Letters - June 14, 2010 Edition

Letters - June 14, 2010 Edition

Tariffs As Business Tools

To the Editor, As a participant in the FMC proceeding, I read your editorial “Filed Doctrine,” (The Journal of Commerce, May 31, 2010), with interest.

Peter Gatti of the National Industrial Transportation League does raise a good question about who is paying the tariff rate, but it appears he has forgotten the 250,000 shipper customers mentioned by the National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of America. They must be paying it, because most of the NCBFAA shippers have not signed contracts with the non-vessel-operating common carriers.

Obviously, Mr. Gatti only speaks for the large shippers in NITL who have contracts. No individual shipper has yet expressed support for this change.

Has deregulation really been slow in international transportation, as you claim? Congress reformed the law just over 10 years ago, not long by legislative standards. The Federal Maritime Commission allowed NVOCCs to have service contracts in 2005.

Why should a regulatory agency exempt businesses from the laws which the agency is charged with regulating? Isn’t that Congress’s duty?

I wonder if the “era of deregulation” is ending. There are shipper cries to re-regulate the railroad industry. Failure by the Federal Reserve Bank to regulate the banks, failure by the Securities and Exchange Commission to oversee Bernie Madoff and failure by the Interior Department to regulate BP in the Gulf indicate the tide may be turning the other way.

After all, Congress has just enacted laws regulating the health insurance industry and is about to do the same in the financial services industry.

Generally, tariff companies have not taken positions on policy issues. However, when a trade group such as the NCBFAA criticizes what you do as being too expensive for a document no one uses, it is no wonder those companies that professionally provide compliance services to their clients make some comments to set the record straight on tariff costs and usage.

You even piled on by using “bloated inefficiencies.”

Most tariff companies work with their carriers to make the tariffs an effective business tool. I don’t believe the regulations or the tariff companies create the “complexity for the market.” The carriers, shippers and international commerce do that.

Stan Levy
Stan Levy Consulting

Orphans and Pension

Regarding your joc.com stories in late May regarding YRC pensions, Congress needs to pass this pension bill in order for my company to survive.

I can’t believe YRC Worldwide has to pay for people retired in this business who never worked for this company. We are barely surviving as a company, and since I am in management, my pension has been cut, wages cut, benefits cut, in order to keep this company in business.

Please get this passed so I can continue to have a job and support my family along with all the others who work for this company.

Thank you for all your hard work in this matter.

John Meade

Keep in mind that Yellow Freight caused a lot of these so-called orphan companies to go out of business by buying them up, selling off their assets then shutting them down, reaping all the profits.

So if Yellow employees can collect full pensions and the company is not even now paying into the fund, I want mine to stay at the rate I retired at also.

I worked at a reduced rate for years to have job security, having been there when Yellow bought and shut down another company — Preston Trucking.

David McLaughlin