The roots of regulation of the U.S. transportation industry go back to 1887, when Congress created the Interstate Commerce Commission to oversee the railroad industry. In the years between 1887 and 1980 the trucking industry was added to the regulation landscape. The result was the addition of more and more regulations that over time became more cumbersome and restrictive for the industry.
Driven by the need to keep pace with the country’s rapidly expanding need for transportation services, in 1980, Congress enacted the Motor Carrier Act of 1980. The Motor Carrier Act, in effect, deregulated interstate freight transportation before Congress took further measures to clean up and decontrol the industry in 1995.
Now comes 2016… it seems like the industry is experiencing new regulations coming out every month, and there is every indication that this fact is not going to change. Most recently, the industry has been faced with implications and implementation of the mandating of electronic logging devices (ELD); the THUD bill which addresses hours-of-service rules restart provisions; regulatory-induced reductions in capacity; CSA (Compliance, Safety and Accountability) and the implementation of the Fast Act which poses major implications for determining rates and the ability for transportation companies to work together.
No doubt there are pros and cons to all of these regulations, whether you agree or disagree with them, but the point is that all of us who work in the transportation and logistics industry need to be collectively vigilant. We need to exercise our right to speak out, to protect our businesses and the industry. After all, Congress and the regulators work for us. When a new regulation is proposed, let them know your opinion. Only then can we define how much regulation is too much!