Sunday, July 18, 2010

Intermodal Equipment Rules affecting Container Shipping Lines

More Changes as Regulation Red Tape Deters Chassis Owners
Shipping News Feature

US – The new Requirements for Intermodal Equipment Providers and for Motor Carriers and Drivers Operating Intermodal Equipment legislation introduced by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) or ‘Roadability Law’ as it is often referred to, has cause several leading shipping companies to withdraw the provision of the trailer chassis’ required in intermodal movements.

Previously hauliers could collect both their designated container plus the trailer on which to haul it from the same source, needing only to provide truck and driver. These drayage operations meant that the cartage company could run smaller fleets of trailers enabling them to keep costs down. The hire cost of the trailer was built into each individual delivery or collection and the maintenance of the chassis was mainly the responsibility of the owners.

Now with the new rules being implemented several of the larger shipping lines have ceased providing chassis or skeletal trailers as they are known, citing the stringent safety and bookkeeping requirements necessary under the regulations. Atlantic Container Line (ACL), Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL) and CMA CGM have all stopped providing the service already or are in the process of doing so, and more companies may follow.

The legislation insists on a pre-trip inspection of the entire rig by the driver plus written reports covering the condition of brake and steering mechanisms, lights, wheels and tyres, horn, wipers, mirrors, 5th wheel coupling etc. A copy of the report then has to be handed to the chassis provider. The providers of intermodal equipment must have a system in place to receive and act upon these reports who have even more paperwork and responsibilities.

The equipment provider must have systems in place to deal with the drivers report plus they must clearly identify each piece of equipment and establish a systematic inspection, repair, and maintenance program to assure the safe operating condition of each intermodal chassis. These systems must enable them to respond to and inform drivers and the FMCSA alike.

More details can been seen HERE.

In other US trucking news, the FMCSA have finally managed to implement the first stage of introducing the unwilling trucking industry to the joys of the tachograph. From 1st June 2012 truck and bus companies who have seriously breached Hours of Service (HOS)regulations will have to fit tacho’s to all their vehicles.

The tachograph is an on-board recorder attached to commercial vehicles that automatically record the number of hours drivers spend operating the vehicle and are the norm in Europe for all large commercial vehicles as opposed to log books.

Under the legislation carriers found with 10 percent or more HOS violations during a compliance review will be required to install tachos in all their vehicles for a minimum of two years. The rule also provides new technical performance standards for the tachographs installed in commercial motor vehicles, including requirements for recording the date, time and location of a driver's duty status.

Copies of the legislation are available at the US Government Printing Office