Overdrive Staff | February 01, 2011

DIESEL WILL COST 41 cents more on average during 2011 than it did during 2010, according to the latest forecast from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration. In 2010, the average on-highway retail diesel price was $2.99. EIA expects that to rise to $3.40 in 2011 and $3.52 in 2012.


Trucks for North American markets surged in December, based on research by ACT Research Co. and FTR Associates. Both firms pegged the December count at more than 25,000 units. ACT said the figure was more than double the total in December 2009. FTR projected the annualized orders at 280,000 units, based on fourth quarter activity.

Trucking groups back port appeal

Four organizations have filed briefs supporting the American Trucking Associations’ appeal against the Port of Los Angeles over the port’s concession agreement.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, Intermodal Association of North America, National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation and the Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence, which filed jointly with the Harbor Trucking Association, filed amicus briefs.

The foundation provides free legal aid to employees whose rights have been violated by compulsory unionism, while the center is a public interest law firm. HTA is a coalition of Los Angeles and Long Beach intermodal carriers.

The port’s response brief was due Jan. 31 and ATA’s optional reply is due Feb. 14, with the court expected to schedule oral arguments soon after that.

On Aug. 26, the U.S. District Court for Central California found in favor of the port regarding the agreement it requires carriers to sign to do business with the entity. The most contentious issue was the port’s ban on owner-operators from regularly serving the port, requiring instead that they be carrier employees.

That ruling said the port’s requirements were protected from federal preemption because it was acting as a private market participant, which is immune from preemption. 

If it had been acting as a governmental regulator, it would have to adhere to federal preemption.

Owner-operators would be driven out of business by the port’s regulations and the application of the market participant exception would give the port free reign to interfere with virtually every aspect of the international commerce moving through it, the amicus briefs contend.

OOIDA wrote that the lower court “based certain findings about the nature of owner-operators’ businesses and safety practices on unfounded and irrelevant trial testimony.”

ATA argued the port is not acting as a market participant because it neither buys nor sells drayage services. Further, the port’s disputed actions, including promoting economic development and clean air, traditionally are those of a government entity and not of a private party.

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