Latest Industry News Briefs Courtesy of PMTA

May 2024

Trucking Industry Welcomes FMC Decision in Chassis Choice Case

 Washington, DC… The American Trucking Associations’ Intermodal Motor Carriers Conference hailed the Federal Maritime Commission decision upholding a previous ruling that ocean carriers violated federal law by requiring trucking companies to use specific intermodal chassis providers when moving containers.

“The FMC has now confirmed that the actions of these ocean carriers are a clear violation of federal law and must stop,” said IMCC Executive Director Jonathan Eisen. “IMCC and ATA have been fighting this conduct by foreign-owned ocean carriers for more than a decade, so this ruling has been a long time coming.”

IMCC filed its complaint against the Ocean Carrier Equipment Management Association, Consolidated Chassis Management and the world’s largest ocean carriers with the FMC in 2020, alleging, among other things, that they have denied motor carriers the ability to choose their provider when obtaining this essential equipment, leading to unjust and unreasonable prices for trucking companies. Yesterday’s action by the full FMC upholds the 2023 decision of an FMC administrative law judge that this conduct violated the Shipping Act. 

“With details to be finalized by the ALJ, hard-working American trucking companies will now be able to choose their chassis providers, rather than being taken advantage of by a cartel of overseas shipping lines,” Eisen said. “By affirming motor carriers’ right to chassis choice, the FMC has taken action to reduce supply chain delays and cut costs for motor carriers and consumers.”

Trucking Industry Applauds Passage of Legal Reform in Indiana

 Washington , DC… The trucking industry applauded the Indiana General Assembly for enacting civil justice reform legislation that amends the state’s seatbelt admissibility statute pertaining to automobile accident litigation. The bill, which passed the legislature with bipartisan support and now heads to Governor Holcomb’s desk, would make evidence of a litigant’s non-usage of a safety belt admissible in court in most cases. 

The trucking industry says reforms like these are critical to ensuring fairness and balance in the civil justice system and will deter the exploitation of one-sided rules that incentivize abusive and frivolous litigation in pursuit of profits rather than justice. 

“This is a commonsense measure that only increases transparency and ensures jurors have complete information when rendering a fair and just verdict,” said American Trucking Associations President and CEO Chris Spear. “Indiana is one of many states in recent years to amend the so-called ‘seatbelt gag rule,’ a legacy of a bygone era when seat belt use wasn't common and the safety benefit wasn't universally accepted like it is today.”

“Indiana’s trucking industry plays a vital role in the everyday lives of Hoosiers, and lawsuit abuse presents a growing obstacle to our ability to deliver life’s essentials safely and efficiently,” said Indiana Motor Truck Association President and CEO Gary Langston. “We appreciate the House and Senate for their leadership on this issue and encourage Governor Holcomb to swiftly sign this bill into law. We look forward to the continued partnership with our state’s leaders on commonsense reforms that stand for justice, fairness and safety.” 

The trucking industry plays an essential role in the Indiana economy and is a key provider of middle-class jobs, employing approximately 231,000 Hoosiers across the state. More than 80 percent of Indiana communities rely exclusively on trucks to receive their goods.

Trucking Industry Applauds Passage of Lawsuit Abuse Reform in Wisconsin

 Washington , DC… The trucking industry praised the Wisconsin State Legislature for passing a commonsense reform to the state’s civil litigation system that would cap non-economic damage awards at $1 million. The industry says capping these subjective, nonmonetary losses is critical to ensuring fairness and balance in civil litigation and will deter abusive and frivolous lawsuits that have perverted the system into a profit center for the plaintiffs’ bar.  

“When the plaintiffs’ bar perverts civil litigation into a casino game of ‘jackpot justice,’ the costs are borne by everyone—not just trucking companies, but consumers too in the form of higher insurance rates and higher prices for everyday goods,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “This reasonable reform ensures justice and fairness drive accident litigation outcomes, not profits.”

The legislation – SB 613 – passed the State Assembly by voice vote and the State Senate 21-11 and now goes to Gov. Tony Evers’ desk for his signature.

“This legislation has broad support in the state legislature and across the state,” said Wisconsin Motor Carriers Association President Neal Kedzie. “Wisconsin’s trucking industry is essential to everyone in our state, and rampant lawsuit abuse is impeding our ability to do our job safely and efficiently. We urge Governor Evers to sign this bill into law.”

