According to an article from Commercial Carrier Journal, the American Trucking Association (ATA) Chairman and Combined Transport President Mike Card told attendees at the Great West Fleet Conference that smaller carriers can’t function with the higher cost of industry regulations and won’t be able to keep themselves afloat any longer.
“Trucking has been consolidated,” Card said. “The primary reason for consolidation in the trucking industry is the costs associated with increased regulation. We’re the most over regulated industry out there, in my opinion.”
Since the industry has been deregulated, heavy vehicle taxes and excise taxes have been introduced and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has been created.
While they’re “great regulations” according to Card, he also says they have made the cost of owning a trucking business higher.
The major problem with dealing with the over regulation is that carriers and ATA aren’t able to just deal and communicate with Congress; instead, they have to go through federal officials from an agency.
Due to issues with Congress, the FMCSA, and the growing regulations, Card foresees the trucking industry becoming more like the airline business in that soon customers will only have four or five to choose from. This could render smaller fleets and owner-operators obsolete and leave customers with very limited options.
“We need to get back to being knights of the road. We need to get the public to trust in us again,” said Card.
Card suggested recreating and revamping the trucking industry’s image in order to maintain common sense within the trade and to encourage the public’s trust. He also says that the industry should be making use of social media and other marketing techniques to educate the public (and Congress) about the trucking industry.