By Jami Jones
Truckers delivered a consistent message to FMCSA during the hours-of-service listening session – excessive detention time must be dealt with.
Apparently, the agency has taken that to heart, as FMCSA Administrator Anne Ferro delivered that message loud and clear in mid-June to a group of shippers and receivers gathered in Washington, DC.
In remarks delivered to the National Industrial Transportation League – the nation’s largest special-interest group representing shippers – Ferro told NITL members they had to take responsibility for their role in highway safety.
“As the motor carrier’s primary customer, you also play a unique part in safety. It’s one few others possess,” Ferro said.
She explained the cold hard truth that the daily waste of time truckers face at the docks has a direct negative impact on safety.
“When the truck is not moving, the drivers are burning hours they cannot recapture. Consequently, when they do get a load and leave the terminal, they are under increased financial and mental stress to not run out of hours. They have families to support; this is their livelihood,” she said.
“Think about that. Put yourself in the shoes of the truck driver who can’t get in and get offloaded, can’t get out with a load because of inefficiencies at terminals. Who is in the unique position to address this?”
Interestingly enough, Ferro’s remarks didn’t end there. She encouraged shippers and receivers to take a long look at their loading and unloading practices. And, interestingly enough, she tacked on a time frame of “between now and the end of the year” for that self-examination to occur.
“While FMCSA does not currently have direct jurisdiction over shippers and receivers, it certainly should give them pause for concern that the administrator of FMCSA is calling them out on their time-wasting practices,” said Rod Nofziger, OOIDA director of government affairs.
“This is obviously the start of a whole new conversation on HOS compliance, and I don’t see FMCSA’s pressure on shippers and receivers going away any time soon.” LL