The trucking industry is a key provider of middle-class jobs in Wisconsin, employing approximately 183,780 people throughout the state. More than 77 percent of Wisconsin communities rely exclusively on trucks to receive their goods.

TravelCenters of America Announces Focus on Elevating Site Safety Standards

WESTLAKE, OH…  Recognizing that women make up approximately 12% of professional drivers* and 43% of TA’s workforce, TravelCenters of America honored  International Women’s Day by announcing initiatives aimed at elevating site safety for our guests and team members. This year’s International Women’s Day campaign theme is “Inspire Inclusion,” and TA’s new initiatives focus on understanding and valuing women’s experiences and viewpoints, in an effort to create positive industry change.  

TA has launched a Women’s Safety Advisory Group which brings together professional drivers and members of the trucking industry to discuss topics regarding even safer TA, Petro or TA Express travel centers and services. While the advisory group specifically focuses on female perspectives, any feedback and information received will be used to create safer sites for all guests and team members, regardless of gender.

TA is also excited to share that in late spring, Retail Operations Support Vice President, Debbie Shelton, will embark on an over-the-road trip alongside Violet Helferich from ACE Doran Hauling & Rigging Co., a division of the Bennett Family of Companies. The journey will span a week, taking Debbie and Violet from Oklahoma City, OK to Brandon, SD to load freight, and then onwards to a wind farm in the southern U.S. During this immersive experience, Debbie Shelton aims to gain firsthand insights into the daily challenges and experiences of female professional drivers.

“Our sites serve as a home away from home for the millions of professional drivers in our nation and we are committed to ensuring they feel as safe and secure while visiting us as they do in their own home,” said Debi Boffa, CEO of TA. “Safety is our top priority, and we look forward to learning how we can foster an even safer environment for all travelers and our team members, regardless of gender.”

TA plans to provide regular updates on progress related to the Women’s Safety Advisory Group and other site safety initiatives.

*According to the 2023 Women in Trucking Index

OOIDA Criticizes EPA Overreach, Effective EV Truck Mandate

Washington, DC…  The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) today announced its opposition to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) latest assault on small business truck drivers, which represent 96% of commercial motor carriers. The Phase 3 Greenhouse Gas Emissions Standards for Heavy-Duty Vehicles Final Rule effectively mandates that 25% of new heavy trucks sold in the United States be all-electric by 2032.

“Small business truckers, who happen to care about clean air for themselves and their kids as much as anyone, make up 96% of trucking. Yet this administration seems dead set on regulating every local mom and pop business out of existence with its flurry of unworkable environmental mandates. This administration appears more focused on placating extreme environmental activists who have never been inside a truck than the small business truckers who ensure that Americans have food in their grocery stores and clothes on their backs. If you bought it, a trucker brought it.” – OOIDA President Todd Spencer

In official comments filed to the EPA on June 16, 2023, OOIDA outlined issues related to costs, the timeline, safety concerns and operational problems. The EPA Phase 3 rule is one of four key regulatory actions taken by the Biden Administration that could potentially put untenable pressure on small business truckers if allowed to take effect. 

The Regulatory War on Small Business Truckers

1.    EPA Phase 3 Greenhouse Gas Emissions Standards for Heavy-Duty Vehicles Final Rule

2.    EPA NOx Rule

3.    EPA Preemption Waivers for California

4.    FMCSA Speed Limiter Mandate

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association is the largest national trade association representing the interests of small-business trucking professionals and professional truck drivers. The Association represents approximately 150,000 members nationwide in all fifty states that collectively own and operate more than 240,000 individual heavy-duty trucks. OOIDA’s mission is to promote and protect the interests of its members on any issues that might impact their economic well-being, working conditions, and the safe operation of commercial motor vehicles on our nation’s highways. OOIDA was established in 1973 and is headquartered in the greater Kansas City, Mo. area.

NATSO Announces 2024 Board of Directors

  ALEXANDRIA, VA….  NATSO, representing truck stops and travel centers, is proud to announce the installation of its new slate of officers following its 2024 spring Board of Directors meeting.

  Joe Zietlow, Industry and Trade Association Manager for Kwik Trip Inc., was appointed as the new Chairman of the Board of Directors. Zietlow succeeds Jim Hays, owner of Dodge City Petro, who will now serve as Immediate Past Chair. Matt Mildenberger, President and Chief Executive Officer of Mittens Travel Center, Oakley Kansas TA, was approved as Chair-Elect.

