Cargo Theft — Security and Responsibility

Written by: The Deerfield Team

Cargo Theft is a common crime; a crime of opportunity. Cargo goods are easy to access and abundant across the country.  truckphoto_recolorStatistics estimate that cargo theft cost the shipping industry about $25 billion a year.

Cargo theft happens frequently in terminals, truck stops, warehouses, parking lots, and most commonly in trucks parked on the street. This is a problem that occurs all around the country.

 

To minimize Cargo theft we recommend these Prevention Procedures:

About Personnel:

Get to know your drivers before hiring by performing a pre-employment screening.

Unattended Trucks:

Make sure your units are equipped with an alarm system and locked completely.

About Routes:

Make sure your routes are done with a minimum of stops and don’t leave your vehicle unattended in an unsecured area at any time.

About Subcontractors:

If you use subcontractors you need to obtain as much information about the company and driver as possible.

About Equipment:

Secure all trailers or containers making sure they are seal/locked correctly and against a wall.

Yards or Parking Lots:

Ensure adequate lightning, fences and security cameras and guards are provided to prevent unauthorized vehicles from entering the location.

As always, we are here to help you any way we can. Please don’t hesitate to call or email if you need us.

The Deerfield Team
800.233.6428
info@deerfieldadvisors.com

 


DISCLAIMER

This article is intended only as a general discussion of these issues & we cannot guarantee the accuracy thereof. It does not purport to provide legal, accounting, or other professional advice. If such advice is needed, please consult with your attorney, accountant, or other qualified adviser. The Views expressed here do not constitute legal advice. The information contained herein is for general guidance of matter only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. Accordingly, the information provided herein is provided with the understanding that Deerfield Advisors is not engaged in rendering legal advice. Deerfield Advisors strongly advises that clients and/or the reader of this publication contact an attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem discussed here. Also, please know that discussions of insurance policy language is descriptive only. We strongly advise that one’s individual policy & one’s advisor be consulted regarding this subject matter before any action is taken in any way. Coverage afforded under any insurance policy issued is subject to individual policy terms and conditions. The Deerfield Advisor White Paper Series is a registered trademark of Deerfield Asset Management Inc. DBA, Deerfield Advisors and is produced by Deerfield Advisors for the benefit of its clients, and any other use is strictly prohibited. All rights reserved. Copyright © 2016

 

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Key FMCSA Resources & Definitions for Carriers

Written by: The Deerfield Team

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is a federal agency under the U.S. Department of Transportation whose primary mission is “to prevent crashes, injuries and fatalities involving large trucks and buses”.¹  This mission translates into a large range of programs and thousands of pages of regulations and resources for carriers, drivers, and consumers.

In this section of our FMCSA series, we’ll look at key resources and terms for truck and bus companies looking to comply with federal standards.

Key Resources

The FMCSA website contains a wealth of information. For example, Carriers can find their company profile and safety information on the Registration and Licensing page. Full updated regulations can be viewed and searched through the Regulations page of the FCMSA website. The website also features 94 FAQs specifically relevant to Carriers.

There are thousands of pages of very specific information on the FMCSA website. In 2009 the agency published an easy-to-read guide to the most relevant information: the 162-page A Motor Carrier’s Guide to Improving Highway Safety, a PDF accessible online.

~ Important Definitions ~

The following terms are essential to understand as a carrier.

  • Interstate vs. Intrastate Commerce

Interstate commerce describes a vehicle, passengers, or cargo that crosses a state boundary or intends to cross a state boundary. Intrastate commerce occurs within one state.

  • FMCSRs

FMCSR is an acronym for Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulation. These are published in the Federal Register and compiled in the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), parts 300-399. You can search regulations, rule making documents, and notices on the Regulations page of the FMCSA website.

  • HMRs

HMRs are Hazardous Materials Regulations. (HMs are hazardous materials.) Information about HRMs, including the top 20 cargo tank facility violations and minimum levels of financial responsibility, can be found on the Hazardous Materials/Dangerous Goods Regulations page of the FMCSA website.

