Trade groups oppose portsÆ attempts to regulate trucking
A group of U.S. trade advocacy groups reiterated its opposition to an effort by the Port of Los Angeles to amend the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act to further its Clean Truck Plan.
Los Angeles, supported by the ports of Oakland and New York-New Jersey, is seeking to amend the act to allow ports to regulate drayage companies, requiring them to hire drivers as employees rather than as independent owner-operators. The legislation would give port authorities and other localities an exemption from federal preemption over trucking rates, routes and services.
In an Aug. 24 letter to Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Geraldine Knatz, the groups said: 'We all support the goals of the Clean Truck Plan to reduce truck emissions at the port. However, we strongly oppose the efforts of the port to support changing longstanding federal law, the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act (FAAAA), to include a provision within the Clean Truck Plan that has nothing to do with reducing truck emissions. We urge the port to cease its efforts in support of proposals to Congress to amend the FAAAA, and instead to work with its customers to address the real issues that face the port today.'
The letter said the groups that signed the letter 'move a substantial amount of the nation's international commerce through the Port of Los Angeles' and are already undertaking safety and pollution reduction measures.
'The harbor trucking industry is an integral component of the supply chain,' the letter said. 'Our collective member companies have a vested interest in making sure that the harbor trucking industry operates safely, efficiently and in an environmentally responsible manner. In fact, many of our members are actively working with transportation providers to replace as quickly as possible the older harbor trucks serving marine terminals around the country with highly innovative clean equipment.'
The letter also stresses that the groups appreciate the gains that have been made in replacing older trucks.
Last week, the National Retail Federation, one of the groups who signed the letter to Knatz, wrote a letter in support of the Port of Seattle's clean truck program, which doesn't seek to address the employee/owner-operator aspect of its local drayage industry. The coalition has also written Rep. James Oberstar, chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, to oppose inclusion of the exemptions in any surface transportation reauthorization bill.
Signatories of the letter are: Agriculture Transportation Coalition, American Apparel and Footwear Association, California Retail Association, Coalition of New England Companies for Trade, Consumer Electronics Association, Fashion Accessories Shippers Association, Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America, Harbor Truckers for a Sustainable Future, Los Angeles-Long Beach International Warehouse Logistics Association, NASSTRAC Inc., National Association of Waterfront Employers, National Home Furnishings Association, National Industrial Transportation League, National Pork Producers Council, National Retail Federation, Pacific Coast Council of Customs Brokers & Freight Forwarders Assns Inc., Retail Industry Leaders Association, The Health & Personal Care Logistics Conference Inc., The Waterfront Coalition, Travel Goods Association, U.S. Association of Importers of Textiles and Apparel, West State Alliance, Western Home Furnishings Association, and World Shipping Council.