ATA Execs Highlight Outreach, Advocacy Benefits at MSC Conference
[Stay on top of transportation news: Get TTNews in your inbox.]
ORLANDO, Fla. — Long-standing advocacy and outreach programs continue to be essential tools for stakeholders to advance their message with policymakers, American Trucking Associations executives told members of the Moving & Storage Conference on Feb. 27.
ATA senior staffers were specifically referencing the federation’s Call on Washington during the Moving & Storage Conference Annual Meeting. The Call on Washington has regularly connected ATA’s diverse membership with federal lawmakers and their staff.
“They want to hear from you. They don’t want to hear from us,” John Lynch, ATA’s senior vice president of federation relations, told attendees at the conference.
“We have reach everywhere,” Lynch continued. “So when we need someone to go to a key member of Congress, we can pick up the phone and do that pretty quickly. And I don’t think many organizations can do that.”
Dan Horvath, vice president of safety policy at ATA, emphasized the portfolio of outreach options used to frequently achieve results and actionable outcomes.
“You hear about influencing regulations and laws. And when you’re actually in a room discussing it and you can see the work that you do have an outcome, then that’s a pretty awesome experience,” Horvath explained at the panel discussion with Lynch. The workshop was titled, “Education Session — Building Business Value Through ATA Benefits & Programs.”
“To have the connections and be able to go to folks and get answers, or at least provide that feedback, is critical,” Horvath added.
Per ATA, the Call on Washington program is an opportunity to directly engage with members of Congress, essential staff, regulators, industry leaders and stakeholders, along with ATA staff. Its aim is to “discuss in person legislation and regulations affecting the trucking industry,” according to ATA. “In sum, no other program provides such direct interaction with so many significant government and industry contacts.”
Background about the panel discussion indicated, “As part of American Trucking Associations, ATA MSC members can connect with multiple benefits and programs that help build business value. This session brings together ATA experts on our technical councils, safety, government freight and public policy to share how the work of ATA supports your business and how you can best take advantage of these opportunities.”
Supporting the Cause
This year's meeting’s sponsors include:
- Rotate Digital
- U.S. Department of Transportation
- Chris Lapi Moving Supplies Inc.
- Kentucky Trailer
- Allied Van Lines
- North American Moving Services
- Vanliner Insurance Co.
- Mover’s Choice Insurance
MSC Executive Director Ryan Bowley said in a statement, “The MSC Annual Meeting provides movers the opportunity to learn strategies to help their business grow, network with other industry professionals, and hear updates from government agencies such as the Department of Transportation and Department of Defense.
“In addition, attendees can tap into the larger ATA federation to discuss business-related issues with industry subject matter experts and gain information on how ATA’s programs can enhance their organization.”
Last year, the Moving & Storage Conference pointed to combating fraudulent “rogue” operators, as well as promoting the enhancement of economic conditions at an advocacy “fly in” meeting in Washington.
The 2022 fly-in forum captured the Call on Washington’s essence by featuring visits with members of Congress and their staff on Capitol Hill. At the time, Bowley explained the advocacy meetings proved meaningful and informative.
“MSC mover members were excited about the opportunity to get up to Capitol Hill, engage with lawmakers,” Bowley said last year. The group was represented by dozens of members from around the country. “Really appreciate the MSC members that were able to take time out of their busy schedules running their businesses to come to D.C. and participate across the three days and especially participate at our meetings up here on Capitol Hill.”
The Moving & Storage Conference group advocated for the importance of continued work by federal agencies to combat moving fraud. Policymakers were reminded about rogue moving operators who typically rely on websites to promote low-cost rates. Additionally, members emphasized the independent contractor model for the industry, as well as ensuring appropriate access to workforce facilities.
The effect of inflation and overall general economic conditions on members’ operations dominated aspects of their discussions with lawmakers.
At American Trucking Associations’ Moving & Storage Conference Annual Meeting in Orlando, ATA President Chris Spear calls for repeal excise tax on new trucks: "If you want to put the newest, safest, most environmentally friendly equipment on the roads, get rid of this tax” pic.twitter.com/myEO8211sD — Eugene Mulero (@eugenemulero) February 27, 2023
“The [Moving & Storage Conference] is the leading national organization representing household goods moving companies and industry suppliers, as well as various state moving and storage associations. The conference sets household goods government affairs policy positions on Capitol Hill, promotes industry unity and provides a forum for intra-industry debate and collaboration,” per an overview ATA provided about the conference.
“The conference also serves as the leading educator and partner to moving and storage consumers worldwide,” according to ATA. “We work tirelessly to improve public safety and trust in the relocation market through various avenues, including the development of best practices with our members, rigorous consumer education programs and advocacy efforts on Capitol Hill.”