Latest Industry News Briefs Courtesy of PMTA

October 2022

ATA Hails Committee Passage of Bill to Boost Truck Parking Availability

Washington, DC… American Trucking Associations President and CEO Chris Spearpraised congressional leaders for advancing the Truck Parking Safety Improvement Act – which would authorize $755 million over the next four years to address the nation’s critical lack of truck parking.

“The lack of safe and accessible truck parking is an issue that causes serious concern for our industry,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “Without it, drivers waste hours looking for secure places to park for an hour or for the night, hurting their ability to rest and adding undo stress to their days. Moving this legislation forward is a tremendous step toward addressing what has been significant challenge to our industry’s ability to safely and efficiently move the nation’s goods.”

During the markup today, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee passed an amendment in the nature of a substitute to H.R. 2187, the Truck Parking Safety Improvement Act, which was introduced by Reps. Mike Bost (R-Illinois) and Angie Craig (D-Minnesota) last year.

The legislation would authorize the creation of a competitive grant program for states to spend $755 million over a four-year period on new truck parking projects including capacity expansion and enhancements like lighting, restrooms and other security features.

Access to truck parking is routinely highlighted in the American Transportation Research Institute’s annual list of top issues facing trucking, and ATRI research has found that on average drivers spend nearly an hour – 56 minutes – per day looking for parking, time that reduces their wages, adds undo delays to the supply chain and raises stress on an already taxed workforce.

“The availability of safe and secure truck parking is not just a challenge current drivers, it is a barrier our industry must overcome in attracting new drivers – particularly women. Solving it won’t just help today’s industry, it will go a long way toward helping trucking recruit and attract a more diverse workforce,” Spear said. “This kind of bipartisan solution shows that Congress can still step up and address real challenges faced by American workers and I want to thank bill sponsors, Congressmen Bost and Craig, as well as Chairman DeFazio and Ranking Member Graves, for moving this important bill forward and urge the full House and Senate to quickly to make it law.”

The ATA’s newly formed Women in Motion advisory group and ATA's Law Enforcement Advisory Board along with the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance sent letters to members expressing strong support for the provision.

Truckstop and Bloomberg Intelligence Survey Shows Rebalancing of the Owner-Operator Market

BOISE, ID…  Recession and inflation concerns are weighing on the profitability of carriers in the spot market, according to the latest Bloomberg Intelligence | Truckstop survey of owner operators. The outlook for volume and growth has been less optimistic over the past three months but shows a rebalancing of the owner-operator market.

 "Spot rates have been extremely volatile over the past 12 months and bullishness has started to wane among carriers," said Lee Klaskow, senior freight transportation and logistics analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence. "But we believe current conditions will force a balancing in the market and lead to rate stabilization."

 The Bloomberg | Truckstop 2Q22 Truckload Survey shows:

* Volatility weighing on owner-operators' psyche: About 53% of respondents expect load growth over the next six months vs. 73% in 1Q and 64% in 2Q21. Flatbed carriers were most optimistic (57% expect higher volume), followed by dry van (53%). Carriers expressed increased demand concerns over inflation, especially the impact of surging fuel prices on consumers. Not all were gloomy, with many noting demand felt "normal" after the unsustainable peaks last year.

* Carriers become bears on spot rates: Spot rates excluding fuel surcharges have fallen 21% since peaking in late December, which has weighed on sentiment. Only 43% of carriers expect the rates to rise in the next six months, the lowest level since 1Q20. About 25% of carriers expect a drop over the next 3-6 months.

* Carriers pumping the brakes on demand: Total demand softened in 2Q22 among truckload carriers, with 62% of respondents noticing the drop from 1Q and about 47% saying volume growth was down from the same time last year. About 84% of carriers who focused on dry-van loads saw volume declines from 2Q21, followed by reefer (77%) and diversified (41%).

* Carriers are feeling the full brunt of higher fuel costs: 96% of carriers citing fuel costs as the biggest inflationary pressure affecting the profitability of their businesses. About 81% of our respondents believe they will continue to face inflationary pressures for the next six months.

 "We know that fuel costs and inflation concerns weigh on the profitability of carriers operating in the spot market," said Kendra Tucker, chief executive officer, Truckstop. "That is exactly why we continue to provide customers with mission-critical software that keeps their business moving forward and profitable, even in a down spot market."

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 140, consists of dry-van, flatbed, temperature-controlled and specialized/diversified carriers. Of the respondents, 65% operate just one tractor.

 The complete survey is available to Bloomberg Terminal subscribers via BI .

Statement on Passage of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022

  Alexandria, VA…  NATSO, representing America’s truckstops and travel plazas, and SIGMA: America’s Leading Fuel Marketers, issued the following statement regarding passage of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. The following statement can be attributed to NATSO’s Executive Vice President of Government Affairs David Fialkov:

 “The Inflation Reduction Act represents a missed opportunity for Congress to build upon more than a decade's worth of emission reduction advancements in over-the-road transportation. While it makes sense for fuel technologies to earn favorable tax treatment through tangible reductions in carbon emissions, this bill gives aviation fuel more favorable treatment without having to demonstrate improved environmental benefits.

 “The diversion of investment away from renewable diesel will increase retail diesel prices. Rather than reducing inflation, this legislation will increase the price of all consumer goods hauled by truck.

