On October 5, the American Trucking Association met for their annual Management Conference & Exhibition, to discuss key industry trends and issues. The top three issues they discussed were the national driver shortage, pending changes to HOS regulations in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, and driver compensation. Of course, the ATA discussed much more than this, including international trade, infrastructure, tort reform, drug policy, cybersecurity, and logging devices. Here’s a decent synopsis of each of these topics: International Trade – ATA will continue proposing that Congress passes the U.S., Mexico, Canada Agreement to improve trade in the Americas. Infrastructure – Similarly, the ATA will keep pushing for action on highway infrastructure improvements. Tort reform – The ATA has made it a priority to combat the recent onslaught of trials targeting trucking companies with lawyers seeking unjustified jury rewards. Drug Policy – Recreational maurijuana has brought a host of concerns over impaired driving, so the ATA will work to develop better policies with this. Cybersecurity – As the industry becomes increasingly digitized, cybersecurity becomes a major threat and must be pre-emptively dealt with, fortunately the ATA is already on top of this. Logging Devices – All motor carriers have until Dec. 16 to convert from their old-school e-log systems to electronic device logging. Besides the ATA Conference, another interesting development has been the appointment of Randy Guillot as Chairman of ATA. The team at Brave Freight is hopeful that this will lead to a year full of progress for the trucking industry, based on what Guillot has spoken about. Guillot believes our industry’s voice resides in all of us, through connections. Connecting our industry and working toward common goals is how we establish our voice to create change in regulations and in the industry. Guillot reflected on accomplishments made in just this past year, “We were able to secure critical relief from onerous state meal-and-rest-break rules; we changed and shaped the conversation on infrastructure; we made the case for sensible hours-of-service reform, resulting in a proposal to provide flexibility for our drivers.” Guillot is prepared to face the upcoming challenges in our industry, such as congestion, increasing tolls, over-regulation, getting more good drivers into the industry, and resisting advances by trial lawyers who just want our money. Randy Guillot grew up around trucking, since his father was a trucker and he started working with the family business since his adolescence. Guillot even drove a truck for short time, and recognizes the hardship of the job, respecting all of those who do trucking well. We agree with Guillot that it’s all about connections, that connections and working together are how we can grow to lead better lives for ourselves and for those that come in the future of our industry. Good connections comes from doing honest business, with particular focus on mutual benefit. No connection is truly beneficial if both parties don’t walk away in a better position, with a grin on their face.