Transportation Intermediaries Association

written by Business View Magazine November 20, 2014

The Transportation Intermediaries Association is the voice of the third-party logistics industry

The Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA) is the premier organization for third-party logistics professionals in North America, providing resources, information and connections for members to empower them to better establish, maintain and expand ethical, profitable and growing businesses.

The association was founded in 1978 to advocate against regulation in the domestic transport industry and has continued advocating for market improvement ever since.

“Our members have grown over the years and we now represent the large integrated third-party logistics companies, as well as family-owned and smaller logistic companies,” said Robert Voltmann, the organization’s president and CEO. “We’re the only organization that represents third-party logistics companies in every market – domestic and international.”

The TIA exists to help third-party logistics professionals better manage their companies for growth and profit. The association’s membership consists of more than 1,300 such professionals, whom they help by providing services that include research, education, lobbying and specific product offerings that aid in the successful conducting of business.

“We maintain a strong and growing association that continues to meet the needs of our members and the industry,” Voltmann said.

For some, the most important benefit of membership is advocacy, while for others it is educational products or research. “It really depends on them,” Voltmann said. “We try to meet the member wherever they need us to be.”

A critical aim of the association is to educate and produce research necessary to help members in a competitive marketplace. Education programs have been developed to assist in all levels of expertise. Online courses range from focusing on individual segments of the market, such as Temperature Control Transport, to a comprehensive Certified Transportation Broker program.

All are designed to inform the next generation of industry leaders and provide industry standard education. TIA has partnered with the Institute of Logistical Management to offer the highest of quality in transportation and logistics courses available anywhere. TIA’s Compensation Report provides important information about how logistics firms are organized, salary and compensation and information via position and geographic regions.

“The TIA Compensation Survey is an essential tool for any 3PL owner that wants to retain employees and agents in the highly competitive 3PL employment environment,” Voltmann said.

The association also provides leadership and direction for the 3PL industry and professionals to advance professional standards, business practices and the overall image and credibility of the profession and its contribution to society. As part of the advocacy role, TIA works to protect from harmful regulation and provide a voice for the industry to Congress, the Obama Administration, states, courts, shippers, carriers and various international organizations.

“We do a very good job of advocating for our members before congress and the administrative agencies,” Voltmann said.

TIA lobbied for a provision as part of the Fighting Fraud in Transportation Act of 2011, which was enacted and passed into law in July 2012. This bill addresses fraud in the marketplace, and raises the financial entry requirements for coming into the transportation industry.

“It won’t block entry,” Voltmann said. “It will just make it clear to those coming into the industry that this isn’t like running a sandwich shop. We think it’s going to have a very positive effect on our members and our industry.”

One of the main challenges for the transportation industry is a growing shortfall of trucks on the road. While TIA members have a sufficient number at the moment, that number is tight because of the economy, Voltmann said.

“They seemingly were crawling out of the recession, yet my members are reporting that truck capacity is very tight in certain markets at certain times,” he said. “We’re exporting more so there’s more manufacturing,” Also, capacity has been idled by trucking companies that went out of business during the recession, and by drivers who have chosen not to re-enter the workforce.

The association’s five-year plan includes doubling membership and strengthening the voice that will continue in an effort to shape the industry going forward.

“We will continue to work and be more proactive in promoting our members and their interests to the industry,” Voltmann said.

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