If you missed the 2020 NITL Summit, you missed critical briefings on dozens of regulatory, legislative, and commercial issues your company needs to navigate in 2020 and beyond. As chair of NITL’s Highway Transportation Committee, Tucker Company Worldwide CEO, Jeff Tucker, collaborates with committee members to make sure your best interests are being kept top-of-mind in Washington, DC.
Below are a few of the topics we’re focusing our efforts on right now:
1. Truck size and weight issues
Do you weigh out before you cube out? Studies show* that 6-axle trucks stop well within federally mandated stopping distances. In fact, the same federal study indicates that 90,000 pound six-axle trucks actually stop faster than standard 80,000-pound 5-axle trucks – offsetting safety concerns that have been raised. Through industry involvement, we are at the forefront of lobbying Congress to take this data into consideration, and allow increased weight limits with the addition of a sixth axle.
2. Clean Air Action Plan
In late 2019, the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach introduced their “Clean Air Action Plan,” which will have potential implications for shippers. In an effort to reach their goal of 100% zero-emissions trucks by 2035, the ports have proposed a fee of $10 per twenty-foot equivalent unit and $20 per forty-foot equivalent unit to pass through the terminal gate. The NITL Highway Transportation Committee was briefed on the full proposal, and will soon have the chance to comment.
3. Highway Trust Fund
The Highway Trust Fund is funded by the federal fuel task paid at the pump. As you can imagine, the fuel task has taken a hit with the introduction of electric and alternative fuel cars, and – in addition – some of the funds are being spent on items that don’t support the movement of people or goods. We’re keeping an eye on where cuts to spending are being proposed, and will advocate on behalf of our customers’ best interests where appropriate.
4. Truck driver hours of service (HOS) updates
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is mulling subtle, but significant changes to several elements of U.S. trucking HOS – including changes to 30-minute rest break rules and the number of consecutive hours in the sleeper berth. Through our involvement with various industry organizations, such as TIA and NITL, we are continually briefed on how these rules may impact shipper transit time, and participated in providing feedback to the U.S. Department of Transportation on the proposed changes. It is our opinion that the changes could increase driver flexibility without harming highway safety, and may have a significant impact on shipper supply chains.
As always, we will continue to keep our customers top-of-mind in all that we do. Are you interested in learning more about our industry involvement? Do you have a lane or project we can help you with? Contact us today.
*Source: Comprehensive Truck Size and Weight Limits Study - Highway Safety and Truck Crash Comparative Analysis Technical Report