHINGTON, DC… The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) announced a final rule that will improve safety for all road users by ensuring that pavement markings are made more visible in dark or low light conditions.
Under the final rule, the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways (MUTCD) will provide a new minimum standard for pavement marking “retroreflectivity” effective September 6, 2022. Retroreflective material reflects light more effectively back to the observer, making pavement markings that include them brighter and more easily seen in dark conditions. The rule is also expected to help reduce crashes by enhancing the ability of advanced driver assistance and autonomous vehicle technologies to identify pavement markings more readily.
“FHWA’s number one goal is to reduce highway fatalities and serious injuries wherever and whenever they occur,” Acting Federal Highway Administrator Stephanie Pollack said. “This rule will save lives by helping those traveling see pavement markings more clearly and know what lies ahead, especially in darkness and other instances when visibility is critical.”
The MUTCD, the national standard for traffic control devices used on all streets, highways, bikeways, and private roads open to public travel, currently requires that pavement markings be visible at night and that all markings on interstate highways be retroreflective but does not require a minimum level. By creating one, FHWA believes state and local transportation agencies can reduce the number of severe crashes that happen in dark, unlighted conditions and result in an annual nighttime fatality rate that is roughly three times the daytime fatality rate.
The final rule also requires state and local agencies or officials to implement a method within four years for maintaining pavement marking retroreflectivity at or above minimum levels. Pavement marking improvements are also eligible for up to 100 percent Federal-aid funding.
Today’s rule is the latest action taken by FHWA to reduce roadway fatalities and serious injuries as part of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Roadway Safety Strategy unveiled earlier this year. A comprehensive update of the entire MUTCD is also required under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and work on that update, in the form of the 11th Edition of the MUTCD, is currently underway by FHWA and required to be completed by May 2023. The Retroreflective Pavement Markings final rule announced today (Revision 3 to the 2009 Edition of the MUTCD) will be included in the 11th Edition.
Facility Association Moves to Tackle Fraudulent Behaviour in Trucking Industry
TORONTO, CANADA… After consultations with the Canadian Trucking Alliance, commercial writers and brokers, the Facility Association (FA) announced measures to curb fraudulent insurance practices in the trucking industry.
FA announced a new ‘rating matrix’ aimed at restricting the carriers from misregistering commercial vehicles in an attempt to avoid market rates. Since 2019, there has been an increasing number of truck owners/operators who have been registering vehicles in one province and operating primarily in another to obtain a lower premium, says FA. The new matrix allows FA to apply a surcharge or a reduction based on the jurisdiction where the vehicle is mainly operating.
FA has received approval from several provinces to implement the new matrix and is optimistic the rating matrix will be approved in all jurisdictions it operates.
“For the past couple of years, we have seen a shift in the concentration of inter-urban trucks from Ontario to Alberta and the Atlantic provinces. It has become apparent that some of these operators are taking advantage of the system at the expense of local operators, and we needed to address this issue,” said Fadia Charbine, Vice President, Underwriting, Claims & Operations. “This behaviour is having a detrimental impact on honest, hard-working truck drivers playing by the rules and operating in their jurisdiction of registration and they’re ending up subsidizing the actions of a few bad actors. That’s why we are introducing a rating matrix to ensure adequate rating for the exposure(s) at hand.”
Here is how it will work:
All operators are required to provide information through various reports such as the International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA), which must be submitted at new business and renewal, and these reports will show where the vehicle is operating mainly. Effective October 1, 2022, if it is determined the vehicle is operating predominantly in a jurisdiction other than where it is registered, a surcharge will be applied to the policy, to bring the premium in line with the risk for that jurisdiction. The surcharge, which will range between 15% and 420%, depending on the jurisdiction, will apply to third party liability. Conversely, if the vehicle is operating in a jurisdiction of a lesser exposure than the jurisdiction of registration, a discount will be applied to the third-party liability coverage.
“If a vehicle is registered in one province, but mainly operating in another and there is a claim, the regulations where the claim occurred may take precedence. As a result, it degrades the overall loss experience on all trucks where the vehicle is registered and drives up premiums in that jurisdiction,” added Charbine.
FA began working with the Canadian Trucking Alliance, commercial writers and brokers to identify a series of measures and rules with the intent of curbing this practice, as well as curb the growth that FA was experiencing in this class of business. In 2021, FA introduced several new requirements for additional documentation for commercial vehicles including Fuel Tax Reports, National Safety Code (NSC) Profile information and U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Reports.
These were the first steps FA took to help determine where a trucking risk is mainly operating, with the intent of reducing the underreporting of out-of-province and U.S. exposure, says FA.
CVSA Releases Results from 2022 Human Trafficking Awareness Initiative
Greenbelt, MD… This year, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) launched its new annual three-day Human Trafficking Awareness Initiative. All three of the Alliance’s member countries – Canada, Mexico and the U.S. – participated in this awareness and outreach effort to educate commercial motor vehicle drivers, motor carriers, law enforcement officers and the general public about human trafficking.
Taking into consideration each country’s existing human trafficking awareness dates, CVSA’s Human Trafficking Awareness Initiative was set for different dates in each country. In the U.S., the three-day initiative took place Jan. 11-13. In Canada, it took place Feb. 22-24. And in Mexico, it was March 15-17.
