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Latest Industry News Briefs Courtesy of PMTA

January, 2019

Wolf Administration Seeks Private-Sector Input for Commercial Truck Parking Public-Private Partnership

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Harrisburg, PA… As part of continued efforts to analyze and prepare for current and projected freight-industry growth in the state, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation's Public-Private Partnership (P3) Office has issued a Request for Information (RFI) seeking private-sector feedback on development, design, construction, implementation, maintenance, operation and commercialization of truck parking facilities and facilities impacting how information is conveyed to those impacted by such parking.

The RFI, which is open to any member of the public, is accessible at www.P3.pa.gov and input is being accepted through 1:00 PM on December 12. The information gathered through the RFI could help develop a potential future statewide or regional P3 project addressing innovative and efficient solutions related to commercial truck parking.

"Pennsylvania's status as a critical freight connection and distribution point is growing every day and we expect exponential freight growth in the future," PennDOT Secretary and P3 Board Chair Leslie S. Richards said. "Truck volumes need to be considered from a traffic perspective, and this process to hear from the public and explore innovative delivery options works toward our goal to ensure safe operations and options for the people moving all of these goods on our roadways."

Examples of questions and themes included in the RFI are:

•What is the private sector's role in solving the truck parking problem, including issues related to public awareness?

•How can the commonwealth best encourage partnerships within the freight industry to supply truck parking solutions?

•What are truck parking technology solutions doing well or how are they underperforming?

•What are the primary elements needed in a successful truck parking area and how can truck drivers be attracted to privately owned/operated parking facilities?

The RFI also aims to collect input on how the commonwealth can assist local governments with considering truck parking in their plans and zoning regulations, any strategies or technologies being used elsewhere that could be successful in Pennsylvania, and how the private sector can be encouraged to participate in any potential truck parking P3 project.

In 2011, trucks moved more than 867 million tons of goods on Pennsylvania highways. According to Pennsylvania's Comprehensive Freight Movement Plan (PDF), by 2040, that number is projected to increase to nearly 1.5 billion tons of freight being hauled by trucks.

The RFI is the latest in a series of steps PennDOT has taken to plan for and invest in freight:

In late 2016, implemented PennDOT Connects, a project-planning initiative that prompts earlier consideration of freight issues in project planning;

•Released the new Comprehensive Freight Movement Plan in 2016;

•Organized a Freight Work Group including department staff, the Federal Highway Administration and regional planning partners that meets quarterly to advance freight planning in the state;

•With Governor Tom Wolf, increased investments in roadway paving and reconstruction through the Road Maintenance and Preservation, and Resurface PA initiatives; and

•Putting roughly $2.5 billion annually into construction statewide in addition to work by department forces. The P3 Office was established after the Public-Private Transportation Partnerships Act was signed into law in September 2012 and authorized P3 projects in Pennsylvania. This law allows PennDOT and other transportation authorities and commissions to partner with private companies to participate in delivering, maintaining and financing transportation-related projects.


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Truck Driver Shortage Fuels Rising Grocery Store Prices

St. Petersburg, FL…Major food giants Mondelez, Hershey Co., Nestle SA, Unilever, and Coca-Cola have recently announced they will need to raise prices in 2019 to offset higher freight and ingredient costs.1 “They don’t really have any choice,” says John Kearney, CEO, Advanced Training Systems LLC. “The cost of shipping just keeps going up.” Kearney, whose company is a leading designer and manufacturer of virtual simulators for driver training, among other applications, adds, “A major factor in this is the driver shortage. There just aren’t enough people in the long-haul trucking workforce to get all these loads delivered.”

