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New Code Designed To Improve Driver Treatment

November 11, 1999

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In an effort to reduce time spent at shipper and receiver docks and improve treatment of drivers at the docks, the Truckload Carriers Assn. and American Trucking Assns. have developed a new code of ethics.
The revamped and updated Shipper, Receiver, Carrier, Driver Code of Ethics and Good Business Practices will be introduced at the National Industrial Transportation League annual meeting in San Antonio next week.

Carriers are facing numerous changes that will reduce productivity, including changes in hours of service regulations expected to count loading and unloading time against driving time, according to Lana Batts, president of TCA. The new rules are expected to eliminate the current distinction between on-duty/driving and on-duty/not driving.
"These new government rules will reduce efficiency and productivity and will make an already chronic problem at the docks even more acute," Batts explained.
Abuse of drivers at the docks, especially from receivers, is a huge cause of driver turnover and job dissatisfaction. Studies have shown drivers average 30 to 40 hours a week waiting at docks to load and unload. Many shipper and receiver facilities have been found to be substandard in treatment of drivers.
TCA is developing a White Paper targeted at the grocery, retail, mass merchandise and food service industries in order to increase awareness of the problem and identify solutions.
The goal is to expand awareness of "driver friendly freight," which includes no-touch freight, limited waiting time, good directions, good dock personnel attitude, timely and accurate paperwork, and no pallet exchange.
Trucking executives from ATA and TCA have scheduled a number of meetings with shipper/receiver groups to try to remedy problems. Next week's NITLeague meeting will also include a panel of shippers, receivers, carriers and a member of the ATA's America's Road Team who will hash out solutions to the problems.

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