By Joel Anderson
International Warehouse Logistics Association
This Opinion piece appears in the March 26 print edition of Transport Topics. Click here to subscribe today.
It has become something of a cliché that what followed the economic deregulation of trucking in the early 1980s was even more regulation, albeit in different forms.
The readers of this newspaper are well aware of the many burdens that have been placed on trucking and other parts of the supply chain in the form of new hours-of-service rules, antiterrorism security measures and “green” fuel laws and restrictions. But readers primarily involved in hauling may not be aware of the full extent to which the mushrooming growth of regulation in other parts of the supply chain has affected all of us.
Here is what happens: Congress reacts to the latest news stories by passing more laws, and the bureaucracy reacts to that by writing new regulations to implement those new laws — and by finding ways to shift resources to enforcement in the new target areas. So even though neither the trucker nor the warehouseman had anything to do with impurities in the supply chain that originated elsewhere — think E. coli in lettuce or foreign substances in over-the-counter drugs — the resulting laws affect every part of the supply chain, trucking and warehousing included.