HOS changes could have negative impact: CTA

by Array

MM&D MAGAZINE, MARCH/APRIL 2011

Proposed changes to the number of hours truck drivers spend behind the wheel will have a negative impact on supply chains in North America, says the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA).

The US Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has proposed reducing the daily driving limit for truck drivers from the current 11 hours to 10 hours.

The FMCSA says the regulations are based on a scientific review and are designed to ensure truck drivers get the necessary rest to perform safe operations. The regulations are also meant to continue the decline in trucking deaths.

But the CTA, which sent a submission to the FMCSA, says the proposed change would add costs to the supply chain and could add one to three days to the transit time for US goods destined for Canada.

The change would also increase costs to consumers and businesses, says the US-based National Retail Federation. Transportation costs could increase anywhere from three percent to 20 percent, depending on the retailer’s supply chain network and operations. And it would mean using more trucks to move the same volume of goods during the same time period.

The CTA  explains that the proposed change could have a detrimental effect on carriers’ ability to truck US exports. This in turn could have a negative impact on the manufacturing industry in the US. David Bradley, CTA’s CEO, also says that the systems, routes and schedules carriers use in shipping US exports to Canada have been designed around the current hours of service rules.

Bradley says the CTA agrees with the American Trucking Association’s position that truck safety is improving and the current rules are working.
FMCSA issued its proposal late last year and will issue final regulations by July 2011.