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State agencies are not the only governmental actors scrutinizing misclassification at port trucking companies. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is now weighing whether misclassification in and of itself constitutes a violation of federal labor laws. Following an investigation, Region 21 of the NLRB recently found merit to charges filed by the Teamsters union that port drayage company Intermodal Bridge…

The Wall Street Journal has a rather in-depth piece on the misclassification issue in California's port drayage today, focusing on recent bankruptcies and the unwillingness of retailers to pay for "full-time labor."  But, as the article points out, the trend may unstoppable, in California and across the nation. “As most things go in trucking...California leads the way,” the piece quotes…

Truck appointment systems are one of the “innovations” port and industry leaders tout will help optimize the supply chain. The hope is that such systems would decrease truck congestion and turn times by creating a more orderly process for trucks arriving at terminal gates. If port drivers had an appointment, the theory goes, they would not cue outside the terminal…

There is no silver bullet that will solve port congestion. Instead there are many pieces to the changing puzzle of port congestion, requiring solutions involving infrastructure investments, regulations of carrier equipment, and training and retaining a skilled workforce. Anti-innovation occurs when one of these pieces is neglected, deteriorates, and threatens to bring down the entire system. Neglect of the fragile…

Port trucking companies' responses to the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement's (DLSE) flurry of decisions closing out 2015 took a new twist.  Instead of appealing the decisions, the three companies involved - Pacific 9 Transportation, Fargo Trucking and WinWin Logistics - let all but a handful of the more than 100 decisions stand. The companies' inaction essentially made the…

According to maritime consulting experts Drewry, west coast ports are not yet ready to handle regular calls from 18,000 twenty-foot-equivalent unit capacity vessels.  One of the reasons Drewry gives for ports being unprepared is the desperate need to improve the efficiency of the port trucking system.  But on December 26, CMA CGM’s 18,000 TEU Benjamin Franklin became the largest containership…

Last week, Johel Climaco Valencia, a port truck driver, successfully concluded his efforts to strike a lawsuit filed against him by his former employer, Sterling Express Services, Inc. Mr. Valencia and two of his former colleagues prevailed in their legal claims before the state Labor Commissioner, in part by demonstrating that they were misclassified as independent contractors when they were…

Safety is consistently a top priority for innovative port logistics companies, while name brand retailers generally shy away from logistics providers with poor safety records because of potential negative impacts on supply chain performance. Industry leaders agree, basic, professional safety standards are a perquisite to operating in the supply chains of global retailers, due to the direct and indirect cost…

What’s an “Employee”? Or better yet, how do we figure out whether someone who performs work is an employee or an independent contractor? Today, a state-wide group of eleven civil rights, legal services, and policy advocacy organizations filed an amicus curiae brief before the California Supreme Court in the case Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court of Los Angeles…

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