International Logistics Conference: A Path Forward

Scott Marks | Government Affairs Manager | TIA

At Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA), we are governed by a board of directors and guided by a number of educational Conferences and Committees which help us to develop best-in-class internal procedures and external positions. These Conferences guide our legislative efforts and priorities by developing the policy positions of the TIA.

One of my top focuses at TIA is coordinating and developing the Airfreight and International Conferences. As one can imagine, there are a number of Conferences in the space but the one I am enthusiastic to grow is the International Logistics Conference. Given TIA is the U.S. representative to the International Federation of Forwarders Associations (FIATA), this Conference has a huge potential for growth, and I am focused on expanding this Conference on two fronts: quantitatively and qualitatively.

I am constantly focused on encouraging TIA Members to be a part of the International Logistics Conference by connecting with them directly, through surveys and day-to-day activities. The Government Affairs team consistently works with TIA Members to discuss legislative issues and during these conversations, we encourage members to serve on the Conference or Committee of their choosing.

As we continue to strive to provide value to the TIA Members who serve on our Conferences and Committees and build the International Logistics Conference qualitatively, we are working to increase involvement from guest speakers and from the federal agencies that oversee the Conferences and Committees areas of focus. We are in the process of solidifying a guest speaker who is a lawyer focusing on United States Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA) implementation, in addition to members of the Asociación de Operadores Logísticos de México (ALOM), which is Mexico’s version of TIA.

We are confident that an expert on USMCA implementation will be a great resource to the members of the International Conference. I envision a brief presentation by the subject matter expert followed by an open-ended question and answer session. I urge members to engage our guest speaker and bring thoughtful questions and comments. An expert like this can help bring more resources to our members’ international logistics team as our country begins to transition out of the North American Free Trade Agreement and into the USMCA—the recent trade deal negotiated by President Trump.

As for AOLM, the Mexican freight brokers association, we plan on engaging this organization and building a relationship for the future. I participated on a call TIA had with the organization’s leadership in May. These introductions have a way of building on themselves and becoming an invaluable connection when the proper occasion arises. We envision great synergies between TIA and AOLM down the road, as both organizations continue to build and grow their relationship.

The future is bright for TIA’s International Logistics Conference. It currently consists of more than 20 members and only continues to grow. I expect this will be a leading Conference within TIA, will be a beacon for policies and resources within the third-party logistics (3PL) industry, and a resource for the Congressional committees on Commerce, Transportation, Foreign Affairs and others. I look forward to bringing international issues to the forefront at TIA through growing our membership, hosting informative guest speakers and panel discussions, and utilizingTIA Members’ expertise on the issues facing the industry.

TIA continues to be the voice of the 3PL industry, representing over 1,800 member companies across North America. We are committed to expanding TIA’s network in the transportation industry and understand that requires focusing on freight that crosses borders. Our International Logistics Conference plays a key role in our expansion and will help us continue to learn, grow, and adapt to a new 21st century economy and supply chain.

New Restrictions on Government Freight Forthcoming

In order to combat the national security and intellectual property threats that face the United States, Section 889(a)(1)(a) of the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2019, prohibits the Federal Government from procuring or obtaining or extending or renewing a contract to procure or obtain, “any equipment system, or service that uses covered telecommunications equipment or serves as a substantial or essential component of any system, or as critical technology as part of any system.”  This will include 3PLs, who have contracts with the Federal Government and the motor carriers they utilize to haul the Government’s freight. This rule goes into effect on August 13, 2020.  

Section 889 is divided into two parts, while section A is important it is not germane to our members.

  • Section A: prohibits the direct sale or acquisition of product or service to the federal government that contains a covered technology.

Section B: prohibits any company or individual who enters into a contract or uses a sub-contract to provide a service or product to the Federal government, from using covered technology.

The term covered technology in this context refers to malicious, state-owned tech companies, the following companies are banned:

Covered entities mean any of the following:

(A) Telecommunications equipment produced by Huawei Technologies Company or ZTE Corporation (or any subsidiary or affiliate of such entities).

