For the Record
FedEx Settles Classification Suit
FedEx Ground will pay $3 million to Massachusetts to settle claims that the company misclassified drivers as independent contractors. State Attorney General Martha Coakley announced the agreement with Pittsburgh-based FedEx Ground July 15. She alleged the misclassification resulted in less revenue in payroll taxes, worker’s compensation and unemployment assistance for the state.
Freight Up Over Year
TransCore announced July 19 its North American Freight Index for June showed a 112-percent increase in spot market freight availability compared to the same period last year. Spot market freight availability for the second quarter of 2010 was 60 percent higher than first-quarter volume and 331 percent higher than the recession-plagued activity of last year’s second quarter.
NAFTA Trade Surges in May
Trade using surface transportation between the United States and its North American Free Trade Agreement partners Canada and Mexico was 39.5 percent higher in May than in May 2009, reaching $66.8 billion, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics of the U.S. Department of Transportation. The increase was the largest percentage year-over-year increase in total U.S.-NAFTA trade by surface modes on record back to April 1994.
Distracted Driving Summit This Month
The U.S. Department of Transportation announced the second National Distracted Driving Summit will be held Sept. 21 in Washington, D.C. Key topics will include research, technology, policy, public outreach and best practices in enforcement. Additional details will be released at www.distraction.gov/2010summit.
New PrePass in Florida
A new PrePass site has opened in Martin County, Fla., on the northbound side of Interstate 95 near Port St. Lucie. PrePass is an automated vehicle identification system that allows commercial vehicles to bypass certain weigh stations by being pre-screened. A full map is available at www.prepass.com.
Chicago-Area Peterbilt Dealership Opens
A Peterbilt dealership has opened in Bensenville, Ill., the truck maker announced. The parts and service facility is at 142 Thorndale Ave., west of Chicago O’Hare International Airport off of York Road. For details, call the dealership at (630) 616-3933.
The American Trucking Associations has asked a federal appeals court to resume consideration of its lawsuit to force the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to issue long-overdue regulations governing supporting documents for hours-of-service compliance.
On July 22, ATA told the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit that settlement discussions have been unsuccessful and that FMCSA’s apparent attempt to resolve ATA’s concerns actually has created more uncertainties for carriers. Nor has FMCSA committed to a specific date for a rule, ATA said.
ATA’s court filing followed its request earlier in July that FMCSA stay a new policy on supporting documents pending revisions the association proposes. Though the agency did not respond, it implicitly disregarded ATA’s request by notifying the court that it had adopted the policy, which addresses retention of documents and the use of electronic mobile communication/tracking technology as an alternative to certain documents.
In comments on the policy, which was published June 10 and made effective July 12, ATA said it had serious concerns with portions of the guidance “that we believe depart substantially from prior agency policy and go well beyond the bounds of what the agency may do in guidance.”