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Changes Coming to the Uniform Straight Bill of Lading

It was recently reported that the NMFTA (National Motor Freight Traffic Association) which puts out the NMFC adopted a number of changes to the verbiage on the back of the Uniform Straight Bill of Lading without any notice or input from shippers. Millions of shippers use the NMFC Bill of Lading as their own and these changes are very favorable towards carriers and can present some risks to shippers.

There are several changes made to the Bill of Lading that adversely affect shippers but we will outline two of the most egregious changes for shippers.

I. Section 1.(b) of the "old" bill of lading provided:

(b) No carrier shall be liable for any loss or damage to a shipment or for any delay caused by an Act of God, the public enemy, the authority of law, or the act or default of shipper. Except in the case of negligence of the carrier or party in possession, the carrier or party in possession shall not be liable for loss, damage or delay which results: when the property is stopped and held in transit upon request of the shipper, owner or party entitled to make such request; or from faulty or impassible highway, or by lack of capacity of a highway bridge or ferry; or from a defect or vice in the property; or from riots or strikes. The burden to prove freedom from negligence is on the carrier or the party in possession.

Section 1.(b) of the "new" bill of lading changes the legal burden of proof:

(b) No carrier shall be liable for any loss or damage or for any delay caused by an Act of God, the public enemy, the authority of law, the act or default of the shipper, riots or strikes, or any related causes. Except in the case of negligence of the carrier, the carrier shall not be liable for loss, damage or delay which results: when the property is stopped and held in transit upon request of the shipper, owner or party entitled to make such request; or from faulty or impassible highway, or by lack of capacity of a highway, bridge or ferry; or from a defect or vice in the property. The burden to prove carrier negligence is on the shipper.

This change clearly shifts the burden of proof to the shipper from the carrier. Also added was the wording “riots or strikes or any related causes” to the list of common defenses to carrier liability.

II. Section 3.(b) of the "old" bill of lading provided as follows:

(b) Claims for loss or damage must be filed within nine months after the delivery of the property (or, in the case of export traffic, within nine months after delivery at the port of export), except that claims for failure to make delivery must be filed within nine months after a reasonable time for delivery has elapsed.

Section 3.(b) of the "new" bill of lading provides:

(b) Claims for damage must be filed with the carrier not more than nine (9) months from the date of delivery (or in the case of export traffic, not more than nine (9) months after delivery at the port of export, or in the case of import traffic, not more than nine (9) months after pickup at the place of tender). Claims for loss must be filed with the carrier not more than nine (9) months from the date of the bill of lading.

This change shortens the time period for filing a loss and damage claim from the date of the bill of lading to the date of the delivery.

These changes will affect your company if you use the Uniform Straight Bill of Lading. Any Simplified Customer using our TrueDoc process will be covered as our bill of lading will not reflect these changes. If you have any questions regarding these changes please feel free to contact your Simplified Logistics representative.


Dayton Freight Lines Awarded 2016 Quest for Quality Award

DAYTON, OHIO … Dayton Freight Lines, a leading provider of regional less-than-truckload (LTL) transportation services, has won Logistics Management’s 2016 Quest for Quality award in the Midwest/North Central Regional LTL category. This is the seventh time DFL has been honored with this achievement.

The Quest for Quality awards are voted on by readers of Logistics Management magazine, and are regarded as one of the most important measures of customer satisfaction and operational excellence in the transportation industry. Each year, the study evaluates and measures transportation service providers across the nation utilizing criteria such as on-time performance, value, information technology, customer service and equipment/operations.

“This particular award is meaningful because it is based on customer opinions,” says Dave Brady, VP of Sales. “Dayton Freight is committed to helping our customers with their transportation needs – quickly, accurately and with total freight visibility. Our culture is one of servant leadership, and we are proud to serve so many great companies.”