  • Motor Carrier Identification Report

Also known as Form MCS- 150, this report is the application for a US DOT number. To apply, you need a PIN, a federal tax ID/EIN, and credit card.

  • U.S. DOT Number

A U.S. DOT Number is a unique identifier used for monitoring a company’s safety information gathered from audits, compliance reviews, crash investigations, and inspections.² It is required that companies operating CMVs in interstate commerce and companies transporting quantities of HMs requiring a safety permit within a state acquire a DOT Number. You can register online or request a PIN number for registration on the FMCSA website.

  • Safety Audit

A safety audit is an examination of a motor carrier’s operations to assess the carrier’s safety performance and provide help meeting the requirements of FMCSRs and applicable HMRs. They do not result in safety ratings.

  • Safety Management Controls

Safety management controls are all the ways in which a carrier ensures compliance with relevant safety regulations.

  • Compliance Review

A compliance review is an on-site examination of motor carrier operations to make sure a motor carrier meets the safety fitness standard.  A compliance review results in a safety rating.

  • Safety Ratings

FMCSA gives an evaluation to interstate commercial motor carriers after a compliance review. Safety ratings are either “satisfactory,” “conditional,” or “unsatisfactory”. Unrated carriers have not received a safety rating.

  • Interstate Operating Authority

Companies need different types of operating authority for different types of operations and cargo. It dictates the level of insurance and financial responsibilities the company must maintain.³ FMCSA operating authority is also called an “MC,” “FF,” or “MX” number, according to the type of authority registration granted. For-hire carriers, carriers transporting passengers in interstate commerce, and carriers transporting federal-regulated commodities in interstate commerce must have an MC number in addition to a DOT number.

As always, we are here to help you any way we can. Please don’t hesitate to call or email if you need us.

The Deerfield Team
800.233.6428
info@deerfieldadvisors.com


 

References:

  1. https://www.facebook.com/FMCSA/info/?tab=page_info
  2. https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/registration/do-i-need-usdot-number
  3. https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/registration/get-mc-number-authority-operate

SOURCES:

DISCLAIMER

This article is intended only as a general discussion of these issues & we cannot guarantee the accuracy thereof. It does not purport to provide legal, accounting, or other professional advice. If such advice is needed, please consult with your attorney, accountant, or other qualified adviser. The Views expressed here do not constitute legal advice. The information contained herein is for general guidance of matter only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. Accordingly, the information provided herein is provided with the understanding that Deerfield Advisors is not engaged in rendering legal advice. Deerfield Advisors strongly advises that clients and/or the reader of this publication contact an attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem discussed here. Also, please know that discussions of insurance policy language is descriptive only. We strongly advise that one’s individual policy & one’s advisor be consulted regarding this subject matter before any action is taken in any way. Coverage afforded under any insurance policy issued is subject to individual policy terms and conditions. The Deerfield Advisor White Paper Series is a registered trademark of Deerfield Asset Management Inc. DBA, Deerfield Advisors and is produced by Deerfield Advisors for the benefit of its clients, and any other use is strictly prohibited. All rights reserved. Copyright © 2016

 

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It’s Official: The FMCSA Has Published Its Final ELD Rule, to General Acclaim

Written by: The Deerfield Team

Adopting electronic logging devices is no longer an option for most interstate CMV operations. On December 16, 2015, the Federal Register published the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s final rule on Electronic Logging Devices and Hours of Service Supporting DocumentsProposed in early 2014 and revealed on December 10th by the FMCSA, the rule requires model year 2000 and newer trucks involved in interstate travel to start using ELDs by December 2017.

After a similar 2010 ELD rule failed due to litigation concerning harassment and supporting documents, the FMCSA learned its lesson. It has taken steps to explicitly prohibit the coercion of drivers and even took on authority to enforce the rule against shippers, receivers, and transportation intermediaries—not just motor carriers. While the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association and Truck Renting and Leasing Association have raised concerns, responses to the 2015 Final Rule have largely been positive.

