Are We There Yet?

Even in the digital age, the smooth and efficient movement of people, raw materials and finished products is a highly critical component of the global economy. The companies that make this high-mobility world possible face significant economic, technological and regulatory pressures from a number of sources. This blog provides updates on the latest legal issues facing the transportation and logistics industry, including air, rail, trucking, intercity bus and shipping (both ocean and inland); public transit; stevedoring and marine terminal operations; and warehousing and distribution.

Recent Blog Posts

  • Uber and Self-Driving Cabs Roll Out in Pittsburgh Copyright: sepavo / 123RF Stock Photo I recently provided some thoughts to The Legal Intelligencer on Uber’s plans to roll out a fleet of self-driving cars in Pittsburgh later this month. The company announced its plans without submitting details to the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, which regulates taxis and ride-sharing services in the vast majority of the Commonwealth. In the piece, I discuss some open questions centered around liability raised by the announcement. To read the piece, please visit “As Uber Rolls Out Driverless Cabs,... More
  • Are Legal Concerns To Blame for the Lack of Ford Credit Link Customers? Devotees of “Are We There Yet?” will recall that I profiled Ford’s New Shared Lease Program back in February, highlighting that the legal issues were tightly intertwined with the potential impracticalities.  Ford launched its Credit Link program in March, expecting that customers at three dealerships in millenial-laden Austin, Texas would jump at the opportunity to spread the cost of a vehicle across the wallets of up to five of their friends. As it turns out, Ford has gotten zero customers... More
  • What Governs – The Contract Or The Bill of Lading? What happens when the limitation of liability clause in a contract between a shipper and a carrier is inconsistent with the bill of lading? In a recent case, the carrier could end up liable for over $1 million in damages instead of $15,000 after a New Jersey federal court held that a contract overrides a bill of lading. The Contract v. the Bill of Lading Copyright: kasinv / 123RF Stock Photo The contract provided that the carrier is liable for the full invoice... More
  • What Happened to the Pennsylvania Senate Bill Related to Uber? There has been a fair amount of news about Senate Bill 984 in Pennsylvania, which would allow companies like Uber to operate in the state.  SB 984 was approved by the Senate and in early May, approved 23-2 by the House Consumer Affairs Committee.  The Committee, however, tabled the bill almost immediately.  Despite the fact that the House convenes on June 6, 2016, the bill is not set to be put to a vote at that time. Coincidentally, a few weeks... More
  • UPDATE: Proposed Changes to PA Transportation Regulations The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission’s attempt to deregulate the entry requirements for passenger motor carriers (think taxi and paratransit service) continues to make its way through the regulatory process.  As I reported previously, the proposed regulation eliminates the requirement that new applicants demonstrate a “need” for the proposed service.  Now, the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC) has weighed in based on comments that carriers and legislators submitted last month.  The IRRC asked the Commission to provide more information and justification... More
  • Uber Set to Appeal Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission’s $11.3 Million Penalty Today, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission reduced an initial almost $50 million penalty directed to Uber to $11.3 million. Copyright: alphababy / 123RF Stock Photo The fine stems from Uber’s alleged illegal operation in Pennsylvania beginning in February 2014.  It was not until April 2014 that Uber sought authority to operate in the Commonwealth.  Uber was not actually granted that authority until July 2014.  In the meantime, Uber continued to operate without authority.  According to the Commissioners, the amount of the fine... More
  • News YOU Can Use Before we head directly outside of our office to celebrate Villanova’s National Championship, we’re bringing you the latest transportation legal news.  This week we highlight a literal sausage fight at Mercedes, a development in “Dieselgate”, and how movies can affect car buying.  On the transportation front, taxicab companies prevail in an equal protection suit against the city of Boston over Uber/Lyft and the FDA issues its final food safety rule. Copyright: iqoncept / 123RF Stock Photo Automotive Despite efforts to placate its North... More
  • News YOU Can Use Copyright: iqoncept / 123RF Stock Photo   Before Peter Cottontail hops down the bunny trail, we’re bringing you the latest transportation legal news.  This week we highlight rumblings of discontent in the VW dealer network and a mandate on oem parts in Maryland.  On the transportation front, we’re tracking FDA regulations that will affect refrigerated trucks and Septa’s move to better understand Uber.   Automotive Volkswagen’s U.S. Dealers “propose” reparations for franchise losses in a situation that has the potential to devolve into litigation. (Jalopnik) Maryland’s “Better... More
  • How Did It Get So Late So Soon? – Shipping Delay Claims Part 2 I recently wrote about shipping delay claims and shared a great piece from Brightstone Insurance Services about avoiding losses due to delay.  Unfortunately, a delayed shipment can be, at times, unavoidable and so, we turn to the issue of what happens when a shipper is seeking “special damages” resulting from the delay. Copyright: jlueders / 123RF Stock Photo What is the general rule for the measure of damages in transportation cases?  The shipper is entitled to recover the difference between the fair... More
  • Best Practices In Managing High Risk Cargo Last week on the blog, I wrote about shipping delay claims in “How Did It Get So Late So Soon.” For more great advice on how to manage high risk cargo and avoid shipping Easter baskets late to Target, head over to Brightstone Insurance Services’ blog and read a great piece about avoiding consequential losses or losses due to delay. Look for my post on damages due to delay next week.  ... More