Thursday, December 30, 2010

~~ 2010: A Year in Review ~~

2010 has been an eventful year for the trucking and produce industries. In particular, there have been many factors that have affected truck movement, availability and capacity this year more than ever. We wrap up our 2010 editions of Blogging the Road Ahead with a discussion and review of these factors below:

The Economy: The number of trucks on the road has declined significantly. Many drivers and entire carrier companies have disappeared from the system, decreasing the overall availability of trucks in the industry. During the recession, 4,493 trucking companies failed, and 174,000 trucks were taken off the road. Many experts see driver shortage as becoming the trucking industry’s biggest problem.

La Niña: Drivers in the PNW are being warned to be prepared for potentially severe winter driving conditions with the arrival of what is predicted to be one of the strongest la Niña winters since 1955. Drivers are also being warned that the mountain passes in particular will be severe; so remember, preparedness will be key!

Broker Legislation: Many carrier companies have been left with outstanding balances from unscrupulous brokers who continually take advantage of small business truckers. There has been proposed legislation sent to the US Senate to increase the broker bond from $10,000 to $100,000, a proposition UWC fully supports. However, the issue still exists as the legislation is not to go before the senate until Spring 2011.

CARB Regulations: Excessive restrictions and regulations are a continual bane for the trucking industry, and that’s particularly true in California, where the California Air Resources Board recently postponed its requirement for upgraded trailer refrigeration units; these regulations, however, have not been taken off the table. Stay tuned for more on this issue.

Entry into US Ports: It has been difficult for companies that service the ports to hire new drivers because of tougher screening of operators, who must have a Transportation Worker Identification Credential issued by the Transportation Security Administration. Driving records, criminal records and legal residency problems have made securing a card difficult for some drivers.

CSA 2010: Increased monitoring of individual drivers and carrier companies. The BASICs that are measured: Fatigued Driving (HOS), Vehicle Maintenance, Cargo-Related, Crash Indicator, Unsafe Driving, Driver Fitness, Controlled Substances. CSA 2010 will put further pressure on carrier companies to follow regulations as the penalties for non-compliance are severe, a problem that is intensified by the lack of qualified drivers under this new system.


Any thoughts on these highlights?? Feel free to share!

UWC wishes you and yours a Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Holiday Greetings from UWC!!!




~ Greetings!!! ~


In reflecting on 2010, we all can say that we have much to be grateful for during this eventful year in the trucking and produce industries, and are looking forward to continued success from our Customer and Carrier Partners.

Once again this year we have decided to offer our best wishes by way of a charitable donation to families through the North Shore Christmas Bureau as our way of contributing to those less fortunate. This, along with our year round support of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, helps us put assistance and smiles where they really count.

We know that our success is directly related to your success, and it has therefore been a sincere pleasure to have worked with so many great people throughout 2010 and to have helped keep driving the road ahead and ensuring the safe, secure, and on time delivery of goods.

Best wishes to you this Holiday Season!!


From all the Staff at United World Cargo

Steve, Jim, Tim, Lisa, Tania, Kat, Rob, Sharon, Jorge, Dave, Giovanni, Christian, Gaby, Julieta, Mel, Corrinne, Elga, Maria, Liliana, Mike, Lynda, Chrystal, Beth and Glynis

Thursday, December 16, 2010

New CSA 2010 Program Launched

The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has officially launched the CSA 2010 program. The program will now be referred to simply as the CSA (Compliance Safety Accountability) program, and will drop the 2010.



As we have reviewed in previous blog postings, the cornerstone of CSA is the Safety Measurement System (SMS), which will analyze all safety-based violations from inspections and crash data to determine a commercial motor carrier's on-road performance. The new safety program will allow FMCSA to reach more carriers earlier and deploy a range of corrective interventions to address a carrier company's specific safety issues.


The CSA program also advances the Obama Administration's open government initiative by providing the public with safety data in a more user-friendly format. This will give consumers a better picture of those carriers that pose a safety risk. CSA was also rolled out and tested in 9 pilot states before the program was launched nationwide.


The SMS uses seven safety improvement categories called BASICS to examine a carrier's on-road performance and crash risk potential. Once again for review, the BASICs are Unsafe Driving, Fatigued Driving (Hours-of-Service), Driver Fitness, Controlled Substances/Alcohol, Vehicle Maintenance, Cargo-Related, Crash Indicator. By looking at a carrier's safety violations in each of the categories, FMCSA and state law enforcement agencies will be better equipped to identify carriers with patterns of high-risk behaviors, and subsequently apply interventions that provide carriers the information necessary to change unsafe practices early on.


FMCSA will continue to conduct on-site comprehensive compliance reviews for carrier company;s with safety issues across multiple BASICs; where a carrier has not taken the appropriate corrective measures, FMCSA will invoke strong civil penalties.


To gain more information regarding the new CSA program, please feel free to contact UWC directly (1.877.273.7400) or visit the CSA website at http://csa.fmcsa.dot.gov.



Do you have any early CSA experiences you would like to share??

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Focus on.... Product Respiration

This week's blog post focuses on one segment of UWC's document entitled Interactions between Refrigerated Trailers and Product. Product respiration is a crucial factor at work in any perishable load, and its actions influence fruit and vegetables products upon delivery.

What is Respiration?
Respiration is the process by which plants take in oxygen and give out carbon dioxide. In basic terms, the oxygen from the air breaks down the carbohydrates in the produce into carbon dioxide and water, and this reaction produces energy in the form of heat.

Effects product temperature can have on loading:
A refrigeration unit is not designed in any way to cool product; it is designed only to maintain the load temperature of a product. Even state of the art technology in refrigeration can only "chill" product 2 degrees F every 24 hours.

Further, if the trailer is set to a very low temperature in an attempt to cool product at a faster rate than mentioned above, the unit can "freeze up" and this will inhibit the ability to maintain the desired temperature after the product is loaded on the trailer. Or, if a shipper loads "hot product" on the trailer, the moisture created can cause the unit to not cycle properly.

Heat and Respiration
There are two sources of load based (or product based) heat: Sensible heat and vital heat. Sensible heat is also referred to as retained heat and is the amount of heat above the desired transit temperature in products and packages. Vital heat is generated by the respiratory activity of products like fruit, vegetables, and flowers.

