Jeff Wlahofsky and Dan Phillips of Schneider Downs attended the National Accounting & Finance Council (NAFC) of the American Trucking Associations, Inc.’s 2011 Annual Conference & Exhibition in Phoenix, Arizona recently. The conference was held in conjunction with the Information Technology & Logistics Council (ITLC) annual meeting and conference.
The consensus of the participants and speakers at the conference was that the future of the transportation industry is bright. The majority of discussions involving the remainder of the current year were optimistic and the outlook for the next few years is encouraging. It is believed that the demand for transportation services will continue to increase as the manufacturing sector rebounds from the recent recession.
However, the transportation and logistics industry still has many concerns that need to be addressed. These concerns include the lack of skilled drivers and the ever increasing fees and taxes imposed by state and local governments struggling with budget deficits. These fees and taxes often include registration fees, fuel taxes, plate fees and general business taxes. Other areas of concern include the future unknown costs of the healthcare reform act, rising fuel costs and possible changes to lease accounting rules. The potential changes being contemplated by the Financial Accounting Standards Board with respect to lease accounting will have a significant impact on the transportation industry due to the effects the changes could have on future financial statements and bank covenants.
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