Showing posts from tagged with: Trucking

Highway Carriers Who Are Importing or Exporting Cargo To or From Canada Subject to eManifest Requirements

Posted on July 12, 2015

1The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has developed an improved risk management system for facilitating the import and export of freight across the American-Canadian border. The system, called the Advance Commercial Information (ACI) program, is equipping border officers with pre-arrival information that will facilitate health, safety and security threats before they get to the border. The eManifest program is an integral element of ACI.

There are certain measures that are now required of freight carriers who plan to cross the border. Here are useful resources for understanding and complying with the new regulations.

  • You must have a valid business number for your import-export account prior to importing goods into or exporting out of Canada. Follow this Step-By-Step Guide to Importing commercial goods into Canada or this Step-By-Step Guide to Exporting in conjunction with the checklist for exporting and be prepared ahead of time. You can apply online at or you can call the Canada Revenue Agency at 1-800-959-5525.
  • Exporters also need to be aware of Customs Tariff and export documentation regulations.
  • eManifest is a new initiative that will modernize and improve cross-border commercial processes tremendously. All carriers, freight forwards and importers in all modes of transportation (air, marine, highway and rail) are required to electronically transmit advance commercial information to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA.)
  • Freight carriers must choose a transmission method. There are 3 options: Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) method, A tested service provider, or the eManifest Portal.
  • All freight carriers, regardless of how often they cross the Canadian border, are required to have a carrier code in order to transact business with the CBSA. Visit the CBSA’s commercial carrier section for more information.
  • Consult the Electronic Commerce Client Requirements Document for technical assistance.
  • Review the tools, resources and client support information provided on the eManifest pages of the CBSA website.
  • Stay up-to-date on new information related to eManifest by visiting the eManifest section of the CBSA website.

Twin 33 Provision in Senate Transportation Bill a Win for the Trucking Industry

Posted on June 26, 2015

1Despite strong democratic opposition, the United States Senate passed a provision to the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies bill that allows the nationwide use of twin 33-foot motor carrier trailers.

The provision passed on June 25, 2015 by a 16-14 vote that drew strong party lines. Republican Senator Richard Shelby, sponsor of the bill, argued the law would improve safety on the nation’s highways. Democratic opponents, including Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif), urged the panel to reject the bill due to safety concerns.

The bill was approved by the House of Representatives June 9, 2015. The bill was strongly supported by the American Trucking Association, whose representative made a statement that the provisions of the bill “are critical for improving the safety and efficiency of the trucking industry.”

The provision was introduced as an amendment to the transportation bill and would allow state governors and state departments to request an exemption if they are not able to meet the safety requirements for accommodating a commercial truck with twin 33-foot trailers.

The provision includes evaluation measures as well. After 3 years the Secretary of Transportation is required to update Congress with a crash analysis that compares twin 28-foot trailers and twin 33-foot trailers. The report is required to include technological recommendations for collision avoidance and stability control in order to improve safety of the vehicles.

The $55.6 billion draft funding measure would provide $572 million for the Federal Carrier Safety Administration and $500 million for a high-profile infrastructure grants program.

Canada’s New eManifest Regulation Amendments – Are You Prepared?

Posted on June 15, 2015

Truck Insurance NJU.S. goods and private services trade with Canada totaled $707 billion in 2012, making Canada the single largest export market for the U.S. The North American Free Trade Agreement and Canada’s close proximity to the U.S. have made trade with Canada relatively uncomplicated. Whether you currently export to Canada or are new to exporting, amendments to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) eManifest for highway and rail carriers make it imperative that carriers understand their responsibilities and develop a strategic approach to this market. The new regulatory amendments were first published May 6, 2015 in the Canada Gazette, Part II.

The U.S. Commercial Service will be conducting a webinar on this topic Wednesday, July 8, 2015 from 1:00 – 2:00 pm (EDT.) There is no charge for the training. The webinar will provide an overview of the changes along with explanations of the new regulations that will help highway carriers prepare for the changes. An implementation timeline of the regulatory amendments will be explored.

This webinar is one in a series being presented to help businesses strengthen their ability to effectively trade and offer business services in Canada. There will be a question and answer period at the end of the webinar. Representatives from the CBSA and U.S. Customs and Border Protection will respond to the questions.

The U.S. Commercial Service has offices throughout the United States and in U.S. Embassies and Consulates in over 70 countries. Their vision is to help U.S. businesses succeed in markets around the world. For more information about the U.S. Commercial Service and the National Export Initiative, visit their website at:

CVSA Annual Roadcheck International Inspection Program Scheduled for June 2-4, 2015

Posted on May 26, 2015

1The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) will hold their 28th annual International Roadcheck inspection program June 2-4, 2015. Every year, CVSA-certified inspectors perform truck and bus inspections across North America for a 72-hour period. There are approximately 10,000 CVSA-certified inspectors across local, state, provincial and federal jurisdictions.

The International Roadcheck event is the largest inspection enforcement program focused on commercial motor vehicles. On average 17 trucks or buses are inspected every minute throughout Canada, the United States and Mexico during the three-day event. Inspectors conduct compliance, enforcement and educational initiatives targeted at various elements of motor carrier, vehicle, driver and cargo safety and security.

A kickoff event will be held June 2, 2015 near the Washington-Idaho state border at 10:00 am. The opening will include speakers from several transportation entities, including:

  • CVSA
  • Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)
  • Idaho State Police
  • Washington State Patrol
  • Florida Highway Patrol
  • Washington Trucking Association

The Roadcheck is placing special emphasis on cargo securement this year. CVSA is highlighting the importance of cargo safety as a reminder to drivers and carriers that securing cargo properly and following inspection regulations is a matter of public safety.

