Overdrive Magazine

September 2019

Issue link: https://dmtmag.uberflip.com/i/1161251

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September 2019 | Overdrive | 25 Progressive Casualty Ins. Co. & affi liates. At Progressive, we're proud to offer truckers the kind of coverage and service that helps them drive progress. Call your local agent or visit ProgressiveCommercial.com BEHIND EVERYTHING GREAT IN AMERICA, THERE'S A TRUCK. A jury has ruled that Swift Transportation owes CRST Expedited more than $15 million for recruiting freshly licensed truck driv- ers who were locked into 10-month employment contracts with CRST. Swift did not return a request for comment on the lawsuit or whether it plans to appeal. In a complaint filed in 2017, CRST alleged that Phoenix-based Swift made repeated attempts to hire drivers who had completed CDL training via CRST's in-house program. The Cedar Rapids, Iowa-based carrier provides free training in return for a driver's commitment to stay with the company for at least 10 months after the training. CRST said in the 2017 lawsuit that Swift knew about the employ- ment contracts yet pursued the drivers anyway. CRST said it received around 150 requests from Swift for employment verification for driv- ers who were within the 10-month contract. CRST sued Swift for intentional interference with a contract and unjust enrichment. In an order issued July 23, a jury agreed with CRST's claims, award- ing the company $3 million for Swift's interference with CRST's contracts, $5 million in punitive damages and $7.5 million for unjust enrichment — a total of $15.5 million. Jury: Swift owes CRST for driver poaching Starting in 2020, international diesel standards for maritime carriers will tighten dramatically, forcing them to use a diesel with 85 percent less sulfur than current levels allow. Though the tighter maritime regulations don't affect on- highway ultra-low-sulfur diesel, they could put upward pressure on diesel prices as soon as the fourth quarter of this year. Another trucking impact could come if the regulations spur maritime carriers in heavy ship- ping lanes from China to shorten water-bound hauls. That might mean freight normally shipped to the East Coast through the Panama Canal would instead go to West Coast ports. Mark Montague, an analyst for DAT Solutions, says that may be the bigger impact for the U.S. trucking industry rather than higher diesel pric- es. He says the issue could press diesel prices up 5 or 10 cents a gallon, but nothing that couldn't "be offset by market conditions" since fuel prices have declined slowly for most of the year. MARITIME REGS COULD HAVE TRUCKING IMPACT

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