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New era dawns at Port of Los Angeles as megaship arrives

Posted By Administration, Friday, January 22, 2016

The largest container ship ever to make port in North America unloaded its cargo in the Port of Los Angeles on December 26. The ship can carry 18,000 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs), which is a third more than the ships that currently dock in the Port of L.A. (Press-Telegram). 

Tags:  Port of Los Angeles 

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Freight rail volume stalls as firms try to cut unwanted stocks

Posted By Administration, Friday, January 22, 2016

Traffic on the U.S. rail network continues to weaken in a sign of the slowdown spreading across the industrial economy and efforts by firms to reverse the unplanned buildup of inventories throughout the supply chain. Freight volumes carried by road, rail, barge and pipeline peaked in November 2014 and have been essentially flat since then, ending five years of strong growth, according to the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics (Reuters). 

Tags:  Bureau of Transportation Statistics 

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East Coast ports hope for increased traffic from Panama Canal expansion

Posted By Administration, Friday, January 22, 2016

The Panama Canal expansion slated to be open by the spring will allow massive new ships through the trade route and could shift the flow of goods from the West Coast to the East Coast. However, there are doubts the East Coast ports will benefit from the higher freight volumes the larger fleet will carry, as the West Coast route is well-established and faster by a few days to the interior of the country (The Globe and Mail). 

Tags:  East Coast Ports  West Coast Ports 

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States, feds keep train-derailment reports from public

Posted By Administration, Friday, January 22, 2016

Information that state and federal government agencies collect about train derailments is hard to find. Huge amounts of data about collisions, derailments and other accidents that happen along railroads in the United States are collected every year. However, some of it is compiled by the industry and distributed directly to the public upon request. Additionally, some is buried in databases that government officials are slow to release, if at all (The Columbus Dispatch). 

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FMCSA grants grace period on medical certification rule

Posted By Administration, Friday, January 22, 2016
Updated: Friday, January 22, 2016

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has granted medical examiners a 120-day grace period (through April 20, 2016) regarding the use of new medical certification forms for truck drivers. In the final rule, the agency retooled the driver health history portion of the medical history form to include a number of new questions. The medical history form will now have 32 health conditions and modifies the duration of the medical history from five years to lifetime (Land Line). 

Tags:  FMCSA 

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'Beyond Compliance' program aims to bolster CSA scores

Posted By Administration, Friday, January 22, 2016

A provision in the recently passed highway bill will give the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) the ability to credit motor carriers for adopting new safety technologies and other devices on the carrier's Compliance, Safety and Accountability (CSA) compliance rankings. Within 18 months, the FMCSA will implement the program by either incorporating a methodology into the CSA program, or by establishing a safety BASIC in the Safety Measurement System (Land Line). 

Tags:  CSA  CSA Scores  FMCSA  Safety Measures 

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Concerns remain as driver coercion rule set to take effect

Posted By Administration, Friday, January 22, 2016

Effective January 29, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's (FMCSA) driver coercion rule, called the Prohibiting Coercion of Commercial Motor Vehicle Drivers rule, will take effect. NASSTRAC is pleased that several of the worst features were removed from the final rule, which will not impose on shippers, intermediaries or receivers a "duty to inquire" as to whether drivers are complying with all safety requirements for the services requested. There are stiff penalties for those found to have committed coercion, with fines reaching up to $16,000 per occurrence (Logistics Management). 

Tags:  FMCSA 

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Strong Truck Guards Proposed to Cut Rear-Impact Deaths

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued a proposal mandating trucking companies to install stronger guards on truck trailers to reduce deaths caused when cars rear-end tractor trailers. Under the proposal, the current requirement that provides protection for a vehicle moving up to 30 mph will be increased to 35 mph, which matches the Canadian standard. NHTSA estimates that each year approximately 400 deaths result from cars hitting into the backs of commercial trucks, with about 125 of them resulting from severe damage from objects intruding into in the passenger compartments (Bloomberg Business). 

Tags:  NHTSA 

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House Approves Final Version of Five-Year Highway Bill

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The U.S. House of Representatives approved a final version of a five-year $305 billion highway reauthorization. The FAST Act became law on December 4, 2015 and it's over 1,300 pages long, dealing with subjects ranging from AMTRAK to hazmat, distracted driving, and used car lots selling recalled cars. The bill replaces MAP-21, which expired over a year ago and Congress passed over 30 short-term extensions before reaching agreement on FAST. 

Review a summary of key provisions

Tags:  Highway Bill 

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Congress to Add Requirements to HOS Restart Study

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Before heading home for the year, this week Congress is expected to pass spending and tax legislation that includes a provision requiring the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to expand its study of the 34-hour restart requirement to the Hours of Service (HOS) rules before it can be reinstated. If enacted, the 34-hour restart provision will remain suspended even longer than previously anticipated.

 

As part of last year's bill to fund the federal government, a provision was included suspending the 34-hour restart period while FMCSA conducts a study. FMCSA is still conducting the study and recently said it expected to complete it in February 2016. However, the language in the new spending bill goes even further, requiring FMCSA to demonstrate in the study that the 34-hour restart period improves safety on the nation's roads.

 

NASSTRAC supports the provision included in the year-end spending bill that will benefit shippers, and through its participation in the HOS Coalition has worked to continue the suspension of the 34-hour restart requirement (Transport Topics).

Tags:  FMCSA  HOS  Safety 

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