Safety reporting system could cause transportation cost spike - The Packer

Safety reporting system could cause transportation cost spike

11/24/2010 01:04:37 PM
Ashley Bentley

“It could eliminate a lot of small truckers, and 95% of produce is moved on those truck lines,” Lund said. “We’re not shipping with J.B. Hunt or guys like that.”

Allen Lund works with 16,000 carriers in a year, Lund said.

“We have no idea how they’re going to fare until we get the stats,” Lund said. “I think it will eliminate 10% to 15%.”

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration counters these concerns with its mission to make the roads safer, and it claims the information will give those scheduling shipments more information to choose the safest drivers.

“What they don’t get is in the summer and spring you already don’t have any trucks,” Lund said.

In a June testimony to the U.S. House of Representatives’ committee on transportation and infrastructure subcommittee on highways and transit, Anne Ferro, administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, said the new system allows the agency to better target high-risk motor carriers and allows it to address the safety deficiencies of a much larger segment of the industry.

The current system of rating is based on a comprehensive compliance review, which can take an investigator up to a week to complete for each carrier.

“The end result of these limitations is that FMCSA can address the safety deficiencies and rate only a small fraction of the industry — between 2% and 3% of the carrier population annually,” Ferro said.

What can be done

Third-party logistics companies and other transportation brokers have tried to mitigate potential issues by encouraging carriers to be aware of safety scores and start making changes where there are issues. Motor carriers have been able to preview their own data since April, but only 10% have accessed the CSA 2010 website, Lund said.

Lund said the safety reporting system doesn’t make sense to him.

“You have the government that licensing the driver, then you license the trucking company, and you license the trailer, but on safety, you’re going to let the market decide?” Lund said. “If a company’s not safe, why not pull its license?”

Lund said the produce industry may not feel the effects of the regulations for a few months, especially because it’s a slow time of the year.

“It’s not going to be implemented without some stumbling blocks,” Stoiber said.

Lund hosted a Web conference titled “CSA 2010 — What Shippers Need to Know” through Red Book University Nov. 23. The conference can be accessed at

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