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Updated Oct 1, 2012

Carriers respond to FMCSA’s proposed changes to CSA methodology


 FMCSA should consider all implications of CSA, including the fact that CSA’s flawed methodology and scores have become an industry measurement system used by shippers in awarding freight and may also be used in litigation against carriers. Our concern is CSA’s effect on interstate commerce when, based on the model, at any given time 35 percent of all carriers will be over the threshold in at least one BASIC. Customers are asking for published and nonpublished scores. Carriers and brokers are concerned about brokering freight to carriers with high CSA scores. We cannot use a ‘work in progress’ as an industry measurement tool.”

– Jeannie Gordon, vice president of compliance, LandStar Transportation Logistics Inc.



“Based on [United/Mayflower’s] review of studies and reports issued by industry experts, and more importantly their own experiences, the carriers have serious concerns regarding the validity of BASICs being used as an indicator of highway crashes; of the peer ranking methodologies used to publicly pronounce an otherwise safe and compliant carrier as needing intervention; of the unfair and unwarranted ‘stacking’ of violations; and the unfair process used to curb carrier appeals of those violations – especially in light of the fact that carriers’ ability to conduct business is negatively impacted by incorrect CSA scores. These issues should cause FMCSA to question the efficacy of the BASIC scores in relation to indicating highway crashes, the use of peer rankings and the inconsistent and unfair application of the program by state enforcement officials.” 

– Patrick Larch, president, United Van Lines and Mayflower Transit



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“We believe having a separate HM BASIC is fine, but the proposed weighting system and methodology to calculate the score is flawed. FMCSA should look at the changes they made to unsafe driving methodology to more accurately reflect the score – i.e. give credit for fleet size, mileage – or compare HM violations to all inspections, not just HM inspections.”

– Garth Pitzel, director of safety and driver development, Bison Transport Inc.



“There is still a lot of confusion about what the scores on the publicly available BASICs mean and how they are to be interpreted. Failure to comply with regulations and the resulting violations are never acceptable; however, I feel that the issues that the proposed SMS Methodology Version 3.0 will cause with customers and the general public will greatly exacerbate the issues and confusion that has been experienced thus far.”

– Robert Viso Jr., vice president of safety, U.S. Xpress Enterprises Inc.



“We support the proposed changes to the HM Threshold Criteria and agree with FMCSA that the criteria should exclude carriers that transport HM as a minimal part of their business. The new requirement will ensure placardable HM inspections constitute a sizeable portion of the carrier’s total inspections and will help to remove carriers where an extremely small percentage of their loads involved placarded HM or inadvertently moved HM as a minimal part of their business. We recommend that FMCSA apply the same logic to the new HM BASIC. If a carrier does not meet the new criteria for HM Thresholds, the lack of statistically significant data tells us that they are likely to have a high HM BASIC score. … In order to account for the varying size of carriers, FMCSA must add a 5 percent of total inspections concept to the applicability of the HM BASIC.”

– Donald Osterberg, senior vice president of safety and security, Schneider National Inc.