Arkansas Trucking Association

Trucking responds amidst challenging circumstances

The Arkansas Trucking Association assures citizens that trucks will continue to safely and efficiently deliver essential supplies and aid during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Some consumers around the state likely encountered empty shelves last week as reports continued to come in regarding the spread of a new corona virus. Experts have advised citizens should take measures to protect the hospitals and health institutions, which will be overtaxed if everyone contracts the illness at the same time. Many buyers headed to the grocery stores to stock up on toilet paper, hand sanitizer and food.

While everyone in the grocery store on the same day may spark fear that there aren't enough supplies, the bare shelves are temporary, says Arkansas Trucking Association President Shannon Newton. Consumer demand aggressively pulled the expected inventory cycles forward, but trucks are moving across America to restock from warehouses and distribution centers that have supplies to meet our needs into summer.

Timely restock and availability of necessary items are expected since both Governor Asa Hutchinson's Executive Order and subsequent waiver from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration temporarily relaxed hours-of-service rules for truck drivers making vital deliveries related to the COVID-19 response.

Newton emphasized that safety is still the paramount focus of the industry, and suspending the rules in this case is an extension of keeping the public safe from a new and unfamiliar threat.

Trucking companies throughout the state are supporting their drivers carrying aid to affected communities. Drivers are being provided information about the virus, supplies to disinfect and clean their workspaces, and in some cases, even prepared meals.

"Our role is to ensure that stores have the inventory consumers want, citizens have the medicine they need, and healthcare professionals have access to supplies to treat serious cases," Newton said.

In Arkansas, trucks move 85% of all goods and are the exclusive provider for 87% of communities. As demand has increased, wait times for trucks to be loaded and unloaded have increased as well. The national average wait time at distribution facilities exceeds five hours. Since the pandemic has escalated in the U.S., drivers are reporting that customers are requiring them to fill out additional paperwork about their travel. Some have even been screened for fever before being allowed to pick up and drop off freight. These precautions are extending wait times.

Many industries are forced to find new, creative ways to serve customers; for trucking, this isn't an entirely unfamiliar situation. While the offices that support drivers are implementing more remote work, drivers are still showing up behind the wheel.

"The trucking industry is used to demanding conditions. Communities rely on us to deliver critical supplies when devastated by tornadoes or hurricanes. We are prepared to continue distributing food, fuel and medicine even in these challenging circumstances," Newton said. "Through the best days and the worst days, trucking delivers."

ATA shares new research on truth in tolling

The Arkansas Trucking Association commended the American Transportation Research Institute on its newest research that documents the collection and distribution of toll revenue. The research sheds light on many questions about tolling, including how much toll revenue is generated versus reinvested in toll facilities, and contrasts truck-generated toll revenue versus truck utilization of toll roads.

Arkansas Trucking Association has consistently opposed tolling as a source of infrastructure funding because as ATRI’s study demonstrated toll facility costs are high and a significant portion of toll revenues are subsidizing unrelated transportation costs.

Read more: ATA shares new research on truth in tolling

Drive-through warehouse opens its doors in Dallas

Home Depot, home improvement retailer, has opened a flatbed distribution center in Dallas, Texas, that will enable flatbed trucks to drive through the warehouse for more efficient loading.

Because the company earns 45% of its annual sales from customers who professionally remodel, repair or maintain housing projects, finding a way to improve the speed and convenience of distributing their products was important.

The new 800,000 square foot facility will be able to handle up to 65 to 75 trucks a day, adding thousands of deliveries each week in the Dallas area and replacing the older process that allowed only smaller trucks to load a couple of orders and then make multiple trips. Home Depot plans to open similar ones in other cities as part of a $1.2 billion, five-year investment in its supply chain.

Read more: Drive-through warehouse opens its doors in Dallas

Surcharge for the Golden State

On Jan. 20, FedEx Freight launched a surcharge on all shipments moving to, from and within California.

The $7 per-shipment fee, named the "California Compliance Surcharge," comes a few weeks after Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill into law, AB 5, that requires companies to prove workers are independent contractors instead of employees. The law has since been stayed by LA Superior Court Judge William Highberger, who determined the law is preempted by the federal rules of the 1994 Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act.

