TIA Issues Update on “Essential” & “Life-Sustaining” Business Designations in Response to COVID-19

TIA has been working tirelessly over the last few days to review, analyze and disseminate the latest information and guidance in response to the rapidly evolving developments related to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) global pandemic.

We have been in constant contact with the White House, Congress, and federal and state agencies to ensure that as tighter restrictions are being promulgated, the 3PL industry members are considered “essential” businesses.

We continue to make the case that in order to keep the freight – including food, medical supplies, and other emergency products – needed to combat the outbreak, our members MUST be declared “essential” businesses.

To date, the Governors of California and Pennsylvania have declared a “shelter in place order” for businesses, which includes closing all businesses that are not deemed “essential” in California or “life-sustaining” in Pennsylvania.

On Wednesday, March 19, 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsome (D) announced a statewide “stay at home” order to prevent the further spread of COVID-19. California is exempting critical infrastructure workers from this order based on guidance released by the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). Specific to the transportation sector, CISA’s guidance includes the following two provisions that would include our member companies:

  • “Employees supporting or enabling road transportation, including dispatchers, maintenance and repair technicians, warehouse workers, truck stop and rest area workers, and workers that maintain and inspect infrastructure.”
  • “Employees of firms providing services that enable logistics operations, including cooling, storing, packaging and distributing products for wholesale or retail sale or use.”

On Thursday, March 20, 2020, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf (D) ordered all “non-life-sustaining” businesses in the state to close their physical locations as of 8:00 PM ET today to slow the spread of COVID-19. The order is silent on teleworking. The Pennsylvania life-sustaining businesses that are permitted to continue operations includes a section on Transportation & Warehousing including:

Support Activities for Transportation

  • Support Activities for Air, Rail, Water & Road Transportation
  • Freight Transportation Arrangement
  • Other Support Activities for Transportation

Obviously, the freight transportation arrangement provision would cover our member companies.

If you encounter any issues with your state, please contact us immediately at advocacy@tianet.org.

TIA has also created an interactive map tracking the latest COVID-19 related transportation developments as they become available.

TIA will continue to do whatever we can to ensure that members can continue to operate their businesses during this tumultuous time. TIA urges everyone to be safe, and if you need anything or have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact us at advocacy@tianet.org.


Let Your Members of Congress Know of the Important Role 3PLs Are Playing During the COVID-19 Pandemic

We Need Your Help.

As tighter restrictions are certainly on the horizon with the coronavirus disease (COVD-19) continuing to spread throughout the nation. TIA wants to ensure that our members and the 3PL industry continues to be considered “essential” and able to continue the facilitation of freight in interstate commerce.

We appreciate the hard work that all of you are doing, and we need to make sure that you are able to continue to facilitate the movement of food, medical supplies, and other emergency essential products needed to combat this pandemic and keep the economy and commerce from falling apart.

Please take a moment to let your Members of Congress know of the important role you are playing during this pandemic, by clicking here to Take Action now.

On the landing page, click the “Take Action” button and simply enter your information and your Members of Congress will automatically pre-populate. We have prepared a pre-loaded form letter, that you can edit as you see fit or send as is.

Thank you for your leadership during these difficult times. TIA will continue to do what we can to make sure your business is protected.

COVID-19 Update from TIA President & CEO

A couple of updates this afternoon…

First, the Mayor of Austin called late Friday afternoon to let me know that the TIA Capital Ideas Conference & Exhibition would not be allowed to be held April 1 -4. During this call, I thanked the Mayor for the best (worst) news I’d ever received.

The city’s order triggered the force majeure provisions in our contracts and insurance. TIA’s Meetings Department is currently working with our key exhibitors and the JW Marriott Austin to work through alternatives. We will let you know how we plan to proceed in my update tomorrow.

The second item is that TIA Staff will follow the federal government’s direction and allow liberal telework. All our direct phone numbers are forwarded to our cell phones, so we can be reached directly during normal business hours of 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM EST. All staff is also equipped with laptops or Surfaces, and TIA maintains a robust VPN, so maintaining connectivity will not be an issue. We will continue to serve you as you serve your customers.

