BOLT System announced that its fleet management system can help motor carriers meet new federal regulations for perishable food-grade shipments.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration adopted the rules earlier this year to enforce the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), which Congress approved and President Obama signed into law in 2011.
Large carriers with revenues in excess of $27.5 million and private fleets with more than 500 employees must meet the new sanitary transportation requirements by April 6, 2017. Smaller carriers will have another year to come into compliance.
To be in compliance, carriers will have to constantly monitor temperatures inside refrigerated and non-refrigerated trailers and vans. The rule will also require bulk food haulers to clean trailer surfaces or equipment that come into direct contact with food, and be capable of exchanging information with shippers about prior cargos.
“BOLT System is one of the few fleet management systems if not the only one that currently offers carriers a level of cargo monitoring and record keeping that meets these new requirements,” said Jerry Robertson, chief technology officer for BOLT.
Trucking companies could eventually see stricter enforcement as state DOT inspectors receive training and become more familiar with the requirements, Robertson added. However, for fleets the pressure to come into compliance with the new regulation may likely come from another source – their shippers.
Since shippers are ultimately responsible for their products throughout the entire supply chain, they will likely require carriers to make any necessary changes to bring themselves into compliance or risk losing their business to those carriers who can.
“There’s no doubt that for smaller trucking companies the burden of complying with the sanitary transportation rule will be more difficult as they replace their older equipment,” Robertson said. “But once they do have refrigeration units that can monitor multiple temperature sensors and send that information electronically, BOLT System will make it much easier for them to provide inspectors or shippers up to 12 months of compliance data. And they will have ready access to it on any Internet-capable device.”