  “I’m proud of the journey NATSO is on to support an increasingly diverse membership within the truck stop and travel center community, and I welcome the opportunity to lead this Board of Directors,” said Zietlow. “I’m pleased to play this leadership role in 2024 as NATSO continues its great work to advance the issues that are critical to the future success of all NATSO members while delivering the resources that help travel centers to be profitable today.”

  “I look forward to working with Joe and the entire Board to build upon NATSO’s growth and service to the truck stop and travel center industry,” said NATSO President and CEO Lisa Mullings. “I also thank our Immediate Past Chair Jim Hays for his generous service to both our industry and our organization.”

  The NATSO Board of Directors also appointed: Debi Boffa, Chief Executive Officer of Travel Centers of America; Ted Augustine, President 24/7 Travel Stores; Herb Hargraves, Chief Operating Officer for Victory Marketing, which owns Sprint Mart; and Bruce Morgan, Chief Commercial Officer of QuikTrip Inc., to its Board of Directors for 2024.

Marko Zaro, Chief Executive Officer at Road Ranger, will continue to serve as Secretary/Treasurer.

  Heather DeBaillie, Vice President of Marketing for CAT Scale Company and Iowa 80 Group, also will continue to serve as the NATSO Foundation Chairman of the Board in 2024.

  The complete 2024 NATSO Board of Directors includes:

  Joe Zietlow, Chairman of the Board, Kwik Trip, Inc.

Jim Hays, Immediate Past Chair, Dodge City Petro

Matt Mildenberger, Chair Elect, Mittens Travel Center, Oakley Kansas TA

Heather DeBaillie, NATSO Foundation, Chairman of the Board, CAT Scale Co. and Iowa 80 Group

Lisa Mullings, President and CEO, NATSO, representing America’s truck stops and travel centers

Marko Zaro, Secretary/Treasurer, Road Ranger

Ted Augustine, At-Large Director, 24/7 Travel Stores

Debi Boffa, Chain Director, Travel Centers of America

Damon Borden, At-Larger Director, Broadway Truck Stops

Ted Giles, Allied Director, Wynn’s Grain & Spice

Herb Hargraves, At-Large, Sprint Mart

Victoria Hendon, At-Large Director, Danny’s Truck Wash & Service Center

Frank Love, Chain Director, Love’s Operating Companies, Inc.

Bruce Morgan, Chain Director, QuikTrip Corp.

Andy Richard, At-Large Director, Sapp Bros. Inc.

Raina Shoemaker, At-Large Director, Shoemaker’s Travel Centers

Elizabeth Waring, At-Large Director, Busy Bee

David Young, Allied Director, Valvoline

CVSA's 2024 Out-of-Service Criteria Now in Effect

  Washington, DC…  Starting today, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) 2024 North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria are now in effect. The 2024 out-of-service criteria replace and supersede all previous versions.

  Certified commercial motor vehicle enforcement personnel utilize the out-of-service criteria to determine whether or not drivers or vehicles present an imminent hazard and should be placed out of service. The federal regulations, together with CVSA’s out-of-service criteria, provide the standards that drivers, motor carriers and law enforcement personnel use to ensure the commercial motor vehicles and professional drivers operating on North America’s roadways are safe and compliant.

  Last year, the voting members of the Alliance approved 11 changes to the out-of-service criteria. In accordance with the CVSA Bylaws, the proposed changes were communicated to the voting members of the Alliance on Oct. 5, 2023, and ratified on Oct. 20, 2023. The out-of-service criteria are updated annually, effective April 1 of each year.

  The following changes were made to the out-of-service criteria:

1. A note was added to “Part I, Item 3. Commercial Driver’s License, c. Endorsements and Restrictions” to provide clarity on the status of a hazardous materials (HM) endorsement when the driver’s Transportation Security Administration screening/HM determination is expired, and the driver requires the HM endorsement.

2. Ontario Class D license was removed from the note in “Part I, Item 4. Driver Medical/Physical Requirements, b. Medical Certificate.”

3. “Part I, Item 7. Drugs and Other Substances, c. Prohibited from Performing Safety-Sensitive Functions” was amended to add the new 392.15 violation code and a note.

