Latest Industry News Briefs Courtesy of PMTA

July 2023

Volvo Autonomous Solutions Expands Its Footprint And Starts Operations In Texas

Volvo Autonomous Solutions (V.A.S.) expands its footprint in North America with the establishment of an office in Texas and starts manual operations in preparation for commercial autonomous hub-to-hub transport. 

V.A.S. has opened an office in Fort Worth, Texas dedicated to driving activities to set up its first autonomous freight corridors that will run from Dallas Forth Worth to El Paso and from Dallas to Houston. To prepare for commercial launch, V.A.S. has also started to haul loads with trucks using drivers for key customers like DHL and Uber Freight to test aspects of the transport solution and establish frameworks and procedures for safe and reliable operations. 

“At Volvo Autonomous Solutions we believe the path to autonomy at scale is through reducing the friction and complications around ownership and operations for customers. This is why we have taken the decision to be the single interface to our customers and take full ownership of the elements required for commercial autonomous transport. With the opening of our office in Texas and start of operational activities, we are building the foundations for a transport solution that will change the way we move goods on highways,” says Nils Jaeger, President of Volvo Autonomous Solutions. 

“Through our Autonomous Transport Solution, our ambition is to create a new source of industry capacity that will ease some of the burden of the increasing demand for freight while also enabling local drivers to shift into short-haul jobs that will keep them closer to home. This will unlock significant efficiencies in the entire supply chain and benefit everyone in the transportation industry,” says Sasko Cuklev, Head of On-Road Solutions. 

Partnerships to drive industry innovation

Volvo Autonomous Solutions is a part of the Volvo Group and tackling the transportation industry’s capacity constraints through safe, sustainable and efficient autonomous transport solutions. The Autonomous Transport Solutions (ATS) offered by V.A.S. includes hardware, software and services required to run autonomous transport operations. On highways, the solution is operated based on a hub-to-hub model where autonomous trucks take on the highway portion of the driving, operating all hours of the day and night between transfer hubs while human drivers complete local operations. 

To accelerate the development and adoption of autonomous transport solutions, V.A.S. is partnering with others in the industry including DHL and Uber Freight who are part of the V.A.S. key customer program. The program is aimed at shippers, carriers, logistics service providers and freight brokers whom V.A.S. will work with to pilot and commercialize autonomous transport solutions. 

V.A.S. has also formed a partnership with industry-pioneer Aurora. At the heart of the partnership is the integration of the Aurora Driver with Volvo’s on-highway truck offering. 

USDOT Announces Effort to Accelerate Surface Transportation Project Delivery under Inflation Reduction Act

WASHINGTON, DC…  As part of an ongoing effort to help deliver surface transportation projects faster, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) today announced a Request for Information (RFI) seeking public input on environmental review processes that can be improved under the Inflation Reduction Act.

 FHWA will consider ideas and recommendations from public and private stakeholders on how to reduce project delays through the development of more efficient and effective environmental reviews.

 “Under President Biden’s leadership, we now have historic funding to bring better roads, bridges, railways, highways and transit to the American people,” said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg. “To make the most of that funding, we are stepping up efforts to help communities deliver their transportation projects on time, on task, and on budget.”

 The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) provides guidance and resources to several Federal agencies to facilitate efficient and effective reviews under the National Environmental Policy Act and other Federal processes. This could include identifying new strategies that would mitigate environmental impacts and thereby reduce timeframes for environmental reviews.

 “The Inflation Reduction Act is providing the nation with historic investments and new opportunities to build an economy that works for working families,” said Federal Highway Administrator Shailen Bhatt. “Our goal with this request for information is to identify new strategies and evidence-based solutions that can both increase the efficiency of environmental reviews and reduce delays when it comes to delivering projects.”

 The IRA includes Environmental Review Implementation Program funds to be administered by FHWA to support environmental reviews of surface transportation projects, including intercity rail projects funded by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and public transportation projects funded by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). The funds may also be used by FHWA to develop guidance, technical assistance, templates, training, or other tools to facilitate an efficient and effective environmental review process for surface transportation projects. In order to use the Environmental Review Implementation Funds optimally, FHWA is seeking information through the RFI on what the agency should consider while implementing the funds.

