The mission of the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) is to “Serve the United States by ensuring a fast, safe, efficient, accessible, and convenient transportation system that meets our vital national interests and enhances the quality of life of the American people, today and into the future.” There are 13 agencies that fall under the umbrella of the USDOT system. While some of the agencies are more prevalent than others to the logistics industry, a deep understanding of the laws and regulations of each agency is exceedingly important for logistics organizations.
The USDOT agencies provide the laws and regulations for the aviation industry, customs, hazardous materials transportation, maritime transportation, the rail industry and trucking industry. It is imperative to work with a logistics organization that has a deeper understanding of the USDOT laws and regulations. In an industry where efficiency is everything, it is only made possible by complying to the laws that structure the supply chain process.
There are many laws that are simplistic, such as ones regarding the maximum freight weight of trucks and the limitations placed on drivers for when they must take their breaks. There are other more complicated laws regarding customs policies and hazardous material transportation. USDOT laws regulate emission standards of the rail industry, vehicle size and weight standards for the trucking industry, aircraft certifications, customs broker compliances, export logistics requirements and a wide array of other laws and regulations.
Every year, the USDOT discusses a number of safety, efficiency, and transportation issues that are important to the logistics industry. The USDOT determines how to modify the existing laws for the safety of the logistics and American community. Along with Congress, the USDOT helps determine which industries receive funding initiatives and modify the laws as needed to improve the safety and efficiency of the logistics industry.
USDOT laws hold logistics and supply chain organizations to a higher standard in providing efficient and ethical deliveries, imports, and exports. At TOC Logistics, we pride ourselves on our knowledge of the USDOT laws and our efficient and safe methods of compliance.
For a basic business guide on transportation and logistics, please visit the U.S. Small Business Administration.