Current initiatives, such as HR 756 and extending the FMCSA’s authority, are being proposed in an effort to reduce the number of hours drivers are detained at docks to pick up or deliver a shipment. Although transportation companies are urging for action to take place over detention issues, not all trucking groups are in favor of stricter regulations.
After a Government Accountability Office survey depicting 65% of drivers experiencing detention problems within the past month, Peter DeFazio proposed a bill entitled HR 756, which would determine a set number of hours a shipper is allowed to detain a driver before being charged.
As the bill awaits a decision, more and more groups began to show their support over the proposal, the Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee (MCSAC) and Owner Operator Independent Driver’s Association (OOIDA) being among them.
The MCSAC has taken the detention dispute even further, urging for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to take action in seeking legal authority over entities that contribute to FMCSA safety violations, which they believe is the case here since detention time can interfere and violate a driver’s hours of service.
Currently, the FMCSA “has authority over drivers and carriers” but the MCSAC is suggesting that they expand their control to cover “shippers, receivers, and brokers who ‘unduly detain’ drivers” (http://www.truckinginfo.com/news/news-detail.asp?news_id=73637).
OOIDA also seconds HR 756 explaining that detention costs the industry $3 billion annually and is becoming the biggest efficiency problem in trucking.
While the American Trucking Associations (ATA) understands the issue with detention and how valuable time is to drivers, they disagree with the MCSAC on how to go about the problem.
According to an article in truckinginfo.com, the ATA believes that carriers and shippers need to settle the detention dispute on their own without involving federal authorities, recently voting against regulating detention time.
The ATA explains that “federal intervention into this area would have significant impacts on the contractual agreements between carriers and shippers” effecting shipping rates, and although “no carrier wants to see our drivers’ time wasted… this is not an issue that can be handled with a ‘one-size, fits all’ regulation and as a result is best addressed in contractual agreements between carriers and shippers” (http://www.truckinginfo.com/news/news-detail.asp?news_id=73788).
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Are in support of HR 756 or do you believe that the ATA is right in saying that it is an issue that should be between the shipper and carrier?