 “The Inflation Reduction Act hands the airline industry another special break. That industry meanwhile is more than happy to accept its second bailout in three years while it is also fighting against having to comply with more stringent environmental standards.”

Roland Bolduc Crowned Grand Champion at 85th National Truck Driving Championships

Indianapolis – Roland Bolduc, a professional driver with FedEx Express, was named Bendix Grand Champion at the conclusion of the 85th National Truck Driving and Step Van Driving Championships.

Bolduc, competing in the sleeper berth, bested a field of 408 drivers with nearly 730 million combined accident-free miles to claim the coveted title of Grand Champion at this year’s Super Bowl of Safety.

“Congratulations to Roland and the great team at FedEx for being crowned Bendix Grand Champion,” said American Trucking Associations President and CEO Chris Spear. “It has been a long road for these drivers to get here, and to emerge as the best of a truly elite group is a tremendous honor. Roland’s commitment to safety and professionalism is an example of what this industry and this event are truly about.”

This is Bolduc’s second Bendix Grand Championship, having won the coveted title in 2017. A resident of East Longmeadow, Massachusetts, he has more than 2.5 million safe driving miles in his more than 40-year-long career. Bolduc was named an America’s Road Team Captain in 2000.

In addition, ATA crowned Tyler Tollefson, from FedEx Freight, as 2022 Rookie of the Year. To compete as an NTDC rookie, a driver must be a first-time competitor at their state competition who advanced to nationals. This year, there were 22 rookies competing at the National Truck Driving Championships.

ATA also recognized the state of North Carolina with the NTDC Team Championship, placing five drivers into the finals. New York finished second in the team competition and Connecticut finished third.

The National Truck Driving Championships are made possible by dozens of NTDC committee members and volunteers who judge the course, serve as liaisons to the drivers, conduct course walk-throughs and perform a number of other key tasks. As such, ATA and ATA's Safety Management Council honor one volunteer each year with the Sam Gillette Volunteer of the Year Award. This year's Sam Gillette Volunteer of the Year Award was presented to Michelle Wells of the South Dakota Trucking Association.

In addition, Anthony Spero, a professional driver with ABF Freight System Inc., was recognized with the Neil Darmstadter Professional Excellence Award as the competitor “who most exemplifies all the best attributes of a professional truck driver.”

“NTDC was a tremendous success thanks to all the drivers, staff and volunteers who made it happen,” said ATA Chairman Harold Sumerford Jr., president of J&M Tank Lines Inc. “After two long years, it was great to be back and see this competition in person, getting to observe the professionalism and dedication to safety of these drivers was a great privilege.”

Champions from each of the nine vehicle classes were also announced. Joining Bolduc on the list of national champions are:

Three-Axle Division  

1. Wilbert Vano, XPO Logistics Inc. (New Jersey)

2. Chris Poynor, XPO Logistics Inc. (Washington)

3. Brian Walker, TForce Freight (North Carolina)

Four-Axle Division 

1. Martin McMahon, RIST Transport (New York)

2. Miguel Corral, UPS (Illinois)

3. David Rohman, FedEx Express (North Carolina)

Five-Axle Division 

1. David Guinn, Publix Super Markets Inc. (Florida)

2. Timothy Banasiak, UPS (Illinois)

3. Alphonso Lewis, Yellow (Alabama)

Flatbed Division 

1. Eric Ramsdell, Walmart Transportation LLC (Arizona)

2. Raymond Waage, FedEx Freight (New York)

3. Kenneth Rageth, FedEx Freight (Wyoming)

Sleeper Berth Division                                              

1. Roland Bolduc, FedEx Express (Connecticut)

2. Eric Courville, FedEx Freight (Louisiana)

3. Charles White, Walmart Transportation LLC (Indiana)

Straight Truck Division                   

1. Christopher Shaw, FedEx Express (New Mexico)

2. Michael Bills, FedEx Express (North Carolina)

3. Jesse Benkert, FedEx Ground (Kentucky)

Tank Truck Division                        

1. Michael Flippin, FedEx Freight (Colorado)

2. Heladio Fernandez, FedEx Freight (Oregon)

3. Dennis Shirar, Walmart Transportation LLC (Indiana)

Twins Division                                               

1. Damien Hebert, XPO Logistics Inc. (Louisiana)

2. Leslie Smyth, FedEx Freight (Florida)

3. Jeffrey Langenhahn, XPO Logistics Inc. (Wisconsin)

Step Van Division

1. Gregory Long, FedEx Express (Maryland)

2. Ceth Christensen, UPS (Illinois)

3. Jerome De La Cruz, FedEx Express (Alaska)

PDA Releases 2022 Second Quarter Driver Feedback Data

Brentwood, TN… PDA released data  compiled from thousands of phone calls with professional truck drivers during the second quarter of 2022.  The data was gathered as part of PDA’s efforts to help trucking companies curb turnover while providing accurate and actionable data to address their drivers’ concerns.

 The two most mentioned concerns continue to be equipment and compensation issues, reflecting the ongoing equipment supply chain issues and the softening freight market. 

 “The landscape has continued to evolve since the end of the first quarter,” said Scott Dismuke, PDA’s vice president of operations.  “While the equipment and supply chain issues remain prevalent and freight is still good; the spot market has softened, gas prices are still high, interest rates are on the rise and some economists are expecting the unemployment rate to go up.  All of these factors could impact the driver market in the last two quarters of 2022.”