“Like the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the IRA provides unprecedented investment opportunities for America’s transportation system,” said Federal Railroad Administrator Amit Bose. “Delivering great projects on time and budget requires careful planning and strong execution. Like the Capital Project Guidance FRA recently issued, this RFI will enhance project delivery across the board.”

“Building great projects quickly is important to realizing the promise of President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law,” said Federal Transit Administrator Nuria Fernandez. “Collecting feedback from transit project leaders will help us support the industry in advancing expeditious project delivery while aligning with our intent for an efficient environmental review process.”

 FHWA is also seeking information on:

* the types of assistance that would be most beneficial to recipients of direct funding and facilitate an efficient and effective environmental review process for surface transportation projects;

* what program areas would most benefit from new or continued research; and,

* ways in which FHWA can make resources available to the eligible entities while promoting equity and maximizing the opportunity to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the environmental review process. 

 FHWA also hopes to learn of additional opportunities to make improvements or accelerate the environmental review process for existing surface transportation programs, in addition to other State, local, and tribal programs.


The Environmental Review Implementation Program builds on FHWA’s ongoing efforts to implement efficiencies in project delivery and environmental review. These efforts include consulting with other federal agencies on program-level actions; considering benefits and impacts to the environment during the transportation planning process; providing transportation liaisons in resource and regulatory agencies, such as the US Fish and Wildlife Service and US Army Corps of Engineers; and integrating NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) and environmental permitting.

Comments in response to FHWA’s RFI, “Inflation Reduction Act, Request for Information,” can be submitted at The RFI is expected be published in the Federal Register on April 17, 2023. For more information on the IRA, please visit

Truckstop and Bloomberg Intelligence Survey Shows Spot Market Close to Turning a Corner

 BOISE, ID… Spot market conditions appear to be a near turning point as carrier pessimism about future demand and rates moderates, according to the latest Bloomberg | Truckstop survey, which polled owner-operators and small fleets.

“While we don't believe we're out of the woods yet, the shift in sentiment is encouraging,” said Lee Klaskow, senior freight transportation and logistics analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence. “Conditions should improve due to seasonal trends, coupled with higher-cost capacity being forced out of the market. Rates may get additional support as inventory levels return to more normal levels.”

The Bloomberg | Truckstop 1Q23 Truckload Survey shows: 

* Carriers sense better spot market conditions ahead: Demand expectations for the next three to six months have improved, though remain below historical 1Q averages. At the same time, the rate outlook is inching up, aided by seasonal trends and more capacity coming out of the spot market.

* Carriers see better short-term demand: While about 48% of respondents experienced weaker demand last quarter, 60% expect volumes to rise over the next 3-6 months -- about 20 percentage points higher than the 4Q22 survey. Still, improved sentiment isn't motivating carriers to buy additional or replacement tractors, with only 29% of respondents saying they might make a purchase over the next six months. Soft demand was cited by 42% as the main reason for not buying equipment, followed by higher costs (32%).

* Spot market volumes declined 9% on average in 1Q23: Demand remained soft for carriers in the spot market in 1Q, with 71% of respondents seeing a drop from 4Q and about 48% reporting lower volume growth from a year earlier. Dry-van carriers appear to be the hardest hit, with 85% noting demand was down compared to last year, while flatbed carriers were the most resilient with 42% seeing lower volumes. This backdrop will likely push higher-cost operators out of the market.

“We agree with the sentiment of those surveyed that spot market conditions are near a turning point,” said Kendra Tucker, chief executive officer, Truckstop. “Truckstop provides carriers with the technology and solutions they need to keep their business moving and their bottom line growing.” 

Trucking Applauds Lawsuit Abuse Reform in Montana

Washington, DC…  The trucking industry is applauding the enactment of lawsuit abuse reform legislation in Montana establishing consumer protections and disclosures in third-party litigation financing. The legislation, SB 269, requires lawsuit lenders to register in the state and makes judges, juries, and defendants aware when a third party is financing the litigation. Governor Greg Gianforte signed the bill into law last week.

“The civil justice system is not a stock market, but that is what it’s becoming with the rise of third-party litigation financing,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “This common-sense measure will bring lawsuit lenders out from the shadows and make the fact finders aware that a disinterested third party has a financial stake in any verdict. We expect other states will soon follow Montana’s lead in ensuring full transparency behind this perverse and shady practice.” 