The scope of the problem has been apparent for more than a year. In early January, moving a truckload of refrigerated food from Washington State to New York was priced at about $8,450. Two weeks later, the same truck driving the same route was priced at close to $10,000, an 18% increase. And according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, during the same period the cost of shipping food eastward from California had increased nearly 25% over the previous year.2

To some extent, notes Kearney, the U.S. transportation infrastructure is wrestling with a self-created problem. As U.S. economic growth has revved up in recent years, railroads and truck fleets have not expanded capacity to keep pace—a decision applauded by Wall Street. Between early 2017 and 2018, shares of CSX Corp., Norfolk Southern, and Union Pacific rose an average of 22% as they cut headcount, locomotives, and rail cars and lengthened trains to lower expenses and raise margins.3

Meanwhile, food manufacturers including Dean Foods, Tyson Foods, Hormel Foods, Kellogg, and US Foods cited rising transportation costs this year as a drain on earnings. At the beginning of 2018, according to online truck freight marketplace and industry analyst DAT Solutions, only one truck was available for every 12 loads that needed to be moved. By August, spot truck rates had increased 20% from a year previous to an average of $2.14 per mile, the highest average on record for the month. And in the second quarter, there was a record 296,311 driver vacancies.4

In its annual survey, the American Transportation Research Institute found that the number-one concern for motor carriers and the trucking industry in general is the lack of qualified drivers to carry the nation’s freight. According to the ATRI study, the industry needs to focus its efforts on two areas, retaining experienced drivers and—most important of all—attracting a steady stream of younger ones.5

A key element in attracting younger candidates, notes Kearney, is the growing use of simulator training as an adjunct to traditional behind-the-wheel (BTW) instruction. Just as in military and airline pilot training, the use of a simulator can teach the proper response to events too rare or too dangerous to be part of BTW instruction—in the case of a truck driver, a blowout of the steering tire or an unexpected patch of black ice.

“Trucking,” says Kearney, “is a well-paid occupation in urgent need of a new generation of well-trained and motivated drivers. Our mission at ATS is to bring together an opportunity and a rising workforce and, through technology and in partnership with our fleet and driving-school clients, help ensure a safe and prosperous future for American commerce and the drivers that serve it.”

Advanced Training Systems (ATS) is a high-tech simulator technology and engineering firm that has revolutionized the design and manufacture of advanced training systems to improve training and create safer drivers. ATS, the holder of multiple patents in high-tech training simulation, has as its mission to provide this cutting edge adaptive training to all involved in the transportation industry at an affordable cost, resulting in safer drivers/operators. For more information, visit www.atstrainingsystems.com

Scipioni, Jade, “Food prices are going up next year,” Fox Business, October 31, 2018.

1. Hawkes, Logan, “Escalating transport rates could trouble farmers, increase consumer food prices,” southwest FarmPress, January 18, 2018.

2. Johnson, Eric M., and Prentice, Chris, “Corporate America’s new dilemma: raising prices to cover higher transport costs,” Reuters, February 26, 2018.

3. Sterk, Ron, “Freight costs cause hiccups for food companies,” Meat & Poultry, October 12, 2018.

4. Adler, Alan, “Growing Shortage of Drivers Remains Top Trucking Industry Concern,” Trucks, October 29, 2018.

Rules To Change For Commercial Drivers With Diabetes

SALEM, OR… An upcoming change in federal rules will make it more convenient for commercial driver license holders who use insulin to control diabetes to meet medical requirements.

CDL holders who pass their medical examination after Nov. 19, 2018, will no longer need a federal exemption or state waiver. Instead, they will use a glucometer device that measures their blood sugar level daily and stores the results for the medical provider who manages their diabetes.

Each driver’s current waiver or exemption will remain valid until its expiration date, but after Nov. 19 CDL holders can switch anytime to the new process by getting a new medical examiner’s certificate. A copy of the new medical certificate still must be filed with DMV anytime one is issued.

Once a CDL holder with a waiver or exemption gets a new medical certificate under the new rules, it is important for the driver to inform DMV when filing their new certificate.

Drivers need to send their new certificate to DMV in one of two ways:

* Email a photo of the new certificate with “Waiver Clerk” in the subject line, name and license number to [email protected].

