Trucking news and briefs for Tuesday, June 29, 2021:
Connecticut truck VMT tax signed into law
Beginning in 2023, all vehicles weighing more than 26,000 pounds will be required to pay a vehicle miles traveled tax for every mile driven in Connecticut.
The fee will range from 2.5 cents per mile for trucks weighing 26,000-28,000 pounds to 17.5 cents per mile for vehicles weighing more than 80,000 lbs.
As expected, the new law is not proving popular around various trucking corners. In an op-ed for the Greenwich Time, American Trucking Associations President and CEO Chris Spear said the new law “will have devastating consequences for businesses and families across Connecticut. ... It doesn’t require a Ph.D. in economics to understand that when the cost of truck transportation goes up, the price of what’s being hauled does, too,” he wrote. “Everyday consumers and the working people of Connecticut will feel the sting of [Gov. Ned] Lamont’s truck tax with each purchase of groceries, gasoline, prescription drugs, construction materials, home furnishings, household goods and so on.”
Spear added that truck taxes such as this are “difficult to enforce and easy to evade, rewarding bad actors and punishing the good.”
Similarly, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association has also lambasted the law.
“We are extremely disappointed in the anti-trucking attitude and determination to raid the bank accounts of some of the hardest working people on the planet,” said OOIDA President Todd Spencer. “Big trucks – especially out-of-state trucks – make for an easy target, and unfortunately the governor and elected officials have picked up on that.”
Be aware of increased cargo theft activity during July 4 weekend
Cargo theft recording firm CargoNet is warning truck drivers, fleets and others in the trucking industry about increased cargo theft activity during the July 4 holiday period, which runs from July 1 through July 7.
To help supply chain professionals craft strategies to mitigate theft, CargoNet reviewed theft data between July 1 and July 7 for the previous five years. There were a total of 127 theft events reported in this analysis period, or an average of 25 per year. The average stolen shipment was worth $145,699 per event. Activity for the Independence Day weekend in 2020 was at its highest since 2016 and increased by 123% over the previous year.
In previous years, household goods and food and beverage items were the most commonly targeted commodities. This would include items like appliances, toys, alcoholic beverages and seafood. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused shortages and price inflation of specific goods, and CargoNet believes the items most affected, such as computer electronics, are the items most at-risk this year.
The firm warns specifically that computer electronics coming out of warehouses in California are at particularly high risk, with more than 50 recorded thefts of electronics shipments in the state since September 2020 and 89% more thefts when compared to the year prior. Additionally, CargoNet warns haulers of full truckload theft activity in Ohio, Indiana, Tennessee, North Carolina and Texas due to indications of one or more cargo theft groups operating along major interstates and surveilling warehouses in those states.
California, Texas, Florida, and Illinois recorded the most thefts in this analysis period. Our analysts believe these states are also most at-risk this upcoming holiday, but supply chain professionals should increase security across the Midwest and Southeastern United States in response to recent theft activity.
Four drivers in running for new Volvo from Landstar
One of four owner-operators will walk away with a 2022 Volvo VNL64T when Landstar System hosts its 2021 All-Star Truck Giveaway on Tuesday, July 13.
“Landstar is pleased to continue the tradition of awarding a new truck to one of our Roadstar or Million Mile Safe Drivers as a way to recognize the safety and service excellence of these elite owner-operators,” said Landstar President and CEO Jim Gattoni.
The giveaway truck is dark garnet red metallic in color and boasts a 455-horsepower Volvo D13 engine, Volvo 12-speed I-Shift transmission and Volvo Active Driver Assist 2.0 collision-avoidance system.
The four finalists eligible to win this year are:
- 1 Million Mile Safe Driver Dennis Bramblett from Hannibal, Missouri
- 2 Million Mile Safe Driver and Landstar Roadstar Bill Higgins from Catawba, South Carolina
- 1 Million Mile Safe Driver and Landstar Roadstar Lisa Ringelstetter from Plain, Wisconsin
- 1 Million Mile Safe Driver Dale Burke from Strongsville, Ohio
This year’s All-Star Truck Giveaway finalists were randomly drawn from a pool of Landstar’s 1,102 active 1 Million Mile, 2 Million Mile and 3 Million Mile Safe Drivers and Roadstars. The Roadstar designation is the company’s highest honor for truck owner-operators awarded to the “best of the best” based on their high levels of safety, productivity and excellence in customer service.
The truck winner will be determined by each of the four finalists selecting a single box among four boxes, one of which contains the key to the new truck. Whoever guesses the correct box will win the truck.