Third-party litigation financing is an arrangement where a funder who is not a party to the lawsuit agrees to help fund it. Funders are typically private firms operating large investment portfolios who expect to get a payout if the suit is successful. The practice disincentivizes reasonable settlements and puts pressure on plaintiffs to seek outsized verdicts in order for lenders to receive a return on their investment. 

“When third-party financiers profit from the justice system, it drives up the cost of litigation for everyone and reduces the efficiency of the process. This law will help prevent predatory lawsuits that hinder our industry's ability to serve our state and economy safely and efficiently,” said Duane Williams, executive director of the Montana Trucking Association. “The Montana trucking industry would like to thank the Montana Chamber of Commerce, Senator Greg Hertz, and Governor Gianforte for their support in increasing transparency in civil litigation.”

Montana’s reforms follow other comprehensive lawsuit abuse reforms recently enacted in Florida and Iowa. 

Ranking Every State’s Roads And Bridges On Safety, Pavement Quality, And Cost-Effectiveness

Los Angeles, CA… The 27th Annual Highway Report finds Virginia’s highways and bridges rank first in overall performance and cost-effectiveness thanks to good rural pavement conditions, low fatality rates, a relatively small percentage of deficient bridges, and low highway costs. North Carolina’s solid pavement quality and low costs rank its state-controlled highway system second overall. Tennessee, Georgia, and Connecticut round out the top five in the Annual Highway Report’s performance and cost-effectiveness rankings.

 In contrast, the study shows that Alaska’s highways rank last in the nation due to high fatality rates and poor urban and rural pavement conditions. New York’s high spending didn’t fix its bad urban pavement conditions or percentage of structurally deficient bridges, resulting in the state ranking 49th in overall performance and cost-effectiveness. The other worst-ranked states—Hawaii (48th), California (47th), and Washington (46th) — also tend to have high costs that are not translating into good pavement quality or safe road and bridge conditions.

Reason Foundation’s 27th Annual Highway Report examines every state in 13 categories, including urban and rural pavement conditions, urban and rural highway fatality rates, traffic congestion, structurally deficient bridges, state highway spending on capital and maintenance projects, and more. You can click on any state name below for a detailed analysis of its highway system’s conditions and costs.

Nationally, the study finds that just 21 states improved the condition of their roads and bridges in 2020, the most recent year with complete data available. Highway spending was slightly lower in 2020 than in 2019 due to reduced expenditures in three categories — capital and bridge spending, highway maintenance, and administrative costs.  Unfortunately, national urban and rural fatality rates rose, and pavement conditions deteriorated on the country’s rural Interstate highways and urban arterial roads. America’s local roads are in especially bad shape, the report says.

 The good news is that overall urban Interstate pavement conditions improved, and a smaller percentage of the country’s bridges were graded as structurally deficient. Urban traffic congestion was also down in 2020, but significant reductions in travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic were responsible for that decrease.

 Reason Foundation’s 27th Annual Highway Report Rankings

Overall performance and cost-effectiveness rankings of state highway systems

 1. Virginia

2. North Carolina

3. Tennessee

4. Georgia

5. Connecticut

6. South Carolina

7. Kentucky

8. Florida

9. North Dakota

10. Utah

11. Missouri

12. Minnesota

13. Arkansas

14. New Hampshire

15. Alabama

16. Wyoming

17. Ohio

18. Mississippi

19. Texas

20. Massachusetts

21. Nevada

22. Kansas

23. Indiana

24. Maryland

25. Montana

26. Nebraska

27. Michigan

28. South Dakota

29. Illinois

30. Arizona

31. Iowa

32. Maine

33. Wisconsin

34. Idaho

35. Delaware

36. New Mexico

37. Oregon

38. Vermont

39. West Virginia

40. Louisiana

41. Pennsylvania

42. Rhode Island

43. Colorado

44. New Jersey

45. Oklahoma

46. Washington

47. California

48. Hawaii

49. New York

50. Alaska

The study finds that a group of particularly poor-performing states is having a hard time fixing critical problems. For example, just four states—California, New York, Louisiana, and Hawaii—are responsible for more than 25% of the nation’s total urban Interstate pavement in poor condition. Likewise, over a quarter of the country’s urban arterial pavement in poor condition can be found in five states: California, New York, Massachusetts, Nebraska, and Rhode Island. Three states— California, Colorado, and Alaska—have more than 25% of the nation’s rural Interstate pavement in poor condition. And nine states reported more than 10% of their bridges as structurally deficient: Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, and West Virginia.

