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Archives for June 2013

ATA Estimates 1.5- to 4.0-percent Productivity Reduction from Hours of Service: What Can 3PLs Do?

By Joel Anderson | 06/25/2013 | 6:00 AM

 Unless the American Trucking Associations prevails in its legal challenge to the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s regulations, the new Hours of Service rules for interstate drivers will commence July 1, 2013. ATA has a legal challenge from the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals. This litigation asks the court to vacate the FMCSA rules on the standard that the changes are not supported by science; and as a result, they are arbitrary and capricious.

 As you read this column, you should start developing your new routes and dispatches to incorporate the changes coming down on July 1. ATA has an excellent guide on its website www.trucking.org. You can also click through to the ATA testimony before Congress on the hours of service.

 If you have a trucking operation, download all the materials and read the changes. If you broker or arrange for the brokerage of freight, be sure to talk to your providers to determine what routes will need be changed, what pickup and delivery schedules will need to changed, and what mix of freight and loading practices will minimize the disruption to productivity.

 3PLs are the logistics experts in moving freight across the United States, Canada and internationally. The changes in the hours of service have added another wrinkle, one that will in all instances reduce the hours available for motor carriers to provide service to customers.

Now is the time to sit down with your providers and your customers and be prepared.

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ATA v. City of Los Angeles: All Politics - and Courts -are Local

By Joel Anderson | 06/19/2013 | 6:04 AM

The legacy of the American Trucking Associations v. City of Los Angeles case is this: The more distance the judges (both physically and emotionally) were removed from the case, the more accurate the judicial rulings. The ultimate decision? A 9-0 slam dunk eliminating the City of Los Angeles power grab against Congress and validating the supremacy clause of the U.S. Constitution. 

This case history is a script about how difficult it is for law to prevail unless business is willing to invest millions of dollars in getting the case out of the venue of the home crowd.  In a decision reversed and remanded by the very liberal 9th Circuit, the Los Angeles-based District Court trial judge ruled Los Angeles City has the powers to regulate interstate and foreign commerce, despite the fact Congress had specifically extended its power to deregulate at federal, state, regional and local levels.

On remand, the District Court judge still found reasons for the regulation to continue. The judge simply took into account those areas that the 9th Circuit said were wrong. ATA then had to go back to 9th Circuit to undo once again the ruling of the District Court judge.   The 9th Circuit reversed a second time, but still let in certain powers of the City of Los Angeles with respect to placarding and parking.

ATA then appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, which, being both 3,000 miles away from Los Angeles and the 9th Circuit read the facts as a matter of law. Justice Elena Kagan, an appointee of President Barack Obama, wrote the court’s opinion. The nine justices found no basis in law for City of Los Angeles’ regulatory scheme. 

Here’s the bottom line: Were it not for ATA members investing millions of dollars to seek a hearing and review of the law at the Supreme Court, our industry would again be facing bad laws out of California.  The City of Los Angeles, taking advantage of taxpayer-funded legal expenses, and a District Judge (who lived in the area) devised a scheme that lost 9-0 at the U.S. Supreme Court. 

The International Warehouse Logistics Association’s retained labor attorney Kerryann Haase Minton always reminds me “that distance brings objectivity.” This is one of the many reasons she is my second opinion on all personnel matters. As the ATA v. City of Los Angeles case demonstrates, distance also brings objectivity in the application of the rule of law.  

The Tribal Politics of Advocacy: Shape Up and Be Successful

By Joel Anderson | 06/11/2013 | 1:42 PM

The goal of this column is to discuss the latest research on how individuals form themselves into peer groups with respect to legislation and regulations.  This research is important to IWLA and our membership because our goal is to pass the legislation our members seek or defeat the legislation our members oppose.  As a result, we gather and analyze these studies and apply their findings to advance the policies and practices of our membership. The publication cited for this column is, The Three Languages of Politics, which gives an excellent “how to” of the best techniques in being effective in public policy and regulations.  Author Arnold King describes three streams of American political sensibilities: 

1)      Progressives see political governance and political responses in terms of oppressors vs. oppressed.

You can read examples of this context in the propositions of progressives: labor vs. management; poor vs. wealthy; race vs. race; gender vs. gender. Read any press release from the California South Coast Air Quality Management District and you will see it breaks society into oppressors vs. oppressed divisions.

 2)     Conservatives see political governance and political responses in terms of civilization vs. barbarism.

You can read examples of this context in the good vs. evil of foreign affairs; prudence vs. spending; checks and balances vs. a living Constitution. Read any column by George Will and you will see he discusses current issues in terms of civilization vs. barbarism.

 3)     Libertarians see political governance and political responses in terms of freedom vs. coercion.

You can read examples of this context in many places: the new regulations on financial institutions vs. the viewpoint that any new government regulation is an infringement on freedom; the EPA vs. the free market in reducing pollution; the mandate of health insurance vs. choice to not be insured. Read any column by Nick Gillespie and you will see he sees the fierce hand of the state against individual freedom.

IWLA shapes its arguments and advocacy for the protection of our membership. In California the governing party is the progressive wing of the Democratic Party. Many elected officials come from trade union backgrounds and their bias is an “us vs. them” bias. To represent our membership, IWLA must present our positions in California through impacts on jobs and career ladders, referencing studies done by the University of California or a similar government-related source.

In dealing with the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, our filings first emphasize the positive impacts of our proposals on health and safety. Industry cannot be heard at the FDA until we first demonstrate to them our integrity and build credibility that our requests are consistent with the public health.  Unless we prove our trustfulness, the agency will dismiss our concerns.

The most difficult public policy argument to make is when the regulator or elected official is embedded in their ideology and logical arguments make no difference. The prime example of this reality is the U.S. National Labor Relations Board. Employers can try to frame their arguments in terms of employee advancement; but, in my opinion, that is simply wasted resources. NLRB members have shown their intent to push through an agenda that all workers are oppressed unless represented by a union.

With the NLRB, the IWLA position becomes one of opposition from the beginning because of the strong ideological orientation of the regulators. We have read their decisions and their reasons. We understand that in all instances they see employers as the oppressor.

 I would recommend as you read the daily political reports, you apply this three part “tribal division tool” to discern the orientation of the person talking to you about politics. You will find this approach gives you a neutral space to evaluate how to protect and advance your company with elected officials and regulators and to present yourself and your company in a manner completely unpredicted by your opponents.

The opinions expressed herein are those solely of the participants, and do not necessarily represent the views of Agile Business Media, LLC., its properties or its employees.

About Joel Anderson

Joel Anderson

Joel D. Anderson is president and CEO of the International Warehouse Logistics Association (IWLA). Based in Des Plaines, Ill., IWLA is the 120-year-old association of the warehouse-based third-party logistics industry, with 500 members in the U.S. and Canada. Before joining IWLA, Anderson spent 28 years at the California Trucking Association, the last 13 as executive vice president and CEO. An economist by training and profession, Anderson was also a past board member of Cascade Sierra Solutions. He is a frequent speaker before supply chain industry groups.



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