We are now at a juncture in the Port of New York and New Jersey that is changing the game more dramatically than the introduction of the Malcom McLean’s Ideal X. These terminals with their current footprints were state-of-the-art when built, but as the industry evolved, we now are past that stage.
To blame the trucking community for the lines at the terminals is beyond the absurd. The volume that any other port in the world would do cartwheels to have and not service it, properly borders on sacrilege -- no, it is sacrilege.
The trucking community has been part of a collaborative effort by all the players to make the port as successful as it has been. To issue a summons, to punish a truckman, who is probably an owner-operator, for trying to do their job and get a heads-up to deliver the cargo to the customer’s door, so that the consumers can enjoy what they have taken for granted as a staple is beyond stupid, and will only foster dysfunction in what to date has been a tested collaborative effort.
We have the terminals experiencing in some cases a 100 percent increase in volume and still maintaining the same 60-hour weekly gates. The funnel of the volume of cargo, or gate activity, cannot accommodate the customer demand.
The terminals in many cases operate very close to 168 hours per week in vessel unloading and loading activity. Yet with the increase in volume, they will not increase the gate hours.
We are operating in the most densely populated region and most congested state in the country, and we open the terminals in this highly congested area when traffic is at its peak. What is wrong with this picture? Would it not be more prudent, to amplify the normal daytime hours with another sequence, from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. with the proper overlaps, and take advantage of our assets (our infrastructure) at their least congested times?
Most cargo, as much as 90 percent, is drop-and-pick and surely can be accommodated with these access times. As far as support for these times from truckers is concerned, nothing can exemplify that more perfectly than the most recent queue of between 300 and 400 trucks at midnight. The usual number of trucks per mile depending on configuration is about 120, so with the six mile lines you are at 700-plus trucks.
There is an expression, “Build It and They Will Come." For the truckers "Open It Up and They Will Come."
The other benefits of these suggestions and proper collaboration will very obviously help all the clean-air issues that are a constant issue by dissipating the intensity of the traffic.
Another benefit would be to attract more cargo, more ancillary activity, and more excellent-paying jobs to this port. We cannot stand still. This must be solved logically, not with truckmen and women being punished for trying to do their job, and make this what the Port of New York and New Jersey can and should be.
Tom Adamski, New Jersey Motor Truck Association – NJ Intermodal Motor Carrier Conference
By:Joseph Bonney, Posted from JOC
A U.S. Federal Maritime Commission report on port congestion impact on demurrage and detention fees stopped short of recommending agency action and invited the industry to provide evidence of allegedly unreasonable practices.
“I am hopeful that the report becomes a discussion paper among industry stakeholders and helps stimulate solutions to problems that have arisen as a result of severe port congestion experienced in the last year,” said FMC Chairman Mario Cordero.
The 64-page report, available at fmc.gov, described demurrage, which is charged for storage of containers on terminal space beyond allowable free time, and detention fees levied by carriers for late return of containers.
The report listed actions that affected parties can take to mitigate problems, and discussed actions the commission has the authority to take.
The commission said it “has made no determinations with respect to the application of demurrage and detention, or about the courses of action that it may take. The commission has a variety of actions that could be used to address issues provided there is a sufficient factual basis to support the action.”
The FMC report followed four regional forums the commission hosted last year, and continuing complaints by shippers and truckers who say they’ve been hit with fees for unavoidable late pickup or delivery of containers at congested ports.
Commissioners voted during a closed session to release the report. The vote was said to be 3-2, with Cordero, Richard Lidinsky and William Doyle voting in favor and Rebecca Dye and Michael Khoury opposed. The commission voted to release the transcript of the meeting related to the staff report when it becomes available.
Doyle said the report is the first in a series of planned commission reports entitled “Rules, Rates, and Practices Relating to Detention, Demurrage,and Free Time for Containerized Imports and Exports Moving Through Selected United States Ports.”
Cordero and other commissioners have identified port congestion issues as a top concern under the commission’s Shipping Act mandate to provide a fair, efficient and economic ocean transportation system.
The FMC chairman invited the industry to provide the commission with information on any allegedly unreasonable practices.
“Though the commission has received anecdotal evidence, the industry is encouraged to submit substantive documentation and information of unreasonable practices regarding the application of demurrage and detention,” Cordero said. “The documentation could include information related to those who pay the charges or those who impose the charges.
“In addition, industry stakeholders are reminded that they may file complaints for adjudication at the commission that involve alleged violations of the Shipping Act,” Cordero said.
Doyle urged industry stakeholders to read the report, and to share their comments. “All stakeholders in the supply chain should read the report and actively engage with each other in the industry,” he said in a statement.