The full 27th Annual Highway Report is available here:

Previous versions of the study are available at:

 Reason Foundation is a non-profit, libertarian think tank. Reason’s transportation experts have advised multiple presidential administrations, governors, and state transportation departments.

OOIDA Applauds Bipartisan Bill to Allow Truckers Access to Restroom Facilities

Washington, DC … The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA)  announced its strong support for bipartisan legislation introduced by U.S. Representatives Troy Nehls (R-TX) and Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA) to ensure that truckers have access to restroom facilities when they are picking up or delivering cargo.

“Over 70% of America’s freight is exclusively carried by trucks, yet every single day men and women truck drivers are forced to ‘hold it’ because they aren’t allowed access to the restroom when picking up or delivering freight,” said Todd Spencer, President and CEO of OOIDA. “OOIDA and our 150,000 members thank Representatives Nehls and Houlahan for showing tremendous leadership on this issue and we look forward to working with them and our coalition partners to get this commonsense, bipartisan legislation signed into law.”

“I am proud to reintroduce legislation that supports our nation’s truckers,” said Congressman Nehls. “Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, facilities across the country have shut down their bathrooms which have caused essential employees, like our truckers, not to have access to use the restroom at work. Truckers are this nation’s backbone, and we owe them for the tireless contributions they continue to make to keep our country moving. I am glad to once again partner with Congresswoman Houlahan on this commonsense legislation to allow our nation’s truckers access to bathrooms while they are transporting goods on the road.” 

“Our economy depends on truck drivers, but we face perpetual challenges with recruitment and retention. One unique and unnecessary challenge these drivers face is lack of restroom access at delivery points while on the road. This is especially difficult for female drivers, which are a growing demographic of truckers who helped power our economic recovery from the pandemic,” said Representative Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA). “I’m proud to reintroduce this bipartisan legislation to ensure every truck driver has the certainty that a restroom is accessible as they do their jobs. There’s no reason truckers shouldn’t have the same rights that other employees experience in their own workplaces.”

“As more women enter the trucking industry, the need for restroom access increases while access to facilities has decreased. We applaud Rep. Nehls’ support to require shippers and receivers to offer our drivers this very basic need,” said Ellen Voie, Founder of the Women In Trucking Association.  

The legislation would:

* Require retailers, warehouses, and other businesses to give truckers access to bathroom facilities when they are picking up cargo or making deliveries.

* Not require businesses to construct new restrooms. It only requires that if a business has a restroom available to their customers or employees, truckers should have the same access.

* Require the operators of ports and terminals to provide bathroom access to drayage drivers.

ATA’S Speed Limiter Stance – Is It Really About Safety?

By Mark Schremmer, Landline

(Reprinted with permission from Landline)

The American Trucking Associations wants to be depicted as an organization that is taking the safety high road when it comes to speed limiters.

But is ATA’s stance on speed limiters really about safety?

First, let’s back up a little. As you are probably aware, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is working on a rulemaking that would mandate speed limiters on most commercial motor vehicles. A proposed top speed hasn’t been announced, but safety groups want heavy-duty trucks to be incapable of going any faster than 60 mph.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association and thousands of truck drivers are opposed to a mandate, suggesting that the rule would create dangerous speed differentials and actually lead to negative safety results. With some states having speed limits as high as 85 mph and the flow of traffic often being 5 mph faster, a speed limiter mandate set at 60 mph means that trucks would be forced to travel 30 mph slower than cars on the same road.

OOIDA and many truckers have told FMCSA that they believe such a mandate would be dangerous as it would lead to unsafe behavior from impatient car drivers stuck behind slow-moving trucks, road rage and an increase in rear-end collisions.

But according to a recent report, ATA President Chris Spear called OOIDA “anti-safety” for having this viewpoint.

