ATA urges lawmakers to respect contracts between shippers, carriers and abandon plans to regulate time drivers and trucks wait to load, unload cargo; group says regulations would greatly affect shipping rates, change playing field

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, West Virginia , May 18, 2011 (press release) – The American Trucking Associations Board of Directors today called on policymakers to respect contracts between carriers and shippers and abandon proposals to interfere in those arrangements.

Specifically, the Board voted to oppose efforts at regulating detention time – the time drivers and trucks wait to load or unload their cargo.

"ATA and its members value the time of our drivers," ATA President and CEO Bill Graves said following the Board's decision. "However, federal intervention into this area would have significant impacts on the contractual agreements between carriers and shippers."

"The ability of carriers to negotiate rates, routes and service with our shippers is very important to us," said, ATA Chairman Barbara Windsor, president and CEO of Hahn Transportation, Inc., New Market, Md. "Federal regulation in this area would directly affect shipping rates and would significantly change the playing field for carriers and shippers."

"No carrier wants to see our drivers' time wasted," ATA First Vice Chairman Dan England, chairman and president of C.R. England Inc., Salt Lake City, Utah said. "However, this is not an issue that can be handled with a 'one-size, fits all' regulation and as a result is best addressed in contractual agreements between carriers and shippers."

"This isn't a big carrier issue or a small carrier issue," said Keith Tuttle, president of Motor Carrier Services Inc., Northwood, Ohio, and chairman of ATA's Small Carrier Advisory Committee. "The ability to freely negotiate contracts is something all carriers want to protect."

The American Trucking Associations (www.truckline.com) is the largest national trade association for the trucking industry. Through a federation of other trucking groups, industry-related conferences, and its 50 affiliated state trucking associations, ATA represents more than 37,000 members covering every type of motor carrier in the United States.

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