Exec Says Trucking is Prepared for Canal Expansion, but Challenges Exist

Apr 10, 2013, 15:00 ET from American Trucking Associations

ARLINGTON, Va., April 10, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --In testimony today before the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, Phil Byrd, president and CEO of Bulldog Hiway Express, said trucking is prepared for the projected increases in freight to come from the expansion of the Panama Canal, but warned the country still faced challenges related to congestion and the condition of our infrastructure.

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"We are aware of no systemic trucking capacity shortages that are currently impacting freight movement at our port facilities or could serve to restrict the transport of Panama Canal increased volumes beginning in 2015," Byrd said on behalf of American Trucking Associations.

Rather, Byrd, ATA's first vice chairman, said trucking's challenges in handling the expected increase in freight are more likely "outside the gate … specifically the impact our crumbling infrastructure will have on handling increased traffic and freight demands."

Byrd also cited inefficiencies getting in and out of port complexes, sporadic labor issues and constraints on driver resources – specifically the soon-to-be imposed hours-of-service rules and the looming driver shortage – as issues that weigh on trucking's ability to handle an increased workload.

"Given the proven, adaptive and flexible nature of the trucking industry however, we believe we will be able to handle these container freight increases wherever they actually occur in America's port system," Byrd said.

For more of Byrd's testimony, click here.

American Trucking Associations is the largest national trade association for the trucking industry. Through a federation of 50 affiliated state trucking associations and industry-related conferences and councils, ATA is the voice of the industry America depends on most to move our nation's freight. Follow ATA on Twitter or on Facebook. Good stuff. Trucks Bring It!

SOURCE American Trucking Associations