Six organizations with extensive transportation industry expertise are asking the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to approve a pilot program that would facilitate and expedite the implementation of the final ‘roadability’ rules upon their release by the agency.

Formally known as the Global Intermodal Equipment Registry (GIER), the pilot would establish a database to collect and disseminate information that correlates an Intermodal Equipment Provider (IEP) with the chassis for which it has inspection and maintenance responsibilities. The database would be available on a real-time basis to FMCSA as well as state and local law enforcement personnel and would utilize the existing alphanumeric identification numbers on the chassis in lieu of a new Department of Transportation number. The Intermodal Association of North America (IANA), based on its long-standing expertise of developing information services for the industry, will develop, manage and maintain the GIER.

The pilot program application was submitted by IANA, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA), the Intermodal Motor Carriers Conference of the American Trucking Associations, the Ocean Carrier Equipment Management Association, the Association of American Railroads and the Institute of International Container Lessors.

FMCSA’s ‘roadability’ rules were mandated by Congress in SAFETEA-LU. The pilot application is designed to prove the efficacy of the GIER concept as a viable alternative for the identification of intermodal equipment and the parties that share responsibility for that equipment. When the proposed rules were published, the FMCSA specifically requested industry input about the optimal method for identifying intermodal chassis. The GIER represents a direct response to that request.

The chassis are provided by an IEP to carry shipments in international or domestic containers over the highway network. The pilot program applicants’ members control more than 95 percent of the 850,000 chassis in the U.S. fleet, while the CVSA represents state and local law enforcement personnel.

The agency is in the process of finalizing the ‘roadability’ regulations and determining when they should take effect. According to the most recent publicly available information, FMCSA plans to publish the final rules in July of this year. The timetable for the development and launching of the GIER will be driven by the release of these rules.

‘IANA welcomes the opportunity to join with our industry partners and the public sector in the development of the GIER pilot program,’ said Joni Casey, president & CEO of IANA. ‘Industry-based solutions have proven in the past to be the best way to manage regulatory requirements.’