Conclusion
As outlined above, respiration is a major factor at work in each and every produce load; it must be taken into account when loading product, and when evaluating product upon delivery. If the product pulps hot or cold upon loading, this will affect the rate of respiration of the product, and therefore the ambient temperature inside the trailer.

To view the complete document, please visit www.unitedworldcargo.com, and navigate to the Customer or Carrier Online Forms!!!

Have comment? Please share!!!!

References:

NetCertification Online Training and Testing. 1999-2009. http://netcertification.com/prod2/customers/content/474/page10.html. Printed on 05/05/2007.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Updates on CSA 2010



There have been some updates and news on the CSA 2010 front that we would like to share with our Customer and Carrier partners.

The first piece of news is that the FMCSA has announced some CSA Safety Measurement System (SMS) improvements. At the end of this past summer, the FMCSA began providing Carriers with information about where they stand in each of the new CSA BASICs (Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories); the information was based on inspection data and investigation findings. Based on feedback and analysis from the Data Preview period, the FMCSA will roll out the new SMS to the nation in December with the following revisions in place:
  • Modifications to the presentation of SMS BASIC results - the term "Deficient" will be changed to "Alert" when a motor carrier's score in one or more of the BASICs is above the FMCSA threshold for intervention. The highlight color will also be changed from red to orange. Thirdly, there will be improvements to the language to clarify that BASIC results signify the carrier is prioritized for an FMCSA intervention.


  • Modifications to the Cargo-Related BASIC - the Cargo-Related BASIC will be recalibrated by adjusting the cargo securement violation severity weightings based on input from subject matter experts. The public display will be modified for this BASIC to show violations only. The percentiles and intervention status will no be on public display.

Along with these two adjustments, the FMCSA agency is also conducting additional analysis to further understand the impact on the different industry segments of a carrier's exposure in various BASICs. During this analysis period, the results from the BASICs measurement will continue to be an effective intervention prioritization tool for enforcement personnel based on sound safety principles.

Also in CSA 2010 news, the national roll out has now been slated to occur no earlier than December 12, 2010, despite reports that may state the contrary.


If you would like further information or news regarding the fast approaching nationwide implementation of CSA 2010, please visit the CSA website at http://csa2010.fmcsa.dot.gov or feel free to contact UWC!!!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!!!


Happy Thanksgiving to all our US Customer and Carrier Partners!!
We hope you have a great long weekend! In addition, we would like to take this time to thank each and every one of you for your business and support, and we look forward to continuing long term business relationships!
~~ Have a great turkey day!! ~~

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Winter Driving and Mountain Passes


Some mountain passes are now experiencing winter weather conditions! Drivers: please be reminded to call ahead for current road conditions or contact the UWC Customer Service Department on our trucker dedicated line - 1.877.273.7400 - for up to the minute highway condition updates!!

Also, it is important to be prepared for winter driving. Below are some tips to help with winter driving this season:

1. Make sure to do a pre-trip inspection before each trip. Although this is a year round recommendation, this is even more important during the winter months. Remember to clear the snow and ice from your tractor and trailer to ensure good visibility, check tires, wiper blades, lights, and fluids.

2. Pack the winter essentials: flashlight, batteries, gloves, rain gear, first aid kit, extra fluids, windshield scraper/brush, jumper cables, and tire chains, to name a few.

3. Drive with caution - drive slower, give yourself time, allow for more space between other cars and trucks, accelerate and brake slowly, watch the road carefully for black ice and other winter conditions.

Also, below are the links to State websites that we monitor for mountain pass conditions:

Preparedness is key!! Don't experience delays and time constraints due to winter weather road conditions on mountain passes.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

More CSA 2010 -

CSA 2010 Countdown - Check your Score Today!!

The kickoff for CSA 2010 going live is now less than one month away!! Here is a quick review of what is going to happen:


Comprehensive Safety Analysis 2010 (CSA 2010) is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce commercial vehicle (CMV)-related crashes, injuries, and fatalities. It introduces a new enforcement and compliance model that allows FMCSA and its State Partners to contact a larger number of carriers earlier in order to address safety problems before crashes occur. Rolling out the program by the end of 2010 will establish a new nationwide system for making the roads safer for motor carriers and the public.


The FMCSA uses Behavior Analysis Safety Improvement Categories, also called BASICs, in order to measure motor carrier's on-road safety performance. The BASICs categories are as follows:

  • Unsafe Driving

  • Fatigued Driving (Hours of Service)

  • Driver Fitness

  • Controlled Substances/Alcohol

  • Vehicle Maintenance

  • Cargo-Related

  • Crash Indicator

Motor Carriers can now view their BASICs Assessment, which includes on road performance and investigation results. Review your inspection and crash data, and identify and correct safety compliance problems today!! The FMCSA is tracking who has logged in to the FMCSA Data Preview site to see their status and scores and what particular pages they are looking at. It has been reported that fewer than 10% of registered trucking companies have accessed their data.

UWC encourages carrier companies to obtain a password and ID and log in to the system in order to understand what your status and scores are, and take corrective action immediately regarding any safety compliance issues.

To log in, go to https://csa2010.fmcsa.dot.gov/login.aspx?ReturnUrl=%2fDataPreview%2fDefault.aspx and follow the instructions. If you require any assistance or further information regarding CSA 2010, please feel free to contact UWC's Carrier Relations Department at toll free: 1.877.273.7400 or carriers@unitedworldcargo.com.

!!!Kick off date for CSA 2010 is slated for December 5th, 2010! Make sure you are well informed and prepared for the new system, and remember to log in to the Data Preview Site!!!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

CSA 2010 - Dispelling Myths - Part 2

We are now in the countdown stages to CSA 2010, with one month to go until public launch date!!!

Similarly to our post from Sept 30th, 2010, this week's blog post will look at the CSA 2010 information titled CSA 2010: Just the Facts. UWC has picked out another 5 from this list that we find to be interesting and informative. They are listed below:

1. Carrier companies will not inherit any of a newly hired driver's past violations. Only those inspections that a driver receives while driving under a carrier's authority can be applied to a Carrier's Safety Measurement System Assessment.

