Trucking Leaders Gather to Discuss Global Economy, Regulations

By Sean McNally, Senior Reporter
This story appears in the Oct. 22 print edition of Transport Topics.

Against the backdrop of political and regulatory uncertainty, members of American Trucking Associations will come together this week to talk primarily about the business of trucking, the state of the industry, the health of the nation’s economy and new opportunities for carriers in the United States and abroad.
The four-day Management Conference & Exhibition was to kick off Oct. 20 at the Orlando World Center Marriott Resort and Convention Center with the annual golf tournament and a number of policy meetings.
In an interview, ATA President Bill Graves said that, while it was a “challenging environment” — with declining freight volumes, an uncertain outlook for federal hours-of-service rules, high fuel prices and controversy about the opening of the southern border to Mexican trucks — ATA members were optimistic about a coming rebound as they prepared to meet in Orlando, Fla.
On Oct. 21, the annual advocacy and government affairs luncheon was to feature a political point-counterpoint with Terry McAuliffe, former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, and John Kasich, a Republican member of Congress from Ohio for 18 years, a former chairman of the House Budget Committee and current host of the Fox News program “Heartland.”
The next day, the focus turns to the business side of trucking, as Graves delivers what he said would be his first “state of the industry” address in the five years he has been president of the federation.
Later that day, Bob Costello, ATA’s senior economist, along with David Huether, chief economist for the National Association of Manufacturers, and Nigel Gault, managing director of the North American macroeconomic service at Global Insight, will discuss the state of the economy in a panel moderated by Fox News business correspondent Stuart Varney.
On Oct. 23, discussions of new opportunities for trucking take center stage as Howard Abramson, Transport Topics’ editorial director, leads a discussion on the state of trucking and logistics in the world’s fastest-growing economy — China.
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