JPL Logistics was what's sometimes called a "chameleon carrier," trying to operate under a different identity to avoid an out of service order. -

JPL Logistics was what's sometimes called a "chameleon carrier," trying to operate under a different identity to avoid an out of service order.

A Texas trucking fleet put out of service last month as an “imminent hazard” tried resurrecting itself under a different name — and was soon ordered to cease operating.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has declared JPL Logistics LLC, USDOT No. 3466122, a motor carrier located in the Houston, Texas area, to be an “imminent hazard” to public safety and on May 31 ordered it to immediately cease all interstate and intrastate operations.

FMCSA determined that JPL Logistics began operating so Jaypur Logistics could avoid the Imminent Hazard Order issued to it on May 7.

The original Imminent Hazard Order issued to Jaypur Logistics, which is still in effect, specifically says a motor carrier “cannot avoid this order by continuing operations under the name of another person or company.” However, Jaypur Logistics did just that by operating as JPL Logistics. JPL Logistics used common ownership, common management, common control, and/or common familial relationship to enable Jaypur Logistics and its principal to try to get around the Imminent Hazard Order, according to the FMCSA.

FMCSA’s prior review of Jaypur Logistics had found the motor carrier to be egregiously noncompliant with multiple federal safety regulations, including drug and alcohol testing regulations, commercial driver’s license standards, driver qualification regulations, hours of service rules, unsafe driving, and rules governing vehicle maintenance.

Just hours after the order was served on Jaypur Logistics, a Jaypur Logistics driver was stopped for violating the order and placed out of service. He also was found to be driving beyond the 11-hour driving limit. Jaypur Logistics immediately provided the driver with the DOT number of JPL Logistics to complete the trip.

On May 11, both the Federal Programs Manager for FMCSA’s Texas Division and the Service Center Director for FMCSA’s Western Service Center spoke to Jaypur owner Purav Shah and reiterated that he could not reincarnate or operate under an affiliated company or USDOT number.

Nevertheless, on or about May 26, during an investigation of JPL Logistics, Shah admitted to FMCSA’s safety investigators that he reopened JPL Logistics LLC on May 13 to allow his motor carrier operations to continue.

The new out-of-service order required JPL Logistics to provide the location of and identification information for each commercial vehicle under its control within eight hours of the order.

Failing to comply with the provisions of the federal imminent hazard order may result in civil penalties of up to $29,893 for each violation. JPL Logistics may also be assessed civil penalties of not less than $11,956 for providing transportation in interstate commerce without operating authority registration, and up to $16,864 for operating a CMV in interstate commerce without USDOT Number registration. Knowing and/or willful violations may result in criminal penalties.

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