TIA Members Gather in Washington to Advocate for the National Hiring Standard

Rachael Oury | Transportation Intermediaries Association

More than 100 TIA members gathered at the 2018 TIA 3PL Policy Forum in Washington D.C. on June 5-6 to make their collective voice heard on Capitol Hill. The two-day event brought together TIA members from across the U.S. to meet in the nation’s capital, develop relationships with their elected representatives, and advocate for policies that affect 3PLs.

The focus of this year’s Policy Forum was ensuring passage of the National Hiring Standard in Congress and getting it to President Trump’s desk for his signature.

Lynn Gravley, NT Logistics, Inc., Brian Evans, L&L Freight Services, Inc., Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), Matt Meeks, ArcBest

“Currently, there is no standard or duty of care an entity must take when hiring a carrier. This (Standard) is a huge step toward removing unsafe carriers from the highways and will remove liability traps plaguing the 3PL industry,” explained Chris Burroughs, TIA Senior Director of Government Affairs.

The National Hiring Standard proposal was included in the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Act of 2018, which passed the House of Representatives in April. As TIA members descended on Washington, the focus shifted to the Senate as it begins debating the FAA bill.

U.S. Rep. Gary Palmer (R-AL), Rick Halbrooks, McLeod Software

However, the two-day event wasn’t all about politics. The energy was high on June 5 as TIA members arrived in Washington and were welcomed with a private tour and dinner at nearby Mount Vernon, George Washington’s riverside residence.

U.S. Sen .Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Robert Freed, Tech Transport, Inc., and Rep. Annie Kuster (D-NH)

Dr. Peter Cressy, a retired U.S. Navy Rear Admiral, spoke on the positive impact logistics and transportation played in George Washington’s success in winning the Revolutionary War and, ultimately, founding the United States.

On June 6, TIA members received a briefing from the TIA Government Affairs team on key points contained in the National Hiring Standard and how to conduct meetings with their representatives. TIA members were then placed on teams that made their way to congressional offices for their scheduled meetings. They conveyed to their elected representatives and staffs how their respective states and businesses are directly impacted by the absence of a National Hiring Standard.

Fuji Avdic, Founder and President of Stryker Logistics, attended the 3PL Policy Forum and met with the congressman from his district, U.S. Rep. Brett Guthrie (R-KY), for the second year in a row. Rep. Guthrie had voted in favor of the bill containing the National Hiring Standard.

“I really feel like I have had the opportunity to learn our system of government and build a real relationship with my representative,” Avdic said. “It’s a great feeling being able to voice our opinion to our own members of Congress and discuss what we can accomplish and how we can work together to help make a difference in our industry,” Avdic said.

Joe Chandler, SPI International Transportation, U.S. Rep. Bill Flores (R-TX), Brandon Arnold, Intelligent Logistics, Inc.

While some members were brand new to the practice of advocating on Capitol Hill, some had tenured experience by having attended the TIA Policy Forum for several years.

Sue Spero, President of Carrier Services of Tennessee, Inc., has been attending the TIA Policy Forum for six years. This year she led a group of TIA members from Tennessee.

“I first attended the TIA Policy Forum in 2012. At the time, TIA’s government affairs team had made great headway in getting language into Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) that mitigated the possibility of increasing bond requirements, which would have been catastrophic to our members and the industry,” said Spero. ”The bill was signed into law in July 2012. It was then that I realized the impact of the work our team accomplished and the importance of my involvement in advocating on behalf of my business and our industry.”

Spero has seen great value in remaining actively involved with TIA and its government affairs initiatives. Today, she serves on the TIA Board of Directors and acts as the Chair to the TIAPAC Board.

U.S. Rep. Susan Davis (D-CA), Alicia Ruiz, Johanson Transportation Service

“The TIA Policy Forum is a value to our membership by making known what issues are relevant to us all. It creates an opportunity for building personal relationships with our elected officials. The opportunity to have our voices heard is critical to create and change policy. It is essential to our businesses and industry to engage our legislators,” Spero said.

TIA thanks all those who participated in the 2018 Policy Forum and who are committed to improving the safety of the nation and the future of the third-party logistic industry. To get involved and make your voice heard, email the TIA Advocacy Team at advocacy@tianet.org.

Rachael Oury is Marketing Manager with Transportation Intermediaries Association in Alexandria, VA. She may be reached at oury@tianet.org.