European Union Drafts 48-Hour Work Week for Truck Drivers

PARIS — European truck drivers will be limited to a 48-hour work week if a proposal now being drafted by the European Union Commission in Brussels becomes law.

The commission's decision to propose legislation in this area represents a major policy shift. Transport workers originally were exempt from the so-called 48-hour "working time directive," which went into effect for all other workers Oct. 1.

Greyhound Lines Being Purchased by Canadian Company

DALLAS (AP) — Greyhound Lines, the nation's only long-haul bus company, is being purchased by North America's largest provider of city transit fleets, school buses and ambulances.

Laidlaw Inc. of Burlington, Ontario, which already owns Greyhound Lines of Canada, announced Monday that it will buy its U.S. counterpart for $470 million plus the assumption of $180 million of debt.

The merger is subject to regulatory approval.

Oklahoma State Program Buys Tracks to Keep Trains Running

APULPA, Okla. (AP) — When Burlington Northern Santa Fe Co. decided to abandon two lines through rural Oklahoma, the state stepped in and paid $6.55 million to save the tracks from the scrap yard.

That purchase Feb. 26 by the Department of Transportation boosted the inventory of state-owned tracks to 824 miles, 22% of the railroad total on Sooner soil.

Those latest acquisitions — one line between Sapulpa and Midwest City, one from Stillwater to Pawnee — have been leased to a shortline carrier trying to drum up more commodities for shipping.

Pony Express Delivery Adds Western Courier

TEST Pony Express Delivery Services, Atlanta, expanded its business to seven states in the West and Southwest with the purchase of Courier Express of Los Angeles.

Courier Express now operates as a wholly owned subsidiary, with Pony Express chief Richard Williams serving as president of both companies.

Mr. Williams said the two companies are “similar in their delivery structures, allowing us to take advantage of the networks presently established.”

The acquisition added 32 offices in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, Oregon, Texas and Washington.

State Ergonomics Rules Could Spur U.S. Action

Many industries, including trucking, have been telling the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration for years that there’s too little scientific data to write an effective ergonomics standard. So what could make them go to OSHA and ask for some regulations?

That could well happen if more states follow California’s lead and draft their own standards. If enough states enact different standards, compliance for multistate industries like trucking could become so burdensome that a uniform federal policy would be preferable.

Teamsters Debate Canceled

WASHINGTON (AP) — A candidates debate designed to increase interest in the upcoming Teamsters election fell apart Friday after the second of three candidates pulled out.

Tom Leedham, the candidate of a grass-roots reform coalition, said he wasn't interested in attending the forum after James P. Hoffa declared he wouldn't participate.

The third declared candidate, St. Louis Teamsters leader John Metz, has yet to mount a campaign. Ballots will be mailed to the union's 1.4 million members Nov. 2.

Three Axles and a Cloud of Shippers

ANAHEIM, Calif.— Vehicle sizes and weights are a contentious topic as old as trucking. But at an Oct. 12 session on carrier issues during the Council of Logistics Management's annual conference, one trucking leader took the opportunity to explain why adding one axle to trailers would boost productivity and be easier on roads.

The tridem setup for trailers has been proved less damaging to pavement than the standard tandem, even when carrying an extra 10,000 pounds, "but the idea has gone nowhere," complained Donald J. Schneider, president of Schneider National Inc.

CLM Elects Officers at Meeting

ANAHEIM, Calif.— The Council of Logistics Management elected Kathleen Strange as its president for the 1999 term during its annual conference, held at the Anaheim Convention Center, Oct. 11-14.

Ms. Strange is director of logistics strategy and implementation for Staples Inc., Westborough, Mass. Before joining Staples, she was sourcing leader for global distribution and packaging for GE Plastics, and earlier was vice president of logistics and of community affairs for the Stride Rite Corp.

Outstanding Logisticians Hailed at CLM Meeting

ANAHEIM, Calif. — The Council of Logistics Management honored several distinguished members during its annual convention.

William C. Copacino won the group's highest honor, the Distinguished Service Award, for significant contributions to logistics management. Mr. Copacino, managing partner of the Strategic Services Practice with Anderson Consulting, authored definitive logistics and supply management texts and articles and has been a mentor to industry managers and students. He has long advocated redefining logistics functions and channel integration.

Congress Wraps Spending Bill, Leaves Fate of OMC Hanging

Congress agreed to a $500 billion budget package Thursday that includes Department of Transportation and highway funding for fiscal 1999, but left at least one key trucking issue unresolved: Will the Office of Motor Carriers get a new home?

Rep. Frank Wolf apparently would not relent in his fight to transfer the Office of Motor Carriers from the Federal Highway Administration to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. His proposal is not related to the reorganization of OMC and its field offices in Federal Highway Administrator Kenneth Wykle's plan for FHWA.

Murder Suspect Sought by Police

The Alabama Bureau of Investigation says a man wanted for murder may be hiding out at truck stops near the Alabama-Mississippi border and may try to solicit rides from truck drivers.

Police say Mario Centobie, 32, was seen at a truck stop near Oxford, Ala., Oct. 9 following his escape from Etowah County jail in Gadsden, Miss.

FDX Forms New Logistics Unit

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — FDX Corp. named Joseph C. McCarty chief executive officer of FDX Global Logistics, a new organization that will include Caliber Logistics. He also will serve as CEO of Caliber Logistics.

Mr. McCarty had been chief administrative officer of FDX, the parent of Federal Express Corp. and the former subsidiaries of Caliber System: RPS Inc., Roberts Express, Viking Freight and Caliber Logistics.

Thomas I. Escott, president of Hudson, Ohio-based Caliber Logistics, will become president of the North American operation of FDX Global Logistics.