4. The applicability table for commercial learner’s permit drivers was amended in “Part I, Item 7. Drugs and Other Substances, c. Prohibited from Performing Safety-Sensitive Functions.”

5. Missing cam shaft bushings was added to the 20% criterion in “Part II, Item 1. Brake Systems, a. Defective Brakes, (5) Drum (Cam-Type and Wedge) Air Brakes, (a).”

6. Watermarks were added to “Part II, Item 1. Brake Systems, a. Defective Brakes, 20% Criterion” and the end of 20% criterion to better identify the 20% out-of-service criterion and the 20% criterion relative to steering axle brakes.

7. The word “shall” was changed to “may” in “Part II, Item 1. Brake Systems, q. Performance-Based Brake Test” to allow for inspector discretion in reference to the requirement of retesting the vehicle.

8. “Part II, Item 3. Coupling Devices, c. Pintle Hooks, (1) and g. Hitch Systems (Excluding Fifth Wheels and Pintle Hooks), (1)” was amended to add latches that are not in use and ball hitches that are mismatched with the receiver.

9. Language was added to the title of “Part II, Item 9. Lighting Devices (Headlamps, Tail Lamps, Stop Lamps, Turn Signals and Lamps/Flags On Projecting Loads), a. When Lights Are Required to Be On” to clarify that lights not being turned on does not constitute an out-of-service condition.

10. A note was added to “Part II, Item 9. Lighting Devices (Headlamps, Tail Lamps, Stop Lamps, Turn Signals and Lamps/Flags on Projecting Loads).”

11. By adding a new number (2) to “Part II, Item 12. Tires, b. Tires Other Than Those Found on the Front Steering Axle(s),” the rest of Item 12.b had to be renumbered.

These changes have been incorporated into North American Standard Inspection Program training materials, along with updated inspection bulletins, inspection procedures, operational policies and training videos.

  There are different formats (e.g., print, electronic, other languages, etc.) of the 2024 out-of-service criteria available for purchase through the CVSA online store. It’s also available for purchase in CVSA’s app by searching “CVSA Out-of-Service Criteria” in the App Store or Google Play. Bulk orders of the handbook and the app are available.

  CVSA hosted a webinar in January outlining the changes to the out-of-service criteria. The webinar is available to CVSA members through their CVSA member portal. Once logged in, click on the CVSA Learning tab, then click on “Roadside” to view the webinar.

Bendix Tech Tips: Guidelines For Springtime Maintenance

 AVON, OH…  Winter takes a toll on vehicles with its temperature swings, harsh road chemicals, and other ravages. While the arrival of spring across North America can be a cause for celebration, it’s also the time to consider preventive maintenance to help proactively keep trucks out of the shop and rolling safely. This installment of the Bendix Tech Tips series offers reminders of springtime practices to help put winter behind.

 Air Matters

Winter weather can be punishing on the physical components of a truck’s air brake system. This situation is especially true if the vehicle travels through temperature changes with freeze-and-thaw cycles. Coming out of winter, drivers and technicians should pay extra attention to component performance.

“Take the air system, for example,” said Jason Kolecki, Bendix director of marketing and customer solutions, Air Supply and Drivetrain. “As more trucking systems depend on a reliable supply of clean and dry compressed air – including Automated Manual Transmissions (AMTs), emissions controls, and full stability – proper maintenance of the air system after winter is key to keeping vehicles on the road and in good operating condition.”

What to look for? Air dryers mounted on the frame rail are susceptible to corrosion because of their exposure to the road – this scenario is particularly true of the seats around the purge and pressure protection valves, as well as the governor connection. Water can mix with dirt, sand, and road chemicals and form residue that can clog purge and pressure protection valves and other air dryer parts – preventing their proper operation. In addition, steel air tanks can also corrode and develop small punctures.

During inspections, keep an eye out for cracking or breakage of plastic air-line tubing that connects the dryer to the truck’s air system. Chemicals and temperature cycling can also affect push-to-connect air fittings.

According to Kolecki, air leaks may be present even if they’re unseen or unheard.

“A good indication that your system may be losing air is if charging the tanks takes significantly longer – three or four minutes, for example, as opposed to one or two,” he said. “The same is true if the system is charging more often. Increased charging cycles means more air going through the dryer, which affects the life of the dryer cartridge.”

