Monthly Archives - January 2023

Will SHIP IT Revitalize Trucking? Better Truck Parking, Tax Credits

The Ship It Act is a proposed bill that can have a fundamental impact across the trucking industry. The Future of Trucking Rev up your engines truckers, a game-changing piece of legislation is rolling into the House of Representatives! The Safer Highways and Increased Performance for Interstate Trucking (SHIP IT) Act is set to take the nation’s trucking industry to new heights with nearly $800 million in funding for essential upgrades. Co-sponsored by Reps. Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.) and Jim Costa (D-Calif.), this bill promises to tackle one of truckers’ biggest headaches – finding a safe and secure place to park. Get ready for expanded truck parking access across the country and a much needed boost for the trucking industry. Put Up A Parking Lot The implementation of the SHIP IT Act makes funding for trucking projects, such as paving and parking, more accessible. The significance of parking is often underestimated outside the industry. With a shortage of 1 parking spot per every 11 semis in the US, drivers are forced to work unfavorable hours, causing longer delivery times. This can greatly impact commercial drivers and have a ripple effect on daily life. The funding will also enhance rest stops with better and safer restrooms, addressing the issue of gender-related safety concerns and encouraging diversity in the truck driving profession. Widespread Benefits Across the board industry leaders have been backing and showing support for the bill. The parking made available to our nation’s transportation experts has been an issue for a long time. According to Rep. Johnson, a member of the transportation panel, there are several economic benefits associated with a vibrant supply chain. “The SHIP IT Act will bridge gaps, keep costs down for consumers, and make it easier for shippers to move products across the U.S,” Johnson said. This bill would provide tax incentives, streamline the commercial driver’s license process, and provide economic benefits for individuals planning to join the trucking workforce. A Difference in Opinion Although many are in agreement that the trucking industry needs an upgrade, some argue that the SHIP IT Act falls short in addressing the root causes of the driver retention problem. Lewie Pugh, Executive Vice President of OOIDA, states that the bill fails to provide adequate compensation for truckers and does not address the lack of respect for truckers’ time from carriers and shippers. Pugh looks forward to working with Reps. Johnson and Costa to create policies that truly benefit truckers and improve the overall supply chain. Other Impacts The SHIP IT Act promises to revolutionize the trucking industry by providing a range of incentives for truck drivers. Not only will the bill streamline the CDL process to make testing and licensing easier, it will also make the industry more accessible than ever. Existing truck drivers with at least 1,900 hours on the road in a year can enjoy tax credits worth up to $7,500, based on their income, and new truckers can be eligible for a $10,000 tax credit. In times of crisis, states will have the ability to issue special permits for overweight vehicles and loads. The SHIP IT Act is a comprehensive solution to the trucking industry’s challenges and will provide a boost to truck drivers and businesses alike. Endorsement from Stakeholders The proposed legislation has received widespread support from the trucking industry. Sean Joyce, the executive director of the Shippers Coalition, declared: ‘Our supply chain is at a breaking point, and the introduction of the SHIP IT Act is a critical step in building a stronger transportation network.’ Chris Jahn, President and CEO of American Chemistry Council, added: ‘This bill removes numerous regulatory barriers that will make it easier for truckers to do their job — delivering critical products across the country.” Conclusion The act truly represents a pivotal moment for the trucking industry, offering vital funding for parking projects, incentivizing truck drivers, and enhancing access to crucial parking and rest areas. This transformative legislation has received widespread endorsement from key stakeholders, and is poised to fortify the nation’s supply chain and boost the U.S. economy. Thanks for taking the time to read this article! We hope you found the information interesting and helpful. If you’re in the market for a new career opportunity or looking to fill a position, we’re here to help. Our team at Optimum Logistics specializes in both CDL and warehouse jobs, and we’re dedicated to connecting you with the right opportunity. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or need assistance. Stay Safe Out There! – The Optimum Logistic Team

Eyes On The Road! Know Signs of Human Trafficking

Human trafficking is more than just a buzzword in media – it’s a modern-day form of slavery that occurs right under our noses. As professional drivers, you play a crucial role in the fight against trafficking by being the eyes and ears of the nation’s highways. Learn about the red flags to look out for, and how you can make a difference by reporting suspicious activity and educating yourself on the issue. Don’t let preconceived notions cloud your judgement – anyone, regardless of gender, race, or socioeconomic status, can fall victim to trafficking. Join the fight against this heinous crime by visiting the Truckers Against Trafficking website and contacting the National Human Trafficking Hotline. Together, we can put an end to human trafficking.

Truckers Take on A New Kind of Traffic

Human trafficking is happening right in front of us, but did you know that truckers can play a crucial role in bringing these crimes to light? The Kansas City Police Department (KCPD), the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT), and the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) have joined forces with the trucking industry to raise awareness and educate on the signs of human trafficking. Perpetrators often use commercial vehicles to transport their victims, making truckers a vital “force multiplier” in reporting suspicious activity. This week, KCPD and MoDOT will be meeting with commercial truckers to distribute information provided by the group Truckers Against Trafficking. Don’t miss this important story on how everyday heroes on the road are making a difference in the fight against human trafficking in Missouri and beyond.

Hit the Road Safely: How to Protect Your Cargo from Theft

Transporting precious goods across the country comes with its own set of challenges, and cargo theft is one of them. Learn how to keep yourself and your freight safe on the road with our five tips. Stay in touch with dispatch, keep your truck moving, stay alert, park in safe areas and get some extra eyes with cameras. With cargo theft on the rise, it’s important to take extra precautions to protect yourself and your freight. Be sure to follow these tips to ensure a safe journey for yourself and your cargo.