ELD Final Rule: Key Points

  • Approximately three million commercial vehicle drivers will be impacted by the ELD mandate.
  • There is a two-year compliance window for commercial truck and bus drivers to adopt ELDs.
  • The ELD rule makes procedural and technical provisions to prevent harassment related to ELD data.
  • The rule establishes technology specifications for manufacturers to create compliant devices and allows the use of certified smart phones and other wireless devices as ELDs.
  • Carriers that have already installed compliant automatic onboard recording devices are allowed to keep using them for two years after the compliance date.
  • The FMCSA anticipates that the rule will result in an annual net benefit of more than $1 billion (mostly in processing paperwork time and cost) and the prevention of 26 death and 1,844 crashes involving CMVs annually.¹

Responses to the ELD Rule

Most trucking organizations, lawmakers, and technology companies responded to the Final ELD Rule with praise and approval. Two family-owned trucking companies urge carriers to maximize the use of ELDs to minimize inefficiency and maximize profit.² On the other end of the spectrum, truck rental businesses expressed some concerns, while the OOIDA issued a full-on legal attack.³

  • “A truly historic day for trucking.” The president of the American Trucking Association and the president of the Arkansas Trucking Association, which have supported ELDs since 2010 and 1999, respectively, agree that the mandate will change the industry for the better.
  • “Clearly, the rule will relieve carriers and drivers” of burdens related to supporting documents and chances of harassment and coercion, stated the Truckload Carriers Association.
  • “Paper logs have proven to be less accurate and easy to manipulate,” argued Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), a long-time advocate of electronic driver logs.
  • The new rule “removes any remaining argument for the Canadian governments not to move forward with a similar mandate,” stated the Canadian Trucking Alliance after the rule was revealed.
  • “Recent improvements “have made ELDs less expensive, easier to install, and more intuitive to operate,” according to Ravi Kodavarti, director of product management for mobile communications at Rand McNally. Technology companies contend that ELD data can help any trucking operation save on costs and gain valuable business insights.
  • “There are still “concerns given the unique nature of renting,” according to the Truck Renting and Leasing Association, which failed to convince the FMCSA to include a rental vehicle exception in the final rule.
  •  “Absolutely the most outrageous intrusion into the rights of professional truckers imaginable” is what Jim Johnston, OOIDA’s president and CEO, called the Final ELD Rule.⁴  OOIDA argued in 2011 that a proposed electronic logbook rule did not address the harassment of drivers, convincing the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit to vacate the rule. The association issued litigation against the 2015 rule, but its “Petition for Review” did not include specific arguments, which OOIDA says it will present in court.

Moving Forward: Where to Get Training

Technology firm Omnitracs offers a webinar to help fleets understand ELDs. Zonar offers a path to ELD compliance, which includes knowledge and implementation strategies for your specific fleet. Two years is a generous amount of time to adopt ELD technology, but it’s never too early to understand and begin complying with the new final rule.

As always, we are here to help you any way we can. Please don’t hesitate to call or email if you need us.

The Deerfield Team  

800.233.6428

info@deerfieldadvisors.com


 

References:

  1. Brian Straight, FleetOwner.com: “FMCSA Unveils Final ELD Rule”
  2. Aaron Marsh, FleetOwner.com: “Two fleets’ experience: ELDs and extras cut costs, boosted image”
  3. Matt Cole, CCJ: Trucking groups weigh in on ELD mandate, major groups split on rule’s efficacy”
  4. FleetOwner.com: “OOIDA sues over ELD final rule

SOURCES:                                                                                                                  

“CTA: No Reason For Further Delay on Canadian ELD Rule.” Canadian Trucking Alliance, December 10, 2015. http://cantruck.ca/cta-no-reason-forfurther-delay-on-canadian-eld-rule/