2. Comprehensive Safety Analysis 2010 (CSA 2010) introduces a driver safety assessment tool to help enforcement staff evaluate driver's safety as part of motor carrier investigations. Using the new Safety Measurement System (SMS), the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) continues to hold motor carriers responsible for the job performance of those who work for them. Therefore, motor carrier companies are held accountable for their drivers' errors, such as speeding. This is a longstanding FMCSA position and is not unique to CSA 2010 or the new SMS.

3. Potentially erroneous violations on carrier/driver records can be submitted for review. The DataQs system (https://dataqs.fmcsa.dot.gov), which does not change under CSA 2010, allows motor carrier companies and drivers to make a Request for Data Review, or RDR, of information that resides in FMCSA databases such as crash and inspection reports.

4. The SMS assesses a carrier's safety performance on the basis of its roadside violations and crashes. The SMS uses a subset of these violations and crashes to evaluate an individual driver's safety performance across employers. Appendix A of the SMS Methodology shows a complete table of the violations that are used and indicates whether a given violation is used in the Driver SMS. Drivers and carrier companies authorized by a driver to conduct a pre-employment screening have the ability to view three years of inspection data and five years of crash data through the Pre-employement Screening Program (PSP). http://www.psp.fmcsa.dot.gov/Pages/FAQ.aspx.

5. If a carrier company or commercial motor vehicle driver finds any violations in his or her crash or roadside inspection reports that are not listed in the SMS Methodology severity tables, then they do not count towards the carrier company's or driver's SMS data.
Stay tuned for additional info from UWC regarding CSA 2010, and please feel free to share any info you have also heard!!
References:
CSA 2010: Just the Facts. U.S. Department of Transportation. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Http://CSA2010.FMCSA.dot.gov. July 2010.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Commercial Vehicle Pass System

What is the Commercial Vehicle Pass System?

Keeping freight moving during major transportation disruptions is essential to supporting the economy and jobs, and to ensure that the public’s needs are met. Therefore, the Washington DOT is introducing the new Commercial Vehicle (CV) Pass System intended to support freight moved by authorizing emergency, essential, and other goods delivery throughout affected areas during a highway disruption of two to seven days. This will become an important service that is available during this year’s expected La Nina winter.

When will the CV Pass System Be Active?


Washington State will activate the CV Pass System when major freight highways are closed or severely restricted, and a limited-capacity detour is available nearby. CV passes, also referred to as Detour Passes, will be issued based on the highway detour’s capacity and the priority of goods carried, as determined by the State Emergency Operation Center. Category A goods are defined as Emergency Supplies; Category B goods are defined as Essential Supplies and include food, water, and perishable goods; Category C goods are defined as all other goods and are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Detour Passes will not be used until the Washington State DOT has determined the detour route to be safe, potentially on the second or third day after the highway closure.

Need More Info?


Shippers and trucking companies can request and receive CV Passes online at http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/CommercialVehicle/detourpass.htm.

For more assistance in obtaining more information regarding winter driving conditions and the CV Pass System, please feel free to contact UWC toll free at 1.877.273.7400!!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Are You Ready For La Nina??!!

* Image source: www.farmersalmanac.com. Accessed on Oct. 14, 2010

Weather forecasters are predicting a La Niña winter this year, and have suggested it is building into the strongest one since 1955. La Niña will bring weather conditions such as increased rainfall, snow, and colder temperatures. Storms are expected to grow more severe in winter months as the La Niña climate phenomenon strengthens.
In particular, drivers in the Pacific Northwest are being warned to be prepared for the potential heavy flooding this year, with November predicted to be the wettest month. Drivers are also being warned that the mountain passes are predicted to have severe conditions this winter.
As with any other year, drivers need to be prepared for winter travel!! Starting soon, drivers must be sure to carry chains, check road conditions and weather reports before travelling. It is also critical to drive for conditions. Delays due to flooding, ice, snow, and general winter conditions should be anticipated and it is critical to keep UWC updated should these circumstances arise.
Remember, take it slow in ice and snow.. and know before you go!

Do you have any tips to share for preparation for winter driving?? If you do, we encourage you to leave a comment!!!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Operation Safe Driver Week is Coming Up!

Alert: October 17-23 is Operation Safe Driver Week!!

The mission of Operation Safe Driver week throughout North America is to improve commercial and non-commercial driver behaviour and performance through effective enforcement, education and awareness strategies.

Why? Improving highway safety for commercial vehicle operations starts with the driver. Highway crashes related to large trucks account for 12% of total crashes with fatalities. Focusing more attention on commercial and non-commercial operators will save lives.

The objectives of the program are as follows:
  • Increase commercial vehicle traffic enforcement activity.
  • Increase safety belt enforcement activity.
  • Increase driver regulatory compliance.
  • Increase driver roadside inspections.
  • Implement commercial driver educational and awareness programs to the motor carrier population.
  • Increase the non-commercial vehicle traffic enforcement activity.
  • Increase the awareness to the motoring public about safe operations around commercial motor vehicles.

The strategies that will be used are:

  • Selective Traffic Enforcement Program: High crash corridors with high CMV traffic and concentration on moving violations, driver infractions and aggressive behaviors on ALL drivers.
  • Remove unsafe and fatigued commercial drivers from the highways.
  • Take enforcement action against commercial drivers who fail to buckle up.
  • Focus on unique and innovative approaches such as TACT, project ADVANCE, Smooth Operator
  • Implement commercial driver-focused enforcement and education strategies which are based on performance data.
  • Educate commercial vehicle drivers and others about the importance of safe driving and of proper driver techniques.
  • Raise awareness of the motoring public about the hazards of operating around commercial vehicles and of proper steps they can take to enhance safe operations.
  • Educate government, industry and the public about the important role roadside enforcement plays in saving lives on North America's highways and helping to provide a safe and secure place to travel.

So, remember to mark your calendars, be safe, and be aware!!!!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

CSA 2010 - Dispelling Myths

In this week's blog post, we look at the CSA 2010 information titled CSA 2010: Just the Facts. We have picked out 5 that we find to be interesting and informative, and they are listed below:

1. All inspections and crashes that a commercial motor vehicle driver receives while under the authority of a carrier will remain part of the carrier's Safety Measurement System data for two years unless overturned through the DataQs system, even if the carrier terminates the driver.