(B) For the purpose of public safety, security of government facilities, physical security surveillance of critical infrastructure, and other national security purposes, video surveillance and telecommunications equipment produced by Hytera Communications Corporation, Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Company, or Dahua Technology Company (or any subsidiary or affiliate of such entities).

(C) Telecommunications or video surveillance equipment or services produced or provided by an entity that the Secretary of Defense, in consultation with the Director of the National Intelligence or the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, reasonably believes to be an entity owned or controlled by, or otherwise connected to, the government of a covered foreign country.

if you do contract work for the government, including hiring subcontract motor carriers, you must stay in compliance with section 889 (b). You must ensure your company and the motor carriers that you subcontract with do not utilize any the above covered technology companies. The date this goes into effect is August 13, 2020.

TIA will remain on top of this issue and the impacts to the 3PL industry. TIA awaits language from the General Services Administration (GSA) Transportation Freight Management as they plan to release similar language that centers around the tender system that brokers and motor carriers utilize.

If you have any questions, please contact TIA Advocacy (advocacy@tianet.org).

H.R. 2, the “Moving America Forward” Legislative Briefing Paper

Last week, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee held a marathon markup on the “Investing in a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation (INVEST) in America Act,” this 16 hour markup ended in a mostly partisan bill which will likely be changed further when its brought to the full House for a vote and even further if the Senate takes up the legislation.

This legislation becomes a section into a larger package called the “Moving America Forward Act,” this package is a $1.5 trillion infrastructure package.

  • The INVEST in America Act, a nearly $500 billion investment to rebuild and reimagine the nation’s transportation infrastructure by fixing our crumbling roads and bridges, improving safety, reducing gridlock, and putting the U.S. on a path toward zero emissions from the transportation sector by cutting carbon pollution, investing in public transit and the national rail network, building out fueling infrastructure for low- and zero-emission vehicles, and deploying technology and innovative materials. The INVEST in America Act is fueled by American workers and ingenuity thanks to strong Buy America provisions and labor protections.
  • Invests in schools with the “Reopen and Rebuild America’s Schools Act”, which funds $130 billion in school infrastructure targeted at high-poverty schools with facilities that endanger the health and safety of students and educators. This investment will help students get back to school and create more than 2 million jobs to help workers get back to work.
  • Addresses structural challenges and upgrades childcare facilities by leveraging a 5-year, $10 billion federal investment to generate additional state and private investments in making sure that childcare settings are safe, appropriate, and able to comply with current and future public health directives.
  • Invests over $100 billion into our nation’s affordable housing infrastructure to create or preserve 1.8 million affordable homes. These investments will help reduce housing inequality, create jobs and stimulate the broader economy, increase community and household resiliency in the face of natural disasters, improve hazardous living conditions, and increase the environmental sustainability of our housing stock.
  • Protects access to safe drinking water by investing over $25 billion in the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund and other programs to ensure all communities have clean drinking water and to help remove dangerous contaminants like PFAS from local water systems.
  • Modernizes our energy infrastructure for a clean energy future by investing more than $70 billion to transform our electric grid to accommodate more renewable energy, expand renewable energy, strengthen existing infrastructure, help develop an electric vehicle charging network, and support energy efficiency, weatherization, and Smart Communities infrastructure.
  • Delivers affordable high-speed broadband Internet access to all parts of the country by investing $100 billion to promote competition for broadband internet infrastructure in unserved and underserved communities, prioritizing those with persistent poverty. Gets children connected to remote learning, closes broadband adoption and digital skills gaps and enhances payment support for low-income households and the recently unemployed.
  • Modernizes the nation’s health care infrastructure by investing $30 billion to upgrade hospitals to increase capacity and strengthen care, help community health centers respond to COVID-19 and future public health emergencies, improve clinical laboratory infrastructure, support the Indian Health Service‘s infrastructure, and increase capacity for community-based care.
  • Modernizes and strengthens the United States Postal Service by investing $25 billion to modernize postal infrastructure and operations, including a zero emissions postal vehicle fleet, processing equipment and other goods.
  • Promotes new renewable energy infrastructure by incentivizing the development of wind and solar on public lands and building a workforce for offshore wind.
  • Promotes investments in our communities by spurring private investment through the tax code, through a revitalized Build America Bonds program, expansions of Private Activity Bonds, and significant enhancements to the New Markets Tax Credit and the Rehabilitation Tax Credit.

