legislation testimony

TAM Testimony – In support of An Act Relative to Carriers of Property by Motor Vehicle

The following testimony was sent to the State Senate Committee on Ways and Means. Our testimony supports Senate Bill 2209, which addresses a practical problem for larger motor carriers who may choose to ship alcohol within Massachusetts.

The testimony supporting Senate Bill 2209, An Act Relative to Carriers of Property by Motor Vehicle, is also available as a PDF download.


Dear Chair Rodrigues:

On behalf of the Trucking Association of Massachusetts (TAM), I am writing in strong support for Senate Bill 2209, An Act Relative to Carriers of Property by Motor Vehicle. This legislation, which addresses a practical problem for larger motor carriers who may choose to ship alcohol within the state, will ultimately reduce administrative costs for the Commonwealth.

As you may know, a variety of Massachusetts laws govern the shipment of alcohol from a manufacturer directly to the consumer. Under the licensing construct created under the applicable laws, each motor vehicle transporting an alcohol product must have a license from the Commonwealth. Under Senate Bill 2209, a motor carrier would be able to obtain a fleet permit to transport or deliver the products sold at retail by licensees under Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 138, §§19B, 19C, or 19F to the ultimate consumers of such products. In addition, any motor carrier so licensed would be required to ensure that parcels transported or delivered are clearly labeled with words that indicate that the package contains alcohol. The signature of a person, age 21 years or older, and proof of valid identification confirming the same will also be required for delivery. Finally, the motor carrier with a fleet license must have documentation reflecting all of these and other requirements are met.

With razor thin margins associated with the delivery of goods, trucking is at its core logistics. Unfortunately, for trucking companies with large fleets today, this means that each tractor and trailer must be able to be used for a wide variety of purposes. Whether transporting lumber, furniture, food or alcohol, a trucking company must be able to redirect its fleet to reflect market conditions and delivery needs at a moment’s notice. The Commonwealth’s licensure system – requiring each and every truck that might possibly haul alcohol be licensed – creates a disincentive for motor carriers to enter the Massachusetts market. As a result, Massachusetts consumers pay higher costs associated with a lack of competition.

Senate Bill 2209 will allow for the more practical issuance of a fleet license that covers a motor carrier’s entire fleet of vehicles. In doing so, Massachusetts will become a more attractive environment for trucking companies to transport alcohol. This legislation will not sacrifice public safety in any manner as all the same rules will still apply. All the safeguards that apply to ensuring that alcohol is only delivered to individuals 21 and older will remain in place. What this legislation will do is increase competition which will ultimately benefit consumers. As well, by issuing fleet licenses, the Commonwealth will be able to reduce licensing costs and associated resources, which may then be put towards enforcement efforts, thereby further safeguarding the general public.

I appreciate your consideration of this important matter and respectfully request that you release this legislation for its full consideration by the Senate. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to let me know.

Sincerely,

Kevin Weeks
Executive Director