Dismuke noted that while overall equipment issues dropped during the first two quarters of 2022, PDA has seen an increase in mechanical/breakdown issues. 

 “When PDA talks about equipment issues, we consider more than tractor issues,” said Dismuke.  “Our equipment data includes tractor issues, mechanical/breakdowns, equipment assignment issues, on-board communication devices, APU/inverters, general maintenance issues and trailer issues.  We believe the increase in mechanical/breakdown issues is tied to aging fleets as a result of supply chain difficulties and company’s ability to get new trucks.”

 Overall compensation issues were 22.5% in Q2, up over 1% from Q1 totals.  Of note, drivers complaining about their pay rate was up 2% quarter over quarter.  Dismuke noted that this was the second quarter in a row PDA has seen a rise in driver feedback regarding pay rate complaints.

 “Drivers may have to deadhead more to get out of soft freight areas and there are fewer freight options to pick,” stated Dismuke.  “As a result, for the second quarter in a row, PDA data is showing that drivers complaining about miles-related compensation issues was on the rise.”  

 Dismuke remarked that recession fears, gas prices and rising interest rates could potentially cause a shift in the freight market and could affect driver data the last two quarters of 2022.  

“While PDA does not get into predicting the freight market, economic factors could impact the driver market which may mean that the data PDA has been reporting over the last couple of years could shift,” said Dismuke.  “Equipment issues have been the dominate complaint for drivers over the last two years, but if the freight market does soften, miles-related compensation issues and pay-rate complaints could start to rise.”

 Driver retention continues to be more important now than it has ever been.  Reducing turnover and keeping drivers in trucks will continue to be challenging.

 “If we see a softening in the freight, it will be more important than ever to have a good relationship with your drivers to keep them in your trucks,” said Dismuke.  “Open and proactive communication with your drivers will be important in the last two quarters of 2022.”  

NATSO Statement On State Association Calls For U.S. Dot To Flexibly Administer EV  Charging Mileage Requirement

  Alexandria, VA…  NATSO, representing truckstops and travel plazas, issued the following statement on the letter sent from state fuel and convenience associations to the Western Governors Association regarding the need for U.S. DOT to flexibly administer its EV charging mileage requirement. The statement can be attributed to NATSO’s Vice President of Public Affairs Tiffany Wlazlowski Neuman:

“Travel plazas and fuel retailers applaud state fuel and convenience associations for urging U.S. DOT to flexibly administer the requirement that states locate electric vehicle charging stations every 50 miles along designated corridors. Many states, especially in rural America, will need that flexibility to deploy EV charging stations in partnership with the private sector under the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program. 

The 50-mile restriction is not a statutory requirement. Not all stretches of the Interstate have gas stations every 50 miles, yet drivers are infrequently concerned that they will run out of fuel in the middle of the highway. Rather than forcing states to meet an arbitrary 50-mile requirement where it isn’t feasible, U.S. DOT should ensure that states can administer the program in accordance with their specific needs, working with the private sector as required by law. 

  The federal government should reconsider any hurdles that distort the market for EV charging and limit a state’s ability to partner with the private sector. When rural states are forced to identify sites for charging stations every 50 miles, it could dissuade them from working with off-highway businesses to foster a competitive market for EV charging services, and prompt them to consider installing EV charging in rest areas. Congress expressly chose to preclude this option because it would hinder the development of an EV charging market for the long term. 

  EV drivers want access to a safe, reliable refueling experience like they enjoy today with gasoline powered vehicles. The best way to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles and limit range anxiety for electric vehicles users is to foster a dynamic, competitive marketplace for EV fueling at the thousands of travel centers, gas stations, convenience stores, restaurants, and hotels located near an Interstate. This would ensure that electric vehicle charging stations are available to the public like traditional refueling.”

Freight Coalition Members Invest RAISE Awards to Strengthen Supply Chain

WASHINGTON, DC… The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) awarded 166 projects over $2.2 billion from the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) program. Included among the recipients are 11 projects sponsored or supported by members of the Coalition for America’s Gateways and Trade Corridors (CAGTC). According to USDOT, this round saw $13.3 billion in requested funds from a total of 935 eligible applications from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (also known as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act) provided $2.2 billion for the Fiscal Year 2022 round of funding, meaning that requests outnumbered available funds by a ratio of 18:1.

“Year after year, the RAISE program has proven to be an important tool for advancing a wide array of mobility projects,” said CAGTC Executive Director Elaine Nessle. “This is particularly true for freight projects, which are frequently multimodal, multijurisdictional, and large in scope. While many of these important freight projects are difficult to fund by traditional sources, such as formula distributions, merit-based competitive grant programs provide much-needed flexibility. For years, CAGTC members have called for increased freight infrastructure investment to meet growing demands. This round of RAISE awards comes at a critical time and will enable strategic investments.”

 Port Tampa Bay’s New Berth 301 will receive $12,600,000 to construct a new Berth 301 at the Port Redwing facility, which will connect Berths 300 and 302 with a 1,025-foot dock. The facility will have a 3,000- linear-foot berth capable of simultaneously docking three of the largest dry bulk/multi-purpose cargo vessels that can navigate the newly expanded Big Bend Channel.

