SHIP IT Act Could Resolve Supply Chain Tangles

The comprehensive legislation would make it easier for companies to recruit and retain truck drivers.

January 31, 2023

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—A bill introduced in Congress last week offers a comprehensive approach to resolving the trucking-related pain points in the U.S. supply chain.

Sponsored by Congressman Dusty Johnson (R-SD) and Congressman Jim Costa (D-CA), the Safer Highways and Increased Performance for Interstate Trucking (SHIP IT) Act aims to resolve many of the issues that have bottlenecked the supply chain.

The SHIP IT Act includes several measures that would increase the number of truck drivers, including:

  • A tax credit of $7,500 per year for experienced drivers and $10,000 for new drivers. These credits would last two years.
  • Increased accessibility to commercial driver’s license (CDL) tests.
  • Clarification that truck driver training is covered by Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) grants.

The SHIP IT Act would also provide relief from hours-of-service regulations in regards to the transportation of many agricultural products, including livestock; create a pilot program to measure the safety of six-axle vehicles; make zero-emission vehicles more practical; ease the process by which the federal government can waive truck weight limits; and expand access to parking and rest facilities for commercial motor vehicles. 

Rep. Johnson said, “Americans experienced a slew of freight disruptions during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. 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.”

“We applaud Reps. Dusty Johnson and Jim Costa for introducing this important bill to address many of the supply chain challenges facing the convenience and fuel retailing industry,” said Paige Anderson, director government relations, NACS. “The incentives to increase the number of truck drivers, expand access to truck parking and rest facilities for commercial drivers, and allow a state to administer a driving skills test to any out-of-state (CDL) applicant are just a few of the proposals in the SHIP IT Act that will help our members.”

NACS is a member of the Shippers Coalition, a group of more than 80 companies and associations that advocates for solutions to transportation issues that impact the supply chain.