One of the most important trade shows of our industry is taking place this week in Las Vegas – American Trucking Association’s ATA Management Conference & Exhibition.
In his opening keynote address, ATA President Bill Graves discussed the theme of ‘American Crossroads’. Graves said, “Our industry is not at a crossroads as much as today’s trucking companies”. It was his overall view that the U.S. trucking industry is moving forward and it is up to American trucking companies to decide what direction to take when faced with decisions on technology, safety, the driver shortage, and other pressing industry issues. The ATA president drew a comparison to the transition into deregulation and said, ” those unwilling to embrace change will not survive.”
In identifying trucking’s challenges, Graves pointed his finger squarely at Washington.
“Three of our nation’s biggest problems are the sluggish economy, a very dysfunctional federal government and the people of this nation who lack confidence that the economy will get better and that our government as its currently assembled in Washington isn’t capable of getting the job done,” he said.
Concurrent with the conference, the ATA announced an initiative with Truckers Against Trafficking aimed at how professional truck drivers can help combat illegal human trafficking while on the job. The group seeks to educate, equip, empower and mobilize truckers to help combat trafficking by being more alert at what happens in our travel rest stop areas, travel plazas and more.
Calhoun Truck Lines is one of the thousands of trucking and transportation industry executives attending this week. We’ve already seen trade show floor exhibitors like Freightliner, Mack Trucks, Volvo, Bose and others, as well as government agency officials and trucking industry suppliers.
Besides a slew of exhibits showing trucks and supplier tools for truckers, there is also a high tech component, with booths offering phone, GPS devices and other tech gadgets on display you can imagine that would be useful for long-distance driving.
There are a number of discussion panels covering a range of trucking-related issues, including taxes, communications technology and the U.S. economy, all happening at the conference. Many of these panels are of great interest to Calhoun, especially regulatory issues that affect our work as one of the Midwest’s leading intermodal shipping and transportation company.
We’ve got on our agenda this week to attend seminars from government officials and other trucking experts, as they provide information on truck leasing, natural disasters, lawsuits, regulations and additional subjects. The Calhoun Truck Lines team wants to learn more about regulations and how changes in industry regulations will translate into changes in daily intermodal traffic business.