 

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has made it clear that she plans to bring this package to the House floor for consideration before the fourth of July holiday.

TIA Government will continue to monitor the full package and keep all appropriate conferences abreast of any updates while keeping in mind a $1.5 trillion package is unlikely to pass the Senate.


Support Documents

Moving Forward Framework outlines the transportation aspect of the larger package.

You can view Chairman Neil’s press release on the issue: Here.

You can view a fact sheet on the full package: Here.

You can view the section-by-section of the full package: Here.

You can view the full package text: Here.

50 Meetings in 10 Days.

TIA Government Affairs Works with Members of Congress to Discuss Biggest Issues Facing Our Members

Scott Marks | Government Affairs Manager | TIA

In March 2020, the supply-chain world as we knew it was flipped on its head. America’s 22 trillion-dollar economy came to an abrupt halt and we stopped shipping freight. This impacted everyone in the trucking industry—shippers, third-party logistics companies, and carriers—however, some narratives and headlines have suggested TIA Members have been taking massive margins off-the-top of the cost to move goods. This could not be further from the truth. The transportation industry – like many industries in the American economy – is hurting right now as a result of the impact of COVID-19. We are not immune from the recession; our members are living and working through this national nightmare.

Last month, protests on the National Mall and in front of the White House caught the attention of lawmakers and the President of the United States. Claims made by protesters have dominated the news cycle and we found it of the utmost importance that we set the record straight. Third-party logistics companies are data people and everything they do is steeped in data. So, we stick to the facts because the facts speak for itself.

One of the asks raised by carriers is for policymakers to enact sweeping change of industry standards to stop the practice of entering into contracts on disclosure agreements regarding transaction information when under contract from our member’s customers, the shippers.

Every day, shippers across the country enter into binding contracts with brokers to move freight while asking to keep communications and information proprietary – including company information, freight lanes, and margin information. It’s these contracts and non-disclosure agreements that our TIA Members must respect and honor by not releasing information to any other parties, including carriers.

Here’s an example to put things in perspective. Nike would ask a TIA Member, “Company A,” to keep their supply-chain transaction private due to the highly competitive sporting goods market they participate in. Nike does everything in their power to keep competitors like Adidas at a distance, and not revealing supply-chain information is part of that competitive advantage. Therefore, it is extremely important that “Company A” keeps the transaction confidential—the success of Nike’s business is dependent upon it.

Another ask is to release all margins, on every load.

How would government-mandated price transparency exist in a free, open and competitive market? Think about walking into your local superstore to buy a t-shirt and on every tag, there are two prices. One price is the amount you pay to purchase the shirt. The second price listed on the shirt states the actual cost of making the shirt.

The substantial changes protesters are calling for would be industry-wide and sweeping and would have real long-term consequences for TIA Members and small trucking companies nationwide. TIA Members not only work with ocean barge, aircraft and rail but also with an expansive network of thousands of trucking companies. TIA Members act as a sales force, directing business to thousands of trucking companies every day.

Our TIA Government Affairs team has had several successful meetings with Members of Congress, including Representative Peter DeFazio (D-OR-04), Chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. Congressional Members and their staff were attentive, they asked questions and understood the issues. Ultimately, in my opinion, they seemed to agree with TIA’s position — that re-regulating an already transparent market during a down economy will do more harm than good, it is a solution in search of a problem.

TIA continues to monitor issues of all sizes and scope that go to the heart of our members. We are committed to educating policymakers on why protecting our members’ proprietary information is critical and we look forward to working with Members of Congress to develop policy solutions that protect all stakeholders in the transportation industry.

TIA Daily COVID-19 Update: June 12th

As TIA continues to monitor the situation surrounding COVID-19 and it’s impact on the 3PL and transportation industries, here is your Daily Update for June 12. As a reminder, you can find all the latest information, resources, guidance, and news from TIA’s .
TIA UPDATE:

In the midst of , we would like to thank you all for your support throughout these tough times. Going forward, we will no longer be sending routine COVID-19 updates. We will still be sure to update you with any pertinent information regarding TIA and the 3PL industry as it becomes available to us.