Celebrating its 35th anniversary in 2016, Dayton Freight Lines, Inc. is a private, union-free, less than truckload (LTL) freight carrier headquartered in Dayton, Ohio. With 49 Service Centers in the Midwest region, Dayton Freight offers shippers 1 or 2 day service to thousands of points throughout a 13 state area. With their Strategic Partners, they serve all of North America. The Journal of Commerce has ranked Dayton Freight, founded in 1981, as the 16th largest LTL carrier in the country.


Ground broken on $15 million FedEx Freight terminal in South Bend

By Ted Booker South Bend Tribune Jul 19, 2016

SOUTH BEND — Workers have broken ground on a $15 million FedEx Freight terminal on the city’s northwest side. The 73,000-square-foot terminal, which is expected to open in March, will be northeast of the Huron Building at AmeriPlex at Interstate 80/90 business park. The park, operated by South Bend-based Holladay Properties, is near the intersection of the Indiana Toll Road and St. Joseph Valley Parkway.

The new distribution center will take the place of the existing FedEx Freight facility on Ameritech Drive, about a half-mile away. A manager at that operation confirmed that its 150 employees will be relocated to work at the new facility when it opens. A FedEx spokesperson did not respond Tuesday to a request seeking information about whether the new terminal could result in additional jobs. The project is being led by Lexington, Ky.-based Setzer Properties, the general contractor is Majority Builders of South Bend.

“FedEx has outgrown their current facility, and that’s why they’re building the new one,” said Rob Sangdahl, vice president of Setzer, which develops FedEx distribution centers nationwide. “The location is good because it fits with where all of their other facilities are nationwide. Everything needs to be within a certain proximity.” A 215,000-square-foot FedEx Ground facility opened earlier this summer at the business park, which has a handful of industrial buildings. Unlike FedEx Ground, which delivers packages, FedEx Freight makes industrial shipments in bulk quantities. Sangdahl said Setzer bought the property for about $2 million from Holladay Properties. He said Setzer will lease the property to FedEx Freight for a long-term period, but he could not say how long.

The cross-dock terminal will have about 100 loading positions for trucks, he said, along with parking for employees and tractor-trailer drivers. Paul Phair, vice president of development for Holladay, did not return a call Tuesday seeking comment.


Can You be Accused of Driver Coercion? What You Need to Know Now

By Gail Rutkowski, NASSTRAC Executive Director

On January 29, 2016, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) driver coercion rule, known as the “Prohibiting Coercion of Commercial Motor Vehicles became effective. This regulation prohibits motor carriers, shippers, receivers or brokers from coercing drivers to operate motor vehicles in violation of FMCSA regulations that include hours of service, CDL regulations, drug and alcohol testing rules, and HAZ MAT regulations. The rule also prohibits anyone who operates a commercial motor vehicle in interstate commerce from coercing a driver to violate the commercial regulations.

Ever since the FMCSA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking request for comments in May of 2014 there has been a lot of confusion as to how this rule would work. While the final rule clarified some of the questions, much of that confusion still exists. As John Cutler, NASSTRAC’s legal counsel noted: “We are pleased to see that the agency dropped several of the worst features of the rule,” said Cutler. “The final rule no longer imposes on shippers, intermediaries or receivers a ‘duty to inquire’ whether drivers can comply with all safety requirements (HOS, safe tractors and trailers, working brake lights, etc., etc.) for the services requested. In addition, the final rule drops the ‘respondeat superior’ legal theory under which shippers, intermediaries and receivers might have been considered ‘employers’ of the drivers who work for the motor carriers. That theory could have caused a great deal of trouble for defendants in ‘negligent hiring’ lawsuits. These are positive developments, and the comments that NASSTRAC and others filed seem to have done some good.”