Bendix recommends the air dryer cartridge be serviced yearly. If the air dryer cartridge wasn’t switched out in the fall, then spring is a good time to replace it. Remember to replace oil-coalescing cartridges like-for-like.

Brake Care

“When it comes to brakes, after winter, you are looking for corrosion, damage, and missing or loose components – not unlike any standard inspection,” said Mark Holley, Bendix director of marketing and customer solutions, Wheel-End.

Examine brake friction for good condition – no lining cracks, missing portions, or oil or grease contamination – and minimum thickness. If it’s time for new friction, be sure to stay up to spec: Not all friction that is marketed as “acceptable” under current Reduced Stopping Distance (RSD) regulations will actually perform to that standard. Select components that will ensure the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) requirements are met so the vehicle remains compliant. If the friction needs to be replaced, it must be replaced on both sides of the axle.

“For brake chambers, make sure the dust plugs are seated properly to prevent corrosive materials from getting inside and causing internal damage,” Holley said. “Technicians should also measure chamber stroke at each wheel-end to ensure proper brake adjustment. In addition, examine the air lines – you want to see that everything is tied up properly and that there is no chafing. Check for damage in the mounting mechanism as well.”

On vehicles with air disc brakes, examine the rotor for corrosion and to be sure the cooling fins are not plugged up, which would prevent the rotor from cooling properly. Inspect the chamber for damage or corrosion. Also look at the air hoses and clamping mechanism to ensure they’re intact.

“We advise technicians to inspect the boots for punctures or tears too, as any opening into the caliper can lead to corrosion,” Holley said. “And check the integrity of the guide pins. Replace parts where necessary, and make sure the shear adapter cover is in place and fully seated. The pads should move freely in the carrier, so you should remove them and clean the carrier surface with a wire brush, if necessary. Also check to ensure that the brake moves freely on its guidance system.”

Holley continued, “For brakes overall, the importance of lubrication can’t be overstated: It keeps moisture from building up and enabling corrosion. Coming out of winter, newly grease all your automatic slack adjusters, clevis pin connections, cam tubes, shafts, and bushings.”

 Ensure Optimized Valve Performance

The feel of the brakes is also important; sometimes, it may feel as if they’re responding more “slowly” to the driver’s push of the brake pedal. This feeling may indicate valve seals in the system that have had their lubricant degraded through corrosion – or possibly by the use of de-icing solutions if the air system froze during the winter. 

“We recommend not adding brake anti-freeze compounds to the air system but understand that sometimes it’s unavoidable for getting trucks back on the road quickly and safely,” Holley said.

If you’ve had to use a de-icing solution, then spring is a good time to check for leaks around brake valves where O-rings might have been exposed to the chemicals. Now is also a good time to replace valves that may be sticking internally because of loss of lubrication. Some fleets routinely change out air valves as part of post-winter preventive maintenance.

 Advanced Driver Assistance (ADAS) Technologies

Technologies like antilock braking systems (ABS) and electronic stability control (ESC) – which are the foundation of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) – are not immune to rough winter conditions.

“One ABS concern centers on wheel-speed sensors, which can be susceptible to chassis harness issues,” said TJ Thomas, Bendix director of marketing and customer solutions, Controls. “Wire harnesses can get damaged by chafing, gravel, or corrosion. Any wiring on the chassis can be at risk because once a damaged wiring harness gets wet, it is more likely to short out. A common source of calls to the Bendix tech support team this time of year is post-winter electrical shorts and the brake system component malfunctions that result.”

Frayed or cut chassis wires can also cause potential issues with the ADAS camera or radar. Bendix advises checking the chassis harness and connectors near the ADAS camera or radar should a problem with the system be detected or if the system doesn’t seem to be working optimally.

“An issue that may arise for stability control can be the steering angle sensor out of calibration, which can sometimes happen after a front-end alignment,” Thomas said. “It’s important to calibrate the steering angle sensor after almost any work is done on the front-end.”

Radar units face their own challenges. Since the radar is on the front of the vehicle, the connector can be exposed to all sorts of chemicals – which is especially true in winter when salt and other substances are used on roads. It’s a good practice to make sure the connector is properly covered, sealed, and secured, which will help minimize the corrosion that may occur from repeated exposure to moisture and road chemicals.