According to a recent article published by The Trucker, Spear said he’s “not beating up on owner-operators, but I think some of their representation in OOIDA is very anti-safety. I’m just going to simply call it like it is. You cannot be allowed to drive as long as you want as fast as you can. That’s not safety.”

It’s an interesting take when you consider that Spear had the opposite viewpoint in 2016, calling the Obama administration’s attempt to mandate speed limiters “dangerous.”

“The various differentials in speed from what this rule proposes and what state speed limits are is dangerous,” Spear was quoted as saying in 2016.

Responding to ATA’s criticism, OOIDA made sure to note Spear’s reversal.

“In 2016, Chris Spear called FMCSA’s speed limiter rulemaking ‘dangerous.’ Now he claims those opposing it are anti-safety,” OOIDA President Todd Spencer said in a statement. “And he seems to have forgotten entirely that his organization petitioned the agency to launch this rulemaking in the first place. If the mandate is defeated, he’ll probably take credit for stopping it. There’s no telling what ATA’s position is on a given day, but you can almost always count on them not supporting professional drivers and their needs. That’s the difference between OOIDA and ATA. We trust the men and women who make their living behind the wheel to know what will improve safety on our highways.”

ATA’s accusations of anti-safety are laughable when you consider that it has opposed a minimum number of behind-the-wheel hours being included in an entry-level driver training rule and that one of its biggest crusades is to lower the interstate driving age from 21 to 18.

Anyways, let’s put all of that to the side right now and examine ATA’s current stance on speed limiters.

“Official ATA policy supports a maximum set speed of 70 mph in trucks equipped with automatic emergency braking and adaptive cruise control,” the organization wrote on its website. In trucks without those safety features, our policy supports a maximum set speed of 65 mph.”

It doesn’t take long to theorize an ulterior motive here.

ATA represents large fleets – many of which already have installed speed limiters for fuel efficiency and liability reasons. Large fleets also are much more likely to have that technology on their trucks. According to a 2022 survey from the OOIDA Foundation, only 10% of owner-operators had their trucks equipped with automatic emergency braking and only 20% had adaptive cruise control.

So what really is ATA’s stance on speed limiters? It wants trucks with automatic emergency braking and adaptive cruise control (their trucks) to be able to go as fast as 70 mph (their likely current top speed) while limiting trucks without the tech (owner-operators) to 65 mph.

Sounds like a heck of a deal for those mega carriers – a mandate that doesn’t affect my business but gives me a 5 mph advantage over my competitor. Who wouldn’t want to sign up for that?

But don’t let them pretend their stance is about safety, or that OOIDA and truck drivers should be villainized for thinking that a uniform speed limit is safest. LL


HOW TO Define FMCSA Operating Authority Types for Motor Carriers

The FMCSA Registration Office is pleased to share its latest video on the "HOW TO series": "HOW TO Define FMCSA Operating Authority Types for Motor Carriers". If a customer is registering with FMCSA for the first time, or if they are expanding their operations to offer additional services, they need to understand the requirements for Operating Authority (OA). 

In this video, we cover three types of Operating Authority (OA) for motor carriers domiciled in the U.S. (Motor Carrier of Property, Motor Carrier of Household Goods, and Motor Carrier of Passengers).  The video also explains the minimum levels of financial responsibility (or insurance) each type is required to maintain, as well as how to designate a Process Agent in each State they operate. 

The FMCSA Office of Registration is developing a future video which describes operating authority for brokers and freight forwarders.

Through this video and future resources, we aim to simplify the process for applicants and prepare them to operate safely. You can also watch this latest video on YouTube.

Stay tuned for more "HOW TO series" videos!

FHWA Details Latest Safety Efforts in Support of USDOT National Roadway Safety Strategy

 WASHINGTON … The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) reaffirmed its commitment today to making travel safer for those in vehicles and outside of them as part of the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) work to make roads safer through the National Roadway Safety Strategy (NRSS). FHWA’s efforts are focused on safer roads and road users, safer speeds, and post-crash care and include exploring new approaches and investing the significant resources provided by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to improve safety for those both inside and outside a vehicle.

In the past six months alone, FHWA has taken numerous steps as part of its all-in, coordinated approach designed to address the national roadway fatality crisis.

