ATA President Chris Spear Updates the NAFC Conference

Several members of our Schneider Downs’ transportation group attended the 2022 National Accounting and Finance Council Conference of the American Trucking Associations in Austin, Texas. One of the highlights of the conference was a breakfast briefing by ATA President, Chris Spear.

The organization and been busy in the past year, and Mr. Spear gave an interesting recap of the activities and upcoming challenges.

He began his presentation by reiterating the importance of the ATA to the member firms and drivers. He then listed some the organization’s accomplishments to prove this point. 

Mr. Spear reminded the attendees that the ATA led efforts to establish the transportation industry as an essential business during the COVID-19 pandemic. These efforts included lobbying government agencies and working with states to keep facilities such as rest stops open for the truckers. He then moved on to the passage of the 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. This was a once-in-a-generation investment in roads and bridges as well as other types of infrastructure including high-speed internet, public transit, passenger rail, etc. 

Mr. Spear also covered the federal trial that is underway related to the State of Rhode Island’s plan to set up tolls that impact only Class 8 trucks. ATA and two motor carriers filed the suit against the State of Rhode Island, stating that the plan violates the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution by discriminating against interstate commerce and out-of-state truckers. The ATA’s position is that the tolls do not reflect a fair approximation of the use of the tolled facility; and the tolls are excessive in relation to the benefits conferred. We will share more on the outcome of this case once it is decided.

Mr. Spear was excited to share that the ATA recently moved to a new headquarters in Washington, D.C. The location is one block away from the U.S. Department of Transportation. The space is more collaborative, less expensive, and closer to the government regulators than the former headquarters in Northern Virginia.  

He also noted that diesel prices and driver pay are two of the leading challenges that the industry will be navigating in the remainder of 2022 and beyond. 

Mr. Spear’s presentation was informative and well received by the conference attendees. 

About Schneider Downs Transportation & Logistics Services

The Schneider Downs Transportation & Logistics industry group includes assurance, tax, technology and management consulting professionals who combine their individual expertise to serve transportation and logistics companies throughout the United States. We possess the capabilities and industry expertise to provide our clients with state-of-the-art technologies and timely communication of the most current and pervasive legislative and regulatory changes impacting the industry.  

To learn more, visit our Transportation & Logistics Industry Group page.  

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