Trucking news and briefs for Friday, Dec. 16, 2022:

Texas stepping up inspections at border

On Tuesday, Dec. 13, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) began conducting enhanced commercial vehicle safety inspections at random as they cross international ports of entry into Texas.

This is the second round of such inspections. In April, Gov. Greg Abbott ordered state police to perform similar inspections. They only lasted for about two weeks and caused lengthy backups at the borders.

“We are committed to enforcing compliance with safety standards, and one of our department’s primary functions is to ensure Texas roadways are safe for all Texans and visitors to our great state,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “Cartels do not care about the condition of the vehicles they send into Texas any more than they do about the human lives they cram into tractor-trailers or those lost to a fentanyl overdose.”

McCraw added that DPS will not discuss operational specifics for security reasons, “but we hope that frequent enhanced commercial vehicle safety inspections will help deter cartel smuggling activity along our southern border while increasing the safety of our roadways.”

Old Dominion increasing rates in 2023

Old Dominion Freight Line (CCJ Top 250, No. 10) announced a general rate increase (GRI) of 4.9% applicable to rates established under the existing ODFL 559, 670, and 550 tariffs, effective Jan. 3.

“The general rate increase is based on the company’s economic forecast and expectations for the operating environment,” said Todd A. Polen, Old Dominion Freight Line’s Vice President – Pricing Services. “We must continue enhancing our high-quality service network and systems to meet and exceed our customers’ expectations and deliver on our promises.”

Polen added that the GRI “will affect our class tariffs and is intended to partially offset the rising costs of real estate, new equipment, technology investments, and competitive employee wage and benefit packages.”

Walmart delivering 100,000 veterans’ wreaths

Walmart is donating the services of 16 tractor-trailers to transport 100,000 veterans’ wreaths to participating ceremonies across the country as part of the company’s involvement in National Wreaths Across America Day – this year, held on Saturday, Dec. 17, 2022. 

More than 40 Walmart/Sam’s Club Distribution Centers and 100 Walmart drivers across the country will be involved in transporting wreaths from Columbia Falls, Maine, to their final destinations. 

“Walmart has stepped forward in so many ways over the last ten plus years to support the mission to Remember, Honor and Teach, however they can,” said Karen Worcester, executive director, Wreaths Across America. “Whether it is donating the equipment and expertise to help haul wreaths across the country, sponsoring wreaths for placement, or showing up to support local community volunteers, we are continually impressed with their commitment to the mission and the communities they serve.”

Since 2011, Walmart has supported Wreaths Across America with more than $3.3 million in cash and in-kind contributions, which includes more than $150,000 this fiscal year. This supports the placement of thousands of veterans’ wreaths each year at participating cemeteries and 9/11 memorial sites across the United States, including Arlington National Cemetery.

In addition, Walmart will provide transportation to deliver 100,000 wreaths to more than 30 locations in 12 states: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.