Tires help ensure that ADAS technologies work at their best. Drivers can double-check their wheel-ends for adequate tire tread depth and unusual wear like cracking. In the shop, technicians should make sure tire pressure monitoring systems are operating properly after the temperature swings of winter – running on the right inflation is critical.

This spring, hit the road with enhanced safety, uptime, and peace of mind by addressing winter’s toll on your trucks.

Information from the Bendix Tech Tips series can be found in the Bendix multimedia center at Support is also available by calling the Bendix Tech Team at 1-800-AIR-BRAKE. Complete maintenance and troubleshooting information can be found in the library of Service Data Sheets and Technical Bulletins located at and

ATA Truck Tonnage Index Increased 4.3% in February

Washington, DC… American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index increased 4.3% in February after decreasing 3.2% in January. In February, the index equaled 116.0 (2015=100) compared with 111.3 in January.

“After a very soft January, due in part to winter storms, truck tonnage snapped back in February,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “February’s level was the highest in a year, yet the index still contracted from a year earlier, suggesting truck freight remains in a recession.”

January’s decrease was revised up from our February 20 press release.

Compared with February 2023, the index fell 1.4%, which was the twelfth straight year-over-year decline. In January, the index was down 4.5% from a year earlier. 

The not-seasonally adjusted index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by the fleets before any seasonal adjustment, equaled 109.7 in February, the same as in January. ATA’s For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index is dominated by contract freight as opposed to spot market freight. 

In calculating the index, 100 represents 2015.

Trucking serves as a barometer of the U.S. economy, representing 72.6% of tonnage carried by all modes of domestic freight transportation, including manufactured and retail goods. Trucks hauled 11.46 billion tons of freight in 2022. Motor carriers collected $940.8 billion, or 80.7% of total revenue earned by all transport modes. 

ATA calculates the tonnage index based on surveys from its membership and has been doing so since the 1970s. This is a preliminary figure and subject to change in the final report issued around the 5th day of each month. The report includes month-to-month and year-over-year results, relevant economic comparisons, and key financial indicators. 

ATA Applauds Congressional Passage of END FENTANYL Act

 Washington, DC… The American Trucking Associations hailed the unanimous passage of the END FENTANYL Act, which would strengthen Customs and Border Protection’s efforts to stem the tidal wave of illicit, deadly fentanyl pouring over the southern border and support CBP officers who are on the front lines.

 ATA championed the Eradicating Narcotic Drugs and Formulating Effective New Tools to Address National Yearly Losses of Life—END FENTANYL—Act, which was sponsored by Senators Rick Scott (R-Florida), Mike Braun (R-Indiana), Maggie Hassan (D-New Hampshire), Jacky Rosen (D-Nevada), and Mark Kelly (D-Arizona) and Representatives Michael Guest (R-Mississippi) and David Trone (D-Maryland).  The bill now heads to the president’s desk to be signed into law.

 “The trucking industry reaches every corner of the country, and we have seen firsthand the staggering toll the fentanyl crisis has had on individuals and families nationwide. To combat this devastating scourge, our industry has worked to raise public awareness, supported addiction and recovery programs, and partnered with law enforcement,” said ATA Chief Advocacy and Public Affairs Officer Ed Gilroy.  “The END FENTANYL Act would complement these efforts by ensuring CBP officers have the proper guidance to perform inspections and effectively intercept fentanyl before it reaches our communities.  ATA commends Senator Scott and Congressman Guest’s leadership and appreciates Congress' swift passage of this legislation, which will help to remove this deadly drug from our country and save countless lives.”

 Specifically, the END FENTANYL Act:

* Requires the Commissioner of CBP to review and update the Office of Field Operations’ policies and handbooks, as necessary and at least once every three years in order to respond to illegal activity, such as the trafficking of drugs and humans, along the border.

 * Requires the Commissioner of CBP to submit a report to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate and the Committee on Homeland Security of the House of Representatives that summarizes the policy and manual changes every three years.

2024-2025 TCA Scholarship Fund Online Application Now Open through May 24

  The Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) is pleased to announce that its TCA Scholarship fund application period is officially open, and the program has been expanded to accept applicants from full-time students attending accredited two-year programs at Junior Colleges. In past years, the program has only awarded four-year accredited college students and TCA is excited about this change that will allow both types of college students to participate. TCA is confident that this new format and expansion will open more doors for students looking to pursue a supply chain and logistics career. Scholarship monies to be awarded are for the Fall 2024 and Spring 2025 semesters.