“Electronic Logging Devices and Hours of Service Supporting Documents.” FMCSA. https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/hours-service/elds/electronic-logging-devicesand-hours-service-supporting-documents

“Electronic Logging Devices and Hours of Service Supporting Documents.”Federal Register, March 28, 2014.https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2014/03/28/2014-05827 electronic-logging-devices-and-hours-of-service-supporting-documents

“OOIDA sues over ELD final rule.” FleetOwner.com, Dec 16, 2015. http://fleetowner.com/regulations/ooida-sues-over-eld-final-rule

Aaron Marsh, “Two fleets’ experience: ELDs and extras cut costs, boosted image.” FleetOwner.com, Oct 5, 2015. http://fleetowner.com/regulations/two-fleets-experience-elds-and-extras-cut-costs-boosted-image

Brian Straight, “FMCSA Unveils Final ELD Rule.” FleetOwner.com, Dec 10, 2015. http://fleetowner.com/regulations/fmcsa-unveils-final-eld-rule

Matt Cole, “Trucking groups weigh in on ELD mandate, major groups split on rule’s efficacy.” CCJ, Dec 14, 2015. http://www.ccjdigital.com/trucking-groups-weigh-in-on-eld-mandate-major-groups-split-on-efficacy/

DISCLAIMER

This article is intended only as a general discussion of these issues & we cannot guarantee the accuracy thereof. It does not purport to provide legal, accounting, or other professional advice. If such advice is needed, please consult with your attorney, accountant, or other qualified adviser. The Views expressed here do not constitute legal advice. The information contained herein is for general guidance of matter only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. Accordingly, the information provided herein is provided with the understanding that Deerfield Advisors is not engaged in rendering legal advice. Deerfield Advisors strongly advises that clients and/or the reader of this publication contact an attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem discussed here. Also, please know that discussions of insurance policy language is descriptive only. We strongly advise that one’s individual policy & one’s advisor be consulted regarding this subject matter before any action is taken in any way. Coverage afforded under any insurance policy issued is subject to individual policy terms and conditions. The Deerfield Advisor White Paper Series is a registered trademark of Deerfield Asset Management Inc. DBA, Deerfield Advisors and is produced by Deerfield Advisors for the benefit of its clients, and any other use is strictly prohibited. All rights reserved. Copyright © 2016

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FMCSA Essentials: Compliance, Safety, Accountability

Written by: The Deerfield Team

The Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) program is the cornerstone of the compliance and enforcement efforts of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). CSA collects data on carriers’ safety performance nationwide and targets the FMCSA’s enforcement intervention resources at the most noncompliant and unsafe companies.

Rather than rely on FMCSA’s team or law enforcement partners to track millions of CMV companies and commercial driver license holders, the scientific CSA model allows the FMCSA to use data from state partners across the country and correct issues before they cause crashes and cost lives.

What are the components of CSA?

CSA is made up of three parts:

  1. Measurement. CSA uses inspection and crash data to identify high-risk carriers.
  2. Evaluation. CSA contacts a large number of high-risk carriers and drivers with customized information and an updated Safety Fitness Determination methodology.
  3. Intervention. CSA aims to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of enforcement officers’ interventions, including warning letters, roadside inspections, and investigations.

How does the CSA measure safety?

Until 2010, FMCSA relied on a data-driven analysis system called SafeStat. While SafeStat successfully identified carriers at risk for crashes, it proved to be too simplistic. Additionally, it did not focus on behaviors of CMV drivers, which the FMCSA Large Truck Crash Causation Study  showed needed serious attention. Today the FMCSA uses the Safety Measurement System (SMS), its new “workload prioritization tool.” ¹

The tool continues to undergo improvements. In September 2015, the Safety Measurement System (SMS) Methodology was updated to reflect stakeholders’ suggestions.

How does the SMS work?