* Mail a copy to: DMV – DSU Waiver Clerk, 1905 Lana Ave. NE, Salem OR 97314.

To switch to the new method, a medical provider must fill out an assessment form from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Form 5870 will be available at the FMCSA medical site here: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/medical

The driver’s medical provider who manages their diabetes will need 90 days of test results to complete the assessment. CDL holders are encouraged to start working with their medical provider before their current waiver expires because of the 90-day period.

A 90-day medical examination certificate may be issued if the driver is unable to start the new method in time to provide 90 days of test results and otherwise meets CDL medical requirements. A CDL holder who uses insulin for diabetes can then accumulate the needed test results to qualify for the one-year certificate.

Drivers who wish to change their driving type to non-excepted interstate after they get a new medical examination certificate can do so by visiting their local DMV office.

If you have questions about the federal medical requirements, contact a Certified Medical Examiner listed on the FMCSA National Registry or FMCSA Medical Programs:

* Website: www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/medical

* Email: [email protected]

* FMCSA Medical Programs: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/medical

* Commercial Drivers who have questions about the status of a current diabetes state waiver: 

* Visit OregonDMV.com, call a local DMV office, or call 503-945-5000.

* News media: David House, 503-945-5270 or [email protected]

 

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Qualified Ex-Military Truckers Offered Streamlined Path to Civilian Employment

St. Petersburg, FL… According to the U.S. Department of Commerce Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), a military skills test waiver for veterans with appropriate service experience is now being offered in all 50 states. The waiver, a provision of FMSCA’s Learner’s Permit rules, allows veterans to substitute two years of safely operating military trucks or buses for the skills test portion of the commercial drivers license test.1 John Kearney, CEO and President of Advanced Training Systems, says, “We totally understand the need to provide employment opportunities for returning veterans, as well as to help alleviate the nation’s current—and severe—shortage of long-haul truck drivers.”

Kearney, whose company is a leading designer and manufacturer of virtual simulators and training for student and experienced driver training, among other applications, adds, “At the same time, as experts in the driver training field, we understand peoples’ concerns about safety. What we need is a solution that addresses both issues.”

There is no question, Kearney notes, about the seriousness of the national driver shortage. There are some 50,000 fewer truckers than are needed right now, and the U.S. trucking industry will need to hire almost 900,000 new operators over the next decade simply to maintain the current workforce.2 As a partial response to this situation, legislation was introduced earlier this year to reduce the legal age for interstate cargo transport from 21 to 18—an age range that would include many of the veterans covered by the FMSCA’s test-waiver proposal.3

The legislation has generated a certain amount of opposition. Myron Shevell, Chairman of the Shevell Group, which operates New England Motor Freight and Eastern Freightways, characterized it as “a horrible idea. With the situation with auto accidents, you are just adding to the problem. Anything can happen.” Todd Spencer, president of the Owner-Operator Independent Driver Association, called the legislation “absurd.”4

Others in the industry, however, are more receptive to the idea. In a poll of ten supply chain and transportation executives, a leading industry trade publication received seven unqualified yes votes for lowering the minimum driver age, two responses supporting both sides of the question, and one apparent no.5

As to the driving test waiver for returning veterans, Kearney notes that the application requirements are designed to screen out unsuitable candidates: a minimum of two years of military driving experience and a clean and stable civilian driving record: no suspended, revoked, or cancelled licenses, no citations for the use of alcohol or drugs, and no serious traffic violations.7

“There’s no question that our nation’s roadways are crowded and potentially dangerous,” says Kearney. “The best approach to licensing qualified veterans would be to allow them to partly bypass costly conventional training programs but require a short simulator course to assure they are fully prepared and U.S. highway-ready. Just as in military and airline pilot training, the use of a simulator can teach the proper response to events too rare or too dangerous to be part of behind-the-wheel instruction—in the case of a truck driver, a blowout of the steering tire, a patch of black ice, sudden high wind, or a similar serious and unexpected problem.”