 * In October, FHWA announced new guidance to provide additional clarity for states as they develop their Vulnerable Road User Safety Assessment. That assessment, a new safety approach established under President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, is used to gauge the safety performance of individual states, identify areas of high risk to vulnerable road users, and then utilize that assessment to drive strategy and investment decisions around further safety improvements to mitigate identified safety risks.

 * In November, during Crash Responder Safety Week, FHWA emphasized the importance of post-crash care –  one of five key tactics in the Safe System Approach supported by the Department. Since 2012, FHWA has provided free Traffic Incident Management training to more than 619,000 responders. 

 * In December, FHWA announced more transportation innovations through the Every Day Counts program, including two chosen specifically to improve safety: Nighttime Visibility for Safety and Next-Generation Traffic Incident Management.

* In January, the agency unveiled two new efforts to improve road safety and advance Complete Streets that serve all road users. First, a Request for Information (RFI) was issued seeking input on ways to improve safety and design standards for roads to facilitate the development of Complete Streets that serve all road users.  Second, FHWA made a new waiver available that will remove financial barriers for States and Metropolitan Planning Organizations interested in pursuing certain Complete Streets activities.

* In February, FHWA began working with the 510 Safe Streets and Roads for All Grant recipients to assist them with getting their safety projects implemented.

 * Data shows that traffic crashes occur more frequently in Tribal and rural communities, and addressing this is one of the safety goals laid out in the NRSS.  In February, as part of the Department’s commitment to reducing roadway fatalities, FHWA provided $21 million in Tribal Transportation Program Safety Fund grants for 93 projects to improve road safety on Tribal lands.

 * In March,  FHWA provided updated guidance to FHWA Division Offices to support States interested in bringing their procedures and criteria for resurfacing, restoration and rehabilitation work on roads as well as freeways and other highways into alignment with current practices, particularly those that improve roadway safety.

 * Also in March, USDOT Deputy Secretary Polly Trottenberg joined Federal Highway Administrator Shailen Bhatt and FHWA Executive Director Gloria Shepherd at the Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center to get a closer look at smart intersections and other technological advances that can help the nation reach the goal of zero deaths on U.S. roadways someday.

 * Earlier this month FHWA implemented the first-of-its-kind Wildlife Crossings Pilot Program. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law program will help states and communities construct wildlife crossings over or below busy roads, add warning signs for drivers, acquire mapping and tracking tools.

FHWA underscored its commitment to improving safety for highway workers who are outside of a vehicle and therefore considered vulnerable road users during  

National Work Zone Awareness Week (April 17-21). Resources provided under Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, including the new Safe Streets and Roads for All discretionary grant program and FHWA’s existing Highway Safety Improvement Program, can be used to improve the safety of roads and those using or working on them. FHWA’s Work Zone Safety Grant Program also continues under theBipartisan Infrastructure Law, with $12 million provided for grants to non-profit organizations over five years and funding for the National Work Zone Safety Information Clearinghouse.

ATA Truck Tonnage Index Decreased 1.7% in April

Washington, DC… American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index fell 1.7% in April after decreasing 2.8% in March. In April, the index equaled 112.7 (2015=100) compared with 114.7 in March.

 “While the broader economy continues to surprise and thus far stave off an expected recession, the freight economy is starkly different,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “The goods-portion of the economy is soft and as a result, even contract truck freight is now falling, albeit not nearly as much as the spot market. The tonnage index hit the lowest level since September 2021 in April and has now fallen on a year-over-year basis for two straight months.”

March’s decline was revised up from our April 18 press release.

Compared with April 2022, the SA index decreased 3.4%, which was the largest year-over-year decrease since February 2021. In March, the index was down 2.4% from a year earlier.

The not seasonally adjusted index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by the fleets before any seasonal adjustment, equaled 109 in April, 9.5% below the March level (120.4). In calculating the index, 100 represents 2015. ATA’s For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index is dominated by contract freight as opposed to spot market freight.

Trucking serves as a barometer of the U.S. economy, representing 72.2% of tonnage carried by all modes of domestic freight transportation, including manufactured and retail goods. Trucks hauled 10.93 billion tons of freight in 2021. Motor carriers collected $875.5 billion, or 80.8% of total revenue earned by all transport modes.

