Cleveland 3PL trucking

Cleveland 3PL Trucking & Transportation Services Can Reduce Your Liability Risks

Many U.S. industries are subject to some type of regulation and risk – but few so much as the trucking industry. As trusted providers of Cleveland 3PL trucking & transportation services, we’re closely familiar with the extensive and constantly-evolving government rules and oversight. We’ve already invested in the necessary insurance coverage, as well as the materials, training, and policy development required to meet the high bar for best industry safety practices.

Many clients that contract with a Cleveland 3PL trucking company for transportation and distribution services recognize that not only do they save money, they’re also reducing their risk. When a Northeast Ohio trucking firm is committed to meticulously following local, state, and federal laws, it not only reduces the risk of fines, delays, and accidents, it also improves odds that insurance will pick up the tab if there is an incident.

That’s always been on the list of concerns, of course. But in recent years, both truck accident rates and insurance premiums have risen sharply. According to the non-profit American Transportation Research Institute, high-dollar truck crash settlements and inflation are the primary drivers in soaring truck insurance rates. The cost has gotten so high that some companies are going so far as to reduce their insurance coverage – which means they’re on the hook for substantial sums if there is an accident. But even as their risk of liability exposure and out-of-pocket incident costs rose, there’s still less money for qualified drivers, training, and equipment/technology investments – all of which just further exacerbates road hazard risks.

To be clear: Cleveland 3PL trucking & transportation providers aren’t necessarily going to be the sole insurance carrier in your contract arrangement. It’s critically important to review all details line-by-line in any partnership agreement you sign. But streamlined, flexible supply chains, well-maintained truck fleets, and experienced drivers are all measures we take that in turn reduce our clients’ monetary, product, and safety risks.

Cleveland 3PL trucking & transportation

New Trucking Laws on the Horizon in 2023

The federal government agency primarily responsible for overseeing the trucking industry is the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), a division of the U.S. Department of Transportation. The FMCSA is charged with enforcing trucking industry rules – including driver qualifications and hours of service, load size and weight restrictions, and labeling/delivery requirements for hazardous materials.

Beyond federal rules, some states – and even some cities – have their own trucking laws and requirements. For instance, in Ohio, the Public Utilities Commission is the agency responsible for overseeing trucking and transportation networks. State-level trucking rules have been known to tighten or relax depending on things like fuel and driver shortages. Whichever transportation services partner you choose should be in full compliance with ALL local, state, and federal regulations.

Some of the federal-level trucking laws and regulatory changes Cleveland 3PL trucking & transportation service providers are anticipating will be introduced (if not passed) this year include:

  • Mandatory truck speed limiters. It’s a controversial topic, but federal authorities are expected to propose a rule this year that would phase in electronic devices that would be affixed to engines to cap truck speeds. It’s fiercely contested by trucking companies – smaller operators, especially. Some argue that arbitrarily capping the speed of trucks will lead to more potentially dangerous interactions with passenger vehicles. However, it’s worth noting that long-haul truckers are paid by the mile – not the hour – so it’s likely finances have at least something to do with the opposition. The Cullum Owings Large Truck Safe Operating Speed Act (if passed) would limit truck speed limits to 65 mph. It would also require the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to implement regulations requiring new commercial vehicles weighing 26,000 pounds or more to set standards for speed-limiting tech, automatic braking systems, and truck crash mitigation.
  • Alterations for Hours of Service (HOS). This has been an ongoing point of contention between regulators and trucking companies. HOS refers to the number of hours a truck driver can lawfully work. They were passed for good reason: Pressing tired drivers to meet deadlines by powering through fatigue while operating massive steel machines on roads shared with other motorists is inherently unsafe. However, federal regulators eased HOS regulations somewhat during the pandemic, when supply chain issues and driver shortages meant critical goods were being significantly delayed. But it’s likely those rules will once again be tightened in 2023.
  • Automatic emergency braking devices. At some point, these are likely to become mandatory for heavier trucks. However at this point, Congress has simply directed the NHTSA to prioritize research on their benefit and the practicality of mandating them.
  • Driver safety fitness rulemaking. The FMCSA is working on a process that would better identify and remove the drivers and motor carriers that are unfit. It’s a revision of the 2016 FMCSA standards. As it stands, there are three ways a carrier can be deemed unfit: Failure of two or more behavior analysis/safety improvement categories (known as BASICs); Having enough violations of critical/acute regulations (as identified through an investigation) that would result in a failure of 2+ BASICs; Failure of two or more BASICs as identified through on-road safety data/monitors and investigation results.

This is not an exhaustive list of upcoming trucking legislation to watch, but it illustrates the fact that there are constant changes regulation. Working with a Cleveland 3PL trucking and transportation firm can help alleviate some of the pressure to be on top of these evolutions.

If you have questions or are interested in obtaining a quote, we can help.

For information on Ohio Trucking Services in Cleveland and throughout Northeast Ohio, Contact On Time Delivery & Warehouse by calling (440) 826-4630 or send us an email.

More Blog Entries:

ATA American Trucking Trends 2022, Oct. 17, 2022, American Trucking Association

More Blog Entries:

Reducing Cleveland Trucking Turnaround Times, Dock Delays, and Detention, Jan. 15, 2023, Ohio Trucking Blog

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