2. Comprehensive Safety Analysis 2010 (CSA 2010) has not changed any of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations. There is one rule that FMCSA is trying to change as part of CSA 2010. The carrier safety rating process that determine whether FMCSA will deem a carrier Unfit is currently in rule making to potentially change to a new process call Safety Fitness Determination.

3. The data kept by a State (for example, tickets, written warnings, convictions) and the data that is kept in the Safety Measurement System (SMS) (for example, violations from roadside inspection and crash reports) are separate. This data must be assessed and, if necessary, corrected under separate processes. All data in the SMS can be verified in the DataQs system.

4. Carriers who are considering hiring drivers can review "Driver Profiles" if the drivers have authorized the release of their information. These profiles are compiled from the FMCSA's Driver Information Resource (DIR) and will be available to carriers through FMCSA's new Pre-Employment Screening Program (PSP). Drivers can view their own profiles. PSP is only available as a pre-screening tool and not for use in evaluating current drivers. PSP was mandated by Congress and is not a part of CSA 2010.

5. Similar to today's SafeStat, tickets or warnings that commercial vehicle drivers receive while operating their personal vehicles do not count in the new Safety Measurement System.

Stay tuned for more facts, or visit the CSA 2010 site directly to view them all!!

http://csa2010.fmcsa.dot.gov/whats_new.aspx

If you have any comments or suggestions regarding the CSA 2010 and carrier/driver preparedness, feel free to share!!!!

References:

CSA 2010: Just the Facts. U.S. Department of Transportation. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. HTTP://CSA2010.FMCSA.DOT.GOV. July 2010.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

National Truck Driver Appreciation Week!!

The United States is currently celebrating National Truck Driver Appreciation Week! The event is an annual occurrence, and will end this year on September 25th.

The American Trucking Association reports that there are more than 3.4 million professional truck drivers throughout the United States, who drive more than 431 billion miles per year!

UWC recognizes that the dedication and success of our drivers is directly related to our company's success, and we want to take this time to honor all our drivers (Canadian, American, and Mexican!!) for their hard work and commitment in taking on what is undoubtedly one of North America's most demanding and important jobs.

UWC would like to take this time to thank our drivers for their continued commitment that allows us to provide safe, secure, and on time deliveries of the goods we transport!!!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

CSA Spotlight - BASICS: Driver Fatigue, Driver Fitness & Vehicle Maintenance


CSA 2010 implementation is fast approaching!

CSA 2010 is the FMCSA’s Comprehensive Safety Analysis System; its purpose is to achieve a greater reduction in large truck and bus crashes, injuries, and fatalities in the United States by identifying individual drivers and motor carrier companies that pose safety problems and intervening to address those problems as soon as they become apparent.

Within the CSA model, the Safety Measurement System (SMS) quantifies the on-road safety performance of carriers and drivers. The SMS replaces the FMCSA SafeStat in the new operational model. Every month, SMS will measure the previous two years of roadside violation and crash data and calculate a score in 7 safety behavior areas, called the BASICs (Behavior Analysis Safety Improvement Categories). In this issue of The Road Ahead, we focus on 3 that we believe to be the most crucial aspects of the system that both Carriers and Customers should be aware of:

1. Fatigued Driving (Hours-of-Service): This component of the BASICs measures the operation of CMVs (Commercial Motor Vehicle) by drivers who are ill, fatigued, or in non-compliance with the Hours-of-Service regulations. It includes violations of regulations pertaining to complete and accurate recording of logbooks as they relate to HOS requirements and the management of CMV driver fatigue. Examples of violations under this component are: HOS non-compliance, logbook violations, and operating a CMV while ill or fatigued.

2. Driver Fitness: This component of the BASICs evaluates the operation of CMVs by drivers who are unfit to operate a CMV due to a lack of training, experience or medical qualifications. Examples of violations under this component are: failure to have a valid and appropriate commercial driver’s license and being medically unqualified to operate a CMV.

3. Vehicle Maintenance: This component of the BASICs measures the failure to properly maintain a CMV. Example violations under this component are: faulty brakes and lights, other mechanical defects, and failure to make required repairs and scheduled maintenance.

In the case where measurement of the BASICs leads to determination of unfit operations, drivers and carrier companies will face suspension.

It will become more and more important for UWC’s Carrier Partners to strictly adhere to all of the BASICs, especially the 3 listed above, as the implications for non-compliance are severe.
For more information, please visit the CSA website at: http://csa2010.fmcsa.dot.gov/.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

CVSA Brake Safety Week is September 12-18th, 2010!!


Alert: The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance's (CVSA) annual Brake Safety Week begins this Sunday, September 12th, 2010. The program will run until Saturday, September 18th, 2010. Any drivers who haven't checked their brakes in a while might want to do so this week in preparation for the kick-off of this program. Below is a run down of the program and answers to some commonly asked questions.

What is the purpose of the program?

CVSA's annual Brake Safety Week is a part of the Operation Air Brake campaign. The campaign started because out of adjustment air brakes and brake system defects on commercial vehicles constitute a major defect that results in vehicles being placed out of service. The program runs throughout Canada, the United States, and Mexico. It's primary objective, like CSA 2010, is to reduce the number of highway crashes; the Brake Safety week program focuses on reducing the number of highway crashes caused by faulty brake systems.

How will the program work for the week of Sept 12-18, 2010?

Roadside inspections will be conducted by CVSA-certified inspectors, with a special emphasis being placed on the inspection of air brakes and braking systems. CVSA-certified inspectors will also increase their presence at truck stops and other locations where drivers and mechanics congregate. Their primary goal at these locations is to educate drivers and instruct them on the inspection procedure and the operation of braking systems. All Operation Air Brake Inspections are to be identified as a Level IV Inspection under CVSA.

What can drivers do to prepare for this program?

