SBA Office of Advocacy visits VHI Transport

The following press release and images detail a recent visit to VHI Transport by the Office of the Advocacy within the U.S. Small Business Administration.

SBA Office of Advocacy staff recently visited VHI Transport. From left are Advocacy staff Patrick Delehanty, Jason Doré, Dillon Taylor, Mitch Tyner, Bruce Gee of VHI Transport, Kristy Seaton of VHI Transport, Janis Reyes, and Bruce Lundegren. VHI Transport is a small transportation intermediary in Chester, Va. Representatives from this company were also concerned about FMCSA’s rules about SMS scores and electronic logging devices.

 

Advocacy Visits Small Transportation Company Following Virginia Roundtable

By Bruce Lundegren, Assistant Chief Counsel

The Office of Advocacy hosted a Regional Regulatory Reform Roundtable in Glen Allen, Virginia – just outside of Richmond – on Oct. 16th that attracted dozens of small businesses and their representatives who were eager to discuss federal regulations that burden small business. The meeting also featured participation by U.S. Congressman Dave Brat (R-VA 7th), who represents the district in U.S. House of Representatives.

Following the roundtable, Advocacy staff visited VHI Transport, a small transportation business located in Chester, VA.  VHI operates two distinct lines of business, a trucking transport operation and a transportation brokerage service.  Advocacy was hosted by Bruce Gee, the President and Chief Operating Officer of VHI Express (the trucking operation), and Kristy Seaton, the Chief Operating Officer of VHI Transport (the brokerage service).

Ms. Seaton explained how transportation – or freight – brokers operate.  They are the intermediaries between a shipper who has goods to transport and a carrier who is able to move that particular freight to the desired location.  While this is mostly done by truck, VHI also arranges for transit on rail, air, and barge.  While they are not a regulated transportation company, the companies they contract with are.  VHI arranges for the movement everything from agricultural products and pharmaceuticals to aggregates and electronic equipment.  While they mainly service the mid-Atlantic and Midwest regions, their services cover the entire country as well as Canada and Mexico.

Ms. Seaton also demonstrated VHI’s computer system which identifies qualified transporters who are authorized and qualified to handle the particular cargo to be picked up and delivered.  There are literally thousands of companies they work with.  She also explained how they use Safer Watch, a service that tracks companies’ qualifications and links the broker to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) safety evaluation database.

Mr. Gee oversees the trucking side of the VHI operation, which has its terminal in downtown Richmond.  These are the actual trucks that carry and deliver freight.  Mr. Gee, who attended Advocacy’s Glen Allen roundtable, noted several regulatory issues that impact his business.  The two main ones are the FMCSA’s impending mandate to install and use ELDs (Electronic Logging Devices) and the FMCSA’s use of SMS (Safety Measurement System) data to evaluate carriers and drivers.  Mr. Gee would like a delay in the ELD mandate and a complete rethinking of the SMS methodology.

VHI is a woman-owned company that was established in Virginia 1977.

For further information, please contact Bruce Lundegren at 202-205-6144 or bruce.lundegren@sba.gov.