A group of 20 companies and trade associations that represent a large chunk of American business said today it has formed a coalition to "lay the groundwork" for a modern-day U.S. transportation system.
The coalition, called "Americans for Modern Transportation," includes such companies as Amazon.com, Inc.; UPS Inc.; FedEx Corp.; and YRC Worldwide, Inc. Trade associations include the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA); the National Retail Federation (NRF); shipper groups NASSTRAC and the National Industrial Transportation League; the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; the International Warehouse & Logistics Association (IWLA), and the National Association of Manufacturers.
In a statement on its website, the coalition said it would focus its efforts on safety enhancements, sustainability issues, and information technology upgrades. It did not disclose details of its strategy or execution. In its mission statement, the group said it would "advocate for policies that modernize the delivery of products and consumer goods to businesses and consumers across the country."
The transition to a new administration and a GOP-controlled Congress did not trigger the group's formation, according to a person familiar with its activities. However, the person said that it has been created at a "critical moment" for the nation's transportation system. President-elect Donald J. Trump has pledged an infrastructure improvement program whose projected cost reportedly ranges from $550 billion to $1 trillion.
The coalition is member-run with no one person at the helm, an organizational structure normally found at trade associations. The 20 companies and trade associations are the coalition's founding members, and it is recruiting additional participants, according to the person.
The coalition's members will "be actively engaging policymakers and staff, and educating the general public about the benefits of a modern transportation system," the individual said. The coalition's work will augment the activities of the individual companies and trade groups, the person said.