Port of Los Angeles faces more opposition on drayage issue

In yesterday’s filing with the Harbor Trucking Association, the Intermodal Association of North America joined the National Right to World Legal Defense Foundation, the Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence and the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association

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Four organizations have individually filed amicus briefs in support of American Trucking Association (ATA) in its challenge to the Port of Los Angeles Concession Agreement regulations.

In yesterday’s filing with the Harbor Trucking Association, the Intermodal Association of North America joined the National Right to World Legal Defense Foundation, the Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence and the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association.

“The briefs support many of the arguments made by ATA in its Ninth Circuit appeal of a District Court decision that found that the port requirements, including the ban on owner-operators, are not subject to federal preemption,” said Curtis Whalen, executive director of the ATA’s Intermodal Motor Carriers Conference.

The lower court found that the challenged requirements were protected from preemption because the port was acting not as a government regulator but as a private market participant when it enacted them.

“The amicus filings championed the rights of the owner-operators who would be driven out of business by the Concession regulations,” said Whalen.

He added that they emphasized the port’s goal to “stifle competition and reshape the drayage market.”

Whalen also noted that the District Court’s application of the market participant exception would give the port free reign to interfere with virtually every aspect of the international commerce moving through it.

The port’s responding brief is due on Jan. 31, 2011 and the ATA reply brief on approximately Feb. 14.  The Court of Appeals has ordered the case calendared for oral argument as soon as possible following the close of the briefing schedule.

In an earlier interview with LM, Whalen observed that both the port and the ATA were eager to “get on with it,” and that it was in the best interest of shippers to have a swift resolution of the issue.

About the Author

Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at [email protected]

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