Insights - November 2015 - (Page 5)

Driving Change for Intermodal Growth Intermodal EXPO 2015 took aim at dozens of issues and topics, and a common denominator in most of the discussions was "drivers." The U.S. is still behind in job creation since the recession, observed William Strauss, senior economist for the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago during the first general session. Despite that, according to Nöel Perry, managing director of FTR, the industry has hired back drivers that were laid off during the recession, and it continues to have problems attracting and keeping drivers. Demand for drivers is growing faster than the labor force. "The IANA board has identified the driver shortage and driver productivity as the No. 1 priority for the industry." - Joni Casey, IANA "The IANA board has identified the driver shortage and driver productivity as the No. 1 priority for the industry," said IANA President Joni Casey in an interview. "[Drivers] want us to respect their dignity and their time," declared William Clement, vice president of intermodal for CSX Transportation, during a shipper-focused session. "There is a lack of true respect in the intermodal industry for drayage drivers," added Ron Faherty, president of ARL Transport, in a discussion of driver productivity. He pointed out that his company regards drivers as its first customers. "We are picking and choosing our other customers based not on how much we make from them, but on the impact they have on our first customers [the drivers]." The talk was not only about drivers. EXPO speakers included Darren Edwards, a drayage driver for Schneider National in Chicago. When a driver is being paid by the load, he pointed out, the number of turn times he can make in a day determines how much money he can make. Among the causes of delays Edwards cited were containers out of place in yards, chassis repairs that routinely take two hours, and failure of gate personnel to plan in advance for the paperwork needs arising from hazmat loads. "The biggest turnover we have is among drivers in [their] first two years. . ." - Dave Manning, TCW Inc. "The biggest turnover we have is among drivers in [their] first two years because they previously worked in other markets where they didn't experience these delays," commented Dave Manning, president of TCW, Inc. The session in which he spoke looked at driver questions and shipper solutions. Equipment Condition/ Availability EXPO was also not all talk. Task Force and Committee reports highlighted action plans to begin to address driver-related issues, and Dialogue Box sessions sought further direct input to focus how IANA can improve its response to these issues. During one panel, an attendee reported over 50 percent of landed equipment had a defect - mostly lights - and another commented that every piece of equipment coming through the gate has a problem. Working to improve chassis quality, one recommendation discussed during the Operations Committee meeting was to expand pre-trip inspections on all equipment. This could add $42 million in overall cost for the time and additional inspectors. Better training for gate personnel in recognizing problems and more training for drivers and gate personnel on reporting defects can help catch problems earlier and avoid some of the delays at the terminal. Drivers are reluctant to report problems because they are often worried about charge backs. They also need a safe place for inspection. A combination of training, process changes, and technology can help to address this. Struggling With Congestion Congestion continues to be a problem, and it was not only an issue for West Coast ports. In his general session appearance, Hayes Howard, CEO of American Shipper noted their survey showed that all coasts had congestion problems, and the same survey indicated both retailers and manufacturers reported significant impacts. His prescription for improving the congestion problem included a national dialogue among stakeholders, deploying technology to share information, improved chassis availability and upgrading terminal efficiency. "Terminals typically get the blame, but there are about two dozen issues that affect efficiency." - Bethann Rooney, Port Authority of NY & NJ "Terminals typically get the blame, but there are about two dozen issues that affect efficiency," noted Bethann Rooney, assistant director of the port commerce department for the Port Authority of NY and NJ. When drivers are delayed, they often cannot charge detention time because their wait time is November 2015 | Intermodal Insights 5

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Insights - November 2015

PTC Extended to December 2018
SMS Data Sufficient Says FMCSA
CII Recognizes IANA’s Casey
Official IANA 2016 Board Election Results
Driving Change for Intermodal Growth
State Legislative Update
FMCSA Metrics Dig Deeper
Freight Reports
Scenes from EXPO 2015
Sustainability News
Port News
People in the News
In Brief
2015 Sponsors
Welcome New Members
Intermodal Calendar

Insights - November 2015