While NASSTRAC, along with many industry groups endorse the intent of the rulemaking…no one defends coercing drivers to violate safety rules, FMCSA clarified in response to a NASSTRAC comment that there is nothing wrong with a shipper saying it will stop using a trucking company that sends in a driver with 4 hours of driving time left on the clock when the haul will require 7 hours. It is legal to decide not to use a carrier that does not dispatch drivers who can meet the agreed upon delivery schedule. Further clarifications include:

•Brokers are not allowed to directly communicate with drivers and are not employees of a motor carrier, and if a broker communicates directly with a driver, they could be held liable for vicarious liability and coercion; and
•The deadline to file coercion complaints will work off of a 90-day filing deadline to ensure drivers have a sufficient time to prepare and submit a coercion complaint

Unfortunately, these clarifications are not contained in the rule itself, but in the explanatory text which means shippers need to either remember what the explanatory text says or keep a copy of the Federal Register notice handy. This rule also carries stiff penalties up to $16,000 per occurrence if a shipper, receiver or intermediary makes threats to a driver.

According to John Cutler, “The exposure to penalties is there whether or not the driver actually violates any regulations. In addition, what does it mean for the driver to have “stated’ that the service called for could not be provided in compliance with regulations? Stated how, and to whom? A night watchman or a yard jockey? FMCSA refused to require documentation.”

So, where do we stand now? We don’t know how the rule will be applied or who will be believed when a driver says one thing and the shipper says another. Shippers, receivers and brokers may need to consider adding no-coercion sign-offs from truck drivers to their shipment documentation.

What else should shippers do? Make sure you have good procedures in place; don’t talk directly to drivers to avoid vicarious liability; and if there is an issue, work with the motor carrier.

NASSTRAC will be watching how enforcement is done, particularly in resolving “he said, she said” issues. No one in the industry believes drivers should be coerced into doing anything illegal, but creating a situation where shippers or brokers get unfairly put into a situation resulting in a $16,000 fine over something they had no control over isn’t good regulation…or good business.


UPS Exceeds Goal of 2017 for 1 Billion Fuel Efficient Miles

Back in 2012, UPS set a goal of 2017 to reach 1 billion miles transported by alternative fuels. Just this month it was announced that they have already reached that goal. UPS’ commitment to sustainability is truly making a difference not only in their business, but the transportation sector as a whole.

Certainly, one billion miles is nothing to take lightly. UPS CEO and Chairman, David Abney noted that it is “the equivalent of well over 4,000 trips to the moon”! UPS’ sustainability plans date all the way back to the 1930’s when they tested electric vehicles – this is not just some short-term fad they are exploring. The cost of these investments and research is north of $750 million dollars per the press release. While this is a very large sum of money spent, the benefits and relief cannot be understated.

“UPS Drives 1 Billion Cleaner Miles Meeting Goal Early.” UPS. 2 Aug. 2016. Web
https://pressroom.ups.com/pressroom/ContentDetailsViewer.page?ConceptType=PressReleases&id=1470099527110-745


NEMF Opens New WV Facility


Dayton Freight Opens New Service Center in Nashville, Tennessee

DAYTON OH ….To provide a higher level of service to our Tennessee customers, Dayton Freight is pleased to announce the opening of its newest Service Center in Nashville – the Company’s second facility in the state of Tennessee, and 49th overall. This strategically located Center allows us to offer on-time, intact service to thousands of customers throughout the Midwest region.

Nashville Service Center
109 Tredco Dr.
Nashville TN 37210

615.922.5335
844.659.7689
615.736.7454 fax

Celebrating its 35th anniversary in 2016, Dayton Freight Lines, Inc. is a private, union-free, less than truckload (LTL) freight carrier headquartered in Dayton, Ohio. With 49 Service Centers in the Midwest region, Dayton Freight offers shippers 1 or 2 day service to thousands of points throughout a 13 state area. With their Strategic Partners, they serve all of North America. The Journal of Commerce has ranked Dayton Freight, founded in 1981, as the 16th largest LTL carrier in the country.


July 2016 Logistics Market Snapshot - Click image for full document


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