Advanced Training Systems (ATS) is a high-tech simulator technology and engineering firm that has revolutionized the design and manufacture of advanced training systems to improve training and create safer drivers. ATS, the holder of multiple patents in high-tech training simulation, has as its mission to provide this cutting-edge adaptive training to all involved in the transportation industry at an affordable cost, resulting in safer drivers/operators. For more information, visit www.atstrainingsystems.com

“Military Skills Test Waiver Program,” Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, November 29, 2017.

1. Raphelson, Samantha, “Trucking Industry Struggles With Growing Driver Shortage,” NPR, January 9, 2018.

2. “Drive Safe Act Aims to Let CMV Drivers Cross State Lines Before Age 21,” Go By Truck Global News, March 23, 2018.

3. Berman, Jeff, “Veteran trucking exec Shevell rips ‘absurd’ plan to allow teenage truck drivers,” Logistics Management, October 3, 2018.

4. Arabe, Katrina, “Good Question: To address the truck driver shortage, should we lower the minimum driver age to 18?”, Inbound Logistics, September 24, 2018.

5. “CDL Skills Test Waiver Requirements,” DMV.org, October 30, 2018.


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President Signs into Law Opioids Bill that Contains Hair Testing Reporting Requirements

Arlington, VA… President Trump signed into law comprehensive legislation aimed at combating the nation’s opioid crisis. The bill, which cleared the Congress with near-unanimous approval, contains critical provisions on hair testing which ATA has long advocated for, and worked closely with Senate Commerce Committee staff to secure in the legislation. 

“Our fleets need to depend on the most accurate, reliable and failsafe drug testing methods available today, and this legislation pushes the federal government to recognize those means of testing,” said Bill Sullivan, ATA’s executive vice president of advocacy. “We thank our champions in Congress—Senators Thune and Fischer and Representatives Crawford and Fleischmann—who have played a pivotal role in advancing this important safety issue.”

The law directs the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to report to Congress on its progress issuing guidelines for hair testing. In addition, the Secretary of Health and Human Services is required within 60 days to report to the Senate Commerce and House Transportation and Infrastructure Committees on the status for hair testing guidelines, the reasons for delay in issuing guidelines, and a schedule – including benchmarks and an estimated date of delivery – for completion of the guidelines. 

The bill also contains reporting requirements on the development of the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse and a deadline for completing work on oral fluids testing. 

Federal law requires trucking companies to drug test new drivers and randomly test existing drivers. Currently, SAMHSA only recognizes the test method of urinalysis, despite the inherent advantages of hair testing, which provides employers with a longer detection window, easier collection and results that are harder to adulterate. The FAST Act required HHS to issue scientific and technical guidelines for hair testing by December 2016 – a deadline which was missed.


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Paws of War Launches Nations First Mobile Veterinary Clinic Exclusively for Veterans and First Responders

New York, NY… Paws of War’s latest mission is to help veterans and first responders get the veterinary care they need for their pets that they may be having difficulty obtaining. On November 8, 2018, they will roll out the “Vets for Vets” program, which is a custom-designed RV that has been outfitted to be a mobile veterinary clinic. The mobile clinic, staffed by a veterinarian, will be on the move providing care to many veteran pets.

“This is the first of its kind,” explains Robert Misseri, co-founder of Paws of War. “It’s exclusively for the pets of our disabled veterans and first responders. They need the assistance, we heard their call, and are doing all we can to answer it.”

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are 4 million veterans who have a service-connected disability. A service-connected disability is one that was a result of a disease or injury incurred or aggravated during active military service. Additionally, there are many disabled first responders also in need of assistance. Through the “Vets for Vets” mobile veterinary clinic, both disabled veterans and first responders will have the ability to obtain care for their pets. Some of the people may have difficulty getting out of their homes, while others may find veterinary care to be a financial burden. 

