Truck Drivers, Warehouse Workers Plan Strike at Ports.

A group of truck drivers and warehouses workers set a date of June 19 for a strike at the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles.

The pending action has garnered the support of Teamsters union Local 848 and Los Angeles City Councilmember Joe Buscaino, who represents the San Pedro area.

“The truck drivers are asking to be recognized as employees instead of independent contractors so that they can get the wages they rightly worked for and workplace protections,” Nick Weiner, a spokesman for the Teamsters Local 848 and campaign director of the Justice for Port Drivers Campaign said.

This is the 15th strike from the group in the last four years. They are not all the same workers from the same company, some previous strikers and companies have reached an agreement, Weiner said.

The announcement on Thursday follows a joint signed agreement by Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia and L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti. Both mayors pledged to continue fighting air pollution and global warming despite the recent move by President Trump who promised to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Agreement, a pact focused on combatting climate change.

The mayors directed the ports to aim for the zero-emission goals in their Clean Air Action Plan. The nation’s first and second largest ports are to meet zero-emission cargo-handling equipment by 2030, and zero-emission trucks by 2035.

CAAP, which was first implemented in 2006, has greatly reduced air pollution at the ports over the last decade, but the ports remain the biggest air polluters in the region today. Sources of pollution at the ports include ships, trucks, trains and cargo-handling equipment.

Some independent contractors worry that the zero-emissions program will add costs to their operations.

“We think that’s a great idea, but there was no mention on how this would impact the drivers,” Eric Tate, secretary-treasurer for Teamsters union Local 848, said at the news conference Thursday morning. “Greedy corporations …continue to exploit hard-working men and women through abusive and often illegal contracting-out, misclassification, temporary staffing and wage theft schemes,” he said.

He added that when the ports enacted the Clean Trucks Program in 2008, which came out of the Clean Air Action Plan, to reduce diesel pollution, the drivers bore the bulk of the cost.



Shippers, truckers look to 2017 for PierPass flat fee

After more than a decade of telling PierPass Inc. that its congestion-pricing model that supports the extended gate program in Los Angeles-Long Beach is not working, beneficial cargo owners and truckers are hopeful that a new arrangement, which involves a much lower, flat fee will be adopted by terminal operators sometime next year.

There is still much work to be done, though, in order to develop a pricing model that BCOs consider to be equitable and the 13 terminal operators represented by PierPass are confident will cover the cost of operating night and weekend gates in the largest US port complex. John Cushing, president of PierPass Inc., said PierPass’ advisory committee will analyze all options, and another large meeting of stakeholders will be convened next May to discuss the details of any suggested plan that is developed. If further refinement is required, the process could continue for some months beyond that.

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Can your trucking firm repel cyberattacks?

Since it is National Cyber Security Awareness Month, it’s as good a time as any to determine whether the security protocols protecting the digital ramparts of your trucking operation are adequate.

And if any of the recent surveys I’ve been reviewing provide a general guide, they probably aren’t.

Take the results from Nationwide’s second annual Small Business Indicator, a national survey of 502 U.S. small-business owners with fewer than 300 employees, for example.

That poll found most small-business owners (78%) still don’t have a cyberattack response plan, even though more than half (54%) were victim to at least one type of cyberattack – and don’t forget, about 80% of the trucking industry is made up of operations that can be considered “small businesses.”

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Source: FleetOwner

Port of Long Beach cargo volume down after Hanjin collapse

The collapse of Hanjin Shipping Co. in late August led to a significant decline in cargo volume at the Port of Long Beach in the month of September, port officials reported Wednesday.

Container volumes declined 16.6 percent year-over-year in September, according to statistics from the Port of Long Beach. Longshore workers moved 546,805 20-foot equivalent units, known as TEUs, last month. This figure included:

• 282,945 TEUs in imports, down 15 percent from September 2015 (which marked the end of the port’s best quarter ever reported).

• Exports dropped 4.2 percent, with 120,383 TEUs moved.

• The number of empty containers being shipped fell 27.2 percent, with 143,476 TEUs moved.

Port officials said the number of containers handled during September was impacted not only by reduced calls by Hanjin-operated ships, but also by the absence of Hanjin containers on vessels operated by fellow shipping alliance members. Hanjin Shipping containers account for approximately 12.3 percent of the port’s total containerized volume, officials said.

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Source: Press Telegram

ATA panel: the future of trucking is ‘liquidity and automation’

On the morning of Tuesday, Oct. 4, a panel of experts discussed autonomous and platooning trucks during the American Trucking Associations annual Management Conference and Exhibition (MC&E) in Las Vegas.

In contrast to other presenters in suits and ties, Anthony Levandowski had bright orange sneakers, jeans and a quarter-zip pullover. But make no mistake about it, he is serious about the future of trucking.

