Ground / Associations

Scores of Transportation Stakeholders Take Message to D.C.

There’s a movement underway. It’s a movement, lead by NASSTRAC  (a shipper’s association that provides advocacy, education, and provider relations to transportation executives) and the American Trucking Association. It’s also supported by many other diverse industry associations, including Transportation Intermediaries Association, the National Private Truck Council, Coalition for Transportation Productivity, RILA, Cleaner Safer Trucking, the National Industrial Transportation League, and the American Movers and Storage Association, to name a few.

The movement is to engage scores of transportation executives to participate in a Washington Fly-In Feb. 1, 2012. Never before have so many industry associations teamed up to mobilize their memberships for a unified cause. What’s driving the momentum behind this effort?

It’s simple, really. The trucking industry is the backbone of the nation’s economy. There are nearly seven million Americans working in trucking-related jobs, including approximately 3.5 million commercial truck drivers. Trucks moved $8.3 trillion worth of goods in 2007, and trucking industry revenues account for 4 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product.  Approximately 80 percent of all U.S. communities depend solely on trucks to deliver their essential everyday products ranging from food, beverages, and clothing to office supplies and building materials.

Unfortunately, if you damage or limit the productivity and efficiency of trucking, you do the same to corporate supply chains.  Some of the key issues being considered that can have a potentially negative impact on supply chains include the possible changes to existing truck driver hours of service rules, FMCSA’s potential overreach into shipper operations, truck size and weight limitations, CSA requirements, and the need for a long-term plan and funding of America’s infrastructure. NASSTRAC’s current advocacy concerns are built around these fundamental principles.

Key issues that transportation and supply chain executives will be taking to Washington in this Fly-In include the need to: enact a multi-year highway bill that reforms the program and focuses funding on critical freight corridors; pay for highway infrastructure in the most efficient way—through taxes on fuel, including diesel fuel, and not tolls; and stop burdensome laws and regulations that impede productivity and increase the delivered cost of goods, including proposed changes to the truck driver hours of service rules.

The message these transportation and supply chain stakeholders are taking to Washington is simple: “We need a productive trucking industry in order to have healthy supply chains and a healthy economy.”

Unfortunately, these legislative and advocacy issues that have the potential to increase supply chain and transportation costs by more than 10 percent in 2012 alone—and that’s not going in the direction we can afford. The benefit of these industry associations and their members taking their message to Washington is that shippers and providers alike all can have a common platform to voice their opinions and positions under the safe cover of an industry association. Get involved in this Fly-In! There will be legislative and political briefings on Feb. 1, a dinner reception on Jan. 31, and coordinated meetings with key Senators and members of Congress. There’s no cost to participate in the event itself; but participants are responsible for their transportation, hotel, and related costs. For more information on this Fly-In and to register, visit www.StandUpForTrucking.org. wt

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