Trucking news and briefs for Monday, Nov. 8, 2021:
11 Republican Senators call on FMCSA to allow 18-year-old interstate truckers
U.S. Senators Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), joined by nine other Republican Senators, are urging the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to lower the legal interstate driving age for CDL holders to 18 to help address the industry’s driver shortage.
In a letter sent to FMCSA Deputy Administrator Meera Joshi on Nov. 3, the Senators said the shortage coupled with the nation’s ongoing supply chain issues have been detrimental to the nation’s economy, noting that if not addressed, “inaction to grow America’s pool of truck drivers threatens to drive up shipping expenses, prolong delays, and burden already-strained consumers with additional costs.”
The letter said allowing 18-20-year-old CDL holders to drive interstate would “get American goods and services moving again.”
A wave of retiring drivers “exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, produces severe consequences in an already delicate supply chain,” the Senators said. “While American truckers do their part to help America recover from this devastating pandemic, the FMCSA should strongly consider allowing persons 18 years of age and older to operate commercial vehicles in interstate commerce. Those seeking an alternative pathway to an expensive four-year degree may find the three-year gap between high school graduation and the eligible age for interstate trucking inhibitive. It should be our policy to aid and encourage these capable workers. We hope that under your leadership, this necessary reform will be made.”
Other Senators who signed the letter include Roger Marshall (R-Kansas), Thom Tillis (R-North Carolina), Kevin Cramer (R-North Dakota), Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Mississippi), Mike Braun (R-Indiana), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee), Jerry Moran (R-Kansas), and Steve Daines (R-Montana).
FMCSA has previously proposed an under-21 pilot program, and the bipartisan infrastructure bill passed by the Senate in August includes a provision for an under-21 truck driver apprenticeship pilot program.
Shell acquires fuel card business
Shell Oil Company has acquired MSTS Payments, LLC and its Multi Service Fuel Card business from Multi Service Technology Solutions, Inc. (TreviPay), providing Shell with a closed-loop payment network used at thousands of truck stops across North America.
“Acquiring the Multi Service Fuel Card business provides Shell with the necessary technology, business infrastructure and talent to accelerate the growth of its global commercial cards business, Customer Value Propositions (CVPs) and services,” said Tim Murray, General Manager of Shell Commercial Road Transport, Sectors & Decarbonization. “We are confident that this strong IT platform and acceptance network will help us deliver a customer experience that will translate to additional growth for Shell’s North America Commercial Road Transport businesses.”
MSTS Payments, LLC will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Shell Oil Company and will remain based in Overland Park, Kansas. Aaron Decker, who led the Multi Service Fuel Card business for Multi Service Technology Solutions, will continue to do so as part of the MSTS Payments management team.
Shell said its investment in Multi Service Fuel Card includes plans to grow market share in the fuel card space and create synergies with Shell product offerings, adding it plans to add services to enhance the customer experience and leverage the Shell Rotella heavy duty diesel engine oil brand.