Intrastate Deregulation Grips Industry
May 1, 1998 12:00 PM, Guy McKenzie
During the 1994-95 term when I was privileged to serve as NTTC chairman, we faced a potentially difficult and divisive issue-deregulation of intrastate transportation. Interstate deregulation was already in place, but a number of states continued economic regulation of purely intrastate shipments. A series of court decisions as to what actually constituted an intrastate shipment as well as different degrees of regulation among the 50 states, made for a confusing picture and what many called an unequal playing field.
Finally, a court decision out of California provided Federal Express a competitive advantage over United Parcel Service (UPS) by freeing FEDEX, an air carrier, from regulation for its ground operations while leaving UPS, a surface carrier, still regulated. Senator Wendell Ford of Kentucky, where UPS is the state's largest employer, succeeded in amending an appropriation bill, already in a House-Senate conference committee, to restore equality to FEDEX-UPS competition. With ATA and trucking industry support, the law change was worded to apply deregulation to virtually all surface transportation.
With a large number of NTTC members on both sides of this issue, some predicted a division of NTTC into two opposing camps and perhaps an end to NTTC itself. Through wise counsel on all sides, a consensus was reached to allow NTTC to support the federal law change. Intrastate deregulation was accomplished all at once without great controversy and soon became a non-issue.
NTTC President Cliff Harvison and his staff played a key role in juggling this issue, and along with responsible leadership on both sides of the issue, quickly healed the breach and sustained harmony among the membership.
As with many issues before and since, the tank truck professionals who comprise the NTTC membership, from small to large, pulled together in common cause to take in stride a substantial change in the way their business must be run.
Congratulations to National Tank Truck Carriers and all its members on 50 years of success.
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