Johnson, Costa Lead Bill to Improve Supply Chain

March 2023

Washington, DC…  U.S. Representatives Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.) and Jim Costa (D-CA) introduced a sweeping overhaul of the interstate trucking supply chain system. The Safer Highways and Increased Performance for Interstate Trucking (SHIP IT) Act increases safety and shipping capacity for truckers; provides recruitment and retention incentives for drivers; and includes flexibility during times of emergencies or black swan events.

 “Americans experienced a slew of freight disruptions during and after the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Johnson. “Last year we addressed ocean shipping reform, and it’s clear that updates are needed for other parts of the supply chain. 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.”

 “Disruptions in our trucking supply chain continue to drive up costs and create uncertainty for American consumers and producers,” said Costa. “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. That is why we introduced this bipartisan legislation to strengthen the workforce and make it easier to move products across the country.”

 “The Shippers Coalition applauds the introduction of the Safer Highway and Increased Performance for Interstate Trucking “SHIP IT Act.” This bill is vital to strengthening our supply chain by increasing shipping capacity, lessening burdens on truck drivers, modernizing the CDL process, and allowing additional flexibilities during times of emergency. The 80+ members of the Shippers Coalition appreciate Congressman Johnson’s steadfast leadership on these issues and look forward to working with him to help this critical legislation become law,” said Sean Joyce, Executive Director, Shippers Coalition.

 “Hendrickson is a vital tier 1 supplier to the truck and trailer manufacturers worldwide, supplying suspensions systems, axles, brakes, springs, slider box systems, and bumpers. Hendrickson is proud to have one of its key manufacturing facilities located in the great state of South Dakota. The Mitchell, S.D. location, established in 1987, manufacturers trailer air ride componentry and other important suspension parts. Hendrickson wholly supports legislative efforts that aim to improve the trucking industry. A perfect example is the “SHIP IT Act,” sponsored by Congressman Johnson. Anytime we can make the recruitment of qualified truck drivers easier and with greater retention, that is a positive step for the supply chain. Additionally, addressing the efficiency of moving goods on our roadways aligns well with America’s need to become more environmentally conscience, while keeping safety at the forefront. We are grateful to have Congressmen, like Representative Johnson, lead these significant and important issues,” said Matt Joy, President & Chief Executive Officer, Hendrickson.

 “The SHIP IT Act is commonsense trucking reform legislation that will help dairy companies overcome many of the current supply chain challenges facing our industry. The legislation would bring the U.S. supply chain into the 21st century to meet the needs of shippers, reduce regulatory burdens that cost shippers millions of dollars a year, create good paying jobs, and support the ambitious sustainability goals of dairy businesses. IDFA is grateful to Reps. Dusty Johnson and Jim Costa for their leadership on this issue, and we urge swift passage of the SHIP IT Act in both chambers of Congress,” said Michael Dykes, D.V.M., President and CEO of the International Dairy Foods Association.

 “Milk is a perishable commodity that needs to move quickly along the supply chain from the farm to the consumer. The damages wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic and the supply chain snarls that followed have shown how important it is to find safe, efficient means of transporting goods across the country. We commend Representatives Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.) and Jim Costa (D-CA) for their bipartisan Safer Highways and Increased Performance for Interstate Trucking Act. This measure includes important provisions that will improve transportation efficiency and sustainability within the U.S. dairy industry,” said Jim Mulhern, National Milk Producers Federation President and CEO.



* America is experiencing an 80,000-truck driver shortage, which has a negative ripple effect for every part of the supply chain.

* The median age of the truck driver in the industry is between 51- and 52-years old.

* There is one parking space available for every 11 semitrucks on the road—yet there is a need for even more trucks to deliver freight.

 The Safer Highways and Increased Performance for Interstate Trucking (SHIP IT) Act:

* Modernizes the authority for certain vehicle waivers during emergencies, allowing waivers in response to disease and supply chain emergencies

* Allows truck drivers to apply for Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act grants

* Incentivizes new truck drivers to enter the workforce through targeted and temporary tax credits

* Streamlines the CDL process, making it easier for states and third parties to administer CDL tests

* Expands access to truck parking and rest facilities for commercial drivers