In just a few moments, drivers can easily adjust air brakes that are equipped with manual slack adjusters and check for other defects related to brakes. It is the opinion of many professionals in the industry that the primary reasons for drivers not adjusting their brakes is a lack of education, training, and not having the commitment to safety.

Drivers are strongly encouraged to take the few minutes it does take to adjust their braking systems, and also be open and welcoming to the training that is being offered during this week. Commitment to safety results in safer highways for all, and less commercial vehicles out of service.

For more information of the Operation Air Brake/Brake Safety Week, visit the CVSA website at: http://www.cvsa.org/programs/op_airbrake.aspx.

So, mark you calendars for next week and ask yourself, Have You Checked Your Brakes Today?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Carrier Loading Tip - Load Lock Review

Load locks play one of the most important roles in ensuring the safe and secure transportation of goods. Did you know that all roadways are engineered with a center crown for water run-off? This causes all vehicles on the road to lean slightly to the right. Because of this, reefer and other truck/trailer units must ensure that whenever possible:

  • The rear four pallets of every load should be stacked to the right side of the trailer;

  • The rear four pallets should be side by side tight against each other and tight against the passenger side wall to reduce shifting and tipping of pallets;

  • Two load locks should be placed between the floor and the ceiling on the left side of the rear pallets;

  • Two load locks should also be placed on the back of the rear pallets between the trailer's walls.

  • Remember that whenever possible, a minimum of 6 inches of space between the load and the doors must be maintained in order to allow adequate air flow between the load and the doors.

Improperly positioned freight or freight that is not locked into position to avoid shifting during transit can result in:

  • Cases and/or pallets being tipped and/or crushed. This can result in damages that have the potential to cause a significant loss of value to the load and therefore may have the potential for additional costs.

  • Improper air flow which will most likely reduce a reefer unit's ability to maintain proper running temperature. This has the potential to cause claims against the carrier due to temperature issues.

Prevention, as always, is the best way for carriers to protect themselves from potential claims/additional charges related to shifted/improperly positioned loads!! 3-6 load locks must be used for all UWC loads, and all must be in good working order!!!


It's hard to believe, but Labor Day weekend is upon us!! UWC wishes everyone a happy and safe long weekend!!!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Communication with UWC

Communication is one of the most important components of any load. UWC has taken the following measures to ensure that we have numerous communication options available for our Customer and Carrier partners:

  • We have a TOLL FREE Customer dedicated line: 1.877.273.7470, and a TOLL FREE Carrier dedicated line: 1.877.273.7400 - both these lines can be called from anywhere in the United States or Canada.
  • We have a TOLL FREE Fax Line: 1.866.986.7401 that can be used from anywhere in the United States or Canada; or even better, use our new TRANSFLO express program! It is completely FREE to use from over 775 truckstop locations across the United States.
  • We also have several phones with Nextel service that can be used to contact UWC anywhere in the United States, Canada, or Mexico. Call us today for our Nextel information!!!
  • Along with individual e-mail addresses, we have a customer dedicated email address: sales@unitedworldcargo.com, that is forwarded to all UWC Account Managers; and a carrier dedicated email address: carriers@unitedworldcargo.com that is forwarded to all members of UWC's Carrier Relations Department.
  • Our office is staffed 7 days a week: Mon-Fri from 6am to 6pm, Sat-Sun 7am to 4pm PST.
  • Outside of office hours, all office phone calls are forwarded to an on-call dispatcher who is available to take calls anytime.

Communication with Customers, Carrier companies and their drivers is a daily commitment of UWC. This commitment is especially critical if there is an issue on a load. UWC needs to be made aware of any issues on loads (for example, breakdowns) immediately so that we can take the appropriate action, update our Customer, and find the best possible solution for all parties involved.

Remember, communication is the key to success!!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Maintenance Tips for Drivers

Maintaining your truck and keeping your equipment in good order will keep you and others safe on the road, which is becoming a topic of increasing importance and government focus in light of CSA 2010. Maintaining your truck also keeps operating costs down and your Carrier rating with UWC in good standing!!!!

Basic daily procedures should be performed at the start of every trip. They include checking tires, lights, turn signals, and hazard flashers to ensure all in in good working order.

What constitutes "routine maintenance"?

Regular preventative maintenance is the best way to reduce operating costs - sudden mechanical breakdowns are often expensive and can in most cases be avoided by routine truck and trailer maintenance. Check the vehicle's manual for the manufacturer's recommendations for maintenance. Pay special attention to items such as:
  • Brakes
  • Steering
  • Tires
  • Mirror and any features that allow you to be able to see clearly
  • Windshield washers and wipers
  • Steps, walk boards or ladders
  • Pneumatic or hydraulic hoses, outriggers, lift gates, hoists, or other material handling features.
  • Headboard racks and load attachment points (hooks and winches).

Remember... It's what on the inside that counts too

The inside of the trailer also requires routine maintenance and inspection. Pay special attention to the following:

  • Temperature control unit and temperature monitoring devices - must be calibrated and accurate.
  • Refrigeration air delivery chutes
  • Trailer's insulation through walls, ceiling, doors, and floors - the trailer must be airtight!
  • Floor grooves and drains - must be free of debris, cracks, and holes.

In conclusion

Maintenance that is routine and preventative is the best type to ensure success upon deliveries and reduce a carrier's exposure to claims and/or additional charges. So take care of your truck, trailer, and yourself, inside and out!!!

Do you have any maintenance tips of your own? Please feel free to share!!!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

"Mix It Up" Campaign!!!

What is "Mix It Up"?

"Mix it Up" is a campaign and marketing initiative targeted at helping Canadians of all ages eat more fruits and vegetables. It focuses on simple and piratical ways to add variety to your fruit and vegetable diet. The CMPA (Canadian Produce Marketing Association), the Heart and Stroke Doundation, and the Canadian Cancer Society are just some of the great associations that are supporting this cause!