TIA Daily COVID-19 Update: June 10th

As TIA continues to monitor the situation surrounding COVID-19 and it’s impact on the 3PL and transportation industries, here is your Daily Update for June 10. As a reminder, you can find all the latest information, resources, guidance, and news from TIA’s .
FEDERAL UPDATE:

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced their decision to extend the emergency declaration that relaxes the hours-of-service (HOS) regulations until July 14th with some modifications. The modification scales back some of the trucking operations that were covered under the earlier exemption. The modified emergency declaration allows regulatory relief for drivers providing direct assistance in support of emergency efforts related to the virus and is limited to transportation of:

 

  • Livestock and livestock feed.
  • Medical supplies and equipment related to the testing, diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19.
  • Supplies and equipment necessary for community safety, sanitation and prevention of community transmission of COVID-19 such as masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, soap and disinfectants.

The previous versions allowed for a wider variety of goods to be included under the emergency declaration including fuel, raw materials, paper products and groceries.

 

NOËL PERRY UPDATE:

Tuesday was a particularly good day for cases. The improvement came from the new-case states whose numbers exceeded the old Hot Spot states. With the approach of those states to very low numbers, the daily reductions that have dominated U.S. stats will soon disappear. So, for the U.S. to achieve overall reductions, the reductions must come from the new states. We see that today in Arizona, a recent expander.

Note that one or two good days will put Mexico and Brazil in the Inflection phase, something we have been hoping for. They are where the U.S. was a month ago.

We’ll be back on Friday afternoon with additional COVID-19 updates and information.

Here are the Mills Brothers with “.”

TIA Daily COVID-19 Update: June 5th

As TIA continues to monitor the situation surrounding COVID-19 and it’s impact on the 3PL and transportation industries, here is your Daily Update for June 5. As a reminder, you can find all the latest information, resources, guidance, and news from TIA’s .
FEDERAL UPDATE:

On June 3, 2020, the Senate approved H.R. 7010, the “Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020” by a voice vote. This follows the House of Representatives who approved the measure on May 28, 2020 on a roll call vote of 417-1. The bill has been sent to President Trump’s desk for his signature to make it law and was signed into law today.

Leaders from both parties in the Senate rushed to pass this legislation on Wednesday as the clock on the initial eight-week window expired for the first round of PPP loans.

TIA Government Affairs prepared a white paper on the changes, which can be found .

TIA UPDATE:

Thank you for joining us for all of our COVID-19 updates. These will begin to be distributed only on Mondays, Wendesndays, & Fridays, but we will be sure to inform you of any pertinent updates as soon as possible.

NOËL PERRY UPDATE:

The U.S. was back on a downhill track with respect to deaths Wednesday with reductions in most states. It was a neutral day for cases, with significant week-over-week increases in CA, FL, NC, AZ, all good retirement states.

In Europe, Sweden reported a major increase in cases, without an accompanying rise in deaths. We see there another of the common reporting glitches, obviously a catch-up day.

Regarding Sweden, a country with few restrictions on mobility, a recent report states that tighter restrictions would have saved lives there. Typically, however, the report neglects to quantify the additional economic cost of such an option. Note that the case data in the U.S. does not indicate eliminating restrictions based on earlier standards for case reductions. Nonetheless, the country is steadily opening up due to a growing appreciation for the economic effects of restrictions.

We’ll be back on Monday afternoon with additional COVID-19 updates and information.

June 4, 1942 the Battle of Midway began. While the war would last another 3 years, the battle was decisive and the US Navy defeated the Imperial Japanese Navy turning the tide in the Pacific. Since we shared the Navy themed tunes last month, here are the Sons of the Pioneers with “.

