2013 Supreme Court Case To Impact Trucking

This spring, the United States Supreme Court will hear and ultimately rule on a case that would greatly decide environmental regulations for shipping by truck in the US. The case involves the American Trucking Association (ATA) and their dispute against the Clean Truck Program created by the Port of Los Angeles. In 2008, the Port of Los Angeles implemented the Clean Truck Program, which imposed specific environmental requirements (to reduce air pollution) for trucks in the port, including proof of financial responsibility from motor carriers, rules for off-street parking and mandatory placards on trucks. The US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit upheld the requirements.

The ATA contends that these regulations have very little to do with reducing air pollution. They are appealing the ruling on the grounds that local and state laws violate federal trucking laws that unregulated the industry. Further more, the ATA is extremely concerned that the rules would hurt the US trucking industry by adding unnecessary costs to trucking companies. If there are added costs to trucking companies, this might result in increased freight shipping rates. Whether you are shipping boxed or crated freight, and no matter what freight class, the concern is that these local regulations could impact trucking across the US if other domestic ports want to adopt the rules as well. That is why manufacturers, supply chains and especially freight brokers across the US will be keeping a close eye on this Supreme Court case. Hopefully, the case will work out and the shipping industry will move on to better things in 2013.