ABF Freight System Adding California Surcharge to Every Shipment

By Jeanne Huynh, Client Advocate

According to media reports, Arkansas based LTL carrier ABF Freight System has begun charging an extra $5.92 for each shipment coming into or leaving California.

ABF has decided to add a California Compliance Surcharge intended to offset the higher operating costs associated with doing business in the state.

ABF’s operating costs have been impacted by diesel emissions regulations instituted by the California Air Resources Board and by high profile cases involving courts upholding the state’s meal and rest break rules.

California’s rules governing driver meal and rest times has become an issue on Capitol Hill. Language contained in a bill reauthorizing six years of funding for the Federal Aviation Administration would effectively pre-empt the 22 states with driver meal and rest times from imposing laws and regulations on drivers operating in interstate commerce. Supporters of the language were motivated by a 2014 9th Circuit appeals-court ruling that federal law pre-empting any state economic regulation of trucking did not apply to California’s driver meal- and rest-time policies because they didn’t affect a carrier’s ability to compete freely on rates, routes, and services – ABF is making a statement that there is an effect.

YRC Worldwide and FedEx Freight have not indicated if they we follow suit.

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