Paws of War obtained the used 2006 26-foot RV and found that it was in some serious need of repair and renovation in order to meet their mission. That’s when the original manufacturer, LaBoit Specialty Vehicles, stepped in and offered to completely refurbish the RV, all free of charge. Now the mobile veterinary clinic has been completely customized for the Paws of War team and its mission. 

“When we first heard about Paws of War, we did a thorough research of the organization and were very impressed with what they do, stated Gil Blais, president of La Boit Specialty Vehicles. “Being a veteran myself, I knew I wanted to help any way I could and renovating their vehicle was right up our alley. The entire La Boit staff felt the urge to help and did so by volunteering their time. We also had vendors donate equipment so it truly was a group effort. We wish Paws of War all the best for such an innovative program!”

Some of the veterinary services that will be provided by the Vets for Vets mobile clinic include: Annual vaccinations, Dental care, Allergy care, Grooming/nail trimming, Microchipping, Wellness checks, Medication that they may not otherwise be able to afford, Minor surgeries, Bloodwork/testing

“We are really excited about this new program and grateful to La Boit for their generosity in restoring the vehicle,” explained Misseri. “We look forward to hitting the road and helping out our nation’s heroes.”

Paws of War is currently seeking sponsors for the “Vets for Vets” mobile clinic. Those interested in sponsoring the clinic should contact the organization for more details and information. Paws of War is an all-volunteer organization that provides assistance to military members and their pets and provides service and service dogs to veterans suffering from PTSD.

To learn more about Paws of War or make a donation to support their efforts, visit their site at: http://pawsofwar.org


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OOIDA Awarded $943,725 Grant to Reduce Diesel Emissions in Four-State Region

Lenexa, KS… The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded a $943,725 grant to the Owner, Operator and Independent Driver's Association (OOIDA) of Grain Valley, Mo., to protect public health by reducing diesel emissions from trucks in Missouri, Kansas, Iowa and Nebraska.

This Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) project will aid OOIDA in its efforts to reduce diesel emissions and exposure in the four-state region. The project will install 420 auxiliary power units in the Association members' trucks.

The grant seeks to reduce extensive amounts of nitrogen oxides, particulate matter (soot), and carbon dioxide in the region.

EPA provides grants under the DERA to protect human health and improve air quality by reducing emissions from diesel engines. EPA anticipates awarding approximately $40 million in competitive grant funding for the Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program. The program solicited proposals nationwide for projects that achieve significant reductions in diesel emissions in terms of tons of pollution produced and reductions in exposure.

For more information about the Clean Diesel and DERA Funding: https://www.epa.gov/cleandiesel

Learn more about EPA Region 7: https://www.epa.gov/aboutepa/epa-region-7-midwest

Connect with EPA Region 7 on Facebook: www.facebook.com/eparegion7

Follow us on Twitter: @EPARegion7


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National Survey Finds Nearly 4-In-10 Logistics And Transportation Companies Asked To Pay For Shipping Damage When Not At Fault

HENDERSON, NV… A national survey of logistics and transportation companies finds that nearly 4-in-10 have been asked to pay for container/trailer damage when not at fault and nearly one-third paid more than $500 per incident.

“Shipping damage fees can have a significant impact on a company and raise levels of frustration when you can’t prove that you were not responsible for the damage along the delivery chain,” said Tom Burke, CEO of TCompanies, parent company of PEIRmobile. “Each year within the U.S., there are approximately 37.5 million containers and trailers transporting goods through numerous interchange points on each trip. We estimate that 25% of those containers and trailers – or 9.4 million -- are damaged. At a conservative estimate of just $200 in damages per incident, the annual cost would exceed $1.8 billion in the US alone.”

