Senate bill would implement carrier selection standards

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Trucking news and briefs for Monday, July 31, 2023:

Carrier safety selection standard bill intro’d in Senate

U.S. Sen. Deb Fischer (R-Nebraska) recently introduced the Motor Carrier Safety Selection Standard Act, which would require the U.S. Department of Transportation to establish a “safety fitness determination” test for shippers and brokers to ensure trucking companies are licensed, registered, and insured. U.S. Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) co-led the introduction of the legislation. 

“Our legislation is a common-sense measure to improve highway safety and end the confusion over motor carrier selection standards,” Fischer said. “Implementing a single, simplified federal rule will also strengthen America’s supply chain and provide much-needed clarity for the transportation sector. I want to thank Senator Crapo for his support to push this legislation forward.”

If passed, the bill would require trucking companies to be registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, meet at least the minimum insurance requirement, and not have an unsatisfactory safety rating. If this standard is followed, a shipper or broker would be considered to have selected a carrier in “a reasonable and prudent manner.”

A similar bill was introduced in the U.S. House in February by Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wisconsin).

C.H. Robinson voiced support for Fischer’s Senate bill, noting that it would help small carriers that make up most of the market.

“Without a clear federal standard, the result is a confusing patchwork of standards that threaten the nation’s economy and public safety,” said Ben Campbell, Chief Legal Officer of C. H. Robinson. “Some companies have already begun excluding motor carriers from their logistics networks based on their own assessment of who is ‘safe’ and who is not. This harms small carriers with five trucks or fewer who make up 90% of the market.”

Platform Science, Uptake partner to expand predictive maintenance offerings

Platform Science and Uptake last week announced a partnership to extend data-driven insights and predictive maintenance capabilities to some of the country’s largest vehicle fleets. 

Platform Science’s Virtual Vehicle platform offers workflow, navigation, telematics, and a range of other services to the most innovative fleets and commercial vehicles. Now, it is adding Uptake’s predictive analytics to the Safety and Maintenance category of its growing ecosystem of third-party applications.

“When fleet managers tell us they want new capabilities for optimizing and streamlining their business, we find the best-in-class solution,” said Joe Jumayao, Vice President of Business Development at Platform Science. “Fleet managers don’t want to lose time waiting on parts and repairs. They want to keep trucks rolling and deliveries arriving on time. Uptake will help them do that.”

Fleets using Uptake via the Virtual Vehicle platform will be equipped with real-time and historical data to better inform maintenance strategies and predict vehicle needs. These insights can be leveraged to maximize mechanics’ time, improve labor effectiveness and streamline operations.

Users will also get improved visibility into the condition of their vehicles, resulting in as much as a 20% reduction in downtime, the company said.

“We are thrilled to partner with the leader in connected vehicles and join the ecosystem that puts the most vital information right at the fingertips of fleet managers,” said Kayne Grau, CEO of Uptake. “This partnership comes during peak season for fleets, when drivers and technicians are often at their busiest. We’re excited to extend our capabilities to Platform Science’s large network for a meaningful impact on the efficiency of the transportation industry.”