The trucking industry closed out a positive year in 2017, seeing record highs in some areas of business and general improvements across various important figures over the course of twelve months.
Markets like dry van soared to new levels, and many important issues were lined out. But as 2018 begins, it seems the trucking industry has their eye on a couple of new topics they hope will gain attention.
With the first session of Congress in the new year set to begin soon, the trucking industry will likely see two of its main concerns get some much-needed discussion. These involve both the patchwork of regulations that can lead carriers to financial ruin, and the plethora of potholes that can do the same.
The first topic deals with the aim of state trucking companies who desire to regulate when drivers must be given meal and rest breaks. There are various laws relating to breaks and mandatory resting periods in the industry. But the bigger issue with this law is that it continues to create certain problems for carriers during interstate travel.
Commercial trucks remain America’s preferred model of freight delivery, carrying a majority of the country’s goods. But trekking through different jurisdictions can prove problematic in some cases, especially when each has its own laws that occupants of the state must obey.
Many carriers have spoken favorably of federal regulation over state, as it would offer a degree of uniformity that makes doing business easier. While some say the one-size-fits-all approach would put some areas at a disadvantage, the law seems to be based on carriers wanting to cover their own bases.
A carrier that violates a state’s laws may be subject to costly legal battles. They may also have to deal with labor unions, worker’s rights groups, and other organizations simply because the approach that worked in one state didn’t work in another. The battle between federal and state regulations continues, and 2018 may see things swing in favor of a national approach to regulations.
The second topic is one that was talked about significantly during election season. The current administration campaigned heavily on infrastructure upgrades, gaining the approval of many in trucking in the process. U.S. infrastructure is currently rated poorly by the American Society of Civil Engineers. Truckers hope this concerning problem can finally be addressed in 2017.
Broken-down infrastructure poses many big problems for the trucking industry. It can lead to delays and equipment damage, which can compound quickly. This makes things a little tougher for carriers than it should be. In spite of the taxes and fees paid toward upkeep of critical infrastructure such as basic roads and bridges, these things remain in a poor state.
The current administration may finally fix this long-running problem, putting investments back into the country where a natural return can be generated. Trucking is one of America’s most popular occupations and industries – with better roads to drive on, this industry could benefit the nation even more in return.