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I had just been hired by a fresh produce publication in the fall of 1974, and by far, the biggest controversy in the trucking industry was Congress looking to deregulate trucking (and other transportation modes). No one at the newspaper, including myself, knew anything about trucking, much less the profound effects deregulation would have. It was known that most agricultural commodities were exempt from the regulations, but most produce hauls also required a regulated haul on the return trip. I immediately began reading all I could about the subject and tapping into the knowledge of those in the industry. Fortunately, I attended the United Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Association’s trucking division meeting at a hotel near the Kansas City International Airport. It was there that I met Allen Lund of the Allen Lund Company. A friendship quickly developed, and I had someone who was much respected in the industry, intelligent, always made himself available, and had a heart of gold. I can honestly say I’ve never met a better man in my life and I continue to benefit from having known him. Even though Mr. Lund is no longer with us, his values remain steadfast in the Allen Lund Company today.

I became the primary writer on transportation issues and had covered it extensively when Congress passed the Motor Carrier Act of 1980. Some of the major accomplishments of deregulation was ending legalized rate fixing by the large trucking companies, and ending their protected regular routes. Rate wars slashed freight rates, and small trucking companies and owner-operators could negotiate directly with shippers instead of having to lease to a carrier. Deregulation allowed contract rate-making with the regulatory review and opened the door for truck brokers to more efficiently provide match-ups between the demand for transport services and the availability of carriers.

The passage of the Motor Carrier Act of 1980 revolutionized the trucking industry, leading to the emergence and growth of third-party logistics (3PL) providers. [] This shift benefited the American public by reducing transportation costs, lowering consumer prices, and improving service quality. Over the years, the 3PL industry has evolved into a sophisticated sector integral to global supply chains, leveraging advanced technologies to optimize operations. The legacy of early industry leaders, such as Allen Lund, continues to inspire innovation and excellence, demonstrating the enduring benefits of deregulation for the economy and consumers alike.

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