Happy New Year!! As we ring in 2013, no longer dangling from something called a fiscal cliff, I wanted to reach out to you and let you know that we are on top of any of the new rules and regulations for 2013. Below, I have highlighted some of the more significant changes for all of us and where we stand in compliance. I don’t remember many years when we have seen more legislative activity to one industry than that which we saw in 2012 for trucking in the Transportation Act passed by Congress last year.
Of significant importance, especially to our clients who ship refrigerated shipments, are the new California CARB regulations that went into effect yesterday. On the advice of counsel, we have elected to handle this two ways: incorporating new, strict language into our load confirmations with our carriers and checking trailer VIN numbers on the State of California website. While we do not expect that 100% of our carriers will be compliant or even many of our carriers to be 100% compliant within their entire fleet, our team are aware of the new regulations and will be very thorough on each reefer shipment - to, through or from California.
On July 1, 2013, the broker surety bond will be going up on all licensed brokers to $75,000 (up from $10,000). Kingsgate has already been approved for our $75,000 surety bond. While we were not necessarily supportive of this part of the transportation bill, we decided to get ahead of this and participate in TIA’s bonding program so that we had no concern down the road. It seems there are many smaller brokers concerned about their ability to get approved for the new limits. If this comes to fruition, we could see continued contraction in the market which could impact rates and coverage. We will be keeping our eye on this as the year rolls toward the June 30th deadline and keep you posted with any significant updates.
The FMCSA continues tweaking the Compliance Safety Accountability program, in response to legal challenges and many other objections. There were concerns that CSA enforcement would continue to put a strain on scarce capacity, but these fears have not yet materialized. CSA does not yet offer a Safety Fitness Determination (SFD) score, which shippers and brokers consider to be the most important piece of the carrier qualification puzzle. We may not see the SFD until 2014, and enforcement will probably take even longer. Again, we will be closely watching this and keep you advised as needed.
The impact of hours of service (HOS) changes and electronic on-board recorders (EOBR) are still playing out as we work to manage pick-up and delivery schedules for your freight; but be assured, we are operating to the letter of the law and our team are great stewards of your shipments.
We will keep you posted via email, our blog, facebook and twitter accounts throughout the year and please remember…”we can take IT from here”
All our best to you and yours in 2013!