Port trucking to change?
- The Pacific Merchant Shipping Association and National Industrial Transportation League oppose plan to restrict marine terminal access to port-licensed trucking companies with the greenest truck fleets operated by employee drivers.Long Beach Press TelegramArticle Launched: 10/02/2007 12:00:00 AM PDT
Two powerful industry groups are petitioning the federal government to intervene in a controversial truck plan being considered by local port authorities.
As proposed, the plan would restrict marine terminal access to port-licensed trucking companies with the greenest truck fleets operated by employee drivers.
The Pacific Merchant Shipping Association and National Industrial Transportation League are asking the Federal Maritime Commission to examine the plan and see if there were any violations of federal law in its development, according to trade publication American Shipper.
Since its announcement in April, industry groups have lobbied aggressively against the plan, saying such stipulations, particularly the employee driver piece, smack of interstate commerce violations.
They also groan about an employee driver's "lack of motivation" to work hard.
Local truck company owners interviewed at a recent motor carrier conference almost universally said hourly drivers tend to be less efficient than independent contractors, who are paid by the load.
"What's the motivation to do two or three turns in a day for an hourly guy?" one executive said. "If this plan goes, you're going to need a lot more drivers and a lot more trucks to handle the same amount of cargo."
Contractors also end up working for about $8 per hour less than hourly truck drivers and don't have medical, vacation or retirement benefits - keeping costs down for carriers.
Commissioners in both Long Beach and Los Angeles had hoped to vote on the joint plan by mid-July for a Jan. 1 launch, but that vote has been pushed back to at least late October.