Thursday, June 30, 2011

Welcome to July - Bring on the Celebrations!!!!

Tomorrow is the start of July, and it’s hard to believe we are halfway through 2011 already!!! This weekend will be filled with National celebrations as Friday marks Canada Day, and Monday is the Fourth of July in the United States. The weekend is sure to be filled with plenty of barbeques and fireworks; so, let’s take a look at the movement of some of the July BBQ favorites that the produce industry brings to the table:

- Corn: The great BBQ staple!!! There is strong demand for corn at this time of year across the Nation, and quality is predicted to be very good. However, the weather has affected some productions; Florida’s spring weather has potentially delayed movement; South Georgia continues to ship corn, although movement out of this area has decreased slightly; California is seeing a seasonal increase in movement with trading out of this area noted as active; Eastern Virginia harvest has just begun, and growers expect the crop to be in good condition.

- Cherries: Now is the season for everyone’s favorite stone fruit! Although it has been noted that the crop is running 2 weeks behind, movement is steadily increasing out of the Yakima and Wenatchee Districts in Washington, with the predominant variety being Chelan cherries; movement out of the Stockton, Lodi, and Lynden Districts in California is decreasing, and only light shipments will continue through the end of this week.

- Watermelon: A front-runner for eating contests this weekend! Excellent supplies will be coming out of Georgia, where hot and dry growing conditions are producing high-sugar watermelons; Texas, Alabama, and South Carolina are also all shipping with trading being mostly active out of all these areas; in Florida, the season is winding down with fourth of July shipments being one of their last.

- Blueberries: Blueberries are always a favorite in the summertime, and their role in the red, white, and blue themed displays for US July 4th ensure strong demand. Blueberry supplies are in ample supply from New Jersey right now; Michigan production is running a bit behind; Growers in Georgia, North Carolina and Mississippi will be moving supplies, but not to the volume that New Jersey has; out of the West Coast, California expects to be winding down their production, and the Northwest region is running a week behind due to cool growing weather this spring.

We hope everyone enjoys their start of July Celebrations!! Happy Canada Day and Fourth of July to Everyone!! Have fun, enjoy your fruits and vegetables, and be safe!!

Did you know??

Canada is turning 144 on Friday!! And, The United States is celebrating 235 years of independence this Monday! And not to forget about Mexico, they will be celebrating 201 years on Sept 15th!!!!! We think we all look great for our age(s)!!!

References: Accessed on June 30. Accessed on June 30.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

And Now.... Some Acronyms to Look At!!! FMCSA, CSA, SMS & the CMV Driver

With the launch of the CSA (Compliance, Safety, Accountability) SMS (Safety Measurement System) in December 2010, the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) continues to receive questions from carrier companies, individual drivers, and general stakeholders in the transportation industry. One of the most frequently asked questions is related to how CSA affects a motor carriers’ employment of CMV (Commercial Motor Vehicle) drivers.

Under the CSA, FMCSA continues to hold motor carriers responsible for the safety performance of the drivers that they employ. This has been a longstanding FMCSA position, and is not at all unique to CSA. All inspections and crashes that a driver receives under the authority of a carrier will remain part of the carrier’s SMS data for 2 years unless overturned through the DataQs system, even if the carrier company terminates the driver.

Remember, the FMCSA’s CSA website is the official resource for all information on the new safety program. Visit the website at to find out all you need to know!!!!

We want to know.... Do you have any experiences related to this post? What kind of effect has the CSA SMS had on you as an individual driver of a CMV??

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Power of the Pen

UWC wants to take an opportunity to get back to basics and reinforce the power of the pen. Documentation is critical in our industry, and can provide one of the best proofs available when issues arise upon delivery.

Below, some key points to remember regarding documentation:

- Double check pulp temperatures, pallet & case counts, product descriptions, and temptale serial number(s) – if what is being loaded in the trailer is different from what is listed on the bill of lading (BOL) regarding any of these areas, contact UWC, and record all discrepancies on the BOL.

- Record any visible physical issues that occur at loading on the BOL; this includes things such as leaning pallets, damaged boxes, and crushed cases.

- Record “Shipper Load and Count” / “Receiver Unload and Count” on the BOL if you are not allowed access to a loading/receiving dock to count pallets, pulp product, and observe the overall loading/unloading of your trailer!!!!

- Record your UWC load # on the Bills of Lading and other documentation that is sent to UWC for payment (use Transflo EXPRESS to send any type of documents to UWC at over 750 national truckstops for FREE). This will assure that your paperwork gets processed and paid as fast as possible!!!

We are now on the last day of Roadcheck 2011 - do you have any experiences to share from this year's blitz???

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Blitz is on!!!!!!

The CVSA annual Roadcheck safety blitz is happening this Tuesday June 7th to Thursday June 9th, 2011. Much of the focus of this year’s Roadcheck (similar to past years) will be enforcing HOS and logbook violations. One of the other primary reasons cited by inspectors for placing vehicles and drivers out of service is brakes.

Have some questions about Roadcheck? Read on to find the answers!

So, who is CVSA??
The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance is made up of local, state, provincial and federal motor-carrier safety officials and industry representatives in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. The CVSA sponsors Roadcheck and counts on participation by the FMCSA, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators, Transport Canada, and the Secretariat of Communications and Transportation (Mexico).

What typically happens during Roadcheck?
Roadcheck is the largest targeted enforcement program on commercial vehicles in the world, with approximately 14 trucks or buses being inspected, on average, every minute from Canada to Mexico during the yearly 72 hour period. Each year, approximately 100,000 CVSA-certified local, state, provincial and federal inspectors at 1,500 locations across North America perform truck and bus inspections. As an example, in 2010, CMV enforcement conducted 65,327 inspections across the United States alone.

What should you, as a carrier, pay special attention to?
These areas should be maintained and in compliance YEAR ROUND, but here is typically what inspectors will be checking out for violations:
- Logbooks and HOS
- Brakes
- Coupling Devices
- Fuel & Exhaust Systems
- Frame, Van, & Open-Top Trailers – for cracks and corrosion
- Lighting
- Securement of Cargo
- Steering
- Suspension
- Tires, Wheels, Rims, & Hubs

Did you know, if you are put out of service, it will cost you an average of $861??? – and that doesn’t even include the costs of fines or repairs as a result of the inspection! Make sure you will pass inspections this year!!! For more information on Roadcheck 2011, visit the CVSA’s website!!!!

Do you have any personal experiences with Roadcheck? Ever had an inspection during this time? Please share!!!