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Border delays, HOS obstacles for trucking: ATA chief economist

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- While the economy is expected to expand in 2004, trucking firms will have to face the obstacle...


WASHINGTON, D.C. — While the economy is expected to expand in 2004, trucking firms will have to face the obstacles along with the increased business that will follow.

Bob Costello, chief economist for the American Trucking Association, said freight volumes are increasing, and the industry seems poised for better results this year, reports the Buffalo News.

However, the obstacles truckers face include high insurance costs and long backups at the border — up to several hours that can disrupt deliveries and schedules.

These delays can lead to problems in complying with new US industry “hours of service” rules, which dictate the length of time a driver is allowed to be behind the wheel and how long a driver must take off between shifts.

Under the new revisions, truckers are able to work up to 11-hour days instead 10, but must take 10 hours off instead of the previous eight.

How will carriers react to these rules? They will change operations to accommodate, lose productivity or put more trucks on the road, said Costello.


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