The survey was conducted during the month of October 2018 and asked:

1. On average, how many times per month are you moving a container/trailer to an interchange point?

None - 22.3% 

1-10 - 18.2% 

11-25 - 9.5% 

26-50 - 9.5% 

51+ - 40.5%

2. In the past year, have you been asked to pay for container/trailer damage that you were not responsible for? 

Yes - 38.8% 

No - 61.2% 

3. On average, how many times per month have you been asked to pay for container/trailer damage that you were not responsible for: 

less than once a month - 76.6% 

2-5 times a month - 15.2% 

6-10 times a month - 4.8% 

more than ten times a month - 3.4% 

4. On average for each occurrence, how much did you have to pay for damages (even when not at fault)? 

$0-100 - 47.9% 

$100-250 - 9.0% 

$250-500 - 11.8% 

$500-750 - 4.9% 

$750-1000 - 10.4% 

$1000-1500 - 6.2% 

$1500-2000 - 2.1% 

Greater than $2000 - 7.6% 

5. Did you have to pay because: 

You don’t have any documentation to prove you didn’t do it - 61.0%

Can’t find the documentation - 2.9% 

The document is incomplete - 18.4% 

The document is hard to interpret/understand - 17.6% 

The PEIR (Photographic Equipment Interchange Receipt) app documents the condition of containers and trailers at each interchange point. Being able to prove what state a container or trailer was in at a given time and place makes it easy to show who caused damage, and protect companies from paying for damage they didn’t cause.

“The idea for PEIR came to me shortly after selling the intermodal trucking company that we owned for ten years,” said Burke. “For that entire time, I felt the monetary pain associated with being forced to pay for the repair of equipment that we received in interchange and did not damage, but we couldn’t prove it. At one point, it took 2 ? full time employees to research and handle all these damage claims, which was another cost that ate away at our bottom line.”

For more information, go to www.peirmobile.com.


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Guidebook Explains New Commercial Vehicle Training Regulations - PTDI helps organizations understand and address new Federal requirements

The Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI) has released a new publication that addresses entry level driver training (ELDT) requirements for commercial motor vehicles (CMVs). PTDI’s E-Z Guide to the Entry-Level Driver Regulation is intended for any and all organizations who offer this type of training and must now comply with the new Federal rule. 

The Guide provides details for all CMV driver training, including CDL Class A, Class B, Passenger, School Bus and Hazardous Materials endorsements. For those assessing where to start with the new ELDT regulation, this publication is a comprehensive primer that guides your focus. The Guide is a must for trainers, safety directors, administration and instructors.

As part of the new regulation, all Driver Trainees must complete a prescribed program of instruction provided by an entity that is listed on FMCSA’s Training Provider Registry (TPR). The E-Z Guide to the Entry-Level Driver Regulation is a go-to-resource for schools to earn and maintain their registration.

Authored by Chris Antonik, M. Ed., CDL-A, current PTDI Certification Commission Chair, the Guide brings years of hands-on expertise from the commercial transportation industry. Antonik retired as the Director of Delaware Technical Community College’s Truck Driver Training and is currently a driver with Eagle Transport.

The Guide, a first of its kind, continues PTDI’s efforts as the gold standard for truck driver training quality, safety and professionalism. PTDI’s well-known certification program exceeds many of the ELDT requirements and supports the development of training program excellence. For more information about the Guidebook and to purchase a copy visit: http://www.ptdi.org/Materials.


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Fuels Industry Expert to Provide Forward-Looking Analysis of Diesel Markets at NATSO Connect

ALEXANDRIA, VA… NATSO announced that John Eichberger, executive director at The Fuels Institute and noted Fuels Futurist, will provide a forward-looking analysis of diesel markets, as well as a deep-dive into issues surrounding diesel fuel quality and underground storage tank corrosion on Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2019, during NATSO Connect 2019. Eichberger also will share his research and analysis regarding the future of U.S. automobile markets, including a grounded, realistic look at the future of electric vehicles. The keynote is sponsored by Chevron Lubricants.