ATA calculates the tonnage index based on surveys from its membership and has been doing so since the 1970s. This is a preliminary figure and subject to change in the final report issued around the 5th day of each month. The report includes month-to-month and year-over-year results, relevant economic comparisons, and key financial indicators.

ATA Statement on California’s Electric-Truck Fleet Mandate

Washington, DC…  The American Trucking Associations President and CEO Chris Spear issued the following statement on the California Air Resources Board’s adoption of its “Advanced Clean Fleets” regulation, saying the decision to force motor carriers to purchase zero-emission vehicles ignores the fact that these trucks are early-stage technologies and the infrastructure to support them does not exist:

“Today, an unelected Board in California voted to force trucking companies to buy zero-emission trucks. Fleets are just beginning to understand what it takes to successfully operate these trucks, but what they have learned so far is they are significantly more expensive, charging and refueling infrastructure is nonexistent, and ZEVs are not necessarily a one-for-one replacement—meaning more trucks will be needed on California roads to move the same amount of freight.

“California is setting unrealistic targets and unachievable timelines that will undoubtedly lead to higher prices for the goods and services delivered to the state and fewer options for consumers. As it becomes clear that California’s rhetoric is not being matched by technology, we hope the Board will reverse course and allow trucking companies the freedom to choose the clean technologies that work best for their operations.

“ATA-member companies work tirelessly to deliver the nation’s freight while deploying the cleanest technologies available. Over the past 35 years, those efforts have produced a 98% reduction in truck emissions. We continue to say, ‘Yes’ to advancing cleaner technologies, but achievable targets and realistic timelines matter.”

ATA Seeks Nominations for Next America’s Road Team

Washington… The American Trucking Associations announced it is seeking nominations for professional drivers to serve on the 2024-2025 America’s Road Team.

“Since the first America’s Road Team was named in 1986, these men and women have exemplified the very best our industry has to offer,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “These proud and patriotic Americans embody what makes our industry the greatest in the country: commitment to service, safety and professionalism. They are the best spokespeople trucking has and we eagerly await welcoming the next group of drivers into this elite fraternity.”

Founded in 1986, America's Road Team is a group of highly skilled professional truck drivers with exemplary safety records. Sponsored exclusively by Volvo Trucks North America for over 20 years, the Captains promote the trucking industry by engaging with the public, media and elected officials, highlighting the industry's safety record and career opportunities.

Every two years, ATA searches for professional drivers with superior skills and sterling safety records who are willing to take time away from the cab to demonstrate the trucking industry’s commitment to safety.

“Volvo Trucks North America has been the exclusive sponsor of America’s Road Team for over 20 years,” said Magnus Koeck, vice president of strategy, marketing, and brand management for Volvo Trucks North America. “At the core of everything we do at Volvo Trucks is safety. The men and women who are the Captains of America’s Road Team share that core belief with us as demonstrated by millions of safe mile accomplishments, superior driving skills, and dedication to making the trucking industry better every day. We are proud to align with them and continue demonstrating the value of safety that we at Volvo Trucks believe in.”

ATA members are encouraged to nominate professional truck drivers who exhibit strong interpersonal skills, have impressive safety records, and demonstrate a positive attitude toward the industry and their careers. Nominations for the 2024-2025 class of America's Road Team are due September 5.

To nominate a professional truck driver for America's Road Team, visit the official page for America’s Road team. Finalists will be announced October 27, with the final selection taking place in January 2024 in Washington.

48 Deserving Students with Truckload Industry Ties Awarded over $141,000 in TCA Scholarships


The Truckload Carriers Association (TCA), the only trade association whose sole focus is the truckload segment of the motor carrier industry, recently named its 2023-24 TCA Scholarship Fund recipients.

TCA Scholarship Fund Chairman, American Central Transport senior vice president, Bob Kretsinger, said "The TCA Scholarship Fund is thrilled to recognize the hard work and drive of the 2023-24 class of recipients. I am so grateful for the generous support and outreach of the TCA community who make this amazing TCA member benefit possible. We congratulate each of our 48 recipients and look forward to witnessing their future accomplishments!"

