Responsibility For Intermodal Equipment Clarified

Equipment providers will bear responsibility for latent equipment defects under the Intermodal Association of North America’s (IANA) Uniform Intermodal Interchange and Facilities Access Agreement (UIIA). IANA’s Intermodal Interchange Executive Committee announced it had reached an agreement that revises the indemnity language of the UIIA and clarifies responsibilities of intermodal equipment providers and motor carriers.

Latent equipment defects are the clear responsibility of equipment providers, under the revised Agreement. Railroads, steamship lines and equipment leasing companies will be accountable for those specific items, said IANA. Motor carriers will be responsible for performing pre-trip inspections of intermodal chassis, checking specific components of the equipment during driver walkarounds that are a mandated by federal regulations.

The agreement covers approximately 5,500 motor carriers and 65 equipment providers, accounting for a total of nearly 90% of intermodal moves.

The U.S. House of Representatives version of the surface transportation reauthorization bill included a provision that would require the Secretary of Transportation to establish a program to improve the safety of intermodal equipment. That bill has been stalled in Congress. (See Hours-of-Service Stays, Highway Budget Stalls)

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