More than 10 industry associations have agreed to participate in a pro-trucking Washington fly-in on Feb. 1 called “Stand Up For Trucking,” which will bring together transportation executives and key stakeholders in trucking. NASSTRAC says both shippers and carriers are working collectively to let their voices be heard so that their congressional and Senate representatives understand how trucking contributes to the country’s well-being.
Mike Regan, chairman of NASSTRAC’s Advocacy Committee, says his shipper association and the American Trucking Associations met in September in Washington and laid the groundwork for the fly-in coalition of industry groups to bring a strong 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,” Regan says. “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 found support from a multitude of 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 fact that so many industry associations have found common ground on several critical transportation issues attests to the significance and importance of the initiative. According to Everett, the agenda will include the need to enact a multiyear highway bill that reforms the program and focuses funding on critical freight corridors, as well as the urgent need to pay for highway infrastructure in the most efficient way.
In addition, NASSTRAC, ATA and participating associations agree there’s a significant need to encourage Congress to stay focused on safety while stopping what they describe as “burdensome laws and regulations that impede productivity and increase the delivered cost of goods,” including the proposed hours-of-service changes currently being considered.
“Shippers rely heavily on the safe, reliable, cost-effective service that over-the-road truck transportation offers them,” says Everett. “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 percent 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.”
There is no registration fee for the fly-in, but registration is required. For more information and to register, go to www.standupfortrucking.org.