Arkansas Trucking Association

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Up Front- Enchanted

ShannonNewtonShannon Newton
President, ATA

On July 8, my kids and I put on our sequins and smiles, stacked beaded bracelets up our arms and joined 75,000 other Swifties in Kansas City for Taylor Swift’s Eras tour. We sang along to our favorite songs, bought merch and had so much fun we forgot to act cool about any of it.

The tour, which spans Swift's career including songs from every album, is shaping up to be a cultural moment, one that I wanted to experience with my two young teens.

Long before we funneled in, windows down, music up, a convoy of trucks had descended on Arrowhead Stadium. The logistics of creating the kind of four-hour spectacle that lives up to fans’ wildest dreams is the result of hundreds of crewmembers, complex planning, back ups for the backups and, of course, trucks—about 90 of them, costing $500,000 each week in fleet expenses alone.

The Eras Tour is touted to be the first in history to gross over $1 billion. The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia predicts it could boost the world economy by $5 billion. Each host city is selling out hotels and experiencing increased demand for goods and services, reaping all the tax revenue that comes with it. Regardless of your personal interest in pop music, the financial impact a single star can bring to a community is impressive.

Musical talent alone is not enough to command a logistical feat and financial boom like the Eras tour. Taylor Swift is a savvy businesswoman who’s built a brand empire through strategic partnerships and genius marketing.

It might be strange to perform so earnestly a song you wrote about a teenage crush some 15 years later, especially to a stadium of people who have heard gossip about the relationship. Witnessing it, though, wasn’t awkward at all. Swift has a reputation for her vulnerability and authentic connections with people. She performed each song on the 45-song set list like it was the first and last, not the 40th performance. The experience was endearing, watching someone be fully committed to what they do and enjoying it. My job, thankfully, doesn’t require that level of familiarity with my teenage self, but I have been on my own Eras journey this year.

This summer, I celebrated 20 years with the Arkansas Trucking Association. I’ve been in this industry since I graduated from UCA, and I’ve grown up here. As friends and colleagues have reached out to recognize the milestone, I’ve been able to revisit moments I’m really proud of. There were upsets that I had to shake off and my own list of accolades that leave me in awe that this career is mine.

To top off this era, I will serve as 2023-2024 chair of the Trucking Association Executive Council. I have great respect for my colleagues so it is truly an honor and a privilege to be elected to represent them. Trucking has enriched my life, and I’m so fortunate to be a part of the industry that moves America. The last 20 years have been nothing less than enchanted, and whatever the next 20 brings, I’m ready for it.

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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