Postpone the Clean Truck Mandate in Seattle/Tacoma ports to January 1, 2019.
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Have you ever wondered how all of the items you buy in stores arrives on those store shelves? Have you ever been curious how all of that works, and what factors play into price increases in stores? Truck drivers, trucking and logistics companies are the people behind the scenes, the people responsible for making sure that whatever store you shop at receives all of those items you depend on. The interesting thing about that, is that the large corporations, though still playing a decent size role in that, do not make up the entire industry. Small companies, owned by local people also cover a large amount of the container drayage in our area.
As of today, February 6, 2018 the Northwest Seaport Alliance voted in favor of a program called the Clean Truck Program to be implemented in both the Seattle and Tacoma ports. This mandated program would require all truck drivers, and or trucking companies that handle transportation of containers out of the ports, to buy 2008 or newer trucks or purchase a system for their trucks which allows the engine to be compliant with the mandate. This has created an overwhelming issue for many small business owners due to the simple fact that many of these drivers own their own trucks and operate as their own small business. They invest their time and money into maintaining their trucks to be sure they are running to the legal standard, and they are now being asked to purchase new trucks that aren't designed for the local hauls or idling at the ports regardless of the fact that the trucks they own operate without issue. The new trucks then tend to have mechanical issues due to them functioning in a way they aren't intended for, as many of you know, mechanical issues are no small expense, especially for tractor trailers. On average, the drivers who have already become compliant with this mandate are now spending upwards of $10,000 a year in maintenance alone. Why is this fair, to not only implement a plan that would include truckers now having to pay for a truck payment in addition to excessive maintenance costs while the equipment currently in their possession functions perfectly fine?
The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency claims that this will drastically increase the air quality in our area. I beg to differ. The trucks that are responsible for these port moves are a very small percentage of the issue in all reality. Think of how many cars are on the road, all of the machinery that is not "clean" being used in construction of our rapidly growing area, being used in the ports. Lets not forget the fact that the container ships, bringing these items from overseas are also not compliant with the Clean Air Act. In the grand scheme of things this will make virtually no difference to the air quality or environment whatsoever, anyone who actually spends time outside could easily realize that fact. Do you know what this act will affect? The larger portion of the trucking industry and their families. This will put many small companies and owner-operator truck drivers out of business and potentially into large amounts of debt. This will ruin the livelihood of those who work fatuous hours to ensure that the society they live in is supplied with the products that it needs.
It doesn't end there, It will affect each and every one of us. It will affect any person that purchases items from stores, anything that is brought here via container ship and distributed to the places we all shop. In order for companies to stay afloat and in order for truck drivers to make any bit of profit, container drayage prices will be faced with an inevitable rate hike to help compensate the excessive cost that entails when this officially goes into effect on April 1, 2018. This is what continues to drive inflation. Due to the cost increasing to move goods, companies will in turn have to sell those items for a higher price to ensure they as well still profit, considering you cannot operate a company without profit. I think I can speak for many when I say that I'd prefer not to watch all of the large companies and corporations flourish and take over while all of the small, locally owned businesses sink and dissolve.
The funding that was devoted to this cause was scanty, only assisting a fraction of the people in this industry, with the majority ending up in the pockets of the larger companies with little to no need of the assistance. It was poorly budgeted and dissipated quickly. The planning and execution was done poorly and in an unethical manor.
This is where you come in. Help us, help the truckers and help ourselves avoid inflation. Help defend the livelihood of all of those people, the people that are under appreciated that are rarely noticed by society yet play such a large role. Help us stand for what is right. I, someone who avidly hikes and enjoys the outdoors, consider myself a strong advocate for preserving the environment, do not see that as the driving factor in this program. What I do see is something driven by greed and monetary gain that is masked by a more appealing disguise such as environmental protection. I encourage you to dig deeper, and to truly attempt to understand what is happening not only here, but in our society as a whole. These truck drivers and company owners aren't against improving the beautiful place we live in, they live here as well, what they want, what we want is a reasonable amount of a time. Programs such as this one aren't a negative thing themselves, they are merely lacking the fundamental planning and implementation, in a sense it's as if they're done backward. It's amusing how logic seems to be the missing piece in the logistics industry when in all reality that is entirely what it is supposed to be, logical.
Why not wait, why not solve the issues before they occur versus mandating a flawed plan to create more obstacles to overcome along the way? Join us in supporting what is morally right, and what is the logical thing to do in what should be a logical industry.
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Paige Racioppo needs your help with “Northwest Seaport Alliance: Postpone the Clean Truck Mandate in Seattle/Tacoma ports to a January 1, 2019.”. Join Paige and 1,310 supporters today.