Recognizing Driver Excellence

At this year’s California Trucking Association (CTA) driver of the year award dinner, several Devine drivers were recognized for their safe driving records.  Actually, we were fortunate to have a total of 22 drivers with representatives from each of our terminals acknowledged for their safe driving throughout the year.  Well done gentlemen…you make us proud!!!

Keith Sears / Sacramento

Keith Sears / Sacramento

Bernardo Siano / Lathrop

Bernardo Siano / Lathrop

Chamkaur Johal / Fresno

Chamkaur Johal / Fresno

Eric Bajaakhuu / Sacramento

Eric Bajaakhuu / Sacramento

Alfredo Alba / Sacramento

Alfredo Alba / Sacramento

Juan Rodriguez / Reno

Juan Rodriguez / Reno

Oscar Garcia / Fresno

Oscar Garcia / Fresno

Pal Singh / Fresno

Pal Singh / Fresno

Sam Bahador / Sacramento

Sam Bahador / Sacramento

Sukhdev Singh Johal / Sacramento

Sukhdev Singh Johal / Sacramento

Inderjit Singh Saini / Fresno

Inderjit Singh Saini / Fresno

Jagdeep Singh / Sacramento

Jagdeep Singh / Sacramento

Kapil Kumar / Sacramento

Kapil Kumar / Sacramento

Keith Sears / Sacramento

Keith Sears / Sacramento

Kulwinder Narwal / Sacramento

Kulwinder Narwal / Sacramento

Pranil Shankar / Lathrop

Pranil Shankar / Lathrop

Rajwinder Sunner / Lathrop

Rajwinder Sunner / Lathrop

Ronnie Reese accepting on behalf of Robert Wollert / Fresno

Ronnie Reese accepting on behalf of Robert Wollert / Fresno

Satnam Bisla / Sacramento

Satnam Bisla / Sacramento

Amreet Singh / Sacramento

Amreet Singh / Sacramento

Driver Dissatisfaction Continues in Oakland

Driver Protest Port of Oakland 11 27 2013 002We were calling it “Our Summer of Discontent,” but we are fast approaching winter and the discontent hasn’t let up.  The issues with terminal mergers and the resulting upheaval have created roadblocks we continue to struggle through today.  Drivers are wary of the delays and inconsistent service.  Their nerves are frayed, their frustration grows and many are fed up and choosing to leave the industry.

To add fuel to the already raging fire, there continues to be on-going driver protests.  There have been three staged blockades at the Port of Oakland since August with the latest being the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and the Friday after, November 27th and 29th.  The protests have been organized by the Port of Oakland Trucker Association (POTA), which is a group of independent contractors serving the port.  They continue to fight for a delay to the California Air Resources Board (CARB) impending truck retirement deadline as well as pressure the port to pay a $50/container Green Truck Fee and a $50/hour Congestion Fee.  Neither of which will happen.

The port has been working with motor carriers and cargo owners to encourage pay advancements to drivers in order to help defray the costs of the newer, more expensive equipment.  They are not, however, going to let the protests stop commerce.  The port has filed an injunction against the protesters and has been closely coordinating with the City of Oakland and the Oakland Police Department to keep the gates clear and open.  The sticky wicket to productivity on these protest days is to what extent the ILWU will honor their picket lines. Despite an arbitrator ruling there is no health and safety concerns as a result of the demonstrations, ILWU, and therefore productivity, is nevertheless hampered.

For information on POTA’s demands, click here.

For the port and city’s response, click here.

Clean Air Is Not Just a Goal but a Promise

Shore Power Infrastructure Complete OaklandThe Port of Oakland, along with representatives from the US Maritime Administration (MARAD), Pacific Merchant Shipping Association (PMSA), Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC)/Federal Highway Administration as well as local and state air districts celebrated the completion of their shoreside power infrastructure.  Shoreside power, or “cold ironing,” is the practice of turning off the ship’s engines at dock and plugging into electrical power to run ship operations.

Shoreside power is a not only an element of the California Air Resources Board (CARB) regulations but also a commitment on the part of the Port of Oakland whose commissioners, in 2008, pledged to reduce diesel emissions by 85% by 2020.  They are well on their way to living up to that promise…as of 2012, diesel particulates had been reduced by 70%. 

Long Beach Ousts Port Commissioner

Thomas FieldsIn an unprecedented move by the mayor of Long Beach, Bob Foster, the city council voted to remove harbor commissioner and board president Thomas Fields.  The mayor and Mr. Fields have disagreed on many issues including a proposal by Fields to move the port’s headquarters to downtown Long Beach.  The mayor cited “excessive travel” as reason for recommending his firing.  Fields, however, said the trips to Asia and Europe were necessary to meet with ocean carrier executives during a period of unparalleled upheaval in the industry.

Many industry officials, ocean carriers and terminal operators see the removal of Fields as very unsettling for the Port of Long Beach.  During a time of intense change, expanded vessel sharing agreements and consolidation, the port has neither an executive director nor a deputy executive director and now two vacant port commission seats with the removal of Fields and resignation two days later of Nick Sramek.  Former executive director, Chris Lytle, left Long Beach over the summer for the top spot at the Port of Oakland.  With all that drama, bet he’s never looked back.

Freight Mobility

Fwy w Rolling Hills 016Those of us in the industry have long been clamoring for a national goods movement plan and the funds to back it up.  As part of MAP-21 (Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act), the US Department of Transportation (USDOT) was charged with identifying the network of highways which serve as the nation’s Primary Freight Network.  Each state is tasked with developing a list of priority projects for freight mobility.  In California, the committee is called the California Freight Advisory Committee (C-FAC), and our own Richard Coyle, President, Devine Intermodal, has been selected as a committee member.

So far, the USDOT have identified more than 41,000 miles of roadway as freight corridors of which 3,100 are in California.  To see the map of California highways identified, click here.

From the Driver’s Seat

Driver 2134 Rinat Yagudin w New Truck 001Tired of talking and working towards solutions that never come to fruition, the New Jersey Motor Truck Association is considering either lodging an official complaint with the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) or filing a lawsuit to compel New York/New Jersey marine terminals to pay for driver waiting time outside their gates.  Their current tariffs require driver detention after about two hours, however, the time is calculated on the time spent inside the terminal gates and does not include any outside queue time.  Should the association choose the FMC route, the complaint would be filed under the Shipping Act provision “prohibiting terminals from engaging in unjust or unreasonable practices, undue preferences or advantages, or unreasonable refusal to deal or negotiate.”  Should they choose the lawsuit route, it would be breach of contract.

From Behind the Dock Doors

ecommerceSpeed to consumers is all the rage, and ecommerce companies like Amazon.com are driving significant industry change.  Gone are the days of having two or even four distribution centers throughout the country.  Amazon has 89 and is planning to open 7 more this year.  In an effort to speed delivery to an instant-gratification society, Amazon is now partnering with the US Postal Service for Sunday deliveries.  The Sunday service started last month in New York City and Los Angeles and will expand into Dallas, Houston, Phoenix and New Orleans early next year with other cities to follow.

Could Containerships Be Obsolete?

Cntrs by High Speed TrainHere’s an interesting idea…we could be using high-speed trains to transport goods between Asia and the US.  The transit time would be a matter of hours not days.  While it would be a tremendous feat of engineering, the know-how and materials are available.  Check out this video for more information.