FMCSA calls for applicants for Women of Trucking Advisory Board

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Trucking news and briefs for Monday, March 21, 2022:

FMCSA seeks applicants for Women of Trucking Advisory Board

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has announced the launch of the Women of Trucking Advisory Board (WOTAB) to recruit, support and ensure the safety of women commercial motor vehicle drivers and the trucking industry at large.

The launch of the advisory board is mandated by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and part of the Biden-Harris Trucking Action Plan, which aims to improve job quality and recruit more people to the truck driving profession.

“We’re proud to launch the Women of Trucking Advisory Board to work together with drivers and trucking companies to help eliminate barriers that keep women from entering and staying in the trucking profession,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “This advisory board is a key part of our Trucking Action Plan, which is focused on improving job quality for truckers and recruiting more people to join their ranks.” 

WOTAB will coordinate with trucking companies, nonprofit organizations and trucking associations to support women in trucking. The board will provide recommendations to the FMCSA administrator and the U.S. Secretary of Transportation as well as tackle many areas, including:

  • Evaluating barriers and trends that impact women in trucking across the country and ways to support women pursuing careers in trucking.
  • Identifying opportunities to expand roles for women and increase the number of women in the trucking industry
  • Advising on policies that provide education, training, mentorship, or outreach to women in the trucking industry
  • Reviewing opportunities to enhance safety, training, mentorship, and education for women in the trucking industry

The Board will include a minimum of eight members with diverse backgrounds, experience and certifications to provide balanced points of view. The group will include:

  • Women representing small, mid-sized and large trucking companies, non-profit organizations in the trucking industry
  • Trucking business associations
  • Independent owner-operators and professional truck drivers 
  • And an institution of higher education or trucking trade school

WOTAB’s charter runs through Feb. 11, 2024. Anyone interested in applying can do so here.

Amazon opens same-day fulfillment center in Boston-area

Amazon on Friday announced the opening of its first Same-Day fulfillment center in Massachusetts – an approximately 155,000 square foot fulfillment center in Bridgewater that in January delivered its first package.

Amazon’s Sub Same-Day buildings serve as mini-fulfillment centers, optimized for the same-day delivery of hundreds of thousands of items. Prime members in the Greater Boston area can now receive orders as fast as three to five hours from when they make their purchases.

“We have a great team here in Bridgewater and we are proud to have our employees making history with this first-of-its-kind facility in New England,” said the facility’s site leader Andrew Schwarz. Since Amazon launched the service more than a year ago, Prime members in more than a dozen cities are able to order from up to 3 million items across a dozen categories, including baby, beauty & health, kitchen & dining, electronics, pet supplies, and more. 

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Highway Transport reaches recruiting milestone

Bulk chemical hauler Highway Transport has reached a record number of truck driver employees through its efforts to celebrate, support and reward its drivers, the company said.

The company said it is achieving its 2022 goals for driver count, through both recruiting and retention, by enhancing Highway Transport programs that support individual drivers, owner-operators and the entire team across its 15 U.S. service centers.

“We employ an elite class of drivers who consistently deliver on ‘Our Promise’ to our customers every day, arriving safely and on time,” Highway Transport President and CFO Marshall Franklin said. “They are hardworking and committed to our standard of excellence, and we are committed to making Highway Transport the best place for them to choose to work. We asked our drivers for feedback, and that led us to make significant, intentional changes aimed at giving drivers the freedom and flexibility the want and deserve.”

Efforts the company has made include:

  • Building on a 2021 pay increase with another increase enacted earlier this year for hourly, mileage, training and holiday rates
  • Investing in technology upgrades that support drivers, including a new fleet management system, redesigned driver app and more
  • Redesigning Highway Transport’s owner-operator program and creating a dedicated department to help these drivers achieve entrepreneurial success
  • Supporting drivers with changes to load planning with the driver’s schedule in mind in order to get drivers more flexible home time
  • Launching the CARE program, committed to supporting drivers with an aim to Communicate, Appreciate, Respect and Evaluate