The session will include the first public presentation of The Fuels Institute's Fuel Quality Council research into diesel fuel standards and specifications. The Council includes 50 stakeholders – including NATSO and several NATSO members – that identified best practices for maintaining fuel quality throughout the supply chain and quantified the impact of diesel fuel quality on vehicle operations. 

“It is the only collaborative industry effort trying to help identify the best path forward for improving the performance of diesel engines with diesel fuel,” Eichberger said. 

During the session, Eichberger will provide greater context into the conversation surrounding electric vehicles. Eichberger also will discuss the The Fuels Institute's three reports titled "Tomorrow's Vehicles,” which provide an overview of vehicle sales and fuel consumption in the United States and Canada as well as a projection of heavy and medium-duty fleet sales through 2025. The Institute reported that while alternative fuel drivetrains will gain market share, traditional petroleum-powered internal combustion engines will continue to dominate.

“The headlines don’t tell the story,” Eichberger said. “You have to peel the onion. You have to go deeper,” he said, adding that it is easy for those within the fuel industry to get concerned when they see the headlines touting all-electric vehicles. “These things are all manipulated to get you to click, but it is a lot more nuanced than they want you to think.” 

Eichberger also plans to address the fuel corrosion that some in the industry experienced when sulfur levels were reduced in diesel fuel. 

David Fialkov, NATSO's vice president of government affairs, said the session will help operators with their short- and long-term planning. “We are thrilled to have John Eichberger share his insights into the fuel industry,” he said. “He has more than 20 years of experience, and the Fuels Institute’s research and industry collaboration provide concrete facts that help NATSO members prepare for the future.” Several industry experts will share their knowledge during NATSO Connect 2019, Feb. 10-13, in Orlando, Florida. Hundreds of innovative, senior-level truckstop operators and industry partners will come together to gain new insights and uncover best practices. Learn more at www.natsoconnect.com.


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CTA: Christmas Comes Early as Canadian Truckers Receives Accelerated CCA Rates for Equipment

Toronto, CANADA… Fall Economic Fall Statement delivered an early Christmas present for the Canadian trucking industry in the form of significant accelerated cost allowances for tractor/truck capital; an emphasis on further harmonizing trucking regulations; enhancements to major western trade corridors to the United States as well as intermodal connectivity improvements.

Accelerated Investment Incentive

Under the newly created Accelerated Investment Initiative (AII), capital investments will generally be eligible for a first-year deduction for depreciation equal to up to three times the amount that would otherwise apply in the year an asset is put in use. The typical asset deduction for the first year for trucks is 20 per cent, which will now increase to 60 per cent under this proposed measure.

“Tripling the current first-year rate will provide trucking companies in Canada a true incentive to make capital investments in newer equipment, which will in turn make the supply chain more productive and reduce its carbon footprint,” said Stephen Laskowski, president of the Canadian Trucking Alliance. “Minister Morneau should be applauded for showing this leadership and recognizing the economic importance of our sector by creating greater re-investing opportunities for small and large operators alike.”

The Fall Economic Statement outlined the impact to the trucking industry: When a fleet purchases five trucks for a total of $1 million, under the current deduction system only $200,000 could be written off in the first year compared to $600,000 under the AII system. As outlined in the Fall Statement, this change represents about $105,000 in federal-provincial tax savings for a fleet making such a purchase.

It is important to note that the AII will apply to qualifying assets acquired after November 20, 2018. Further clarification was provided to CTA by Finance officials. For the carrier to qualify for the AII deduction, the tractor would have to be legally theirs on or after November 20, 2018. The AII will be gradually phased out starting in 2024, and no longer in effect for investments put in use after 2027.

Removing Barriers to Trade Within Canada

Recognizing the opportunity that internal trade represents, the Fall Economic Statement reaffirms the federal government’s commitment to strengthening freer trade within Canada and proposes the federal government work with provincial and territorial partners to accelerate action to remove regulatory and other barriers in four areas, including within the trucking industry.