The SMS incorporates motor carrier data from safety-based violations, State-reported crashes, and the Federal motor carrier census to evaluate motor carrier performance in safety metrics. It turns this data into quantifiable performance ratings that can helps identify which carriers should be prioritized for interventions, specify the exact issues of a carrier or driver, and track the improvement or decline of safety issues. The SMS makes motor carriers’ CSA safety and performance data available online, so that the carrier and other interested parties can look up the information themselves.

The SMS categorizes data into seven Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASICs), whose usefulness has been demonstrated by multiple studies: ²

  1. Unsafe Driving (Factsheet). Examples include speeding, reckless driving, improper lane change, and inattention.
  2. Crash Indicator (Factsheet).
  3. Hours-of-Service Compliance (Factsheet). Examples include operating a CMV while ill or fatigued.
  4. Vehicle Maintenance (Factsheet). Examples include mechanical defects, failure to make required repairs, and improper load securement.
  5. Controlled Substances/Alcohol (Factsheet). Examples include possession or consumption of alcohol.
  6. Hazardous Materials Compliance (Factsheet). Examples include release of hazardous materials from package and lacking placards/markings when required.
  7. Driver Fitness (Factsheet). Examples include lacking a valid and appropriate commercial driver’s license (CDL) and being medically unqualified to operate a CMV.

In a 100-page appendix to the Safety Measurement System (SMS) Methodology document, you can find all the violations used in the SMS, along with the corresponding Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) or Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMRs) section. The appendix also includes a numerical violation severity weight. Texting, calling, reckless driving, and operating a CMV while fatigued earn the maximum violation severity weight (10), while infractions like unlawful parking or leaving a parked truck unlocked have the lowest violation severity weight (1).

A second appendix outlines all the changes made to the SMS over time, including two violations added to the Dangerous Driving category of the SMS with a severity weight of 5: inattentive driving and failure to maintain lane.

Where can I get more information?

The FMCSA hosts a dedicated webpage just for CSA. Here you can find FAQs, news, motor carrier safety and performance data, and resources like toolkits  specifically for motor carriers, drivers, state partners, and other stakeholders.

As always, we are here to help you any way we can. Please don’t hesitate to call or email if you need us.

The Deerfield Team
800.233.6428
info@deerfieldadvisors.com


 

References:

1 https://csa.fmcsa.dot.gov/Documents/SMSMethodology.pdf

2 https://csa.fmcsa.dot.gov/about/basics.aspx

SOURCES:

Aquila, Brett. “CSA – Compliance, Safety, and Accountability Program.” Nov 11 2015. http://www.truckingtruth.com/wiki/topic-16/csa

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. “CSA. https://csa.fmcsa.dot.gov/

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration & CSA. “Safety Measurement System (SMS) Methodology.” September 2015. https://csa.fmcsa.dot.gov/Documents/SMSMethodology.pdf

Wikipedia. “Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.” June 9 2015. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_Motor_Carrier_Safety_Administration

DISCLAIMER

This article is intended only as a general discussion of these issues & we cannot guarantee the accuracy thereof. It does not purport to provide legal, accounting, or other professional advice. If such advice is needed, please consult with your attorney, accountant, or other qualified adviser. The Views expressed here do not constitute legal advice. The information contained herein is for general guidance of matter only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. Accordingly, the information provided herein is provided with the understanding that Deerfield Advisors is not engaged in rendering legal advice. Deerfield Advisors strongly advises that clients and/or the reader of this publication contact an attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem discussed here. Also, please know that discussions of insurance policy language is descriptive only. We strongly advise that one’s individual policy & one’s advisor be consulted regarding this subject matter before any action is taken in any way. Coverage afforded under any insurance policy issued is subject to individual policy terms and conditions. The Deerfield Advisor White Paper Series is a registered trademark of Deerfield Asset Management Inc. DBA, Deerfield Advisors and is produced by Deerfield Advisors for the benefit of its clients, and any other use is strictly prohibited. All rights reserved. Copyright © 2016

 

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