Cargo Crime Wave: $223 Million in Goods Stolen in 2022

Cargo theft is a growing concern in the US and Canada, with an estimated $223 million in cargo stolen during 2022. Learn about the latest trends in cargo theft, hot spots for theft, common goods targeted, and tips for preventing cargo thefts in this comprehensive article. Don’t let your cargo fall prey to thieves, stay informed and take action with our expert insights. Don’t miss out on our latest publication on how to protect your cargo and stay ahead of the thieves.

Meijer Takes the Wheel: Leading the Way to a Greener Future

Meijer, a Michigan-based retailer, is revolutionizing the industry by deploying the first all-electric semi-trucks outside of California in partnership with Freightliner. Meijer is testing the performance of these trucks in a cold weather environment as part of a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, leading the way in sustainable transportation. This is a major milestone for the retail industry and for Meijer’s commitment to reducing carbon footprint. Be sure to read our article for more on Meijer’s innovative approach to transportation and the impact on the environment.

FMCSA Increased Penalties Violations in 2023 – Are You Prepared?

FMCSA Increased Penalties Violations in 2023 – Are You Prepared? FMCSA follows DOT Ruling The Department of Transportation (DOT) just made a big announcement that’s gonna shake things up for the trucking industry. They passed the new rule for 2023 that updates the penalties for breaking certain regulations, including those related to trucking company audits. 1.07745 Is A Magic Number You might be wondering why the DOT is doing this. Well, it’s because they’re required by federal law to adjust the fines every year to keep up with inflation. The Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 says that agencies like the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) have to make an initial “catch-up” adjustment, as well as annual adjustments for inflation. To figure out the new penalty amounts for 2023, the DOT used the October 2022 Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) and compared it to the October 2021 CPI-U. This gave them a multiplier of 1.07745, which they used to increase all the previous penalty amounts. No Sneaky Penalties It’s important to keep in mind that these new penalties will only apply to violations that happen after the rule takes effect. If you broke any regulations before the rule was released, you’ll still be subject to the previous penalty amounts. And, the DOT made it clear that the rule doesn’t change any penalties that the agency is currently collecting or has already collected. Big Changes So, what does this mean for you as a trucker? Well, if you’ve done some looking into this already, you’ve probably seen some rather large numbers being thrown around. It’s important to note here is that while these larger numbers are not the fees for individuals, if you get caught breaking any FMCSA regulations in 2023 it’s certainly gonna cost you and your employer more than it would have before. The Bottom Line The DOT is certainly taking a harder stance on breaking regulations, and it’s going to cost more if you get caught. The easiest thing you can do is, make sure you’re following the rules and staying safe on the road. Stay informed and vigilant to avoid penalties and keep your trucking business moving. For a complete list of all the changes check out the official list of FMCSA Fines.

Truckers, Watch Out: Don’t Fall For This DOT Phone Scam

An Unknown Number… The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) is warning truckers of a potential phone scam posing as the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). An OOIDA member Scott Moderson received a text message claiming there was an error with his USDOT and urging him to call a certain number to avoid interruptions in his driving. SCAM:Confirmed! An internet search of the phone number by Moderson found that the number was not in any way associated with the DOT. OOIDA was then contacted by Moderson for more information. Tom Crowley, a regulatory specialist with OOIDA’s Business Services Department, confirmed suspicions that this is likely a scam. Crowley went on to remind us that the DOT typically communicates via letter or phone call, not text messages. MCS-150 Renewal Scams This year as you’re out on the roads this year, remain vigilant against the tactics and habits of these scammers. Another common scam is an offer to update official documents such as the MCS-150 forms for a fee of up to $300. The MCS-150 form, for example, is a frequent target due to it being required in commercial transportation. Scammers have been known to charge for updating the form, but truckers can do it for free or use OOIDA for $25. Always be cautious of organizations charging high fees for the service. Renew MCS-150 For Free Your first option is to complete and file the required MCS-150 forms online, here. The FMCSA highly recommends due to its speed and user-friendly features such as built-in edit checks and straightforward questions. The estimated time to complete the form online is just 20 minutes. If you do happen to prefer a more traditional approach, you can also submit a printed and signed copy of the form by mail, fax, or through a web form. All of the information can be found on the FMCSA website What’s Up Their Sleeve There are many other types of telephone scams, where scammers may try to steal your money or personal information through phone calls, robocalls, or text messages. These scammers may make false promises or offers, or even threaten jail or lawsuits if you don’t pay them. Stay vigilant and know that such things never appear simply out of the blue via phone call. Another type of scam to be aware of is government grant scams, where scammers try to get your money by guaranteeing you a grant for things like college or home repairs. They may ask for your checking account information and claim that they will deposit the grant money into your account or withdraw a “one-time processing fee.” However, it’s important to remember that government grants are rarely awarded to individuals and are usually given to state and local governments, universities, and other organizations for research and projects that benefit the public. The DOT Doesn’t Text It’s important for truckers to be aware that the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) typically communicates through letter or phone call, rather than via text message. If you ever happen to receive a suspicious text message claiming to be from the DOT, it’s best to be cautious and verify the authenticity of the message before taking any action. If you’re unsure about the message and want to be extra safe, you can always reach out to OOIDA or another trusted organization for assistance. Just remember to be vigilant and protect yourself from potential scams. Extra Steps Beyond screening calls and looking out for the things we’ve mentioned. Some drivers will set up separate phone lines in order to further protect themselves from potential scams. This can help to create a clear separation between personal and business communication, which can make it easier to identify potentially fraudulent calls or texts. One of the phone lines can be listed on more public databases, such as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) website, which can be accessed by potential customers. This can be useful for professional purposes, but it’s important to be aware that listing your phone number on a public database can also make it more vulnerable to scam artists. By having a separate, unlisted phone line for personal use, truckers can help to reduce the risk of falling victim to a scam.



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