Trucking Industry Updates: FSMA, Weight Increases, CSA Scores, Pilot Programs for Young Drivers

Food Safety Modernization Act

On January 4th, 2011, the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) was signed into law by President Obama, making it the first significant food safety reform in over 70 years. The FSMA consists of seven rules:

*Preventive Controls for Human Food: Its final ruling was issued on Sept. 10, 2015. 1

*Preventive Controls for Animal Food: Its final ruling was issued on Sept. 10, 2015. 1

*Produce Safety: The FDA recently submitted its final rule, meeting the Oct. 31st deadline. 1

*Foreign Supplier Verification Program: The FDA recently submitted its final rule, meeting the Oct. 31st deadline. 1

*Third Party Certification: The FDA recently submitted its final rule, meeting the Oct. 31st deadline. 1

*Sanitary Transportation: A final ruling deadline is set for March 31, 2016. 1

*Intentional Adulteration: A final ruling deadline is set for May 31, 2016. 1

FSMA would affect shippers, receivers, and trucking companies. Carriers will need to make sure their equipment is sanitary and “adequately cleanable” and any operations (such as inspection, maintenance, loading/unloading) be “conducted ‘under such conditions and controls necessary’ to prevent the food from becoming filthy, putrid, decomposed, or otherwise unfit for food or rendered injurious to health.” 2 Carriers would also need to keep records about prior shipments, temperature control, cleaning, and training for a 12-month period. 2

Weight Increases

An amendment seeking to allow states the opportunity to raise weight requirements for tractor trailers from 80,000 lbs to 91,000 lbs was denied by Congress. In agreement with the decision was the TCA, which explained that “increasing weight limits would prevent small carriers from staying competitive with the large carriers who would be able to afford the new 6-axle trucks.” 3

CSA Scores

In 2010, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration replaced the previous SafeStat System with a new Safety Measurement System in an effort to quantify the performance of drivers and carriers as well as identify those who are at high risk. Since then, groups have been lashing out over the misrepresentation of publicized motor carrier rankings, which many argue have led brokers and carriers to lose significant business with some of their major accounts. Congress recently passed a proposal that would make CSA scores private until the system is corrected.

Younger Drivers

Congress shut down an amendment that would ban interstate commercial truckers under the age of 21. 3 This decision comes at a time when the industry is considering lowering the age of  commercial drivers to 18 in an effort to aid in the driver shortage.

Do the upcoming Food Safety Modernization Act requirements have your company worried? Here are a few ways in which Road Scholar Transport keeps your food products safe from contamination during the transportation process:

Aluminum Floor Trailers:  Wooden trailer floors serve as a means of contamination, as spills within the trailer from previous freight, unsanitary objects and materials being carried on from shoes and forklifts, among many other means, penetrate the flooring, building up chemicals and bacteria which can enter future freight.  Road Scholar’s aluminum floor trailers create a more sanitary environment for your products.  We conduct regular sweeps on all trailers to ensure that your freight is being transported in a clean, and therefore safe, environment as well as have record of what was inside the trailer before your freight, before that, within the last month, and so on, including what has been transported since the last time the trailer was cleaned.

Proper Temperature Conditions:  These winter months pose a large risk for shippers whose food products must be protected from freezing and maintain specific temperature ranges or else face spoilage and contamination risks.  Therefore, it is important that you ensure that your carriers are properly maintaining these conditions throughout the entire process.

With Road Scholar’s ReeferTrak system, we can provide our customers proof of the exact temperature inside the reefer any time, even months after delivery.  Our ReeferTrak immediately alerts our team of even the slightest change in degree allowing our team to change the temperature of the trailer while in transit from our main terminal.

Security:  It goes without saying that stolen products, even if recovered, run a high risk of contamination concerns.   We cut back on the handling of your products, which could lead to contamination, by offering 24-hour expedited service, dock-to-dock with NO transfers.  We can provide the exact route that the truck took with a time log noting every door opening/closing, temperature conditions within the trailer at any given time, and its exact location (right down to the breadcrumbs).

Put your freight onboard a safe carrier today. Click here to request an LTL or Truckload freight rate today.