 “We’re already seeing the dividends of the historic Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act passed last year. The Berth 301 project will have a generational impact on our community in terms of economic development and well-paying jobs. Port Redwing has seen tremendous growth since the deepening and expansion of the Big Bend Channel. As our community continues to see record population growth, it is important to provide an efficient way to move construction and other bulk cargoes. This project optimizes supply chain economics and helps keep wear and tear on roads to a minimum,” explains Paul Anderson, CAGTC Chairman and Port Tampa Bay CEO & President.

Freight Mobility Strategic Investment Board (FMSIB)/ City of Spokane Valley’s Pines Road/ BNSF Grade Separation Project will receive $21,689,221 to replace the highway-rail at-grade crossing of Pines Road (State Route 27) and the BNSF Railway tracks with a new Pines Road underpass. The project will replace the signalized intersection of two state highways, Pines Road (SR 27) and Trent Avenue (SR 290), with a multi-lane roundabout, and construct a separated shared use path under the railroad crossing and an adjacent shared use path around the new roundabout intersection. The project will also construct a new trailhead and parking lot facility, equipped with restrooms, electric vehicle charging, and non-motorized access to the adjacent Centennial Trail and Spokane River.

“Washington State’s Freight Mobility Board (FMSIB) is a key financing partner assisting local governments in removing freight bottlenecks, whether as ‘first dollars’ in to improve grant competitiveness or as ‘last dollars’ in to get a project over the finish line,” stated Dan Gatchet, FMSIB Chair.  “FMSIB is very proud to be a supporter of the Pines Road/BNSF Separation Project since 2004 and congratulates Spokane Valley for their success in this RAISE grant award.”

Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) supported several successful projects in this round of RAISE grants, including those submitted by the City of Fontana, City of Inglewood and Port of Los Angeles:

City of Fontana’s Building a Better-Connected Inland Empire will receive $15,000,000 to make major complete streets improvements by constructing additional lane capacity, an integrated traffic system, medians with protected left turns, a roundabout, bus turnouts, streetlights, signage, and raised medians, more than 7.5 miles of bike lanes, including more than 2.5 miles of separated bike lanes, a half-mile of multi-use trail, crosswalks, a bridge, and countdown signal heads.

City of Inglewood’s Inglewood Transit Connector Project will receive $15,000,000 to complete an approximately 1.6-mile fully elevated, automated transit system with three stations to compete a critical gap in the region’s transit system, on segments along Market Street, Manchester Boulevard, and Prairie Avenue. It includes construction of three center platform stations.

 “This funding will be instrumental in helping address the backlog of infrastructure needs in Southern California, one of the most critically important population and economic centers in the country,” said Kome Ajise, Executive Director of the Southern California Association of Governments. “As America’s global freight gateway and a pivotal part of the nation’s supply chain, this investment is essential to the economic vitality of both our region and the United States.”

 Port of Los Angeles’ Maritime Support Facility Access/ Terminal Island Rail System will receive $20,000,000 to construct a four-lane, rail-roadway grade separation. This project will eliminate a significant truck access impediment to an important container terminal support facility located on Terminal Island, while significantly reducing delays, accidents, and emissions at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, which handle 35 percent of all waterborne containers entering the United States.

 “This $20 million grant accelerates our ability to build a critical rail-roadway grade separation on Terminal Island that will reduce cargo delays, improve safety for local motorists and provides increased resiliency and competitiveness to the nation’s busiest port complex,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka.

 CAGTC applauds these members on their successful grant applications.

DTNA Applauds Inflation Reduction Act’s Support of Zero Emission Trucks

PORTLAND, OR… Daimler Truck North America (DTNA) applauds the inclusion of tax credits in the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (IRA) which seek to accelerate the adoption of carbon-neutral technologies in medium- and heavy-duty vehicles.  The IRA contains programs which stand to benefit buyers of both zero-emissions commercial vehicles and the builders of electric vehicle charging stations on which the nascent technology depends.

“The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 has a number of policies that support zero emission vehicle deployment, including tax credits for the purchase of medium- and heavy-duty zero emission vehicles and the construction of electric vehicle charging stations. The provisions for zero emission commercial vehicles are a great investment in the country’s climate goals and we extend a special thanks to Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon for championing these programs,” said Sean Waters, vice president of product compliance and regulatory affairs at DTNA. “Further incentives at both the federal and state level will remain necessary to help narrow the total cost of ownership gap for commercial vehicle buyers, and must be complemented by a robust charging infrastructure for commercial vehicles.” 

Freight transportation alone provides the means for more than 70 percent of goods to arrive to market in the U.S., according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, while more than 500,000 school buses on American roadways transport children to and from school every day. The decision to offer up to $40,000 in tax credits to the buyers of medium- and heavy-duty zero-emissions vehicles, and up to $100,000 in tax credits for the construction of electric vehicle charging stations, reflects sound and prudent investment in the country’s domestic supply chain and its long-term climate goals.

As the nation’s largest manufacturer of Class 6-8 commercial vehicles, DTNA has a long history of working collaboratively with many stakeholders, including legislators from both sides of the aisle, along with federal and state regulatory agencies.

