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

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.

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, and navigate to the Customer or Carrier Online Forms!!!

Have comment? Please share!!!!


NetCertification Online Training and Testing. 1999-2009. 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 or feel free to contact UWC!!!