Since its inception in 1988, over 1.4 million inspections have been completed through the Roadcheck International inspection program. It is estimated that 318 lives have been saved through the program and 5,840 injuries avoided.

Self-Driving Big Rig Revealed

Posted on May 18, 2015

Cutting-edge technology for big rigs was disclosed this week. The exciting news making headlines is the unveiling of the Inspiration Truck by Freightliner. The Inspiration Truck is a big rig that is partially autonomous; that’s right – a big rig that drives itself (to a certain degree).

This is good news for everyone. A self-driving big rig could save lives, mitigate driver fatigue and stress, and reduce CO2 emissions by 5 percent. The company that produced the vehicle has completed more than 10,000 miles of testing on the truck. The State of Nevada has officially granted the vehicle an “autonomous vehicle” license plate – the first ever for a commercial truck.

The automation technology, called “Highway Pilot” technology, isn’t designed to replace truck drivers. The idea is to solve the industry-plague of over-fatigued drivers. According to Daimler (who owns Freightliner), 90% of truck crashes are a result of driver error, and fatigue plays a role in at least one out of every eight of those cases.

The Inspiration Truck is rated a “level 3” on the NHTSA’s automation scale, the same as Google’s self-driving cars are currently rated. The rating means that the vehicle is capable of taking full control of the vehicle in certain traffic or environmental conditions. The driver can always take control back but the vehicle will “allow a reasonable transition time.”

The Inspiration Truck is raising some important issues about liability as well as performance during inclement weather conditions. The company stated it needs to perform more testing to see how the Inspiration Truck performs in the rain, the heat, or icy road conditions. Another major hurdle the industry will have to overcome is to institute “self-driving-friendly-regulations” that already exist in the State of Nevada. Since many truck routes cross state lines, the entire nation will need to be on board with automated big rigs such as the Inspiration Truck before they become commonplace.

Photo Credit: The Verge

NTSB Recommends Commercial Vehicle Onboard Video Systems

Posted on May 04, 2015

truckThe National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issued a recommendation that drivers of heavy trucks and buses use video system recorder technology to monitor their driving. The recommendation was issued on April 29th, 2015 and included a statement that “these video systems serve as a proactive tool to identify and reduce risky behavior, such as speeding, distracted driving or drowsy driving.” Read the NTSB Press Release here.

The NTSB also indicated that video systems are useful for providing valuable information in post-crash investigations.

In an investigation of two severe commercial vehicle crashes, the NTSB concluded that onboard video systems can provide valuable information about circumstances that lead up to the crash as well as critical “vehicle dynamics and occupant kinematics for assessing crash survivability.”

NTSB further reported that video recording systems, in conjunction with driver behavior modification systems, has been shown to reduce fatal and injury crashes by 20% and 35% respectively.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the American Trucking Association (ATA) were alerted to the recommendation.

The NTSB further recommended that the ATA encourage its members to ensure that any video recording system that is installed in their vehicles meet the following requirements:

  • visibility of the driver
  • visibility of all occupant seating locations
  • visibility forward of the vehicle
  • optimized frame rate (camera speed), and
  • low-light recording capability.

During a House Transportation subcommittee hearing on April 29th, the CEO of American Central Transport, Tom Kretsinger Jr., said that video system recorders are becoming more popular in the trucking industry.

“Originally, these devices were perceived primarily as a post-crash exoneration tool,” said Kretsinger, who also testified on behalf of ATA. “However, fleets quickly began to realize the benefits of being alerted to risky driving behaviors and the opportunity to provide subsequent driver coaching to prevent future crashes.”


DOT Delays Safety Fitness & Speed Limiter Rules

Posted on April 20, 2015

The Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Federal Motor Carrier Administration (FMCSA) delayed two important rules in the April Rulemaking Report. The Carrier Safety Fitness Determination and Heavy Vehicle Speed Limiters rules will both have a significant impact on trucking companies, but details will not be finalized until later this year.

Carrier Fitness Safety Determination – The safety fitness rule is now scheduled to be published on August 17, 2015. This rule will revise safety fitness methods used to determine when a driver is fit to operate a vehicle. Determinations will be based on Behavioral Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASICs) and/or an investigation.

Heavy Vehicle Speed Limiters – This rule is being reviewed by both the FMCSA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and is now schedule to be released on July 27, 2015. This rule would require the installation of speed limiting devices on all trucks over 26,000 pounds.

The DOT April Rulemaking Report is available here:

For more information about how these rules could impact your organization, contact the trucking experts at Interstate Motor Carriers.

Who’s Who in Video Intelligence for the Transportation Industry

Posted on January 11, 2015

Many insurance companies who we represent have partnered with Video Surveillance firms and will subsidize part of the cost for their insureds.  The major players in the Video Surveillance field are:

Lytx is a fleet management solution & gps vehicle tracking system. DriveCam reduces expenses and increases fleet tracking & management efficiencies.  They have more than 1,000 fleet customers worldwide.

SmartDrive drives safety and fuel efficiency through their patented vehicle data and video event recording technology, combined with a comprehensive driving performance program.

Bendix Safety Direct uses existing telematics systems to wirelessly collect and transmit safety data and video off the vehicle and transform it into actionable information.

PeopleNet provides a number of fleet management systems including video surveillance around the tractor and trailer for liability protection and reducing incidents.

According to Aaron Huff, Senior Editor of Commercial Carrier Journal, “Fleet owners in this high-risk, low-margin industry see the technology as a way to protect themselves and their drivers from the ever-present threat of litigation.”  He provides valuable insight into the benefits of these systems via actual cases of trucking companies succeeding in defending their position.