Today’s Pickup: Port strike ends in petition

Good day,

After five days, the port truckers strike in Los Angeles and Long Beach came to an end on Friday with striking truckers delivering a petition with 10,000 signatures on it to LA Mayor Eric Garcetti and Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia.

Drivers were picketing outside of trucking companies XPO Logistics, Cal Cartage, CMI, and Intermodal Bridge Transport over independent contractor status of drivers and also clean truck emissions programs, the costs of which truckers say the companies have passed on to them through onerous lease arrangements.

“Corporations have pushed tens of millions of American truck drivers, warehouse workers and service sector workers into poverty through greedy subcontracting schemes designed to increase CEO pay.  One of the most insidious corporate schemes is to misclassify employees as independent contractors to dodge payroll taxes, lower wages, avoid paying benefits and to evade the laws that protect employees,” said Fred Potter, international vice president and director of the Teamsters Port Division.

The strike ended when the drivers offered to return to work.

Did you know?

Americans drove 271.7 billion vehicle miles on U.S. roads in April, up 1.2%, or 3.3 billion miles, from the same month in 2016, according to the Federal Highway Administration.


“My boss says I don’t work for the company, that I’m not their employee. That’s ridiculous. I only work for them, I don’t have my own customers, and dispatch tells me where to go and when.”

– Domingo Avalos, an XPO Cartage driver

In other news:

The man behind intermodal containers

International trade is simplified because of the intermodal shipping container. The truck driver responsible for opening that door is no longer around, but his legacy lives on. (Houston Chronicle)

Aerodynamic devices pay

A SmartWay Canada report says that adding aerodynamic devices can provide a quick return on investment, although it’s important to note that not all aerodynamic devices work in every application. (CCJ)

Larger cargo ships altering U.S. trucking routes

The Panama Canal expansion that is allowing larger cargo ships to dock at East Coast ports is likely to have an effect on U.S. trucking route patterns, experts say. (

Giving big rigs the right of way

A new Indiana law that goes into effect July 1 will require automobile drivers to yield the right of way to tractor-trailers in roundabouts. (LandLine)

Roads are getting crowded

If it seems that the highways are busier than usual, it’s because they are. Highway traffic in 2016 increased 2.8%, and already in 2016, traffic is up another 1.5% compared to the first four months of 2016, the American Association of Highway and Transportation Officials said. (The Trucker)

Final Thoughts

In the grand scheme of things, last week’s port strike in California barely registered as impactful. With only a few hundred truckers out of more than 16,000 serving the port, disruption was very minimal. With that said, it was the 15th strike in the past four years at the ports, suggesting that more needs to be done to bridge the differences between port truckers and the companies that serve the port.

Hammer down everyone!

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Brian Straight

Brian Straight covers general transportation news and leads the editorial team as Managing Editor. A journalism graduate of the University of Rhode Island, he has covered everything from a presidential election, to professional sports and Little League baseball, and for more than 10 years has covered trucking and logistics. Before joining FreightWaves, he was previously responsible for the editorial quality and production of Fleet Owner magazine and Brian lives in Connecticut with his wife and two kids and spends his time coaching his son’s baseball team, golfing with his daughter, and pursuing his never-ending quest to become a professional bowler.