Looking back over the past five years, the trucking industry will have read the industry news each week, from PowerTorque of course, and one of the questions which will have comes to mind is, what chain of responsibility?
Based on a survey of stories about the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator which have crossed the desk at PowerTorque news in the last couple of years, I found none which mentioned a COR prosecution. There were plenty of those where an operator has been investigated and successfully prosecuted for misdeeds, as they should be, but none about someone further up, or down, the chain.
Perception is reality, so the perception from the trucking operator’s point of view is that there is plenty of concentration on operators who deserve to be held accountable for their misdeeds, but nothing like the same scrutiny going on, when it come to other parties in the chain.
At the same time, the perception from the operator’s point of view is also that those they deal with up and down the chain do make unreasonable demands and don’t seem to care about the COR. There is still unfair scheduling going on and constant pressure to cut corners in road transport, that’s the perception.
We know it’s going on and I am sure the NHVR knows what’s going on, but this knowledge is not turning into the kind of prosecution which will make consignors and consignees adjust their behaviour in a substantial way.
The only progress which seems to have been made is that in the grain transport chain, which had particularly transparent issues and was first prosecuted 20 years ago. Surely, there are other areas of concern where progress could be made? Other sectors where there are regular cases of bullying from the big boys?
If there are, they are not appearing in this news feed on a regular basis. We know that this field is very complex and investigating system issues can take a long time to resolve. Also the NHVR does not want to mount a major investigation and attempted prosecution, and see it publicly fail. That is clear to all.
However, the perception is hard to avoid that the trucking industry is carrying the can for issues in the supply chain. Perhaps, the problem is that those up and down the chain from the road transport operators have more and better paid lawyers?