Most of the FMC report is devoted to a factual explanation of demurrage, detention and free time. An appendix to the report compares demurrage and detention charges among ports and carriers. Fees generally were highest in the Port of New York and New Jersey, the report noted.
The report details possible ways vessel operators, terminal operators and port authorities to minimize congestion and resulting demurrage and detention fees.
It also outlines actions that cargo owners and truckers may take, such as requesting informal mediation and administrative or court action.
The report also identifies possible actions the commission can take to gather information and examine and address concerns related to free time, detention and demurrage practices. Those include fact-finding investigations, some of which could lead to adjudicatory proceedings against vessel operators or terminals.
Other possible commission actions could include demands for reports by vessel operators under Section 15 of the shipping act, action on petitions for relief from allegedly unfair practices, creation of an industry advisory committee,asking for recommendations from the commission ombudsman, and proposed rulemaking to address practices that the commission has determined violate the shipping act.
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) today (3-26-15) kicked off National Work Zone Awareness Week as construction season in most northern states approaches. Deputy Federal Highway Administrator Gregory Nadeau joined state and federal officials at the Washington Boulevard Bridge over Columbia Pike in Arlington, Va., to urge drivers to stay alert when driving near highway workers. They were joined by workers and families affected by work zone crashes.
This year’s theme, “Expect the Unexpected,” emphasizes the need for drivers to constantly be prepared for changes such as reduced speed limits; narrowed, shifted or closed lanes; and people who may be working on or near the road. In 2013, the most recent year for which data are available, there were 579 fatalities in work zones, a small decrease from 617 fatalities the previous year.
“As the temperatures climb, thousands of highway workers nationwide are heading back to work to improve America’s roads,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “To keep them safe, we owe them our full attention when driving through work zones, so please avoid distractions like cellphones and obey posted speed limits.”
National Work Zone Awareness Week, sponsored by federal, state and local transportation officials at the beginning of construction season each spring, raises awareness of safety measures taken on roads all over the country. Typically, work zone crashes occur when drivers fail to obey posted speed limits, fail to adapt to changing road conditions, or use cellphones while driving.
FHWA works with state and local transportation officials to promote improvements in work zone planning and design, increased law enforcement near work zones, enhanced worker training and heightened awareness among drivers. Since 2005, FHWA has awarded nearly $33 million in grants to promote work zone safety training and the National Work Zone Safety Information Clearinghouse.
In 2013, speed was a factor in 23 percent of fatal work zone crashes. Two out of three victims in work zone crashes in 2013 were drivers and passengers of vehicles.
During the ceremony, Nadeau paid tribute to the 132 Virginia Department of Transportation employees who died in highway work zones since 1928.
“When driving through work zones, be respectful of highway workers and their workplace by slowing down,” said Deputy Administrator Nadeau. “Following the rules of the roadway makes it easier to expect the unexpected.”
Like the FHWA, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) works with other USDOT agencies to reduce work zone crashes through grants to states and research on driver behavior. FMCSA has made work zone safety a national priority in its commercial vehicle safety plans, and partners with the International Association of Chiefs of Police in its “Drive to Save Lives” campaign to encourage all law enforcement to stop trucks and buses when they are seen operating unsafely.
“In 2013, large trucks and buses were involved in 186 work zone crashes that resulted in fatalities,” said FMCSA Chief Counsel Scott Darling. “Tragedies like these can be avoided by paying attention, slowing down, carefully obeying signs and the direction of flagmen, maintaining a safe distance between vehicles, avoiding distractions and always keeping safety the number one priority.”
For more information on this year’s National Work Zone Awareness Week, visithttp://www.ops.fhwa.dot.gov/wz/outreach/wz_awareness.htm, follow @USDOTFHWA on Twitter, or search trending topics #NWZAW and #safeworkzones.
Toms River, NJ – March 23, 2015 – Before you hire a mover do some research to avoid problems. All Moving companies are required to be licensed, but regulations vary; for moving within NJ (intrastate), movers must be licensed with the NJ Division of Consumer Affairs. For moving out of NJ, they must have a 'DOT' and ‘MC’ number, issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Check the 'Consumer Resources/ Links section at www.njmovers.com for the correct government website to verify license information, regulations, and important brochures.
Get three estimates: Don't rely on prices quoted on the Internet or phone because they are subject to change on moving day! Check references for movers with family & friends, check the BBB* (www.bbb.org) for the number of complaints (not just the letter grade). If the mover is licensed, then call for an appointment. Don’t accept a mover that doesn’t come to your home; low prices quoted over the phone or on the Internet can be changed on moving day. Have a written list of items to be moved and show each estimator all items to be moved and not to be moved. Show them all items that you expect the mover to pack and what you will pack; request a separate price to pack items that you may be unable to pack like large pictures, mirrors lamps, TV's or electronic items. Remember, if the price sounds too good to be true, it probably is!