DTNA and its affiliated brands offer a wide-ranging battery electric commercial vehicle portfolio, including school buses, walk-in vans, like those used in final-mile delivery applications, Class 6/7 delivery trucks and Class 8 tractors. The company holds the long-term ambition to transition all of its new vehicles sales to exclusively carbon-neutral (in driving operation) by 2039 and views the unprecedented investment in clean energy and domestic clean energy industries as an important step in the decarbonization of commercial vehicles.  

CTA Warns Feds: This is Not the Time for Adding Stress to Supply Chain

TORONTO, CANADA…  The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) is again calling for the Government of Canada to delay implementation of an incoming measure which will further aggravate besieged supply chains, exacerbate driver shortages and continue to push inflation higher, said CTA President Stephen Laskowski.  

 In December 2021, the Government of Canada introduced Bill C-3. Hurriedly passed earlier this year, the Bill would provide all workers in federally regulated sectors with 10-paid sick days. At the time, the justification for the measure was to reflect the government’s policy regarding 10-day quarantine/isolation periods resulting from COVID-19. However, since then, the government’s own position on general quarantine timeframes has changed as the spread and severity of COVID has slowed, rendering the justification moot. The policy is also out of step with sectoral trends which show most workers take less than five sick days per year.  

 The CTA supports modernizing labour standards and protecting workers, though it urges the government to proceed with a more balanced and less hasty approach, reflecting the current state of the Canadian economy and its supply chains. 

“As CTA has repeatedly communicated to the Government of Canada, this plan could effectively equate to 300,000 trucks being shut down for an additional 10-days each, on an unplanned basis next year,” said Laskowski. “The impact this could have on just-in-time shipping, overall capacity, seasonal availability, and service reliability for customers and Canadians is expected to be severe.” 

 CTA is again calling for the Government of Canada to delay the implementation of Bill C-3 by one year, and to consider a phased-in approach with five days being introduced in the first year and an additional five days in the second. This approach would balance the need to support workers while also considering the undisputedly fragile position of the supply chain by allowing industry some flexibility to relieve backlogs throughout the interim. 

 CTA has proposed several alternate solutions, including allowing companies to employ their internal benefits packages and plans to meet the government’s aims at compensating workers for sick days. CTA remains willing to work with the Government of Canada to find a workable solution. 

 Estimates on the impact on available capacity is expected to be a loss of 5-10 percent in 2023 – in addition to the 10-15 percent of available drivers which exited the industry in recent years because of cross-border vaccination requirements and other mandates – and on top of the natural erosion of capacity due to demographics and retirements the industry already experiences on an annual basis.    

 It will also have a dramatic impact on many trucking companies’ bottom lines. In detailed modelling supplied to the Government of Canada by CTA, the expected loss in profit for carriers could be anywhere between 13 percent and 57 percent, depending on how many days are used by employees.  

 “The main cost for trucking companies of these lost 10 days is not necessarily the salary paid to the worker; it’s the truck that must sit unexpectedly for days and the logistical chaos it causes the trucking company scrambling to move it. This chain reaction and the associated consequences will also inevitably flow through to the companies relying on the delivery, be it raw materials, manufacturing inputs, or finished products destined for store shelves,” said Laskowski. 

 Canadians are also certainly aware of the precarious position the industry is facing and how it affects them at home. Eight in 10 Canadians are reporting some level of concern that the supply chain is under too much pressure and that it is becoming more difficult to get the goods they need.

 Meanwhile, CTA points out there is very little built into the new measures to deal with employee misclassification, specifically related to Driver Inc. CTA’s proposal allows the government more time to get control of the countless companies involved in the Driver Inc. scheme and the thousands of workers they have forced into the underground economy to sidestep government initiatives such as this.    

“While widespread Driver Inc. related noncompliance has been recognized in our sector by ESDC, they, nor any other federal department responsible for enforcing standards related to labour and taxes, have yet to bring it under control,” said Laskowski. “It seems nearly unconscionable, then, that ESDC could bring this into effect when it is widely known that one of the primary foreseen consequences will be to drive even more companies and drivers into the underground economy.” 

 CTA is calling on the industry to get involved and is asking carriers to ensure their MPs have on-the-ground intelligence about the trucking industry, our concerns and proposed solutions. More details will be coming from CTA over the coming weeks, including support materials to help members get involved.

CTA Calls for Action to Address Persistent Border Delays Alliance Releases Survey to Capture Wait Times and Operational Impacts

TORONTO, CANADA…  The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) has been made aware of concerns from members across Canada regarding recurring border delays and increased border wait times, including the negative impact these delays are having on truck drivers, carrier operations and the ability to service customers at a time of chronic labour shortages and supply chains already under stress. 

 In its correspondence with government on this issue, the Alliance emphasized that carrier issues, broker/IT delays and peak travel periods all have significant impact on border wait times but emphasised that land ports of entry remain vital trade corridors that should be given the same priority as the actions being taken to address delays and labour challenges for air travel.  

 CTA also highlighted the adverse impacts that extended border delays have on cross-border truck drivers and on efficient goods movement, but also the impact that the acute driver shortage, FAST application backlogs, and the Canada-U.S. border vaccination mandate have already had on capacity and available labour in trucking. 

 To aid the Alliance in prioritizing and addressing delays, carriers are encouraged to complete the CTA survey by identifying the Canadian and U.S. ports of entry that have persistent issues with staffing and border delays, and the impact of these delays on drivers and your operations.

