In late January, the US House of Representatives introduced a new bill that purports to make sweeping changes to the trucking industry, The Safer Highways and Increased Performance for Interstate Trucking (SHIP IT) Act. A bipartisan bill sponsored by Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.) and Jim Costa (D-CA), proponents hope it will help companies recruit and maintain more drivers and maintain the country’s vital supply chain. So, what is the SHIP IT Act, and how will it help owner-operators?
The SHIP IT Act includes several measures to help boost the number of drivers over the next few years. Key among these is,
“We need to recruit, train, and retain truck drivers to keep our supply chain moving while also updating best practices to improve trucking to fit our modern economy,” Costa said of the bill.
In addition to the above provisions that will help make it easier for drivers to enter and stay in business, the bill addresses other operational and safety factors that affect the industry. Some of these provisions include,
“The SHIP IT Act will bridge gaps, keep costs down for consumers, and make it easier for shippers to move products across the U.S.” Rep. Johnson said of the bill.
The SHIP IT Act is the spiritual and material successor of last year’s ocean reform bill that addressed overseas trade. SHIP IT focuses attention on domestic shipping, offering financial incentives to drivers and relief for fleets and companies who have found themselves pinched between dwindling drivers and cumbersome regulations. It also addresses safety concerns around the lack of overnight parking for long-haul truckers. Overall, the bill moves the industry in a positive direction, balancing the needs of drivers and businesses while helping the industry continue to modernize.
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