WE HAVE REACHED the half-way point of the year. On the one hand, widespread vaccination has allowed us to return to some sense of “normal,” pre-pandemic life. On the other hand, our TIA Members are still in the throes of a months-long capacity crunch, which may well abate in the second half of the year but is still an ever-present reality today.
As we reach this halfway point in the year, let us reflect on some of what TIA has accomplished so far this year, and what TIA has left to do. As always, we are guided by our core values of transparency, humility, and integrity as we pursue our core functions of advocacy, education, protecting and safeguarding, and networking.
Advocacy: We have successfully included language in the House Surface Transportation Reauthorization bill that would ask the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to provide guidance on what a dispatcher is and the role it plays in the supply chain. That same legislation includes language that would require DOT to complete its Safety Fitness Determination (SFD) rulemaking to finally develop a reasonable and sustainable carrier rating system. And we saw bipartisan introduction of H.R. 3042, the Motor Carrier Safety Selection Standard, which would create an interim standard until the SFD was complete. We also signed on to an Amicus brief at the request of C.H. Robinson that seeks to settle the law on negligent carrier selection.
Still to Do: We must continue our push to get a Senate companion bill to H.R. 3042 and to get the legislation enacted. We will continue to push to get our members to be included as part of the CT-PAT program. We will host the in-person 3PL Policy Forum September 28-29 (www.tianet.org/meetings) to bring in our members to try to get these critical pieces of legislation across the finish line. And we will continue to push for the most robust TIAPAC to assist with all of our policy goals.
Education: We have shifted the Certified Transportation Broker education program from a semester to a trimester system to encourage more real-time feedback and help our students succeed in their certification. We have introduced real-life broker “coaches” to help assist new brokers as part of our New Broker Success Package, and we have engaged in an educational and ongoing relationship with Truckers Against Trafficking to put a spotlight on the scourge of human trafficking.
Still To Do: We will continue to gauge our member’s interest in new educational offerings, and we will bring back the Leadership Academy and make it an “Executive MBA” style education for mid-level brokers in the middle of their career.
Protecting & Safeguarding: Our members count on us to protect their interests through the TIA Bond, TIA Watchdog and the TIA Advantage programs. Our membership team is currently analyzing the data to understand our members in a variety of ways, including their use of these programs.
Still to Do: We will unveil a revamped TIA “Marketplace” to re-boot our Advantage program in the Fall of this year. As we go through the data and analyze the trends of which members have the TIA Bond and which do not, we will look at ways to attract more members to the TIA Bond program.
Networking: Finally, networking. We had a fabulous virtual 2021 Capital Ideas Conference in May, that afforded opportunities for virtual networking, in addition to some terrific educational content. BUT……
Still to Do: We will meet in-person later this year! We cannot wait to see you at the September 3PL Policy Forum (mentioned above) as well as 3PLXTEND Xperience October 21-22 in San Antonio, Texas! It will be my first opportunity to meet many of you in-person, and while the virtual world has sustained us, the actual world will re-invigorate us.
We have accomplished a lot, but there is so much left to do. In addition to everything mentioned above, we will focus relentlessly on elevating the TIA brand, and on promoting our members and the critical role you play in this economy. As always, please reach out to me with any thoughts or ideas you have. Have a wonderful summer.