Since 1973, the Fund has been providing scholarships to students associated with the trucking industry. Each scholarship recipient must be a student in good standing attending a four-year college or university and must be associated with a TCA member company as an employee, independent contractor, or the child, grandchild, or spouse of an employee or independent contractor of a TCA member company.

  "2023 marks the 50th anniversary of the Scholarship Fund’s creation; the longevity of the program is truly a testament to how strong our truckload community is and the great things we can accomplish when we work together. We are proud to continue to support these students as they fulfil their potential and become the next generation of leaders in the industry. Congratulations to the 2023-24 recipients! " said TCA President, Jim Ward.

The application process was managed by the Ohio Foundation of Independent Colleges (OFIC). A selection committee, established by OFIC, scored the applicants, taking into consideration the applicant’s GPA, major, extracurricular activities, hours worked, and more.

This school year, 10 high school seniors, 7 college freshmen, 17 college sophomores, and 14 college juniors were awarded scholarships totaling more than $140,000. Recipients span across the United States and Canada.

Congratulations to this year’s scholarship recipients:

  Connor Gates, Prime, Inc.. NAIT Scholarship – $6,250

  Martina Tolhurst, Bison Transport, John Kaburick Scholarship – $4,500

  Mallory Beamer, Dutch Maid Logistics, Kai Norris Scholarship – $3,250

  Rajpreet Gill, Bison Transport, Darrel Clark Wilson III Scholarship – $3,250

  Parker Litterick, Warren Transport, Inc., Thomas Welby Scholarship – $3,250

  Tristan Schelvan, Bison USA Transport, Stoney Reese Stubbs Scholarship – $3,250

  Kelsey Fullenkamp, Whiteline Express, Robert Low Scholarship – $3,250

  Gurjaan Rai, Bison Transport, Robert D. Penner Scholarship – $3,250

   Jocelyn Calderon, Whiteline Express, Thomas R. Schilli Scholarship – $3,250 

  Nathan Gariepy, Load One, Thomas R. Schilli Scholarship – $3,250 

  Maxwell Marten, Marten Transport, Keith Tuttle Scholarship – $3,250 

  Carter Petit, Halvor Lines, Tom Kretsinger, Jr. Scholarship – $3,250 

  The following have been awarded $2,725 for the 2023-24 school year:

  Toby Plattner - Nussbaum Transportation; Alexandra Wayne - Brown Trucking; Isabella Yust - Contract Freighters, Inc (CFI); Emily Dudaitis - E&V Services, Inc.; Joshua Short - Cargo Transporters, Inc.; Speranza Albensi - Bison Transport; Kelsey McGaughey - PGT Trucking; Benjamin Niznik - Speedway / 7-Eleven; Courtney Street - Wilson Logistics; Katherine Adkins - Mast Trucking Inc.; Jay Freeman – Werner; nAmy Pitzel - Bison Transport; Jonathan Ritenour - Werner Enterprises; Kaden Buatte - Prime, Inc.; Robert Callahan - NFI Industries; Isabella McDaniel - Buchanan Hauling and Rigging; Chloe Smith - Barber Trucking Inc.; Vicktoria Adams - Prime Inc.; Sophia Boelter - Don Hummer Trucking; Catherine Cooper - Boyd Bros. Transportation; Madeline Falknor - Fremont Contract Carriers Inc.; Karson Macke - Baylor Trucking; Brianna Pointer - Prime Inc.; Theresa Stephens - Mcleod Software Co.; Jack Rogers - Don Hummer Trucking; Carson Snow - Crete Carrier; Benay Taylor - Prime Inc.; Gianna Terrarosa - Global Experience Specialists (GES); Dylan Duffy - Transpro Freight Systems; Logan Gardner - Werner Enterprises; Haley Price - Fortune Transportation; Grace Rittenour - Thomas E. Keller Trucking; Samuel Amanual - Kriska Holdings; Kelsey DeMillo - Leonard's Express; Annika Waltenberg - Ho Wolding; Shaylyn Young - Arlo G. Lott Trucking, Inc.

  TCA congratulates this year’s recipients. 

 Applications for scholarships for the 2024-25 school year will open in March 2024. 

 To learn more about the TCA Scholarship Fund, or for information on how you can donate to the Past Chairmen's Fund, visit