Finally, to me, this is what it must have felt like in Brittan in September of 1939 knowing that they were going to war with Germany. And, since I am a 1940’s music junky, I’ll close these updates with a tune from that era.

TIA Issues COVID-19 Guidance for Shippers, Receivers & Truck Drivers

As you are aware, on March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) officially declared the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) a global pandemic. This is the first time the WHO has declared a viral disease a pandemic since the H1N1 “Swine Flu” in 2009.

The implications and ramifications to businesses throughout the United States as a result of COVID-19 have begun to take shape. In preparation for the coming months, TIA has created a reference guide for our members to share with their customers to limit and prevent the likelihood of being exposed to this virus.

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person, generally between individuals in close contact and proximity to each other (a radius of approximately six feet); it is also believed to spread through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

Shippers, receivers, and truck drivers that are in personal contact (as they facilitate the movement of freight) need to be aware of – and take – necessary steps in order to minimize and prevent the spread of COVID-19.

This includes, but is not limited to, avoiding personal contact to the extent possible, regularly washing hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds, and sanitizing your facility on a regular basis.

As an industry, we are in this together and, as such, we all need to look out for one another. If you are a shipper or receiver, consider providing truck drivers with a bottle of hand sanitizer or alcohol wipes to keep them healthy (and keep our nation’s freight moving).

The Centers for Disease & Prevention (CDC) also recommends the following steps be taken:

Clean Your Hands Often

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Avoid Close Contact

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
  • Stay Home if You’re Sick
  • Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care. Learn what to do if you are sick.

Cover Coughs & Sneezes

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
  • Throw used tissues in the trash.
  • Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Wear a Facemask if You’re Sick

  • If you are sick: You should wear a facemask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. If you are not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then you should do your best to cover your coughs and sneezes, and people who are caring for you should wear a facemask if they enter your room. Learn what to do if you are sick.
  • If you are NOT sick: You do not need to wear a facemask unless you are caring for someone who is sick (and they are not able to wear a facemask). Facemasks may be in short supply and they should be saved for caregivers.

Clean & Disinfect

  • Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
  • If surfaces are dirty, clean them: Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.

Off to the Races: Top 5 House Races

There are less than 240 days until the 2020 Presidential Election and while it is becoming clearer who the Democratic challenger to President Trump might be whether it be Senator Bernie Sanders or former Vice President Joe Biden, the battle for the House is heating up. In the next blog, we will examine the candidates view on transportation and infrastructure investment, but I leave you with this one tidbit for the Presidential race to keep a close eye on especially in those key swing states of Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio and North Carolina, look at the primary voting in terms of turnout, it matters!

On to the House, we are going to take a quick look at the Top 5 House races to watch in the 2020 election, which could possibly determine which party controls the House in 2021.

Oklahoma 5th District

This was truly one of the most surprising upsets in the 2018 election, where Congresswoman Kendra Horn (D-OK-5) defeated two-term incumbent Steve Russell (R-OK-5) by one percentage point. This truly stands out when you look at the fact that President Trump won the district by 31 points in 2016. Congresswoman Horn is the first Democrat to represent this district in over 40-years. The Republican Party is awaiting their primary to determine which candidate emerges as her opponent. The two front runners appear to be state Senator Stephanie Bice and businesswoman Terry Neese. A number of campaign and political experts mark this as a tossup race. My prediction is Republicans regain this seat because President Trump is on the ticket.

California 50th District

This is the seat previously held by Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-CA-50), who recently resigned for corruption and pleaded guilty for misusing campaign funds. California has a unique primary system, where the top two vote-getters are placed on the ballot in November. The primary was on March 3rd (Super Tuesday), and it appears that Ammar Campa-Najjar (D) and former Congressman Darrell Issa (R) who served in the House from a neighboring district beginning in 2001 until his recent retirement in 2019 will be on the ticket. Mr. Campa-Najjar (D) previously ran for this seat against Congressman Duncan Hunter in 2018 and lost by almost 9,000 votes. He was the first Latino-Arab American to run for Congress and is a former staffer for the Obama Administration. My prediction is Republicans narrowly win and retain the seat. It is a strong Republican district, but President Trump remains unpopular in California. How the cloud over Congressman Duncan Hunter pleading guilty to misusing campaign funds will play in the race remains to be seen.     

