INTERSTATE DISTRIBUTOR Co. of Tacoma, Wash., doesn’t plan changes in its operations after it was acquired by Seattle-based Saltchuk Resources Inc. Saltchuk has transportation and other operating groups and was formerly known as Totem Resources. IDC is listed as having 1,930 trucks and 2,294 drivers. When the deal is closed, Saltchuk will replace trucks, bring back contract carriers and expand cash flow and liquidity.
Legislators take TWIC program to task
The U.S. House transportation committee blasted the Transportation Security Administration for delays in approving Transportation Worker Identification Credentials readers.
Meanwhile, Congress is considering legislation to address renewal deadlines for TWIC holders.
TSA is still conducting the pilot program for readers to verify the TWIC biometric identifiers, Chairman Rep. John Mica (Rep.-Fla.) said. “Without any readers, TWIC is about as useful as a library card,” he said.
Mica said he would continue inquiries about full deployment of the $420 million TWIC program. The TSA has estimated TWIC could cost taxpayers and the private sector up to $3.2 billion over a 10-year period.
On March 17, Rep. Bennie Thompson introduced the TWIC Program Act. House members referred H.R.1105, which has six co-sponsors, to the transportation subcommittee on March 25. Also called the Transitioning With an Improved Credential Program Act, the legislation should ensure TWIC cards do not expire before the 2014 deadline for full implementation of electronic readers, the Mississippi Democrat said.
The TSA has issued almost 1.8 million TWIC credentials since 2007. A 2002 Congressional mandate requires truckers and other maritime workers needing unescorted escort at ports obtain the card, valid for five years.
A TWIC card costs $132.50, but applicants with comparable background checks, such as Free and Secure Trade card holders, pay $105.25. Renewal price and the original price are the same.
— Jill Dunn
Forecast: Shortage of drivers, capacity
Truckload capacity shortages will accelerate this year and continue through 2013 as the economy recovers and regulatory restrictions limit the driver pool, an FTR Associates economist said in an April 6 online seminar by consulting group FTR.
Noel Perry, an FTR senior consultant, estimated that because of the economic upturn and the federal government’s push for improved safety, “a couple hundred thousand drivers will be taken out of the marketplace between now and the end of next year.” He acknowledged that recent forecasts of shortages have been slow to develop, but will likely hit the market in 2012.
Perry said if the market doesn’t respond by ordering more equipment to improve productivity, “There will be a bunch of loads that don’t get delivered.”