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Transportation

There’s an interesting confluence of events that may be affecting transportation. The International Maritime Organizations’ low-sulfur bunker fuel mandate, draft restrictions increasing on the Panama Canal, increased truck congestion at ports with new fees being introduced.

The “too long, didn’t read” (tl:dr) version is that trucks are likely to get slapped with fees as they’ll be stuck trying to get into ports where fewer ships will be docking and taking smaller loads to further exacerbate problems.

The environmental policies that are being put into place by a large swath of industrialized European nations fail to engage with the most active trade relationship in the world between the U.S. and China. Operations and supply logistics may need to consider new scheduling routines in order to move and process materials to maximize off-peak periods or look into adopting new warehousing solutions.

Of note on the trucking front, the Commercial Carrier Journal reports that a truck driver in Texas was recently awarded $80 million after having been forced to falsify his logs. The CCJ report, “A truck driver who fell asleep while driving along I-59 in Alabama in 2015 was awarded $80 million by a Texas jury after suing his bosses for forcing him to falsify his logs and continue driving when he should have taken his 34-hour restart. The Hidalgo County, Texas, jury fined three companies – JNM Express, ANCA Transport and Omega Freight Logistics, all owned by Jorge Marin – $25 million each for exemplary damages, as well as an additional $5 million for compensatory damages. The damages are to be awarded to trucker Lauro Lozano. According to court documents, on May 3, 2015, Lozano was at home after delivering a load and needed to take his 34-hour break. A few hours after being at home, he received a call from Marin, who told him to take another load brokered by Omega Freight, which Marin also owned. Lozano said he told Marin he could not safely or legally take the load, but Marin told him to alter his log book to make it look like he had taken his 34-hour break and to return to the yard in McAllen, Texas, the next morning to take the load to Maryland. Court documents state that during the early morning hours of May 6, while driving north on I-59 in Alabama, Lozano fell asleep at the wheel and struck another tractor-trailer from behind… The lawsuit also states that the three companies didn’t carry workers’ compensation insurance, which opened them up to the lawsuit over Lozano’s injuries.

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