  For nearly 50 years, the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) Scholarship Fund has been helping students with connections to the truckload industry. The Fund awards up to $6,250 per year, per full-time four-year college student and then up to $2,000 per full-time two-year college student. In the 2022-2023 school year, the TCA Scholarship Fund’s Board of Trustees awarded 48 students scholarships totaling more than $140,000 and it is projected that $159,000 will be given for the next academic year.

  Much of the program’s support comes from within the truckload TCA family—companies and individuals who are committed to our truckload community’s future. Any student in good standing (minimum grade point average of 3.0) who will be attending an accredited, four-year or two-year college or university as a freshman, sophomore, junior, or senior, and who is either the child, grandchild, or spouse of an employee or is an employee of a TCA member company or is the child, grandchild, or spouse of an independent contractor or an independent contractor affiliated with a TCA member company is encouraged to apply.

  Joey Hogan, Board Member at Covenant Logistics and Chairman of the TCA Scholarship Committee, is pleased with this new format. “The longevity of this program combined with the donor’s support and focus on paying forward to hundreds of participants emphasizes an additional benefit of TCA membership. To the donors we are extremely grateful and the addition of the Junior Colleges to the program recognizes the trades that are also vitally important to our industry.”

Zander Gambill, TCA’s Vice President of Membership & Outreach, also had this to say about the scholarship program. “TCA is super excited to broaden the scholarship program to now include full time two-year college students. This expansion is a no brainer and will support more students looking to start a transportation-based career.”

  This program is only available for students affiliated with a TCA member company and that includes for-hire carrier members as well as associate members. 

  More information and the application are located at this link: Please reach out to OFIC directly at [email protected] with any inquiries on the application process.

$60 Million for Emergency Work in Wake of the Collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore

WASHINGTON, DC…  Within hours of receiving the request, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) today announced the immediate availability of $60 million in “quick release” Emergency Relief (ER) funds for the Maryland Department of Transportation to rebuild the Francis Scott Key Bridge after a cargo container ship struck the bridge on March 26. These funds serve as a down payment toward initial costs, and additional Emergency Relief program funding will be made available as work continues.

 FHWA’s Emergency Relief program provides funding to States, Territories, Tribes, and Federal Land Management Agencies for highways and bridges damaged by natural disasters or catastrophic events. These “quick release” Emergency Relief funds are an initial installment to help restore essential transportation. Additional funds needed for the rebuilding of the bridge will be supported by the Emergency Relief program through nationwide funding allocations. FHWA is also providing technical assistance, conducting site assessments, and administering emergency contracts for the new bridge.

 The structure is located in the Baltimore Harbor and Port of Baltimore. Following the incident, the channel has been closed, and all shipping traffic to Seagirt Marine Terminal at the Port of Baltimore has been stopped and diverted elsewhere.  The Port of Baltimore is essential to the regional economy and national supply chains, and the I-695 corridor, of which the bridge was a part, provides a vital connection for people and goods traveling along the East Coast. FHWA is actively coordinating with federal, state, and local officials in the region, including the Maryland Department of Transportation, the Maryland Transportation Authority, the City of Baltimore, U.S. Coast Guard, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), and others to mitigate supply chain impacts, manage traffic, reopen the port, and ultimately rebuild the bridge. The NTSB, an independent agency, is the leading the investigation into the vessel allision and subsequent bridge collapse.

 The Governor of Maryland has declared a State of Emergency and FHWA has approved MDOT’s application, making the event eligible for Emergency Relief funding. The funds will be used for eligible costs associated with debris removal, demolition, detours, emergency repairs, and design and reconstruction on I-695 and the Francis Scott Key Bridge. The Maryland Department of Transportation is continuing to conduct necessary emergency operations, such as implementing detours, to maintain traffic as the disaster area is not passable, and to repair applicable sections sufficiently to protect facilities from further damage and clearing the navigable waters to safely reopen operations at the Port of Baltimore.

 The FHWA Emergency Relief program complements the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law by encouraging agencies to identify and implement measures to incorporate resilience in the design, restoration and repair of damaged infrastructure, in order to better withstand future damage from climate change and future weather events.

 More information about FHWA’s Emergency Relief program can be found online at