According to a press release from the Office of the Inspector General, the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act of 2015 (FAST Act) directs the FMCSA to issue regulations on collecting data on loading and unloading times. In addition, the FAST Act also directs the OIG to report the impact of loading and unloading times on the economy and efficiency of the freight system.
The OIG is initiating an audit of the effects of loading and unloading times. The OIG’s objectives of the audit will be to assess available data on motor carrier loading and unloading delays and provide information on the effects of loading and unloading delays.
“Commercial motor carriers play an essential role in the Nation’s economy. In 2013, over 2.4 million commercial motor vehicle drivers delivered approximately 64 percent of the goods that consumers, businesses, and industries shipped—equal to an annual value of $11.4 trillion. To reduce driver fatigue and fatigue-related crashes, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) current hours-of-service regulations limit the number of hours a driver can work per day to 14 hours. However, delays at shipping and receiving facilities during cargo loading and unloading may result in travel delays and lost wages for drivers. Truckers who experience these delays may then drive faster to make deliveries within hours-of-service limits or operate beyond these limits and improperly log their driving time, thus increasing the risk of crashes and fatalities,” OIG’s press release states.