Transportation & Business News
Hours-of-Service Final Rule
The Federal Motor Carier Safety Administration issued a final ruling on the Hours of Service on December 22, 2011. These regulations place limits on how long and when commercial motor vehicle drivers may drive. Listed is a summary of the new Hours of Service Rules:
- 11-Hour Driving Limit
May drive a maximum of 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty.
- 14-Hour Limit
May not drive beyond the 14th consecutive hour after coming on duty, following 10 consecutive hours off duty. Off-duty time does not extend the 14-hour period.
- 60-70 Hour On-Duty Limit
May not drive after 60-70 hours on duty in 7-8 consecutive days. A driver may restart a 7-8 consecutive day period after take 34 or more consecutive hours off duty.
- Sleeper Berth Provision
Drivers using the sleeper berth provision must take at least 8 consecutive hours in the sleeper berth, plus a separate 2 consecutive hours either in the sleeper berth, off duty or any combination of the two. For more detailed information, please visit http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/HOSFinalRule.
November 2011 Freight Volumes Increased
According to recent results released by the U.S. Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics' (BTS) Freight Transportation Services Index (TSI), freight hauled by the for-hire transportation industry, increased 0.1% from October to November 2011.
BTS also provided statistical information that the shipments carried in November 2011 were at the second highest level since July 2008. The peak month for freight hauled was September 2011.
The Freight TSI measures monthly changes in freight shipments by the different modes of transportation in tons-miles. The specific modes used in compiling this data is from for-hire trucking, rail, inland waterways, pipelines and air freight.
Companies Battling Using Lockouts as Leverage
More companies than ever before are utilizing their legal rights to lockout employees who are part of labor unions that refuse to accept contract proposals. While most of us have been exposed to the professional sports lockouts in recent years, less publicized industries are also using this strategy.
In the past, it had been part of daily life to hear in the media about collective groups of employees going on strike against their employer. Just as strikes are a means to put pressure on companies to meet employee demands, many businesses view lockouts as a strategic move on their part to have employees agree to the offers the employer is proposing.
Strikes have decreased approximately 60% over the last two decades due to two major reasons. The strength of the labor union has continually declined and concerned workers and the potential of losing their jobs completely to replacement workers.
This is a forceful approach that is being taken by some employers, and until recently, hasn't been exercised very often by companies. As the labor unions continue to grow smaller and less effective, numerous employers see this approach as one where they have not been left much choice. Employers are saying the unions are unreasonable in compromising.
There were at least 17 companies last year that imposed lockouts. It remains to be seen what this trend looks like moving forward.
NY & NJ Tolls
Federal Judge Richard Holwell in New York is not going to order the elimination of toll increases that were imposed last summer pertaining to bridges and tunnel crossings in New York and New Jersey.
A law suit against the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, challenging the increases, has been brought about by AAA of New York and New Jersey.
Judge Holwell said in a written decision that it is unlikely that the law suit challenging the increases that were imposed in September would succeed. He also stated that it would be an "extraordinary and drastic remedy" to cut back the toll increases before all sides can study the evidence.
Spring Gas Price Increase
Analysts are saying we should get ready to pay higher gas prices at the pumps. By spring, we may easily be at $4 a gallon. "Some areas will pay even more," said Jessica Brady, AAA spokeswoman.
According to AAA's Fuel Gauge Report, January's monthly average was $3.37, which is 28 cents more than January 2011 and 66 cents more than January 2010.
As March approaches, more U.S. refineries begin to shut down to perform annual maintenance and to swap the production from the winter blend to the more expensive summer blend. As these shut downs continue to occur across the county, motorists should be prepared to pay higher prices.
Take a Smile Break - The Small Tree
I hired a plumber to help me restore an old farmhouse, and after he had just finished a rough first day on the job, a flat tire made him lose an hour of work, his electric drill quit and his ancient one-ton truck refused to start. While I drove him home, he sat in stony silence. On arriving, he invited me in to meet his family. As we walked toward the front door, he paused briefly at a small tree, touching the tips of the branches with his hands.
When opening the door, he underwent an amazing transformation. His tanned face was wreathed in smiles and he hugged his two small children and gave his wife a kiss. Afterward, he walked me to the car. We passed the tree and my curiosity got the better of me. I asked him about what I had seen him do earlier. "Oh, that's my trouble tree", he replied. "I know I can't help having troubles on the job, but one thing's for sure—those troubles don't belong in the house with my wife and the children. So I just hang them up on the tree every night when I come home and ask God to take care of them. Then in the morning, I pick them up again. Funny things is", he smiled, "when I come out in the morning to pick them up, there aren't nearly as many as I remember hanging up the night before."
IRS & Justice Department Working Together
"We are aggressively pursuing cases across the nation with the Justice Department, and people will be going to jail. This is part of a much wider effort underway at the IRS to help protect taxpayers", says IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman.
This statement was released as the Internal Revenue Service and the Justice Department announced a national sweep on suspected identity thieves and individuals and companies involved in refund frauds. In January, there were 939 criminal charges and 69 indictments.
Commissioner Shulman stated, "This unprecedented effort against identity theft sends a strong, unmistakable message to anyone considering participating in a refund fraud this tax season.
For additional information, visit the Taxpayer Guide to Identity Theft or the IRS Identity Theft Protection page on the IRS website, www.irs.gov.
Airlines Fined for Not Adhering to Rules
"Airline passengers have rights, including the right to know the full fare they will have to pay when they book a flight," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "We adopted our airline price advertising rules to protect consumers from deceptive ads and will continue to take enforcement action when necessary. The two companies that have been fined are Asiana Airlines and LOT Polish Airlines. The reasoning for both fines were related to improper advertising of fares on their company websites. Asiana was fined $70,000 and LOT $60,000.
For additional details, visit www.regulations.gov, docket DOT-0ST-2012-0002.
MCD Transportation, Inc
MCD Transportation, Inc. acts as an extension of your company's logistics management program. Our professionals can assist you with a network of reliable carriers nationwide to handle your truckload, volume LTL, expedited shipments, intermodal and air shipments in the United States, Canada and Mexico.
MCD can also provide a range of trucks such as vans, reefers, flat-beds, specialized and hot shots. We secure only qualified carriers with proven service capabilities at competitive and economic pricing levels.
MCD'S MISSION STATEMENT
“To provide our customers with dependable transportation services based on fair and competitive pricing programs with an emphasis on customer service for all concerned parties; to be receptive to customer's needs and react in a professional and timely manner; and to recognize customers, carriers and vendors as our only asset for continued success.”
Professional Trade Organizations & Affiliations
MCD TRANSPORTATION, INC. is proud of our long-standing affiliation with several reputable industry organizations.
The Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA) is the premiere organization for third-party logistics professionals doing business in North America. TIA provides resources, education, information, advocacy, and connections to establish, maintain and expand ethical, profitable and growing businesses in service to their customers.
Delta Nu Alpha is an international organization of men and women in all areas and at all levels of transportation and logistics. The cornerstone of Delta Nu Alpha's success is it's emphasis on education, financial assistance and mentoring for students. They also provide excellent continue educational opportunities for the work force.
The National Association of Small Trucking Companies' ultimate mission is to level the competitive playing field allowing their small trucking company member companies to grow, prosper, and remain a significant force in the transportation industry.