Trucking Dominates Transportation Landscape

The American Trucking Association (ATA) recently highlighted data released from the United States Census Bureau and the Bureau of Transportation Statistics identifying trucking as the dominant mode for moving freight in the United States.

In analyzing the Commodity Flow Survey prepared by the government and based on 2012 transportation data, ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello noted that in 2012, trucks moved 73.7% of all freight by value and 70% of the tonnage versus 3.3% of value and 15.8% of tonnage moved by rail.

The data confirms what most motorists probably already know: trucks are everywhere. And fortunately, for trucking companies, this particular mode of transportation looks to control the movement of freight for years to come. See the ATA’s full release on the government’s findings here.

Given the prevalence of the trucking industry throughout the United States, trucking companies must position themselves to appropriately manage the risk associated with interstate and intrastate transportation, in both a proactive and reactive sense.

On the proactive side, a working knowledge, as well as implementation, of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and its Regulations (FMCSR) is essential. In fact, the FMCSA requires that every motor carrier and its employees be knowledgeable of and comply with the regulations. As a result, companies should ensure that drivers are trained continuously on matters such as driver’s logs, hours of service, and pre-trip inspections, to name a few. Company leaders and safety directors must also implement appropriate measures to ensure proper pre-employment screening, maintenance of records, and driver training. Where these and other matters are not addressed on the front end, the company may be subject to greater liability later on.

Additionally, a trucking company must have at its fingertips the proper tools and resources necessary to protect itself following an accident. In the immediate aftermath of an accident, individuals must understand, among other things, the importance of post-accident drug testing, securing the scene, and preserving evidence and records. Companies should have dedicated individuals, including employees, attorneys, and investigators, who can mobilize quickly and respond where necessary. One such resource is Young Moore’s “Go Team Hotline”. There, a company is connected to experienced transportation attorneys with access to field adjusters, accident reconstructionists, and transportation industry experts. Early intervention and investigation are critical to the successful defense of a loss.

Should you have questions about steps your trucking company should take in order to succeed and thrive in today’s transportation environment, please contact David Senter, or another member of our Trucking and Transportation Team.

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