TIA Daily COVID-19 Update: June 3rd

As TIA continues to monitor the situation surrounding COVID-19 and it’s impact on the 3PL and transportation industries, here is your Daily Update for June 3. As a reminder, you can find all the latest information, resources, guidance, and news from TIA’s .
ADVOCACY UPDATE:

Today the House Transportation & Infrastructure (T&I) Committee released the Investing in a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation in America in America Act or the INVEST Act. The INVEST Act is a five-year, $494 billion surface transportation re-authorization bill, to replace the FAST Act which expires on September 30, 2020. TIA Government Affairs team has prepared a background paper on items of interest for 3PLs. Please find the background paper .

 

TIA UPDATE:

Thank you for joining us for all of our COVID-19 updates. These will begin to be distributed only on Mondays, Wendesndays, & Fridays, but we will be sure to inform you of any pertinent updates as soon as possible.

NOËL PERRY UPDATE:

Tuesday’s numbers were up week-to-week in both cases and deaths. Most of the case increases came from Texas, Arizona, and the Other category. Much of the story is the continued effect of the long weekend.

However, new analysis shows a significant structural explanation. If you look at the third chart on Exhibit 3, you will see that all of the welcome reductions we have witnessed since late April are concentrated in the Northeast states where the contagion scored its first and biggest hits. The beginning mortality rates were almost twice the national average there – nearly two-thirds of the deaths in just eight states. Now, blessedly, deaths have declined in the Northeast to below the national average.

The Northeast data shows the now-familiar pattern of problems early, followed by a slow decline. The ‘rest’ numbers are not declining because of the heterogeneous nature of those states. Fourteen of those states have falling contagions; twelve are in the inflecting stage, while seventeen have rising contagions. We got falling national stats through much of May because the original victims were hit so hard, and their recoveries counted for a lot. Now that they are showing low numbers, the still flat numbers from the rest dominate the average. We won’t get a resumption of declines until the contagions reach herd immunity in states like California, Texas, Arizona, and North Carolina. We are hopeful that such a process will begin soon. However, some analyses, like the one we distributed from David Mackie of J.P. Morgan, postulate that increased social mobility will either retard or reverse any reductions. Results over the next two weeks will tell us if David is right.

Either way, this data and other new analyses show that we have a two-part epidemic. The early stage, concentrated in dense Eastern Cities, was unusually severe, approaching pandemic proportions, hence the lockdowns. That stage is now over, leaving us with a troubling but manageable contagion consistent with a bad year of ‘normal’ influenza. Americans seem increasingly willing to live with that risk in exchange for the return to a fully-operating economy.

We’ll be back on Friday afternoon with additional COVID-19 updates and information.

Here’s Glenn Miller & His Orchestra and “.”

TIA Daily COVID-19 Update: May 29th

As TIA continues to monitor the situation surrounding COVID-19 and it’s impact on the 3PL and transportation industries, here is your Daily Update for May 29. As a reminder, you can find all the latest information, resources, guidance, and news from TIA’s .
ADVOCACY UPDATE:

The Government Affairs team recently recorded the latest on the little unknown regulation 49 CFR 371.3 that is making all the noise in Washington, DC right now. TIA’s Vice President of Government Affairs Chris Burroughs examines 371.3 and the original intent of the regulation and whether or not a broker can legally contract out of it, because of NDAs they are required to sign by their shipper customers. You don’t want to miss this podcast.  to listen!

NOËL PERRY UPDATE:

As we hoped, yesterday produced good results after the Wednesday catchup for the long weekend was done. Although this remains a quirky week, U.S. cases registered their best week-over-week reduction while deaths fell as well. Of particular note is the week-over-week drop in ‘Rest of the Week’ cases and deaths, suggesting that the newer parts of the country have achieved herd immunity.

FL, IL, and LA posted the best gains.

The full week death number for the U.S. dropped below 1,000 for the first time. It was over 2,100 late in April. A continuation of that rate of reduction would have us at very low death counts by the end of June. That would put the U.S. at 118,000 deaths, a troubling number, but well below forecast numbers of a month ago. While this contagion has produced totals well above the optimistic forecasts that Asian statistics suggested in March, its results are fundamentally below the levels that health experts used to justify the extreme economic restrictions.

We’ll be back Monday with COVID-19 updates and information that came throughout the weekend.

What’s better on a summer Friday than the Andrews Sisters and “.” Have a safe and fun weekend!

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