Be aware of what can change the price on moving day: A mover is allowed to change the price if ANY circumstances change that was not included in the written document, but he must give you the new price BEFORE they start: Realize you may be accepting increased cost when you sign documents. Additional charges can be expected for services such as: (a) You did not request packing of boxes or did not get all your packing completed as shown to the estimator. (b) Your destination has flights of stairs or elevator, and not written on the estimate (c) Access to your new residence is more that 75 feet from the mover's truck to your front door or, if a large truck can’t get within a reasonable distance, a smaller shuttle truck may be required. (d) You have added or changed the items to be moved, changed dates or destination. (e) Delays beyond the mover’s control; such as weather, waiting time, rearranging furniture or restacking in a storage space, basement, attic or garage. (f) Storage, handling and redelivery costs.
What coverage is included for damages? Movers are legally responsible for damages up to $.60 per pound per article; for example, if a large screen TV weighs 100 pounds, it is covered for $60.00. You should consider purchasing insurance or increased valuation through the mover or your homeowner’s policy or other insurer before the move begins. Movers do not assume any responsibility for: (a) Money, jewelry or collections. (b) Mechanical or electronic items or loss of data. (c) Items previously broken or repaired. (d) Loss or damage to items packed in cartons by you and loss or damaged items not documented on delivery. Items that are packed and unpacked by the mover are only covered up to $.60 per lb unless you purchase additional coverage.
Other important items: Do not pack or move items that may cause damage to your shipment, such as matches, flammables, propane, aerosols or liquids like bleach; this could void all insurance. Don’t sign a blank ‘change order’. Understand how payment is accepted by mover. Be sure to keep a copy of everything you sign until the move is finished. You are about to give everything you own to people that you do not know; its wise to do research first!
The New Jersey Warehousemen and Movers Association (NJWMA) is a non-profit trade association that provides education and training for movers and assists consumers about regulations for moving or verifying licensed movers. All members of the NJWMA are licensed and agree to a Code of Ethics. Find more information, and verify licenses at www.njmovers.com
* BBB Serving New Jersey is a non-profit organization whose mission is to help consumers find and recommend businesses and brands they can trust. BBB sets and upholds standards for ethical business behavior. Contact BBB at 609-588-0509
NJMTA established the New Jersey Motor Truck Association Fund Scholarship to assist the children of
Scholarships are made on academic potential, financial need and unusual circumstances without reference to race, creed, gender, disability, religion or national origin.
Applicants must be
*Dependent children are natural and legally adopted children or stepchildren living in the employee’s household or primarily supported by the employee.
There will be three (3) $1,000 scholarships awarded. Awards are for undergraduate study only.
Interested students must complete the NJMTA Scholarship Fund Application for the next academic year and mail to NJMTA, 160 Tices Lane, East Brunswick, NJ 08816, along with current transcript of grades, post marked no later than May 22, 2015. Recipients will be notified in June.
Applicants are responsible for gathering and submitting all necessary information. Applications are evaluated on the information supplied; therefore, it is important to answer all questions as completely, as possible. All information received is considered confidential and is reviewed only by the scholarship committee and NJMTA staff.
Print scholarship application at
The final selection of recipients is made by the NJMTA Scholarship Committee. The committee will evaluate all applications on the basis of past educational performance and future potential, work experience, statement of career and educational aspirations and goals, leadership and participation in school and community activities. Unusual circumstances and financial need will be given careful consideration. Anyone who serves on the Scholarship Committee agrees that their family members will not be eligible to participate in the program.
Payment of Awards
The award check will be mailed directly to the school in the student’s name.
Students or employees having questions should contact:
Phone: 732-254-5000 Fax: 732-613-1745
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is extending the submission deadline for the 2015 “Be Ready. Be Buckled” student art contest until March 16, 2015. The contest is being held to educate kids about highway safety and urges commercial drivers to buckle up on every trip.
The contest was organized by the Commercial Motor Vehicle safety Belt Partnership and is open to students in kindergarten through sixth grade with relatives or sponsors in the commercial truck and bus industries.
Artwork is evaluated in two categories by age groups: kindergarten through second grade and third through sixth grade. Twelve winners will be selected and their artwork will appear in the 2016 “Be Ready. Be Buckled” contest calendar.
In addition to having their artwork included in the calendar, all 12 students will also be honored at a ceremony at U.S. Department of Transportation headquarters in the spring.
To find out more about the “Be Ready. Be Buckled” contest, click here.