Read more: Surcharge for the Golden State

Trucking can’t foot the whole bill for highways

In a letter to Senate Finance Committee leaders, the American Trucking Associations encouraged Congress to include “common-sense funding mechanisms” in future surface transportation legislation this year and to forget about trucking-only taxes and fees as a resolution to infrastructure funding problems.

 “Any discriminatory funding schemes, like a truck-only vehicle miles traveled (VMT) tax, will be met with resolute opposition by the industry, and must be dismissed as a misguided and prejudiced funding gimmick.”

Read more: Trucking can’t foot the whole bill for highways

99 phones and a virtual traffic jam

With Google Maps as his canvas and a little red wagon filled with 99 phones as his medium, artist Simon Wreckert created a virtual traffic jam on the streets of Berlin.

While Wreckert walked up and down the street for a couple of hours, Google Maps reflected 99 cars moving alongside him because he had rented the phones and opened the maps application on all of them. The stunt was to make a point about how much space cars take up and the data we trust to reflect experience.

Read more: 99 phones and a virtual traffic jam

Kansas City delivers a Super Bowl win; FedEx delivers the trophy

Before the Kansas City Chiefs claimed victory over the San Francisco 49ers during the Super Bowl LIV in Miami on Feb. 2, FedEx celebrated the 20th anniversary of delivering the grand prize for football’s biggest event.

Read more: Kansas City delivers a Super Bowl win; FedEx delivers the trophy

Americans spend less on infrastructure than other basic utlities

A recent analysis of household expense data by HNTB Corporation shows that, on average, American families pay far less in federal and state motor fuel taxes in comparison to electricity and water service, among others.

On average, HNTB’s analysis found that American drivers pay $274.69 annually, or less than $25 a month, in combined federal and state motor fuel taxes at the pump.

Read more: Americans spend less on infrastructure than other basic utlities

ATA accepting applications for 2020 Carl Tapp Technician Scholarship

Arkansas Trucking Association is pleased to announce it is accepting applications for a college scholarship opportunity for students interested in pursuing a career as a medium and heavy duty truck technician. ATA has established the Carl Tapp Memorial Scholarship Fund to encourage growth in the state’s technician workforce and to help assure that the safest, most knowledgeable and skilled technicians are working on the trucks and trailers on our nation’s roads.

Applicants must be graduating seniors from accredited high schools. Two scholarships for up to $7,500 will be awarded for students attending a two-semester (30-hour minimum) medium and heavy duty truck technician program at an Arkansas institution.

Read more: ATA accepting applications for 2020 Carl Tapp Technician Scholarship

USMCA Trade Deal Reached

Trade negotiators from the U.S., Mexico and Canada have reached a new trade agreement that is expected to have been ratified by the House and Senate just in the new year.

The new USMCA (United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement) replaces NAFTA and has been a pressing issue for the trucking industry. Thank you to everyone who helped make this happen. Trade between the countries in North America moves primarily by truck, and your engagement with representatives and senators about how this issue affects your business and the American economy was invaluable.

Read more: USMCA Trade Deal Reached

Science Fair winner tackles Blind Spots

Fourteen year-old student Alaina Gassler, from West Grove, Pa., won a national engineering and science fair by designing technology to see around blind spots.

The Broadcom MASTERS, or Math, Applied Science, Technology, and Engineering for Rising Stars, is an annual competition from the nonprofit Broadcom Foundation and the Society for Science & the Public.

Read more: Science Fair winner tackles Blind Spots

Auto-correct coming to Driving Tech

Predictive text, or autocorrect, is the typing technology on mobile devices that suggests words the typer may use based on the characters entered and used in the past. While predictive text speeds up the typing process, the tire company, Continental, is hoping to apply predictive driving to autonomous vehicle technologies to improve the driving experience.

Read more: Auto-correct coming to Driving Tech

Contact Us

Arkansas Trucking Association
PO Box 3476 (72203)
1401 West Capitol Ave.
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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