Logistics executives call for legislative assistance

Trucking executives believe Congress needs to do more to address the needs of the freight transportation industry, according to American Trucking Associations. The industry believed there was a need for legislative action to improve logistics efficiency and productivity.

"Trucks move 68 percent of our nation's freight tonnage and move $8.3 trillion worth of freight every year, nearly 60 percent of the U.S. economy," said Derek Leathers, president of Werner Enterprises. "The trucking industry is expected to move an even greater share of freight in the future."

The increased freight demand is good, but it could bring the industry closer to an imbalance that could affect distribution, Heavy Duty Trucking magazine reported. Even small variances in demand could have a significant impact. The capacity of the trucking industry has been trending downward for several years, and logistics providers are not in a position to replace older fleets. Leathers believed the industry needed funding from Congress to reduce or eliminate bottlenecks on interstate highways and improve intermodal freight connections. While truck and rail transport is not usually competitive, it gives logistics providers the opportunity to become more efficient. 

The U.S. has restrictive truck weight regulations, and this could impact productivity of the logistics industry. Truckers face high fuel taxes, and some executives are concerned the government will raise taxes and tolls to make improvements to infrastructure. 

As demand for freight transportation increases, the industry needs more productive trucks. Logistics providers who find ways to innovate and solve problems will be able to offset rate increases, the magazine said. Truckers need to find a way to move fewer loads. Optimization and collaboration will be necessary to maximize efficiency while respecting customers' needs to lower costs. 

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