Women Of Trucking Advisory Board Will Focus On Solutions To Retain And Recruit Drivers Into The Industry

WASHINGTON, DC… The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced the appointment of members to the Women of Trucking Advisory Board (WOTAB) to recruit, retain, support, and ensure the safety of women commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers and strengthen the trucking industry as a whole. 

The Women in Trucking Advisory Board includes 16 founding members, all women, with diverse backgrounds and experiences to provide balanced points of view on addressing the challenges facing women in the industry. Of these members, five are current CMV drivers and four are former CMV drivers, others are trainers, executives and authors. WOTAB’s members hail from 11 states and work for small, medium, and large trucking companies and as independent owner-operators, non-profit organizations, trucking business associations, and institutions of higher education. Collectively, WOTAB members have more than 80 years of driving experience with trucks, motorcoaches, and ports and more than 275 years in trucking and other modes of transportation. 

WOTAB’s launch is another key initiative mandated by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and is part of the Biden-Harris Trucking Action Plan that is focused on improving job quality and recruiting more people into the truck driving profession.

"America needs truck drivers like never before, yet women--half the American people--have long been underestimated and underrepresented behind the wheel and in jobs across this sector. Getting to know women in trucking, I have heard about their passion for the job as well as the challenges they face, and this experienced Women in Trucking Advisory Board will help us address these issues directly," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. "We thank the members for serving and look forward to working together to bring more women into trucking and to enhance job quality in this important career.”

Recruiting and supporting women in transportation is a key priority for the Biden-Harris Administration. “Women are significantly underrepresented in the trucking industry, holding only 24 percent of all transportation jobs,” said FMCSA Deputy Administrator Robin Hutcheson. “We anticipate many great ideas from the advisory board that will help expand equity and safely provide access to careers in trucking for women across the industry.” In March, Hutcheson discussed truck driver challenges firsthand in a ride along with an experienced driver

WOTAB will coordinate with trucking companies, nonprofit organizations, and trucking associations to support women in trucking. The Board will provide recommendations to the FMCSA Administrator and the U.S. Secretary of Transportation, as well as tackle many issues, including:

Evaluating barriers and trends that impact women in trucking across the country and ways to support women pursuing careers in trucking
Identifying opportunities to expand roles for women and increase the number of women in the trucking industry
Advising on policies that provide education, training, mentorship, or outreach to women in the trucking industry
Reviewing opportunities to enhance safety, training, mentorship, and education for women in the trucking industry.
Women of Trucking Advisory Board (WOTAB) Members

Anne Balay, Organizer, Service Employees International Union (School/Higher Education). Dr. Balay has held numerous academic positions at various prestigious universities and has worked as an over-the-road commercial driver and car mechanic. She is the author of numerous peer-reviewed papers and two books, Steel Closets: Voices of Gay, Lesbian, and Transgender Steelworkers (2014) and Semi Queer: Inside the World of Gay, Trans, and Black Truck Drivers (2018), for which she was a finalist for the Lambda Literary LGBTQ studies category. Dr. Balay holds a PhD in English from the University of Chicago.

Jerri Banks, Chief Executive Officer, Life on the Road (LOTR) Recruiting & Transportation Services (Driver Recruitment). Mrs. Banks has 25 years of experience in the transportation industry. She spent the majority of her career in corporate aviation as a Senior Leader at Universal Weather and Aviation Inc., where she led a team of global regulatory and trip-support planning experts. For the past five years, she has served as the owner and CEO of LOTR Recruiting & Transportation Services, a third-party truck driver recruitment agency. In addition to truck driver recruitment, LOTR specializes in the proactive education surrounding a violation in the FMCSA CDL Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse and aids drivers in receiving a second chance at trucking after completing the return-to-duty process. Mrs. Banks speaks at CDL training schools and industry events to address the importance of the prevention of a violation in the Clearinghouse. She also serves as the Vice President of the SHE Trucking Foundation, Inc. Prior to becoming Vice President, she served in the SHE Trucking community as a mentor for women entering the transportation industry. Mrs. Banks also spends a great deal of her time volunteering with the Houston D1 Hornets youth program, teaching compassion and leadership through community service and basketball. 

Elisabeth Barna, Executive Vice President, American Trucking Associations (Trucking Association). Ms. Barna has represented the trucking industry for 32 years. She has worked directly with women professional truck drivers through ATA’s safety and education programs, including the America’s Road Team, Share the Road, and our Workforce Heroes program. As part of the 100th anniversary of the first woman to vote, Louisa Swain, she created and managed a cross-country tour with a special decaled tractor-trailer and four women professional truck drivers behind the wheel. Ms. Barna spearheads the ATA’s new Women in Motion campaign, which focuses on empowering women in all trucking careers, recruiting women into the industry, and amplifying the positive aspects of joining the industry. Ms. Barna is also a member of the Trucker Buddy executive committee and Truckers Against Trafficking Board of Directors. Ms. Barna earned her BA in Communications, Business, and Human Resources Management from Marietta College.