Mix it up for your health

Below are some of the reasons as to why fruits and vegetables are so healthy for us all:

  • They may help to reduce the risk of some types of cancer
  • They help keep bones strong
  • They help keep digestive systems regular
  • They are low in calories and fat, and rich in the good stuff like fibre, and full of crucial nutrients such as Vitamin C and A, potassium, and magnesium
  • They can help protect against many diseases such as stroke and heart disease (through the presence of compounds called phytochemicals)

How to mix it up:

There are many ways to include a many fruits and vegetables in your diet, to increase consumption and create variety:

  • fruit smoothies make a great breakfast and can be made with a large variety of fruits and veggies
  • keep salad ingredients on hand: sliced carrots, mushrooms, red peppers, bagged greens, and sliced strawberries are all great choices!
  • buy fresh produce, like bananas or nectarines, in varying degrees of ripeness - this allows for some ripening towards the end of the week.

These are just some of the great ideas available in order to mix it up. For more information, visit the "Mix it Up" website at www.5to10aday.com.

Remember, eat it up, mix it up and enjoy all your fruits and veggies!!!

Reference:

"Mix it Up" website. http://www.5to10aday.com/en. Accessed on Aug 5th, 2010.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Temperature Recorder Placement

Welcome to the third installment on our series on the Interactions between Refrigerated Trailers and Products.

Temperature recorders are also commonly referred to as TempTales or Ryan recorders. Their proper use (placement, position, and performance) is critical to ensure that the temperature recorder provides an accurate reading of the ambient temperature inside the trailer during transport.


So, after the temperature recorder has been confirmed to be working in good order, where does it go?


According to Sensitech, the correct location of the TempTale is on the back right pallet facing the doors. If the TempTale is placed before the last pickup, the Temptale should still be placed on the last pallet for that pickup.

Below, a couple of images of correct vs. incorrect TempTale placement:



Temperature recorders should not be placed on trailer walls because this permits heat that is conducted through the walls to affect the reading produced by the recorder.

Correct handling of the temperature recorder is critical to it's success in producing an accurate reading!!! To learn more regarding this topic and other important notes on the interactions between refrigerated trailers and products, please visit our website at
http://www.unitedworldcargo.com/, and download the full PDF file available on the Customer and Carrier sections!!!


Do you have anything to add to this post? Please let us know!!!


Reference:

4 Steps to a Successful Shipment. Sensitech Cold Chain Visibility. PowerPoint Presentation. Received on 11/08/2009. Accessed for document on 01/06/2010.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Newsflash!!!! TRANSFLO Acquires Flying J's Scan&Go Assets!

Pegasus Transtech, the owners of the TRANSFLO system, acquired the Flying J Scan & Go assets on June 30, 2010. TRANSFLO Express will be deployed at all Scan & Express Express locations in the United States and Canada! There is also an agreement to install TRANSFLO Express at the remaining Flying J sites, excluding Quebec, within the next 60 days.

So, what does this mean? There will now be over 775 locations for drivers to use TRANSFLO Express scanning!! These locations include ALL Pilot Travel Centers, ALL Love's Travel Stops, hundreds of other truck stops across the United States, and now the Flying J Truck Stop Locations!

As you will recall, with TRANSFLO Express, documents are sent electronically to UWC for immediate processing. UWC has created a "Tripsheet" for all carriers to use to aid in faster processing. Call us toll free today 1.877.273.7400 and get your Tripsheet and start sending your paperwork to UWC for FREE!!!

Why not start today? You could potentially save hundreds of dollars a year!!!!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Loading Guidelines: Spotlight On.... Pre-Cooling Trailers

Why is pre-cooling so important?
Pre-cooling is one of the most important steps in the pre-loading stage of produce. It is absolutely essential for a refrigerated trailer to be pre-cooled. This becomes especially important during the summer months when temperatures, especially in the southern United States, can reach in the 100s °F. Failing to pre-cool a trailer will result in residual heat in the trailer, walls, ceiling, doors, and floor, which can affect the temperature of the product that is loaded in the trailer, and essentially heat the load.

How it works
Trailers must be pre-cooled to their correct requested product running temperature. It takes up to 1 to 2 hours to pre-cool a trailer with the thermostat pre-set and the doors closed. This is critical to remember as pre-cooling trailers prior to arrival at pickup sheds will result in quicker loading times.

When preparing to pick up a load, the doors of the trailer must not be opened until the loading crews are ready to load it. Also, remember that just before the doors are opened to begin loading, the refrigeration unit must be turned off.

So remember, keep cool to ensure success at loading docks!
Do you have anything to add? Please feel free to share your thoughts and comments!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Pallet Configuration in Reefer Units

Proper trailer loading and pallet configuration is critical to successful deliveries. Trailer pallet configuration and loading specification can affect the temperature of the product inside the reefer, and subsequently, can affect temptale recorder readings. Trailer loading and pallet configuration becomes even more critical when the outside air temperature rises.

Centerline vs. Wall Loading
A trailer can be either centerline loaded, or wall loaded. Centerline loading prevents heat conduction between the trailer wall and the product as it creates a gap between the wall and the product where air can flow to remove heat that penetrates the wall.
Below, an example of a trailer that has been centerline loaded and the recorder reading this produces:


A trailer that is wall loaded will permit heat to be conducted through the walls and into the product.

Below is an example of a wall loaded trailer and the recorder reading this produces:

Produce loads should not be wall loaded, as this will affect pulp temperatures and recorder readings. To ensure success in deliveries, all produce loads should be centerline loaded.


Any thoughts or comments? Please feel free to share with us!!

Reference:
4 Steps to a Successful Shipment. Sensitech Cold Chain Visibility. PowerPoint Presentation. Received on 11/08/2009. Accessed for document on 01/06/2010.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Continuous vs. Cycle Sentry

Refrigerated trailer temperature settings are one of the most critical aspects that can influence fruit and vegetables products upon delivery. Below is a description of both settings and further information on their functions:

Continuous:

Continuous setting must be used for produce loads, as they need continuous air flow to handle the heat of product respiration. Continuous air flow allows for more consistent temperature throughout the trailer for the duration of transport. All reefer units have a ‘Set Point’. For example, if you have a set point of 33°F, the temperature reading displayed by the set-point will stay constant on a smart reefer download. On continuous setting, the reefer has a set defrost cycle (definition: Defrost cycle – the process of removing ice or frost buildup from a coil). The intervals are factory set for every 6 hours, but the unit will auto defrost based on a temperature difference across the coil. The defrost cycle can be changed to compensate for produce that has higher heat respiration, for higher ambient temperature (definition: Ambient temperature - the certain temperature within an enclosed space), and for door openings. For example, if it is a humid day and the driver is doing a lot of door openings, you may need to have a more frequent number of defrost cycles. Although the reefer has this defrost cycle on continuous setting, it does not change the product temperature due to the fact that most reefers have a very high heating capacity (definition: Heating capacity – The amount of heat energy needed to raise the temperature of a given mass of a substance by one degree Celsius). The temperature in the air of the reefer will heat at a faster rate than the temperature of the product that is in the trailer. The time of a defrost cycle is not is significant enough to affect the product temperature.

