Shipping Merger is Dropped
The Department of Justice successfully helped prevent the merger of two global container shipping giants after the companies abandoned an effort to merge (August 25).
The China International Marine Containers Group Co. Ltd. (CIMC) and Maersk dropped a planned merger after a Justice investigation found that such a merger would ensure the control of over 90% of insulated container box and refrigerated shipping container production worldwide in Chinese state-owned/state-controlled entities, and that it would have substantially increased the risk of "coordination among the remaining suppliers in the marketplace, most of whom would have been aligned through common ownership and related alliances.”
Trucking Action Plan
The Biden Administration released (April 4, 2022) a status update of its efforts to address trucking employment in support of efforts to improve the nation’s supply chain challenges.
According to the Administration, trucking employment now exceeds pre-pandemic levels by 35,000. Commercial drivers license (CDL) processing was 112% higher in January and February 2022 compared to January and February 2021, with States issuing more than 876,000 CDLs since January 2021. Long-distance truck driving employment has had “the most challenges” for the industry, but is also improving with “the best three-month stretch for long-distance trucking employment growth since the 1990s.” It is not clear these improvements are the result of the Administration’s efforts or general improvement of economic conditions.
The Administration announced in December 2021 a Trucking Action Plan to increase the trucker workforce to help ease supply chain challenges at ports and elsewhere, as well as the delivery of consumer goods. Among the key elements of the Plan:
Provide $30 million to State agencies to help them expedite commercial drivers license (CDL) applications.
Recruiting/supporting private sector apprenticeship programs.
Targeting/recruiting an estimated 70K veterans that have/will have trucking experience who can move into the industry.
Outside of this Action Plan, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act created a 3-year pilot program under which employers could create apprenticeship programs to allow drivers under the age of 21 to drive commercial motor vehicles in interstate commerce. The pilot program would be limited to 3,000 apprentices at any one time.
The Act also creates a Women of Trucking Advisory Board to identify barriers and industry trends that directly or indirectly discourage women from pursuing and retaining careers in trucking, and examine ways to facilitate support for women pursuing careers in trucking including training and outreach programs.
Motor Carrier Drivers & Drug Testing
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse, there are more than 69,937 (August 2022) current Commercial Drivers License (CDL)/Commercial Learner's Permit (CLP) drivers in prohibited status due to positive drug tests. This is down from more than 89,600 in similar prohbited status in March, though the number of CDL/CLP holders has also declined, to 2.3 million CDL/CLP holders from 2.8 million in March.
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Competition in the American Economy / EO
This Executive Order (14036) is an amalgam of policy positions under a "competition" policy umbrella. For the most part, these policies are proposed in that they "encourage", "suggest", or instruct/direct agencies to do something related to each policy request.
Status: this EO was published on July 14, 2021.