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Sauer rises to top of California Trucking Association as CEO

State also sees introduction of a new logistics-focused trade group

(Photo: CTA & Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

There’s a new president at the California Trucking Association — and he’s been with the organization for more than 20 years.

And there’s a new organization of logistics-related companies and individuals in the state, the Goods Movement Alliance, and it already is weighing in on a state appointment in a new and possibly key position. 

At CTA, Eric Sauer has been named the new CEO of the group, effective this past Monday. Sauer, who has been with CTA since 2001, most recently served as senior vice president of government affairs.

Sauer will head up an organization at the center of the maelstrom surrounding California trucking as it faces the reality that the state’s independent contractor law, AB5, is likely to be  implemented soon after having been held at bay for more than 2 1/2 years by a court injunction.

That injunction was the result of a lawsuit filed by the CTA against the state’s then attorney general, Xavier Becerra, in late 2019 just as AB5 was to go into effect. The suit was successful in obtaining an injunction against AB5 becoming law in the trucking sector due to the lower court’s determination that it conflicted with a federal law, the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act, the so-called F4A. 

That injunction has held since, even as the case morphed into CTA v. Bonta when Rob Bonta succeeded Becerra as California’s attorney general. The injunction was overturned by an appellate court in April 2021, though it was allowed to remain in place through the appeals process. 

With the Supreme Court’s recent decision not to hear CTA’s appeal of the appellate court decision, the injunction is expected to be lifted following an upcoming Aug. 22 court hearing. 

The CEO slot at CTA was open because of the recent resignation of Shawn Yadon. Yadon departed the association in late June to become president-commercial at Hyzon Motors, which recently has found itself in significant financial trouble. 

“Eric is the right leader for CTA,” Greg Dubuque, CTA’s chairman, said in a statement. “His extensive work and knowledge within the association, along with his strong leadership skills, will help strengthen partnerships, develop strategic alliances and expand both our membership and CTA’s footprint in the trucking industry at both a state and national level.”

Sauer said in the statement: “For more than 21 years, I have had the privilege of representing and working on behalf of an industry that provides so much to this state.” 

The Goods Movement Alliance was created this month. It describes itself as “a coalition of California industry leaders in the goods movement economy committed to creating and supporting common sense solutions to the goods movement crisis.”

The group sent out an approving statement Friday on the naming of former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa as the state’s infrastructure adviser. California Gov. Gavin Newsom made that announcement Thursday. 

Newsom said the two-term mayor would “(work) with local, state and federal leaders to identify priority projects and maximize access to federal funding across all regions of the state.”

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John Kingston

John has an almost 40-year career covering commodities, most of the time at S&P Global Platts. He created the Dated Brent benchmark, now the world’s most important crude oil marker. He was Director of Oil, Director of News, the editor in chief of Platts Oilgram News and the “talking head” for Platts on numerous media outlets, including CNBC, Fox Business and Canada’s BNN. He covered metals before joining Platts and then spent a year running Platts’ metals business as well. He was awarded the International Association of Energy Economics Award for Excellence in Written Journalism in 2015. In 2010, he won two Corporate Achievement Awards from McGraw-Hill, an extremely rare accomplishment, one for steering coverage of the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster and the other for the launch of a public affairs television show, Platts Energy Week.