Arkansas Trucking Association

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Up Front- Re-route to remain

DSCF7709 smallShannon Newton
President, ATA

Unlike ever before, Americans are universally experiencing a common truth…  virtually nothing is going according to plan. In February, I sat down with my team for our regular editorial meeting to discuss the next issue of the magazine. Usually, Issue 2 is distributed at our annual conference, held each spring. It is delivered to attendees’ hotel rooms and blown up for display in the convention center. We brainstormed and assigned stories we thought readers would find interesting and insightful, including the story you’ll find on page 21 about a public health crisis in China that had affected the supply chain and had recently appeared in some patients on the U.S. West Coast.

A few weeks later, there were cases of that new virus, COVID-19, in Arkansas. In less than a fortnight, a protein invisible to the human eye brought everything to a screeching halt—except trucks. Those were still moving, and people were noticing that everything they needed to stay home and healthy was being delivered by men and women driving trucks. I called my managing editor and asked her how we could retool this issue of the magazine to address this global moment and focus on trucking’s role.

We scrapped some of the articles, revised others, assigned new stories, and gathered new data for this special edition of the Arkansas Trucking Report. The original story on page 21 now serves as a primer for the pandemic’s arrival here and what we know about it. We also spoke to our board chairman, Dan Cushman for a fireside chat on page 16 about what we can do to stay sane and survive a crisis.

Normally in our News in Brief pages, we share the regulatory, technology, safety, public relations, legal and culture stories that intersect with transportation. But I am fatigued of projections, changing timelines, disappointments, closing businesses, and sickness. I just wanted to save a few pages of this issue for really good news. Plenty of individuals and organizations have responded to the needs of their communities with compassion, creativity and quick-thinking. I am uplifted and inspired by these moments of humanity.

I hope you find this issue to be informative, balanced, compassionate, uplifting and forward-thinking because ATA is still committed to our mission of promoting, protecting and serving the trucking industry. We are out there showing the public what you are doing, advocating for ways to help you continue, and answering your calls of service—see page 19 for a couple of ways ATA has responded to requests for hand sanitizers and additional food options for our truck drivers serving on the front lines.

So, this year, Issue 2 is not the conference issue we had planned. We’ve rescheduled that event for August 17-18 and hope to see you there healthy and in good spirits. But changing a date, a table of contents, a goal, an expectation doesn’t change who we are. As truckers, we know how to re-route.

Contact Us

Arkansas Trucking Association
PO Box 3476 (72203)
1401 West Capitol Ave.
Suite 185
Little Rock, AR 72201

(501) 372-3462 | Phone
(501) 376-1810 | Fax

Our Mission

  • PROTECT the collective interests of trucking companies in the political and regulatory arenas.
  • PROMOTE the dynamics of trucking so that people have a better understanding of the link between America's primary freight delivery system and the standard of living they enjoy.
  • SERVE our members to help them to grow their business and their profits
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