Preparing the Supply ChainNovember 20, 2023
The NATCO Differential, Part IIDecember 8, 2023
On This and That in Transportation
Gotham’s Trucking Upgrades.
Our friends at Land Line report that the New York City Council has approved a redesign of the city’s truck routes. This will be the first major upgrade since the city’s 1,300 miles of truck routes were created in the 1970s.
The redesign is to include improved safety, increased visibility, implementing plans to reduce both congestion and miles traveled. This is an important step, not least because New York City has a really large population; combine that with relatively narrow roadways (especially final-mile routes) and you get a traffic jam mess on even the “best” of driving days.
The city has seen a huge uptick in final-mile deliveries since the pandemic, with some 3.5 million packages delivered per year since 2021. That translates into about 365 million cargo tons moving in, through, and from the five boroughs every year, with 90% of that on trucks.
The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) released a new report focusing on the predatory towing problem. That’s where drivers and companies needing a tow are somehow boxed out from ordering their own tow services, and the results are typically excessive rates and unwarranted extra service charges.
More than 80 percent of motor carriers needing that assistance have experienced predatory towing. The goal of ATRI’s report is “improving the relationship between the towing and trucking industries.”
As Shawn Brown, VP of Safety for Cargo Transporters, says, “With reliable data analysis and a thorough regulatory review, ATRI’s report sheds light on the sources of the problem and paths forward for addressing it by both regulators and trucking fleets.”
American Trucking Associations (ATA) “is leading opposition to legislation in Congress aiming at recasting how certain commercial drivers are compensated,” reports our friends at Transport Topics. ATA’s view is that the Guaranteeing Overtime for Truckers Act “would disrupt existing compensation structures between an employer and employee.”
ATA President Chris Spear describes the legislation as being misguided, with the results likely including “supply chain chaos and the inflationary consequences for consumers.” He recommends instead focusing, for a start, on “fixing the nationwide truck parking shortage that costs drivers on average $5,500 in lost earnings annually.”
If enacted, the bill wouldn’t affect owner-operators. The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association supports the bill.