Tuscon’s Inland “Port” Received International Freight

Nearly a decade ago, a privately owned inland “port,” working with Union Pacific Railway, began shipping and receiving domestic freight.

In late May, this same port received a shipment from Asia, marking the ports entry into the world of international shipping.

Relying on rail, such a system bypasses the need to ship the containers from the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach by truck, and bypassing California’s CARB diesel regulations.

CARB Cracking Down on Port Freight Loophole

timthumb  The California Air Resources Board is going to crack down on so-called “dray-off” activities. A dray-off is when a port-regulations-compliant truck transfers its load to a non-compliant truck.

Drayage trucks, trucks that are carrying intermodal freight from ports or rail yards, have been subject to more stringent, and earlier enforced regulation than other freight trucks.

It became common for compliant trucks to move in and out of ports and rail yards and transfer their freight to non-compliant trucks outside of the ports.

Amendments to the Drayage Truck Regulations made the transfer of drayage from compliant to non-compliant trucks illegal within the borders of the state of California.

   While these amendments have been in place for some time, reporting of dray-offs relied mostly on informants calling CARB. In 2012, CARB performed more than 3600 inspections on trucks suspected of dray-offs, which resulted in 261 citations.    

California Environmental Regs Squeezing Out Owner-Operators

Owner-operators are being slowly squeezed out of the California market, according to a panel discussion at the 2013 Fleet Executive Conference in Las Vegas.

Prices for compliant used trucks can get as high as $100,000 for trucks with 250,000 miles or more, but only about 10-percent of owner-operators can qualify for such a loan.

Meanwhile, trucks older than 2007 model year, trucks that will no longer be compliant, are plummeting in value on the used truck market.

The result is that the owner-operator model in California is becoming economically unfeasible.

Hot Weather! Check Your Oil Levels

As summer approaches, proper lubrication levels become critical. As the ambient temperature rises, transmission and differentials will operate at higher temperatures.

As these operating temperatures increase, a low lubricant level, which might not have been a problem in January, might now result in a costly repair.