COUNCIL URGES ICC TO INCREASE EFFICIENCY IN TRUCKING INDUSTRY

by James C. Miller on September 29, 1976
by James C. Miller

Expedited procedures that would increase competition and lower costs in the trucking industry were recommended today by the Council on Wage and Price Stability. The recommendation was made in a filing before the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) on a proposal to change regulations which in effect limit the number of common or contract carriers who can take over services of a private carrier- who wishes to hire outside firms. Currently, only truckers authorized to serve a specific shipper can compete for the business. Other carriers who would want to provide
services are forced to go through a lengthy and highly uncertain procedure to obtain operating authority. In order to compete, these truckers must now first obtain, respectively, an ICC certificate or an ICC permit. However, it has been ICC policy that to obtain such operating authority, the carrier has to prove: (a) that there is a need for the service, and
(b) that existing common and contract carriers are incapable of providing it — an almost hopeless task where substantial service is involved. The Council recommended that the ICC waive these two requirements in cases of take-over from private carriage.

According to the Council’s Assistant Director for Government Operations and Research, James C. Miller III, “For much too long, the Commission’s policy has been one of protecting the existing ‘club’ of truckers against the interests of shippers and the American public. While the proposal we set forth is no substitute for the kind of fundamental regulatory reform envisioned in the Administration’s proposed Motor Carrier Reform Act, we feel that this would be a modest, but significant, step forward and one that the Commission could take on its own.”

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