South Carolina 1st District

Congressman Joe Cunningham (D-SC-1)  narrowly won a longtime Republican seat in the Charleston area (one of my favorite places for sure), in part by running on a strong campaign message and pledge to oppose offshore drilling, which lead to his defeat of Katie Arrington (R-SC-1) by one percentage point in 2018. Ms. Arrington defeated the incumbent Congressman Mark Sanford (R-SC-1) and former Governor of South Carolina in the 2018 primary. President Trump won this district by 11 points in 2016 and he is likely to face businesswoman Nancy Mace (R) who was the first female to graduate from The Citadel in 1999. She has received financial support from the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) and is seen as a top-tier candidate. On the other hand, Vice President Biden did extremely well in South Carolina and the Democratic primary saw a high turnout rate, which certainly bodes well for Congressman Cunningham. My prediction is Republicans retake this seat with Nancy Mace (assuming she wins the primary on June 9th), narrowly defeating Rep. Cunningham thanks to President Trump being on the ticket.

New York 11th District

Congressman Max Rose (D-NY-11) defeated two-term incumbent Congressman Dan Donovan (R-NY-11) in 2018 by six percentage points. Congressman Rose served in the U.S. Army as a platoon leader in the War in Afghanistan, where he was wounded and received a Bronze Star and Purple Heart. President Trump won this district in 2016 by 10 points. Republicans seem to be rallying behind Nicole Malliotakis (R) who is a member of the New York State Assembly, where she has represented the 64th district for seven years. When Ms. Malliotakis ran mayor of New York City in 2017, she won the 11th district. Congressman Rose is considered a moderate member of the Democratic party and was one of the last House Members to support the impeachment inquiry into President Trump. It will remain interesting to see if that hurts him in November. My prediction is Democrats retain this seat with Congressman Rose narrowly defeating his Republican challenger.

Utah 4th District

Finally, Utah’s 4th Congressional district, where current Congressman Ben McAdams (D-UT-4) narrowly defeated two-term incumbent Congresswoman Mia Love (R-UT-4) by 0.3 points (or less than 700 votes)! President Trump won the State of Utah with 45.5 percent of the vote, which is a little misleading as Independent candidate Evan McMullin (and Utah native) receiving 21.5 percent of the vote and Hillary Clinton receiving 27.5 percent. There are several candidates running for the seat on the Republican side and we won’t know who the candidate is until June 30th. I think with the name recognition that Congressman McAdams has makes him a difficult challenger. My prediction is Democrats retain this seat, giving Democrats a win in the State of Utah on election night.

Overall, Republicans need 19 seats to regain control of the House – with that number really being closer to 21, as Republicans are set to lose two seats in North Carolina because of redistricting. My prediction for the whole House is that Republicans will certainly make it a race on election night but might come up just short of regaining control of the House. With that being said, I think President Trump gets reelected and could push them over the top. Grab the popcorn and wait and see…

COVID-19 Update from TIA President & CEO

Like you, we are all trying to figure out the COVID-19 situation on what seems to be an hour-by-hour basis. We also know you have concerns about the upcoming TIA Capital Ideas Conference & Exhibition. Our utmost concern is for the health and safety of our members and attendees.

We are working closely with the City of Austin, the Office of the Texas Governor, our insurance providers, and Marriott International. As such, we are looking at a number of options and will make a final determination on the afternoon of Monday, March 16. A formal announcement will then be made public on the morning of Tuesday, March 17.

We care about your health and safety. We care about your businesses. We know you care about the health of TIA. Together, we will get through this, and be stronger for it.

TIA is the premier organization for third-party logistics professionals in North America and abroad. Membership at TIA adds value to your business and provides resources for growth.
Learn More