PHILADELPHIAIn his state of the industry speech at the American Trucking Associations' (ATA) Management Conference & Exhibition, ATA President and CEO Bill Graves said he saw continued growth for the trucking industry and strong gains in its pro-safety, pro-efficiency agendaprovided Congress takes action on necessary legislation.
Most carriers have had a good yearnot greatbut pretty good in 2015. And 2016 is looking as good if not slightly better, Mr. Graves said at the conference in Philadelphia.
If there's a bogeyman that we need to be concerned about, look no farther than Washington, as the disarray within the House of Representatives could lead to all sorts of negative outcomes, unintended consequences and mischief for our economy, he said.
Mr. Graves said if Congress completes the long-term highway bill it is currently working on, as well as the annual appropriations process, the ATA will be able to address many of the items deemed most important to the industry.
Never before has ATA pursued as broad and significant a policy agenda as we do today.
And as you will hear throughout this meeting, if Congress can find a path forward to 'do business' in the next 45 days, we will have what I believe is the most impressive list of achievements ever accomplished by the ATA, he said.
He cited potential action on infrastructure funding, hours-of-service, productivity, electronic logging devices, driver recruiting and the Compliance, Safety, Accountability safety monitoring system.
These policies and agenda were the result of deliberations by members of ATA, Mr. Graves said, urging more persons in the trucking industry to make their voices heard.
He addressed trucking's economic outlook, as well, noting that it still comes down to my basic calculus: More people equals more stuff. And while all our other freight modal partners will continue to play their supporting role in moving this economy, the star of the show has been, is and will be the truck.
The ATA comprises 50 affiliated state trucking associations, conferences and councils.