Below is an example of a temperature recorder printout for a reefer in continuous mode (note spike at end of 41°F is at unloading point:

Cycle Sentry:

Cycle-Sentry setting should only be used for frozen loads, i.e. loads that are intended to ship colder than 24°F. Frozen loads can handle more significant temperature variances without causing damage to the product. On cycle-sentry, the load also has a ‘Set Point.’ For example, if you have a set point of 22°F, the set-point will also stay constant on the download, as it does on continuous setting. However, when the ambient temperature in the reefer drops to between .5 to 1 °F lower than the ‘Set Point’ (in this case that would be 21.5°F), it turns off. It then waits until temperature warms up 5°F past the set point (in this case, 27°F), and then turns itself back on.

Below is an example of a temperature recorder printout for a reefer in cycle-sentry mode:




Conclusion:

Produce loads should not be set on cycle-sentry, and the only benefit of operating on this setting is significant fuel savings. Because the temperature of a load on cycle-sentry can vary dramatically during the time of transport, this can cause freezing on top boxes or condensation in packaging.


Reference:

4 Steps to a Successful Shipment. Sensitech Cold Chain Visibility. Powerpoint Presentation. Received on 11/08/2009, Accessed for document on 01/06/2010.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

UWC has improved its SmartWay Score!

In 2009, UWC joined the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) SmartWaySM Transport Program. SmartWaySM is an innovative collaboration between the EPA and the freight sector. By joining, UWC is showing that we are committed to promoting greater energy efficiency and air quality within the freight transport sector. As a Carrier & Logistics Partner, we are assisting our drivers in making better choices for their businesses and the environment.

UWC has joined to SmartWaySM Transport Partnership as a Logistics Partner for three years, and by doing so has committed to increasing the percentage of freight shipped by SmartWaySM Carriers by at least 10% per year. We report our progress towards this goal to the EPA annually.

United World Cargo has just completed the report from our previous year, and are happy to announce that we have increased our score by 1300% over the year before!!! We have been told by the EPA SmartWaySM Transport Program that we are well on track with an improving score year after year, and that they look forward to our future reports!

Call UWC today to see how you too can join SmartWaySM; committing to improving freight carrying options will result in reduced fuel consumption and maintenance costs! It's good for you, your company, and the environment!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Notification: Full interstate closures on I-90

The Washington State Department Of Transportation (WSDOT) has announced that beginning on June 14th, rock blasting activities and full interstate closures will occur on the I-90 east of Snoqualmie Pass.

HYAK - WSDOT and contractor crews will begin the first of a series of controlled blasts on Interstate 90 this week near the Keechelus Lake Snowshed (located at Milepost 58), forcing up to one hour closures of I-90 in both directions. This will also lead to delays in travel times, and possibly pickup and delivery times for truck drivers as well.

The interstate closures and restrictions will occur from now until October, and crews will be blasting, loading, and hauling away approximately one million tons of rock from the slopes adjacent to the I-90. This work is all part of the $571 million Hyak to Keechelus Dam Project that calls for widening the interstate from four lanes to six lanes. This, along with other planned improvements are aimed to increase the reliability of the I-90 for all motorists.

Check the WSDOT site at http://www.wsdot.wa.go/Traffic/passes/snoqualmie daily for updates on exact closure locations, times, and delays. For example, today the site notes that: "Milepost 52 to Milepost 58 through Thursday traffic is restricted to one lane each direction 24 hours a day and loads exceeding 14 feet wide are prohibited. Rolling slowdowns will be used intermittently through the work zone, travelers may experience some added travel time."

Feel free to also call UWC in order to get up to date information on this topic!!!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Spotlight on..... Tomatoes

Tomatoes are one of the most widely consumed produce items in North America. Our blog entry this week pays homage to this, and is all about the tomato, from less known facts, market info, and handling tips.

Did you know?

The tomato is also known as the love apple, and one pound of its seed can produce up to 140,000 plants. One of the most debated questions regarding the tomato is if it is a fruit or vegetable. Botanically, the tomato is a fruit of the vine. But many people think of it as a vegetable. In 1893, the United States Supreme Court ruled that for the purposed of levying a tariff, the tomato would be regarded as a vegetable.

A hothouse tomato only has 21 calories, is very high vitamin C and potassium, is a source of folacin and Vitamin A, and is fat free!

The Market

According to The Packer website, tomatoes tied with potatoes as the No. 1 most purchased vegetable in 2009. That's a jump from fourth spot in 2008. Leading the pack variety wise is the traditional round beefsteak, a popular choice for salads, recipes, and side dishes.

Florida is the United States largest producer of fresh tomatoes, with a season ranging from October to June, and with their season winding down, Florida is hoping for a better start to their season than what was seen in 2010.

Hothouse tomatoes are grown year round and offer complete climate control, maximum light conditions, and reduce pest and weather pressures. Notable greenhouse locations in North America include various areas in California (Oxnard, for example) and British Columbia (Delta, for example).

Handling Tips

Field tomatoes come out of the fields and go into "gas rooms" for ripening purposes. This is a critical process in the ripening stage and will determine how tomatoes are to be handled in transit.

Most customers will request colour and stage updates for each day of transit. Below are the colour and stage categories most commonly used:

  • Green - Stage 1 - The tomato surface is completely green. The shade of green may vary from light to dark.
  • Breakers - Stage 2 - There is a definite break of colour from green to tannish-yellow, pink, or red on 10% or less of the tomato surface
  • Turning - Stage 3 - Tannish-yellow, pink, or red colour shows on over 10% but no more than 30% of the surface of the tomato.
  • Pink - Stage 4 - Pink or red colour shows on over 30% but not more than 60% of the tomato surface.
  • Light Red - Stage 5 - Pinkish-red or red colour shows on over 60% but not more than 90% of the tomato surface
  • Red - Stage 6 - Red colour shows on over 90% of the tomato surface.

