Massive truck-lobbying effort aimed at Capitol Hill

In the face of pending legislation and advocacy issues that could dramatically raise transportation and supply chain costs, more than 10 industry associations have agreed to participate in a pro-trucking “Washington fly-in” on Feb. 1.

In the face of pending legislation and advocacy issues that could dramatically raise transportation and supply chain costs, more than 10 industry associations have agreed to participate in a pro-trucking “Washington fly-in” on Feb. 1.

The lobbying event, dubbed “Stand Up For Trucking,” will bring together transportation executives and key stakeholders in trucking to buttonhole legislators on Capitol Hill.

According to organizers, “this orchestrated effort is historic because both shippers and carriers are working collectively to let their voices be heard so that their Congressional and Senate representatives understand that trucking is a vital national asset that contributes to the well-being of this country.”

Mike Regan, chairman of NASSTRAC’s Advocacy Committee, said this shipper association and the American Trucking Assns. (ATA) laid the groundwork for this 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,” said Regan. “Never before have the advocacy interests of both motor carriers and shippers dependent upon over-the-road trucking been more closely aligned.”

Regan said ATA and NASSTRAC quickly found support from many other associations, including the Transportation Intermediaries Assn., National Private Truck Council, Coalition for Transportation Productivity, Truckload Carriers Conference, National Industrial Transportation League, Retail Industry Leaders Assn., Cleaner Safer Trucking, Forest Resources Assn., National Automobile Dealers Assn., and the American Movers and Storage Assn.

According to Brian Everett, executive director of NASSTRAC, that so many industry associations have found common ground on several critical transportation issues attests to the significance and importance of this initiative. He said 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 urgent need to pay for highway infrastructure in the most efficient way.

In addition, NASSTRAC, ATA and the other participating associations agree there’s a significant need to encourage Congress 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 tons, 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,” he continued, “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 to take part in the Washington fly-in but registration is required.

For more information and/or to register, go to: www.StandUpForTrucking.org.

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