FROM THE DRIVER’S SEAT

applyCARB Considering Zero Emission Standards

With the largest threshold of requiring 2007 or newer trucks behind the drayage truck industry, we need to be looking ahead. The next deadline is January 2023 which currently requires the use of 2010 or newer trucks to service California’s ocean and rail terminals. However, there is a big push for the state to move towards zero emission heavy-duty trucks. Alternative fuels, hybrids and fuel cells are the technologies that rank at the top of the list. The challenge is not putting the cart before the horse. These technologies have to be developed and their success ensured before regulations for their use can be written and implemented.

Ushering in 2014

Up Close Truck 012We are excited to usher in a new year.  It may sound crazy, but we’re looking forward to another year of changes and challenges as those are things that make logistics fun.

One notable change for 2014:  A significant California Air Resources Board (CARB) drayage truck retirement deadline went into effective January 1, 2014.  In order to serve any of the ocean and rail terminals in the state, one must be driving a model-year engine 2007 or newer truck. 

One notable challenge for 2014:  The contract between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the employer group, Pacific Maritime Association (PMA), expires on June 30, 2014.  It is expected jurisdiction will be a key factor in the discussions.  The ILWU sees every job performed at the marine terminals as a job belonging to the ILWU.  We have seen several battles over the jurisdiction of jobs on both coasts over the past year which have resulted in work stoppages and legal action. 

Disruptions, Delays & Drivers

Since the 4th of July holiday, we have experienced a series of labor disruptions and slowdowns in Oakland.  The latest issue was a protest by the Port of Oakland Trucker Association.  The protest lasted two days, October 21st and 22nd, and effectively shut down terminal operations one day and limited operations on the other.  Drivers want additional pay to offset the expense of purchasing a California Air Resources Board (CARB) compliant truck.  Effective January 1, 2014, every truck serving the state’s marine and rail facilities has to be model-year engine 2007 or newer. They are also seeking an extension to the CARB deadline in order to pursue grant and other funding.  The final complaint is terminal inefficiencies.  Drivers are not able to process as many transactions in a day as they need to in order to make a living.  With long queues, extended wait times, container unavailability and chassis chasing, drivers are making half the turns needed.

It’s not as easy as throwing twice the number of drivers at the problem to move the same amount of freight…which is not an option anyway because of the nationwide driver shortage.  Even if we could increase the fleet serving Oakland by 100%, it would only create more congestion, more delays and more disgruntled drivers.