In his annual State of the Industry and Association Address, American Trucking Associations (ATA) President and CEO, Chris Spear, praised the industry’s efforts to keep the country moving through the Covid-19 pandemic and continued work to address issues critical to trucking.
“Throughout this pandemic, truckers proved how we make a difference,” he said.
“There was no playbook. Yet our drivers are once again this industry’s most valuable players. You’re among an elite list of professionals that include scientists, first responders and healthcare providers.
“When many in this nation sheltered in place, you maintained composure and answered the call.”
Spear said ATA’s ability to remain aligned on key issues was critical to being at the table as key decisions are being made in Washington and around the country.
“Despite playground politics, there’s reason to be optimistic,” he said.
“In the wake of it all, America responded … thanking truckers in every state, Congressional district and community in the country.
“Our image is what we make of it … it’s who we are and how we want to be perceived. We need to ride the crest of this wave, steering each challenge toward a favourable outcome.”
A singular favourable outcome Spear called out as imminent was passage of the bipartisan infrastructure bill in the House.
“The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is an example of what’s possible when we tell our story,” he said, calling the bill a ‘historic’ investment not just in the US’ roads and bridges, but in developing the industry’s future workforce.
Victories like the infrastructure bill are key to establishing ATA’s value to the industry, Spear said, but added the next step was growing the association and its influence.
“ATA is not, nor ever will be, the association of ‘No’,” he said. “We’re not complacent obstructionists. When confronting an issue, an opinion different from our own … we double down our effort to improve that outcome. We don’t complain. And we don’t quit. And our persistence and dedication to any challenge, no matter how hard, is why we win.”
In other news, the ATA congratulated 28 member companies for being recognised with SmartWay Excellence Awards from the US Environmental Protection Agency.
EPA’s SmartWay Transport Partnership is reported to be a market-driven initiative that empowers businesses to move goods in the cleanest, most energy-efficient way possible, while protecting public health and reducing air pollution.
“For 17 years the SmartWay Transport Partnership has worked together with stakeholders in the freight industry to find innovative ways to reduce pollution from goods movement.” said Sarah Dunham, Director of EPA’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality. “We commend the innovation, drive, and collaborative spirit of our partners whose efforts are helping to meet the challenge of climate change and to create a healthier environment for us all.”
“ATA and its members are proud supporters of the EPA SmartWay Transport Partnership – it is a model for how the public and private sector can come together to address shared goals and address real issues in a constructive way,” said ATA President and CEO, Chris Spear. “I’m proud that so many of our member companies not only belong to SmartWay, but have been recognised for their efforts with this award.”
The ATA members honoured with SmartWay Excellence Awards are:
- ATS Inc.
- Meijer Logistics LLC
- KBX Logistics, LLC
- ABF Freight, an ArcBest company
- Hub Group
- J.B. Hunt Transport Inc.
- Georgia-Pacific Consumer Products LP
- A&M Transport LLC
- Bison Transport Inc.
- CRST Dedicated Services, Inc.
- CRST Expedited Inc.
- Doug Andrus Distributing LLC
- Duncan and Son Lines Inc.
- Hogan Transports Inc.
- Knight Transportation Inc.
- Lake Trucking Company
- Mesilla Valley Transportation
- Old Dominion Freight Line Inc.
- Penske Logistics LLC
- Roehl Transport Inc.
- Ruan Transportation Management Systems, Inc.
- Ryder Dedicated Transportation Solutions
- U.S. Xpress Enterprises Inc.
- Walmart Transportation LLC
- Werner Enterprises
- Wilson Logistics Inc.
Since 2004, SmartWay Partners have avoided emitting more than 143 million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide, 2.7 million tonnes NOX, and 112,000 tons PM, while saving $44.8 billion USD in fuel costs and 335 million barrels of oil equivalent – to eliminating annual energy use in over 21 million homes.