The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration published a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register on Dec. 21 that would make intermodal equipment providers (IEPs) responsible for ensuring proper maintenance of their container chassis. The notice is unprecedented in that it would for the first time make IEPs subject to federal motor carrier safety regulations.
Under the proposed rulemaking, IEPs would be required to register with FMCSA, file an Intermodal Equipment Provider Identification Report and display the USDOT number or other unique identifier on each intermodal container chassis used in interstate commerce. IEPs would also be required to establish inspection, repair and maintenance programs; maintain program documentation; and provide a means to “effectively respond” to driver and motor carrier complaints on unsafe containers.
The Federal Highway Administration issued the first rulemaking on this matter in February 1999, following a petition filed by the American Trucking Assns. (ATA). ATA had complained that railways and ocean carriers frequently failed to ensure that their intermodal container chassis were in safe and proper operating condition.