Load temperatures will be based on the initial colour report that must be provided at time of loading. All temperatures must be set to continuous. As tomatoes ripen while in transit, customer will often adjust temperature settings while product is in transit to achieve the desired ripeness upon delivery.

Proper handling of tomatoes during loading and while in transit will greatly assist in providing optimal product condition upon delivery.

Anything to add? Tell us what you think!! The tomato question endures, do you think of a tomato as a fruit or vegetable?

Thursday, June 3, 2010

New Cell Phone Enforcement in Washington State

Last week, the Washington State Patrol announced that it will not offer a grace period when texting while driving and failure to use a hands-free device become primary traffic offenses on June 10.

Making the change....

It is common for the state patrol to offer educational grace periods when a new law requires a change to a long-standing behavior. However, it has been determined that drivers have already had nearly two years to adjust their driving habits, and taking that into account, the Washington State Patrol will be fully enforcing this law from day one.

Laws that prohibit texting and requiring hands-free devices took effect in 2008, but have been considered secondary violations, meaning that officers had to witness some other infraction in order to make a traffic stop. The new designation as primary law means police officers can stop drivers for a texting or cell phone violation alone.

The benefits:

Texting and cell phone requirements are intended to save lives and reduce injuries by eliminating two major sources of driver distraction. The number of collisions caused by inappropriate use of mobile devices is greatly under-reported.

The numbers:

Since the laws went into effect in 2008, the Washington State Patrol has written approximately 3,000 tickets and given 5,900 warnings.

The fine for a violation is $124 - hands free devices can be purchased for approximately $50.

Like always, make sure you and your truck are well equipped before heading out on the road!!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Alert: Roadcheck 2010 to be held June 8, 2010

Roadcheck is known as the largest targeted enforcement program on commercial vehicles in the world, with an estimated 14 trucks or buses being inspected every minute from Canada to Mexico during the designated 72 hour period.

Who and When?

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance will hold Roadcheck 2010 on June 8th throughout Canada, the United States, and Mexico. It will be the 23rd international truck and bus safety event of its kind. Each year, approximately 1,500 locations across North America are sites for truck and bus inspections where some 10,000 CVSA-certified local, state, and provincial inspectors look for safety violations. These inspections are held in cooperation with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators, Transport Canada, and the Secretariat of Communications and Transportation of Mexico.

Why?

Like past events, this year's Roadcheck will focus on commercial vehicle and driver safety and security, and is very closely aligned with the upcoming efforts regarding the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's CSA 2010, which will monitor individual drivers and carrier companies for Compliance, Safety, and Accountability. Please refer to our previous blog post for more information related to CSA 2010.

These Roadcheck Inspections have been occurring since 1998; the more than 1 million inspections that have been performed to date have been estimated to have saved more that 220 lives and avoided more than 4,045 injuries, according to CVSA. In addition, numerous pieces of educational literature have also been distributed during Roadcheck.

What do Carriers need to do?

All Drivers need to make sure that their logbooks are current and that their equipment is properly maintained with no violations; CVSA will be out in full force and will be checking both!!!

Roadcheck 2010 is a preview of what will come with CSA starting in 2011, so be ready!!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

CPMA 2010 in Review

Great location, great weather, great show!!!


The CPMA 2010 Annual Convention & Trade Show held last week at the Vancouver Convention Center has been hailed as a great success, with nearly 3,300 people in attendance. This was a record turnout for the Canadian show, and yet again, the city of Vancouver did not disappoint its visitors.


Highlights from the show included:

CPMA's new marketing campaign, Mix it Up! - 17 exhibitors provided samples of recipes geared toward increasing produce consumption under the Mix it Up! banner. Stay tuned for further blog posts by UWC on this topic!!

MexBest Pavilion - winning the competition for best pavilion, MexBest had a great line of exhibitors and even a mariachi band!!!


To view more highlights from the 2010 show, including award winners and a photo gallery, please visit http://convention.cpma.ca.


UWC attended the trade show on both Thursday and Friday last week and we hope you had a chance to meet with the us; the show was a great chance for us to re-visit with familiar faces, and get acquainted with new faces!

We hope to see you again at the next show!!!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Insurance - Do you know what you're covered for??

Insurance policies can be convoluted and difficult to understand, especially if, like most of us, you are not well versed in legal language. However, it is crucial that carrier companies read and understand their insurance policy in order to be aware of what they are covered for. The “exclusions” portion of any policy is one of the most important sections since it will let you know what your policy does not cover.

Common examples of EXCLUSIONS in insurance policies are the following:

Ø Theft of tractor/trailer from an unsecured/non-gated/unmonitored area.

Ø Reefer breakdown on trailers that are more than 10 years old, regardless of if your coverage includes reefer breakdown.

Ø Failure to maintain proper temperature unless the failure is caused by or results from fire, lightening, explosion, collision, overturn, “schedule vehicle” of flood, meaning the rising of any natural body of water (this indicates that reefer mechanical breakdown will not be covered).

Common Insurance Statements

Whatever the exclusions or conditions of the insurance policy that a carrier signs up for, most will always state the following:

“The insured warrants that the refrigeration equipment will be:

A. Maintained at all times in accordance with the manufacturers specifications; and

B. Be fully inspected at least every three months by you or a facility approved by the manufacturer. Records of these inspections must be maintained and be made available for inspection.

The insured acknowledges that there will be no coverage under this endorsement if the insured fails to comply with the above warranty’s or cannot produce records of inspections.”

Knowledge is power, and protection!

If you are unsure of what your policy covers you for and what it excludes, please feel free to send it to United World Cargo; we can review the policy and advise accordingly. It is in everyone’s best interest that we understand what we are protected and covered for!! Send it to our toll free fax number: 1.866.986.7401!!

Thoughts? Leave us a comment!