Conference Holds Annual Meeting
The IMCC held its annual conference in conjunction with the ATA-MC&E October 1 in Las Vegas, NV. Over 90 members attended the event which included a chassis-Roadability update given by Jack Van Steenburg, FMCSA's chief safety officer and assistant administrative, who was accompanied by Administrator Darling. During the business session, board members approved the nominating committee's recommendations for 2016-2017 conference leadership and board membership which are listed at the end of this newsletter.
During issues discussions, Chairman Randy Guillot and board member Greg Stefflre provided an update on the activities of the ATA Independent Contactor Task Force (ICTF) and particularly conference supported plans to elevate ATA's visibility and activities to address union and state misclassification abuses. More detail on this topic and other misclassification activities are discussed in the Misclassification section below.
I next summarized recent Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) related activities concerning the Hanjin bankruptcy, and the status of the anticipated petition to be filed by port coalition members including our conference challenging demurrage and per diem assessments levied on shippers and truckers operating during periods of port congestion.
I next discussed the disappointingly slow pace of DOT's Port Performance Freight Statistics Working Group on which I serve which is supposed to have a report to congress completed by year's end but is currently mired in union led opposition to developing any meaningful port data operational metrics. Recall that this Working Group has been created pursuant to Section 6018 of the Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act (P.L. 114-94; Dec. 4, 2015; 129 Stat. 1312). The stated goal of the program was "to provide nationally consistent measures of performance" of the nation's largest ports, and to report annually to Congress on port capacity and throughput. The working group is required to submit an annual report to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics director identifying the top 25 ports, at minimum, using tonnage, containers and dry bulk as metrics. The director will then submit a report to Congress no later than January 15.
Board member Dave Manning next provided meeting participants with an update on the North American Chassis Pool Cooperative (NACPC) as well as on anticipated changes to the Intermodal Interchange Executive Committee (IIEC) which oversees the administration of the industry interchange agreement (UIIA). Finally, Chairman Guillot and I briefed members on activities involving new increased container charges being levied by ocean carriers and on work being done by the TMC on the UIIA related skid flat issue.