Five Republicans in the U.S. House have introduced a bill that would require shippers, brokers, freight forwarders and others to vet carriers prior to hiring them. The bill also aims to remove the public assumption that carrier rankings in the DOT’s Compliance, Safety, Accountability program should be used as a tool to hire carriers.
The bill would require those hiring carriers to: (1) check their registration status with the DOT, (2) ensure they hold the proper amount of liability insurance and (3) ensure they have not been given “unsatisfactory” safety ratings.
A similar bill was introduced last year, but did not make it out of committee.
H.R. 1220 was introduced Feb. 26 by Reps. John Duncan (R-Tenn.), Rodney Davis (R-Ill.), Richard Hanna (R-N.Y.), Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) and Erik Paulsen (R-Minn.), and they’ve billed it as one that would “enhance interstate commerce by creating a national hiring standard for motor carriers.”
Part of the enhancements to safety, the lawmakers say, will be removing the “confusing and conflicting vagaries” of CSA’s BASIC rankings — a move pushed in this bill by the broker trade group Transportation Intermediaries Association.
“TIA will continue to advocate that the CSA initiative is a valuable internal tool for the Agency, but until the Safety Fitness Determination rulemaking is complete, the BASIC data should not be used as a tool for carrier selection,” according to the lawmakers’ announcement of the bill.
Major trucking groups like the American Trucking Associations and the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association have made a call in recent months to take it a step further than TIA’s bill. They have asked FMCSA and lawmakers to remove the CSA rankings from public view so they could not be used as against carriers, either hiring or otherwise.
The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance — the group representing the enforcement community — has also asked FMCSA to remove the scores from public view until the agency can shore up concerns from industry stakeholders regarding its data quality and its methodology.
Article From: http://www.ccjdigital.com/house-introduces-bill-to-remove-csa-scores-from-public-view-require-shippers-to-vet-carriers/?utm_source=daily&utm_medium=email&utm_content=03-02-2015&utm_campaign=CCJ&ust_id=cfd8eb5830&
ARLINGTON, Va., Friday, Feb. 27 – A federally appointed committee tasked with negotiating a future driver-training rule for entry-level truck and bus drivers has wrapped up its first two-day meeting. Land Line Magazine Managing Editor Jami Jones says the committee has its ground rules in place to move forward and has formed subcommittees tasked with finding a consensus on a training curriculum, accreditation and cost-benefit analysis.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s 26 member Entry-Level Driver Training Advisory Committee consists of representatives from Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, American Trucking Associations, trucking schools, bus and motor coach groups, unions, law enforcement, FMCSA and more.
Congress required FMCSA to form the committee to negotiate a rulemaking.
“On the first day of meeting, they wrapped up some key issues that the committee is going to have to overcome or just resolve during this process, from what skills test is going to be required at the end of driver training to what would be the process for determining the adequacy of training,” Jones told “Land Line Now.”
“They moved forward in developing committees to address all of those different key items that they identified either as problematic or issues that need to be addressed,” she said. Some of the subcommittees will tackle cost-benefit analysis of a driver-training rule, certification/accreditation for training facilities, and an entry-level driver training curriculum.
Jones says it’s interesting that FMCSA is focusing so intently on cost-benefit for a training rule.
“The agency seems more bent on justifying this one through a cost-benefit than they have on other rulemakings like insurance minimums where they just grabbed at whatever research was out there and said, yep, we’re good to go,” she said.
“It’s interesting to see them be so methodical on this rulemaking that’s so commonsense that nobody in the room can argue against it.”
Data, she said, has never been collected that follows a driver candidate through a training school and tracks the candidate’s performance on the road. Subcommittee work could help determine a way forward on that issue.
“They are tasked with coming to a consensus of the framework of what a curriculum should be, how it should be measured, how it should be tracked – all of those things,” Jones said.
“The ground rules allow for three dissenting votes, so essentially they can go forward with 23 out of 26 agreeing,” she said. “And the agency can go forward with a notice of proposed rulemaking based on what this committee develops.”
“It’s an interesting dynamic to see people from differing point of views, knowing that we’re going to have some Survivor Island-kind of moves where there will be deals made and positions dropped in hopes that they get support on another one. It will be an interesting process to see what they come up with in the end.”
The committee is scheduled to meet five more times: March 19-20, April 9-10, April 23-24, May 14-15 and May 28-29. Committee members were asked to complete their work by May 29 and have a written statement ready for the agency by mid-June.
“Land Line Now” News Anchor Reed Black contributed to this story.
- See more at: http://www.landlinemag.com/Story.aspx?StoryID=28572#.VPSitPnF9PJ
New Jersey Motor Truck Association | 160 Tices Lane, East Brunswick, NJ 08816 | 732-254-5000