Overdrive Staff | March 01, 2011

Mexico has said it will not add additional retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods, Murray noted.

Also in January, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce led a two-day trade delegation to Mexico City. It said it would press for a “mutually agreeable solution” in the debate over cross-border trucking with Mexico.

— Jill Dunn

Detention time bill filed

Representative Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) Feb. 17 introduced legislation that directs the U.S. Department of Transportation to study how much time truckers are forced to wait at loading docks and to use those study results to establish a maximum number of hours drivers may be detained without compensation.

“I asked (Government Accountability Office) GAO to study detention time and quantify the results. It’s clear from the report that detaining truckers at loading docks is a significant problem that FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) needs to regulate,” DeFazio said.

The legislation, H.R. 756, would require shippers and receivers to pay a fee for detention of drivers beyond the time established by USDOT and authorize civil penalties against shippers for failure to pay for unreasonable detention time.

A 2009 study conducted by the FMCSA calculated that waiting for loading and unloading cost carriers over $3 billion annually.

Through driver interviews, the GAO found that detention time affects drivers’ ability to make a living, has an impact on hours-of-service and hampers owner-operators more than company drivers.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association said the bill would make shippers and receivers accountable for their role in hampering productivity in the transportation supply chain.

OOIDA said its surveys indicate as many as 40 hours per week are spent by drivers waiting to be loaded or unloaded.

— Staff reports

TCA names 20 top fleets

The Truckload Carriers Association and CarriersEdge have named 20 North American for-hire trucking companies as winners of the 2011 Best Fleets to Drive For contest.

Company drivers and owner-operators were asked to nominate carriers that operate 10 trucks or more. CarriersEdge interviewed human resources representatives and executives of the nominated fleets about their corporate direction, policies and programs. Nominated fleets were evaluated in areas such compensation packages, health benefits, career path and advancement opportunities, and annual driver turnover rate.

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