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March 20, 2020 5:00 PM, EDT

Transportation Leaders Call on White House for Help in Coronavirus Fight

FedEx and UPS trucksJulio Cortez/AP

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The leaders of American Trucking Associations, FedEx Corp., UPS Inc. and the U.S. Postal Service are asking the White House to ensure that measures taken by federal, state and local governments to slow the spread of the coronavirus do not hinder their efforts to deliver needed goods to citizens.

“It is imperative that precautionary actions taken by federal, state or municipal governments do not impose unnecessary burdens or logistical complications on package and mail delivery services, or on the people that provide those services, including our pilots, couriers, hub operators and truck drivers,” said the four signatories of the March 19 letter: ATA President Chris Spear, FedEx CEO Fred Smith, UPS CEO David Abney and USPS Postmaster General Megan Brennan. “Such unintended negative consequences will hamper our ability to reach businesses and consumers relying upon timely and dependable delivery.”

The four leaders stressed the need to continue essential interstate commerce.

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“Neither restrictive public policies that impede interstate commerce should be enacted, nor should new local government initiatives create a regulatory patchwork that hinders operational efficiency,” they wrote. As truck drivers, regional and final-mile services, pilots and other transportation professionals move critical supplies all across the country the four industry leaders said the pandemic is challenging private industry and placing inordinate demands on citizens.

“As our nation mobilizes to mitigate the impact of the pandemic, we ask that you and your Coronavirus Task Force reiterate the valuable role our firms play in this regard, and discourage states and localities from implementing public policies that restrict our ability to serve the American people.”

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On March 17, Spear wrote a separate letter to the White House asking the Trump administration to take specific steps that will help the trucking industry in its efforts to keep stores and medical facilities stocked with supplies as the country battles the coronavirus pandemic.

“We are writing to ask your assistance to assure that trucks are able to continue to safely deliver medicine, food, fuel, water and other basic necessities to communities and homes,” he said.

The March 19 letter also states: “We stand ready and willing to continue this important service to our nation, and will continue to work with federal, state and local governments in a coordinated fashion to help our employees deliver for America in the safest possible manner while also keeping our employees and the customers they serve safe too.”

UPS ranks No. 1 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest for-hire carriers in North America and No. 2 on the TT Top 50 list of the largest logistics companies.

FedEx ranks No. 2 on the for-hire TT 100.

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