Today’s Pickup: Missouri Rep. Sam Graves pushes vehicle mile tax

Highway 401 trucks.jpg

Good day,

Rep. Sam Graves (R-MO) is pushing a vehicle miles tax in Washington as the solution to funding road and infrastructure improvements rather than raising fuel taxes.

While many believe a fuel tax increase is the most logical solution, Graves believes the increasing fuel efficiency of vehicles and electric and other alternative power options will result in fewer tax revenues in future years.

“There are a lot of members out there who are just philosophically opposed to increasing the tax,” Graves said, McClatchy reported. “That’s all there is to it.”

Graves is vying to become the next head of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, giving his viewpoint on the matter a bit more credibility.

Graves said that the mileage tax could be incorporated in the commercial sector “almost immediately.”

“In the commercial sector they’re already logging in miles,” he said. “It might be a little farther away in the private sector, and that comes with acceptance and the technology.”

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and American Trucking Associations are both in favor of raising the fuel tax. The Chamber has proposed a 25 cent per gallon increase while ATA President Chris Spear reiterated this week at the Technology & Maintenance Council’s meeting in Atlanta that a 20 cent increase over four years is appropriate.

“This is a sound investment which is why Ronald Reagan signed it into law twice,” he said.

Did you know?

A Deloitte survey found that 65% of chief procurement officers have no visibility of their supply chain beyond their tier 1 suppliers.

Quotable:

“I’m worried. There’s a lot of risk.”

- Dave Arndt, CEO of Pentaflex, speaking to the Wall Street Journal on the impact of steel tariffs on costs and jobs. Pentaflex is a contract manufacturer of metal stampings, supplying a number of industries including commercial trucking.

In other news:

Trump signs aluminum, steel tariffs

President Donald Trump officially signed tariffs on aluminum and steel, but already some American manufacturers are concerned the tariffs will cost American jobs. (Wall Street Journal)

Asia-South America container capacity hike could drive down prices

A realignment of resources is adding 18% more capacity to container trade lines between Asia and the west coast of South America, potentially driving down rates. (The Loadstar)

KFC ditches DHL after supply chain troubles

KFC, which faced store closures among supply chain problems after switching to DHL, has returned to its previous logistics partner in an effort to restore order. (The Guardian)

Appeals court upholds $165M verdict against FedEx

A federal appeals court in New Mexico has upheld a $165M judgement against FedEx for an accident that left two family members dead. (DC Velocity)

Large fleets still buying trucks

Steven Latin-Kasper, director of market data and research for NTEA, says there will be a bounce in tractor sales this year as large fleets acquire more equipment. (Transport Topics)

Final Thoughts

The importance of the supply chain has been in clear focus in recent weeks after KFC was forced to close stores in the U.K. following a switch to DHL for its logistics services led to a disruption of chicken deliveries. The problem has lingered, and yesterday KFC announced it was switching back to its previous logistics partner. A lesson in performing due diligence and partnering with the best providers, not the best price.

Hammer down everyone!

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