The Fall Economic Statement says:

There is a patchwork of regulations and allowances that has resulted in several barriers for the trucking industry, including wide-base single tires, spring weights and other restrictions… addressing these inconsistencies across Canada would improve transportation systems.

The Fall Statement went on to say that trucking regulations will be a key part of the Regulatory Reconciliation and Cooperation Table as well as focusing attention on the CCMTA process. 

“CTA welcomes the attention and focus on our sector to improve efficiency of truck movements and public safety,” said Laskowski.

Moving Goods To Market Efficiently in Saskatchewan and British Columbia

Two transport infrastructure announcements were contained in the Fall Economic Statement:

•$167 million for port and rail infrastructure in Vancouver to increase efficiency and capacity for trade;

•$53.3 million to upgrade Highways 6 and 39 between Regina and Estevan, near the United States border.

CTA welcomes investment into our major trucking-trade touch points. The Saskatchewan project, specifically, was identified by the Saskatchewan Trucking Association in CTA’s 2018 Infrastructure Prioritydocument released earlier this year and shared with the federal government.


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ATA Truck Tonnage Index Jumped 6.3% in October Tonnage Index 9.5% Higher than October 2017

Arlington, Va…. American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index jumped 6.3% in October to 119.9 from September’s mark of 112.8.

“After slowing at the end of the third quarter, truck freight surged in October,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “Last month’s strength was due, at least in part, to strong import numbers, especially on the West Coast. This is likely a pull ahead of imports as shippers try to take delivery of goods before January 1 when tariffs on a large list of goods China increases from 10% to 25%.”

September’s change over the previous month was revised up to +0.1% (-0.8% was originally reported in our press release on October 23).

Compared with October 2017, the SA index increased 9.5%, up from September’s 3.8% year-over-year increase. Year-to-date, compared with the same period last year, tonnage increased 7.3%. 

The not seasonally adjusted index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by the fleets before any seasonal adjustment, equaled 124.4 in October, which was 11.8% above the previous month (111.2). In calculating the index, 100 represents 2015.

Trucking serves as a barometer of the U.S. economy, representing 70.2% of tonnage carried by all modes of domestic freight transportation, including manufactured and retail goods. Trucks hauled 10.77 billion tons of freight in 2017. Motor carriers collected $700.1 billion, or 79.3% 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 10th day of the month. The report includes month-to-month and year-over-year results, relevant economic comparisons and key financial indicators.


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ATA Applauds EPA for First Step in NOx Rulemaking Effort

Arlington, VA… The American Trucking Associations commended the Environmental Protection Agency for taking the first step in reviewing and implementing new standards for NOx emissions from heavy trucks.

“As an industry engaged in interstate commerce, ATA strongly favors a single national emission pathway as opposed to a patchwork of state standards,” said ATA Executive Vice President of Advocacy Bill Sullivan. “Clean air and a healthy environment are important to all of us, and the trucking industry has repeatedly demonstrated that it can work proactively and in partnership with the federal government in achieving these aims. We look forward to working with the EPA in developing a standard that achieves nationwide air quality improvements across the country while maintaining a strong and robust economy.” 

ATA and EPA have a long history of successful, collaborative efforts to improve air quality, including the EPA SmartWay Transport Partnership, and the association said it looked forward to continuing that relationship.

“Clean air is an issue that affects all of us,” said ATA Vice President, Energy & Environmental Affairs Counsel Glen Kedzie. “ATA has worked with EPA in the past to make sure emissions standards – like the current NOx rule and Phase II of the greenhouse gas emissions rules for heavy-duty vehicles – are not just achievable, but that they are indeed achieved. ATA and its members are constantly purchasing newer, cleaner, more efficient vehicles, and as a result we have achieved historic reductions in emissions of all kinds. That is a track record we are not only proud of but that we look forward to continuing into the future.” 

As part of this effort, ATA is convening a task force to weigh solutions and principles to address the issue of NOx emissions

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