ELD Regulations & the Fight for Fireworks

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With delays, pricing extremes, equipment shortages, and driver difficulties due to ELD regulations, there are innumerable issues facing shippers with fireworks carriers and importers dealing with problems that could cause critical failures along the supply chain as we move into the season of outdoor celebrations. It bears mentioning that after the pandemic-induced shutdown of 2020, many communities are planning larger than normal celebrations this summer to welcome their citizenry back to the semblance of the normalcy of years before the coronavirus brought the world to its knees. Fortunately, there are multitudes at work to deal with these issues head-on in an attempt to protect the festivities from shipping and carrier issues we’ve foreseen in advance.

Although it does not directly relate to the service Coppersmith provides to the fireworks community, it does address the fireworks industry as a whole and the impact on July 4th celebrations unless the FMCSA reinstates the waivers from the ELD regulations and hours of service restrictions which are burdensome to the small family-owned businesses who need to haul their fireworks seasonally to the various displays and shows around the country.

As an APA member, Coppersmith fully supports the APA’s efforts and believes that their success in getting these waivers reinstated definitely helps to preserve fireworks this important American tradition. 

“Without this exemption, America’s traditional celebrations of Independence Day would be at risk, as there are no practical alternatives available for compliance,” APA stated in its application.

“The HOS [hours-of-service] requirements on small businesses should be modified for this limited time each year to permit this small number of fireworks carriers to conduct Independence Day fireworks displays while maintaining an equivalent level of safety on our highways and in our communities. Indeed, the experience of APA members operating under this exemption for the past 15 years without any incidents, injuries, or fatalities demonstrates that the exemption will not adversely affect safety.”

Not only is the APA working to support the season, but the National Fireworks Association has called on Secretary of Transportation, Pete Buttigieg to intervene in the port congestion that is plaguing shippers and could see containers of pyrotechnics stalled and late to their final destination. 

Now isn’t the time for simple platitudes. Shipping and logistics are putting the holidays under intense strain, much like other industries like manufacturing, agriculture, and retail feel the same pinch as they try to get equipment and get landed cargo back to warehouses for distribution. Prices are out of control, delays are building to unsustainable levels, and despite the best efforts of forwarders around the world, paying the prices doesn’t guarantee your cargo will find a container, make the loading, and embark on a voyage. Now is the time to pull out all the stops, work with carriers and customers to get as much advance notice for equipment, and be flexible about your shipments, building in as much time as possible to the supply chain in case of inadvertent delays.

Your team at Coppersmith has seven decades of experience working on your behalf to mitigate the issues coming at cargo. If you need guidance or have questions about your fireworks shipments, contact Coppersmith and see how we can help!