Joyce Sauer Brenny, Founder and President, Brenny Transportation, Inc. and Brenny Specialized, Inc. (Independent Owner/Operator). Ms. Brenny entered the trucking industry as a professional driver in the 1980s. Today, she runs two transportation companies, one of which is a Certified Women’s Business Enterprise. Ms. Brenny holds numerous transportation leadership positions, including serving on the Board of Directors of the Minnesota Trucking Association, where she was its first woman trucker chair. A life member of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, Ms. Brenny is president of St. Christopher’s Driver Relief and Development Fund, which helps truck drivers in need. A member of the American Trucking Association’s Safety Policy Committee, she serves also on the Heavy Duty Trucking & American Transportation Research Institute’s Advisory Boards. Named Most Influential Woman in Trucking by Women in Trucking (WIT); Ms. Brenny’s young driver apprentice program has received two innovation awards. Brenny Transportation was named a Best Broker by The National Association of Small Trucking Companies. Brenny Specialized, Inc. is a 5-time winner of the Great West Platinum National Safety Award and is named a Best Fleet to Drive For by the Truckload Carriers Association. Ms. Brenny holds a BA in Organizational Behavior and Human Psychology from the College of St. Scholastica.

Enjoli DeGrasse, Deputy Director, International Brotherhood of Teamsters (Labor). Ms. DeGrasse has diverse industry and safety experience. In her current position, she is a regular presenter at the Teamsters annual women’s conference; a subject matter expert on safety and health; and regularly provides the Teamster perspective in written comments to OSHA, Federal Aviation Administration, and USDOT proposed rulemakings. Ms. DeGrasse holds an MPH from Tulane University, is a Certified Industrial Hygienist, and serves in a number of advisory positions, including on the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Board of Scientific Counselors.

Marie Druckenmiller, Director of Transportation, Amazon (Large Carrier). Ms. Druckenmiller has 24 years of experience in the transportation industry, holding a wide variety of positions in over-the-road operations, logistics, under-the-roof operations, USDOT regulations, and safe driving certifications. At Amazon, Ms. Druckenmiller has championed the Women in Transportation affinity charter for the last 5 years, sponsoring a female-focused initiative to send Amazon Associates to CDL training. She is a board member of the Women in Trucking Association and holds a BS in Kinesiology from California State University, San Bernardino. Ms. Druckenmiller is involved in a variety of charities including the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, the Special Olympics, and the Ronald McDonald Houses of Loma Linda, CA, and Pittsburgh, PA. 
Erin Ducharme, CFO, H&L Bloom/Bloom’s Bus Lines (Motorcoach). Ms. Ducharme became CFO of H&L Bloom, a third-generation family-owned motorcoach and school bus company, in 2021, where she oversees its customer service, marketing, and tour divisions. She previously served as Director of Accounting and Finance and has been with Bloom since 2007. Ms. Ducharme chairs the American Bus Association (ABA) Women in Buses Council and serves on the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, Marketplace Advisory Committee, and chairs the Education Committee. As chair of the Women in Buses Council, she leads the Driving Force Taskforce. Ms. Ducharme earned her MBA in Accounting from the University of Massachusetts and her BA from Assumption College. 

Laura Duryea, Manager of Recruiting, Retention, and Driver Development, Boyle Transportation (Medium Carrier). Ms. Duryea has been in the Transportation industry for 29 years, with more than 25 years of professional driving experience. Additionally, she has held positions as a delivery driver, dispatcher, supervisor, Smith System Trainer, and training programs creator. For almost four years, she has been a manager of recruiting and retention. She is a member of Women in Trucking, serving on its Content Advisory Council, and on its Experience and Membership Committees. Ms. Duryea holds a BFA in Viola Performance from Carnegie Mellon University and is involved with the First City Pride Center on the Events Committee and as a youth group volunteer.

Marquita Jones, Autonomous Vehicle Operations Test Driver, TuSimple (Female Driver). Ms. Jones has 14 years of experience driving both commercial trucks and buses. At J.B. Hunt, Ms. Jones operated a 15-ton truck, with a focus on intermodal freight. Prior to this position, she worked for the Chicago Transit Authority, where she operated both trucks and buses and conducted chartered trips and sightseeing tours. Ms. Jones is currently an Autonomous Vehicle Operator, with a focus on safety and data collections. Ms. Jones regularly mentors and supports women looking to enter the commercial motor carrier industry.

Kellylynn McLaughlin, Professional Driver, Prime Transport LTD. (Female Driver). Ms. McLaughlin is a professional commercial motor-vehicle (CMV) driver with experience in specialized equine transport, over-the-road (OTR) dry van, and driver training. She previously drove and trained drivers for Schneider National and served as the first Driver Ambassador for Women in Trucking Association, who named her Influential Woman of the Year finalist in 2019. She has served on a number of industry committees, and among other positions is a member of FMCSA’s Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee Driver Subcommittee. Ms. McLaughlin has appeared as a guest on a number of radio, podcast and news articles focusing on trucking industry.

Dianne McNair-Smith, CEO, 3 Girls Trucking Academy (School/Higher Education). Ms. McNair-Smith has over 30 years of experience in the trucking industry as both a driver and CDL instructor. Following her passion for providing opportunities to people looking to better themselves, she aims to change one life one mile at a time through mentoring incarcerated women and victims of domestic violence. She opened her own trucking school, 3 Girls Trucking Academy, in 2020. 3 Girls Trucking Academy is the only trucking school in Magee, MS, and one of the only African American woman-owned trucking schools in the state of Mississippi. Ms. McNair-Smith also owns her own trucking company and has given over fifty scholarships to individuals throughout the state of Mississippi. 

