Trucking industry – Key trends & outlook

The Thomas Industry Update website, covering the Supply Chain, provides an overview of the trucking industry including data from the American Trucking Association.

From coast to coast, across mountain ranges, and through the extensive North American highway system, the trucking industry keeps our modern society well-stocked with a dynamic inventory of products and goods. Dubbed the “lifeblood of our economy” by President Donald Trump, not only does this industry facilitate the nationwide distribution of food, clothes, medicine, and other consumer products, it also supports a substantial portion of America’s revenue and workforce.

Read the full article on the Thomas website.

Route 1 Chelsea – Extended lane closures begin May 13

On Monday evening, May 13 crews will mobilize in preparation for Route 1 southbound lane closures which will be put in place on May 14 from the County Road Overpass through the Chelsea Curves to the Tobin Bridge. Existing northbound lane reductions will also be extended through the work zone.

Beginning May 14, drivers and MBTA bus passengers can expect increased travel times on sections of Route 1 North and South, especially during peak hours. All on- and off-ramps will remain open at this time.

Crews will be taking one of the three travel lanes out of service for the project that will last the next two construction seasons.

These closures are necessary to minimize the length of closures and construction, and reduce impacts like noise and night-work, for required maintenance and structural rehabilitation of Route 1 and the Tobin Bridge.

Please take the time to pass this information on to your drivers.

Current Advisories (PDF)

Additional Resources (PDF)

TAM meets with governor to discuss rolling stock

The Trucking Association of Massachusetts (TAM) remains at work attempting to advance the association’s rolling stock initiative.  Last week, TAM President Steve Normandin, Legislative Chairman Ed Rodricks, Board Member Andrew Boyle, Executive Director Kevin Weeks as well as Chris Spear, President & CEO of the American Trucking Associations (ATA) met with Governor Charlie Baker, House Minority Leader Brad Jones and the Governor’s Legislative Director Kaitlyn Sprague to discuss both the rolling stock issue and the future of financing the Commonwealth’s transportation infrastructure.

On rolling stock, the governor remains committed to making the Commonwealth friendly to the growth of industries like trucking that provide good jobs and support the growth of other industries.  In particular, the Governor appreciated the fact that the removal of the rolling stock tax will lead to an increase in cleaner and safer trucks being used within the Commonwealth.

On transportation infrastructure, TAM representatives reiterated the importance of including the trucking industry as part of any and all conversations around the issue of funding the Commonwealth’s transportation infrastructure. Already, TAM is proud to have been named part of the Massachusetts Business Coalition on Transportation, which was started by the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce as a means of coalescing key sectors behind a transportation initiative.

TAM will continue to carry its message about its role as the backbone of the Massachusetts economy throughout the legislative session. 

Learn more about the Massachusetts Business Coalition on Transportation at the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce website.

Employers required to post Family and Medical Leave Law

The Department of Family and Medical Leave has posted the notice required to be provided by employers and covered business entities to their current workforce of Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) benefits, contribution rates, and other provisions as outlined in M.G.L. c. 175M Sec. 4 on or before May 31, 2019.

The notice, which may be provided electronically, must include the opportunity for an employee or self-employed individual to acknowledge receipt or decline to acknowledge receipt of the information. The notice has been posted in six languages with additional translations to be added shortly.

For more information on your responsibilities as an employer, visit the website. Specifically, you can review the section concerning Informing your workforce about Paid Family and Medical Leave.

Senate takes up bike safety legislation April 25

As previously noted, the Massachusetts Senate is advancing legislation that it passed last session early in this session to put pressure on the House to act this session. One of those items that passed last session was the traffic and bike safety including the requirement for those companies with state contracts to have convex/concave mirrors and lateral sideguards.

Accordingly, the Senate will be taking up this legislation on April 25. You will remember TAM has continued to work with the Senate sponsor and other officials to minimize the impact of this legislation.

Of note…

  1. The legislation contains an exemption we had fought for last session in that the RMV will have the authority to decide whether certain vehicles will be exempt from the lateral sideguard requirement (See lines 49-51) (Note: the Senate resisted naming vehicle types specifically, but recognized certain vehicles cannot be fit with sideguards … therefore the RMV may exempt it);
  2. the legislation also contains an exemption for the RMV to decide what constitutes meeting the convex/concave/lateral sideguard requirement (See lines 54-55: “The registrar may provide alternative means of compliance with the convex mirror, crossover mirror and lateral protective device requirements.”);
  3. the requirements of this legislation only applies to contracts entered into with the Commonwealth after January 1, 2024 (line 99) and,
  4. finally, according to the way it is written “shall not apply to a motor vehicle, trailer, semi-trailer or semi-trailer unit that is operated under a contract with the commonwealth that was entered into before January 1, 2024” (See lines 82-84).

While it remains to be seen what the House will do with this legislation, the Senate is pushing to get this legislation done; hence, the early session to pass it. To their credit, Senator Brownsberger and his staff have actually been very thoughtful in hearing our concerns and incorporating the aforementioned items. Also, Senator Tarr, the Senate Minority Leader deserves recognition because his office has worked with us regularly to make sure the impact is minimized.

TAM Spring Transportation Conference May 16

The Trucking Association of Massachusetts Spring Transportation Conference will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on May 16 at the Double Tree Hotel in Westborough, Massachusetts. Register in advanced for the conference below.

Half-day packages including the morning seminars and keynote luncheon are $125 for TAM members and $175 for non-members. An option to attend only the morning seminars is available.

Conference Speakers

  • Rebecca Brewster, ATRI
  • Rich Bates, FMCSA
  • Lt. Tom Fitzgerald, MSP Truck Team
  • Neil Boudreau, MassDOT



Trucking associations support NEMF employees

TAM has recently learned of the closure of New England Motor Freight, for voluntary bankruptcy. TAM is supporting the efforts of the New Jersey Motor Truck Association (NJMTA) to find positions for all of their employees.

Below is a message from New Jersey on how you can post any available positions in your terminals through their organization. NEMF has many qualified employees and our industry is pulling together to support them. Thank you for your attention to this important message.

From the New Jersey Motor Truck Association…

We were saddened to hear of the closure of long-time member NEMF. NJMTA is working with NEMF to help locate positions for their employees.

If you have any positions open, we will post on a special section of our website for NEMF employees seeking new positions.

To advise of an open position, contact the NJMTA with the following information:

  • Position Open
  • Brief description (no more than two sentences)
  • Location of Position (city/state)
  • Your contact information -name, email and phone number

Please note you can offer positions for all NEMF locations (see below).

Thank you for your anticipated assistance.

Gail E. Toth, Executive Director
New Jersey Motor Truck Association
(732) 254-5000

NEMF Terminal Locations

  • Connecticut
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia