2021 for NITL was a year of challenges, transition, and even greater success as “the voice of the shipper.” In a Covid restricted environment, the League successfully held a virtual summit receiving high marks from both attendees and presenters. The League held many other webinars including a well-received educational series on Rail Operations. The willingness of our members and committees to adopt new remote technologies increased member participation and enhanced the League’s influence.
Guided by “true north” principals that focus on controlling or reducing shipper cost, increasing freight capacity and competition, assuring shipper choice, and reducing regulatory complexity, the League enhanced its position as a leader in DC on all things freight. Regulators, Agencies, Legislators and staff, and other trade associations look to the League for leadership and council. This has been a year where NITL has been intimately involved in every major freight discussion and is well positioned to continue building momentum in 2022.
- Continued to advocate that truck capacity be improved by increasing truck size and weight allowances on the National Freight Network.
- Filed comments with FMCSA supporting a rulemaking on Property Broker Transactions to keep shipper information and rates confidential.
- Advocated for shippers during the congressional debate on infrastructure, resulting in the Invest in America Act. (Kept interstate tolling at a minimum, established a pilot for commercial drivers under twenty-one, and included record highway spending.)
- Filed an amicus brief to have the Supreme Court hear challenges to CA AB-5 a CA law that would eliminate contractor truck drivers. SCOTUS will hear arguments in early January.
- Supported twin thirty-threes
As NIT League’s Chair of Highway, Jeff Tucker, Tucker Company Worldwide, Inc. states that there was ever a time where NITL can serve you professionally and represent your company’s interest, it is over this next decade. So many changes are in store, from climate to fuel to truck size and weight, potential government involvement in sourcing and critical infrastructure- related topics–it is impossible to keep it all straight. That is what NITL does for you, your career, and your company.
As a member of the NITL for 30 years, there have been one or two moments that might rival the importance of what we are about to witness in transportation and supply chain in the 2020s. NITL is your voice–your best voice, to tell Washington what you need to see happen. I congratulate NITL on our wins in 2021 and encourage every member to be even more involved. Involve your colleagues–your company–your executive leadership.
- Established close working relationship with new STB Chair and Members
- Advocated for renewed focus by STB on competitive switching (EP-711)
- Successful in getting STB to take a serious look at First mile – Last mile Service (EP-767)
- Supported EP-766 petition for new rulemaking on revenue advocacy.
- Led successful effort on Rail Detention and Demurrage billing requirements.
- At the center of discussions with merger participants and STB regarding proposed KCS merger with both CP and CN.
- Leader in discussions on port congestion that resulted in White House Executive Order on increasing competition in rail and ocean freight transportation.
- Continue discussions with FMC regarding port congestion and unfair practices resulting in FMC guidance encouraging filing claims with the agency.
- In May, proposed changes (drafted by NITL GC Karyn Booth) to the Ocean Shipping Reform Act (OSRA) and established a working coalition to advance legislation in Congress. Ultimately resulted in introduction and overwhelming, bi-partisan passage of OSRA21 in the US House of Representatives in December. The Senate hopes to pass their version of HR 4996 in the next week, which NIT League has been working closely with to retain what was in HR 4996.
- Advocated that FMC formalize their Detention and Demurrage rules.
I welcome our new leadership, Nancy O’Liddy, Executive Director and Ann Warner, Lobbyist. I wish Randy Mullett all the best in retirement. We had a super busy strong year in 2021 and 2022 appears to be even more active, if possible. I thank all those who took time to make all these accomplishments happen along with a smooth administrative transition.
I welcome even more of you to get formally engaged in these processes by being active in one or more of the committees. They are your voice.
Thank-you and Happy New Year!!!!
Bruce Ridley, Chair of NIT League Packaging Corporation of America