NASSTRAC Shippers Meet With Congress Members During Washington Fly-In
NASSTRAC, an industry association that represents the interests of freight shippers in all modes of transportation, coordinated a Washington "fly-in" Sept. 27-28. Nearly 20 transportation executives met with a dozen members of Congress or their aides on critical trucking issues, including the need for infrastructure investment, concerns about changes to the existing truck driver hours of service rules, and truck size and weight restrictions.
NASSTRAC shippers met with aides of a number of legislators, including Congressmen Rep. Tim Walz - D (Minnesota), Tom Petri - R (Wisconsin), John Duncan Jr. - R (Tennessee); and Senators Richard Durbin - D (Illinois), John Rockefellar IV - D (West Virginia), Max Baucus - D (Montana), Barbara Boxer - D (California), Amy Klobuchar - D (Minnesota), and Alexander Lamar - R (Tennessee). During the fly-in, NASSTRAC members encouraged members of Congress to support highway infrastructure funding and to oppose changes to the current truck driver hours of service rules. They also encouraged them to oppose the expansion of FMCSA's role in regulating America's businesses, to oppose the Safe Highways and Infrastructure Protection Act (SHIPA), and to support the Safe and Efficient Transportation Act.
"If Congress fails to take action in support of America's trucking industry and its customers, the result will be significant increases in costs for companies across America and significant decreases in efficient distribution and transportation," said Brian Everett, NASSTRAC's Executive Director. "The recession, high fuel prices, roadway congestion, and a shortage of qualified drivers all have led to reduced capacity and increased transit times for our most critical transportation mode - trucking. Neither our economy nor our country can afford more of the same."
What Fly-In Participants Have To Say
“The most important take away that I had was the need to copy all key committee Infrastructure and Transportation Committee members in both the House and Senate on NASSTRAC’s position papers and agency filings. Several of the people we met with said they do not always catch everything in the Federal Register but a personal copy would always be read.”
- Randy Schaeffer, Manager, North American Distribution, Taminco Methylamines, Inc.
“This fly-In helped NASSTRAC fulfill one of our strategic objectives this year, which is to improve our advocacy efforts. This helped to educate Senators and House members on issues that impact our members’ supply chains.”
- Gail Rutkowski, President, Wabash Worldwide Logistics
“It was surprising to see that most members of Congress were aware of the issues on the ‘outer side’ of issues, but not how it impacts our specific operations and how we do things.”
- Rob Kemp, President, K&R Sales
“This was a valuable learning experience to find out what their positions are, what their support levels are, and to increase that support level on issues important to transportation.”
- Meg Duncan, Manager-Carrier Relations, Koch Logistics
“It’s important that we communicate to the aides of Senators and Congressmen how supply chain productivity is impacted by transportation. If you cause transportation providers to raise prices, then everyone pays.”
- Chris Norek, Ph.D. Senior Partner, Chain Connectors
“This was a good experience where we represented shippers’ issues, and worked together to meet with Congressional aides to make them aware of our concerns and pending legislation that could increase our costs as shippers and ultimately the cost of goods to our customers.”
- Candace Holowicki, Director of Global Transportation & Logistics, TriMas Corp.