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California vs. supply chains – WSJ


Trucks load and unload shipping containers at the Port of Long Beach in California last November.


Photo:

Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

Think of the least productive policy for solving a problem in public affairs and chances are you’ll find it’s already being implemented in California. Now think specifically about the last thing you would do to ship goods from busy West Coast ports to store shelves nationwide.

If you guessed it’s harder and more expensive to operate commercial trucks in the Golden State, give yourself a prize.

Clarissa Hawes recently noted at FreightWaves:

A diverse coalition of trucking groups is urging the California Air Resources Board to consider alternatives to an emissions rule that would require owners operating in the state to upgrade aging equipment to include current-year diesel engines 2010 model or newer by the end of the year. …

Supply chain challenges created by a global pandemic have driven up used truck prices due to semiconductor shortages, forcing large fleets to hold on to old equipment longer due to backorders of new trucks. Owner-operators and small fleets, including drayage truckers, typically purchase their used trucks from large motor carriers, which typically follow a three-year amortization schedule.

“The Californian and national economy is still adjusting to the effects of a global pandemic that has strained supply chains around the world and, more importantly, led to insufficient production of new trucks, primarily due to a global shortage of components needed for the final completion of the trucks,” the coalition letter said. “The well-documented shortage of new truck availability has forced large fleets to hold on to older trucks longer than usual, which has reduced the number of used trucks on the secondary market, leading to truck prices soaring. available.”

Some smaller operators fear the rule will force them out of business, which, of course, would only create more supply chain problems as businesses scramble to find alternative carriers. Perfect. Another man-made transportation bottleneck.

And for those who think supply chain issues have more to do with offshore vessels than onshore vehicles, California has a policy in this regard as well, which seems likely to have at least some impact. on port operations. Inside EPA reports this week:

The California Air Board has adopted a set of stricter emission standards for various types of commercial harbor craft such as fishing vessels, ferries and tugboats, as part of a broader effort to comply with federal air quality standards for ozone and sidewalk emissions that harm communities. living near ports.

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) on March 24 finalized changes to its Commercial Harbor Craft Regulations, which will tighten emission standards for engines used in fishing vessels, ferries, tour vessels , tugboats, tugboats, crew and supply boats, barges, dredges and other types of vessels.

While the rule tightens emissions limits, the board also added substantial new compliance flexibility provisions for some fleets in response to outcry from small fishing companies, state lawmakers and others.

Nevertheless, the rules still face opposition from a significant number of companies and industry organizations, who argue that they impose excessively costly and technologically unfeasible requirements in too aggressive a timeframe.

Granted, people may wonder if further Golden State emissions regulations are really necessary and profitable, but is timing not considered? Forcing truckers to replace their vehicles at a time when they’re having extreme difficulty finding affordable replacements – amid continued supply chain grumbling – suggests regulators don’t care about the needs of producers or consumers. consumers. The new boat rules will be phased in over a long period from next year, but are policymakers sure ports will be problem-free by then? Making it harder and more expensive to operate tugs around the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach should not be a priority.

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In other news

So much for the war on drugs
“Supreme Court Strikes Down Navy SEALs, Allows Department of Defense to Restrict Deployment of Unvaccinated”, Human Events, March 28

Tautology News
“Lawyers Seek Pre-Trial Ruling in Favor of Client,” Atlanta Journal-Constitution, March 29

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James Freeman is the co-author of “The Cost: Trump, China and American Revival”.

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