Steve Russell, chairman & CEO of Indianapolis-based truckload carrier Celadon Group, who is being tapped as the first chairman of the American Trucking Associations’(ATA) new homeland security policy committee, he hopes it will help lead trucking and government to map out sensible security solutions.
“Clearly, homeland security is perhaps one of the greatest long-term issues we face as an industry,” Russell told FleetOwner.
“Trucking touches almost every other mode of transportation within the supply chain and so becomes a critical security link,” he explained. “Airplanes don’t haul cargoes to your front door; they deliver them to the airport nearest you, where it is picked up by truck for final delivery.”
Since trucking has so many points of contact, Russell contends there must be interaction with the government on security concerns, “so we can make sure proposed security regulations are actually feasible.”
For example, he noted in the recent past Congress had wanted all commercial trucks tracked and able to communicate in real time with agencies such as the Transportation Security Administration. “Maybe 20% of the commercial trucking industry can do that today with satellite communication technology – but that leaves the other 80% unable to comply. What do we do about that? It’s these sort of issues that need to be considered,” Russell said. “That’s why I welcome the opportunity to serve in this position and why I look forward to helping this industry continue its efforts with government officials to make sure our highways remain safe.”
Russell, who founded Celadon in 1985, noted that he would continue his active role with his own company during his chairmanship of the ATA security committee.