Sharae Moore, Founder/President, SHE Trucking Foundation (Trucking Association). A professional truck driver and founder and president of the SHE Trucking Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, Ms. Moore has been driving since 2014. She leads a Facebook community of more than 30,000 professional minority women in the transportation industry. CNN selected Ms. Moore as a Champion for Change. Additionally, she was chosen as a Legend Driver by National Truckin’ magazine and received the Trucking Industry Trailblazer Award for Diversity and Inclusion. Ms. Moore authored Building a Legacy: How I Create a Life-Changing Legacy in the Trucking Industry. She advocates for bringing more women and minorities into the transportation industry.
O’Sheauna Parker (Female Driver). Ms. Parker has five years’ experience and over one million miles on the road as a CDL driver. She began her career in Springfield, Illinois, and is now based in California and drives for Haul. Ms. Parker has gained work experience in port, less-than-truckload, full truckload, over-the-road and with the U.S. Postal Service. Ms. Parker has applied to be a CDL trainer and is training to become a pilot.

Emily Plummer, Professional Driver, Prime Inc. (Female Driver). Ms. Plummer has 23 years of experience driving for Prime, where she also trains drivers new to the industry. She currently serves as a team driver with her husband across the lower 48 states. Aside from a Class A CDL, Ms. Plummer also holds Tanker and Hazmat endorsements, and has served on the Prime Inc. Driver Advisory Board.

Soledad Munoz Smith, Munoz Trucking (Small Carrier). Ms. Smith has more than 10 years of experience in the transportation and logistics industries. For the past three years, she has held the position of Vice President of Operations at Munoz Trucking Inc., a minority family-owned business in El Paso, Texas. Her current responsibilities include overseeing the management team responsible for four departments, including safety, dispatch, maintenance, and payroll. Ms. Smith also serves as Director on the board of Directors for the captive insurance policy for Cottingham & Butler. She earned a BS in Clothing, Textiles, & Fashion Merchandising with a minor in Business Administration from New Mexico State University.

Nicole Ward, Co-owner, African American Women in Trucking Association (Non-Profit). Ms. Ward co-founded Capital Freight, LLC, a trucking and logistics company, with her mother in 2021. She had 18 years of experience in the insurance industry before transitioning into transportation. Two years ago, she began developing procedures and policies for her own company that have been useful within the trucking industry. In 2022, Ms. Ward founded the African American Women in Trucking Association (AAWTA), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. She holds an associate degree in Business from Valencia College and a BA in Business Management from the University of Phoenix.

ATA Truck Tonnage Index Decreased 1.1% in July Index 5.1% Above July 2021

Washington — American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index fell 1.1% in July after rising 0.5% in June. In July, the index equaled 116.2 (2015=100) versus 117.5 in June.

 “Tonnage declined sequentially in July for only the second time during the last twelve months. Despite the dip from June, tonnage remains at elevated levels and increased significantly from a year earlier,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “While tonnage is much stronger than a year ago, the monthly gains have moderated as the year has gone on. The combination of softer consumption of goods, home construction falling and slower manufacturing activity are the main reasons.”

June’s increase was revised down from our July 19 press release.

Compared with July 2021, the SA index increased 5.1%, which was the eleventh straight year-over-year gain. In June, the index was up 5.6% from a year earlier. Year-to-date, compared with the same period in 2021, tonnage was up 3.4%.

The not seasonally adjusted index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by fleets before any seasonal adjustment, equaled 115.5 in July, 5.2% below the June level (121.9). 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.

ATA Stresses Importance of Hiring Veterans

As part of the American Legion’s National Higher Education and Credentialing Summit, the American Trucking Associations emphasized the important role reaching out to, and easing the credentialing burden on, veterans and returning servicemembers has in addressing the industry’s ongoing labor shortage.

“Trucking has tens of thousands of openings – behind the wheel, on the shop floor and in the back office – and our men and women in uniform are tremendous candidates that our industry is reaching out to and trying to make the transition from the military easier for,” said ATA Vice President of Workforce Policy Nick Geale.

Geale participated, along with ATA’s Workforce Heroes Truck, in the American Legion’s National Higher Education and Credentialing Summit here as part of Task Force Movement – a national organization dedicated to creating pathways to careers for returning veterans.

“Right now, our industry is short 80,000 drivers – jobs that pay upwards of $70,000 or more per year, giving our returning veterans a middle class lifestyle without the debt and expense of a college degree,” Geale said. “ATA and our partners are working to make it easier for these men and women to translate their military experience to a CDL, cutting red tape in the licensing process and getting these heroes into well-paying careers.”

Learn more about ATA’s Workforce Heroes program and other workforce development efforts at

ATA Statement on Reported Rail Labor Deal

Washington , DC… On September 15th, American Trucking Associations President and CEO Chris Spear congratulated the nation’s freight railroads and their unions on reaching a deal and averting a potentially economically catastrophic strike.

“Our supply chain is entirely interdependent, making the potential for a nationwide rail stoppage a serious threat to our nation’s economic and national security,” Spear said. “We applaud both sides for reaching a tentative agreement One week prior, Spear had sent a letter to Capitol Hill warning of the risks of a nationwide rail strike.