“I love robots,” said the former Google executive and co-founder of Otto, a startup that began building self-driving trucks from his garage in Palo Alto, Calif., in early 2016. Otto was recently acquired by Uber and he now lead’s Uber’s self-driving efforts for cars and trucks.

The future of transportation and trucking is liquidity and automation, he said. By liquidity he means the ability to match carriers and shippers efficiently to reduce empty loads and emissions. By automation, he means having self-driving trucks everywhere, all the time.

Just as passenger ride service Uber now offers last-mile delivery of take-out food and groceries, Uber Freight will eventually be delivering truckload-size quantities without driver assistance, he said.

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PMA and ILWU set to discuss contract extensions in November

Following respective statements made in August proposing talks on contract extensions, the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) said this week they are ready to get the ball rolling.

The organizations said in a joint statement that talks have been tentatively scheduled for November 1-2. The current contract between the parties runs through June 30, 2019.

In August, the PMA, whom represents shipping lines and terminal operators at 29 West Coast ports, said that earlier this year “in an effort to provide stability on the West Coast waterfront,” it proposed talks on a contract extension with the ILWU.

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Source: Logistics Management

Uber sets its sights on long-haul trucking

For shippers, carriers, brokerages and really all other industry stakeholders that have not given much thought to the possibility of Uber becoming a truckload carrier, it appears it may be time to change that mindset.

That is due to a couple of different reasons. One is the ride sharing service’s recent acquisition of self-driving truck startup company Otto for roughly $680 million. Upon completion of this deal in August, an Otto blog posting noted that “with Uber, we will create the future of commercial transportation: first, self-driving trucks that provide drivers unprecedented levels of safety; and second, a platform that matches truck drivers with the right load wherever they are,” en route to building the backbone of what it called the “rapidly-approaching self-driving freight system.”

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Hanjin ship begins unloading cargo at Port of Long Beach

A vessel stuck off the Southern California coast was the first Hanjin ship in the U.S. to start unloading since the company’s financial collapse last week.

The Hanjin Greece, which had recently been parked near the Mexican border, docked early Saturday at the Port of Long Beach’s Total Terminals International, where Hanjin owns a majority stake.

The movement came after a U.S. bankruptcy judgeissued an order allowing the financially ailing Hanjin Shipping Co. provisional protection from creditors so vessels could dock and unload products, and retailers could begin selling those products in stores.

It’s the first visible sign the standstill from the of the seventh largest shipping company could be easing.

“This is a big relief for cargo owners and good news for the American consumer just in time for the holiday shopping season,” said Noel Hacegaba, the Port of Long Beach’s chief commercial officer and director of operations.

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Source: Press Telegram

What VW’s settlement means for green trucking efforts

Volkswagen’s diesel emissions cheating scandal has resulted in a $14.7-billion settlement with the U.S. government, and a potential boon for sustainable trucking efforts.

The settlement, which is set to be finalized in October, has been crafted to offset the NOx emissions from the 2L diesel vehicles sold by Volkswagen from 2009-2015. It includes $2.7 billion allocated for an Environmental Mitigation Trust focused on replacing older diesel trucks, buses and stationary equipment to reduce NOx emissions. Another $2 billion is earmarked for a Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Investment Commitment, which will fund 10 years of ZEV deployments, infrastructure, and access and education programs.

A large share of the ZEV funds is expected to go towards light-duty vehicles and infrastructure, Joe Annotti, senior associate at Gladstein, Neandross & Associates (GNA), told Fleet Owner. However, he explained, there is likely to be increased focus on the use of electric vehicle technology in the medium- and heavy-duty trucking industry.

So, how can the trucking industry access some of these funds? Not directly, Annotti said, but the industry can recommend how funding programs will be designed during various public comment periods throughout the process.

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ILWU caucus to determine future of West Coast labor peace

A historic International Longshore and Warehouse Union caucus that could solidify the role of the West Coast as the preferred and natural gateway for U.S. trade with Asia will convene Wednesday in San Francisco.

About 100 ILWU delegates will decide in the coming three days if the union will join the Pacific Maritime Association in early negotiations for an extension of the existing contract that is set to expire on July 1, 2019.

Highlighting the importance of the caucus, 128 organizations representing beneficial cargo owners and logistics providers urged the ILWU and PMA to consider a new bargaining model based on “early and continuous dialogue.” The coalition of manufacturers, farmers, agribusinesses, wholesalers, retailers, importers, exporters, distributors, transportation and logistics providers said early contract negotiations would avoid the disastrous labor problems and port congestion that accompanied the 2014 and 2015 coastwide negotiations on the West Coast.

“You have both recognized the negative economic impact of disruptions and slowdowns that occurred during the last negotiations. We believe starting negotiations early will help avoid a repeat of that experience,” the BCOs and other transportation groups stated in the letter.

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