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Overdrive Staff | October 01, 2011

Trucking companies received the highest truckload rates from freight brokers and other intermediaries in 24 percent of routes in the United States throughout the second quarter, according to a TransCore report.

In April the average difference between spot and contract rates on the higher paying lanes was 19 cents a mile; by June, that figure had risen to 24 cents.

The report is the first of a series showing the dynamics of the spot market and the influences of seasonal and regional demand on truckload and less-than-truckload pricing. The data is based on $5 billion of invoices updated daily for vans, reefers and flatbeds across the U.S. and Canada.

— Staff reports



Swift lawsuit can move forward

A class action suit against Swift Transportation over mileage pay is expected to proceed after the Arizona Supreme Court denied the truckload carrier’s petition for review.

On Aug. 31, the higher court declined to review a trial court’s decision to certify a broad class action. Last November, a Maricopa County trial court entered an order certifying a class of owner-operators and expanded the class to include employee drivers.

The truckers allege the Arizona-based company insufficiently paid drivers for miles driven, using a database that shorts drivers a significant percentage of mileage. The class action potentially could affect anyone who drove for Swift from 1998 to the present.

Swift did not respond to a request for comment on the case, which has endured eight years of legal wrangling. However, it stated in an Aug. 9 Securities and Exchange Commission filing that it believes the class is improperly certified and “that the claims raised have no merit or are subject to mandatory arbitration.”

The plaintiffs’ Washington, D.C.-based law firm, Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro, has said Swift breached contract and the implied covenant of good faith because of its alleged failure to pay for all miles driven.

— Jill Dunn



Alcohol problem leads to lawsuit

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has filed a discrimination suit against Old Dominion Freight Line over its alleged policy of banning recovering alcoholics from driving.

EEOC charged the general goods hauler violated Americans with Disabilities Act compliance after it fired a trucker who reported he had abused alcohol.

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