U.S. Representatives Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.) and Jim Costa (D-CA) introduced an overhaul of the interstate trucking supply chain system. The Safer Highways and Increased Performance for Interstate Trucking (SHIP IT) Act is meant to increase safety and shipping capacity for truckers, provides recruitment and retention incentives for drivers, and includes flexibility during times of emergencies or black swan events.
“Americans experienced a slew of freight disruptions during and after the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Johnson in a statement. “Last year we addressed ocean shipping reform, and it’s clear that updates are needed for other parts of the supply chain. The SHIP IT Act will bridge gaps, keep costs down for consumers, and make it easier for shippers to move products across the U.S.”
The Safer Highways and Increased Performance for Interstate Trucking (SHIP IT) Act:
- Modernizes the authority for certain vehicle waivers during emergencies, allowing waivers in response to disease and supply chain emergencies.
- Allows truck drivers to apply for Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act grants.
- Incentivizes new truck drivers to enter the workforce through targeted and temporary tax credits.
- Streamlines the CDL process, making it easier for states and third parties to administer CDL tests.
- Expands access to truck parking and rest facilities for commercial drivers.
“Disruptions in our trucking supply chain continue to drive up costs and create uncertainty for American consumers and producers,” Costa said. “We need to recruit, train, and retain truck drivers to keep our supply chain moving, while also updating best practices to improve trucking to fit our modern economy. That is why we introduced this bipartisan legislation to strengthen the workforce and make it easier to move products across the country.”