Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) and the Truckload Carriers
Association (TCA) drove home a unified message recently when
they agreed to support mandatory fuel surcharge legislation.
This bipartisan bill, introduced by Sens. John Kerry (D-MA)
and Kit Bond (R-MO), calls for shippers or carriers to pay a
fuel surcharge when the price of diesel fuel rises above $1.15
to government statistics, the national U.S. average price of
diesel fuel was last $1.15 per gallon Dec. 24, 2001, and has
continued to climb ever since. This year, the national U.S.
average price reached $1.28 cents March 25, with all indicators
pointing to further increases.
fully expect fuel prices to go higher this year, as they have
each time during the last 30 years when there was unrest in
the Middle East," said OOIDA President Jim Johnston. "We
appreciate the willingness of TCA to work with OOIDA on this
important issue, and thank Bob Molinaro, president of Warren
Transport, Waterloo, IA, for his leadership in this effort."
3, TCA's Board of Directors voted unanimously to support S1914,
the Motor Carrier Fuel Cost Equity Act of 2002. During the Mid
America Trucking Show in Louisville, KY, workers at OOIDA's
booth generated 4,500 letters signed by truckers to lawmakers
in support of the legislation. In addition, the consensus among
panelists at the show's Economic Summit (hosted by Newport Communications)
was that the ability to collect the surcharge is the key to
survival for many in the trucking industry.
reports indicate more than 200,000 trucks were re-possessed
and more than 7,000 motor carriers filed for bankruptcy in the
aftermath of high diesel fuel prices during the past two years.
Jim Johnston: "The truckload industry must speak with one
voice to address the devastating effect that high fuel prices
have on our industry. This bill will help both motor carriers
and owner-operators recoup their higher fuel costs, and prevent
the demise of thousands of small businesses."
--Dick Larsen, senior editor