Trucking Highlights For April 2017

President Trump Agrees to Renegotiate NAFTA

trump_naftaOn Thursday, April 27, 2017, President Donald Trump announced he would renegotiate NAFTA instead of terminating it, saying, “I decided rather than terminating NAFTA, which would be a pretty big, you know, shock to the system, we will renegotiate,…We’re going to give renegotiation a good, strong shot.” He also stated that he will terminate NAFTA if they cannot come to a “fair deal.”

According to the Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), as of February 2017, US trade with Canada and Mexico increased 2.9% to $86.5 billion on an annual basis. NAFTA trade has consistently increased over the past several months.

Trucks carried 63.2% of U.S.-NAFTA freight in February and continued to be the most heavily utilized mode for moving goods to and from both U.S.-NAFTA partners.

Proposed Ohio Bills Would Spend $8 Million To Fill Open Trucking Jobs

Ohio_bill_truck-driver-jobsThe Ohio Trucking Association backs the bill package that was introduced to hopefully fill thousands of vacant trucking jobs. They say that without it, 175,000 trucking jobs could be unoccupied in the next seven years.

Bill #1 would have Ohio spend $5 million towards CDL student scholarships, to help would-be students pay for school.

Bill #2 would have Ohio spend $3 million on driver training. The money would be in the form of tax credits for trucking companies that provide the training.

Bill#3 would make it easier for trucking companies to obtain insurance for younger drivers.

Bill #4 would ease the transition into the trucking industry for military veterans.

Senator Cliff Hite, a bill sponsor, said, “This is a huge opportunity for the state of Ohio. We have 8,000 to 9,000 job openings.”

The bills were introduced by Representatives Niraj Antani, Representative Ryan Smith, Representative Robert Sprague, and Senator Frank LaRose. They seek to fill thousands of currently open trucking jobs in Ohio. “We are looking at a driver shortage of about 50,000 nationwide,” Said Tom Balzer with the Ohio Trucking Association.

Trump’s $1 Trillion Infrastructure Plan

us_infrastructureFor the trucking industry, bumpy and congested roads prove costly. Poor road conditions add $49.6 billion in costs, according to the trade group American Trucking Associations (ATA). Another $100 billion is lost due to congestion.

Trump plans to move forward with his $1 trillion infrastructure deal. Realizing that typical infrastructure projects take up to 1-2 decades to  complete, Trump promised to cut red tape that would hinder the project’s progress.

“The president has already started removing the regulatory roadblocks that have been killing projects before they’ve even begun through his executive actions, streamlining the permitting process and calling for each agency…to identify regulations that cause undue burden,” White House spokesman Sean Spicer said Wednesday.

This plan is set to include the modernization of U.S. roads, bridges, airports, electrical grid and water systems. The Trump administration plans to offer incentives for public-private partnerships rather than simply fund improvements.

Knight and Swift Merger Creates Single Largest Truckload Operating Group in North America

knight merges with swiftKnight Transportation Inc. and Swift Transportation Co., two of the nation’s largest trucking companies, said on Monday they would merge their businesses. Knight and Swift will operate under a single holding company if the deal is completed, but they will maintain distinct brands and operations.

The combined firm, to be known as Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings, would have reported about $5 billion in annual revenue last year, the companies said. The new holding company would be based in Phoenix and operate about 23,000 trucks and have 28,000 employees.

“Indeed, by coming together under common ownership, the companies will be able to capitalize on economies of scale to achieve substantial synergies.” -Richard Dozer, Swift chairman


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