ATA opposes regulation of detention time

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Updated May 19, 2011

The American Trucking Associations Board of Directors on Wednesday, May 18, called on policymakers to respect contracts between carriers and shippers and abandon proposals to interfere in those arrangements. Specifically, the board voted to oppose efforts at regulating detention time – the time drivers and trucks wait to load or unload their cargo.

“ATA and its members value the time of our drivers,” says Bill Graves, ATA president and chief executive officer. “However, federal intervention into this area would have significant impacts on the contractual agreements between carriers and shippers.”

ATA Chairman Barbara Windsor, president and CEO of New Market, Md.-based Hahn Transportation Inc., says the ability of carriers to negotiate rates, routes and service with shippers is important. “Federal regulation in this area would directly affect shipping rates and would significantly change the playing field for carriers and shippers,” Windsor says.

“No carrier wants to see our drivers’ time wasted,” says ATA First Vice Chairman Dan England, chairman and president of Salt Lake City-based C.R. England Inc. “However, this is not an issue that can be handled with a ‘one-size-fits-all’ regulation and as a result is best addressed in contractual agreements between carriers and shippers.”

“This isn’t a big carrier issue or a small carrier issue,” says Keith Tuttle, president of Northwood, Ohio-based Motor Carrier Services Inc. and chairman of ATA’s Small Carrier Advisory Committee. “The ability to freely negotiate contracts is something all carriers want to protect.”