Insights - January/February 2018 - 27

As Other Issues Unfold,
Bill Passage and Shuster
Retirement Are Prominent
While the intermodal industry awaits
firm developments in infrastructure
funding and the future of NAFTA as well
as adjusts to new federal tax law changes
and electronic logging device rule
implementation and enforcement, there
were several legislative and regulatory
developments as 2018 began.
President Trump's efforts since taking
office over a year ago to address infrastructure funding and overhaul the free
trade agreement hadn't crystallized as
Insights went to press, but the tax measure was widely praised from all corners
of the freight industry. There was a late
surge in orders of ELDs as the Dec. 18
compliance date approached. Canada
began its own process to mandate use of
the devices. Canada-based carriers must
be in compliance with U.S. ELD requirements when operating in the United
States. (See related article, page 24.)
Secretary of Transportation Elaine
Chao in early January announced steps
designed to advance the release of a
federal policy for automated vehicles
of all types, saying the technology "will
have a tremendous impact on society in
terms of safety, mobility, and security."
The actions included notices requesting
public comment on the agency's website.
On the legislative front, Congress
approved the Jobs for Our Heroes Act,
which is designed to make it easier
for active-duty military, reservists and
veterans to apply for a commercial
driver's license. The No Human
Trafficking on Our Roads Act also was
passed, including the designation of a
Department of Transportation specialist
to coordinate steps to prevent these
tragic events.

'Significant Impact'
"In addition to the major tax reform
bill passed last year, these pieces of
legislation will have a significant impact,
addressing two separate yet very important issues affecting trucking," American
Trucking Associations President and CEO
Chris Spear said in a statement.
Another notable event in Congress
in early January was the announcement

that Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.), chairman
of the Transportation and Infrastructure
will not seek
re-election. His
was accompanied by a vow
to complete an
spending package before he
leaves office
after his ninth
term ends this year.
Among the multiple accolades for
his work was the comment from Edward
Hamberger, president of the Association
of American Railroads: "Chairman Shuster
has been a staunch advocate for preserving
and modernizing America's infrastructure.
He has consistently demonstrated a keen
understanding of the nation's freight and
passenger rail networks and the value they
One development affecting both the
legislative and regulatory sectors was a
statement by Federal Motor Carrier Safety
Administration official Joe DeLorenzo that
Congress will receive a report soon on
changes the agency will make to the Compliance, Safety Accountability program.
FMCSA was required by the FAST Act to
complete this report, after considering the
recommendation from the National Academy of Sciences that the agency change
its method for calculating Safety Measurement System scores. The report from NAS
recommended that the agency use "item
response theory" methodology to make the
scoring system more accurate.
The FMCSA also announced the final
version of fees for the Unified Carrier
Registration Plan to centralize the tax
collection process. The fees paid will be
lowered by 9.1 percent this year and 4.55
percent afterward.
The agency also began a review of how
movements of drivers when they aren't carrying freight should be recorded on ELDs.
Rules that are more than 20 years old have
governed driver moves to find lodging or food
or for other non-commercial trip purposes.
The final results of FMCSA's review of the
"personal conveyance" definition hadn't been
announced as Insights went to press.

Final FMC Supply Chain Report
The Federal Maritime Commission
also issued its final Supply Chain Innovation
Initiative report, which stressed the value of
creating a nationwide seaport information
portal for all cargo-handling participants to
At the Federal Highway Administration,
the president's nominee for administrator,
Paul Trombino III, withdrew his name
from consideration. Congress still hasn't
acted on DOT Administrator nominees
Ronald Batory at the Federal Railroad
Administration or Ray Martinez at FMCSA
as of Insights' press time. Martinez'
nomination was approved by the Senate
Commerce Committee, which hasn't taken
up the nomination of the FRA administrator.
On the state level, the California Air
Resources Board in December approved
$398 million to spend on low carbon
emission trucks for the freight industry.
That step could provide funding for an
updated Clean Air Action Plan for Southern
California's ports, a move that has caused
controversy because some freight
interests question the cost, availability and
workability of electric and hybrid trucks.
On the legislative front, a variety of
steps in five states were carried over into
2018 after their legislatures adjourned in
In New Jersey, outgoing Gov. Chris
Christie signed a bill that would abolish
a group called the Waterfront Commission that reviews and approves hiring of
longshoremen in both New York and New
Jersey. The group was created decades
ago at a time when organized crime influence was a concern on the docks, an issue
that is now in the past. How the issue will
unfold this year was unclear at press time
since New York legislators are reviewing
what to do, and a legal challenge to New
Jersey's action could occur.
New York was considering changes
to the waterfront agency's role, as well as
steps to require overtime pay for truckers.
Work on a driver misclassification measure in Ohio is being carried over into 2018.
Massachusetts legislators are
considering whether to create a maritime
planning office, and Pennsylvania may
change who can serve on a rail freight
advisory committee.

January/February 2018 | Intermodal Insights



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Insights - January/February 2018

Service, Capacity, Innovation Focus Will Help to Sustain Intermodal Progress
Intermodal Moves Toward ‘Digitization’ of Data
Ocean Carriers Focus on Continued Adjustment to Global Freight Network
Freight Report
Voice of the Shipper
Intermodal Industry Participants Stand to Gain from Tax Bill
Early Days of ELD Mandate Seem to Indicate Adjustment Period
Government News
New Members
International Intermodal News
People News
Intermodal Calendar
Insights - January/February 2018 - Cover1
Insights - January/February 2018 - 2
Insights - January/February 2018 - 3
Insights - January/February 2018 - IANA News
Insights - January/February 2018 - 5
Insights - January/February 2018 - 6
Insights - January/February 2018 - 7
Insights - January/February 2018 - Service, Capacity, Innovation Focus Will Help to Sustain Intermodal Progress
Insights - January/February 2018 - 9
Insights - January/February 2018 - 10
Insights - January/February 2018 - 11
Insights - January/February 2018 - 12
Insights - January/February 2018 - Intermodal Moves Toward ‘Digitization’ of Data
Insights - January/February 2018 - 14
Insights - January/February 2018 - 15
Insights - January/February 2018 - Ocean Carriers Focus on Continued Adjustment to Global Freight Network
Insights - January/February 2018 - 17
Insights - January/February 2018 - 18
Insights - January/February 2018 - Freight Report
Insights - January/February 2018 - 20
Insights - January/February 2018 - Voice of the Shipper
Insights - January/February 2018 - Intermodal Industry Participants Stand to Gain from Tax Bill
Insights - January/February 2018 - 23
Insights - January/February 2018 - Early Days of ELD Mandate Seem to Indicate Adjustment Period
Insights - January/February 2018 - 25
Insights - January/February 2018 - 26
Insights - January/February 2018 - Government News
Insights - January/February 2018 - New Members
Insights - January/February 2018 - International Intermodal News
Insights - January/February 2018 - 30
Insights - January/February 2018 - 31
Insights - January/February 2018 - Intermodal Calendar