Fuel Surcharge Axed
The Senate committee approved more than double the current amount of truck safety funding to states through the Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program.
The bill also would:
- Require Mexican and Canadian hazmat haulers operating in the U.S. to undergo a background check equivalent to their American counterparts.
- Offer greater consumer protection against household mover fraud and create new penalties for movers who hold customers’ possessions hostage to increase profit. It also would allow states greater authority to enforce federal laws for the movement of household goods.
Fuel Costs Dampen Trucking Outlook in Some Regions
U.S. business activity continues expanding, but rising energy costs have softened trucking “somewhat” in several regions, the Federal Reserve reported.
From late February to early April, several Federal Reserve districts – Cleveland, Richmond, Chicago and Minneapolis – reported that higher fuel costs had forced trucking and shipping firms to install fuel surcharges.
Energy prices could soften consumer demand for the goods provided by trucks, the report noted.
In the Cleveland district, “While surcharges allow [carrriers] to almost entirely eliminate the impact of increases in fuel costs, companies are worried that these increases in shipping costs will eventually dampen demand,” the report said.
Manufacturers in the San Francisco district have said they will “keep production as close as possible to demand,” the report said.
Energy prices have made the Dallas district cautious about its business outlook, the report noted.
Still, Philadelphia’s district indicated increased trucking activity, and several districts reported moderate wage increases in trucking.
In the Cleveland district, wages and shipping rates remain stable except for surcharges, and companies in that district continue to hire drivers and add trucks to their fleets.
The Chicago district reported strong freight, although one analyst indicated some decrease in trucking during the first quarter.
The complete report is at this site.
ATA Outlines Goals for Transporting International Cargo in North America
The American Trucking Associations says it is ready to help fulfill the goals of the North American Security and Prosperity Partnership announced March 23 by leaders of the United States, Canada and Mexico.
In comments filed April 29 with the U.S. departments of Homeland Security, Commerce and Transportation, the ATA listed seven issues that it said should be addressed by the three nations in order to create “a level playing field for transporting international cargo throughout North America”: