WASHINGTON, D.C. — More than 10 industry associations will be participating in a pro-trucking Washington fly-in called “Stand Up For Trucking” on Feb. 1. Organizers say the industry-wide event will bring together scores of transportation executives and key stakeholders, with both shippers and carriers working together “so that their Congressional and Senate representatives understand that trucking is a vital national asset that contributes to the well-being of this country.”
The American Trucking Associations and NASSTRAC (the National Shippers Strategic Transportation Council) met in September in Washington and laid the groundwork for the coalition of industry groups to bring a pro-truck, pro-safety message to Washington. “It says a lot about how important these issues are – not only to the trucking industry at large, but also to their customers who have responsibility for managing complex supply chains,” said Mike Regan, chairman of NASSTRAC’s Advocacy Committee. “Never before have the advocacy interests of both motor carriers and shippers dependent upon over-the-road trucking been more closely aligned.”
ATA and NASSTRAC will be supported by other associations, including the Transportation Intermediaries Association, National Private Truck Council, Coalition for Transportation Productivity, Truckload Carriers Conference, National Industrial Transportation League, Retail Industry Leaders Association, Cleaner Safer Trucking, Forest Resources Association, National Automobile Dealers Association, and the American Movers and Storage Association.
According to Brian Everett, executive director of NASSTRAC, the agenda will include the need to enact a multi-year highway bill that reforms the program and focuses funding on critical freight corridors, as well as the need to pay for highway infrastructure in the most efficient way.
Everett also says Congress needs to stay focused on safety while stopping “burdensome laws and regulations that impede productivity and increase the delivered cost of goods, including the proposed changes to the truck driver Hours-of-Service currently being considered.”
“Shippers rely heavily on the safe, reliable, cost-effective service that over-the-road truck transportation offers them,” said Everett. “In fact, more than 70% of freight shipments, by value and by tonnes, move by truck. Unfortunately, many issues currently being considered by lawmakers will have a negative impact on trucking productivity and efficiency if passed, possibly increasing transportation and supply chain costs by more than 10% next year alone. Along with significant cost increases, companies across America will suffer from significant decreases in efficient distribution and transportation. The recession, high fuel prices, roadway congestion, and a shortage of qualified drivers all have led to reduced capacity and increased transit times for trucking. That’s why we believe that now, more than ever, there’s a significant need to stand up for trucking.”