CVSA jurisdictions recorded human trafficking awareness and outreach data and submitted that data to the Alliance. For the 2022 North America-wide Human Trafficking Awareness Initiative:
* 35 jurisdictions participated.
* 2,460 individual law enforcement officers/troopers/inspectors participated.
* There were 163 reported events (possible indicators of human trafficking or documented cases).
* 13,274 wallet cards were distributed.
* 6,355 window decals were distributed.
* 1,818 presentations were delivered.
* There were 640 media contacts.
The United Nations defines human trafficking as the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of people through force, fraud or deception with the aim of exploiting them for profit. Men, women and children of all ages and from all backgrounds can become victims of this crime, which occurs in every region of the world, including North America. Human traffickers often use violence or fraudulent employment agencies and fake promises of education and job opportunities to trick and coerce their victims.
After a successful launch year and input from jurisdictions during the CVSA Human Trafficking Prevention program committee meeting at the CVSA Workshop, the CVSA Board of Directors voted to extend the initiative from three days to five days next year. Next year’s Human Trafficking Awareness Initiative is scheduled for Jan. 9-13, 2023, in the U.S.; Feb. 20-24, 2023, in Canada; and March 13-17, 2023, in Mexico.
“The fight to end human trafficking does not end now that the three-day Human Trafficking Awareness Initiative has concluded,” said CVSA President Capt. John Broers with the South Dakota Highway Patrol. “We remain fully committed to educating the public, every day of the year, about the crime of human trafficking, the signs to look for and what to do if you suspect someone is being trafficked. Our ultimate goal is to eradicate human trafficking entirely.”
Truckers Against Trucking (TAT) collaborated with CVSA on the launch of the human trafficking education and awareness campaign. Training materials were developed and available for industry and law enforcement use. In addition, CVSA worked with TAT to provide an online order form for jurisdiction members to order TAT wallet cards and/or window decals, which are now available year-round.
To find out what your local jurisdiction is doing to increase human trafficking awareness throughout the year, contact the agency/department responsible for overseeing commercial motor vehicle safety within your state, province or territory.-
Biden-Harris Administration Announces All 50 States, DC and Puerto Rico Have Submitted Plans for National Electric Vehicle Charging Network
WASHINGTON – In keeping with President Biden’s commitment to build out a national network of 500,000 electric vehicle (EV) chargers by 2030, the U.S. Departments of Transportation and Energy has announced all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have submitted EV infrastructure deployment plans as required under the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program established and funded by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. These plans are required to unlock the first round of the $5 billion of Bipartisan Infrastructure Law formula funding available over 5 years to help states accelerate the important work of building out the national EV charging network and making electric vehicle charging accessible to all Americans. The on-time submission of every single plan demonstrates the widespread commitment from states to build out EV charging infrastructure to help accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles, create good jobs, and combat the climate crisis.
“We appreciate the thought and time that states have put into these EV infrastructure plans, which will help create a national charging network where finding a charge is as easy as locating a gas station,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “We will continue to work closely with all fifty states, D.C. and Puerto Rico to ensure EV chargers across the country are convenient, affordable, reliable and accessible for all Americans.”
“Today’s milestone in our plans to build an interconnected national EV charging network is proof that America is prepared to act on President Biden’s call to modernize the national highway system and help Americans drive electric,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “Our whole-of-government approach, made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and coordinated through the Joint Office of Energy and Transportation, will boost local economies, strengthen our independence from the volatilities of fossil fuels, and ensure that electric vehicle charging deserts are a thing of the past.”
Today’s news follows the announcement earlier this year of nearly $5 billion that will be made available to states over the next five years under the NEVI Formula Program along with a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on proposed minimum standards and requirements to ensure the national EV charging network is user-friendly, reliable, and accessible to all Americans. To access these new funds and to help ensure a convenient and equitable charging experience for all users, each state was required to submit an EV Infrastructure Deployment Plan to the Joint Office of Energy and Transportation that describes how the state intends to use its share of NEVI Formula Program funds consistent with Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) guidance.
“President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides states with both the funding and framework to build out a reliable charging network that gives people the confidence they need to buy and use electric vehicles,” said Acting Federal Highway Administrator Stephanie Pollack. “Our partnership with states is critical as we build out this national network and we work to ensure every state has a good plan in place for using NEVI Formula Program funds.”
With all state EV deployment plans now submitted, the Joint Office and FHWA will review the plans and continue to work with states, with the goal of approving state plans by September 30. Once each state plan is approved, state departments of transportation will be able to deploy EV charging infrastructure through the use of NEVI Formula Program funds.
The NEVI Formula Program and state deployment plans are a foundational component of a convenient, affordable, reliable, and equitable charging network. While these plans will focus on building out the backbone of a national network along highways, the $2.5 billion competitive grant program for Charging and Fueling Infrastructure will further build out the national network by making investments in community charging.
President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law includes $7.5 billion for EV charging, along with over $7 billion to support critical minerals supply chain necessary to support domestic EV battery manufacturing.
The Joint Office of Energy and Transportation will continue to provide direct technical assistance and support to states during the implementation of the NEVI Formula Program. For more information on the Joint Office, please visit DriveElectric.gov. For more information on President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and investments in electric vehicles, please visit FHWA’s web site.